Hopefully you will never have to find yourself pulling a dog or two dogs apart who get into a fight. It’s dangerous and can result in you being injured in the process no matter how careful you are. The well-known method is to pull the dog away from the other dog by its backend, grabbing around the hips or waist but that’s not always possible and easy to do depending on the way the dogs are situated, how fast they are moving, and if you’re alone.
It’s scary to break up dog fights, even scarier to break them up alone. So what is the best way to prevent a fight? Appropriately socializing your dog as a puppy. Work with a trainer, practice the methods you learn, and address any behavioral problems you notice in your dog such as extreme anxiety that could result in fear biting, desensitizing to triggers that bring about a negative reaction, and not submerging them in situations that could trigger a bite incident. If your dog is not dog friendly, do not bring her to the dog park and cross the street when on a walk if you see another dog coming towards you.
If your dog is aggressive towards other dogs to the point where it can be extremely tough to pull her away or redirect her attention, walk her during off-peak times at the park and around your neighborhood. Many people walk their dogs after work and you may have to wait a little later than that or find a few blocks that aren’t often visited by your neighbors with their dogs. If you see an unleashed dog jogging around, yell for the owner to get their dog, and tell them yours is not dog-friendly.
If your dog is kid fearful, stay away from heavily populated kid areas like the playground, schools, and other hangouts that could cause your dog to be very stressed and react negatively. Also, if you see a child running up to your dog, yell to the parent that your dog is not friendly. If you have a child, teach them to not do this and to always ask for permission before petting a dog.
However, if you have taken all the steps necessary to avoid fights but still find yourself having to break up a fight, here’s some tips:
1: If your dog is leashed and an unleashed dog is approaching, pull the leash hard to get your dog away from the attacker. If the owner is present, yell for them to get their dog. If the dog attacks your dog or you, yell “HELP!” Try to not stick your hand in their faces as this could result in you being bitten. Use the leash to try and get your dog away from the attacking dog as best as you can. Stay as calm as you can.
2: If you can, the best way to break up a dog fight is to throw water on them. It startles the dogs and gives you a few seconds to draw the attention away and separate them. You may have to sometimes use an object like a stick or broom to pry them apart and create a barrier.
3: If possible, grab the attacking dog by the back legs and swiftly lift them up into the air. It will throw them off balance and give you enough time to get the other dog to a safe place.
4: If you see a dog coming towards yours and it’s aggressive, don’t hesitate to place your dog somewhere safe like on top of car roof, on a garbage can, or anywhere that is high enough to make it tougher for the attacking dog to get yours.