Dog fights have serious consequences. Unfortunately, they are common occurrences. The problem of dog on dog attacks needs to be considered by owners of dogs that bite. In addition, owners of seemingly docile dogs need to be aware of the warning signs before a dog fight, so they may avoid getting caught up in a bad situation.
How to Prevent Dog Fights
To prevent dog fights, it is important that owners are able to respond to a dog-fighting-dog situation. By reading the mood of a dog, identifying common triggers of aggression, and handling dog fights appropriately, it is possible to safely and quickly stop dog on dog attacks.
Warning Signs of Dog Fights
Step one of preventing dog on dog attacks is to identify the warning signs of aggressive dog behavior. Pet owners are responsible for spotting agitated behavior in their own dogs. With dogs that bite, fights will occur more frequently. Stiffness, raised hackles, and lip curls are all signs that a dog is not okay and preparing to act on its feelings. Spotting these signs early helps prevent dog fights.
Many pet owners already know what might upset their dog. The absence of a favorite toy, sharing a food bowl, or even the presence of other dogs may instigate dog on dog attacks. In addition, some dogs are very protective of their family. If another person or dog approaches a family member very quickly, or in a threatening manner, the dog may attack. Prior to attacking, however, the dog will likely bare its teeth and give a warning growl.
Know How to React
Many dog fights start off noisy and harmless. It can take a while before they become truly violent, which is why it is so important to stop dog fights quickly, before they escalate out of control. At the same time, this needs to be done with safety and caution in mind. Do not allow an exchange to escalate to a violent level.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also known as the ASPCA, here are some tips on how to break up a dog fight:
- Do not grab any of the dogs by the collar. This may agitate them more.
- Don’t panic; that may only add to the agitation and could transfer aggression toward you.
- Sudden, loud noises will typically interrupt a dog fight. The dogs may pause what they are doing to investigate the noise. This is the owners’ opportunity to separate the fighting dogs.
- If a loud noise doesn’t work, try spraying the dogs with a hose or dumping water over their heads.
- Try putting something between the fighting dogs, such as a piece of plywood.
Behavior after Dog Fight
After a dog has been in a fight and suffered a dog bite, it is important to treat the bite as soon as possible. Dog bites can be dangerous to the animal. They can cause permanent mobility problems and may become infected without proper veterinary care. Be on the lookout for changes in canine behavior after the dog fight, because this trauma may cause the dog to become either extremely timid or extremely aggressive.
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