Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When Dogs Go From Having A Ball To Being In A Brawl!

Dogs are funny creatures. One minute they're trotting along while romping and playing together, the next minute they are in total attack mode. It doesn't take much for dogs to get aggressive. It could be over one getting too close to one's food, stealing a favorite toy or one invading the other's territory.

Break It Up!

It's not the easiest thing to break up two dogs when they are in fight mode. As Cesar Millan refers to it as the red zone, fighting between two dogs can be very hard to break up. Here are some ways that work best for these situations.

  1. Use pressurized water.The force of water from a garden hose, water gun, or spray bottle of water will be enough of a distraction to make the dogs forget about what they were fighting about in the first place.
  2. Make a loud noise. Dogs have sensitive hearing. Something as simple as hitting the back of a cookie sheet or clanging the inside of a pot with a large spoon will be a strong enough sound to get them to snap out of it.
  3. Do the wheelbarrow move. What is the wheelbarrow? When two dogs are fighting, two people can break them up by pulling their hind legs off the floor and back away from the source of the fight slowly. Some people rotate the dog in a circle slowly as they're pulling away because it's more effective since the spin will have a greater amount of force. Still, you need two people to do this effectively.
  4. Drop a laundry basket. Using an object like a laundry basket or a blanket will physically separate without the human getting caught in the middle. It may seem a little strange but doing this is much more humane for the dogs by creating a barrier between the two animals.
  5. Stay Calm and Assertive! Humans are the ultimate pack leader for dogs. Dogs can smell fear and will steamroll over a person once they are in fight mode. Using an strong, masterful voice and taking up space by protecting your body and doing a body block will show them who's boss. However, this method is for the more experienced dog owners

Tips For Prevention

There are many signs a person may notice just before their dog gets aggressive. Most dog fights arise out of a need for dominance. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Introduce dogs in neutral territory. If you have two dogs that you would like to be playmates or maybe are bringing a new dog into your household, it's best to introduce them in an area that neither knows. Dogs are very territorial and will consider another dog an intruder.
  • Don't Let Them Share! If you have a household with multiple dogs, it's important to have them eat from their own bowl. Dogs will guard what's precious to them and any dog that encroaches on their food they will view as a threat. When they have their own bowl, that will give them a solid boundary. If they are aggressive about you touching their food bowl when they're eating, start off by feeding by hand until they realize that their food comes from you as their provider.
  • Establish Yourself As The Leader. Obedience classes are very helpful in showing your dog who is the leader. You can be loving to your dog and still have an air of authority.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever had your dog become an unwilling party to a dog fight? What methods helped you break it up?

Useful Websites

To learn more about this topic you may want to check out:
Cesar Millan's Website and Blog
Candidae Blog Article

Thanks all for stopping in. Sorry it's been awhile since I've blogged, but I've been bogged down with school and was on a dogsitting assignment over the weekend. I will be back tomorrow. Have a great night.



  1. Would the 1st prevention tip - introduce in a neutral area - apply to cats? Growing up, I had a lot of experience seeing a new cat brought into a household with 1 or 2 other cats who had been around at least a few years. Fights often ensued right from the get-go.

  2. When I had bought a second cat what I did was keep the one cat in a smaller room and the one that was already living there, I gave her the larger room. I kept the door closed and kept the supplies for both in separate rooms. After a couple of days, they gradually met and got along. So, as long as you introduce them gradually, it works out better. Thanks for writing.



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