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Avoiding & Stopping Dog Fights

Whenever you have two or more dogs in the same house, there's a potential for fighting. Some tips for avoiding fights:

* Feed dogs in separate areas, rooms or in their own crates.

* Don't toss treats out to the dogs. Have each obey a command, such as sit, individually, and give the treat right after they obey.

* Don't permit tug-of-war or aggressive wrestling; these games can instantly escalate into mortal combat.

* Don't give dogs rawhides, pig hooves or other highly coveted goodies -- or at least don't leave them out. The dogs may fight with each other to claim these items as their own.

Breaking up a fight: Here's a good tip from PAW Volunteer Natalie Kramer, mother of three dogs. Don't put your hands between the dogs. Don't touch them. No matter how much they love you, in the heat of raging passion they may bite even you. Instead, pour water over your fighting dogs. A bucket of water might do the trick; turning on a hose works best.

Some dogs will stop fighting if you squirt them with a water bottle filled with vinegar -- this breaks their concentration. But many dogs require the water pressure of a hose.

Another technique for breaking up a dog fight requires one person to handle each dog. You'd attempt to immobilize the hindquarters of the dog while grasping the collar from behind, then wedge a wedge-shaped breaking stick into the side of the dog's mouth. However, this sounds pretty hard and risky. So unless you can install hoses in each area of your home, prevention is best.

Last Updated: April 26, 2018 (LET) PawSupport