Dog Fights: How to Handle Vicious Dog Battles



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Dog Fights: How to Handle Vicious Dog Battles


Dog fights can be deadly to everyone involved – animals or humans. Truth be known, dog owners may have multiple dogs at home who occasionally do not get along with one another. Also, your dog may encounter a vicious dog on the street as they are being walked.

Knowing how to defuse and handle tense situations between dogs, or even break up a dog fight is important in keeping your pet safe and healthy. Learn how to handle such situations before you find yourself in the middle of a vicious dog fights, a fight that forces you to spring into immediate action if it becomes absolutely necessary.

Study your dog’s body language

Talk to your vet, trainer or anyone else who can help you learn to understand your dog’s behavior, especially if this is your first dog or a dog you do not know well. The body language of most dogs will tell you that they are preparing to fight. Only you can prevent a dog fight by recognizing the signs.

  • Watch for a firm, rigid stance and tensed muscles.
  • The dog may growl, snarl or show his teeth.
  • A lowered, straightened tail is a bad sign.
  • Watch for flattened ears that are pulled back against their head.
  • Socialize your dog from an early age for several reasons:
    • They will learn how to act around other dogs.
    • You will understand how your dog interacts with them.
    • Be diligent in your obedience training, as well, so you can redirect your dog’s attention to you whenever necessary.

Stay calm

Dogs take cues from their owners. In other words, if you panic, your dog will panic. Remember that most dogs are on high alert when a dog fight is in the air, especially if there is an aggressive dog involved. Try to keep your head and avoid screaming or yelling unless you feel the need to call for help. If possible, scream or yell peacefully. Ha!

Become the loud person in dog fights

Although you don’t want to frantically scream and yell, you do want to try and distract the fighting dogs so they momentarily forget about each other and give you time to separate them. Try banging on pots and pans or slapping a nearby wall. Air horns tend to work well.

Grab a hose

Hitting fighting dogs with a hose or dropping a bucket of water on top of them may break up the fight. This will serve as a distraction and the few seconds it takes for the dogs to figure out what’s going on, giving you time to get them under control. Spray bottles also work.

Put something between them

While some dogs bite and refuse to let go during a fight, others bite, release and then bite again. If your dog is fighting in this manner, slide a cookie sheet or other firm barrier in between the dogs quickly when they break from each other. You’ll have to act fast and get the item in place before the dogs take their next lunge at each other.

Pull them apart

Physically pulling the vicious dogs apart is dangerous and should be done only as a last resort. Doing so could get you bit or cause the dogs to turn on you, so be very careful. To separate the dogs physically, grab one of them by both back legs, putting your hands at the top of the leg where it meets the body. Pull the dog backwards and slightly upwards to get him away from the other dog. Never grab the dog by the collar or scruff of the neck as this may get you bitten. If the other dog does happen to bite you, you may want to consider consulting a dog bite lawyer, especially if you are seriously injured.

Buy a bite stick

A bite stick is a tool that can be inserted into a biting and vicious dog’s mouth. It is used to open a dog’s jaws, forcing him to release his hold on the other animal.

Once you purchase a bite stick, find a dog trainer who can teach you how to use it. Learning the proper technique will keep both you and the dog safe in a bad moment.


The best way to deal with a dog fight is to stop it before it starts. Act quickly when you see signs that a situation is escalating and take measures to avoid the fight. To do so, you can carry an umbrella with you when out for walks with your dog. If another dog comes at yours, pop the umbrella open in between the dogs. This creates a diversion and a physical barrier so you have time to move your dog to safety.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. Anica writes on behalf of Harron Law, a law firm with dog bite lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases.

WayCoolDog posts originally appeared on WayCoolDogs and are re-posted with the permission of Nancy Houser of WayCoolDogs © 2009 – 2015