There are many different situations that people find themselves in wherethey are either a witness to, or involved in, a dog fight situation. It can beextremely upsetting for everyone involved, so it is important to know how tohandle this dangerous situation.

When can it happen?

Dog fights can happen anywhere that dogs are being social. Off leash dog parksare one of the most obvious environments for this risk to be present, but itcan also happen on the street when you are walking your dog, in the receptionof a vet surgery or pet resort, or any shop that allows dogs to attend withowners. Many families even report fights in their own home between familydogs, often triggered by food aggression or guarding of resources and toys.

Be prepared

One of the best things any dog owner or handler can do it look for the signsand be ready. If you are in control of a dog and there are other dogs in theproximity, be watchful. Look for early signs of threatening behavior,intervene early and separate them before a fight breaks out wherever possible.

Do whatever it takes to get help if a situation begins to escalate. Alert theother dog’s owner, or if they are not present, call for help so that othersaround you are aware. Use distraction if possible (place your dog on a leash,walk away, move to a different area, splash water from your water bottle onthem, anything you can think of to distract them from each other).

Be safe

The risks of bites to human hands and arms are considerable during an attemptto break up a dog fight. If you are even in this situation, try to find anyobject that you can use to push between the dogs or use as a distraction tothem. It will very much depend on where this occurs, and sometimes there is nooption but to use your physical body to break them apart.

Be proactive

Dog fights are best avoided by introducing good socialisation training asearly as possible to young dogs, and practicing good etiquette whenever youare in social dog groups or parks. While not all situations can be avoided orprepared for, having in your mind an exit plan and a strategy for physicallyhandling an attack can help you work through it quickly at the time.

___Provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA)_ – Become a member withus at contact us anytime by emailing [email protected]

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