I have recently read a story about a Staffordshire Bull Terrier being attacked and killed by another dog in Bournemouth. It’s always sad to hear about these incidents and unfortunately they are not uncommon.
Attacks and fights can be prevented but it can be very hard to break up a dog fight without getting your dog and yourself injured. Dogs that are aggressive or have a problem when in contact with other dogs should always be walked on a leash. They should also be wearing a muzzle and be given appropriate training.
Knowing how to handle an aggressive dog is extremely important. Aggressive dogs don't need to be large/stereotype dogs. Even small dogs can cause harm. A dog can come out of nowhere and starts a fight and sometimes you won’t even have time to get away from an attack.
So what do you do?
Getting between your dog and another dog can be dangerous, a dog fight should always be broken by two people rather than one. There are several methods you could use.
My first preferred method would be grabbing the dogs from the back of their neck:
- Firstly you and another person should stand behind the dogs
- grab them from the back of their neck and pull them upwards.
- After grabbing them from the neck move them away from each other and do not let them look back.
- Stand in their way, and position their body flat on the floor - keep hold of them.
Sitting on the back of the dog can also help calm the situation and the dog down. There is also the wheelbarrow method where you lift and hold the dogs' back legs which will help them to disengage from each other.
If a dog attacks you and has grabbed your arm and won't let go, try and get someone to use a leash around the dog's neck and pull upwards - an attacking dog won't be able to bite if it can't breathe and the dog will eventually let go.
Every situation is different and you will have to act quickly. Always read your dog's and other dogs' body language, being aware of your surroundings can help prevent a fight from forming.