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How to (Safely) Break Up a Dog Fight


(December 21, 2020)--Getting between two fighting dogs is rarely a good idea. However, there are some situations that require you to intervene to protect one dog from another. There are several safe methods that you can use to stop a dog fight if it becomes necessary.

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The Wheelbarrow Method


This method requires two people. Each person grabs the back legs of their dog, pulling the dogs apart. The people then turn in a half circle so the dogs are no longer facing each other. This will immediately end the fight and keep the dogs separated until you can remove them from the situation completely.


Pull the Collar


If you are alone and are breaking up the fight, pull backward (not straight up) on one dog's collar to pull him out of the fight. Be sure to remain calm and speak in a firm voice to remind the dog that you are the human and are not involved in the fight, otherwise, the dog may turn on you.


Break a Gripped Jaw


In some cases, the dog may have bitten down on the other dog and has him in his jaw. You will need to release the dog's grip on the other dog. Taking a flat stick, force it into the mouth of the gripping dog, then turn it upward, forcing its mouth open. This will cause the dog to release his grip on the other dog.


Place an Object Between the Dogs


If you can, place an object between fighting dogs. This can be a chair, a flat board, a stick---anything that will distract them long enough to stop the fight. You can also throw water on the dogs or toss a blanket or coat over them to stop the fighting.


Other Considerations


If there are other people around---spectators, children, or other pet owners---clear them out of the way before trying to break up the fight. The only people intervening should be the two dog owners, but you may need to enlist more help if necessary. Don't believe that your dog would never bite you. In the midst of a fight, dogs are acting on instinct, and they will bite or injure you unintentionally.


What Not to Do


There are certain things you should never do when confronted with fighting dogs. Do not stick your hands between the dogs to break up the fight. Use a stick, an umbrella, or any other long object that will allow you to keep your distance.


Do not get down to face level with the dogs. This can result in serious injury. Do not pull the dogs' tails to get them to separate. This can result in injury to the dog, causing him to lash out at you.


Do not start punching or kicking the dogs, as this will make them more, not less aggressive. In addition, they will believe that you have also joined in the fight and may turn from attacking the other dog and start attacking you.


Prevent Fights Before They Start


If you recognize the signs of an impending dog fight, you can stop them before they start. Some of the common signs that dogs are gearing up to fight include:


  • Growling
  • Baring teeth
  • Staring
  • Ears flat against the head
  • Excessive pacing


If you and your dog have been attacked by another dog, you may be entitled to compensation. You may have lasting injuries, medical bills, or psychological trauma. If you’ve been injured while trying to break up a dog fight that never would have happened if it weren’t for the owner’s negligence, you can click here to learn more about how a dog bite lawyer can help your case.


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