Lily was going for her daily morning run when a dog from someone’s yard jumped out and onto her boxer, Bonnie. With ferocious aggression, the attacking dog began viscously growling and lunging to attack and bite. Lily and Bonnie were both startled, and in a moment of adrenaline and quick thinking, Lily remembered advice a friend gave her once – what to do if your dog is attacked.
Though Bonnie left the attack with some bruises, scars and a few injuries that needed direct medical treatment, Lily concluded that the damage would have been worse had she not sprung into action.
Maybe you’ve seen two dogs fighting before and weren’t sure how to handle it. Maybe a dog has at one point attacked your dog, or vice versa. The situation is always scary and frequently violent.
If you ever find yourself in a situation in which your dog is attacked, what are some safe, practical ways to break up the fight?
Frequently, water is suggested as a means to distract the dogs and get them off each other. If you have access to a hose, douse the dogs in water. If not, using a water bottle, squirt gun, or other carbonated drink you have on you is worth a shot. By pouring or splashing water over the dogs, it may distract them long enough to separate from each other and allow you to slip a leash on and take your dog to safety.
Use Distractions and Loud Noises
Distract the dogs by any means possible to break up the fight. While walking your dog, carrying an air horn, noisemaker or whistle with you is always a good idea. Making a loud, sudden noise may be enough to catch the dogs’ attention and allow them to become more excited about the noise than the other dog.
In some cases, dogs will be less likely to keep fighting if they can no longer see each other. If the fight has not yet escalated too intensely, throw a blanket over the dogs so they will be blocked from each other’s vision.
Placing any inanimate object between the dogs is suggested. Items can include a chair, garbage can lid, piece of wood, umbrella or anything else nearby. Refrain from placing your own body between the dogs, as this may result in serious injury.
Use the “Wheelbarrow Method”
This is the method that Lily used with Bonnie and the aggressing dog. If two people are around, approach the back of each dog simultaneously. At the same time, lift the hind legs of both dogs off the ground and begin walking backwards, so the dog is forced to only walk on his front legs. Begin slowly turning the dogs away from each other in a 180-degree half-circle so they are no longer facing each other.
Once the dogs have calmed down, slip a leash on, and continue walking away until the two dogs are totally separated. This method is safer than other direct ways of getting involved, though you do still need to be cautious of biting.
What Not To Do
- Never stand between two fighting dogs. You will most likely get injured. Though your dog may normally be even-tempered, in the middle of an attack, adrenaline is going and your pet may mistakenly bite you, thinking it’s the other dog.
- Never get your face close to fighting dogs or any other part of your body.
- Never pull a dog straight back by the tail.
Seeing a dog attack up close, especially if your precious pooch is involved, is horribly devastating and always terrifying. Taking the right steps and actions to prevent or break up a dog attack can be vital.
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