A friend of mine contacted me today to tell me she had been bitten trying to separate two of her dogs that had gotten into a fight. She said it wasn’t the first time they had gotten into a fight and it also was not the first time she had been bitten.
Having been in the situation before myself, I reminded my friend what to do – and what not to do – the next time she finds herself in the middle of a dog fight. First and foremost, I told her, do not try to grab the dog by the head, the neck, or the collar as this most probably will result in the human hand getting bitten. The best and safest place to grab the dog – and I encourage trying to grab the aggressor – is by the hind legs. Grab both back legs and pull the dog up and off the ground, which pretty much guarantees the aggressor will let go of whatever body part he has in his mouth at that moment. Quickly take the aggressor dog to a secluded area for a time-out and then check on the other dog for any serious wounds.
Kimberly Gauthier at Keep the Tail Wagging wrote a great article about sibling dog squabbles in which Celtic-K9 Trainer Dave Fitzpatrick provides advice on how to diffuse just such a situation. The important thing to remember when you have more than one dog is that they are just like human siblings – they are not always going to get along. Dave has five brothers and said he can think of more than three dozen times when he was a kid that one of his brothers and he got into an argument that turned into a fist fight. It happens. And it’s up to the parents to quickly – and smartly – diffuse the situation.