Here at Parkgate Animal Hospital in the Deep Cove/Seymour area of North Vancouver, we have been getting a lot of patients lately coming in due to local dog fights. Here are some tips for avoiding fights between your dogs– we wouldn’t want your puppers to get hurt!
Fighting among dogs can be due to stress, aggression, possession aggression, dominance, and many other factors.
First of all, the risk of fighting is increased when your dog is not spayed or neutered. That is where the dominance issue comes in.
Toys and your dog’s possessions being shared could be another factor. Always make sure, if you know your dog is possessive of their things, to separate or move the toys when other dogs are coming over.
A dog can sometimes be very possessive of their environment. When other dogs enter their space, or even outside, their space when being walked by their owner, they may get aggressive and initiate a fight. Best if the dog is showing signs of aggressiveness, keep them away from anyone else while outside or in the house with multiple other dogs.
Never use your body to stop a fight! When dogs are fighting, instinct and drive have taken over. You can be bitten if you try to pull two dogs apart or separate them with your body.
Physically intervening in a dog fight puts you at risk for getting bitten. Dog bites can result in legal action as well as the costs associated with treating a bite wound at a human ER or urgent care clinic. Complications from bite wounds can lead to severe pain and infection and permanent tissue damage, sometimes even requiring plastic surgery.
Instead of using your body, use a broom or chair or spray water on the dogs with a water hose to separate the dogs and stop the fight. Try making a loud noise such as slamming a door. However, don’t yell at the dogs; your excitement can add to the dogs’ excitement and escalate the fight. After the dogs are separated, keep them separate for several hours in different rooms and always seek veterinary care here.
How to Prevent a Dog Fight
- Make sure your dogs are spayed and neutered.
- Feed multiple dogs in a home away from each other.
- Keep dogs leashed when outdoors.
- Avoid dog parks if you have a dog that has a possessive attitude. Also, remember that not everyone at a dog park has the same consideration, and even a docile dog can become involved in a fight.
- Keep any favourite toys out of reach of other dogs.
- If possible, when adding a new dog to your family, choose the opposite sex of the existing dog, especially with males.
- Be mindful of visiting family and dogs, and allow all dogs some alone time during these gatherings. Just like people, they can get a little antisocial at times and need a minute!