How to Safely Break up a Dog Fight

Categories: Safety Tips

Pennsylvania's Dog Bite Lawyer - Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq.

It should be obvious that you shouldn’t stick your hands, or any other body parts, in between dogs that are fighting. But when a fight suddenly breaks out it can be easy to forget this and put yourself in danger of being bitten.

The truth is, there is no foolproof way of breaking up a dog fight, and human injury is always a risk, including severe and even fatal injuries. The good news, however, is that there are many ways to safely break up a dog fight without physically coming in between the dogs.

Use Verbal Cues

For instance, many dogs will respond to verbal cues related to something they identify as good or pleasing.  You might yell, “Let’s go for a walk!” or, “Time for dinner!”, and this might be enough to shift the dog’s focus away from the fight long enough for you to remove it from the area.

Don’t be concerned that you may be reinforcing fighting behavior at this point. The important thing is to stop the dog from fighting. You can deal with its behavior afterwards.

Use Water

Another thing that can actually be very helpful is to spray or splash the dogs’ faces with water. You can do this from a distance, and an athletic water bottle, spray bottle, or garden hose (if handy) will do the trick.

The reason water works so well is because:

  1. It’s usually handy
  2. It’s totally safe for the dogs

You are not going to cause any physical harm to the dogs by using water and for many dog fights, it will stop the dogs right in their tracks. Afterward, you can use the technique above to shift the dog’s focus and remove it from the area.

Use Citronella

Another option for particularly difficult dog fights, or for situations where you are concerned that you will not be able to stop a fight, is to use a pet-safe repellant such as concentrated citronella spray.

Spray this substance in the general direction of the dogs’ faces. As with any other safety or emergency product, you may want to practice this a few times beforehand to ensure that you know how to use it effectively.

The great thing about citronella spray, in particular, is that it will very rarely cause any medical problems for the dogs and it will break up the vast majority of dog fights, even between dogs that are complete strangers to each other.

Stay Calm

One last thing to keep in mind is that although it is never wise to simply let the dogs fight it out, most dog fights are injury-free. In fact, it is very rare for even the noisiest dog fight to result in injuries that are significant. Many times there is a lot more barking than biting, and by the time you find something to help break up the fight, it will have blown over. So stay calm, don’t add any extra negative energy to the situation, and try one of the techniques discussed above.

Bitten? Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bites can cause serious injuries and infections. In addition, they can leave severe, permanent physical and emotional scars on their victims. An experienced and dedicated dog bite lawyer can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages and earnings, and for the pain and suffering resulting from the dog bite. Contact Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esq. at 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell) for a no-cost consultation.