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What to do during a Dog Fight?


It is rare that we see aggressive behavior in boxers, especially since they are such a fun loving, easy-going, clown around breed. But it can happen, and when it does- its cause is usually from extraneous stimuli or outside influences other than the breed itself. Some dogs might fight when they are afraid or feel threatened, particularly when an aggressive dog pursues.  Often times, when dogs play –it appears as if they are fighting. So you should know your dog and the difference between playing and behavior that is getting out of control.  Sometimes there are tell-tale signs that you can observe in advanced and other times, it happens so quickly –you are dealing with the fight rather than preventing one. Hopefully you will never have to break up a fight between your boxer and another dog.  But you should know what to do and what not to do during any dog fight. What NOT to do …
  1. Yell, scream, panic, or let your emotions get out of control.  This will always make the fight more intense.
  2. Stick your hands in to try and grab a collar/leash or one of the dogs.  This is how most people get bit during a fight.
  3. Throw things at the dogs.  This will more likely end up in injuries to one or both the dogs.
  4. Leave or walk away while your dog is fighting.
What you should DO …
  1. Remain calm and in control of your emotions.  Your voice should be powerful and deep.
  2. Try forcing something large in between them (garbage can/chair/couch cushion) to break them apart. This will create enough time to control one or both dogs.
  3. If the dogs are locked, quickly grab the back of the dog’s legs and lift as high as you can.  This is easier when there are two calm individuals that are willing to step in.  If you are alone, try dealing with the aggressor first.  But do not put yourself in harm’s way.  Lifting the back legs should throw one or both dogs off balance and give you enough time to separate them.  The reason you grab and raise quick is to limit the risk you will get bit.  Also, keep in mind that you are not attempting to pull them apart, you are trying to get them to let go.  You don’t want to pull and risk pulling skin off of either dog if they are latched.
  4. A hose, fog horn, or dog repellant (mace) might also give you enough time to separate them as well.
What to do AFTER the dogs are separated and secure …
  1. Take a few deep breaths so you can get a clear head.
  2. Medically assess both dogs.  Don’t talk.  Your voice is a tell-tale sign of your emotions. Check for injuries and see your veterinarian immediately for a full evaluation.
  3. After the dogs have been checked, the priority should be getting them calm and back together.  Dogs live in the moment, they don’t hold grudges – they move on.  If you are unsure, put them in crates next to each other.  Observe and watch them carefully for any aggressive behaviors. Do not get nervous or add tension because you are afraid they will fight again.
  4. Don’t change anything between the dogs unless there was an obvious trigger.

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2 Responses to What to do during a Dog Fight?

  1. Michelle September 7, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    Great tips. I hope I never have to use them 😉

  2. Michelle August 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    We had two boxers (male 11 & female 8) and brought in a rescue male (4) and our two males don’t get along, well jack (11) is overly protective of our twin girls (6). They can sleep together & hang out when the girls are not home. I’m afraid jack will not survive any more fights as they are tough for him. His hips are bad, bad eyes, and arthritis. Our female (Baby) loves both and snuggles to both and stays out of the fight. I’m keeping Jack away when no one is home and they get back together just fine. When the girls are around nope! And the girls LOVE all three but think Otis is silly. I don’t yell, I’m calm, but I’m getting frustrated because I don’t know what else to do. Help?!? Suggestions please

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