It’s amazing that in a matter of seconds a fun play session can escalate into a dog fight.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever witnessed or been a part of a dog fight, but it’s one of the most awful things I’ve seen. I felt helpless, scared and didn’t know what to do.
Before selling insurance, I owned a pet sitting business. I had over 300 clients (most of which were Pit Bulls) and never had any issues until one day….. Because I don’t like dog parks (see our blog https://einhorninsurance.com/california-insurance/don%E2%80%99t-go-to-dog-parks/ ) I would often host play dates where several of us would meet at someone’s house. This allowed for a clean, controlled environment where we knew the temperament of all dogs.
One day a client brought their new dog (a mutt) to our play group. This dog barely entered the yard and within seconds, was pinned down by the neck by another dog (another mutt) in the group. The attacking dog wouldn’t let up as the “victim” was on the ground screaming for its life. I’d never heard or seen anything like this. The other owners were in shock and started crying.
I had to break up the fight, but didn’t want to hurt either dog. I tried putting my hands in the attacking dog’s mouth trying to pry its teeth open. In doing so, I broke every nail and had my fingers were bit to the bone…not one of my best ideas. After that dumb maneuver, I started hitting the dog that was attacking. This was stupid idea #2, as this did nothing.
Finally, I got so desperate that I stuck my pointer finger up the attacking dog’s butt. Fortunately I didn’t need to go more than a knuckle deep, as this was enough of a shock. The attacking dog immediately released, giving me a chance to hold him down so the “victim” could get away.
WARNING: When I stuck my finger up this dog’s butt, I knew there was a chance this would piss him off and he’d turn around and lash out at me. I made sure to put the dog in a choke hold and when the dog’s head was lodged between by bicep and forearm, I put my finger up its butt. The dog tried to turn its head to see what was going on, but wasn’t able to. If you have a 2nd or 3rd person around, this trick is much easier. Unfortunately, the other humans were literally paralyzed with fear and although I was shouting at them to help me, they were in such a state of shock that they physically couldn’t move.
After the fight, I felt stupid, frazzled and very angry (at myself) for not knowing how to properly break up a dog fight.
Below are a few things you can do if you are faced with the same horrific experience. The goal is to distract the fighting dogs and divert their attention onto something else.
Assuming a hose is nearby, blast them with water. I’ve also heard of people shaking up a soda can, and opening it up so the carbonation could hit the attacking dog up the nose.
If a fight isn’t too intense, a loud noise may scare/distract the dogs. Bang things together, yell, blow a whistle….etc.
When we walk Bernice, many people like to let their dogs run lose in our neighborhood. This really pisses me off since I have a Pit Bull and if anything was to happen, my properly leashed dog would be blamed. The off leash dogs love running up to Bernice which scares the crap out of her. Bernice has been attacked on 4 separate occasions and is now fear aggressive. When a dog comes running towards her (even if it’s to play), she goes into attack mode. I always leave the house with a marine air horn. WARNING, these air horns are LOUD. I’ve never had to use it, but if I did, I’d make sure to point it AWAY from the dogs and not blast it in their ears. Again, DO NOT BLOW AN AIR HORN IN A DOG’S FACE.
CARRY A TOOL
When I stuck my hands in the attacking dog’s mouth, my intention was to get behind the back teeth to force the dog’s mouth open…didn’t work. KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF THE WAY! You can do this by using an object such as a braking or parting stick. Of course you’ll have to have this item on you. In a fight, the stick can be forced between dog’s teeth and turned sideways, prying their mouth open.
If you don’t have a stick, use a blanket, shirt or jacket to throw over the dogs so you can pull them off each other. This is less risky than using your bare hands.
CUT OFF A DOG’S AIR SUPPLY
In some cases, a dog fight can be so intense, this is your only option. This was the case in my situation. I tried to put a choke hold on the attacking dog, but I’m a small person and wasn’t strong enough to cut off its air supply.
If you have a leash, collar or belt handy, wrap it around the attacker’s neck and pull/twist it to cut off their air supply. The dog will eventually try to breath and have to release.
You obviously don’t want to kill any of the dogs, so just make sure you only cut off the air supply so the other dog can get away.
Dog fights can happen at any time. Of course it’s best to stay away from situations to prevent them from taking place.
Einhorn Insurance strongly recommends you have dog liability insurance. As a dog owner, you are responsible for the bodily injury your dog causes to other people and other animals/dogs.
Einhorn Insurance can help all dog breed get canine or dog liability insurance. We are Pit Bull friendly and can even provide you with a policy if your dog has been deemed dangerous, potentially dangerous, vicious, potentially vicious, a public nuisance or is found running at large. Our policies can cover you at home AND away from home.
Visit https://einhorninsurance.com/dangerous-dog-liability-insurance/ or email us at Agent@EinhornInsurance.com.
Please remember to keep you and your 4 legged family members safe!