Cesar Millan Stops a Dangerous Dog Fight!
Dog expert Cesar Millan intervenes to stop a dog fight in the nick of time! Watch as Cesar Millan teaches an aggressive dog to be one with the pack.
Jim and Sam are the proud dog dads of Matilda, a 3 year old Boxer Bulldog mix. Well, they used to be proud. While Matilda can be affectionate and sweet with her owners, she becomes a monster on walks. Matilda will do anything she possibly can to attack the other dogs she encounters, and has already bit one dog badly enough for him to require stitches at the emergency vet. Embarrassed and exhausted by Matilda’s bad behavior, Jim and Sam turn to Cesar Millan for his training expertise. Watch as Cesar Millan saves the day on this episode of “Cesar 911!”
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Luckily for Matilda, Cesar sees through her tough exterior to understand why she attacks other dogs. By introducing Matilda to his pack, Cesar learns what motivates Matilda’s aggressive behavior. Cesar quickly determined that Matilda was missing proper leadership from her owners, and was actually trying to protect her dog dads against the perceived threat of other dogs. Instead of training Matilda, it was Jim and Sam who needed lessons from Cesar! In the end, Cesar helps the pet parents become strong leaders for Matilda, and provides guidance for how to walk her properly.
Jim and Sam’s anxiety surrounding Matilda’s tendency to fight is only natural. For many pet parents, a dog fight that could lead to the injury of their fur baby - or worse - is truly a nightmare. Dog fights are often loud, happen quickly, and are easily panic inducing. But rest assured that if you find yourself in the middle of a dog fight, there are steps you can take to break up the drama correctly.
Read your dog’s body language.
The best way to break up a dog fight is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you know your dog has a tendency to act out aggressively, avoid situations where they will be loose around other pets, such as busy dog parks. You can also look out for body language that signals your dog may be fearful, on-edge, or may be on the verge of snapping. For example, anxious or irritated dogs may cower, flatten their ears, turn away, do an exaggerated yawn, tuck their tail or stick it straight out, growl, bare their teeth, stare at the perceived threat, or raise their hackles.
If you are not able to prevent a fight, there will typically be one dog who is more intense and is likely the aggressor. Use body language cues to identify this dog. By removing the most intense dog from the fight, both dogs will typically stop fighting.
Distract the dogs.
One of the safest ways for you to stop a dog fight is by distracting the participants. Make use of your environment to distract the dogs in a way that breaks their trance. For example, pouring a water bottle over the dogs could stop their fight in its tracks. Additionally, making a loud noise by banging metal objects together, dropping something heavy, or blowing an air horn or loud whistle may also distract the dogs enough to stop the fight. Lastly, some dogs will stop fighting if they can no longer see the other dog. If you have a blanket or a jacket, throwing it over one of the dogs could end the fight.
Separate the dogs safely.
During a fight, your ultimate goal should be to safely separate the dogs and remove them from the area so they can’t fight again. If two or more people are present, the best way to separate the fighting dogs is using what is known as “the wheelbarrow method.” Each person should grab the dog’s hind legs, and back away. Ideally, the hind legs should be lifted high enough that the dog is forced to stand on his front legs. This method pulls the dogs apart, while also limiting their motion so they can’t fight. Once the dogs are separated, the two people should continue to turn in a circle as they back their dog away from the other dog. This prevents the fight from resuming, and makes it harder for the dogs to bite the people holding their back legs.
If you are alone when the fight breaks out, try pulling backwards on your dog’s collar to pull him out of the fight. However, make sure you pull back and not up. Pulling up on your dog’s collar sends mixed signals to your pup, and can be a choking hazard. Alternatively, use something from your environment to create a makeshift barrier between the dogs, such as a trash can lid, a chair, or a large piece of wood.
Break any strong jaw grips.
Before trying to pull apart fighting dogs, make sure to break up any stop jaw grips first. Pulling your dog away when another dog has latched on in a death grip could lead to severe injuries. Instead, try breaking any strong jaw grips by inserting a break stick, which is a strong, flat stick, into the mouth of the aggressor. Insert the stick horizontally as close to the dog’s throat as possible, and then twist the break stick. This will force the dog to release his grip, which will make pulling the dogs apart safer.
Check for Injuries.
Once both dogs are separated and secured, check your dog carefully for injuries that may need to be addressed by a veterinarian. Do a visual check to look for obvious signs of blood or injuries, and feel your dog for tender areas or injuries that could be hidden by fur. That said, it’s never a bad idea to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian after a fight, if only for your own peace of mind.
Don’t make it worse.
It’s easy to panic during a dog fight, and react incorrectly. Unfortunately, an improper reaction could result in increased tensions, and severe injury to you or your dog. One of the most common reactions to avoid is trying to pull your dog out of the fight by grabbing his tail. However, grabbing your dog’s tail could cause you potentially irreversible injuries, and infuriate him further.
Many pet owners’ first reactions would be to throw themselves between the dogs to protect their precious fur baby, but it’s important to keep your own safety and physical limitations in mind. Make sure to protect yourself by keeping your hands and face away from the agitated dogs, and do not use your body as a human barrier. If you cannot safely intervene at all, do not try. While dog fights are scary in the moment and can cause severe injuries, many fights will end on their own after a few tense seconds.
While dog fights are scary, the best thing you can do is remain calm and assertive as you assess the situation. Remember to keep your own limits in mind, and avoid taking actions that will put yourself at risk as well. If your dog seems to be particularly prone to fighting, reaching out to a dog trainer, as Jim and Sam did for Matilda, could arm you with insights and solutions. By educating yourself in the proper techniques, you will be prepared to correctly break up a fight should the need arise.
Ready to go out on the town with your dog? Here are some of our favorite, editorially chosen walking essentials for your pup!
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