When it comes to dog fights, the best thing to do is recognize the situation before it arises by knowing how dogs communicate. Usually, there is one dog that is the aggressor and the other dog is merely on the defense. Once you recognize which dog is initiating the fight, use the above techniques to stop that dog. Once that dog is stopped, the other dog that is just protecting itself, will most likely stop. Other methods of stopping a dog fight are to spray the dogs with water or bang an object that will make a loud noise. But, these tips are only really useful if you are at home and have access to such things that will spray water or will make a loud noise. Once you have broken up the fight, check to see if the dogs want to keep fighting or have calmed down. Dogs that want to keep fighting, may have underlying behavioral problems.
A dog owner can usually notice aggression problems within their dog when their dog reaches puberty: 6-9 months old, when the become socially mature: 18-36 months old or if they are not spayed or neutered. Even low levels of aggression should be taken seriously. If not successfully dealt with, low levels can eventually escalate into an out of control problem. Here are some signs that your dog will exhibit when they are aggressive:
- Lip biting
- Tucking of the tail between the legs
- Licking the lips
- Backing away
- Sidetracking the bad behavior with a good behavior
- Give verbal cues followed by action. Example: If your puppy bites your hand, immediately say "Ouch!" and stop playing.
- Give your dog a time out right when they exhibit aggressive behavior.
- Don't engage in aggressive roughhousing. Some puppies have a low arousal threshold. Playful roughhousing can quickly result in aggressive fighting with these types of puppies.
How to Safely Break Up a Dog Fight, The Whole Dog Journal: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/5_12/features/5505-1.html
Yes, There is A Smart Way To Break Up a Dog Fight, The Dodo: https://www.thedodo.com/yes-there-is-a-smart-way-to-break-up-a-dog-fight-1488888838.html
How to Safely Break Up a Dog Fight, The Dogington Post: http://www.dogingtonpost.com/how-to-safely-break-up-a-dog-fight/