Tails of Seattle: A pets blog
How to stop a dog fight, Part 3
When more than one dog share the same owner and home, fights can occur because dogs view life from the canine perspective. Such as, what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine too. This includes food, toys, the owner, special spaces at the window, sleeping or in the car.
Here are some tips to prevent dogs fights at home:
-- Separate the dogs for meals, in different rooms, crates or even with a barrier.
-- Do not leave dogs together when you are gone unless you know they will not fight.
-- When introducing a new toy, be sure there are enough toys for each dog to explore alone.
-- If the dogs are jealous of greeting visitors, again let each dog meet and greet alone.
Owners need to watch for the beginning of aggression and be prepared to shut it down before it explodes.
Be attentive to the dogs' behavior. Usually if spotted fast enough, owners can distract the dogs and prevent a battle.
Try getting the dogs attention with treats, clapping hands while saying "NO" or shaking a can with a few pennies or rocks in it. The rattling noise will startle them. Before long the fight pattern will be broken.
There are times when the owner can't anticipate a dogfight. Be prepared: in the house, grab some pot lids to throw into the dogfight. Once startled, chase each dog into a different area, appearing very angry for their behavior so you seem totally in charge (even if you are shaking).
A handy fight stopper is a party air horn available at party stores.
The important rule: Never reach into a dogfight. The dogs will bite anything that is moving, including your hand or leg.
Fetty founded Positive Dog Training in 1986 in Woodinville. Fetty has been involved in various aspects of dog training and competition for more than 30 years. She and her dogs hold titles in the United States and Canada in hunting retriever events, tracking trials, obedience and rally and herding.
Do you have a question about veterinary health or pet behavior? Ask now! We'll pose some of your questions to a local trainer in an upcoming post.
Read earlier Q&A columns here.