Fighting dogs - help please!

@GreenMoo (11842)
May 6, 2009 12:59pm CST
Once again I'm asking for help from the dog lovers amoungst the myLot community. Since I took on the care of these four puppies, I've certainly been learning allot about dog behaviour! Today my question is about dogs fighting. What's the best way to break them up if they start to fight? When the puppies were small it was easy enough to break them up. However, now that they're getting bigger I risk losing a finger! The other day one managed to bite straight through my thumb nail, through my jumper cuff and a big thick coat which I'd pulled down as protection! Chucking water at them really doesn't work, though I was under the impression that it would. At the moment, I just have to wait until one lets go of the other for a second then separate them by lifting them up with my foot. As only one is holding on, it's esier to shake them loose, then it's just a case of grabbing one and lifting it out of jaw range before they lock onto each other again. I'm sure there must be a better way though! Please, I'd really appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.
1 person likes this
9 responses
@dragon54u (31636)
• United States
6 May 09
They must be pretty big dogs! The rare times mine fight, I grab both their collars and pull them apart but they're medium sized dogs so it's not that hard--it's just getting into position to grab them. One thing that works, when I think of it, is a coffee can with coins in it. For yours, I'd put some heavy bolts in it and shake it like crazy when they start in. The sound might startle them enough. Or bang some pans together right next to them. Noise is a serious deterrent and an excellent training tool--humane and usually effective!
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@GreenMoo (11842)
7 May 09
They're not particularly big (yet!), but they have sharp little teeth and are incredibly tenacious. So if you pick one up to pull it away the other just comes along too and it's body weight tears the skin and makes matters worse. Each bites the other's neck / shoulder you see, so you need to separate both at once. The noise is a good idea though. I'll try that. Thanks!
• India
7 May 09
Why on earth are they fighting? I thought they were brothers and loved one another. Honestly, the only weapon I know of is water. A nice garden hose or a bucketful of ice cold water. That ought to make them run away with their tails tucked between their hind legs, whining pathetically. If that doesn't work, I really don't know what else will. Trying to separate them with your hands and feet is really dangerous. I hope someone will come up with a nice solution. :) Cheers and happy Mylotting
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 May 09
Love one another? Hah! Water just doesn't work. I've even tried squirting the hose pipe straight into their faces, and it doesn't do nything but make them slide around more. Honestly, they're like terriers. Someone suggested food, so I guess I'll be going around with a steak in my pocket just in case!
• United States
26 Nov 09
You should never spray anything directly into a dogs face. It takes away their breath.
@GreenMoo (11842)
5 Feb 11
Surely if they are fighting and doing each other harm it is preferable to take away their breath than risk them sustaining injuries?
@iskayz (5422)
• Philippines
7 May 09
Hi there! Dogs has a way of playing around. Sometimes they bite each other on the tail or by the ears. Sometimes they try to jump on each other and bite their backs just below the head. Doing so is just their way of showing whose the boss amongst themselves. These behavior is just fine as long as no one starts to whine cause if so, that would mean someone has been hurt. Maybe you can provide lots of toys for each of them to keep them entertained. In that way they won't look for entertainment amongst themselves and hurt each other. Also teach them commands such as saying "NO" whenever they are doing something bad already. Like when one of the puppies bit you. Be firm on handling them and don't get scared cause dogs senses when their persons are scared of them and it makes it difficult to make them obey you. I have two dogs and whenever they starts to get ruff on each other I just give them a tap on their noses while shouting "NO"! Sometimes I give them treats so I can get their attention. Ciao!
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 May 09
All good advice, but when they start on each other they do so very quickly and strongly. they don't bite deliberately, but when they're fighting they'll bite anything that comes within range.
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@iskayz (5422)
• Philippines
9 May 09
Oh I see.. I suggest if they starts to really get ruff and bite you, let them be first for a while until they settle down a bit. It wouldn't be good if they caught a finger or two. It seems your dogs are big. What breed are they anyway?
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@GreenMoo (11842)
12 May 09
Their mother was a Portuguese hunting breed (very fast), and their father is half lab and half Serra d'Estrela which is is a massive breed. The two which take after their father are pretty hefty dogs already. If their paws are anything to go by, they will be big.
@bellaofchaos (11550)
• United States
12 May 09
Try a very high pitched whistle to startle them or keep them seperated and when you release them back to general population if they start fighting again make sure to put them in a area by themselves and tell them what a no no they did.
@GreenMoo (11842)
12 May 09
I think the noise thing is a good idea. My son has a football whistle I intend to use next time they kick off. Thanks for the suggestion.
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• United States
13 May 09
any time and good luck with the doggies.
• United States
7 May 09
Puppies are just like regular children. They get bored and need active entertainment. Perhaps a ball they could chase around or some time in the yard to work off the energy. My cats get the same way and then chase each other around indoors like mad people and later are best friends again. It's just play.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 May 09
Oh they fight all the time for play, but occassionally they get really nsty. I'm guessing it's whilst they work out who is the 'boss dog', but I really wish they'd stop it as they really hurt each other.
@smartjack (521)
• India
7 May 09
sorry no help from my side
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 May 09
Well thanks for responding anyway!
• United States
7 May 09
I use to live next to someone that abuse his dog. He would starve the poor creature.The dog would jump over a seven foot fence and look for food. I would buy dog food and feed the dog. I called animal control three times, till the persons from dog-abused house moved. Hope the dog is ok. As for breaking up a dogg fight, having doggy treats ready might do it and also doggs stomachs are bound to get thier minds off of fighting!
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 May 09
What an awful story. I can never understand why people keep animals when they don't want to take care of them. Sounds like this dog was lucky it lived next to you. I've not tried food when the puppies are fighting yet. I'll give it a go! Thanks for the idea.
• United States
6 May 09
I have heard of taking a water bottle sprayer & squirt them with the water. But I don't want my pups afraid of water because of bath time. I also saw on TV where naughty dogs had an air can sprayed to the side of them to hear the air spray out, & not to spray them in the face. I saw that is helps naughty behavior in dogs. Also take a bike horn & squeeze the horn to make a loud noise to get their attention. Good luck for I have two very possessive pups that sometimes fight over my attention.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 May 09
Someone else suggested the noise thing too, and I think that's a great idea. I've tried water already, and it just doesn't seem to work. Thanks for your answer.
• United States
26 Nov 09
Go the the vet or a pet supply store and get Citronella spray. It is a harmless spray that repells dogs. It can be used as a training device to get dogs to stop doing bad behavior. Everytime they are doing something wrong, spray it near their heads, but not directly in their face. a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar can be used for this as well, in a spray bottle, but it doesn't smell as good as the citronella.