How To Stop A Dog Fight


A dog fight is a very dangerous situation. Dangerous to your dog, to you and to others around you.

When dogs fight, they momentarily ‘return back to the primordial wolf’ so to speak. What I mean by that is – during a dog fight your beloved dog will not think or act the way he normally does. He will not remember obedience training or follow your commands. If you, another dog or person get in the way – he will bite you! It’s not his fault, he is just acting instinctively as every dog would.

So what do you do? First, what not to do:

Do not scream, shout, wave your hands around. It definItely wouldn’t help and will only provide a hysterical soundtrack to the whole event.

Do not pull on the lead! Pulling on the lead will not free your dog from the other dog’s teeth, it will only make the teeth dig in deeper and do more damage. In the process it will also act to suffocate your dog.

Do not put your hands between the dogs! Or any other part of your body. All that will achieve is that you will get bitten.

So what do you do?

Use a hard object. a plank or a branch of a tree. Wedge it between the two dogs. An umbrella works wonders. I always recommend carrying an umbrella on a dog walk. It’s compact and serves as a great defense if you or your dog are attacked by another dog.

Use a jet of water or aerosol. A fire hydrant or a gardener’s hose works well. An aerosol, like an air freshened etc. also helps.

Use a large cloth to throw it over the dogs. a curtain, bed sheet or just your jacket. Try to cover the dogs’ heads with it.

And here comes a very important point : if you don’t have any of the objects above or you just don’t know what to do, it’s better to do nothing then to just do ‘anything’. Once again – doing the wrong thing will not stop the fight and it will not help your dog. It will just get you bitten.

Once the fight is over – administer first aid as needed. Now is the time to review my ‘first aid for pets’ manual found at the top of this page.

About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim is a house call Veterinarian in Melbourne


  1. Sara

    We’ve been told before a good way to seperate them is to get behind the dog and grab at the back legs and pull. That it’ll distract the dog long enough to lose it’s grip on the other dog and you won’t be as likely to get bit since your not trying to seperate them at their heads. Have you heard of this before? Would you recommend it?

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