Are dog fights keeping you from taking your canine companion to the park? I have a friend who likes to bring her dogs to the dog park, but complains that every time she goes, they end up fighting with each other and other dogs. She always ends up just taking them back home. There are never any serious injuries, but she wants to be able bring them back to the park. I thought I would try to help her and I figured she is probably not the only one with this problem. I found a few tips that might be able to help.
Related: How to Tell if Your Dogs Are Playing or Fighting
How to Handle Dog Fights
Break it up: This may seem to be the obvious answer, but the trick is in your approach. It needs to be done in a calm manner. You will only make the situation worse if you approach the dogs in a high energy, angry manner. Keep them separated for a bit, sort of like a cool down period. Reintroduce them slowly and with caution. They will no doubt start sniffing each other again, feeling each other out again.
High energy first: Deal with the dog with the most energy first. This is similar to what you would do with children. The key to calming a high energy situation is removing the ‘problem’ first. I am not placing blame, and saying the one with the most energy is the problem, but the situation can turn worse if you don’t approach that one first.
Helping Dogs Get Along After
Forget about it: Yes, forget the fight happened. Once you have calmed the situation and removed the dogs, forget about it. They will. Think back to when you were housebreaking him, if he pooped in the house, you scolded right then and there, but never hours later. If you stress out about the next fight, it will happen.
Be the pack leader: If you do not already know, dogs have an instinct to run in packs and they need a leader. When they get together at places like a dog park, they are looking to see who will be the leader. You need to be the leader. They must know that when you speak, they listen. You can not control other people’s dogs, so let’s hope they have trained their dog the same way.
Related: Alpha Dog Training: Help Your Dog See You as the Leader
Dog fights will happen, just like fights with kids will happen. The trick is knowing your animal and keeping an eye when you are at the dog park. It is much like bringing your child to the park. Anything can happen, it is how you handle it that makes a difference.
How have you handled dog fights in the past? Share with us some stories of your experiences at dog parks with other owners.