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8 Tips to Prevent Dog Fights

Dog fights happen more often than anyone would like. And with dog ownership rising, this number could continue to grow. It is the responsibility of every dog owner to be aware of the warning signs and know what to do when they see them.

#1 – Warning Sign: Stiffening During Play

Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, author, All About Dog Daycare and an expert in dog body language advises owners to look for stiffening in any dog. This is usually a sign that play is shifting to fighting. The brown and white dog in this picture has become very stiff. It’s time to quickly separate these dogs so a fight does not break out.

Image source: Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA
Image Credit: Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA

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#2 – Warning Sign: Stiffening When Approaching

Like in play, Bennett warns that if a dog approaching you and your dog stiffens (or if your dog stiffens), DO NOT CONTINUE TOWARDS THE OTHER DOG. A fight will most likely happen.

@JulieCorsi via Flickr
Image source: @JulieCorsi via Flickr

#3 – Pick-up The Smaller Dog

Bennett also advises owners to be ready to pick up their smaller dog if the interaction turns unfriendly. While this can cause your small dog to become fearful of larger dogs (so it shouldn’t be overused), if the other dog is clearly aggressive, you need to protect the smaller dog from harm.

Image credit: Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA
Image source: Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA

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