How To Stop Your Dogs Fighting is probably one of the scariest and most complex parts of actually having a dog as a pet.
As we already know from all of our previous articles here, our dog is no longer part of the wolf pack. However, the canine instincts of the wolf pack will stay with our domestic dog forever.
Our domesticated pets go through the entire ritual behavior daily that is hard-wired into their DNA and although we can train them to behave towards us as humans a certain way, the way they interact with their own species can be a huge cause for concern for us as owners.
Dogs challenge each other all the time and we have to be aware of this when we are out and about with our pooch. In fact, for many owners, it is probably the very worst scenario if you are walking your dog and they are set upon by another dog that is off the lead and out of control.
It has happened to me and I can tell you it is not a pleasant experience.
Dogs are capable of inflicting horrendous injuries on one another and having to of broken up a couple of dog fights in my time, I can tell you it really is a dreadful experience and of course, incredibly dangerous to us as humans.
The trauma of a dog getting into a fight with another is all too common these days and can be avoided or lessened if we adopt certain strategies.
The strange thing about dogs that we see on a regular basis is their ability to absolutely ignore their own stature. By this, I mean that you often see a very small dog barking at a very large one. Now in the human world that we live in, size plays an important part in all conflicts and generally, a good big ‘un will usually dispatch a good little’un.
This is not so in the world of dogs.
Dogs don’t see this comparison in stature. They see another dog as another dog and therefore want to be “top dog”.
It is also important to remember that you won’t be able to train this aggression out of your dog.
It’s a bit like the film Rambo.
In the film First Blood, John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone, is a Vietnam Veteran who is drifting from one town to another looking for a peaceful life.
Unfortunately for Rambo, he gets provoked unfairly by the local town Police and what ensues is a bloodbath that Rambo is at home with, unlike the people who poked him with the metaphorical stick.
You have to remember that as much as you love your dog, they are still a dog and they have that survival gene absolutely heightened within them and it all too frequently fires the emotion of “FIGHT” especially when confronted by another dog.
So what can we do as dog owners to minimize the risk of our dogs being involved in a dog fight?
There is a huge amount that we can do to ensure our dogs are well trained and don’t go after other dogs and that training starts in the way we look after our dogs and the way we have trained them to feel secure and happy in our homes.
This has a huge effect on the psychology of our dogs and reward-based training that we keep talking about is the only way to go when it comes to making a dog happy and as worry-free as possible.
We can’t control what other dog owners do however and not all owners are responsible or indeed care what their dogs do.
One thing that is of great help to your dog is socialization. If you can get involved with walking your dog with another dog walker, this can be a great way for your dog to build up a tolerance of another dog and indeed enjoy the whole aspect of a joint walk.
A quick local search of your area will often come up with dog walking or dog meets and they can be a great way for you and your dog to come into contact on a regular basis with other owners and dogs and this can be of huge developmental advantage to your dog and you too.
If you go down this route and you take your dog along, make sure you have plenty of treats and reward your dog when they remain calm and happy when meeting other hounds.
It is again, reward-based training and socialization skills that they will really benefit from.
As long as you are confident in all of the previous training aspects we have looked at on our site here, then this step is a natural one to get your dog used to other dogs.
Again, we return to my previous comment about not all owners are good owners so it is vital that when you are doing these kinds of introductions with your dog, you are observing the other dogs behavior too.
A few key indicators of dog behavior are often observed by looking at their owners!
Seriously, if you see some guy being pulled along by their dog, then you can pretty much work out for yourself that they are not in control and they are not Alpha.
Therefore, you can pretty much guarantee that their dog will probably be aggressive towards your dog as they think they are Alpha. And the whole dominance game starts.
If you observe a calm and relaxed owner, then invariably their dog will mirror this. They are more likely to be the better choice for socialization for your dog.
How I Avoid Confrontations
I do this two ways.
Firstly, when I am walking my dog I am always vigilant and very rarely let him off the lead unless I am with him in a properly secured space.
I am always on the lookout for other dogs and that is an important factor as he is a Greyhound and would love to chase them which can be quite scary for other dogs.
So I am responsible.
Also, If I see another dog and owner coming towards me, I tend to subtly reposition my dog and put myself between them and reward my dog casually with a distraction tidbit, or cross over the road if possible but I do it in a casual way so as not to transmit any kind of alarm to him.
This does take practice and it can’t be done all of the time.
Secondly, I also vary my walk times too.
If I know that some dogs may be out and about and they may well be off the lead, I tend to avoid those areas too.
This is just my way of doing things and it does work and can seriously reduce the chances of your dog getting into any kind of situation that can be both dangerous and expensive.
It’s simply important to always remember that although we are good dog owners, and you must be otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, not everyone is.
We can train our dogs to behave really well toward us and others but we can’t assume all dogs we meet have had the same kind of discipline.
This superb video by Doggy Dan explains how we as owners can intercept aggressive behavior before it gets a chance to develop. Check it out here>>>>>>