An Unfortunate Event
Updated: Oct 30
There seems to have been an increase in the number of 'Dog on Dog' attacks recently. This may be because of a recent incident that happened to one of our own Moonlit Family and we are noticing it more or maybe there is an increase. Either way, I have been asked to write this blog so people know what to do in the Unfortunate Event another dog decides to try and harm your dog.
All types of dogs can be aggressive, for all kinds of reasons. If you have an aggressive dog, please seek professional advice, keep your dog on a lead and if required, muzzle your dog. Likewise, if your dog is super friendly and you see a dog on a lead, recall your dog and keep them leashed. The wrong type of interaction, can seriously affect a happy, confident, loving dog and create so many problems in the future.
The best way to avoid confrontation is to have the very best control over your dog. Your dog is your responsibility. You are in charge so you need to train your dog to the best of your ability. You need to keep a sharp eye on the surrounding area. Understanding the body language of a dog will give you a heads up on how other dogs are behaving towards your dog and how your dog is communicating back.
Once you understand your own dogs body language its easier to read other dogs. Dogs fight for a number of reasons. They may be protecting or guarding something, they may feel threatened, they may just take a dislike to the other dog or may be overstimulated. Just as there are many reasons to be aggressive, there are many responses. You may have heard of the 'Fight or Flight' response. These are survival responses in dogs to help them to deal with fearful situations they find themselves in. These responses are commonly known as the 4 F's.
As mentioned above, the best action is to prevent the dog on dog attack from happening. So if you feel that one particular dog is getting over aroused or over stimulated then its time to distract your dog and walk away. Dogs that have been playing happily together can all of a sudden fight. Preventing this from happening can avoid not only physical injuries but mental ones too.
When you see a dog coming towards you and the dogs body language is showing aggression, you may want to pick your dog up. Keep it in mind that the aggressive dog may still try to attack your dog whilst it is in your arms. There is a huge possibility you will be bitten and your dog will have a false sense of security by being in your arms and will retaliate.
If your dog is on lead and the other dog is upon your dog and being aggressive, your first instinct would be to drag your dog away by the leash. This action can give your dog the feeling that they are trapped and can not get away. They can't Flee so they have to use another response.
So, now we have touched the surface on body language and responses to fear, I would like to suggest what to do if your find yourself involved in an 'Unfortunate Event'
First and Foremost. Try not to panic. Staying calm in a situation like this results in the issue being sorted quickly. Shout for help if you are alone. Sometimes shouting can distract the dogs and the fight ends.
Plan of Action. Most dog fights end pretty quickly. They are very noisy and can be quite frightening. You need to think and plan what you are to do and you need to figure out what tools you have, if any, that you can use.
Distraction! Try to distract the dogs by shouting at them. Throw metal food bowls on the floor if you have them, take your coat or a blanket and throw it over the two dogs, use a hose pipe or bottle of water to spray them. If you have something you can use as a barrier you can place this between the dogs.
If distraction isn't working then Lets Get Physical!
MOST IMPORTANT DO NOT GRAB THE DOG BY THE COLLAR. If you do this the dog will think he or she is being attacked by another dog and turn around and bite your arm. He wont mean to do this but you will get injured. You need to separate the dogs using another method.
Wheelbarrow Method. 2 people.
Each person must understand what needs to happen. Both dogs need to be grabbed by the back legs at the same time. The dogs need to be pulled apart. Do not do this with force in case one dog has a tight hold on the other. This could cause damage. The handlers now need to walk backwards and separate the dogs. Once separated, continue to walk backwards and go around in a circle until the dog has been distracted. Put both dogs on the leash, check for injuries, if both are uninjured then walk both dogs together at a distance.
Wheelbarrow Method. 1 person.
Here you will need to use anything available to your advantage. Depending where you are you intend to separate the dog using items that are close to you. If you have a leash you can use this to wrap around the waist of one dog and tie this to a post, a tree or trap it in a door if you are at home. Once one dog is secure you can use the wheelbarrow method on the other dog. Again, walk backwards then go in a circle. Find a place to secure the other dog either tethered to something or in another room.
This method may be quite difficult to visualize so I have attached a YouTube video link to help you understand.
Please remember this advice is aimed at helping you to understand what happens prior to a fight and hopefully help you if you find yourself in an aggressive situation. We can not be held responsible for any outcome when using this advice.
We strongly suggest, if you have an aggressive dog that you seek professional advice.
We are fortunate enough to have happy, socialized pomskies with fabulous temperaments. None of the dogs we have bred have been aggressive or needed any behavioral intervention.
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