How To Break Up A Dog Fight

Knowing how to break up a dog fight is a must for every dog owner – especially a German Shepherd owner.

How to break up a dog fight

Two dogs playing or fighting on the beach

Seeing dogs get into a fight is one of the scariest things you’ll experience as a dog owner. Whenever your dog interacts with another dog, there is always a chance that you will experience a dog fight. So how does one break a dog fight?

Know the Signs of a Brewing Dog Fight

German Shepherds can be very protective of their owners and their property. Their protective instincts may kick in and may attack when strange dogs, animals, or even humans enter their property or get too near their loved ones.

But do remember that no dog is violent in nature and being involved in a dog fight doesn’t make a dog bad. In fact, most dogs don’t like violence. Dogs communicate in different ways and sociable dogs will often show warning signs when things get heated.

Here are some the warning signs dogs show when they feel they or their property and loved ones are being threatened:

  • Growling,
  • Whale eyes,
  • Lowered ears,
  • Panting,
  • Baring teeth,
  • Cowering and looking away,
  • Licking lips and nose,
  • Yawning,
  • Flickering, straight, or tucked tail.

In the dog world, these actions basically mean “Please back away or I’ll bite.”

Things You Can Use To Break Up A Dog Fight

Once you see the warning signs, there are some objects you can use to prevent the dogs from getting into a fight. Remember that the main goal is stop a fight with no one getting hurt.

You can use the following items to stop dog fights from progressing:

  • Water spray,
  • Citronella spray,
  • Air horn,
  • Blanket,
  • Parting stick.

Break Up A Dog Fight With The Help Of Another Person

If the items above did not work or if the two dogs are already engaging in a fight, then the situation has come to a point where the physical intervention of a human must be done – as fast as possible.

It is ideal to have the fighting dogs be broken up by two people and the technique called “wheelbarrow” is the safest to use. With this technique, each person grabs the back legs of the fighting dogs and picks them up like wheelbarrow. With the dogs’ hind legs up, each person pulls the dogs apart to keep them away from each other.

Here’s how to do the wheelbarrow technique to stop dog fights.

Go behind your dog, grab his hind legs, and raise them up into the air. Your dog will be forced to stand on his front legs and will not be able to continue fighting.

Training Your German Shepherd To Be A Guard Dog

Then you and your partner must separate the dogs as you back away slowly. Make sure to hold the dog’s feet as firmly as you can while you carefully pull and walk away in a smooth backward arc. By doing this technique, the dog you are holding won’t be able to turn and reach around to bite you. Since the dog will only be relying on his front legs, he’ll have a difficult time maneuvering with any agility.

When you and the dog you are holding reach a safe distance from the other dog, secure the dog and hold him until he calms down. Make sure he focuses on you by turning him away or distracting him so he doesn’t see the other dog.

Break Up A Dog Fight When You Are Alone

It is extremely dangerous to attempt to stop a dog fight on your own. But if it is really needed, you can move forward carefully with the steps below.

Get a leash if you don’t already have one with you. The dogs may continue to fight while you search for a leash but you have to take the necessary precautions for your own safety.

Approach one of the dogs – though it’s better to pick the aggressor. When you’re close enough, loop the leash around the dog’s belly — just at the front of the hind legs.

Slide the end of the leash through the looped handle and pull it tight so it holds the dog’s hips. Immediately walk back as you pull the dog until you reach something you can fasten and secure the dog to – like a post, a telephone pole or anything alike.

Then move towards the second dog, grab him by his hind legs and pull him away using the wheelbarrow method mentioned above.

Pull the dog at least 25 ft away from the other dog, and find a way to hold him down until help arrives.


You also watch this video from Leeburg Enterprises to see how it’s done.

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