Having pets is one of life’s simplest and fullest joys, but managing them can be difficult. We will address a popular issue when it comes to maintaining pets and their environment. The issue is dog fights.
Even though dogs are quite social, fights can break out between them. This is not a problem for just owners of multiple dogs or animal shelters. A sole dog owner also faces it. Have you ever had to pull away your dog from other dogs in the park? Or did you ever have to save your cute pup from other dogs?
Even if you don’t own dogs, dog fights are something you may have witnessed at least once in your life. They can be vicious, making it a matter of concern for everyone. In this article, we will look at why dogs fight and how to break up a dog fight.
- 1 Why Dogs Fight?
- 2 Why Is It a Matter of Concern?
- 3 How to Break up a Dog Fight
- 4 Other Recommended Steps
Why Dogs Fight?
Fighting can start due to many reasons. In order to manage healthy relationships for your pets, you must take into account the underlying reasons behind fights. As mutual distrust can lead to fights between humans, the same reason can be cited for dog fights.
Aggression Between Same Sex
In some dog breeds, same-sex aggression is prominent such as in American pit bulls and Alaskan malamutes. However, this can also be observed in any dog breed. As these dogs reach the age of maturity, things change for them. They form their own social groups according to their nature. Hence, it is unnatural for two male or female dogs of roughly the same age to be present in the same social group.
Coming to the specifics of male dogs, testosterone may lead to same-sex aggression. As for female dogs, hormonal changes during pregnancy may instigate fights.
Medical Causes of Aggressive Behavior
You may take your aggressive dog to a vet to get it treated. Some underlying medical condition can act as a catalyst for dog fights. These conditions are mentioned below:
- Extreme pains may prompt dogs to act aggressively
- Low calcium levels in dogs
- Hypothyroidism or low levels of thyroid result in the development of skin infections that are itchy in nature. Hence, a distressed dog may indulge in fights
Resources as a Reason of Fights
Access to resources is a cause of conflict in humans as well as dogs. Let’s see what exactly ‘resource’ means for dogs:
- If you have multiple pets, your attention is regarded as a resource. Dogs do fight over their owner’s affection.
- A dog’s eating and resting places are their treasured resources. Breakouts of fight are natural when they feel their share may not be well-served or some other dog is hounding up their resting space.
- Among a dog’s treasured possession, its favorite toys reign supreme. If their toys are under threat, dogs will fight with each other.
Changes in Environment or Social Group
Dogs not responding positively to external changes is also the reason behind fights. For instance, if you get a new dog, existing pets will try to understand the new relationship. Often, owners tend to be more attentive toward newer dogs so that they feel at home. However, less attention to existing pets may make them aggressive. Hence, adjusting to such developments may lead to conflicts.
- As social skills vary in humans, they tend to vary in dogs too. Dogs that have bad social skills indulge in fights.
- There are some events that trigger aggressiveness in dogs. For example, some dogs dislike certain noises like thunderstorms or fireworks. Due to these events, dogs may act aggressively.
Why Is It a Matter of Concern?
- Dog fights can be intense and lead to injuries.
- Not intervening in time leads to repeated fights.
- If a dog fight breaks out in clinics or dog shelters, it can create a bad environment.
- Kids and elderly are at risk of getting harmed.
How to Break up a Dog Fight
Safety precautions are a must when breaking up dog fights. It is prudent to act smartly and address the underlying reasons to prevent and stop ugly fights.
Remember not to freak out regardless of the situation. Remaining calm goes a long way.
Spay and Neuter
Spaying is done to remove the reproductive organs of female dogs, while neutering is for male dogs. Both processes offer behavioral and health benefits.
Search for cost-effective programs near you. For peace of mind, you can take feedback from people who have gotten these processes done on their dogs.
Manage Medical Symptoms
If your dog is injured, its pain may drive it to act out of character and attack other dogs or kids. Soothing this pain is absolutely vital. Also, check for symptoms of hypothyroidism by examining the dog’s skin. Regular checkups are highly recommended.
Respect Their Territory
Feed multiple dogs separately. Also, take precaution when it comes to designated resting places and favorite toys. This reduces the likelihood of fighting over resources.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
Pay attention to any signs that indicate an upcoming fight and intervene timely by removing aggressive dogs away from each other. Such signs include rising hair, growling and making noises.
If a fight has already broken out, it’s wise for two people to break the fight. The wheelbarrow method ensures your safety. According to this method, two individuals will grab one leg of each fighting dog and lift it up. This will disengage the dogs.
Other Recommended Steps
- When getting a new dog, try to go for the opposite sex to avoid same-sex aggression.
- When introducing new dogs, make sure to provide the same level of affection to existing and new ones.
- Spraying a little water on dogs diverts their attention and reduces the likelihood of injuries.
Dog fights can be ugly and dangerous. However, by paying attention to the little things and underlying reasons, you can prevent fights and give you a clearer idea on how to break up a dog fight.