How to Tell If a Dog Fight is Serious?

If you own a dog, chances are you’ve seen them get into a scuffle with another dog at some point.

But how can you tell if a dog fight is serious?

how to tell if a dog fight is serious
How to tell if a dog fight is serious?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the signs of a serious dog fight and what you can do to break it up.

What Are the Signs That a Dog Fight Is Serious?

Nothing causes more fear than seeing two dogs fight. It’s a jarring and unpleasant experience, as the dogs will have their tails up, hackles raised, and be growling or snarling at each other. This type of confrontation should never be escalated, and professional help from a vet or an animal behaviorist should be sought if your dogs are having issues.

Understanding why the conflict is occurring can provide you with tools that allow for a resolution for all involved – usually involving observing postures and calming signals such as averting eyes, raised noses, licking lips, etc., to defuse any potential scuffles.

Ultimately, preventing fights before they begin is likely the best way to keep our canine friends safe!

Biting Each Other

The most obvious sign of a serious dog fight is if either or both animals are biting each other. This is an extremely dangerous situation, as an animal can be seriously hurt if they’re not separated in time.

dogs fight
Dogs fight each other.

If you see your dogs engaging in this behavior, it’s essential to act quickly and calmly. Never put yourself in the middle of a fight, as you could end up getting hurt in the process. Instead, make loud noises to startle them, squirt them with water or use a broom or stick to separate them from each other.

Once they are separated, it’s important to take steps to prevent future fights between your dogs. This may involve changing the living environment, using positive reinforcement training, or talking to a vet or animal behaviorist.

Their Hackles Are Up

Dogs are often mysterious creatures, but when you see a dog with their hackles raised and a stiff tail, you can almost instantly guess what they’re feeling – fear. It’s such an obvious sign that something is wrong that they don’t need to bark or whine to let us know.

dog hackles up
Dog with hackles up.

Often we want to comfort them and get rid of the thing that has scared them, but it’s crucial that we move slowly and cautiously, as an anxious dog may misinterpret quick movements as aggression. It’s best if you just try to continue with what you were doing before; the source of the fear will soon go away.

As long as there’s no serious physical harm done, then it shouldn’t be too much of a concern – although it can still be a bit startling for owners to see at first!

Overall, understanding the signs of a serious dog fight can help you take appropriate preventative measures and keep your dog safe! However, if you are ever uncertain about how to handle a situation involving your dogs, it’s important to seek professional help immediately.

Sometimes Play Turns Into Fighting

It’s important to distinguish between play and fighting. Play is a typical behavior among dogs, especially puppies – it’s their way of learning how to interact with each other safely.

French Bulldogs playing
Two French Bulldogs running and playing.

While they may bark and wrestle, there are certain behaviors that you should watch out for as well – ears back, tail tucked in tightly, eyes wide open, and any teeth baring or snapping can indicate that one of the dogs has become too rough. If your pup is in an uncomfortable situation like this, calmly take them away from the situation and start playing another game.

What to Do if You See a Dog Fight?

Seeing a dog fight can be pretty shocking and scary if you’ve never seen one before. But it’s important to stay calm in these situations – yelling or making sudden movements can startle the dogs and ratchet up the conflict even further.

two dogs fighting
Two dogs fighting, one being aggressive!

It is not safe for anyone involved, including both humans and animals, for you to intervene in an active dog fight. The best course of action is to call animal control and wait from the sidelines until they arrive.

Remaining still, remaining quiet, and avoiding any sudden movements will help keep the scene under control until professionals are on hand to handle it safely.

Ways To Break Up the Fight

A dog fight can be a frightening experience. It often happens when two dogs are not properly introduced or when one dog is overly aggressive toward another. Whatever the cause, it’s important to know how to break up a dog fight safely and effectively.

Distraction and Redirection

This is one of the safest ways to break up a dog fight, as it doesn’t involve any physical contact with either animal. The key here is to divert their attention away from each other by using something that will catch their eye or ear—a loud noise like a whistle or air horn, for instance. Then, once you have their attention, you can redirect them to perform another behavior, such as sit or stay. 

trains dog using a whistle
Owner trains her dog using a whistle.

Water Hose

If no distractions are available during the fight, spraying the dogs with water from a hose can help separate them if used correctly. Start by spraying both dogs with water from behind so that neither feels threatened by your presence. Then slowly move closer and start spraying directly on their faces until they back off each other completely. 

havanese puppy
A mop like Havanese dog. Photo by Elijah Ehkdal – Unsplash

Towel/Blanket Method

If you don’t have access to water, you can use towels or blankets instead to distract and separate two fighting dogs. This method involves throwing a towel or blanket over the backs of both animals while simultaneously yelling “no” in an authoritative voice in order to startle them into breaking apart from each other and stopping fighting immediately. 

Golden Retriever with towel
Golden Retriever bites towel.

Breaking up a dog fight is never easy, but with these tips in mind, you should be able to do it safely and effectively when necessary. Remember that safety always comes first; never put yourself in harm’s way when trying to intervene between two fighting animals!

If You See Any Blood, It’s Important To Get Help Right Away

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are seeing any amount of blood, it is so essential that you get help right away. Our bodies have powerful mechanisms that can kick in to try and stop the bleeding. However, if the blood loss is too significant and left unchecked, it can have grave consequences.

So don’t hesitate to reach out for the assistance of medical professionals like doctors or nurses who can properly diagnose your condition and provide the necessary treatment that you need.

If You Can’t Break Up the Fight, Call Animal Control or the Police for Help

If you witness an animal fight, the best thing to do is step in and break it up. However, calling a professional for assistance is your next step if that isn’t possible.

Animal Control and the police both have experience dealing with pet or wild animal disputes, so they will be able to provide help quickly. As difficult as it may seem to speak up, notifying personnel or authorities when you witness a fight will protect the animals involved.

Veterinary bills can add up if animals are injured, and calling animal control or the police could help contain any further injuries caused by the fighting.

Ways to Prevent a Dog Fight

As a dog owner, you know that your furry companion is a loyal and loving companion—but that doesn’t mean they don’t get into fights with other dogs. Unfortunately, it is sometimes inevitable that two dogs will get into a fight.

But there are ways to prevent this type of altercation from happening in the first place. So let’s take a look at some tips on how to avoid dog fights. 

Supervise Your Dogs When Playing 

It is important to keep an eye on your pup when they are playing with other dogs or animals. If you notice any aggressive behavior, such as growling or baring teeth, intervene immediately. If the aggression escalates, separate the two animals and give them space until they have calmed down.

two dogs playing frisbee with each other
Two dogs playing frisbee together. Play nice!

Additionally, make sure that each dog has its own toys and do not let them play over food bowls or bones, as this can lead to possessive behavior and fights over resources. 

Socialize Your Dog Early On 

Socializing your pup early on is key in helping them interact well with other animals later in life. Expose them to a variety of people, places, and situations when they are young so that they learn how to respond appropriately when confronted by unfamiliar things.

two Poodle puppies
Two tiny Poodle puppies sit together.

This will help them be better prepared for different types of social situations and develop more positive relationships with others around them — canine or otherwise! 

Avoid Potentially Aggressive Dogs 

It’s also important to be aware of potentially aggressive dogs when out walking or playing at the park. Pay attention to body language and be ready to move away if either animal becomes overly excited or aggressive toward one another.

Pitbulls run at the beach
Pitbulls run at the beach with their owner!

Additionally, if you see a group of unknown dogs off-leash while out walking your pup, it is best practice to cross the street and avoid contact altogether just in case one of the dogs may be aggressive towards yours. 

No matter how friendly your pup may seem, it is always important to keep an eye on them around other animals and humans alike! By implementing these tips into your daily routine with your canine companion, you can help ensure peaceful interactions between all parties involved — no matter what size or breed!

While it may not always be possible to prevent dog fights from occurring altogether, following these guidelines can help decrease their chances significantly. So keep these tips in mind next time you go for a walk with your furry friend!

Final Thought

So, if you ever see two dogs fighting and it’s unclear how to break it up, just remember these tips. Stay calm, use water or a blanket as a distraction, and call for help if necessary. And hopefully, by following these simple steps, you can avoid any injuries to the animals involved in the fight.