Dog ownership has become increasingly popular in recent decades. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly 40% of U.S. households have a dog in the family. Unfortunately, when walking your furry friend, you may encounter a vicious dog not on a leash.
If another dog attacks your pet, your first instinct may be to break up the fight. The same may be true if you witness two seemingly stray dogs fighting. Because involving yourself in a dogfight may put you at risk for serious bodily harm, you should always keep your distance. Still, there are some typically safe ways to intervene.
Give the fight some time
During stressful events, such as witnessing a dogfight, time may appear to move more slowly than normal. Nevertheless, dogfights usually do not last long. If you wait just a few seconds, the fight may end on its own without causing significant injury to either animal.
Cause a distraction
Dogs can range is size from just a few pounds to more than 200. If you fear a large dog may seriously injure or kill your animal, quickly stopping the fight may be critical. Rather than grabbing either dog, try to cause a distraction. Making loud noises or throwing a stick may work.
Reach for the hose
If you are close to a garden hose, it may be your most effective strategy for stopping a dogfight. Spraying the animals from a safe distance should cause them to scramble. If a spray of water works, though, you must be careful approaching your dog or any other animal.
After all, residual aggression, fight-related injuries and even the water spray may cause the dog to behave unpredictably.