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Breaking Up A Fight Related Links

Pit bulls are terriers and were bred to recognize other dogs as "prey." Simply put, in a fight, the other dog becomes a "rabbit." Terriers grab a hold of their prey and shake. Many pit bulls will instinctively do the same if they get into a scrap with another dog. As a result, breaking up a pit bull fight can be difficult if you don't know what to do, but is easier than other breeds when you do know how to proceed.

The key is not to panic and use the right tools. Timing is important and the quicker you intervene, the better. However, it is necessary to assess the situation before sticking your hands in the middle of two dogs fighting.

Most rumbles can be stopped with a stern "No!" and by quickly pulling the dogs off of each other. If the altercation has escalated into a full blown fight, however, you will need more than your voice to stop the dogs. A water hose or bucket of water might work but in most cases the best tool to break up a pit bull fight is a break stick. No responsible owner should be without one.

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We suggest that you practice using the break stick before you may actually have to use it. Examine your dog's mouth while at rest, pull the lips back and find the space behind the back teeth. This is where the break stick is inserted. You then twist the stick to pry the mouth open.

Pit bulls should never go without a collar. Good choices include strong leather collars and heavy duty nylon collars. The collar enables you to get a good grip on the dogs if a fight occurs and pull them apart as soon as the hold is broken.

Remember that a fight may not always be preceded by growling, barking or posturing. One second everything is fine and the next the dogs are going at it. Excitement and external stimulus, such as a squirrel or cat running up a tree, can trigger a fight. A fight may also escalate out of rough-housing, competition over a bone or toy, or attention from a member of the family.

A wagging tail doesn't mean a dog won't fight. In fact, a wagging tail is often a signal of excitement and the faster the tail goes the more excited the dog is. As explained above, intense excitement can trigger a fight.

If the dogs get a hold and two people are available, approach the dogs from the rear, clasp the dog's hind end between your knees, and grasp the dog's collar from behind. It is important to immobilize the dog's hind end. Then insert the break stick in the space between the teeth in the dog's jaw (behind the molars). Twist the break stick gently but firmly in the dog's mouth. You should work on the more aggressive dog, and the other person should be ready to pull on the other dog as soon as the stick breaks the hold.

If you are alone, drag the dogs to something solid, tie one of the them to it, and then proceed with the breaking stick to separate them.

If you follow these procedures carefully, you can stop a fight relatively quickly.

 


 

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Tip

If they have a firm grip on each other, do not pull on the dogs to separate them. Most pit bulls will not let go anyway, and you will only cause more pain and injury than you would by leaving them until you can break their hold with the breaking stick.

Source: Veronique Chesser