Human beings are not the only social creatures yearning to spend time with their friends. Our four-legged companions also enjoy spending time with their canine buddies. Fortunately for Fido, many cities around our nation provide off-leash dog parks and beaches where he can run wild, frolicking with his friends until his heart's content. Even so, we as dog owners must not lose sight that Fido can quickly and unexpectedly get into a bout with other canine playmates. Therefore, there are important safety tips to consider when escorting Fido to the dog park.
You may have thought at some point what to do in the event Fido and Sparky get into a brawl. Nothing is more frightening than watching your companion collide with another dog in a vicious attack. Unless the dogs become separated Fido and Sparky may cause serious damage to one another or worse.
To help discuss this issue team Pet Post called upon one of our friend and dog trainer, Nicole Guillaume, founder and President of AmazingMutts for her views on the issue. Below are her thoughts.
Breaking up dog fights can be very tricky. Mainly because once you get in the middle of one, there's a good chance that you can get hurt. Depending on the fight, blowing a whistle can be enough to break the dogs up. They'll both hear that loud pitched noise, and stop to look in the direction of the whistle.
If a dog is holding another dog with its mouth, you can raise his hind legs to get him to release the bite. Raising the dog's legs catches him off guard and scares him so he literally drops his jaw. However, when doing this move, you need to have quick reflexes. The dog could very well turn around and bite you.
If there is a hose nearby, or even a powerful water gun, spraying the dogs with water is usually a good and safe way to break up a dog fight, but these are usually hard to come by in a dog park.
To be honest, it's usually not advisable to break up a severe dog fight by physically getting involved because the chance of getting bit is very high. When dogs are fighting, they are in the zone. When you get involved, one or both could redirect all that anger and aggression toward you.
Training your dog to have a really good, solid, reliable recall can break up a fight, especially if your dog initiated the fight. I know that as dog owners, we don't like to think about our innocent fur-kids responsible to start a fight with another dog, but sometimes they do. So training your own dog to come when called can prevent and even stop fights if your dog is the aggressor.
Also, it's a good idea to become familiar with canine body language when going to the dog park. You can usually read a dog's language and know if there's going to be trouble. When that happens, it's a good idea to remove your dog from the park before anything bad happens. I have found that many owners will keep their dogs in a bad situation because they feel that the other dog should be removed from the park. While it may be true that the other dog should be removed, we need to keep our dog's safety in mind. Never stay at a dog park to make a stand or to get your point across. The dogs are the ones that pay.
From your friends at The Pet Post and AmazingMutts we want you to enjoy the time you spend with your companion when visiting an off-leash dog park or play zone. This time is precious and fun. We only ask that you be mindful when Fido is playing with his canine buddies and that you remember to follow pet safety and etiquette tips during your visit. Have fun and play safe!