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Milton's first dog fight

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 25, '12 8:41pm PST 
JT, Lupi, thanks for the clarification. I was curious as there was a VERY loud snarf between my girl and the foster boy when we had him. It was terrifying because one moment I was in bed and the next this GIANT uproar. I sprang out of bed and was hollering, and then it was done. It was so fast. I checked them both then, in the dark, and they seemed fine, but I noticed later his ear had been nicked. Likely accidental though, he was perfectly fine otherwise, and it was dark! If it had been a real fight there would have been much more trouble than that. I just hadn't known that was just a snarf and did chalk that up as being a real one.
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Tika

Little Fox
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 27, '12 8:30pm PST 
Yup, sounds like Milton got into a minor disagreement--happens to the best of us! It looks and sounds horrible, and that's the point--the dogs involved aren't actually trying to hurt each other, they're just cheesed off.

The first time it happened at work, I was pretty rattled until I realized that neither dog had a scratch on them and they went back to playing nicely soon after. So I thought, oh, hey, that wasn't so bad, I'm totally prepared for dog fights now...until a Mastiff and a big pit mix decided they didn't like each other one day. That fight was on a completely different level, and it resulted in serious injuries to both of them.

Most of the really bad fights I've broken up have been between dogs of the same sex, and, while the boys tend to fight more often, it's the girls that get REALLY nasty. Oddly enough, though, the Mastiff/pit fight was between a male and a female (neutered male pit, intact female Mastiff).
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Snickers

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 30, '12 6:52pm PST 
Tika,
Whoa. I am imagining a fight between Mastiff and Pit. Not a pretty picture and I can't imagine a human trying to break it up without getting injured as well. Scary!
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 30, '12 7:35pm PST 
Snickers, I have 2 Akitas as you can see and in almost 3 years had only one real "fight" over a rawhide and neither was going to back down. I grabbed the agressor,Mika,brindle in the picture, and also closest to the door of the room we were in by the waist/rear flank area,it is never advisable to get near the teeth of an Akita when they are angry at something,pulled her out of the room,and slammed the door in her face. Took the time to ask Kai for the rawhide,take it check him for injuries,nothing serious but a small hole in his ear,patched him up and returned his rawhide.Went into the hall,checked Mika over for any injuries,she had none,Kai tends to have a much softer mouth,gave them about 30 minutes to relax and settle. I have not had more than an occasional grumble between them since,and they can be in the same room with food side by side. I was terrified for that no more than 2 minutes that seemed like forever before I could break it up and know that if I had not intervened it would have been much worse.So,yes it is scary,and not at all pretty. I owe a special Thank-you to a Dogster who taught me how to handle that issue before it came up. I know she rarely if ever posts but has been known to lurk.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 30, '12 7:56pm PST 
I lived in a house with three Rottweilers(two males and a female), a Bull Mastiff(female) and a Beagle(Charlie), all at once before. The female Rottweilers didn't get along with the female Bull Mastiff and vice versa. Regan could coexist, if Kia(Mastiff) could, but Kia could not, and would take any chance she had to rip a hole into Regan or Maya(the two female Rottweilers). It was a major rotation.

I've seen minor scuffles or disagreements... But NOTHING takes the cake so much as trying to pull a 170lb female Mastiff off of a female Rottweiler, in a doorway, when the Rottweiler had no collar on and the Mastiff had only a choke chain. I know, don't get me started on the issues there - there's a REASON I took Maya when I left. But my brother accidentally left a door open, Kia walked out, Regan was in my moms doorway trying to eat her food, when Kia suddenly saw her and BAM. Major dog fight right in the doorway. My mom was in the bedroom, and managed to get Regan back - who was terrified and happy to get away from Kia, while I tried desperately to find a way to get Kia back. It ended up that I grabbed her choke chain with both hands, and hauled her upward and back that way - I didn't know how to properly break up fights back then and am very lucky Kia never redirected - ever. That said... The muscles in my hands were torn to crap because Kia is a STRONG dog when she's determined. But a soon as I had Kia back, my mom slammed her door shut and I managed to get Kia into an enclosed bedroom.

Damage to Kia? None.

Damage to Regan? The muscles in her neck were torn and she ended up at the vet getting pain meds.

Yeah, Kia did the grab and shake with Regan's neck and it wasn't pretty. Poor Reg's was sore for a week after, stiff and would whine when she tried to move her head too suddenly.

That mistake NEVER happened again, and my brother learned quickly how to NOT forget the door and WHY not to forget the door. He was terrified and in shock, watching the whole thing happen.

Scuffles are nothing for me now. I've dealt with the major fights, and they weren't pretty, and they were HARD to break up. I also now know how to PROPERLY separate dogs in a fight. Granted, if I hadn't managed to get hold of Kia at the point I did, Regan would have had her neck ripped right open and we likely would have had a dead Rottweiler on our hands. Not something I ever want to have to deal with.

I find scuffles are usually all noise, super quick and grudges aren't held. FIGHTS, on the other hand, are vicious - ESPECIALLY between females, and are typically to cause injury, if not worse.
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Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 30, '12 8:04pm PST 
Charlie- holy crap, that is FREAKY. I don't know how you guys did it!

I think it's been mentioned briefly on another thread, but what is the best way to get the dog to release a bite? I think somebody mentioned a twist and hold on a collar until they have to breathe and so let go? But M&K said she grabbed Mika by the flank.

Thoughts?
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 1, '12 6:12am PST 
Miyu different context. In the other thread the dog was biting the person who wanted the dog to release. In my case there were two sets of Akita jaws flying around trying to grab whatever they could of each other. In my case it was much safer to avoid the jaws and be missed if there were a redirect toward me so I grabbed the rear half of the agressor,would have grabbed the other had he been closer to the door,just happened to be easier to grab Mika and pull backward until she was away,jaws were no longer moving and I could safely get her out of the room and situation with no harm to her or myself,then get the door safely between the two dogs. Don't know what other's thoughts will be.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 1, '12 2:37pm PST 
Yeah, in my case, IT IS NOT safe to grab a dogs collar when fighting another dog - they could redirect on you, whether it's on purpose or accidental, because they're trying to get one another.

That said, Kia already had hold of Regan's neck, so my best bet to get her to let go, was to lift UP on her collar and essentially cut her airway, while pulling her into a position that had her on her back feet, because it forced her to let go(without tearing open Regan's neck), while giving me that brief moment where she had to try to figure out how to reposition herself to go after Regan again. In those SECONDS after she let go of Regan's neck, I was able to haul butt backwards, while the door got shut and as soon as Regan was out of sight, save for shaking with adrenaline, Kia was fine again and all happy, cuddly pup all over. Despite the fact that, in breaking up fights(that one being the worst - and all others just being Charlie being an ass, or Maya and Regan having a disagreement), I never got bit... I was VERY lucky to have never gotten bit btw... I still ended up with all the muscles in my hands torn, and barely able to use them for several days, because they were badly bruised from that collar she had on at the time, so I still got hurt, even if it wasn't from teeth. I COULD have grabbed Kia's back legs, but I wasn't thinking clearly, and all I knew was she had Regan by the neck and NEEDED to unlatch her jaws before I could pull her back, or risk Regan being killed.

Worst fight I ever saw, and there wasn't even blood.

Definitely not a technique I would recommend though - it's entirely situational. If a dog bit me, I absolutely would grab the collar and lift UP, until I could move the dog into a separate room and shut the door(the technique I used with Kia) - if outside, I'd likely continue holding like that until someone could call in the bylaw, or an owner came to fetch their dog. However, in dog fights, it OFTEN is far far safer to grab the back legs and pull backwards.

That said, most often during dog fights, people aren't thinking clearly other than "Break them up!" so...

There was one fight between Kia and Maya way back when, several years ago when Kia actually tore Maya's ear open(her ear was split from the tip right up about an inch and healed that way)... And I'm REALLY glad I wasn't there for that one and didn't have to witness that, because I know ears bleed A LOT, and I was told about that fight. Not one I would ever, ever want to be the person there for to end. But even after that, although Maya could never again be around Kia, she was perfectly fine with all other dogs and could even go to the dog park(fight was starting by Kia, as were most of them - Kia was severely SSA).
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Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 1, '12 6:10pm PST 
Good to know guys, thanks. It's never happened to me, and I hope it never does, but it's good to know how to approach breaking up a fight if it ever happens.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 1, '12 7:48pm PST 
The only time it's really 'safe' to grab a collar is if one dog is locked onto the other, as a gripping breed does, and not moving at all. Then you can twist it across the trachea to choke the dog out. But in that situation it's best to try grabbing and lifting the back legs first.

In a dog fight where there is lots of darting and moving I use Mika and Kai's technique of grabbing the hindquarters.and dragging off. Never put your hands anywhere near these flying fangs.

I have gotten between a dog trying to attack mine before and let my knees do the talking, but I wouldn't recommend doing it, it's dangerous. It was just a heat of the moment thing where I had to protect mine at all costs and had no qualms hurting the other dog to do it. The dog only retreated because I hurt it and it must have felt outclassed.
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