This discussion will include a review of what to do when a dog engages your dog.
It is just as important to protect your asset (your canine) as much as your canine protects you. So I ask every home protection canine owner, what would you do if your dog got into a fight with another dog. A blank stare is the usual response. In most cases when a dog-on-dog fight happens, it is quick. Instinctively owners pull on their dog’s leash at the same time as yelling their dog’s name in a panicked tone. Pulling on your dog could actually hinder your dog from protecting itself.
So what do you do?
Drop the leash and remain calm. This allows your dog movability and prevents your dog from getting hemmed up from it own leash. Keep your focus on the other dog and remain calm. Why the other dog? Because your trained dog should listen to your commands. It is wise to get positive control on the animal that will not follow direction. If the other dog is wearing a collar, calmly and without yelling straddle the dog. This keeps the dog from turning in circles, trying to avoid you. In your attempt to straddle the dog there is always the possibility the dog will let go and engage you. So it is important to remain calm, in control, and be smooth in your movement.
People who continuously yell (in panic mode) during any stressful situation cause more problems. In a dog fight both dogs fighting feel it; it increases intensity. If other people are around, they feel it, and the panic spreads.
Ultimately, as you quickly straddle the dog you want to slide the collar as high up on the neck as possible. Take both hands like you are gripping motorcycle handles, but with your thumbs lightly touching. Roll your hands inward so it looks like you are giving a thumbs up with both hands. If this has no effect, the collar placement is too low or you are not doing it right. An effective strong take off should have the dog off in less than 3 seconds. This method works on every living thing because every living thing needs air. If you block airflow your body will instinctively react to survive, in this case let go.
To accomplish this, obviously the other dog will need to be wearing a collar of some sort. If you were trained or being trained properly by the vendor you purchased your dog from, as a handler, you should have at a minimum a handler leash on you at all times for many reasons. If the other dog doesn’t have a collar, try using your handler leash by feeding the hardware thru the loop of your handle of your leash and cinching it around, high on the dog’s neck. The more you pull up, the more that it cinches down on neck, minimizing air flow.
When the dog comes off, it is important to remain calm and maintain control with a proper grip to prevent a possible re-bite on yourself.
Next week’s blog – Canine Trauma Care