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Heidi attacked my black lab over a frisbee. She had hold of Cori under Cori's front leg and I had a terrible time getting her to let go. Cori has three punctures in her armpit and on her chest. They don't seem to be deep and I don't believe she needs to go to the emergency clinic. I cleaned them with peroxide and put three antibiotic ointment on the wounds. Is this right? Is there something else I should do?

What is the appropriate reaction towards Heidi? She is in her crate right now. Also, if this happens again, what is the best way to get her to let go? I yelled at her to "leave it," but she just held on like she didn't even hear me. I pulled on her collar and resorted to beating her with the frisbee and she finally let go. What should I have done? Please help.
 

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I would take all toys away and never play with toys with the two of them together. I personally would have beaten the crap out of Heidi for not listening to me and continuing to bite, but as of now, there is nothing you can or should do to her. Be very careful reintroducing the two of them. It's very possible they will be just fine as long as you keep her stimulation level down - as in no toy playing. If she still shows aggression to the lab, you are probably going to have to keep them separated for a long time.

So long as the wounds aren't deep and you keep an eye on them for infection, I would keep up as you are doing with them.
 

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I think when you are in a situation where one dog is harming the other, you do what you can to separate them. A blanket thrown over the works well.

When we had a dog fight here, the vet asked me about puncture wounds around the neck because the windpipe can be punctured. I would watch for infection and put antibiotic ointment on it if you don't think she needs to go the vet. You might want to get an oral antibiotic for her.

Sounds like she was resource guarding? What exactly were the circumstances leading to the fight?
 

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I personally would have beaten the crap out of Heidi for not listening to me and continuing to bite, but as of now, there is nothing you can or should do to her.
Wow, this doesn't have the propensity to get you bit. Why would you beat your dog for not listening to you in a situation like this? She's reacting out of a guarding behavior which isn't her fault.

This just sounds like it'd get you bit.

OP, instead of beating your dog if this ever happens again, ask for a drop it or leave it on the chance that it may work, and grab your dog's back legs when she lets go to back her up real quick, then grab her and crate her. Doing this gives you room in case your dog was still in a very aggressive mood and wanted to redirect on you so that she couldn't. Other than that, pick up toys and don't let them play with toys together. I've personally never had an issue re-introducing dogs that have bitten each other over guarding behavior as long as the trigger wasn't there, but it should be a slow, calm, gradual re-intro. Good luck.
 

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I yelled at her to "leave it," but she just held on like she didn't even hear me. I pulled on her collar and resorted to beating her with the frisbee and she finally let go. What should I have done? Please help.
My understanding is when dogs go into "attack" mode, or prey mode, that often they can't hear us. I do agree with DJ that by beating the dog that you could end up getting bit if the dog should redirect their aggression on you. However, you had a situation where the GSD was not hearing you and had a firm hold on the lab. Dragging them out would not have done any good. I think you did what you had to do.

You could try a blanket, spray water on them with a hose, etc. I've reached right into a dog pile and grabbed the 4th dog by a leg and drug him out of the pile. If I had gotten bit then I would have dealt with it but our three dogs were mauling him and he needed help now. I think in the heat of the moment you do whatever you have to do to break it up. If I had to beat them with a chair to separate them then I would have.
 

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I don't know if there IS a safe way to break up a dog fight - what I would do is never again put the two dogs in a situation where there is competition over a single resource. If they can't play nice - they don't get to play at all.

Play with them individually - always have Heidi under control. I have in the past with dogs that did not get along, taken them on off-leash walks where one was on leash, the other carried a stick - both are busy and can't start anything.
Would I have prefered that they both were off leash and free to run and play? Yes, but if a fight or scuffle breaks out, 100% my fault for putting them in a situation where there is competition for resources and/or my attention. So up to me to manage each situation to avoid any potential problems.
 

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A couple nights ago 5-1/2 year old Bruiser went after 10 year old Mac (reason unknown ... toys/resources were not involved). It happend in a doorway, Mac was walking thru and Bruiser got up and went after him. Anyway, I was sitting on the couch about 36" from the fight/skrimmish. I started yelling and I just happened to have a dinner pan close to me so I threw it at Bruiser's head as hard as I could ... it bounced off, got his attention and the fight stopped. Neither was injured
 

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When a dog is in true 'fight mode' they do not hear you. You are not as important to them as the other animal.

Get a break stick (if you do not have a dog who redirects). Learn to use it.

Do NOT just try to rip the dogs apart or pull them apart, you will do much more damage. Learn how to separate dogs, keep leashes around the house/yard so you can grab one if needed.. if you HAVE to, like if you have a dog who redirects (can't use a breakstick) and it won't let go, put a slip lead around it's neck and choke it out. They have to let go if they can't breath.

Water and blankets can work with two dogs who are not completely into it, when my bulldog was very young and got into a scrap with my GSD bitch a pail of water in her face broke her off, but she immediately went for another hold.. if she was mature that wouldn't have made her flinch..

Also, beating a dog who's in a fight does not help... I wouldn't expect any of mine to redirect on me if I did, but that could make the dog even worse, making her think you're attacking her TOO. And she might fight harder. Dogs are animals, don't feel hurt if they ignore you when they're fighting another animal.


As I said, with a dog like her choking will break them off, HOWEVER, be prepared for her to snap at you, GSDs were not bred not to redirect on people and she very well may.. MY bitch did, nothing serious, but she nipped a human while fighting.

Keep them apart while you're not there. Keep all resources up while they're together, and just be prepared for it to happen again.. When my bulldog (the aggressor) has my GSD but the neck and I had no breakstick on me I grabbed the bulldogs collar, put her neck/shoulders between my legs and twisted the collar so it tightened and she had to let go to get a breath... I then pushed the GSD away with my foot and snapped the bulldog's front end off the ground, until the GSD had backed far enough off that I could take the bulldog away.

Dogs fight. The appropriate reaction to her is nothing really.. she did nothing wrong. Break them up and clean them up, if you want to keep them together introduce them and be ready to break them off of each other. Beating a dog who's fighting, or correcting one after you break them up, will help none..

Good luck with them.
 

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It may be safer but when you are dealing with animals, nothing is 100% safe and it is not going to do much good unless you have two people to break up the fight. And, as APBTLove pointed out, if one dog is latched on to the other dog then it is going to cause further damage.
 

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It happened so fast, I'm not quite sure the circumstances. We play frisbee outside all the time and they each claim their own frisbee, but often switch. Apparently, Heidi decided she wanted the pink one and Cori got to it first.

These all sound like good ideas to break up a fight. The blanket thing is good for me to keep in mind in the house. The pan solution is interesting, guess the startling approach might have worked. I did briefly consider grabbing Heidi's back legs, but (and this sounds silly now) she has HD and her hips are sore; I wasn't concerned with hurting her, as she was hurting Cori, but I think I had a cowardly moment and was pretty sure I would get bit if I pulled her back legs. Probably she would have let go faster though. We will play separately now.

I intended to bathe everybody today. Will this be ok for Cori? She doesn't seem to be in pain. I thought maybe the tea tree oil shampoo?
 

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The blanket does work. :) Something happened while I was folding a sheet and Jax and Sierra got into it. I just dropped the sheet over their heads and their reaction was hysterical. it was like "hey...who turned off the lights?"

tea tree is an antiseptic so it shouldn't hurt her. Just be very, very careful of infection. I might call the vet and just ask for one as a precaution.
 

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It may be safer but when you are dealing with animals, nothing is 100% safe and it is not going to do much good unless you have two people to break up the fight. And, as APBTLove pointed out, if one dog is latched on to the other dog then it is going to cause further damage.
If only one dog is the one fighting it does wonders, and all you have to do is wait for the dog to let go and pull back and it's a done deal. That is how it's used, anyway.

These all sound like good ideas to break up a fight. The blanket thing is good for me to keep in mind in the house. The pan solution is interesting, guess the startling approach might have worked. I did briefly consider grabbing Heidi's back legs, but (and this sounds silly now) she has HD and her hips are sore; I wasn't concerned with hurting her, as she was hurting Cori, but I think I had a cowardly moment and was pretty sure I would get bit if I pulled her back legs. Probably she would have let go faster though. We will play separately now.
If you grab the back legs and start moving backwards as soon as the dog releases their grip and spin in a wide circle with them, there's no way that they can bite you. Grabbing collars/scruff or hitting/kicking them in the face leaves a LOT more room for redirected aggression.

The blanket does work. :) Something happened while I was folding a sheet and Jax and Sierra got into it. I just dropped the sheet over their heads and their reaction was hysterical. it was like "hey...who turned off the lights?"
This is a similar good example of the water method APBT described. If the dogs are in a minor scuffle water or a sheet may work, but if they are **** bent on destroying each other, it won't do a thing except put YOU in the dark as to what's happening.
 

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Well DJ. I"m sure you have lots of experience with dogs but I don't think you know everything. Throwing something over them does work. Sorry...been there, done that and I know for a fact it does.
 

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I personally would have beaten the crap out of Heidi for not listening to me and continuing to bite, but as of now, there is nothing you can or should do to her.
Elaine,

I always look forward to hearing your advice, however, I must respectfully disagree with you here. Maybe I’m taking your words too literally – would you really “beat the crap” out of your dog? :nono:

I would NEVER beat my dogs – regardless of what they did. I think there are better ways to solve issues. I think hitting or beating a dog can just cause him/her new issues.
 

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Something about the blanket method, it does work, but be CAREFUL getting near the dog's head if it's under the blanket.. an a-hole I knew got his 10yo daughter involved in breaking up two adult american bulldog bitches. They put a blanket over them and one of them bit the girl's leg through the blanket, it's been many years and she's still got substantial scarring.. The dog can't see who or what it's biting when using the blanket, so you have to keep that in mind.
 

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Well DJ. I"m sure you have lots of experience with dogs but I don't think you know everything. Throwing something over them does work. Sorry...been there, done that and I know for a fact it does.
She wasn't saying it didn't, she said in a serious fight it won't.. especially is high-drive or fight bred dogs are involved.. Water worked for me once, the next time with the same dogs (older dogs then) she snorted and started shaking more violently when the water hit her. Never tried a blanket myself because I had to be able to keep the dog's from shaking each other and it would be hard to do with a blanket over them.. can't see what they're doing.
 

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She wasn't saying it didn't, she said in a serious fight it won't.. especially is high-drive or fight bred dogs are involved.
That has been my experience with most of the so-called "tried and true" methods of breaking up fights. Water didn't stop them, pulling their back legs didn't stop them, loud noises didn't stop them, throwing things over their heads didn't stop them. They didn't even see to acknowledge any of it, just kept their grips on each other's head/neck.

Something about the blanket method, it does work, but be CAREFUL getting near the dog's head if it's under the blanket.. an a-hole I knew got his 10yo daughter involved in breaking up two adult american bulldog bitches.
:eek::eek::eek::eek:

When a dog is in true 'fight mode' they do not hear you. You are not as important to them as the other animal.

Get a break stick (if you do not have a dog who redirects). Learn to use it.

Do NOT just try to rip the dogs apart or pull them apart, you will do much more damage. Learn how to separate dogs, keep leashes around the house/yard so you can grab one if needed.. if you HAVE to, like if you have a dog who redirects (can't use a breakstick) and it won't let go, put a slip lead around it's neck and choke it out. They have to let go if they can't breath.
Both good suggestions.

I have also had good luck with pulling the dogs to a door or gate and closing it between them. In my case, that was almost necessary if I was alone because both dogs were equally after each other so I had to get something between them to keep them apart once I broke them up.

Another thing to consider is having SprayShield handy. It is a citronella spray that comes in a canister like pepper spay. It won't work on all dogs but might be worth a try.

Also, beating a dog who's in a fight does not help... I wouldn't expect any of mine to redirect on me if I did, but that could make the dog even worse, making her think you're attacking her TOO. And she might fight harder.
Very true. If the dog(s) are so into the fight that you can't easily break them up, beating the aggressor will likely just led to more injuries on the other dog. Dogs in the middle of a fight are not really capable of learning anything (not that beating is a good way to teach them). They are in a highly aroused state with lots of adrenal being dumped into their bodies.
 

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I just saw you HD comment. I'd be careful with letting them play together. It could have been that at the same time they went for the same frisbee your HD dog also twisted something and it kind of set her off. Dogs in pain react a lot differently that they normally would.
 
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