Should I let my dogs fight?

April 13, 2012

In a two or more dog household, the dogs would be seen play fighting all the time. Play fighting is a pleasurable activity the dogs indulge in. The dogs would jump, run, wrestle and bite each other. The activity that is started with a play bow would be pure fun for the dogs. The biting and the wresting would not hurt the dogs. Play fighting is kind of rehearsal that will develop the dog’s combat potentials to prepare them when the real fighting happens. Sick dogs do not play. Play fighting is a sign that the dogs are in good health. Play fighting though can get out of hand. Should an owner allow the dogs to play fight? Yes! Should a dog owner let the pets fight? No!

Seeing the pet being mauled by another dog would be a traumatic experience for the dog owner. The owner would certainly come to the rescue. But what would you do if your dogs are attacking each other? Dogs in the same household would not usually fight with each other especially if they have grown up together. But dogs have different personalities and as such dog fights cannot be prevented. Dog fights can result to deep cuts on the ears face and neck. The dog can go into shock due to blood loss from deep puncture wounds. Knowing about the injuries the dogs can sustain from fighting and knowing how pet dogs are loved, no sane dog owner will let the dogs fight.

Dogs not only have different temperaments. Dogs also have different trainings and socialization. A dog’s natural dominant personality would receive a corresponding aggression from another dominant dog. The rigid stance, an unwavering glance, raised hackles, bared teeth and stiffly held tails are signs that a fight is imminent. A well trained dog scampering after a prey may still heed the return command of the owner. When dogs fight, it would be very difficult to break them apart. A dog owner therefore has to prevent the pets from fighting. To be able to do this, it is necessary for dog owners to understand what makes the dogs fight. Dogs are territorial. A dog in the same household would fight over food and over toys. Dogs would growl if another dog is encroaching on its territory. Dogs are pack oriented thus fights can ensue when dogs vie for the position of being the leader of the pack. Fights are more common in dogs of the same sex. Male dogs would fight over the right to mate with a receptive bitch.

The occurrence of dog fights can be prevented. The dog owner has to be aware of the body language of the dogs. Once the pets are showing signs of aggression, the owner has to make sure that the pets are separated. Dogs that show aggression towards other pet dogs must not be fed in the same area. Raw hides are favorite goodies of dogs thus owners should refrain from tossing these treats to the dogs as doing so can cause dog fights. Obedience training and socialization will not entirely prevent dogs from fighting. But behavior modification would somehow allow the dog owner to have control over the pet. Before the fight is started, the dog owner may still be able to call and separate the dogs apart. Play fights between dogs of the same household can escalate into full blown dog fights where the pets would hurt each other. The owner therefore has to be vigilant. Play fights would be good for the pets but once aggression is manifested by the dogs, it would be necessary for the dog owner to break the play fight.

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