Breaking Up Dog Fights and Identifying Healthy Dog Play.

What are you suppose to do if your dog gets into a serious dog fight? When dogs fight, our response may be, first, to scream and yell at them, thinking this will stop them. Then, even though it goes against common sense, people do get injured when they try to use their hands to break the dogs apart. Find out why yelling is useless, and what you CAN do to try and break up the fight without risking your life and limbs.  All here, in the Raising Your Paws podcast episode below. Then in the following blog article, you’ll find a list of the 8 signs that indicate the dogs that are roughhousing, are actually playing happily.

Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 48 – Finding Lost Pets, Stories from an Animal Communicator & How to Break Up Dog Fights.

Full Show Notes for Episode 48.

When your dog catches sight of that rabbit and runs off for the chase does your pet ignore you as you call for them to come back and act like they don’t hear you? I’ll explain this phenomenon.

Then, has your pet ever suddenly started acting differently, you can’t understand why or what to do to help and you just wished they could just tell you what’s wrong? Many people have gotten their answers through animal communicators. My guest is Tim Link, an animal communicator, who specializes in missing or lost pet cases. Hear his stories of how together with the dogs and cats, behavioral issues were solved and lost animals returned back home.

What can you do to stop a dog fight? There are a few physical interventions that are recommended, but more practical and useful are a number of tools you can carry with you that dogs will find aversive or offensive to their senses and are strong enough to stop the behavior. In this episode, I’ll list what they are.

Regarding animal communication if you have any stories of times your dog or cat understood things you’ve said that seem impossible and/or felt your pet actually communicated messages and talked back to you, I’d love to hear them. Write me at susan@raisingyourpaws.com or leave a comment in the space below after the blog article.

Additional Resources for the Show:

Source for the story about why your dog ignores you at times – “Why Does My DOG Do that? By Sophie Collins.

Tim Link

Tim Link’s website. http://www.wagging-tales.com/_index.html


Amazon link to order Tim’s book, “Talking with Dogs and Cats: Joining the Conversation to Improve Behavior and Bond with Your Animals”.

Amazon link to order “Wagging Tails, Every Animal has a Tale” by Tim Link.

Source for the story about how to stop a dog fight – “Play with Your Dog, by Pat Miller, CPDT, CDBC.

Source for the citronella dog spray, Direct Stop Spray Shield.

(Correction: I had the name of the company wrong in the podcast  – not gentleleader.com.)

Blog Article – What Healthy and Happy Dog Play Looks Like.

Perhaps you’ve seen two dogs at play and all seems well, but then, the play turns aggressive and all of a sudden they’re fighting. Do you know what healthy one-on-one dog play should look like?  Here are the signs that tell you the two dogs are playing happily together and also how to know if it’s time to stop the play session and move the dogs along.

1. There are play-bows.  Play bowing is the body language dogs use to communicate their intention and what will happen next. A dog that play bows to another dog means, let’s play and what I do next, is meant only as play.



2. There will be frequent, short breaks in the activity. If the play becomes frenetic, and continuous, this can be a sign that the playtime is ramping up out of control.

3. The vocalizations of the dogs, such as grunting or growl sounds, will stay in a middle range of tone and pitch. “If one dog’s vocalizations begin to get lower and lower or higher and higher in pitch and more frantic in tone, a fight is in the making.”  (from “Through a Dog’s Eyes” by Jennifer Arnold.)

4. The dogs will exhibit open mouths, loose tails and the force of the bites they give each other, are inhibited and do not cause any damage or yelping.

5. The play is fair and the dogs take turns – reversing their roles. One dog is the chaser and then becomes the one chased – one dog does the biting first and then is the one bitten or being mouthed, etc. The roles do not have to be a perfect balance of 50 -50%, as long as both dogs seem be happy in their roles.

6. Each dog is respecting the body language signals of the other. If one dog is constantly trying to run or get away and the other dog is not allowing it, this situation is becoming unhealthy and you’d want to end the interaction. Time to distract the dogs.

7. If one dog is clearly stronger or bigger than the other, the stronger dog will handicap itself. For example, if a older, stronger  dog plays with a young fragile puppy, it is polite and correct for the older dog to use less power while playing with the youngster. If a stronger dog, needs to control itself around a weaker one, but fails to do so, this is indicative of unfair play and you’ll want to stop it.

8. Play does not become overly vertical. In normal dog play, they often rise up on their back legs and wrestle chest to chest with each other. However if this type of vertical play keeps increasing in intensity and duration, this can quickly turn into a fight, so keep your eye out for too much of it.

We’d LOVE to know what you think about the podcast and or this blog. Please leave your comments below. Or you can always write me at susan@raisingyourpaws.com.

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