Last Updated on June, 2023
Dog fights are SCARY.
And like with all SCARY things, we would like nothing more than to deal with it safely and quickly.
If your dog gets into a fight, your first instinct may be to intervene immediately to stop your precious pet from getting hurt.
HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT ADVISABLE because intervening can be dangerous for you.
Even your dog might bite you when caught up in the heat of the moment.
And this is why it seems safer to stop a fight with a shock collar remotely.
But using an e-collar is MORE than just shocking your dog when you want to suppress unwanted behavior.
So, read on to discover out how you should use a shock collar to stop a fight and what measures you should take in addition to using an e-collar.
Here are the 3 key points from this article:
- Do not try to physically intervene in a dog fight as this can be dangerous;
- Use a shock collar on BOTH dogs involved in the fight if possible;
- Take other measures to break up the fight such as spraying the dogs with water or making noise.
TLDR: Shock collars can stop dogs from fighting, but they should only be used as part of a larger training program. Other steps to stop a dog fight include staying calm, clearing the area, making noise, and using objects to block the dogs.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Dogs Fight?
- Should You Let Two Dogs Fight it Out?
- Will a Shock Collar Stop a Dog Fight?
- How to Use a Shock Collar Properly?
- Other Steps to Stop a Dog Fight
- Bottom line
Why Do Dogs Fight?
First, it’s essential to understand the reasons behind fights among dogs. Underlying motives include:
- Territorial fights (for example, an unfamiliar dog entering their turf).
- A dispute over food or toys.
- Play going too far due to overstimulation.
- Redirected aggression: Where your dog can’t get at the real cause of its anger, it may take it out on an unfortunate bystander dog.
- Lastly, some dogs are like oil and water, and just DON’T get along. At all.
Should You Let Two Dogs Fight it Out?
It is a firm NO from me on this one.
You shouldn’t let your dogs loose on each other at any cost because they can cause severe damage to each other. Dogs fighting can sometimes even lead to death, so you shouldn’t take them lightly.
When you introduce a new dog to your household, it can play out in two ways. Either your dogs will quickly establish and adapt to their social structure and get along just fine. OR they will never get along. The latter could be the case when you introduce two dominant dogs to each other.
Since nobody wants to have their dogs be hurt and traumatized, it is highly advisable to take preventive measures against fights. And know exactly how to stop a fight that has already broken out.
Will a Shock Collar Stop a Dog Fight?
Yes, you can use shock collars to stop a dog fight, but it’s only going to be effective if both dogs involved have a corrective collar.
E collars can stop dog fights through the transmission of enough electrical stimulation. While the dogs are temporarily immobile, you and the other dog owner can put as much distance between them.
Remote collars have the immense advantage of being devoid of emotions. If you were to get involved physically, your emotions and possibly frantic motions could get in the way of calming the dogs down.
You can maintain neutral body language AND be a safe distance away from the fighting dogs with the collar.
However, a corrective collar doesn’t address the root of aggressive behaviors. Addressing aggression is part of training that you should do alongside using a shock collar.
Also, ensure that you use shock collars on your dog with prudence because excessive shocks can make your dog more aggressive.
To find out what shock collar would work best for you and your dog, check out our reviews of the Ten Best Dog Shock Collars here.
How to Use a Shock Collar Properly?
As Robin MacFarlane points out, dog owners should NOT wait for their dogs to display aggressive behavior to press a button and shock them.
Firstly, the dog’s owner must lay a foundation of obedience training with the shock collar in neutral situations. It wouldn’t be fair game to expect your dog to know what this whole shock nonsense is about in the middle of a fight with its pal, now would it?
Your dog should be acquainted with the collar through exercises of being taught to follow on a leash, come when commanded, and stay in one place. This training will help foster your dog’s attention because, ultimately, you shouldn’t use the shock collar as a negative reinforcement for aggressive behavior.
Instead, use it to pull your dog’s attention back to you so that you can give an obedience command even amidst distractions like other dogs.
For more information regarding using a shock collar, take a peek at our dedicated article here.
Other Steps to Stop a Dog Fight
In addition to using shock collars, here are some other steps you should follow if you get embroiled in a dog fight.
1. Stay Calm
According to Mike Ritland, a K9 expert, “It’s imperative to remain in the same emotional state that you want your dog to be in, as his will mirror yours.” (1)
Therefore ensure that you remain calm and avoid yelling excessively during a dog brawl as that might make things worse.
2. Clear the Area
Ascertain that you keep all children and other bystanders away from the vicinity. Ideally, only the two dog owners should be present to break up a dog fight.
3. Spray the Dogs Down
If possible, consider either;
- Spraying water from a garden hose. If a garden hose is not available, try a bucket or a spray bottle filled with water.
Ensure to aim for the eyes and the nose of the more aggressive, dominant dog.
- Citronella spray will also distract dogs as they dislike its smell. Citronella is a better alternative to pepper spray or CO2 fire extinguishers as they can cause harm to a dog’s skin, eyes and mucous membranes. They can also be harmful to any bystanders and, therefore, you should use them as a last resort. (2)
4. Make Noise
DON’T YELL because that is a surefire way of making aggressive dogs TEN TIMES more aggressive. Instead, air horns or a car horn may succeed in getting two dogs to stop fighting.
5. Use Objects
Wedge a large object (such as a board, a piece of lumber or drywall, etc.) between the dogs to give yourself space to pull them apart.
You can try draping a blanket over one dog or placing things like chairs or laundry baskets over them to accomplish the same thing.
6. The Wheelbarrow Method
Physically intervening can be EXTREMELY dangerous if approached in the wrong way.
Remember that you should never grab the collars of aggressive dogs engaged in a fight, as that can lead to you getting bit.
But if you have no other choice, the safest way to physically separate the dogs is the wheelbarrow method. This method requires two adult humans- one human per dog.
- Each person should approach their dog from behind. At the same moment, they should grab each dogs’ back legs and walk backwards (like with a wheelbarrow).
- Circle to one side, steering clear of the other animals. This step is to keep the dog from biting you by ensuring that it has to follow the path you’re taking with its front paws.
- Continuing this, take your dog somewhere where it can’t see its rival. If there is nowhere safe nearby, continue the circular path motion until your dog has calmed down enough to have its leash attached.
Also read: How Long to Keep E-Collar on Dog After Spaying or Neutering?
Yes, shock collars can stop dogs from brawling. Still, it is NOT as simple as pressing a button and magically having your dogs become docile.
A lot more groundwork has to go into ensuring that your dogs stay safe from fights.
Train your dog to obey in neutral situations with the collar before exposing them to triggers.
Make sure to follow the tips above if you ever face a dog fight, and remember that prevention is always the best route to take!
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2 thoughts on “Will a Shock Collar Stop a Dog Fight? How to Separate them?”
I have 3 Boston Terriers, all girls, a 10 year old, a 7 year old, and a almost 2 year old. my 7 year old and my almost 2 have had several fights the past few months to the point I have separated them and rotate when they are out. My 10 year old is fine with both of them. My 7 year old is the one who starts the aggression, she growls and then the attack begins. I have gotten hurt many times, my hands. I am 75 years old, and this has become very stressful. The weird thing is I have taken all 3 of them on some walks and there is no aggression. And, when one is crated and the other one out, they approach each other very peaceful by the crate. I am thinking about getting shock training collars for both of them. Please advise. Thanks
Hi Janis, First, I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’re experiencing with your Boston Terriers. If you’re considering to use shock collars, make sure you get both of your Boston Terriers used to it, for that training is important. I’d recommend you seek help from a professional dog trainer since this is related to aggression. They have the expertise and experience to assess the specific dynamics between your dogs and provide you with personalized guidance and a behavior modification plan.
In the meantime, here are a few general suggestions that might help:
Create a calm environment: Help your dogs by providing a calm and stress-free atmosphere. Offer mental and physical stimulation through interactive toys, puzzle games, and regular exercise to help reduce their overall stress levels.
Separate feeding areas: To prevent resource guarding during meal times, feed your dogs in separate areas where they can enjoy their meals peacefully.
Identify triggers: Pay close attention to the situations or stimuli that might be triggering the aggression. It could be related to resource guarding, territorial behavior, fear, or other factors. Understanding the triggers can help in developing a targeted behavior modification plan.
Hope these suggestions help. However, do remember that working with a professional behaviorist or trainer is crucial for a thorough assessment and a tailored plan for your specific situation.