Fighting is part of the animal instinct in pets. Fighting among pets is usually because they are defending and protecting their territory and their dominance. If you ever watch those animal programs, animals are in a constant battle over territory and dominance it’s the same instinctive nature in your pets. Although your pet is domesticated they still have that nature. Some breeds are more aggressive than others and some are trained to fight and protect.
It irks me terribly to see the media and others blast pit bulls as if these dogs are out on the hunt for human beings. The problem and the responsibility lie within the owners and how they bring up the dogs. It’s the owners’ responsibility to make sure they have the proper restraints to prevent their pets from attacking people. Allowing these dogs to roam or putting up inadequate fences is not being responsible, not to mention deliberately engaging pets in fights to make them more aggressive and dangerous. For pets that get into fights it can be scary to watch but there are a number of things you can do to stop your pet when they are engaged in a fierce battle.
The first and foremost thing to remember is to never try to break the fight up, never get in the middle of pets going at it, you can be seriously injured or attacked. When in the heat of the battle, pets are unable to discriminate between who is trying to attack them and who they need to defend themselves from. If you think you can break up the fight without getting seriously hurt, first throw a blanket or cover over the pets and then grab your pet. Next, when you see a fight yell in a loud and firm voice. Pets associate a high pitch voice as a threat and take it more seriously than a low firm pitch. This may explain when a dog attacks a child because the child’s voice and screams are high pitched, which comes across to the dog as a threatening growl causing the attack to continue.
I did this one once when a pet I had awhile back was engaged in a fight. Spray a water hose on the pets, spray as much and as long as you need to break up the fight. Don’t be alarmed or try to stop pets from growling or hissing with each other, in some cases they are getting acquainted with each other and in other cases they are displaying their dominance or protecting their territory, and you. What you can do to prevent your pet from getting into lots of fights is to take them around other pets. Get them use to being sociable with other pets. You can do this by taking your pet for walks where other pets may be. Don’t take your pet to another home to socialize with other pets, territorial issues come into play and the other pet (or your pet) may feel threatened and start fighting. Another way to stop your pet from fighting or being more inclined to fight is to spay or neuter them, spaying and neutering seems to calm pets reducing their aggressive tendencies.
For dogs, make sure you have the proper collars and other items such as, muzzles, if the dog has a strong tendency toward being aggressive. When your dog approaches another dog let them do their usual sniffing and then pull away after a few minutes. When pulling away don’t pull your dog’s leash this causes their head to position into the fighting posture, which gives out signals to the other dog that an attack is likely to happen and may cause the other dog to attack. Make sure you understand the hierarchy that animals follow. Dogs are pack animals and there is a social order that they follow. Older animals expect more attention and respect than the younger ones.
Although you may want to treat your dogs the same and give them the same attention and privileges, older dogs expect everything first; pet first, fed first, and groomed first. Fighting between your dogs will occur if you don’t adhere to this hierarchy as you know or should know dogs can be jealous. For cats, keep them separate giving each their own space and litter boxes. Also keep your cat indoors, which will prevent them from getting into fights with other cats and dogs. If you think you will want more than one pet, get them all at one time and remember when pets are engaged in fighting they are serious and need a lot of convincing and pressure to stop fighting.