Since we talked about the possibility of a dog fight at dog parks, let's talk about how to break them up if it happens. The ideal situation would be to not be alone with two dogs fighting. If you're like me, you would jump right in but that means you're definitely going to get bit. If there are two people, each person needs to grab the back legs of a dog, lift them up, and pull them apart. Once the dogs separate they will still be in fight mode so you will need to get them thinking of something else. Immediately start to turn them in circles as you back up from the other dog. Turning them in circles eliminates the chance of them spinning around to bite you since they are still in the heat of the moment. Once the dogs are far enough away with one outside the fence or in another room, get your lead on it. If you are alone during a dog fight, use your lead to go around the dogs stomach and cinch it around the dogs back loins. Anchor that lead to a tree or close a door on it to anchor it. Once its anchored, grab the other dogs back legs and pull them apart. Again, once they are separated, walk the dog in circles as you back up. This is the easiest method and the best method to not get bit. Try to stay calm the best you can!
The question has come up about what we think about dog parks. Our opinion for a working dog breed with high drives is to be very cautious. There are many stories about dogs fighting or dogs picking up an illness from those parks. Even with a best behaved, high drive dog, a dog fight is still possible. The dogs need to be introduced properly and not just thrown together. Most owners of a working breed know weather their dog will play nice or if the dog can not interact with other dogs. You need to be cautious of the other dogs as you do not know their training or temperament. Dog parks can be a great tool for training with distractions!
We are about to add to our agility course to start offering classes. We are going to be adding a cat walk, A frame, a window jump, a crawl, and possibly more. We typically use tennis balls to get our dogs through our course. Sometimes we need to start very small and work the dog up to the actual course. Some dogs need to learn how to jump over things, as funny as that sounds. In this case, we start very low and work our way higher. We make sure the dogs are having fun. As with everything we do, it's all a game for the dogs and we do many repetitions. Some dogs need to build up their confidence to get through the course. An agility course is not only good exercise but good mental stimulation too. We always end on a positive note.
Bill Kennedy has been working and training full service K9's for over ten years.