Sometimes when people move in together, they combine their families of pets. This can lead to dog fights and tension. This happens too when you decide to bring another dog into the pack. If you aren’t careful, a fight may occur. Fortunately there are ways to avoid dog fights, either by ensuring they don’t happen at all or by breaking them up with consistency.
Let Them Meet First
The biggest problem people make for themselves when introducing new dogs to each other is that they simply add them all together in one spot and then hope for the best. Sometimes this works out, but more often it odes not. Why? Because whenever you add new dogs to the pack, you are adding new animals to one pack’s territory. Dogs may naturally respond by thinking they must defend their territory. This can lead to aggression. The new dog could become timid or fearful, or it could leash out and attack.
Neither of these scenarios is what you want. To introduce new dogs and new humans into someone else’s space you must consider many details. The shortest way to explain it is to simply ensure that everyone meets on neutral ground first, like in a park. That way neither group feels they must defend their home space. The full group should take a walk together first before even entering the home. When you do enter the new home, the humans should go in first, followed by the dogs who have already lived there, and finally by the new dog. Observing the structure of the pack helps things go smoothly.
The purpose of the walk is to let the dogs begin to bond and get to know each other. Always avoid just throwing all the new dogs into the home. That is a recipe for disaster for everyone.
What If They Already Live Together?
Of course, not everyone follows these instructions. So what do you do if you have already made the mistake of throwing everyone together without meeting beforehand? Well, you may need to prepare to break up some fights. Some people react strongly to fights, injecting more tension and being much more upset than the dogs are. That’s why the first tip is to relax. One fight does not mean the dogs will never get along, or that you need to separate the dogs forever. What you do need to do is ensure you react to the fight appropriately.
How to Break Up a Fight
The first step in breaking up that first fight is to break it up quickly and calmly. Figure out quickly which dog his higher energy, because that’s the dog that is more tense. Then you turn your focus to redirecting the dog’s intensity somewhere else. That means forcing them to release if they are biting or nipping. Pull the dogs back, but don’t yell or shout when you break up the dogs because guess what? This only incites the do even more. You do not want to add to the aggression level. Instead focus on being calm yet strong. Think of projecting your energy, not your voice, to command attention and respect. Remember, you are their pack leader.
After the fight, you also have some more to do. To handle this time appropriately, just forget about the fight. Dogs put it behind them quickly too, unless they get a signal from you that you are upset. Many owners create more problems by worrying, because dogs are very aware of this energy. Do not jump to conclusions and start worrying excessively about the next fight. Dogs will sense your fear and they will respond in kind.