avoiding dog fights
- Socialize your dog, as a young dog they need to be socialized around people, other dogs, other animals and as many things as you can possibly think of. You have a small window of time during their first year that can help them be fear free and comfortable during their entire life with everything they will encounter.
- Exercise physical, mental and oral exercise is very important "a tired Pit Bull is a happy Pit Bull", this goes for other dog breeds also. Exercise is essential for a dogs well being, it also takes the edge off dogs, stress relief and can in itself get rid of bad behaviors, you can exercise a dog without exercising yourself by teaching "fetch" throwing a ball, Frisbee or flyer. Biking with your dog is another way to give a good workout and biking with a dog also offers good socialization, they will see much of the world as they pass by. Swimming! if your dog likes water another great exercise that is easy on the owner.
- Mental exercise can be accomplished with training, walking and games. Don’t underestimate the value of a good walk or jog with your dog. Taking at least one outing per day will help keep your dog physically fit and give them opportunities to explore the world, it's like reading a newspaper or reading a facebook page for them. Follow different routes and visit new places whenever you can so that your dog can experience novel smells and sights.
- Oral exercise dogs of all ages need to chew. Both wild and domestic dogs spend hours chewing to keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean. They also chew for fun, for stimulation and to relieve anxiety. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, it’s important to provide a variety of appropriate and attractive chew toys, like Kongs®, Nylabones®, hard rubber toys, natural marrow bones, rawhide and pig ears. Having their own chews will help them leave your nicely stuffed furniture alone.
- Know your dog, build your bond - Dog training classes strengthen the bond between the owner and a dog and gives you the opportunity to learn your dogs body language. Training at home, teaching tricks and obedience keeps your dogs mind thinking and working and keeps reinforcing that bond. Along with that your dog learns manners around other dogs, very important for Pit Bulls. Even Pit Bulls that show aggression towards other dogs can learn to behave among other dogs.
- Know what your dog values, food, toys, beds? Don't give dogs rawhides, pig hooves or other highly coveted goodies at the same time or freely. At the very least, don't allow dogs free access to them. If your dog considers it a high value item they are likely to fight over them or for it. If it's a high valuechew or item give only under supervision or in their own respective places.
- Feed dogs in separate areas, rooms or in their own crates never free feed or leave food unattended.
- Do not toss treats out to dogs. Instead, have each dog obey a command, such as sit, individually, and give the treat right after he/she obeys.
- Toys that get dogs hyper excited are best enjoyed alone.
- Keep a sturdy collar on the dogs, which provides a sturdy handle if needed.
- Supervision keep your Pit Bull supervised they should never be left alone with other dogs, even if they have been living amiably for years with another dog. Gates and crates help keep dogs safe from fighting at times that there is no one to supervise them.
- Don't permit tug-of-war or aggressive wrestling. These games can quickly escalate into a fight, know when enough is enough and when play is play or when it's something more serious. Remember that all play really is, is practice. Pit Bulls tend to make a lot of noise when playing, this most times is just vocalizing, but not always.
Some fights occur with little or no warning, intense fights can be absolutely silent. , but often you can spot behaviors that signal trouble ahead, so use that opportunity to keep a fight from breaking out.
Watch for these behavioral cues to see if a fight is imminent:
- A hard, unwavering, targeted stare.
- Dominance posturing, such as mounting.
- Stiff body movements.
- Extreme body language: the tail held stiffly up or down, lips pulled tight against the teeth.
Prevention, of course is the absolute best approach. Preventing fights, management, keeping your dog safe and providing good leadership is one of the most important jobs a dog owner has.