How to spot a potential dog fight.

How to spot a potential dog fight.

When a pet owner's dog gets attacked, it can be a traumatic experience for both the dog and the owner. Milo, a 3 kilogram maltipoo (a mix between a maltese and a toy poodle), was assaulted on September 19 of 2022 between 7 and 7.30 p.m. along Namly Avenue by an Alaskan malamute more than 10 times its weight. The malamute's owner and Milo's helper were walking the dogs at the time.

Pet owners may feel helpless and guilty for not being able to protect their pet. They may also experience emotional distress, such as anxiety, fear, and sadness, especially if the attack resulted in serious injuries or death of their dog. The owner may also face financial burden, as medical bills and other expenses associated with the attack can quickly add up. In addition, the attack may lead to long-term behavioral changes in the owner's dog, including fear and aggression towards other dogs or humans.

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As a result, the owner may need to invest time and resources in training their dog to overcome these issues, which can be challenging and time-consuming. Overall, a dog attack can have a significant impact on a pet owner's physical, emotional, and financial well-being, and it's essential to take steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

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It's crucial to recognize the signs that may indicate that a dog fight is about to occur to prevent such incidents from happening. Indicators that a dog may be preparing to fight include:

Stiff body language is a significant indicator that a dog may be preparing to fight. Dogs that are about to fight may hold their bodies in a rigid, tense posture with their weight shifted forward onto their front legs. Their heads may be lowered, and their eyes may appear fixed and intense, as if they are focused solely on their opponent.

Raised hackles are another sign that a dog is feeling threatened or aggressive. The hair on a dog's neck and back may stand up when they are feeling tense or on guard, indicating that they are ready to defend themselves or attack.

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Growling and snarling are vocalizations that dogs may use to    communicate their aggression or assertiveness. Dogs that are feeling threatened or preparing to attack may emit low, guttural growls, and may also bare their teeth and snarl to warn their opponents to stay away.

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Barking and lunging are two other signs that a dog may be preparing to fight. Dogs may bark and lunge at other dogs or humans when they are feeling aggressive or territorial. This behavior is often accompanied by a raised tail and an overall rigid body posture.

It is crucial to observe your pet’s surroundings and recognize these signs and take steps to prevent a dog fight from occurring. Owners should be vigilant when their dogs are around other dogs, especially if they notice any of these signs. They should also avoid situations that may trigger aggression in their dogs and seek professional help if their dog has a history of aggressive behavior.

If you find yourself in a situation where a dog fight is about to occur, it's essential to intervene as soon as possible to prevent serious injury to the dogs and any humans nearby. Intervening in a dog fight can be an extremely dangerous task, and it's important to take steps to protect yourself while attempting to stop the potential fight. Here are some steps you can take to stop it:

Stay calm: Dogs can sense fear and panic, which may escalate the situation. Stay as calm and composed as possible.

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Make a loud noise: Clap your hands, shout, or use an air horn or whistle to distract the dogs and get their attention. This could be something as simpleas clapping your hands or shouting. This can startle the dogs and get their attention, giving you the opportunity to intervene.

Use a barrier: If possible, put a physical barrier between the dogs, such as a fence or a door.

Spray water: Use a hose or spray bottle filled with water to separate the dogs and cool them down.


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Being a dog owner comes with many responsibilities, including keeping your fur baby safe from harm. Unfortunately, sometimes unexpected situations can arise, such as when your dog is being attacked by another dog. It's a scary and stressful experience, but knowing how to handle the situation can make all the difference. Here are some tips to follow if your dog has been attacked by another furry friend: 

  1. Try to remain calm as possible and keep a safe distance from the attacking dog: It's essential to remain as calm and composed as possible to avoid escalating the situation. Try to keep and remain safe distance from the attacking dog, as approaching it may trigger further aggression.
  2. Situation Awareness: Asses your current situation, are you still in the environment where the fight broke out? If you are, try to seclude yourself and your furry friend in a safe space away from the commotion and do a quick check if your dog is being injured and how severe it is. Because of their pain, adrenaline, and anxiety, injured dogs can be aggressive and unpredictable. Approach injured pets with caution at all times. Get a barrier like a blanket and crouch down to make yourself appear smaller so as not to alarm them
  3. Seek medical attention (if needed) : If your dog is injured, seek medical attention immediately. Get a towel or pressure bandage if your dog is bleeding so that you can apply pressure to stop the bleeding. If at all possible, keep the injured area elevated and don't remove the cloth from it. Even if the injuries appear minor, it's essential to have them checked by a veterinarian to prevent infection and other complications. 

Here are some hotlines you can reach out to for your injured pet: 

  1. The Animal Clinic: Website: Hotline: 6555 3512

  2. Mount Pleasant Veterinary Centre: Website: Hotline: 6250 8333

  3. Advanced VetCare Veterinary Centre: Website: Hotline: 6636 1788

  4. Vets for Life Animal Clinic: Website: Hotline: 6255 7950

  5. Island Veterinary Clinic: Website: Hotline: 6255 7953

After receiving veterinary care, you should closely monitor your dog's behavior and physical condition. Give your dog a quiet, comfortable place to rest and keep them away from other dogs or animals until they have fully healed. Follow any medication or treatment instructions provided by your veterinarian and consider providing your dog with additional support, such as a soft bed, extra attention, and comfort. It's also essential to address any emotional trauma your dog may have experienced from the attack, such as fear or anxiety. Consider consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help your dog recover and regain confidence.

Dog attacks can be traumatizing and may lead to serious injuries or even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and about 800,000 of those require medical attention. Furthermore, dog attacks can have long-lasting psychological effects on both the owner and the dog. It's essential to take steps to prevent dog attacks, such as socializing and training your dog and supervising them when interacting with other dogs.

In conclusion, being prepared for a dog attack can help protect your dog and yourself from harm. By remaining calm, using distractions and barriers, seeking medical attention, and reporting the incident, you can increase the chances of a positive outcome. Remember to always prioritize your safety and that of your dog and seek professional help when needed.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Dog Bite Prevention. Retrieved from

American Veterinary Medical Association. (2021). Dog Bite Prevention. Retrieved from

The Humane Society of the United States. (2021). Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs. Retrieved from

The Straits Times. (2019, January 18). Owner of big dog that mauled smaller dog fined. Retrieved from

Good Dog People. (n.d.). Dog Injury 101: How to Care for Injured Dogs. Retrieved from


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