Dogs fighting each other isn't exclusively to harm but to exert dominance, but it’s crucial to know that once a dog bites, he might do it again. They can compete to control some resources like food, toys, or attention.
Physical punishment won't solve the problem, but showing disapproval of this behavior it's important. Saying a firm "No" or "Bad dogs" could be a resourceful tool.
Discipline, on the other hand, is the way to cut this behavior. Establishing order and showing your dogs that you are in charge and no one else.
How to Discipline a Dog After Fighting Step By Step
With these 5 steps you will learn how to stop a fight and how to discipline a dog after the fight.
Step 1: Stop the Fight
Cut the fight is the priority, to address this you'll need to use external resources, a bucket of cold water or some high-pitched noises can help.
Screaming will be taken as approval, as they understand it like "I'm angry let's fight", physical punishment will just worsen the things.
Step 2: Separate Them
Put the animals separated. For this step you can implement a "bad dog corner", which could be a room where they go when they fight. Keep them separated until they have visibly calmed down.
If after their confinement, they try to engage in a fight again, just put them in the bad dog corner again. They need to associate being there with the disapproval of their acts.
Step 3: Cut the Cause
Find what they were fighting for and take it away. If they're fighting for your attention, ignore both of them. They need to understand that fighting for something will only incur a loss of it at all. This action needs to be seen by your dogs to get that you are the leader of the pack.
Step 4: Put Some Order
To discipline your dogs, you'll need to put strict order in your house. Dogs can rely on consistency, predictable and scheduled events, basically a routine. If they have some kind of certainty about the time and amount of some resources, they will trust that and will not fight for more.
For example, if they fight over the food, feed both at the same time of the day, in separated rooms just to stay cautious. Spending the same time with your dogs, such as going for a walk together, will reduce the jealousy between them.
Step 5: Apply Discipline
Make discipline apply to other aspects of your dogs' life, for example, on play-time. Don't let toys just lie on the floor after playing. If you state times when playing is allowed, the dogs will see you as the authority. Taking the toy when that time is over will discourage fighting over it.
Doing it on a daily basis will reinforce your authority and, again, will help dogs to put their routines on the same page as you. Understanding this way, that is pointless fight for more.
Why Shouldn’t I Hit a Dog After Fighting
Punishing physically will only make the aggressive feel of your dog increase. Expecting that after punishment your dog will accept other dogs that he clearly expressed his intentions to fight with is wrong. It will only make your dog get angrier about his presence.
Disapproval and disciplinary measures will correct this behavior. To get permanent changes, they need to be applied on a long-term basis.
What You Should Never Do During a Dog Fight
To avoid any kind of accidents, here are some things you should think twice before doing:
- Never put yourself between dogs’ fighting.
- Never try to separate dogs fighting with your hands.
- Never bite a dog or grab them from the tail to pull him away from the fight.
- Never keep your face close to a dog fight.
Can Dogs Be Spiteful After Fighting
Dogs won't hold grudges, at least not while humans aren’t involved. In normal or natural circumstances, a dog fight can be for a resource like food or water, or dominance. The one that loses the fight, loses the dominance or the resource.
Dogs that fight to get the status of leader, may fight again on different occasions, but it would be always for dominance, never for grudges.
Dogs tend to be spiteful when, after a fight, both are disciplined unequally. The one that gets the light reprimand will see how his “opponent” is being disciplined harder. He will take this as you are mad at him and, for extension, he will be mad at him too.
Make sure that both of your dogs have the same penalties. This will show them that no one is “the weak” and that you are not angry with any of them in particular.