PREVENTING A DOG FIGHT
Obedience Training and Agility Training will not stop two dogs from being aggressive towards each other. However, the control that owners gain over their dog through such training can assist in both preventing and breaking up fights, as the dog is more likely to obey any commands given.
Preventive action can be taken by owners who understand the body language and facial expressions of their own and other dogs. Common signs of aggression or dominance include:
Slow and deliberate movements when approaching other people's dogs;
Stiff body movements;
An enhanced profile, ears erect and the hairs on the back and neck raised;
A lowering of the head and extending of the neck forwards with the tail horizontal or upright;
A direct, hard, unwavering stare;
Pronounced and frequent lifting of the leg;
Urination, growling, snarling, curling of the upper lip, or the lips pulled tightly against the teeth;
Dominance posturing such as mounting the other dog;
Some dogs will approach another dog, investigate and wait for a reaction from it. Others will attack without warning, or from behind cover. Little can be done when this occurs. When one dog is being walked on a lead and another not on a lead approaches, every attempt must be made to prevent the dogs from making contact with each other. The owner of the leashed dog should leave the scene with their dog by backing away, slowly and cautiously and keeping between the two dogs.
Fortunately most dogs that are aggressive towards other dogs are not aggressive towards people. If the owner blocks their dog from the other dog, it may defuse the encounter. The distance from the other dog should be gradually increased, If the threatening dog follows, commands such as "Stay" or "No" should be given. Actions by owners such as turning their back immediately or quickly, striking out or moving forward and allowing their dog to challenge the other dog, may cause the offending dog to attack. A small dog can be picked up and carried high as its owner backs away from the other dog.