Just thought I would put this out there for people who are having fighting dog issues, so that people would have some some strategies when they suddenly find themselves in this situation. I'm not an expert at it and haven't had an issue in my own home, but I believe some of the people on this board would have some good ideas to keep people and their dogs as safe as possible.
Of course, the best strategy is to avoid a fight breaking out: watching your dogs, paying attention to staring contests, status contests, resource guarding, and other issues and redirecting it before the fight breaks out. But, sometimes stuff happens unexpectedly. If a fight breaks out and you are trying to break it up, I have been told the ideal strategy is to have a person for each dog grab the dog's hindquarters, right in front of the hips, lift up so that their back legs don't touch the ground and pull the dogs rapidly away from each other, Swinging them out so that they no longer have eye contact. You have to have the back legs off the ground so that the dog cannot reach back and bite you as easily. They still could, but you are more likely to be able to dodge it or keep the dog moving and trying to find traction with his front feet. Has anyone else heard of a better strategy?
If you are by yourself, or the only one acting, then you grab the bigger or more aggressive dog and spin him away the same way. Hopefully, the second dog doesn't pursue.
Grabbing a dragging leash and pulling doesn't seem to work well. The dog braces and looks even more dangerous and aggressive to the other dog, and you have little protection against the dog who's leash your holding coming back at you all teeth and misplaced aggression. When I am walking my dog on leash and another dog approaches aggressively, I have always drug my dog behind me and firmly told the other dog "No, go home" So far, it's worked, but I have been lucky. Sometimes, I have been in the situation of having to stick out a hiking boot covered foot for the other dog to chew on until the owner sucked it up enough to control their dog.
When I worked at a vet's office, we used blankets. Throw as heavy of a blanket as you have over the dogs to distract and confuse them, and pounce on them while they are under the blanket using the blanket to confuse them and muddle their movements so they cannot bite as easily. I have only seen that done with one dog at a time, in a relatively enclosed space. I don't know if it works for two dogs fighting with each other in the open. And, it needs to be a big enough blanket.
Walking between dogs who are starting to give each other the hard stare and escalating, can break the tension.
I have never been in a situation to try squirting them - does that work to distract them?
Remember, whenever you get involved in a dog fight, there is a very good chance you will get bitten. Even if it's your own dog. They are trying to survive and won't even recognize that it's you. It is never safe. However, if it becomes necessary, be as safe as possible.
Anyone have better or safer strategies? It seems better to have the information out there before people need it then not have it there when a fight breaks out. Maybe it's already out there already and I just didn't find it?