Fighting is a normal part of dog behaviour. Fortunately, most dog fights are over quickly before serious harm is done to either dog. Sometimes, fights are a bit more serious and the dogs need to be separated before one or both of them is injured.
Remember, breaking up a dog fight can be dangerous. You don't want to be bitten yourself.
Stay calm and follow a plan. Keep your hands away from the heads and mouths of the dogs. Resist the urge to grab your own dog by the collar. He may instinctively turn and bite. You could also be on the receiving end of a bite which was intended for your dog.
Attract The Dogs’ Attention.
Both dogs will be fully focused on each other. They will be unlikely to hear, let alone obey any commands you give.
Try making loud sounds to attract attention. Yell, scream, clap your hands and stamp your feet. Use anything you can find to make a loud noise.
Find Something To Put Between The Dogs.
Try spraying then with a hose. If available, tip a bucket of water over the heads of the dogs. You can even use a can of soda if this is all there is nearby.
Most dogs will stop fighting if they can't see the other dog. Throw a blanket, a large towel or even a jacket over their heads.
Put a barrier between them. You can use just about anything for this, including garden tools, garden furniture, a piece of wood or a garbage can.
Physically Separate The Dogs
If all this fails, you may have to try and physically separate the dogs. By undertaking this you are putting yourself at risk of serious physical injury. It should not be attempted with larger breeds of dogs. They are capable of giving serious bites.
If your legs are fully protected with pants and shoes or boots you could try putting your leg between the dogs. The aim isn't to punish or harm the dogs. It is simply to separate them. This will be more successful with smaller dogs.
The Wheelbarrow Method
This method of separating dogs really needs two people. It involves lifting the dogs’ back legs off the ground and pulling them apart.
Do not grab the knees or lower legs of the dogs as this can cause injury.
Put your hands close to the hips and the dogs - as close as possible to where the dogs join the body.
Both people should do this at the same time.
Lift the back legs high off the ground and slowly walk backwards. When the dogs are fully separated and there is some space between, start moving in a circle so that the dogs end up facing away from each other. Don't stop moving during this process because this will allow the dog to turn around and snap at your legs.
If possible, guide one of the dogs into an enclosure where he will be separated from the other dog. If this is not possible you will need to keep moving in a circular motion until the dog has calmed down enough to have a leash fixed to his collar. If there is either no collar or no leash you will need to improvise some method of controlling the dog.
When is the fight is over, it is a good idea to have your dog examined by a vet. Any injuries sustained may not be noticeable to an untrained eye.