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Board of Directors
Mary Ann Cardinale
Eve Barrie Masinter
NOLA City Bark Coordinator
1 Palm Drive
New Orleans, LA 70124
How to Safely Break Up a Dog Fight
Originally published in the Dogington Post Internet newsletter (dogingtonpost.com)
written on 02/19/2014 by Brandy Arnold
It’s a skill everyone hopes they’ll never need to use but should know, especially dog owners: how to safely break up a dog fight. Like humans, not all dogs simply get along. Even the most gentle mannered dogs are capable of a dangerous fight when provoked.
During a scuffle, a dog owner’s first instinct is to reach into the middle of the fight and try to grab their dog by the collar. This technique is not only ineffective, but also very dangerous. The odds of you being badly injured or bitten while reaching for a fighting dog’s collar are very high. Two furious animals in the middle of a serious fight are normally in survival mode. If they spot you at all, they likely won’t recognize you as the loving owner they are cognizant of. The moment you charge in and reach for their collars, they may respond out of a fight reflex and then bite, or they might perceive you as another threat or attacker.
While there are always dangers associated with breaking up fighting dogs, there is a way to do it that minimizes your own risk of injury.
Breaking Up a Dog Fight with Another Person
Each of you shall grab the back legs of the fighting dogs, and then pick them up like wheelbarrow. With the dogs’ legs up, they are pulled apart and kept from each other.
Do this by circling behind one pooch, grabbing his back legs, and then raising them up into the air. Without the use of his back legs, the dog will be forced to stand on his front legs and will not be able to continue fighting.
Separate the dogs as you back away slowly. Just hold their feet or legs continually as you carefully move in a smooth backward arc. That way, your pet won’t be able to reach around and bite you. Because the dog will only be using his front legs, he’d be kept from maneuvering with any agility.
The moment you have reached a safe distance, at least about 20 feet away, try holding the dog securely until he calms down. Turn him away so he doesn’t see the other dog, and try to change his state of mind using distraction.
Splitting up a Dog Fight While Alone
It’s extremely dangerous to pull two aggressive dogs apart when you’re all by yourself. However, if the situation asks for it, move forward carefully with the plan below.
Get a leash if you don’t have one with you. The dogs will surely continue on fighting as you look for a restraint, but you have to take the necessary steps to guarantee your own safety.
Try approaching one of the dogs, especially the aggressor, if you can determine which dog this is, and the moment you’re close enough, loop the leash around the dog’s belly, just in front of his back legs. Try slipping the free end of the leash through its looped handle, and then pull it taut. Immediately back away, as you pull the dog, till you get to something you can fasten and secure the pooch to, perhaps a fence post or a telephone pole.
After this, move towards the second pooch from behind, grab him by the hind legs, and then pull him away using the same method above. Drag the dog using the wheelbarrow method at least 20 feet away from his opponent, and find a way to restrain him until help arrives.
Remember that breaking up a dog fight is very, very dangerous, can easily result in a bite, and should only be done using the method above. Before reaching into a dog fight, always try other things first, like distracting the dogs or making a loud, sharp noise to get their attention. Do not panic or scream, as this could simply agitate the fighting dogs further.
Visiting NOLA and need a temporary permit?
If you are visiting our city or have out-of town guests coming to our city for vacation, you can purchase a temporary pass for three days for $10 or a 14-day pass for $15.
COME WHEN CALLED: An Essential Dog Park Skill
By Gallivan Burwell, CTC, CPDT-KA
If your dog comes flying to you every time you call his name - even when he’s deeply involved in playing with his dog pals – Congratulations! You can now pass this paper on to the person standing there yelling “BONGO! BONGO! COME! COMEONBOY! COMEHERE! BONG BONGO BONGO!!” while Bongo completely ignores him.
If not, you & your dog are lacking a critical piece of the skill set necessary to be a good City Bark citizen. If your dog doesn’t come when you called, how are you going to get him away from trouble, or even leave the park without leashing him?
The rule prohibiting your dog being on-leash inside the park is to protect you from the unwanted attention of unleashed dogs who are stimulated & emboldened by your dog’s movements being restricted, while theirs are not. You might as well paint a bright red target on him.
This step by step “No Fail Come When Called Plan” was written by Jean Donaldson, director of the Academy for Dog Trainers. If you follow it to the letter, your dog will learn to come. Start at the beginning & don’t go on to the next step until your dog can perform the step without an error 10 times in a row.
REMEMBER! Never call your dog to punish him, no matter what. You’re competing with the whole wide world for his attention, so waggle your butt, make squeaky, happy sounds, clap your hands; whatever it takes. YOU CAN’T TRAIN THIS & MAINTAIN YOUR DIGNITY, SO GET OVER IT.
LASPCA Mardi Gras Bead Dog Sculpture
The NOLA City Bark Board came together to purchase the LASPCA Mardi Gras Bead Dog sculpture, "Pick Me...Pick Me". Each bead on the sculpture showcases a portrait of the board member's dogs painted by Baton Rouge artist, Kathy Miller Stone. The unique piece will join 50+ sculptures that will be on display in the Greater New Orleans area until September all benefiting the programs of the LASPCA. More info is at www.la-spca.org/pawsonparade.
Rain or Shine at the Dog Park?
Don't forget to check out NOLA City Bark's very own weather station. You can get current temperatures, wind speeds, dew points etc. Thanks to permit holder, Chris Berthaut.
This Fall NOLA City Bark hosted Safety Week to provide members with information about best practices to make the park experience a good one for canines and humans alike. The article below is the first in a series that will be posted. It is based on information in the safety handbook
What Good Play Looks Like
When dogs interact at NOLA City Bark they often play-bow, paw at each other and bounce around like puppies. Their bodies look relaxed, rather than stiff, and they might make “play faces” (hold their mouths open and look like they’re smiling).
During play, the dogs may also growl playfully and open their mouths wide, exposing their teeth and pretending to be ferocious. They may switch roles so that one dog is sometimes on top when wrestling and sometimes on her back, sometimes chasing and sometimes being chased, sometimes pouncing and sometimes getting pounced on. All of these behaviors are natural and healthy and part of good play.
Frequently the dogs may also switch games - alternating between stalking and chasing each other, wrestling and rolling around on the ground, mouthing on each other, playing with toys, and taking breaks to drink water or sniff around. As the dogs run and wrestle, you may notice them pausing or freezing frequently for just a second or two before launching back into the game. These little pauses and breaks in play are natural and help ensure that play doesn’t get out of hand.
Here’s some advice on deciding if your dog is
dog-park-ready from animal behaviorist
Ryan Andree of Welcome to the Dog House:
Hours of Operation:
Year round hours: 5:30am - 9pm.
The park will continue to be closed for maintenance on Tuesday, 5:30am-1pm.
Monday 5:30 AM – 9 PM
Tuesday 1 PM – 9 PM (no early hours)
Wednesday to Sunday 5:30 AM – 9 PM
Welcome to NOLA City Bark!
New Orleans' Premier Dog Park
Our excellent dog park includes these wonderful features:
4.6 landscaped acres in beautiful City Park
Separate play areas for small & big dogs
Howdy entrance gates
Water fountains for dogs & humans
An event lawn and a .25 mile walking trail
Mutt Mitts for clean-up
NOLA City Bark is a 4.6 acre plot located in beautiful City Park behind
Popp Fountain. The property is bounded by Zachary Taylor Drive , Diagonal
Drive, and Magnolia Drive. A map and driving directions to NOLA City
Bark appear below.
From City Park Avenue, take Marconi Drive past Tad Gormley
Stadium. Go under the I-610 overpass and take an immediate right turn
on Zachary Taylor Drive (Zachary Taylor is the road that runs between
Popp Fountain and I-610).
NOLA City Bark property is right behind Popp
Fountain. You can also reach Zachary Taylor Drive from Wisner at Pan
Advice from the CDC on how to prevent spread of salmonella
from pets to human and vice versa
The CDC said parents could take some simple steps to
keep themselves and their pet-loving children safe:
Regularly wash your pet’s feeding bowls to prevent growth
Thoroughly wash your hands and your children’s hands with
soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after handling dry pet
foods, including pet treats.
Avoid letting any human food and utensils come into contact with
Make sure to thoroughly clean any counters and utensils you use
to prepare your pet’s dinner.
Handle litter boxes carefully, and always thoroughly wash your
hands and keep the area around the litter box clean.
Hours of Operation:
5:30 AM – 9 PM
– 9 PM
(no early hours)
5:30 AM – 9 PM
Photos from the
NOLA City Bark
March 27, 2010