How to Prevent Your Pit Bull From Fighting

Pit bulls are a loyal and loving breed of dog with countless good qualities. And as a proud owner of this wonderful breed, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog—and other dogs in the area—safe and happy.

In order to do that, it’s important to take the proper steps to prevent dog fights.

In the right circumstances, all dogs will fight. But pit bulls fights can be more frequent and more severe if you don’t know how to prevent them.

A dog fight might sound scary, but the truth is that you can easily prevent them by making a few smart decisions. And if a fight does break out, you can break it up quickly as long as you know what to expect and how to react.

A Few Things You Need to Understand About Pit Bulls

  • Pit bulls were bred for fighting. This doesn’t make them mean, bad, or evil; it’s just their heritage (similar to how many other dogs are bred for hunting).
  • Other dog breeds will act out submission signals when they want to stop fighting, which usually signals the end of the fight. But pit bulls may ignore these signals, which means that a pit bull fight can lead to serious damage—or worse—if the fight is not broken up.
  • Pit bulls are “people” dogs. They love spending time with people and enjoy attention and love from your family. They do not need another dog around to be happy.

What Causes Dogs to Fight?

  • Dog fights can happen suddenly and without warning. Fights may be preceded by growling, barking, or posturing, but they may not be. Fights can even occur between dogs that have been close friends for years. And once two dogs have fought before, they are more likely to fight again in the future.
  • Fights can be triggered by seemingly innocent causes, such as excitement and stimulation from seeing a squirrel or other small animal run by. Fights can also escalate from rough-housing, competing over a toy, or even out of jealousy (for example, if one dog is getting more attention from the family).
  • Sexual hormones can cause dogs to behave much more aggressively than normal.
  • Finally, tension between dogs can cause them to fight. And one sure source of tension is an unclear pecking order. If you have a fighting breed of dog, make sure to train it properly so that it clearly understands its place in the social hierarchy.

How to Prevent Dog Fights

The #1 best way to prevent dog fights in your home is to make the pit bull your only pet. As we mentioned above, pit bulls are “people dogs” who enjoy spending time with your family and do not need another dog to be happy.

If there’s no other dog around, there’s no one for your pit bull to fight with.

If you prefer to have more than one dog, here are a 8 tips to minimize any chance of fighting:

  1. Get one male and one female. Same-sex dogs are more likely to fight. Two males (or two females) are much more likely to fight than a male and a female. This is true of every breed, not just pit bulls, because two dogs of the same sex are likely to see each other as rivals.
  2. Release pent-up energy by exercising your dogs. If dogs are not exercised frequently enough, they will build pent-up energy. This can lead to dog fights.
  3. Walk your dogs together. Walking your dogs together forms a stronger pack. Dogs that have formed a strong pack are less likely to fight.
  4. Spay or neuter your pit bulls as early as possible. Sexual hormones cause them to be much more aggressive than usual.
  5. Never leave your pit bull unsupervised with other animals. If you aren’t around to watch them, each pit bull should be crated or kept in a separate room.
  6. Watch your dogs when they are playing. Even innocent rough-housing can escalate into a fight if you aren’t paying attention. Remember, as the human you are the leader of the pack—it’s your job to set limits on the dogs’ behavior.
  7. Pick up toys, bones, and food when they’re not being used. Two dogs who stumble across a toy or a bone could start fighting over it.
  8. Always keep your pit bull on a leash when you take them for a walk, and keep them away from other unleashed dogs. This means that you should NEVER bring an adult pit bull to an off-leash dog park.

What If A Fight Does Break Out?

If your dog does start fighting, it’s important not to panic. Screaming and panicking will not stop a fight, it will only intensify it. By staying calming and using the proper tools, you can break up the fight quickly.

How to break up a dog fight, Method 1:

The two things you will need are a break stick (to pry the dog’s mouth open) and a collar or leash (to pull the dogs apart). It’s important to keep collars on your dogs at all times. Breaking up a dog fight is more difficult when the dogs are not wearing collars.

A break stick is a stick you insert between the dog’s back teeth. Then, twist the stick to pry the dog’s mouth open.

Once the dog’s mouth is open and the hold is broken, grab their collars or leashes and pull UP. Avoid pulling them apart face to face at ground level, it will only make them fight more intensely. Separate the dogs as quickly as you can—by putting them in separate rooms, or tying one to a tree while you remove the other.

How to break up a dog fight, Method 2:

One of the FASTEST and SAFEST way to break up a dog fight is by grabbing both dogs by their collars and holding them in in the air as high as possible, so the dogs lose oxygen. Without oxygen, they will not be able to hold their grip.

Yes, one dog will usually lose oxygen before the other, but as long as both dog’s front feet are off the ground and the collar is applying direct pressure to bottom of neck (as high up on neck as possible) they WILL lose oxygen and release their grip.

Do not hold the dogs in the air ANY longer than necessary — and that is the moment the dog releases its grip.

NEVER scold or hit your dog after a fight. Speak quietly to the dog to sooth it and reduce the arousal level. After the fight is over, it’s important that you create peace, harmony, and balance.

The idea of a dog fight might sound scary, but as long as you follow this advice you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Just be mindful of your dog’s heritage, and you’ll have a loving family member who will be a source of happiness for years to come.

 

  • Amel Bodhi

    Some great tips here, just shared this article on positive pit bull press :-)

  • Mark R

    Owning a pitbull is serious business. It’s amazing how they can be like us sensitive douchebags. haha

  • Cynthia Close

    This was a really interesting article. You’ve listed a lot of good information on how to keep fights from happening in the first place, but I was really glad to see tips on how to stop a fight once it started. Thanks for addressing that, My dog is half pit bull and she tends to be a little aggressive. These seem like good solid ideas.

  • Beth Anne

    Great article and great tips on breaking up a dog fight. Pit bulls have a bad rap, but I feel that’s it’s more about the owner not knowing how to take care of them. They are a special kind of bread that needs to be treated and trained differently than your average dog.

  • jason hickton

    hello yall i have 2 pits one is 4 and the other is year old the problem i am having is my 1 year old is goin after the other one and it only happens when they are out side together when they are in the house they are fine. last night was the worse bc no skin is broken on both dogs and one had to go to vet how can i get my 1 year old to stop goin after the other one outside….

    • Are you able to verify what’s causing these fights? A toy, a person walking a dog, food, ext.? If you can figure out the root of what’s causing the fights, we’ll be able to come up with a solution for you.

      • Mercy Holzschuh

        My boys are 1 year and 8 months and the other is 5 years. The youngen is food aggressive and has so many things buried in the yard. One minute they are fine and the next my old guy is bleeding everywhere. What can i do besides the obvious?

      • Michael Church

        I have two boys and they only tussle over food and I’ve taken care of that by separating them and walking them together!!!! I love my boys ! On top of tht they’ve been sleeping together.

  • David Packham

    My pittys are brother and sister, 1 year old. The sister while smaller is quite tough. If her brother tries to get her toy she get very aggressive leaving shallow but many wounds. I know how to prevent this however I’m considering rehoming the girl because it seems she wants to be in a 1 dog home. Her brother is passive but he could mess her up if he wanted to, but he knows his boundaries and has learned well. We’ve had them since they were 6 weeks and I will be devastated to see her go but I think it’s best. My question is will this affect her emotionally and how can I be sure she is going to a good home? And will my boy change because they have been together so long?

  • Bobby Pettit

    Thanks for the tips on breaking up fight, the large bite scare will remind my never to listen to people on the internet again.

    • Bobby Pettit

      scar

    • Cathy

      A neighbor of mine had a dog fight and they used the leaf blower it really caused the dogs confusion and broke them up very fast.
      I also use a shake can when they are misbehaving together

      • Christal Prout

        Cathy, please tell me more about your shake can

        • Anabel

          I heard air horns can help break up a dog fight as well.

  • Renee Pendley

    Is it true with a pit that once they get the taste of blood they will always fight? My two males got into a really bad fight yesterday. I think it started over food. But they literally fought for 25 mins. I tried to break it up but couldnt. One was on the runner, the other runs free. Now I’m scared and not sure what to do.

    • Cathy

      Struggling with dog aggression I have two females, I’ve come to this site for assistance. we haven’t had a major problem yet, I have an alpha female anerican pit and the new dog is extremely timid part pit bull, she will growl. At the alpha female, who treats all my dogs the same
      she is the boss and top dog, she doesn’t want any of the other dogs to get near me highly possessive. I also have a little Chihuahua who thinks he is the boss oh boy they have fun fighting but it’s all play for the most part until bedtime and then I do separate them. the two female pitbulls will sleep together but they don’t touch each other, I feel like I’m constantly refereeing but it’s just snarls growls posturing I’m trying to get a handle on this so that nothing bad happens I keep them separate outside when I’m not home but one day all my dogs were released from the yard and I’m not sure how this happened thankfully my neighbors called me immediately and a passer-by helped to put them in the yard

      • Hi Cathy,

        I would suggest taking your dogs for daily walks together (side-by-side). It’s a great way to form a strong bond between all of your dogs. Having dogs in separate spaces can create territory — which dogs tend to fight over. Forming a strong pack is the key.

    • Vlion

      25 min is not even showing control over your pitbull. I would suggest you get a professional to show you how to disiplin and train your pits before it’s to late.

    • Hannah Murphy

      Blood has absolutely nothing to do with a dogs prey drive or animal aggression.

      • Annie Cowan Brown

        Make it worse.

    • spiritofwicca

      Get rid of them before they turn on you.

  • Renee Pendley

    Is it true with a pit that once they get the taste of blood they will always fight? My two males got into a really bad fight yesterday. I think it started over food. But they literally fought for 25 mins. I tried to break it up but couldnt. One was on the runner, the other runs free. Now I’m scared and not sure what to do.

  • z boyz

    This is a good article I kid you not this is what my two pit bull males do, I have one that is a 1 year old and the other one is about to be three, my older one is more passive hates convertation but the baby is a real asshoke to him at times out of know where he would be n a stance n attack my older guy n hurt him really bad, last fight he got sent to the vet. I learned I have to feed them separate as well as for when they drink because the baby thinks everything is his and knows he can scare the big guy I get in the middle of these two n I’m a 5’4 female, at the end of the day these boys love each other to death. I do realize when they do fight afterwards I should he’ll n scream as it doesn’t help, now I know and I hope they don’t fight again but I would use these tips, I am also in the process of getting them both balls chop off as well.

    • Veronica Lodge

      😂😂😂 you are right

      • Renee Schweitzer

        its not the least bit funny.

    • Annie Cowan Brown

      They are. They’re gonna love each other to death.

    • Marie Clara MacKenzie Kiraly

      You are going to get killed by your dogs. Neutering is not going to stop them from fighting and it will get more intense each time and they will turn on you when you try to get in between. Good luck there.

  • Rachael Hayes

    I have three females… One is 7 and the other two are 3. Nova (my oldest) and Betty got into a fight over who got to bark at the neighbor dog. After they almost killed each other we kept them apart for a short time only for them to reengage. We have kept them separate for close to year now where only by accident they have had contact with each other and fought each time. Its horrible and a huge stressor on my family but I refuse to get rid of any of them because I love them so much. I’ve considered getting a trainer to help possibly reintroducing them but I’ve heard from multiple sources it’s waste of time. I’ve even considered getting a male to help. Any advice?

    • Whitney M Stone

      we are having the same issues. Ours have been separated for the better part of 4 months

  • Jennifer Manolakos

    I have 2 males. 1 is a 3 yrs blue who has PTSD , anxiety and seizures (fixed) he’s second on command in the house. And a 2 yrs old midget American bull dog (intact for medical reasons) who’s bottom of the tottum pole. These 2 fight a lot to where separation is the only way to keep peace right now unless my youngest is leashed by my side. My younger male is the aggressor in 99% of the fights. I need to strengthen the bond between these 2 but walking my blue is not an option. The world scares him because of his PTSD and with him having seizures the vet doesn’t think walking him is a good idea. Once he shuts down its like he’s gone…I’ve waited for 45 minutes for him to come back from his trance like state after he was spooked by a guy walking down the street…. so I’ve had to use the treadmill or playing ball outside with him for an hour or two. Any suggestions are desperately welcomed to help strengthen the bond.

    Also as a side note I have a female red nose. She is the alpha and the Omega. That’s well established in the house. But she’s so calm she doesn’t care for the fights. After they fight she growls at both of them as if to say knock it off. I can walk the female and younger male. Will that affect the pack hierarchy?

  • Axel Rodriguez

    A have two 3-year old pitbulls that are brothers. I have tried taking them walking side by side, but they always growl at each other and show other signs of a fight to come. Are there any other tips to keep the peace between them whilst on a walk.

    • Whitney M Stone

      I have never heard any positives of having sibling pits together

  • Desirae

    We are currently having issues with our female and male. Our female is almost a year and a half and our male is about 5 pushing maybe 6 years. We’ve had them both since they were puppies, and they were best friends. Their first fight was over a toy and then she went into heat a week later. The second one was over a toy also, so we eliminated all toys. We recently got a pet potbelly pig, and they have gotten into two fights when the pig wasn’t even around, I think it’s our female that was getting aggressive and then our male not backing down. We have since spayed her and kept them separate, and switched their turns with the cage. Yesterday she had a kong in the cage and our male was roaming around our house, she growled at the pig or maybe our male and then it broke out into a fight. Do you have any suggestions as far as making them friends again? or figuring out what’s causing it? or if it’s an internal thing? Before the one will walk by the cage and they will kiss. I’m just not sure what to do, and I feel horrible always having one caged up, and now knowing they could still potentially fight if one is in the cage, I’m at a lost. I love them both so dearly and couldn’t even imagine getting rid of one. Any ideas?

    • SierraNevadan

      She is “resource guarding”. Google that and get some training tips.

  • Jess Nicole Oaks

    I have a question: my boyfriend has a 10 month old male blue nose that got stolen, we never thought we would be seeing him again, so I adopted a 3 year old male pit from the shelter. Milo (3years) has obvious scars on his face and body so I’m assuming he was a fighter or bait dog, he gets along great with my shepherd mix male dog. My boyfriend ended up randomly finding his puppy and now Milo wants to kill the puppy every chance he gets, but I can take him anywhere and he loves any dog except the puppy. We’ve tried everything and the puppy is getting fixed in 3 days will this help?

  • Nathan riddle

    Ok we a full grown blue which is 95 pounds then a rednose which is 65 pounds an then the one female who is 55 pounds….Up until we kept a male puppy from her litter neither of my males fought each other, they were perfect brothers. But now the puppy has gotten a little older my two males go at it on a daily basis which I hate cause we were lit. A perfect family…. Should I get rid of the pup. What should I do

    • jldavidson321

      I don’t take re-homing a dog lightly, but I think this is one of those situations where if you can find a good, responsible home for the pup, it would be best for everyone. See if a local rescue will help you post the pup and process applications for him so he goes to a good home.

  • rachael

    My oldest pit was injured tore his acl so we have had him in the room for a couple weeks so it can heal…now him and our other pit fights every time they see eachouther . I want to know how we can break them fighting so intencly as we do not want to give up one of them . I need suggestions asap!!!

  • EᗰIᒪY

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    YOᑌᖇ ᗪOG Oᑎ ᗩ ᒪEᗩᔕᕼ EᐯEᑎ Iᖴ IT Iᔕ TᖇᗩIᑎEᗪ

  • Liz Brown

    Pit bulls were not bred for fighting. You are so ignorant. Do your research before you write any articles. Didn’t want to read further

  • Nya

    My family and I have two pit-bull mixes (from the same litter) and they both have been getting into fights. Previously it has been over an object; stick, toy, chickens etc. But just yesterday, they began fighting while they were roaming our yard, and the previous day they had gotten into a fight as well. It was a harmless game of tackle until it wasn’t. We really don’t know what is making these fights happen, and it is killing us to always to be attentive and weary when our dogs are around each other. Is this a problem with dominance from my family’s part? Or is it lack of knowing for my dogs and where they stand in the pack?

    • Whitney Michele Stone

      We are having the same issue with our two females. They’re both around 4 years. A trainer said they’re kind of going through doggie menopause and trying to establish dominance. Could also be protecting boundaries. Ours have had 4 fights since April. The last one was almost two weeks ago while our neighbor was over and they accidentally got out together. It was really bad. Trixie had to go to the ER vet because Coba tore muscles in Trixie’s armpit area. She had to then spend 9 days at our vet so they could take care of her. $2400 later, Trixie is back home and has a HUGE open wound still. I’m nervous about their future together once Trixie is healed.

      • Merriwether Taylor

        Hi there, I hope that since you posted this, nothing has gotten worse. I am writing bc I have two 5yr old pits, 1 male, 1 female. They live seperated and i understand the reason for the fights.

        We have split the house previously, and it is securely gated to manage the 2 aggressive dogs. They have been in the same house, for 3 years, Taco came with me, Bella is the bfs female. The bf now is away from the house for overnight and Bella has jealousy issues as well as anxiety, and Taco has slept with me since he was 4 wks old where Bella slept with the bf but is now lonely.

        They got at each other through a one foot thick barricade, and it was vicious and terrifying. bf is the ‘alpha’ and both dogs know it and submit to him, he was not here. Since his night absence, it has gotten worse between them and today it was a 7 min fight and both of them are hurt and I am handling their medical to help them heal. Serious injuries.

        If someone can please tell me what behaviors I need to change to correct this? They get roughly 2 hrs each of outdoor time with me in the day.

  • Charlie

    Wow, after reading this I am a bit scared. I don’t want my dogs to be fighting at all. Just the thought of someday seeing blood terrifies me.
    When we got the Pitt, we actually got 2, 1 male and 1 female. After a few days we really had to make a decision based on what the vets office said, it would be better to keep the male and not the female. So we decided on the male and gave the female to the vet to find a good loving home with the right family. Now, I’m wondering if we should have kept the female instead!!
    I have a 3 year old Male Rottweiler, he’s also a medical service dog for my daughter, she’s 18. I also have a 4 month Male Pitt Bull. They bark and play off and on each day, and yes with supervision. They seem to love playing tug with an old sock. The puppy is all over the place playing with him. The puppy also likes to grab the Rottweilers collar while playing. They have never drawn any blood but at times I believe that the Rottweiler has had enough, not any biting, just sincere barks. Then we usually make them stop and rest an hour or so. Are we doing this right?
    The pit puppy sleeps in the bed with my daughter and the Rottweiler sleeps on the floor in her room also.
    This concerns me!!

    • SierraNevadan

      Think it’s best if they are confined to separate rooms when you aren’t there to supervise them or while sleeping. Instruct your daughter NOT to try an break up a fight if it occurs. That’s how many human injuries from pit bull attacks occur.

  • Daniel

    I’m looking for some advice please. I have a two year old male pitty. I have the opportunity to add a female pitty pup to the family. I really don’t want my decision to blow up in my face of what I’ve red in this article. Any advice please.

  • Melissa Hayes

    I am a veterinarian who has sewn up the wounds inflicted upon other dogs by pit bulls. But I had the displeasure of breaking up a fight between two pit bulls that had been left under the care of a twelve-year-old girl, their sole source of supervision. These two dogs had lived together for seven years. I heard that poor girl screaming hysterically at the fighting dogs. Fortunately, I had pepper spray available, and I blasted each dog directly in the face, caring little if I caused irritation to the dogs’ eyes and nares. There was no way that I would have been able to stop them from fighting any other way. One dog was badly injured: its scalp and masseter muscle torn from the underlying bone. I telephoned 911, and the police came to file a report and to call the young girl’s mother. When the mother arrived, she yelled at ME for using pepper spray against her dogs, even though it likely saved the life of one of them and kept her daughter from being injured while breaking up a dog fight. Typical pit bull owner.

    Ove the course of my nearly twenty years in practice, I have encountered many pit bulls. The vast majority have been easy to handle. But I still don’t trust them. Not with another dog, a cat, and certainly not a child. In the United States, pit bulls comprise less than six percent of the canine population yet make up sixty percent of the dogs relinquished to shelters. Relinquished by a novice owner after the dog growled at the other dog in the house, their child’s playmate, or the child itself. Shelters are overrun by pit bulls, and shelter personnel are burnt out by the number of euthanasia they must perform on these unwanted pit bulls. For these reasons, I believe that the breeding of pit bulls should be banned, until this crisis has been resolved. All dogs have teeth which means all dogs can fight, this is true, but few can do the damage that a pit bull can do. What drives someone to own such a dog?

    • Brit

      How are you a vet??? Pit bulls are beautiful loving loyal and unique! It takes time discipline and patients! Originally pits were child sitters before fighters ….. Glad your not my pits vet!

      • Aimee

        The nanny dog is the Staffordshire bullterrier

        • Raine Atohi

          There is no such thing as “nanny dog”. Please educate yourself.

        • spiritofwicca

          There is no such thing as a “nanny dog.” It’s a dangerous myth that was debunked a very long time ago.

      • spiritofwicca

        After a very nasty incident a number of years ago in which a pit bull seriously injured another dog thanks to the negligence of the pit bull owner, my vet will no longer treat them. When word got around that his office was a pit bull free environment, he experienced a significant rise in the number of clients who brought their animals to him. People and their pets feel safe in his office. Further, pit bulls were NEVER “child sitters or nanny dogs.” That stupid myth was debunked years and years ago.

      • NNC9

        I agree with the Vet that Pit Bulls should be banned from breeding, for the mere fact that the dog shelters are full of these poor animals. It is sad. I love mine, half Staffordshire Terrier, who I just happened to find abandoned as a puppy, but all my life I have had dogs and this is the only dog I have ever had that attacks smaller dogs for a mere crumb of food, sometimes but not always. Just unpredictable, so I am careful with food for the protection of the other dogs. I love him too much to get rid of him, he has a forever home with us, but I now realize why there are so many at the shelter. If he were my only pet he would be the best dog ever. To those hating on the Vet, she is entitled to her opinion whether you agree with her or not.

    • Sharon

      It is people like you why there is 60% of these poor loving and caring dogs in these places I’m a pitbull owner and I would rather have my pitbull around me than a person like you I thought veterinarians Care for all Animals. I do agree about the breeding there’s people that breed them just to fight them then there’s people who get them because they think it’s cool only to find out it didn’t make them cool so they lose interest, so I do agree with with you on that point, they should ban the breeding, and that’s by no means saying the dog is bad it’s saying people are bad but we can’t euthanize
      Dumb people can we?Thanks Britt who commented before me, my sentiments exactly!

      • spiritofwicca

        So Sharon, what’s your solution? Just keep breeding them and breeding them while thousands are euthanized every single week because there aren’t enough homes to go around and the majority of people looking to adopt a dog don’t want a pit bull? What did the vet say that was incorrect? These dogs are capable of causing terrible damage to both people and other pets. 2017 isn’t over yet and 36 people have been killed by pit bulls. The number of family pets they maim and kill is in the thousands. I too question why anyone would choose this type of dog when there are so many other breeds and crosses to choose from that are safe.

        • Raine Atohi

          Pit bulls killed over 38,000 pets and farm animals in 2017. Of all the dogs killed by other dogs 95% were killed by pit bulls. I was looking to adopt a dog recently but all the shelters had were pit bulls and pit mixes labeled as “labs”. So I ended up buying a puppy instead – a normal breed, not a pit.

        • Colby Lee

          The fact is the breed is not for everybody, just like various other breeds. Like somebody previously stated these dogs used to be nanny dogs. These dogs have also saved lives not just taken them. A pitbull is for committed owners who have proper knowledge on not just the breed but dogs in general. They are high maintenance but they are not evil, nor are they untrustworthy

      • wee

        You own ONE dog. She deals with dogs on a daily basis, and has a far larger sample size of dealing with pitbulls than you. And this is coming from the owner of a pitbull. They are great dogs, but are more aggressive by nature. This aggressiveness can be taken care of by a good owner, but not everyone is a good owner. Most people, by definition, are average or below average owners. And because bad owners cant handle them, they are euthanized more. I don’t want to see a puppy brought into this world just to go that way.

      • Hannahoneybee

        She is allowed not to trust pit bulls. Why are you calling her stupid?

    • Christal Prout

      Aww this makes me feel sad to read this – especially from a vet. I have had several types of dogs. But I truly have to tell you that my little blue nose pit, is such a lovey wigglebutt. My husband and I take her in to Lowes and Home Depot and other places that will allow it. She is the best with people, females, males, and especially children! The run up to her and her tail just wags and she kisses them. She will then drop to the floor right in the middle of the store, and expose her belly for belly rubs. People just love her. She also is a pure pit bull. I think unless you have one, you cannot understand how special they are.

      • Debrah McCabe

        Christal, I just got off the phone with my daughter who is at the vet with her 7 pound chihuahua who has a broken jaw, an eye injury and possible brain damage all caused by their ‘grey wigglebutt’. They adopted her about a year and a half ago, have one other pit-cross and before that, my daughter had her own pit-cross. The two crosses have never given reason to doubt their goodness and until the last two months, the grey pit hadn’t either. But now she’s attacked twice. Fortunately the first time was ‘only’ to their big pit-cross and it only cost them $600.00 to get her stitched up. This time, it’s going to cost a life.

        Bad management can’t be blamed, they are seasoned pit owners and extremely conscious of their dogs behaviour. While I used to be a supporter of responsible pitbull ownership and against pitbull bans, I’m reconsidering that stance. It’s too easy to blame the owners and accuse them of not knowing what they’re doing and in retrospect, I think I am probably guilty of that. But now I’ve seen a situation where I know the people and how they train and guide their dogs and it still happened in their house.

      • Raine Atohi

        You are a selfish fool for taking your pit bull into these places! You are the reason places like Petsmart and dog parks are less and less frequented by people with normal dogs. Soon Petsmart and Petco will go out of business and all dog parks in cities without pit bull bans will be only pit bull parks – because idiots like you want to bring your maulers there and put every one else in danger.

      • spiritofwicca

        They’re all lovely until whatever happens in their brains gets “switched on.” Then, people die. Those who survive are left with terrible disabilities and scars that can cost millions of dollars in order to treat. I get that you love your dog but I love mine too and my dog deserves to be safe from yours. I also loved the little dog I had that was mortally injured in the jaws of an unmuzzled pit bull. Pit bulls kill thousands of family pets every year because the owners of this breed refuse to understand genetics and the inherent dog aggression that is “part and parcel” with the breed and refuse to take sensible precautions such as muzzling them when out in public and ensuring that they are securely contained. Your “right” to own a dangerous animal does NOT outweigh my and my dogs right to be safe.

      • Scot Cupples

        I agree with you 💯 ,my wife and I have rescued 2 pits from ignorant people and they are the most beautiful and amazing animals ever. Zu and Ratchet love us very much and they are suosu loyal to my wife and I . They love children and other animals too, I can’t stand ignorant people who know nothing about pitbulls except for the negative bullcrap.

      • Rich

        My brother in law has a Blue nose he recused.He does not like other dogs at all an will try to kill them. When they lock on very very difficult to break up so I hope you never have to encounter that.

    • Hannah Murphy

      Seems that your breed identification skills are lacking. Not every bull breed is a Pit Bull, and when incidents occur there is no proof of breed required before it goes into the report. Often the media calls dogs Pit Bulls even when the owner tells them it’s another breed and provides proof.
      No, bull breeds do not make 6 percent of the dog population, shelters estimate that about 70% of the dogs they receive and adopt out are Bull breeds.
      I really doubt the dogs you encountered were Pit Bull, because pepper spray wouldn’t have worked on a true APBT.
      Yes, some breeds are more prone to animal aggression, this does not equate to human aggression, a dog that is dog aggressive will not necessarily harm a child….

      • TurkeySoup

        The term “pit bull” does not mean APBT, it means a few closely related fighting breeds (APBT, Staffs, AmBull, etc) and their mixes,

        Many humans are injured breaking up pit bull fights.

        • Colby Lee

          Many humans are injured breaking up dog fights regardless of the breed. The dogs have been used and/or breed to fight before, but that is not their purpose. They have been nanny dogs, they are working dogs. Do some actual research, the one and only dog that is a Pit Bull is the American Pit Bull Terrier. Just because ignorant uneducated people call every muscular blocky headed dog a pitbull does not define their classification

          • TurkeySoup

            They were never Nanny Dogs, that’s a myth created in the 70s. And proper research shows that even pit bull rescues recognize the definition of “pit bull” to be a type of dog, not a breed, that includes several closely related breeds like APBTs, AmBulls, Staffs, and their mixes. That’s not every muscular, blocky head dog, that’s several closely related fighting breeds with a genetic potential for aggression and fighting.

      • spiritofwicca

        A dog that is animal aggressive should be muzzled at all times when out in public. Why is it so hard for pit bull owners to understand that the lives of other people’s dogs matter?

    • debw777

      Thank you for telling the truth, and I’m sorry so many pit owners refuse to think about it.

      I’m saying this from personal experience, pit bulls give no warning. Your cute little wiggle butts wag their tails the entire time they are killing. Once you are under attack, you have no real way to defend yourself except a gun, and you better be a good shot. If you wait to see if the dog means to kill or not, it’s too late. Not all pit bulls are deterred by pepper spray. One good bite can knock you down and take a chunk of skin or muscle from an arm or leg. Then you have no self defense.

      The attack that killed my dog was not a fight. She was a submissive dog that didn’t even look at other dogs. Her owner was a man in his 70’s who was in a wheelchair. A rescue had recently given him that dog without any instructions on the proper collars or how to stop an attack. He was also mauled by his dog and had to spend the night in the hospital. But, good news! That dog was taken back by the rescue, sent to another community and will be available for adoption! Go adopt one, it’s like Russian roulette.

    • Raine Atohi

      Melissa – thank you for your courage.

    • Melissa Hayes

      I am not a proponent of BSL because I don’t think it works, but those you who claim to “love” this breed should be out there with that message. If you want a pit, you have plenty to choose from amongst the dogs who are seized/relinquished/abandoned to shelters and rescue groups.

      Every dog breed has characteristics that are undesirable. I would never have a Jack Russell Terrier with a cat, because a breed that has been selectively bred to go to ground and kill rats will likely see a cat as vermin that needs to be killed. These traits are very difficult to remove by training alone. It’s the same for a breed that has been selectively bred for interdog aggression.

      • Hannahoneybee

        It works if it’s enforced.

    • TrainChaser

      The biggest problem with pit bulls is their owners. Having stupid, ignorant morons who own dogs that were created to be aggressive is a horrible combination. If the bad dogs only turned on their owners, it wouldn’t be so bad, but that is only the case is a low percentage of the cases.

    • Scot Cupples

      You obviously don’t know as much as you say you do about pitbulls. I own 2 , both rescued from someone ignorant like you unfortunately. They are loving and very loyal to my wife and I, they love children and all other animals and haven’t been aggressive towards us or anyone unless they feel that my wife and I are threatened in any way. You really need to do more research… very sad.

    • Oryan christopher

      You should probably find another practice. We do not in anyway have any place to speak on the matter of what should live or die when we (humans) still kill eachother over petty things like religion. I will find your practice and warn my fellow animal lovers your oppinion via yelp. As a pitbull owner i would never trust you to save her

  • Melissa Hayes

    As a veterinarian who has sewn up many victims of pit bulls (some of which have been fellow pit bulls), it is a mystery to me why someone would want to own such a liability. The vast majority of the pit bulls I have met have been nice to me, just not to other dogs. And when a pit bull is being aggressive, it’s being aggressive in a way that a Chihuahua could never be. Pit bulls make up for ~6% of all dogs in the United States, yet they account for more than half of all reported dog bites, and more than sixty percent of shelter admissions. Clearly there is a problem in the breed. I do believe that pit bulls should not be bred. There are enough in shelters to certainly give everyone who wants a pit bull a pit bull.

  • Melissa Hayes

    No one here can deny that this is a breed that is prone to interdog aggression. Otherwise this website “How to Break Up A Dog Fight” would have no reason to exist. As a veterinarian, I have just as much of an obligation to my canine and feline patients that have been injured by a pit bull. None of you can deny that there is a problem with the breed. Go to any shelter, any place, and the vast majority of dogs that are surrendered are pits. I personally do not think that they should be bred any longer until the shelter crisis is resolved. If you want a pit bull, do a dog a favor and adopt. Don’t breed!

  • Sharon

    I love your babies

  • David Packham

    I ended signed into disqus forgetting I posted this a year ago! I’m glad someone else has experienced this. However I decided to keep them both. What I did is not allow any toys or bones in the house , if I give them a toy I keep them seperated. They haven’t had another spat like that. They do occasionally do what I call “bickering” like siblings do they growl at eachother or nip. But nothing dangerous. They are gentle giants. With lots of love to give. I’m glad I kept them. My children are boss, the pups listen to them, I have no fear of them snapping. I hope all is well with your furbabies.

  • Kari

    Hi,

    I have a question . I have two female pit bulls who have been around each other since they were about 6 month ago. One the them (diamond) we have had since she was about 6 weeks ago. Crystal who we got when she was about 6 months old. All of a sudden now they are probably about 11 months old they fight all the time. They both can be outside in th back yard together and be fine not fight but as soon as someone goes outside with them or even if we let them in the house together they instantly fight .. and it’s like bad fighting they will not stop. We do not want to have to get rid of either dog because we don’t know anyone who can take them but we can’t not have them fight. These last few times of me breaking them up I have gotten bite. Is there anything we can do, please let me know. It’s to the point I’m scared to go outside because I don’t want them to fight.

    Thanks

  • Mike

    Hi! My name is mike. I have 2 American pitbulls. One is a female. The other is a male. My female I have had since she was a baby and now she is 6years old. However my male is new. He was given to me by a friend who is moving. She taught him a few commands but, she works alot so….she didn’t get in a lot of time with him. Now my question is? Do I need to fear of him attacking my female? She is the alpha but, I don’t need anything to break out. I feed them separately the water bowl they share. He is nurtured. And she is spayed. He is 4 years old. We put all toys up. No bones! And we seperate them when we do that.

    • Mike

      We seperate them when we give them bones. Is what I was saying. They seem to get along good. And training him where she left off at is going to be a patient time but, I have already started doing so.

  • Terry Smith

    I’ve learned that if your pit doesn’t have a collar on them it is best to grab their back legs I broken up a bunch of fights like that between pitbulls I have two they use to fight like once every 6 months but since I’ve started working them together they haven’t fought in a while I love the breed and would own any other

  • David Weld

    Alright I know this thread is like 3 years old but I need help. I have a pit mix who is 3 and an american bulldog who is 2. They won’t stop fighting and they shed a lot of blood. We don’t have enough money to get them neutered yet. Lifting them up on two legs sounds like a good idea but what if one is on top of the other then what should I do. The last time I tried to break up their fight my pit accidentally bit me. I have questions and need help before it gets way out of hand.

  • Anabel

    My dog is half lab, half pittie. He’s very sweet and actually lives with 2 cats who he’s gentle with. He’s gentle with dogs smaller and even bigger than him but when he’s around dogs his size (like another pit bull or a german shepard) he goes nuts. I have no idea why this is but we had a pretty bad incident with him yesterday with another pitbull (pure bred) I’m saddened that you mentioned I should never bring my half pit to the off leash dog park, here in Miami, all dog parks are off leash and I don’t have big open spaces for him to play alone, what should I do? I did take him to doggie be good classes back in January, should I take him some more? I just want him to play well with other dogs his size!

  • Wendy

    My male and female pit (4 months apart in age and not fixed) have been going at it a lot lately. It’s causing me a lot of stress!!! This article has given me some VERY good tios. I’m a get them both fixed ASAP and buy better collars. I have two smaller female dogs as well and don’t want injuries.

  • Monica saunders

    Pit bulls are loving animals it depends on how you raise them I been a pit bull owner for 3 years I have no problems. not just put bulls but all dogs it all in how you raise them

    • TurkeySoup

      It has nothing to do with how you raise them and the other comments here prove that well.

    • Annie Cowan Brown

      Many of their owners raised them well and they still attacked. You can’t outlive genetics.

  • Beverly W.

    This article keeps saying pit bulls are “people dogs”. If that’s true, why are so many people disfigured for life and killed every year by pit bulls? Pit bulls are not “nanny dogs” as the myth misleadingly states. They’re threats to people, pets and livestock every day of the year. Please choose safer dog breeds as pets.

  • Annie Cowan Brown

    I hope you’re not next. 😔

  • Annie Cowan Brown

    It really an awful truth. People have lost their lives learning this lesson. It’s unfathomable.

  • Debrah McCabe

    Read my comment above to Christal.

  • Shantrese Roussell

    I have about to be four Pits and they are all related and still fight time to time. Sometime they play good and sometime they fight and yes it can get ugly. I keep a bucket of water on stand by because that usually stop them. Dogs are like kids expecially if they are siblings they have their days. But in all they are 97% of the time big muscular balls of love.

  • Raine Atohi

    Finally, a pit bull owner who acknowledges that they are dangerous dogs and not like other breeds.

  • Hannahoneybee

    Maybe you should heed smart advice by an educated person.

  • Hannahoneybee

    Then we stop breeding them. Why is that so hard?
    Oh right, because dogfighting is lucrative and pits are fight breeds, not pet breeds.
    They always have been and always will be.
    You think breeders of game dogs are going to change a dog that can make a person eighty thousand dollars in one fight? Dogfighting is a multibillion dollar a year industry and it’s global.
    Fighting bsl enables dogfighters and HURTS pit bulls every day.

    • Renee Schweitzer

      100% agree.

      • Renee Schweitzer

        MY PIT BULL KILLED MY BEAGLE THIS PAST WEEK. s omeone unexpectedlly came to the door and began ringing the doorbell. I have 2 dogs, Both dogs, both males, ran to the door and began barking. I was 5 steps away when they got into a tussle. I could not get my 80# pit off my beagle,,,i was injured, he would not stop shaking him and had his neck in his mouth. IT WAS HORRIFIC,I am heartbroken, and guilt ridden for rescuing him and bringing him into my home. I loved him…but this aggression issue…..never again. I will NEVER recover from what i saw.My sweet, beautiful, beloved beagle was thrown around like a toy, and he weighed 30 pounds…….we, at vets recommendation out the pit bull down. I loved him…I am hurting, as is my husband. This pit was absolutely vicious in this attack…..a nightmare.

  • NNC9

    I have a passive 10 y/o female Pug and have taken in an abandoned pup. He is rapidly growing and is very high strung. DNA identified him as Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer Mix. Last night I spilled grease on the floor and while pug started licking it up she suddenly got attacked. Fortunately my husband could pull him up by his collar. The pug wasn’t fighting back but she doesn’t appear harmed. We love both our dogs and not sure what to do. I am frightened. I thought his food aggression was almost gone but apparently is isn’t. Another problem is that he plays too rough. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Anna

      Keep them separated and find a new home for the young pup. He has not even reached the age at which he will begin to show true dog aggression, and at that point, he may be much harder to stop in a fight. If your husband is not home, your pug may not be so lucky next time.

      It’s sweet of you to try to give this abandoned boy a home, but you owe your little old lady a peaceful retirement. She’s likely not going to get that with this dog.

      Just my two cents. Others may believe you should give it time, but you’ve said a lot in your short post that worries me.

      A male attacked a female. He’s high strung. He’s not even sexually mature yet. He has food aggression and that doesn’t usually go away. Your husband managed to stop him—you are worried—which may mean you won’t be able to stop him. Also worries me that this dog is a bit much for your level of experience with working type dogs, and at the heart of the matter, pits are very much working types.

  • Pitbull mama

    I have 5 rescue dogs. 4 of them are variations of what people call pits. 1 Stanfordshire terrier, 1 red nose, 1 American pitbull (which actually look like short labs no blocky head) and 1 pit with a huge block head mostly bred from the bull dog family. All gentle loyal loving people dogs. Recently after several years of living in harmony 2 of my males have begun fighting. Usually it’s noise no breaking skin until yesterday . We have 7 children the dogs are great with. Yesterday while mowing the yard these two got in a fight that my husband and I could not separate. Once we were finally able to gain control we had a lot of patching up to do. The larger dog got the worse end of it. These are the only 2 we have that are not neutered. They will be going this week to remedy that. It is very hard in this area to find vets that are not breed prejudice . When my boys got into a fight I had just yelled ouch when a different dog had jumped up and scratched me. The 3 dogs closest to me sat down but the two that were about 4 feet away locked up. I love this breed I take in hard to place rescue animals. They were all grown dogs from varying backgrounds . And for 5 years have lived peacefully with one another. They are however effective fighters and I have to pay attention as the owner to them. They are hyper protective dogs and will defend their owner with their life. I’m hoping getting them neutered will help. I have been heatitant because when I got my Great Pyrenees neutered he became aggressive. Suggestions are always welcome but please keep negative comments to yourself .

    • Anna

      It’s a possibility that neutering will help them, but if the “have lived together five years” applies to the two who fought, not too likely.

      I would be very aware of what they do for the next few months. Because you have children, if they fight even one more time, I would find a new home for the youngest one. It’s unlikely if they fight twice that they will stop, and your kids getting in the middle of two pit mixes fighting is a recipe for disaster. Best of luck to you.

  • Shannon Gist

    I’m glad I read this post. I saved my Pitbull 4 years ago. I was at my friends house and the neighbor brings him over in a rush and asks if we wanted him. He was bloody and cuts all over. He was trained to fight and was attacked and starved. But he’s sooooo loving! He has major jealousy and territorial issues. He’s not good around other dogs for the most part. We just got a puppy Belgium malinois and he’s attacked her twice very bad in the ear. The first time he was very territorial over us and didn’t like not being the only one so we kept a muzzle on him for a while trying to get him used to her. It’s been a few months and he’s grown closer and can finally have them around each other mo problem. Today they were acting like BFF and running around everywhere… few hours later he was playing with a toy and she went near him and he attacked her I couldn’t get him off her and my bf had to hit him to get her off of her. He put a hole in her ear. I don’t want to get rid of him he’s my best friend… He has random triggers that I can’t predict. No toys and food around when they are together obviously. I just don’t know how to prevent this and make him better. I can’t have him hurt her again…. has anyone used a shock collar to train and if so does it help?

    • Anna

      Shannon, please DO NOT use a shock collar. When a dog is fighting, a shock collar will make it worse, not better. Shock collars require very specific timing to use properly. They could be used the moments BEFORE a fight to stop it, but this is only in certain circumstances. You have to be able to recognize exactly when the moment to use it has passed so as to not actually provoke a fight that might have not happened.

      It is very unlikely you will ever get these two dogs to get along. Much more likely that your female is severely injured in a future fight. I hate to suggest this, but you should give the female dog up and never own another dog while you have this male. Pits are much better in one-dog households.

      Living a life of constantly swapping which dog is loose and which is locked away leads to misery for you and the dogs and to jealousy on the part of the dogs. Sooner or later a mistake will be made and the outcome is likely not good.

  • Rich

    Here’s the bottomline sure Pitbulls could be great dogs but their are those Pits that are very dangerous you already seen what they can do I live with one that has killed already it very hard to break up a fight cause if their lock jaw. They go for sude iof another’s face an wont let go. Just be careful