Page 43

ing up a dog fight when two are more handlers are present is: - Each handler slowly approaches their respective dog from behind. Simultaneously each handler firmly grabs hold of the back legs of the fighting dog above the knees and below the hips, picking him up like a wheelbarrow and walking backwards with him. If one dog is on top of the other, the top dog should be pulled up and away first, and the bottom dog should be pulled back as soon as he stands up. - Moving away from the other dog, handlers will then quickly circle to one side, in an arc-like fashion, to make the dogs hold themselves upright by following the circular pattern with their front paws. If the handler stops moving, the dog may turn around and bite him. The dogs will have to use their front legs to remain standing and moving, rendering them unable to continue fighting. - Handlers will move each dog to an enclosure where there are no other dogs, and where he can no longer see the dog with whom he was fighting. If there are no enclosures to retreat to, the handlers will continue moving until the dogs have calmed enough to be safely attached to a leash, and then secured to fencing, an awning post, or whatever else is handy (and secure). The handlers will turn the dogs away from one another, or otherwise create a barrier so they cannot see one another. - Handlers should remain as calm as possible and refrain from shouting and screaming as this will likely exasperate the dogs’ arousal, making the fight worse. - Some facilities require their staff to practice this protocol with fake dogs on a regular basis, just like they would a fire drill. - Once calm enough, the dogs are to be kenneled immediately and checked for injuries. The dogs should be escorted separately to their respective kennels. o While the fight is being addressed, at least one other employee should check the dogs who were in the same play area, for any possible injuries they may have received prior to being removed from the run. If any of these dogs received injuries, their owners are to be notified immediately, and the dogs should be checked by a vet. o The dogs who were involved in the fight must also be checked for injuries. o Owners of the dogs who were involved in the fight are to be notified immediately. Each of the fighting dogs should be checked by a vet, even if there are no apparent wounds. o The facility may or may not be held responsible for injury-related medical bills and/or behavior modification costs that may be necessary as a result of the incident. The facility will not be responsible for these costs if it is discovered that one or more of the dogs involved in the fight has a bite history, or a history of fear and/or aggression with other dogs and their owners misrepresented it on their application. Owners of dogs who lied about their dog(s)' history and/or current behavioral tendencies may be held financially and/or otherwise responsible for other dog(s)' injury-related medical bills and/or behavior modification costs that may be necessary as a result of the incident. Those owners may also be held financially responsible for medical bills the staff incur as a result of breaking up the fight, as well as wages lost if injuries required a leave of absence from work. o The dogs who were involved in the fight are to be kept separate from one another, while at the facility, for all future visits. The facility should strongly consider the dogs non-can-

PET CARE

didates for group play in general and may even choose to refuse them service in the future. n In the second part of this article, we will continue to examine the minimum standards clients should expect from a boarding or day care facility.

Resources

Overall, K. (2012, March). Dumbed Down By Dominance, Part 1: Exploring our misconceptions and myths about human-pet relationships. Retrieved January 20, 2017, from www .veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dumbed-down-dominance-part-1 Overall, K. (2012, April). Dumbed Down By Dominance, Part 2: Change Your Dominant Thinking. Retrieved January 20, 2017, from www.veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dumbed-down-dominance-part-2-change-your-dominant-thinking Pet Professional Guild. (2012). Guiding Principles. Retrieved January 5, 2017, from www.petprofessionalguild.com /PPGs-Guiding-Principles Pet Professional Guild. (2012). How to Break up Dog Fights. Retrieved January 5, 2017, from www.petprofessionalguild.com /Resources/Documents/Breaking%20up%20Dog%20Fights.pdf Lauri Bowen-Vaccare ABCDT is the owner of Warren, Kentucky-based Believe In Dog, LLC, www.believeindog .weebly.com, and is an honors graduate of Animal Behavior College, with a specialty in training shelter dogs. Her focus is on the dog-human team, and she specializes in reactivity, resource guarding, fearful and timid dogs, bringing outside dogs in, and outside pet dogs. She also advises and assists trainers who want to cross over to force-free training.

BARKS from the Guild/March 2017

43

BARKS from the Guild March 2017  

The bi-monthly trade publication from the Pet Professional Guild covering all things animal behavior and training, canine, feline, equine, p...

BARKS from the Guild March 2017  

The bi-monthly trade publication from the Pet Professional Guild covering all things animal behavior and training, canine, feline, equine, p...