Dr. Jenna Arnaiz, an emergency-room vet at Seattle Veterinary Specialists in Kirkland, discusses how to stop a dogfight in the second in a series of posts on the subject from local behaviorists and veterinarians.

Jennaarnaiz.JPGDr. Jenna Arnaiz, an emergency-room vet at Seattle Veterinary Specialists in Kirkland, discusses how to stop a dogfight in the second in a series of posts on the subject from local behaviorists and veterinarians.

A family comes rushing into the ER. One dog may be walking with simple lacerations, and one dog may be limping on a limb with significant soft-tissue injuries.

The next victim is unable to walk, is in shock but responsive, with a spinal cord injury; the following victim is nonresponsive, barely breathing on its own, with significant head trauma.

These are only a few glimpses into the possible outcomes of a dog vs. dog fight or attack.

What do you do when dogs quarrel? Is there anything you can do to stop it? What can you do once it has started, and what do you do after?

Dogs fight for many reasons.

A few of the more common fight-triggering stimuli between dogs within the same household may be positioning for owner attention, food, during excited play or over a found item, or anxious times (family member leaving the house).

Less common triggers include one dog becoming weak or injured, shared furniture, changes in the home environment, loud noises or sharing walkways.

Territorial conflicts and fights for dominance are more common between dogs from separate households; however, the injuries associated with dogs from the same household tend to be more severe.