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Written by
Ed Frawley

Most Popular

01/ How To Housebreak A Puppy or Older Dog

02/ The Problem with All-Positive Training

03/ My Dog is Dog Aggressive

04/ How to Fit a Prong Collar

05/ Introducing a New Dog into a Home with Other Dogs

Emails about Dog Bites & Dog Attacks Page 2 (Warning: Graphic photos of dog bites below)

How to Break up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt
Ed Frawley discusses two different ways to break up a dog fight whether you're alone or with someone.

See Page 1 | Page 2

Dog Bite:

March 10, 2015

Pictures of bite trying to break up a fight. 

Dog Bite:

January 3, 2015

Hi Jeff,
Like most everyone else's story, I found your website too late to prevent my injury.  I board dogs at my home and was just letting everyone inside after a potty break when my lab mix and a guest dog (chow mix) started to fight.  It was a pretty serious fight and I went to grab my dog's collar and slipped on the wet concrete and my legs slipped right between them.  The chow mix got a hold of my right leg two or three times and my dog got my left hand.   I ended up with five deep puncture wounds on my leg and my hand swelled so bad that I had to have my wedding ring cut off, not to mention that the crush injury lacerated a tendon.  

I can't blame either dog and have no ill feelings towards them.  It was my own fault for not keeping a level head and approaching the fight the correct way.  

Dog Bite:

December 27, 2014

Good Morning, Ed.  In your video you refer to the leash as a police leash.It didn't appear to have a prong collar attached.  It had connectors at both ends so you could attach one side to the dogs back haunches on one side, and an immovable object, like a table leg, on the other end.

I'm very little. I'm 5" 2' and 115. I have four dogs, two males are fixed; my gsd/boxer mix and my glen terrier. Two unfixed, a male and female labradoodle. My GSDx is well over 100 lbs. My terrier is 35 lbs. The doodles are splits, we own half and a breeder owns half, they weigh between 45 and 50 lbs. They recognize each other as "same" and stick together. The male doodle always fights with my little terrier, then the female doodle jumps in, then my big dog jumps in to take the male doodle off the terrier. It's a mess.

Anyway, the night that it happened the kids were in the bedroom with the GSD and the female doodle. I was washing doodles and all the lights were off in the living and dining room. I heard the male doodle attack my terrier and I ran into the living room to stop it. I grabbed the doodles collar to get him off the terrier and was about to grab the terriers collar with my other hand when the terrier went for the doodles neck, and got my hand instead. I know he didn't know it was me. It was dark and my hand was under all of the doodles fur. He just shook me like a rag doll. When I screamed and he realized it was me, he let go. It took just a few seconds, a blink of an eye and three metacarpals, and one wrist bone was broken. I asked the doc at the er how bad it was, he said, "Have you ever seen a dog crunch a chicken bone?" Ug.

They never fight when my husband is home. Only when I'm alone. Grabbing the collars always worked for me in the past, until the one time it didn't. Believe me, I will never do it again. I have searched the internet for almost two months since it happened looking for a solution to this problem. The "dog whisperer" is a flake and wrote that it's all about "your energy" and to grab the collar.  Then I was going to buy a shock collar, but I read or watched one of your videos that said not to use a shock collar, that it could make it worse.  Which actually made sense once you explained it. After two months of research, yours is the only solution that is reasonable and makes sense.  I am unable to turn a dog in my house, it's much too small.  But I can grab one and hook him to a granite table, and get the other out of the room with a different collar.

If all four went at it, all I can do is keep myself and the kids clear. Like you said in the video, it isn't going to stop. The only thing I can do to minimize the damage to humans and dogs is to have a good plan, and the right tools. So, I need your help. Following are two pictures of my hand. The first taken at the hospital, the second was taken a day later before I saw my surgeon for the first time. I think I'm going to be okay. They took the cast off, but am supposed to wear a heavy splint for 24 hours except when I'm soaking my hand in hot water. I see the surgeon again on the 30th. A second, maybe two, and a little dog can cause devastating injury. Can you imagine if it had been a child, or one of the bigger dogs?

Following are my pictures. Thank you, and let me know which collars to buy.

Ed's Response:

This is terrible and you are right about how severe it is.

The leash I spoke about is the police leash.

I assume you read the article I wrote on HOW TO BREAK UP A DOG FIGHT WITHOUT GETTING HURT.

I need to say that if we had these dogs (and we have 4 house dogs), we would manage the dogs differently so these fights never happened. We use ex-pens in our living room and dog crate for the young female that is still in training. We also have ex-pens in our garage and in our porch bedhind our home.

The one female is NEVER left off leash both outside and in the house. When she comes out of the ex-pen she is on leash. She is 8 1/2 months old and has never been off leash with the other three dogs.

You hit the nail on the head when you said when you said grabbing the collar worked up to this one time. I have a saying I use a lot "YOU ARE OK UNTIL YOU'RE NOT!!"

You are also 100% right on the Dog Whisperer. He is a nice guy but not a dog trainer. What he shows people is DANGEROUS for beginners. Plus a lot of what he does is drop dead wrong. He was a dog groomer and not a dog trainer.

I think I'll write a short article with pictures on how we manage the dogs in our home.

This year we started online training classes. I am currently working on one for dominant and aggressive dogs. There is a real need for accurate information so things like this don't happen.

Ed Frawley

Dog Bite:

November 21, 2014

From trying to pry a Rhodesian Ridgeback's jaw off a Tibetan Terrier's neck. Female attacked male, jealousy and dominance seem to be cause of aggression. Tip of finger still attached with 3 loose "realigning" stitches. Morale of photo, don't stick fingers in Ridgeback's mouth during attack!!!

Dog Bite:

May 27, 2014

So my two females are fighting. Well, technically only one wants to fight the other is just defending herself. My dad had to step in cause if not my other dog would have lost her face.

Dog Bite:

May 1, 2014

I just read your article in breaking up a dog fight, and thought id send you these two pics.
This is my hand after being bitten by a dog who was attacking my dog. I tried to pull its mouth off my dog's neck and it bit me hard! I didn't feel it until after because I was too focused on protecting my dog. They were both Staffies but mine is a placid sook and the other was psycho.

Dog Bite:

May 1, 2014

Hello -

I just wanted to let you know how helpful your website has been to me over the past few months, and share with you a few photos of what happened to me when I broke up a fight.  

We recently brought a second Doberman into our home.  She is a spayed female, five years old, that we discovered at a rescue.  We also have a 7 year old female Doberman.  They are both spayed.  We have raised the 7-year old from a pup, and she had a female dalmatian companion until late last year when we had to put the dalmatian down at 16 years old.  They would play, snuggle, and never had any issues with each other.  The rescue had been in a foster with several other dogs - Dobermans and a Basset Hound, and was reported to be very easy going with them.  We were fairly confident that, while the initial "get to know you" period might have snags, the dogs would eventually get along. 

The initial meeting of the dogs was done at the rescue facility, with their trainers on hand.  It went relatively well, but had just enough tension that we crated one dog at a time for the ride home (it was a long drive, so we switched every hour or so).  Once we got home, we crated one dog at a time so they could get used to each other without too much physical contact.  After a week or so of that, they seemed to be accepting each other fairly well, so we let them out together in the house, but kept them leashed all the time, and kept all toys put away.  We would put one of them in the crate if we saw any posturing behavior.  We fed them in separate rooms, and would play with them separately (one outside, one inside) to prevent play from becoming competition.

About a month into the newly integrated pack, we were comfortable enough with the dogs' behavior toward each other that we took the leashes off in the house, and allowed them to just be in collars.  We still had the crate in use periodically.  Both dogs were never aggressive toward my husband or me - they would just occasionally posture toward each other, which would be promptly corrected by separation and crating.

However, one afternoon, I was home by myself with the dogs.  I don't know what started the fight, as my back was turned. No toys were down, there was no food, no trigger that I saw.  I heard them start fighting, turned around, and they were at each other's throats.  I thought I had seen dogs fight before, but I was truly unprepared for the violence of this fight.  In reality, it probably lasted less than five minutes, but it felt like hours.  I tried everything I could think of to get them apart - they had collars on, but I didn't want to grab those - way too close to their teeth!  I tried everything I could think of - loud noise, water thrown in their faces, smacking them on their back ends with a broom.... NOTHING worked.  I eventually remembered your tip about wrapping a leash around one dog's body in front of the back legs, and did that to the bigger of the two dogs.  I dragged her physically with the leash into a separate room, and closed the door in between the dogs.  I checked them one at a time for injuries - they had multiple punctures and cuts on their faces, ears, and necks.  The smaller of the two (the 7-year old) had two broken teeth.  They both had hematomas on their necks - the larger dog had more, because the underside of her neck was more accessible.  

At some point in the middle of the fight, my leg got bitten.  I have no memory of when it happened, and no idea which dog did it.  I didn't even know the bite was there until hours later, when I brushed my leg against something and it hurt.  I'm attaching two pictures so you can see what the aftermath was.  This was through a pair of thick jeans.  If I had been wearing shorts, I would have probably needed stitches.  

Thanks for all your great information.  My girls are finally used to each other, and it's largely due to the advice on your site.  The two dogs will probably never be best friends, but they tolerate each other, and play occasionally.  They respect each other's need for space, and haven't fought in months.  I've attached a recent photo of them together.

Thanks again, and keep the good information coming!

Dog Bite:

April 27, 2014

I was accidentally bitten trying to break up my registered 2.5 yr American Pit Bull Terrier, (90 lb) Tank, and my 5 yr old yellow Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback, (75 lb) Boo.

It occurred in my bedroom about 9pm. The fight broke out in seconds: both dogs were silent, displayed aggressive posture for a split second, then lunged into each other in a bloody "to the death" battle.

I tried to remain calm & think. I grabbed a blanket off my bed and threw it over Tank (neither dog was submissive AND both were bleeding profusely and biting the other dog's face/throat.) With the surprise darkness, Tank let go & I grabbed the back of Boo's collar to pull him away from Tank. As soon as I got a grip on Boo's collar, Tank came bolting out of the blanket and I grabbed his collar (w/my left hand) as he lunged at Boo (who I drug to my right side). Tank's jaws sunk into my right thigh before I could drag him to my side. He released my leg immediately, but he & Boo were still struggling to re-attack each other.

I was able to drag them to the bathroom & close one inside. I then washed & assessed each dog's wounds, separately. Both were bloody, drooling and full of puncture wounds & tears in their heads & necks but w/o any life-threatening issues.

Checking my leg, I noticed 4 puncture wounds and redness. It was late so I washed & put neosporin on the holes. By the next day, my injury had swelled up to 1/2 football size and the redness was turning purple & spreading up & down my entire thigh, so I went to the ED.

My thigh had also developed blisters & the area between the 4 punctures was turning black. The ED physician put me on IV antibiotics & referred me to a "wound specialist" physician in 2 days w/10 days of oral antibiotics.

The wound docter explained though I only had 4 puncture wounds, Tank's jaws in a split second delivered a devastating crush injury. The black skin was dead. Before he removed a portion of it w/a scalpel, he asked if I wanted a localized painkiller. I thumped the black area & told him I had zero feeling so no. He said the nerves on & under the mark were necrotic or dead as well.

I had to go to wound treatment appts for 6 mths or so; daily, I had to rinse the wound/gaping hole w/an antibiotic wash, stuff the hole w/six to eight 4" x 4" gauze pads soaked in saline, then a dry dressing (to absorb the dissolving or "granulating" thigh tissue). The dry dressing would be soaked 24 hrs later.

It took about 9 months for the hole to close up enough that I could just use an extra-large band-aid and 12 mths to close completely.

Attached is 18 mths post bite.

The dogs have been buddies since except for 2 minor squabbles that I was able to diffuse almost immediately.

Tank came into my home at 9 wks and Boo was 3 yrs old.

Every time I glance @ my scar, I'm reminded how in the heat of battle, the most loving, gentle dog doesn't "see his owner," only a barrier/thing impeding his fight response.

Jeff's Response:

Very sorry to hear about your dog bite.  The recovery from a dog bite is probably worse than the bite itself, and it sounds like yours was long.  Thank you for sharing your story. 

Breaking up a dog fight is a very dangerous thing to do.  We have a free video on our sit about how to do it safely, however even in that video we tell people that if they are not 100% confident in their ability to break up the fight, they should let it go rather than risk injuring themselves in the process.  Hopefully your story will help someone else learn how dangerous dog fights really are.

Jeff Frawley

Dog Bite:

January 31, 2014

Hi Ed and Cindy,

I am very new to your website. I was given the link on your article about preventing dog bites in children. Unfortunately my daughter was bitten by a friends dog last summer. Although I thought I had driven home how she should treat dogs she did make a mistake but the largest problem was the negligence on the owners part. I am contacting you after the article you had responded to a women about using photos of her daughter in a book you were writing. Are you still in need of photos? Although my daughters face has healed well and the plastic surgeon did a great job, the before photos are quite shocking. We have discussed it and my daughter would love to be able to help protect other children. Please let me know if you are interested in the photos. 


Cindy's Response:

Hi Melanie, 

Thanks for writing, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's bite.  We would appreciate any photos you could share along with any information you can provide about the circumstances that led up to the bite. 

Warm Regards,
Cindy Rhodes

Information & Photos:

Dear Cindy,

Attached are the photos I took of my daughter the day of the incident.  At the time my daughter was 9 1/2.  The dog that bit her is an Australian Shepard and was about 3 years old, she had been with the owner since she was a few months old.  During those years my daughter had been around the dog since it was first brought home by the family.   She would often play with the dog in the families home and in their yard.  

On the day of the incident my daughter, my son (age 7), the owners two children (ages 11 & 14) and another neighbors daughter (age 12) were playing in the owners front yard.  From here the rest of the story has been retold to me by my children, no adult was present and the owners and I have not had a full conversation as to what happened.  It pains me to even repeat this because there are so many points that I, as a responsible dog owner know are a bad situation.  The children and the dog were in the front yard together, the dog was chained up and chewing on a bone.  The daughter of the owner took a small plastic golf ball and threw it to/at the dog to try and get it to play.  My children followed suit and threw balls to/at the dog.  The dog in turn did not react to any of the balls. It did not move, growl, bark or make eye contact with them.  After a few balls were thrown the oldest child told them to stop throwing the balls and they did.  A few moments later my daughter went to go retrieve the balls that were within a few feet of the dog, while she was crouched down the dog leapt and bit her in the face.  The dog gave no warning of being upset, it continued to chew on its bone while lieing on the ground, no growling, no barking, no eye contact at all.

It wasn't until afterwards that I was told by my children that the dog repeatedly bit the children in the home, another neighbor child and my son at one point! I do not know how badly they were ever bitten, I assume they were snipped at.  When my husband went to the home immediately after our daughter was bit the older child of the home told him that the dog had bit him before.  Although I had talked to my children repeatedly and rarely let them pet an unknown dog, my biggest regret is trusting the owners to know as much about dogs as I do.  The chain, the bone, the unsupervised children and dog were a disaster waiting to happen.  

I'm sharing this in hopes that other parents and dog owners can learn from our mistakes.  If you have any questions please let me know.


Dog Bite:

December 29, 2013

A bite I received in April trying to pull my pitbull off of my pug. The first one is the top of my arm – you’ll see the half-circle impression from the dog’s top jaw.  The second one is the underside of my arm where the two canine teeth went in.

dog bite to arm

Dog Bite:

November 17, 2013

Dog Bite:

November 3, 2013

These are pictures of me after separating one of my Italian greyhounds and a foster Italian greyhound that is not even ten pounds.  My dog has Addison's disease and I did not want her to get bitten.  I didn't expect when I turned my back to him that he would latch on to my leg with several bites. It happened so fast.  He has been tossed around from shelter to shelter, foster to foster.  I feel empathy towards him, he warmed up to me but I still see signs of aggression and I am afraid he will be un adoptable. I don't know what to do. These are pictures of the brushing after the bites on my calf and ankle respectively. There have been no dog fights since. Thank you

dog bite

Jeff's Response:

Sorry to hear about your incident.  It looks painful  I hope it heals up quickly.

Without knowing much about the dog.  I would recommend working a bunch of engagement with him just to build a relationship before you try any type of training.  Here is a link to a short video of Michael Ellis discussing the importance of establishing a good relationship with police dogs before they do any training with a new handler. I know this is not the same situation but the majority of it will still apply to your dog.

I would also recommend managing him and not allowing any contact with other dogs.  When you do find a home for him I would try your best to find a single dog home eo he does not end up biting someone who does know anything about dog behavior and ends up being put down.

Sorry again to hear about this and I wish you the best of luck.

Jeff Frawley

Dog Bite:

September 23, 2013

Here is a picture of a dog bite received while trying to break up a fight between my two beloved dogs, 85lbs & 65lbs. The bite went into the muscle and I have to see a plastic surgeon on Tuesday. Any advice of how to keep dogs from fighting that have been fine for 4 years? It is the dominant dog starting the fight and not linked to toys, food or me being present (fought without me).

Dog Bite on Leg

Dog Bite:

September 13, 2013

I was bite today by my 11 month old male shiba inu who weighs 20lbs. After finding your site on how to break up a dog fight I saw you were looking photos of the bite so here is mine.

Dog Bite on Hand

Dog Bite:

September 7, 2013

Hey Jeff... I hate it when an unstable/unbalanced dog tries to dominate My Boy Blade (American Bulldog)...The other dog starts the fight and he can finish it, unless I stop him... The other owner JUST sees a dog fight started by both of them... This is not true as you would well know... The micro-gestures and body language of the troublesome dog is the TRUE start of the dog fight... This is the result   :(

Dog Bite on Fingers

Dog Bite:

September 4, 2013

I work with rescue dogs, mostly with behavior issues.  I have been in the middle of several dog fights and had to learn the hard way what to do and what not to do!  I had my pinky severed and a massive bite on my hand, that has pretty much ruined my career as a massage therapist. :( Here are a couple of pictures!  

Dog Bite on Hand

Dog Bite:

September 4, 2013

Yes, it is my finger. And yes, I'm an idiot. I had two female pit bulls both around 4 years old at my house, one was my own dog the other was a friend's. Basically food aggression ran heavy in both of them andddd I was the one in the middle. On my birthday. Almost lost my finger. I wish I would have thought quicker to do the pulling of the legs or at least been smart enough to not throw my hand in between them. Not quite sure what i was thinking. Its been almost a year and I've got about 90% motion in it, but still. It was completely my fault and both dogs were okay, thank god. I absolutely learned from my mistake, that's for sure! 

Hope this doesn't gross you out too much!

Dog Bite on Finger

Dog Bite:

August 20, 2013

Hi Cindy, I wanted to make a contribution to the dog bite photo, I know there was an email address set for that specifically but I couldn't find it, only that this is not a domestic one, it's a sport dog bite. This one should be filed under the category "stupid helper too lazy to put on the protective suit." This is a friend of mine who was starting aggression on a young GSD through a fence, when suddenly the dog popped his head and almost half his body out through the fence holes and got him a good one on the leg. We never expected the dog to get his head out because we didn't believe a) that he would fit and b) that he would even try it, the holes were only 15 cms big. Those few seconds when the dog got to him nearly gave me a heart attack, when you can't see if the dog got to the flesh or if it's just the clothes, but it was a relief when the dog pulled and it only ripped the pants. He does have the dog's fangs printed on his calf but it was a minimal injury compared to what it could have been. I hope it serves as a cautionary tale and reminder to always wear protective equipment.

Dog Bite on Leg

Dog Bite:

August 12, 2013

I happened upon your website while searching for ways to stop a dog fight.  I haven't gotten beyond the request for photos of bites.  I (stupidly) broke up a fight between our two male St. Bernards and as a result sustained 12 bites, all serious, some extremely serious.  I took photos of them to remind me of what a mistake I made.  Didn't have to...I have the scars to remind me.  Two of the bites were through jeans. A great advertisement for the jeans...not even a little tear to the fabric but serious puncture wounds to my leg; one on my stomach and the remaining nine on my hand (with lacerations to a finger) and arm.  While recently breaking up another fight between two different dogs, I sustained another wound--this one a very large tear on my hand.  I hope I've finally learned my lesson, but I'm female, a mother, and my instinct is to immediately jump in and stop them from hurting one another. I know...really bad idea.  My husband is running low on sympathy for me so I have to figure out a better way to do this.


Looking at my photos again, most of them are blurry or understated.  I've attached  two of my leg.  The lacerations on my finger are too blurred and that's too bad because those have caused me the most trouble--had to see a hand specialist. I took all the photos, with the exception of my leg, with my left hand so none is very good. An aside---one of the punctures on my arm was stitched at the ER because it was pretty gaping. My doctor removed the stitch. I noticed this was addressed on your website. The bites to my leg were kind of interesting.  Doctor said the upper and lower canines met inside the tissue.  If the dog had pulled away with his teeth still closed, a big chunk of my leg would have gone with him. I'm very thankful to God that didn't happen! At one point I was knocked onto the floor. My shoe has a bite mark! The only photo I have of my left hand (latest fight) is with the three butterfly bandages my husband (former EMT) used to close the large V-shaped flap. Also have a full-bite mark but those punctures are all quite shallow. I refused to go to the hospital again and couldn't face my doctor (a pride thing, I guess), but with the left-over super strong antibiotics, Epson salt soaks, and wonderful steri strips, I'm doing great. I smiled when your video I watched talked about women viewing their dogs as children, and them not being able to be very firm. I think I will purchase the video about establishing pack rank. We have five large dogs, and we've been through all kinds of positive motivation training. The pack leader issue struck a chord with me because although I can give commands and dole out the treats, when push comes to shove, they're going to do it their way. So much for obedience training! We have some interesting dynamics here including the 'downstairs St. Bernard' being a rescue who bit my husband before THE fight occurred and was then not adoptable. My husband kept him to avoid his euthanization.  My Saint hates him which led to the first fight. I was not encouraged by the ‘one fight, expect another one' philosophy in your video. We permanently separated the two male St. Bernards after the fight but my Saint, left upstairs, got into it with one of our two goldendoodles...who has fought with a collie we had. A male Saint, and a female goldendoodle.  The fight seemed to be over me and that was perplexing. What a mess!

Well, if you can use the photos, great.  Thanks for your time and your website!

Dog Bite on Leg

Dog Bite:

July 22, 2013

You're website is VERY informational, thank you. I thought I should share with you a couple bites I have occured during my ordeals with my two dogs. Believe it or not these injures are from my wheaten terrier. Presently, I separate them much differently. The issue now is to somehow get the aggression towards the pit mix under control. I'm just so grateful the pit mix is so kind and gentle.

Thanks again

Dog Bite on Arm and Hand

Dog Bite:

July 19, 2013

I am some pretty severe dog bites after trying to break up a fight between two males the other night if you're interested.

My dogs are actually both total love bugs and get along well with other dogs. I think they are just trying to establish the alpha dog role in the house. I know that's supposed to be my role, but they aren't catching on.

Anyway, this fight was between a Xoloitzcuintle (they don't even have a full mouth of teeth, but they do have canines) and a Boxer. Both fantastic, sweet dogs, but just aren't getting along right now. The Xolo is neutered, the Boxer is being neutered on Tuesday. After reading the article on your site, I will be muzzling them before letting them near each other again. Hopefully one day I will be able to let them in the same room together again.

dog bite on arm

Dog Bite:

July 4, 2013

My two dogs fighting. Both around 80-85 lbs. I was lucky!

Dog bite before and after stitches.

Dog Bite before and after stitches

Dog Bite:

June 28, 2013

Dog bite and scratches on arm

Dog Bite:

May 7, 2013

This is what happened when I was knocked over while attempting to break up a fight between 2 dogs. My leg ended up in the middle of things, so to speak, and one of them got hold of it, probably thinking it was the other dog. You have my permission to use the photo on your website, if you would like.

- K

Dog Bite on Leg / Ankle

Dog Bite:

March 1, 2013

How to train the human to break up a dog fight?
I normally don't have more than 2 or 3 dogs. I've rescued and adopted mainly German Shepherds, but ventured off into the Doberman Pinschers for 7 years now. Never had problems until my alpha female attacked my 18 month old female while playing fetch. My mistake after the fact. All calmed down. They got along since, until I brought in a 3 month old puppy and after 4 days, they got into again, and like normal, I put my hands to their heads to break them up and got 20 stitches to the backside of my hand. Instant reaction on my part. What can you advise and effective tools to use in a quick situation to pull them apart before serious damage to dogs, and owners? My friend says choke them out, but I feel there are more tools I can learn. This is a powerful breed. So I am looking for some experienced and professional dog trainer experience that I can gain wisdom from.

Cindy's Response:

I would first advise to avoid putting the dogs in high excitement situations together (like playing fetch). Since you know that a dog fight may occur, I'd set yourself up for success.

I'd highly recommend the videos Pack Structure for the Family Pet and Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

We have a number of eBooks that may help you, including one about how to break up dog fights.

We also have a short free video about this on our streaming video section. You can search for it using the search box located on the top of the page.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Thanks… attached are before and after ER did 20 stitches.

Anyhow, I was on reading dog fight articles. Hopefully I learned a few things to do should it occur again. I hope it doesn’t. I also read about bringing in a new puppy in home when you have others, and now I am a pack leader of them all. So my work is cut out for this home to be happy.

Ps: I love the a lot of stuff on your website, and training philosophy with those years of experiences Ed has and you. ;o)

dog bite on hand

Dog Bite on hand

bandaged hand

Dog Bite:

February 18, 2013


I just read the article on your site about how to break up a dog fight-- very well written, with lots of good information! Unfortunately, this info came after the fact for me.

I just wanted to include a photo of a nasty bite that I received after trying to break up a fight between my dog (intact male, Dogue de Bordeaux), and a known aggressive Golden Retriever (also intact male.) Of course, I followed my instinct and dove in the middle of it trying to get them apart... and this was the result. Fortunately, my brother is an M.D. and knew how best to deal with this type of injury, and am now almost 100% recovered (3 months later).

Thank you for all of the invaluable information on the site---as well as the well-made collars and leashes. Everything a dog owner will ever need can be found on the Leerburg website!

dog bite on hand

Dog Bite:

January 21, 2013

The pics I included are my daughters bites In the hospital waiting room.

Yesterday morning my 4 year old daughter got up early. Her and my husband went into the living room to watch TV, Loki was still asleep on the couch. She and Loki have always had a very good relationship. He seemed to like her best of the kids and was always very protective of her. She was on one couch watching TV, Loki was on the love seat across from her. He was looking at her, she got up, crossed to pet him. She pet the top of his head, ran her hand down the back of it to his shoulders and he growled and instantly SNAP! He bit her. We don't know what provoked him. We had to go to the ER. They don't, as a rule, stitch dog bites unless absolutely necessary. If they had, she would have needed about 3-4. Loki now has to undergo 10 days rabies observation. We know we failed him, his whole life. We know that he never should have been allowed on the couch, etc. We know we failed in many ways. We understand he's a good dog, would never have him put down but also know that we keep things like this. After a lot of tears and much discussion we decided to relocate him to my inlaws. 2km up the road, where there is a lot. My husband is there every day. Loki is used to them and was there a couple times a week anyway. That way we can keep him in our lives and us and the kids can still have a good relationship with him. We figure he only has a year or so left and there he can live it out in peace. We don't know 100% if that was the right decision, but it was the best for our family. We have to put the kids' safety first.

dog bite

Dog Bite:

December 27, 2012

I have a dog and my mother has 2 dogs. My dog is a lab pit mix I rescued at 2 and her dogs are lab mixes. Honey (pit mix) was on one side of a garbage bag and the other two were on the other side. Since they smelled the food, Honey began to growl as well as the other two. A fight broke out between Honey and one of the other dogs. We separated them with no injuries to us. 30 minutes later they saw each other again and went at it, this time worse. They wouldn't let go of each others faces so I tried to pry their mouths off (I knew this was stupid but worried for their lives). Finally got them apart for good after much wrestling.

dog bite on fingers

Dog Bite:

December 17, 2012

Hi. I came across your website due to a recent dog bite. In response to your request for photos, I’ve attached one of my forearm. It’s graphic. Thankfully it stitched up well and I don’t think I’ll have a noticeable scar. It was almost an inch deep at the lower end.

My bite is healing well. The doctor stitched it up loosely so that it would drain, and I’m on a strong dose of augmentin every 8 hrs for 10 days. I sent the dog to her trainer the next morning and she stayed there 4 days. I have instructions from her on what to change and how to treat the dog.

Here’s the background - I have a 33 lb 2 yr old border collie mix who’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned by far, but she’s also high energy. She’s very obedient. I adopted her from the shelter when she was about 9 mo old. Been through a basic obedience class, herding classes, and agility classes. She’s not stubborn and does what I tell her. Lights up when she gets a “good girl!”. BUT…when my 12 yr old 82 lb australian shepherd slightly bucks her perceived authority, she jumps him. He has arthritis in his hips and just finished his 2nd 5 mo round of chemo for lymphoma. I’m not going to let her jump on him. I also have had a 12 lb rat terrier mix for about 2 mo. She’s a year old and the most balanced of the 3.

This side of her personality surfaces when she hasn’t had enough exercise. It’d been raining for several days, so they’d been in their crates inside during my workdays. The old aussie was grumpy because he was stiff (when he can go out during the day he moves great), and she was on edge from her pent up energy. The rat terrier barked at the older dog twice, like she was trying to get him to play. The border collie heard it and came to the kitchen ready to whip someone. I had my back turned. Saw her put her foot across the aussie’s back, and I scolded her and put her on the ground because I knew she was about to start a fight (this usually works – I hold her gently until she relaxes and then let her go and she’ll go lick his face or something). She didn’t give up and got away from me and attacked him anyway. I wasn’t thinking, and instinctively grabbed her by the base of her tail and pulled her away. She turned around and bit my arm. Briefly chewed on it. I didn’t let go of her tail and I tossed her out the door into the fenced yard. I was pouring blood. Neither of them had a drop on them. The rat terrier didn’t get involved thank goodness, and the aussie obeyed me when I pulled her away and he laid down and stayed.

She’s nipped my arm before, but never bit and held on like that. I’d noticed in the day or two leading up that she would give him “that look” once in awhile. He looks away when she does and nothing else comes of it.

I’ve been too soft with her because she’s so incredibly sweet and loving and snuggly. Those things have changed. She’s working for every bit of food, play, love, etc that she gets. No longer sleeping on the bed, where she’d sleep against me and sometimes share my pillow. She’s on Prozac for a short time, maybe a month, to take the edge off.

My lesson here - No matter how sweet your dog is, it’s capable of this. Even her trainer can’t believe she could do this after spending nearly 24 hrs a day for 4 days with her. She kept her in the house and treated her like her own dog. She’s known my dog for a year now and adores her. This dog is not a hard head. The trainer and I agreed that you could not force her to bite you in any other situation short of inflicting severe pain on her. She’s a happy, playful, smart little girl who willingly submits to me.

dog bite on arm

Dog Bite:

December 17, 2012

Alpha female Wolfhound and wild Kenya dog cross bit me. Dog brought from Kenya.

dog bite on forehead

Dog Bite:

December 1, 2012

I was breaking up a dog fight and this is the result. I was in and out of the hospital numerous times. I had osteomyelitis, the dog bit through my bone and I had a horrible infection. Still dealing with issues a year later.

Thank you for a great website.

dog bite on finger

Dog Bite:

November 27, 2012

The attached pics are a result of me trying to break up a fight between my two APBT’s over a bone aggression dispute. I tried to get between them and was bit in the ankle.
I have since read your article on the proper way to break up a fight. Unfortunately, I’m usually alone with the dogs, so I’ll have to try the leash loop and anchor method in most cases.

It would be much easier if I could prevent my male APBT from being so aggressive over his bone and food…

Anyway, enjoy!

Dog bite on foot

Ed's Response:


Thanks for sending these photos – others will stop and think about how dangerous breaking up a fight is.

Stopping this from happening again is a simple issue:

  1. 1- These dogs never get bones outside of a dog crate.
  2. 2- They get fed in dog crates.

We have 4 house dogs and would never give bones when any are together. It is an invitation for a fight

If you don’t own crates, my gut feeling is that you could have bought two for what the medical bills were on this nasty bite.


Ed Frawley

Dog Bite:

November 21, 2012

Hello Cindy,

Today I had my 1st incident of being caught in the cross fire of a dog fight. I am sitting a neighbor's dog (border collie-lab mix) and had her over for a play date with my two girls (lab & lab mix). All three dogs are very docile & loving...

My neighbor's dog had already had a few play dates in the past with one of my dogs but today was her 1st time meeting my latest girl. I followed normal procedures when introducing the dogs and they did their typical sniffing each other & seemed fine with each other. My neighbor's dog began to play with my dog which she had previously played with in the past while my newer dog watched. However, every now & then my newer dog got a little anxious & would bark at my neighbor's dog which she would snap back but continue to play... after period of running around & chasing each other, when I looked outside my window they were all relaxing & taking naps. It was getting late & it was feeding time so I walked outside to get my neighbor's dog to take her home and all the dogs got excited & next then I knew my neighbor's dog & my newer dog were at it. I tried staying calm but of course since I never been in this position before, I reacted and attempted to pull the dogs apart... after several attempts I finally began to drag my dog into the house & use the sliding door to break them apart but in the process my neighbor's dog got a bite of me inadvertently. I don't understand how two dogs that are docile & tender could turn so quickly??

Needless to say after this experience I began to look up best practices for breaking up a dog fight... and I am grateful I found your website. I have read your articles & have found them to be very informative & insightful...wish I had read them sooner & hope to never had to be in that position again but if I am I now know what to do.

As you mentioned in your article, I have attached a few fotos.

Dog Bite

Dog Bite:

October 12, 2012

Hello. I came across your website trying to find a safer and proper way to handle a dog fight after being bit. I just recently moved in with my friend who also owns a dog. I have had my dog since she was a baby and is very social and friendly. My friend adopted a larger dog who has a strike record from attacking a small dog. It has been awhile that they have been living together but her dog seems to get aggressive without any provocation lately, which led to the incident last night. She started to dominantly hover and growl, then attacked. We instinctively grabbed both dogs by the collar area but the larger dog had a grip on mine. Fearing she was going to rip her jowl in half, I forced myself in between, knowing most likely I would take on some damage. I was bitten on my left hand, but also when separated she snapped back and I lucky only got a small wound to my right cheek. Both dogs went unharmed.

I hope that we can learn from your instructions and next time have a clean getaway. Thank you.

Dog Bite on face and hand

Dog Bite:

August 27, 2012

Sorry for the graphic pics, but it tells the story better. Our jack Russell got into it with my year old lab. Rather than have a dead jack I intervened, (misteaks) she was in a different place in her mind, bit me to the point of canines about an inch deep in 4 places. The jack Russell did all the biting on me. I am buying a co2 extinguisher, sounds like an awesome idea. It will be a week before I can move my wrist! Hope this convinces some people to stay out of it.

dog bite on arm and hand

Dog Bite:

August 7, 2012

The hand bite was from my own dog. One catahoula and a black mouthed cur. The cur got my hand, broke 3 knuckles. Then knocked me down and got my right knee. One week in hospital. 2 surgeries. Left hand will never be the same.

dog bite on hand

Dog Bite:

August 3, 2012

I broke up a dog fight in my house (between a Great Dane and a Pit/Lab) the wrong way today... found your website AFTER the fact. Here's a photo! Thank you for the great information.. now I know what to do if it happens again.

dog bite

Dog Bite:

July 11, 2012

I saw on your website that you're looking for photos from dog bites. Here's one of my boyfriend when my husky and put bull were fighting.

Dog Bite - Arm

Dog Bite:

July 6, 2012


I'm glad i just came across your site, it has given me a lot of tips on what to do the next time of a dog fight. I myself have 2 male dogs that all they want to do when they see each other is fight, it hasn't always been like this, just recently we've moved into a new home, and ever since than they've been getting into it. I don't know what to do. But about a month ago, me and my wife were walking them, separately of coarse, and the smaller dog slip out of the leash ran to my other and they began to fight.. This is about the third time in 2 months. Its been really bad, where they are both bleeding really bad. Well this last time, I tried to break it up and got bitten, my thumb was fractured, and 2 knuckles were shattered, and about 7 punctures in my hand. Here is also after it healed... I just want to say thank you for the info I've found on your site.

Have a blessing day

dog bite on hand

Dog Bite:

July 5, 2012

I was reading your website about what to do in a dog fight (a little too late). Here is a picture of my arm after trying to break up a fight between my 2 dogs.

My husband and I were walking my daughter's dog and our two dogs (using a double leash). A man with a pit bull came down the street so we stepped aside to let him pass. Instead of walking by, he stopped and had his dog sit and it appeared that he wanted his dog to appear that it was challenging our dogs. My two dogs started fighting and when I tried to break them up, I got bitten. These two dogs (one a pit bull/yellow lab and the other a German shepherd mix) have gotten into several fights recently.

On one hand, they walk together on the double leash and are fine. The next minute, they are going after each other.

I thought you might want to see the bite and hear the story. What should we do? We love them both and don't want to part with either one.

Dog Bite

Cindy's Response:


I'm so sorry that you were injured, I hope the bite heals quickly.

If you spend some time reading this section on dog fights, you'll see that your problems are very common. I've received 6 or 7 emails just today from dog owners with very similar problems. If you don't teach the dogs your rules, they can't possibly behave how you want them to.

I would not walk them on a double leash, I would walk each one separately with one person handling a dog.

I would recommend dominant dog collar for them and the videos Pack Structure for the Family Pet and Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

I also would not allow these dogs to be together unless you had physical control of them.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you.

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top right corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it's very likely you'll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

Dog Bite:

June 26, 2012

I tried to break up a dog fight the other day neither dog has ever tried to bite me for any reason he didn't realize it was me he bit.

Dog Bite - Arm

Dog Bite:

May 31, 2012

I have attached pictures of my dog bite. This happened on Thursday, May 25th between my 6 year old chocolate lab & my 9 month old shep/lab mix. They are both females. I made the HUGE mistake of putting my hands between them. I was alone and could not get them apart. It was horrifying.

Dog Bite - Hand Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

May 25, 2012

In my incident my two lab pit mixes had gotten into a minor scuffle the night before over jealousy issues and were separated to two different parts of the house. My wife’s nephew that was living with us at the time left the door open that separated the laundry room from the kitchen allowing the other dog to enter my bedroom where the other dog was sleeping. I was awoken by the fight the broke out on my bed and was had to scramble to separate them. They eventually made it to the floor at the foot of my bed which left hardly any room to try and separate the two. I got bit when I got behind one of the dogs to try and loop the leash around him to pull him out while my wife was supposed to get the other dog. It was my fault that I got bit because I placed my foot too close to the action in the attempt to separate them in a confined space, it is now 6 months later and my wound is still not fully healed. I have since had them both neutered and they get along fine for the most part with the only fight happening since my bite just a few days ago because they got worked up trying to get to the yappy Pomeranians next door.

Dog Bite - Leg Dog Bite - Leg

Dog Bite:

April 23, 2012

This is my buddy 2 y/o boxer brindle pit male roughly 80 lbs. awesome dog I must say. A smaller breed dog had snipped at him and he did not like it at all even though it was nothing major. Spur of the moment I had tackled him to prevent him from moving as 5 other grown men tried to help me break my dogs lock he was nearly bout to tear other dogs ear completely off. When he let go he went for dogs snout I didn't want any further damage to smaller bred dog I pushed his face out of way and I got bit. I had a feeling he was going to seriously harm the other animal. he managed to get back on the ear .. call me brave bloody handed and all I jammed my fingers in his mouth n squeezed his jaw he let go real quick.

Dog Dog Bite - Wrist Arm

Dog Bite:

March 4, 2012


I got this last week while trying to break up my husky and pointer/lab. They're both 16 month old females.

Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

March 10, 2012

Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

February 19, 2012

I have attached a picture of a bite I received in the leg from my dog Alfie, that might be of interest to you. Basically he was in the red zone and trying to attack a dog that was off the leash but standing behind me. He lunged for the dog but as I was holding him on the leash he bit me instead. It was terrifying as I was on my own at the time. The other dog just wouldn't go away and Alfie was going berserk on the lead. Still I kept hold of him and eventually the other dog went away but by then I was exhausted and couldn't stand up any longer. Eventually a passer by saw me and called the ambulance. The hospital were great and they left the wound open. I now have an awful scar and black bruising around it that won't go away. I blame myself entirely for the incident though. First off Alfie needed more socializing and secondly I needed to establish better alpha dog status. Alfie, is much better now but I do still have a general fear of walking him alone.

Dog Bite - Leg Dog

Dog Bite:

February 17, 2012

I volunteer full time with a licensed non-profit pit bull rescue group. As you can imagine with your experience, working with rescue dogs that have come from horrible situations of dog fighting, neglect/abuse, I have had to break up my own dog fights and been attacked by dogs. After perusing your site I feel you completely understand my situation with highly aggressive dogs, the suggestions of water, loud noises and such does not work and I need much more.

I feel there are many rescue groups here but no classes on safety about how to rescue and what to do in certain situations. Today my two personal rescue pit bulls tried to kill each each other and long story short, they are both in the hospital over night and one is getting his tail amputated because it is broken from being chomped on and part of it bit off. I'm tired of dog fights, I'm tired of not knowing how to break them up, I'm tired of not knowing how to run a structured home for my dogs so many of these instances can be prevented.

Can you recommend anything for me as far as getting my pack back on track for the future and what I can do now to keep myself safe? I'm sure you are very busy but if you are able to talk on the phone I would really appreciate it, as I have so many questions and plan on purchasing your products.

You said you wanted people to send you picture of their bites from trying to break up dog fights, so I will post mine below.

Dog Bite - Hand and Wrist

If you look at this x-ray below, you will see my dogs has completely bit through the right side of my wrist, making a hole and pushing the bone out. Bacteria quickly started seeping into the bone and now I am in a cast scheduled for surgery.

Dog Bite Xray

Cindy's Response:

Thanks for taking the time to write and send the photos.

I’m sorry but phone calls are not possible. There simply are not enough hours in the day for me to get things done as it is. I wish I had the option, but at this time, I don’t.

For any aggression issues, I recommend starting all your dogs with our groundwork program and Pack Structure for the Family Pet. I also recommend Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs. If the dogs involved are not solid on their obedience commands, I also recommend Basic Obedience.

We would also suggest dominant dog collars and properly sized muzzles for the dogs. We have directions on how to measure the dog for a muzzle.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you. There is info on how to break up dog fights there.

I’m sorry you were bitten and I hope the wounds heal well. It looks incredibly painful!

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

Dog Bite:

January 29, 2012

Here is a pic of the bite I received last week while breaking up a fight between my pug and black lab. Both dogs are normally very good natured and this fight actually started at their water bowl which has never happened before. They have fought over food before so I very quickly learned to feed them separately!

Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

January 17, 2012


My two pit bulls got into a fight last night. It wasn't the fist time but it usually ended quickly on its own. But this time was different, they didn't stop. So I quickly ran to them with my father to try and brake it up. I had no clue what I was doing so I tried opening my oldest Chubby's mouth to free my youngest Willy, that soon went bad and he turned to me and bit me slightly. But I broke them up and eventually let them go. But they soon started fighting again so I did the same thing and got bitten again. But this time he bit down and shook and let go. Leaving a pretty deep laceration. But now I know what to do if this would to ever happen again.
Thanks Ed.

Dog Bite - Hand Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite - Hand Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

December 30, 2011


My name is Erika, and a fight broke out between my 6 year old small American Eskimo and my 2 year old Pit. Of course seeing my two dogs fight put me in panic mode and did everything you said not to do. I screamed and yelled and sprayed water. Finally, I did the worst thing I could do and stuck my hand in my pits mouth to release my other dog when my Eski chomped on my hand. Still having her in the Pits mouth left me no choice but to crack my pit over the head with a log. Both are fine and alive and a very expensive vet bill later I find myself looking at your web site for advise on how to get my pack back in order.

Thank you

Dog Bite - Hand Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

December 30, 2011

My Mom's mut (labrador/retriever, chow mix) (female) attacked my Siberian Husky (female) after she and my Shiba Inu (female) came inside. I broke up the fight between my Siberian Husky and the mutt and then the mutt proceeded to attack my Shiba Inu.. I finally pulled them apart and tossed my Shiba Inu half way across our kitchen. I grabbed the mutt by her harness (big mistake as I have learned) but she looked at me and teeter tottered down and attacked my shin and would not let go. There was probably a good pint of my blood all over our kitchen floor and I could see the shin bone exposed... I immediately put my leg up and tried to clean it off as best I could and seeing as this was my right leg (the driving leg) I had to rely on my Mom to drive me to the ER.. Granted I had to wait a little over an hour to leave our house to get to the ER because my Mom was more concerned with how she looked, where I just didn't care... i put on loose pants and threw on a jacket as my leg was beginning to swell BADLY!! Finally got to the ER and they ended up putting me on strong pain meds (which is unlike me because I have such a high pain tolerance) and then they put 5 stitches into my leg.. I ended up having complications from the stitches (they began to rip through my skin and I ended up getting a yeast infection inside my wound). I dealt with the worst pain with this injury and even had to go to a wound clinic because it was so badly infected from the dogs mouth. Every week I went to the wound clinic to get my wound scraped and cleaned out from the infection, this was an ongoing event for about 2-3 months... It's been almost a year and I have a scar that is sensitive to touch and I'm told looks like a bruise but to me it looks like the wound just barely healing... This dog attack had a huge emotional disturbance on me that I will not go near the psycho mutt I still love all dogs and my Siberian Husky and Shiba Inu are still to this day very protective of me and keep a close eye on the mutt when she goes anywhere near me.. Now if that's not loyalty I don't know what is!

Dog Bite - Arm

Dog Bite - Arm

Dog Bite - Arm

Dog Bite:

December 26, 2011

I came across your web page after getting bitten by one of my dogs whilst trying to break up a fight. My female American Staffy and female American Bulldog had a huge fight a couple of weeks ago and I tried to break them up and ended up with some nasty puncture wounds. Unfortunately, this is the second time it has happened. A dog behaviorist has told us that they are get very jealous of each other and that my partner and I need to show better leadership.

This time I have learned my lesson and wont be sticking my hand into another fight again. In the heat of the moment I just didn't know what to do, as I watched my two babies try to kill each other. Attached are pics of the damage to my hand, as I see you were after some pics.

Both my dogs sustained injuries. My staffy has a head full of tears and punctures (luckily no damage to ears, eyes etc) and my bulldog got bitten on the leg and required treatment for tissues damage.

Dog Bite - Hand Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

December 14, 2011

Hello, I recently ordered a DVD from you and read that you wanted pictures of dog bites...Well, here's the one from my 18 pound "YorkiChon" half Yorkie and half bichon named Jethro.

One morning in January 2004 I awoke at about 4:30 a.m. and got the dog leashes to take them out for their morning walk. Unbeknownst to me, Jethro and Wilma (Schnoodle, half schnauzer, half poodle), had been having a tiff and evidently Jethro had had enough. As I bent over Wilma to attach her leash, Jethro snapped at her. Freak accident: I bent over just at the right moment, just at the right angle, and Jethro caught me in the face and lower lip. As I said, the angle was just right so that my lip was torn off. I had no idea it was so bad, but I was gushing blood everywhere and as I grabbed a rag to stop the flow, I was astonished that the whole side of my lip was gone! I woke up my 12 and 14 year old kids and said we had to go to the hospital, and not wanting to scare the kids, we were laughing about the amount of blood, mommy's got no lip, hah, hah. We picked up the lip and put it on ice (maybe they could reattach it? they do it all the time on TV), and headed off to the emergency room, with me holding washcloths over the bottom half of my face to staunch the flow of blood.

I got to the emergency room, went to be interviewed and couldn't really talk because every time I took the rag away blood gushed out so I turned to my kids who I thought were right beside me to fill in the blanks and they were busy getting food out of the snack machines! They stepped right up and between giggles about mom getting blood everywhere and searching for the lip, they told the admitting nurse what had happened. I was put in a hallway...the rooms were full...and after a few minutes a very young doctor comes up, introduces himself, and pulls away the rag to see for himself. Honest to goodness, he turns white, I mean, white, and says to me (and the kids) "Oh, my God. It's gone, completely gone; I don't know what to do!" Whereupon my kids burst into tears because now they think something is really wrong with me. I look at the young doctor and very calmly, with blood dripping down my chin, I said, "Well, maybe you should call someone who does know what to do!" The young doctor says, "You're right," and turns around to pick up the phone and starts dialing. My son says, "It's not gone, we have it here!"

The doctor gets off the phone and says another doctor will be there at 7:00 a.m. and they show me and the kids to the door and tell me to go home until 7:00, take my kids to school because they shouldn't miss school for this, (thank you for the lecture) and return at 7:30...It was about 5:30.

So holding the same dirty rag to my mouth that I came in with, not even one attempt being made to clean it, I was pushed out the door with two crying kids and told to go home. It took me the whole way home to calm them and say I would be okay, and not to worry, they could stay home from school.

As soon as I stepped in the door, the phone was ringing. The doctor who was supposed to be at the hospital at 7:00 had rushed in expecting to find me at the hospital. I was to rush back to the hospital so he could see me. So we all go back in the car, fresh ice on the lip in the bag. and head to the same emergency room (only one hospital in area).

This time, no waiting, I was rushed in to see this doctor, a plastic surgeon, who cleaned it, bandaged it as well as he could said he could not reattach the lip (they only do that in movies) and that I needed to go to his clinic where he had the appropriate tools, and sent me home again until 9:00 when he could have the necessary staff waiting. I called another daughter to come take me to the clinic and after 60 stitches they were able to recreate a lip from gum material under my teeth.

I have included some pictures I took for the doctor's office (he requested them) and a photo of how the lip is today after almost 8 years. You cannot notice the scars due to his excellent artwork, but even now my lip constantly "sheds" and is kind of painful if I don't have some kind of lipstick or chapstick on, evidently because it's not the same material as the other part of the lip.

Poor Jethro's health began to fail a few years ago and he had to be "let go" when his kidneys and liver were failing earlier this year. I miss him terribly. He never bit another person, freak accident or not, but it demonstrates the danger to all young kids when dogs have aggressive behavior toward each other. If it would have been my child he had bitten, I would have put him down immediately. Anytime I was with him around an unknown dog and people around I held him on a tight leash and warned people about getting too close with their dogs.

dog bite - face dog bite - face

Dog Bite:

December 13, 2011

I have 2 small dogs, a terrier mix and a pug. They get into it occasionally, most always when of course my husband isn't home. So of course I always break them up, the picture I sent was the first time it happened (which left a scar) and since then I've been bitten at least two other times. Yesterday being the most recent which left a knot, cuts and bruises all on my forearm. That's what brought me to the website because I figured how I'd been breaking them up was wrong, normally I start by grabbing both of their collars and attempting to pick one of them up while the other is still in a aggressive stance and I attempt to get one of them in a kennel while their both still trying to get at the other which normally causes the terrier to place the aggression on me. I only do this because I'm always afraid of the safety of them both and realize after that I've gotten hurt in the process.

Dog Bite Scar Dog Bite - Hand

Dog Bite:

December 11, 2011

I just wanted to share pictures of my nephew's dog bite. I believe he was about a year and a half old when it happened.

My sister was dropping him off at his "day care" which was just a lady running an off the books day care in her home. The day care owner had a boxer mix. My sister and the owner were talking in the kitchen, and my nephew was there with them, along with the dog.

While they were standing there, the dog started eating the food out of the cat's bowl. The owner took the bowl of cat food away from him, and then the dog turned around and bit my nephew in the face.

The bite just missed one of his eyes, and part of his lip was hanging off. He required at least 2 plastic surgeries. I am a little fuzzy on all of the details, but my nephew is now 17 so it happened a long time ago!

He was very fearful of dogs for a long time and would panic if any got close to his face, but he did get over that fear in time, and he is fine with dogs now. His face healed up perfectly and you'd never know he had such a nasty injury.

The dog was eventually put down, although the owners fought it. My sister also won a decent-sized settlement which my nephew will be able to touch once he turns 18.

I hope you can use the pictures and story for your database of dog bites!

Dog Bite:

November 22, 2012

My family has been involved in rescue for almost 20 years. Not until recently I have recently have we had an issues with 2 of our dogs. I have a 6 year old female Aussie Mix, Quinn and a 4-5yr old Pit bull mix, Scarlett. Both of which are very loving and friendly dogs that we have had for years. They were always together in the yard and in the house. Within the last year, they have become vicious towards each other with no apparent reason, to the point where on sight, they attack to kill and we must keep them totally separated. This becomes an issue as I have 4 other dogs who they both love to play with. The last time that they got into a fight was in my kitchen. My mother let Quinn out of her room thinking that Scarlett was locked in my bedroom. As it turns out Scarlett was in the front yard with the rest of the dogs and needless to say a terrible fight broke out as soon as they saw each other. My 17 year old brother had attempted to break them apart and ended up getting the tip of his middle finger on his right hand bit off, (hanging on by a thread). Believe it or not the Aussie was responsible not the pit (bit through the bone).

My brother has made a full recovery but I feel as if this is being put off just for another time for another incident. I feel that there is some way to work through this without having to get rid of my dog who I consider a part of my family. I have a male Saint/ Newfoundland mix, a Great Dane, a Pug and a female Patter dale terrier that both of them play fine with. I am despite for any help with my situation. I would not feel right finding either of my girls a home with their history. And the alternative to getting rid of one is not an option for me.

Dog Bite:

November 17, 2011

I am sending you this email because your website mentioned that if anyone had pictures of dog bites, to submit them which i have attached three of them. Mostly I am sending you this email because after reading several articles on your website, I needed an understanding shoulder to lean on.

Last Wednesday a friend of mine was attached by her boxers and the damage they inflicted was severe. I fully understand why it happened as an animal lover and boxer owner but the friend is too physically and emotionally distraught to see the truth.

This is the scenario as it unfolded and I will start at the beginning. My friend (the woman attacked) owned a young female boxer and decided to bring another young male boxer into her family. Neither of these dogs were altered and suddenly my friend found herself as the owner of two boxer puppies which came as a surprise to her (mistake number one). Just before the birth of these two puppies she had moved herself and two dogs to her brother's house where she lived in the rec room. Her brother owned two great Danes (mother and puppy) but the two family of dogs could not go outside at the same time because the mother great Dane would show severe aggressiveness towards the two boxers. One day the signals got crossed and the female boxer and female great Dane were both in the backyard at the same time. Within seconds the great Dane had attacked the boxer which left the dog traumatized (mistake number two). Luckily the puppies had been weened from the mother and my friend sent her injured dog to her mother's house to recuperate.

I adopted the one puppy who I love to death and my friend decided to keep the other male puppy (mistake number three) my friend and her canine family then bought a house where she, her boyfriend and three dogs moved to. As her male puppy began to grow, aggression also started to develop between the two male boxers. my friend on more than one occasion came to work with bruises on her arms caused by attempting to stop the two dogs from fighting. The older male had since been altered but the ten month old puppy was not.

So now we have three large breed dogs, one female and two males who had not been given any kind of training and because of this lack of training, the two male boxers were competing for the alpha position. (mistake number four) Last Wednesday the older male boxer took ownership of a toy and was asleep with it on the bed. The younger male boxer wanted the same toy and decided to take it away from the older male boxer which instantly created a very aggressive dog fight. my friend who was at home alone when this happened made the tragic mistake of coming in between the two dogs and the result of her actions was severe. (pictures attached) Both male dogs attacked her and her female boxer became involved perhaps to attempt to protect her but there is no guarantee that this is the case.

Due to the severity of the attack, all three dogs were placed in quarantine and once the mandatory 10 days is up (this Friday) they are all being destroyed. I contacted a reputable boxer rescue and they were more than willing to come and assess the dogs since they felt it was unnecessary to put all three down. I attempted to get this message to my friend suggesting that possibly the female and puppy could be spared but all that did was anger her family in which they lashed out at me.

What has happened is that they are purely blaming the dogs and not acknowledging their role in this tragic event.

It is emotionally tearing me apart that these poor dogs are being destroyed and none of this was their fault. This is the parents and brother of my male boxer and every time I look at him it reminds me of the fate of his family.

I cannot stop this execution and by trying to do so I have jeopardized my friendship with my friend.

Is there any way I can someday make my friend and her family understand why this happened and secondly how do I move on emotionally knowing that these three dogs lost their lives because of the owners repetitive mistakes.

Thanks so much for listening


dog bite - arm

dog bite - arm dog bite - arm

Cindy's Response:

If being attacked by these dogs doesn’t get the point across that they needed training and leadership, I don’t know what I can say that would help you make them understand.

It’s truly unfortunate for everyone involved, both human and canine. I’m so sorry. I don’t know how to help you get past it, but I know that if this woman had been my friend something like this would likely be the end of our friendship. I don’t do well with people who don’t take responsibility for their part in something like this especially at the risk of injury or death of a human or a dog. She’s actually lucky it wasn’t worse.

Thanks for sharing this, maybe it will help someone else in the future so it won’t all have been in vain.

Cindy Rhodes

Dog Bite:

November 10, 2011

So glad to find your article after being bitten by my Old English Bulldog when trying to stop a fit with my other dog Pointer/Pit bull mix. The bulldog grabbed my arm and would not let go. You don't see the 5th puncture wound on the back of my arm.

Dog Bite:

November 4, 2011

Dear Ed and Cindy,

I came across your website and very much appreciate all the information it provides. I think it is great how you just lay it out there no mixing words. A few times I was laughing out loud!

I am writing because you had a section for dog bites. I wanted to send you a photo of my 3 year old son. He and my daughter have been actively involved with my neighbor's dog since he was a pup. He is a medium sized spaniel mix. He has never been mean or a concern at all. One night however my daughter took my son over to see the dog and feed him as his owner was out of town and she was in charge of him. The dog out of no where jumped on my son and took him down. My daughter who is 13 got him off but it took time. If not for his eye orbit and the bone structure there I am sure he would have lost his eye. I just wanted to share to help with the bites page.

Even if you know a dog,sometimes you don't.

Thank You for your response. I hope this helps you in your discussions. He ended up with a scar from the bit and was so lucky not to have been hurt worse.

Dog Bite:

October 27, 2011

For your collection. My neighbor's dog, an older shepherd mix maybe 50-60 lbs, doesn't like my dog. Tonight the dog yanked the leash out of her hands. His aim was off and he got my leg instead. This was just one quick bite through my pants leg. I don't even think the pants ripped! This is a cell phone photo so it's not the best quality.

Dog Bite:

October 26, 2011

This is from breaking up a fight between a shepherd and a golden retriever. The shepherd bit me.

Dog Bite:

October 20, 2011

Thank you for the great article about HOW TO BREAK UP A DOG FIGHT.

This photo was taken just after the doctor finished some loose stitching both inside the wound and outside, leaving the drain to do it's thin.

The circumstances were that a very aggressive 45 lb. dog broke away from its owner's hold on the leash, circled around in front of my 85 lb Black Lab/Cane Corso mix and blocked our way barking and showing all its teeth - practically foaming at the mouth.
My dog is very alpha so his hair immediately went up on his back and he readied for a fight. As I held him back by his leash, a third dog (from the aggressor's pack) pulled the owner towards the scene and sunk his fangs into my leg just the owner pulled him away thus tearing deep into the leg and god for a five inch tear - exposing the muscle.

The dogs never fought.

Moral of the story: keep aggressive dogs as far away as possible from other dogs and make damn sure you have a tight grip on the leash.

dog bite - leg

Dog Attack:

August 19, 2015

Kenosha police officials said a 16-month-old bulldog attacked two women and a police officer. Witnesses said the dog wouldn’t back down and latched onto one of the women. The officer tried to pull the dog off and when it wouldn’t let go, he used his Taser. When several attempts didn’t work, the officer fatally shot the dog. The bullet went through the dog and struck the woman in the foot, authorities said.

“I’m still kind of in shock. However it happened, it’s unfortunate whatever triggered it,” said the dog’s owner, Shawn Lievense. He said he wasn’t home at the time but that his landscaper accidentally left the gate open and the dog ran out. Lievense said his 12-year-old son tried to get the dog before it snapped. “My son is pretty messed up right now,” Lievense said. “He’s having a hard time.”

The incident happened in Jamie Hagen’s front yard. Hagen said his wife ran out after hearing screams for help. “The dog wasn't letting go. It was just latched onto her thigh and she was shaking and screaming and maybe after four times of getting shot with a Taser, the officers just shot it,” Hagen said. Lievense said the family pet never acted out before. He said he’s upset the dog is dead but glad no one was injured. “My son was standing there like 2 feet away, so when I got home, blood was all over his shirt,” Lievense said. “He had blood all over his face. It was messed up.”

The injured woman is in the hospital and will have surgery Wednesday night. Because the woman was shot, the case is considered an officer-involved shooting and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the officer. The department will decide Thursday if charges are warranted.

Dog Bite:

Ha! Dog is still alive and loved. My son (owner of both dog & nose) tried to break up a fight that started suddenly when the other dog appeared from "out of nowhere."

Chapo is a rescue--actually found wandering a busy street with broken rope around neck. After checking area vets and some light "found" advertising they decided against the shelter. He had some health issues and socialization issues that would have put him in the unadoptable category, if you know what I mean, so they decided to keep him. I say light advertising because they weren't super eager to return him to whatever his existing conditions had been.

It's been a few months now & he's much better but they try not to let their guard down. He's an old dog and seems to be enjoying his life with his new siblings, a minidoxie, cheweenie & Yorkie mix (latter adopted under similar circumstances.)

All are much loved & ridiculously well cared for by mom & dad.

dog bite on arm

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