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Is your dog aggressive? Here's what you should do if your pet gets in a fight – NBC Miami

After a wild video showed a pitbull attacking another dog in a Miami Beach restaurant on Friday, we asked Marie Nicolas, owner of Dog Training Elite in Broward for tips on what to do during those scary situations.
According to Nicolas, not all dogs are aggressive and their behaviors can usually be changed through proper training and socialization at an early age.
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“It’s not the fault of the dog unless the dog has any neurological issues,” Nicolas told NBC6. “For most of them its a problem of socialization, lack of training, lack of ability of the owner to read the dog.”
Dogs tend to play rough, as well, which can be seen as a dog fight, but Nicolas says to take a closer look at their body language to determine if the play is getting to rough.
“If you see that the dog freezes, stop breathing, fixed gaze, tense body, high tail and be very, very careful, sometimes people tell you,’Look, the tail wag, the dog is happy.’ No, a wagging tail can mean a dog that just wants to alleviate the stress. So you have to look at the whole body of the dog,” Nicolas said.
Nicolas also says that one of the best ways to prevent your dog from becoming reactive, or aggressive, is to socialize the dog at an early age.
“The socialization begins very early. We begin as soon as possible when they are puppies. The training is about the dog to smell all kinds of smells, to see all kinds of people, all kinds of pets, hear all kind of sounds.”

But, if you do happen to find yourself in a dog fight, Nicolas recommends to “not panic, don’t scream” as it can just increase the tension.
Nicolas does recommend to “breathe, analyze the situation to see if the dogs are in a real fight or if they’re playing.”
If the dogs are indeed in a serious fight, Nicolas has the following recommendations:
If those do not work, Nicolas recommends the “wheelbarrow technique,” as a last option, since it requires you to physically separate them, and could put you at risk of a bite.
The wheelbarrow technique, according to Nicolas, requires two people, one on each dog, to lift up the hind legs of the pets, so they’re balancing on their front legs, and gently back them away into separate areas.
While the moment of a dog fight can be scary, dealing with the aftermath of the fight can be even worse, as Nicolas says a Florida court could put the “aggressive” dog down or take them away from their family.


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