I’m no stranger to dog fights.
I started my first pack while living remotely in the mountains—extraordinary, experienced varmint hunters who didn’t just squabble when the time came for the changing of the guard. No, they inflicted significant damage. As we were three hours from the vet we couldn’t afford, it behooved me not only to know how to break these fights up, but how to prevent them.
With a former feral dog as the pack’s foundation, I’d always managed them on a fairly primal level—as part of the pack, on their terms. Boss bitch. But while this allowed me to break the fights up without taking damage, it didn’t prevent them. And as they escalated, I decided that they needed more than policing—that in fact, the policing sometimes made things worse. They needed, individually, to know they were secure and loved.