Break Stick Response

The article I wrote opposed to break sticks is the highest rated post I’ve ever written. And…… It’s because everyone hated it.

I see the pages and posts that refer people to it, and they all think I’m an asshole.

Apparently, the way to unite the wannabe tough guy Pit Bull bro, and the “pibble lover” hippie, is to take away their fucking break sticks.

I stand by every word of that article. I don’t use break sticks. They are inefficient, and make aggression worse.

But, the mistake I made was in not giving the alternative!

Everyone, just kept going back to “If not that, then WHAT?”

I didn’t talk about how TO do it because, telling people HOW to break up a dog fight on the internet is dangerous. Not to mention, it sounds horrible.

That’s because I use the same thing to stop a violent dog, that I use to stop a violent person.

I choke them.

Yeah…… That sounds bad. That’s why the people who know it’s the answer, don’t talk about it. They’re worried about losing public opinion.

Almost every dog professional I have ever met or interacted with online will admit (if pushed) to going up on the collar in an emergency. Google that shit and see how may trainers advocate it out loud.

Fortunately for me, I stopped giving a fuck about what the public thinks when I was a kid.  And….. Apparently, NOT saying is pissing everyone off anyway.

So…… Here you go:

(disclaimer- don’t try any of this without hands on instruction form a qualified trainer. this is for discussion not instruction)

Slip Collar Lift.


(Check out this description from

Rear Naked Choke.


It’s done exactly the same way on dogs as it is on people.

And, before you argue it’s efficacy, here’s an example of a 9 year old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student saving a friend using this technique.

What about the “Hind Leg Suspension” AKA “Wheelbarrow” technique? Isn’t it safer?

Yes……. If you have shit dogs. Curs. Chewy frantic re-grippers.  Yes….. That can break them.

If you outnumber the dogs. It can slow them down. I use it when handlers outnumber dogs. But, you still have to break the game dogs grip!

There are ONLY 2 choices.

Break Stick. And Choke. (don’t start with your e-collar bullshit. It won’t work on a game dog unless you go to a level that is quite damaging and dangerous. Same as hitting them. I actually DON’T want to hurt the dog hence these as the only options)

Break Sticks REQUIRE multiple handlers. Or at least some convoluted back-tying. And, they INCREASE drive and frustration. They do NOT change the economics of fighting. No dog gets pried off and thinks….. “Damn….. not sure I want that happening again”.

Chokes can be done done with slip collars on TWO DOGS simultaneously by a SINGLE HANDLER. Rear Naked Chokes must be done one after the other, which sucks…. But is doable alone. And, both versions give serious pause to the dog next time.

It is the ONLY correction that can have THAT deep of an effect……. AND doesn’t ADD adrenaline. Damage The dog. Or damage the relationship.


And don’t talk to me about safety.  Collar lifts have LESS risk than break sticks. And a Rear Naked Choke risk is no worse. No vital areas exposed. And honestly…… The dogs that make this a necessity aren’t chewy and re-gripping anyway.

Yes…… You should train and handle in a way that makes this unnecessary.

If you have to use this you failed the dog.

This is the “air bag” in your car. You DO NOT want to use it. But…… You will to save a life.

When all has gone wrong and the nightmare has begun……. Chokes are the ONLY thing that works when it’s life or death that doesn’t have serious blowback.

There it is.

The truth.

Flame away.


6 thoughts on “Break Stick Response”

  1. Another Professional Trainer’s Opinion

    Many people may not like the reality that this is THE method most trainers defer to when they have a dog where nothing else is an option.

    If you don’t agree with what’s being said above, I can promise you, you’ve never met a truly game dog.

  2. Respectfully, because I am fairly new to training and have no real experience in regards to aggressive dogs, how is choking up on the leash or collar any less likely to cause barrier/restraint aggression? It seems to me, if the dog is committed to the fight, no matter how you break them apart, you are going to cause frustration, and since this involves direct physical restraint, you may likely get the dog’s reflexive response of pulling against leash tension. I’m not criticizing. I mean, in an emergency situation, I would weigh the alternatives and do what I needed to do… In other words what will cause the least damage to the dog in the long run, the fight or the break…

    1. alienredqueen- I appreciate the amicable tone. Thank you.
      So, here’s the thing…… They don’t experience barrier or restraint frustration when choked because I am not trying to separate them. I don’t separate them until they either choose to let go because they are concerned about the impending change in consciousness, or….. the dead gamers pass out and relax their jaws. Either way, they are not “forced” to lose their grip. It literally just dissolves.
      I’m not theorizing. I fought professionally for years. And have been choked out several times. It is painless. And calming. You wake up, relaxed and mellow. I have choked out hundreds of people while teaching, fighting or working security and corrections. And…. It’s the exact same thing. Choking is safe, reliable, and humane.
      Again…. I truly don’t want to ever, EVER, have to do this to a dog. I don’t take it lightly. But…. If I HAVE to try to stop two dogs from killing each other, Chokes are reliable and safe. They don’t damage the relationship or the dog. And, there’s no increase in drive to fight after. In fact…. There’s a noticeable decrease.
      All in all….. It’s the only responsible “airbag” response to stopping serious fights.
      Like I said before, thank you for being cool about the question. I know it’s a challenging topic.

      1. Thanks for responding. You bring up valid points. I didn’t realize you were not actually separating them.
        And you are correct, not only is this a challenging topic, but I have found there are many “elitists” in animal handler/advocacy/enthusiast groups (I’ve experienced this since my childhood love of horses/horseback-riding as well!) Some people think there is only one right way to do everything and it always seems to be their way! You will never get that from me! Haha!

  3. Unfortunately I used this my Catahoula, and Staffiewas attacked I used the choke on the the Catahoula to release it was the safest way I belive, she let go so easy without any difficulties

  4. Thank you!!!!! For fucks sake…i been going back and forth all night reading about break sticks…. I’m a kennel worker, NOT A DOG FIGHTER. And we are pretty much on our own for learning how to handle a dog in any situation . So as I’m reading, I’m just getting angry with the back and forth…. Pitts don’t lock….YES THEY DO….Pitts are bred to fight, NO THEY’RE NOT….it’s like I’m sitting in room watching two toddlers argue over what’s right and what’s not. This article is the most satisfying shit I’ve read tonight. Thank you for putting this out because, honestly this seems way easier, way less harmful, and something you can do effectively when there’s not 3or 4 other people standing around to help. After reading this, I feel so much better in knowing I can effectively break up a pit fight, god forbid… if i ever need to!!!! Thank u a million times

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