Pit Bull

Break Sticks

A break stick is a solid wedge-shaped tool used to provide leverage to open the jaw of a “bite and hold” dog. It’s a useful tool for “breaking” the bite and preventing injury to both dogs and those trying to break a fight. They are a recommended tool for Pit Bull owners, rescue organizations, shelters, and dog trainers, as well as those with bully breeds who are in situations where unknown dogs interact.

Break Sticks

Why should responsible owners and caregivers consider using a break stick?


Things to

Keep in Mind

Any dog of any breed can become involved in an unintentional fight. If you have a Pit Bull, are a dog trainer, or a rescuer, a break stick is a must-have piece of equipment. It is the quickest, most effective, and humane way to open a stubborn dog’s jaw.

Pit Bulls do not have a locking jaw

They do have terrier determination

Do not attempt to use break sticks on other breeds

Pitbull Terrier Covered in Blanket

Other dog breeds bite erratically and blindly, snapping, biting, and releasing. A break-stick will be useless if a dog is biting and releasing, but if a dog has a grip and refuses to let go, a break-stick can help. For hundreds of years, Pit Bulls have been bred to be bite and hold dogs, beginning with bull-baiting, hog hunting, and dogfighting. They have been bred to ignore pain and submission signals from other dogs, even though they are acutely aware of them. This is one of the reasons why some dogs become aggressive toward other dogs. (Please keep in mind that dog aggression and human aggression are two completely separate behavioral traits.)

Dog fights are terrifying experiences, and they do happen unintentionally. Even the most well-behaved, friendly, and docile dog can get into a fight. Fights are possible in any multi-dog household, regardless of breed. Fortunately, most dog fights are over in a matter of minutes. A responsible owner should take precautions to avoid such fights, but he or she should also be ready for the worst. Any owner’s goal should be to break up a fight as quickly and efficiently as possible. Responsible owners must be vigilant and take steps to prevent fights from starting, but they must also be prepared for the worst and capable of breaking up a fight.

Many people and organizations ignore or deny history, believing that it will never happen. Many times, it does not, but it only takes one time for it to be a disaster, and even scarier than fights is the inability to stop or break them up. Once they have a “hold,” it can be difficult to get them to release another dog. A break stick, as the name implies, is intended to break this tenacious terrier grip. This is the most secure, simple, and effective way to end a fight.

man in gray sweater and blue denim jeans with brown and white short coated dog wearing

Pit Bulls

with People

Pit Bulls adore people and are affectionate and intelligent. They love being with their humans and are one of the most loyal of dogs.

Many coexist peacefully with other dogs for their entire lives without ever getting into a fight. But, there are others that only like certain dogs, while others don’t like any dogs.

The Bottom Line

The break stick is one of the quickest and safest ways to break up a fight with Pit Bull breeds. Maintain your cool, straddle your dog, grab the collar with one hand, and insert the break stick behind the molars, twisting like a motorcycle handle. Because of the leverage, they will adjust their bite onto the stick, allowing you to pull them away and regain control. This is much easier with two people, but one person can do it by tying one of the dogs to a stable object if necessary.


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