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Introducing a new puppy to our pitbull

puppup11
August 21st, 2005, 11:03 AM
Hi,
We are considering getting a second dog. Currently we have one pitbull terrier, female (spayed) who is 1 1/2 years old and we were thinking of getting a male pitbull as well (as a pup) to hopefully keep her company and to play with her. Our dog loves playing with other dogs once she knows them but she has on occasion gotten into fights, especially if the other dog won't acknowledge her authority when they first meet or the other dog acts agressive towards her first. I'm a little worried about whether she would harm or try to fight a puppy who would be roughly 1/4 her size when we get him. If they couldn't ever get along I don't know what we would be able to do with him, especially considering the fact that it's hard to find good homes for pitbulls. And since we are getting him from a long distance away it would be very expensive to ship him back and it would be impossible for them to meet before committing to taking him. Does anyone have experience with this breed and/or introducing new puppies to the home in such a way as to make it non-confrontational? Our dog also tends to go overboard when first meeting other dogs when it comes to playing and being enthusiastic, she barks a lot and sometimes scares the other dog away especially if it's smaller than her.

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 11:50 AM
Have someone take your dog out for a walk when the pup comes home. Let the pup check out the place before the other comes home. When she does place puppy in his crate and put it into the middle of the common room. Let her in and allow her to check out the puppy in his crate. Take both to a neutral area outside of the home to meet w/o one being contained. Puppies have a protective scent that tells adults to be a little more forgiving of their obnoxious behaviour. Puppies lose this scent when they enter adolescence, 4 1/2- 5 months.

Lucky Rescue
August 21st, 2005, 02:11 PM
Most adult dogs will not harm puppies. However there is no guarantee that once the puppy grows up that the two dogs will continue to get along.

There is the possibility that you may have to keep them separated all the time. Maybe not, but it's best to look at worst case scenario since as you say, getting homes for pit bulls is difficult in the extreme.

Even if they do get along wonderfully, you can still not ever leave them alone together when no one is home. Anything can start a fight, and with this breed, they won't quit and it could end in tragedy, or massive vet bills.

Pit bulls really prefer the company of their people and your dog probably doesn't need a dog companion.

puppup11
August 21st, 2005, 02:29 PM
Thank you for the constructive replies so far.

The reason we were looking at possibly getting a companion for her is that she does seem to love playing with other dogs, and I'm finding it difficult to get her enough exercise, or I should say as much exercise as I would like for her. I do play with her but she seems to prefer things like tug of war which I can only handle for so long before I get tired out. She gets bored with fetch after a couple of throws and if you leave her outside on her own she keeps herself occupied by digging holes which isn't really the best thing for her to be doing. She's not one to run around the yard on her own like some dogs I've known. Walking her is so bad on my nerves that I avoid it, not because she's bad or unruly, but because I'm scared all the time that another dog on the loose will run up and she'll go after it (and there's plenty around here) or some child will come up and get hurt in her overenthusiasm to greet it. I mean, the last time I took her out in "public" as you might say it was at a campground and a child who couldn't have been any more than 2, came into our campsite and came up to her (with the father watching and not intervening at all) and if I hadn't been quick to grab the rope she could have easily knocked her down or hurt her unintentionally. After that incident and others with completely idiotic children, or parents, or dog owners, whichever way you want to look at it, I got scared of walking her anymore. Because no matter how it happened, it would always come out to be the "pitbulls" fault and she would get put down. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite sure she wouldn't ever intentionally hurt another person, she's not a vicious dog. In fact many people have commented on how sweet she is. It's just that if something did happen, by mistake or even the other person's fault, she's the one who would pay the price. So I just don't walk her anymore outside the yard.

twodogsandacat
August 21st, 2005, 03:37 PM
Thanks for researching and getting some opinions before rushing out and doing this and I hate to admit that I posted the response Iím about to. Please bear in mind as you read it- I LUV PITS. :thumbs up

I would not normally even try to talk somebody out of giving a dog a home but I have read that Pits may be better off and happier alone. As Lucky Rescue posted a major fight can start over anything.

Sure some Pit Bulls are exceptions but many Pit Bull rescues also discourage the idea of multiple dogs and letís remember their focus is to find homes for Pit Bulls in the first place so you have to believe that they truly believe what they say. As far as your dog loving to play with other dogs: she is young, some Pit Bulls love other dogs in their youth but outgrow this later on.

Please read this link: http://www.pitbulllovers.com/two-pit-bulls-is-a-bad-idea.html .

Best of luck.

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 03:44 PM
I would get her enrolled in classes so she can learn how to greet properly. If she likes people and doesn't get chances to interact with them one of two things may happen. The most extreme, you get nervous every time your dog sees a person your dog may believe there is something wrong and may start to show signs of aggression. Second, what you are seeing now. She gets so excited she shows no manners and jumps and spins on or around them.

puppup11
August 21st, 2005, 04:29 PM
Hi,
Thanks again for the replies. I'm going to give it some serious thought before I decide to get another dog. I would like to hear from anyone who actually does have two pits to see what they have to say. Also I've heard that a male and female are unlikely to fight because they don't view each other as competitors for pack dominance the same way two of one sex do. I'm not sure if that's true or not but would like to hear any experiences. My parents had two dogs, one that I now believe was a pit mix and was a male and the other a female lab, and they never fought once. But he would fight with other male dogs. Is there truth to this?

In regards to classes, they aren't available where I live, unfortunately. She does get lots of contact with people as we have company quite often and the neighbors often come over and talk to her through the fence and any company they have do the same, but she's never around small children (and I don't plan on it either). She has been taught not to jump up on people and usually obeys and I'm not very nervous around other adults. She is to the point now where she shows little interest in greeting anyone she meets if we're walking by unless they talk to her or show attention to her, in which case she usually responds by rolling onto her back with wagging tail. It's little kids I'm worried about because their faces are eye level to her and she LOVES licking faces and gets really excited around kids. More than once I've been approached by several children who want to pet her and on leash I make sure she stays on the ground but I can't control what they do, and at the same time I don't want to tell them to go away and make them scared of her. I guess I need to try to find a place to walk her where no dogs or kids are.

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 06:28 PM
Not socializing your dog to children and how to behave around them is a bad idea. Your dog is still very young and has a long life ahead of her. There are going to be times where she is going to be around kids in her lifetime. You need to have her prepared for this. A dog of any breed needs to be socialized with everything it would possibly see in her life even if she is not going to be around certain things that often. You have no idea what your life will bring so you are responsible to have her prepared for anything.
This is not fair but those who have breeds that are viewed as aggressive breeds need to be even more socialized and have better manners than the rest. A dog of your breed that has bad manners has a much higher chance of getting into trouble with someone who doesn't know dogs. If your dog were to as an example bark at someone to play the person may interpret this signal as a sign of aggression. Who will they believe, you or the person who believes your friendly dog tried to attack them. This is very sad and unfair but with all the people who are afraid of dogs this scerio can play out easily.

Lucky Rescue
August 21st, 2005, 06:29 PM
Also I've heard that a male and female are unlikely to fight because they don't view each other as competitors for pack dominance the same way two of one sex do.

That is not true. A male/female combination *might* be a bit safer than same sex combination, but there is no guarantee they wont' fight.

The fighting may have nothing to do with dominance, and the smallest thing - even a loud noise outside, or another dog passing by too close - can cause a fight. After all, people carefully bred these dogs to have the desire to fight and they are very good at it.

Two dogs who have always gotten along, then get into a fight just once, may never be able to be in the same room again.

.If you are prepared to permanently separate them if this happens, to get a break stick and learn how to use it, then get another pit bull.

I know many people who have two or more pit bulls, and they have learned how to live with this by crating and rotating who is out and who is in. Personally I would never want to do this and that's why I have only one pit bull.

The best advice I've ever heard is simply "Never trust a pit bull not to fight" and it must be taken seriously.

Walking her is so bad on my nerves that I avoid it, not because she's bad or unruly, but because I'm scared all the time that another dog on the loose will run up and she'll go after it
Believe me, I sympathize with that!:(

puppup11
August 21st, 2005, 06:43 PM
Hi,
Once again thanks for the advice.

I'm not quite sure how to go about socializing her with children. For one thing, I don't have any friends with small children. For another, I don't want to risk anyone's safety. Now the size kids I'm talking about would be probably 2-5 years old, just eye level to her. She has been around other older children, 9-11 range with no problem as long as I make sure she doesn't get herself too excited and they don't lay on the floor or something. I think her overexcitement is because their face is at licking level to her and nothing gets her more excited than licking faces. I think too she'll grow out of some of it because when she was a puppy she would totally go nuts at your face if she could get at it but now she's content to just try to lick it and will listen if you tell her no. It's like this insane urge to lick just takes over when a face is there and there's no listening to reason at that point.

Oh by the way I looked at that site about owning two pitbulls, it looks like a great site written by someone who knows what they're talking about. I've also come to the conclusion after reading some of the info there that I have quite a unique pitbull. She has about the least energy of any dog I've ever seen and never chews on things that aren't her toys even when she's restless and looking for something to do. I guess I should be grateful.

puppup11
August 21st, 2005, 06:49 PM
Here's a pic...

PetFriendly
August 21st, 2005, 06:50 PM
I guess I need to try to find a place to walk her where no dogs or kids are.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but not taking her out and teaching her how to be polite is probably the worst thing you could do. Keep in mind she might not be an 'adult' yet, so some of the puppy bounce might get outgrown. But you have to take her places where there are people, dogs, kids, etc. Keep an eye on her, slow down kids that run up to her too fast, maybe make her a 'vest' (a la seeing eye dog) that says something to the effect that she's leaning her manners and thank you for your patience if she ruins your pants.

If your dog builds herself a reputation as being trustworthy it can only do her good. Over time, your confidence in her will also build and those walks won't be so scarry for you any more. Good luck, :fingerscr

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 06:54 PM
What a beauty.
Would there be any training schools a short drive from home.

puppup11
August 21st, 2005, 07:05 PM
I guess I'm kind of at a loss to know exactly HOW to train her without putting someone in harm's way. Right now I just try to physically limit her contact with dogs or small kids if I see them coming, but when they come running up to her there's not much I can do but hope for the best. I don't think I'll ever really be able to truly trust her around dogs, and I don't think I ever should trust her around kids because the stakes are just too high. But I have noticed a change in her in the past couple of months in regards to people, when I first started walking her she wanted to greet everyone she met but that's waned a bit.

And as if things weren't difficult enough, the last time I took her for a walk a hornet landed on her ear and must have stung her (although I didn't find a sting mark) and she took off like there was fire underneath her, running and scraping her head on the boardwalk. Then when we both were just about dead from running and she calmed down, two flies came out and buzzed around her and off we went again!! And then she was paranoid. She saw some drool come flying off her mouth and thought that was another hornet. And so on. That was the fastest 30 minute walk I ever took. I'm just glad no one was coming up the boardwalk as we ran down - they probably would have had a heart attack when they saw a crazed pitbull running towards them, drool flying, with owner in tow!

Oh and no, there are no training schools here, period. Too bad there aren't, maybe there wouldn't be so many dogs roaming the streets if their owners took an interest in them.

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 07:16 PM
If you don't mind me asking, what area are you in. Maybe someone would be able to help you find a trainer. I really think you need to seek one out. As a dog owner you do need to be responsible but if you show her that you are nervous every time you go near anyone with her, she will start to think there is something wrong and may start reacting. If she were not a pit bull do you think you would be the same way. I have a student right now in private classes dealing with the same thing. She started doing as you are now and is now paying the price.

twodogsandacat
August 21st, 2005, 09:01 PM
I understand the way you are feeling. When a Shepherd attacked Dalton he started becoming nervous around other dogs on leash. Making him sit patiently behind me when we met other on leash dogs was fine. Meeting off leash dogs was nerve racking.

My trainer suggested that by me pulling him back while on a prong as another dog approached sent a signal that I was afraid of dogs and he was doing something wrongÖwhich only made it worse. As they approached his hair would start to stand up. I needed that trainer because I was becoming a wreck every time I saw another dog. We have been jumped by some small dogs lately while on walks but I remained calm and all was fine. As we pass other dogs I praise him. It seems to be working. He knows I will take care of the situation so he doesnít have to. He looks to me for leadership instead of taking that role on himself.

You cannot keep a dog away from all those other things. Sooner or later you will encounter something such as an of leash dog. There has to be someone close to you. Even a pet store or humane society should be able to put you in touch with someone who can help you.

You canít hide from the world. If I may be so bold it sounds like you canít handle the one dog and in that case you certainly shouldnít get another. The real issue here is you need to take care of the dog you have.

Stick around, keep your positive attitude and Iím sure you will find some answers. Sometimes people leave these boards because they donít like the answers they are getting. You seem smarter than that and we all want you to succeed.

BTW: I should also say that she is beautiful. :angel:

Copper'sMom
August 21st, 2005, 09:16 PM
Hi puppup11!

I own 2 Pit Bulls - male 4 years old and a female 8 months old. I am speaking from experience here, so please don't take my post the wrong way! ok??

I would strongly reccomend you do not get a second Pit Bull unless you are totally willing to give up most of your time and dedicate it to your dogs. Do not rely on the dogs to keep each other company and exert their energy on each other. As sweet as your oldest dog is, the pup may not be the same.......trust me, I know!!!

My oldest, Copper, was a dream come true. He was a perfect pup and grew up to be a well mannered, obedient adult. He learned everything quickly and never gave me any problems. Then along came Zoe, my pup. I did not plan on getting her - but she needed a home so we took her in.
She is the total opposite of Copper. A little devil in an angel's disguise! Now my situation allows me to spend all day, every day with my dogs. Zoe is quite dominant and requires constant training and correction and endless activities!! She also has a tendancy to be aggressive over toys, twigs, sticks and imaginary objects. I definitely had second doubts about keeping her, but I get easily attached and giving her up was not an option. I realize that in the future, her and Copper may have to be separated for good. She has started more than a few fights with him - and she is still just a pup!!

Number one rule of owning a Pit Bull: Never trust your Pit Bull not to fight!
It is in their genes, and you cannot change this. Also, a Pit Bull may not start the fight, but they will finish it!
You can NEVER leave two Pit Bulls unattended. Not even to go to the corner store. Doing this may result in a severly injured or dead dog. I am not trying to scare you, but you must be aware of what can happen. All of the above also applies, even if you were to get a second dog that is NOT a Pit Bull!

but she has on occasion gotten into fights, This statement would definitely stop me from getting a second dog. Even turning your back for a second - actually it doesn't matter - a fight will happen right in front of your eyes!!! I have now learned Zoe's body language enough to know when to pull her away from Copper - and you don't learn this the first time!

The reason we were looking at possibly getting a companion for her is that she does seem to love playing with other dogs, and I'm finding it difficult to get her enough exercise, or I should say as much exercise as I would like for her.
An under exercised Pit Bull is a very bad thing!! You definitely do not want two Pit Bulls that haven't had enough exercise otherwise there is a good chance they'll take it out on each other and not in a positive way!

if you leave her outside on her own she keeps herself occupied by digging holes This is because she needs to get her frustrations out and this is the only way she can exert her energy. In other words she's saying "I need more exercise!!"

Also I've heard that a male and female are unlikely to fight because they don't view each other as competitors for pack dominance the same way two of one sex do. I'm not sure if that's true or not but would like to hear any experiences.
Totally not true.........or at least in my case!!

If she is not well trained(I'm not saying she's not :) ) or socialized, please don't get a second dog. As much as I love the two that I have, it still reaks havoc on my nerves some days. It is double the worry with regards to everything(especially walks and strange dogs running loose) :eek:

And everyone else that has posted what I haven't, I totally agree 100% with them!
:sorry: I don't mean to bring you down!! I'm just telling the truth!

OOPS! I forgot to tell you, your baby is beautiful!!! :love:

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 09:36 PM
When working with dogs with these type of aggression issues. Half the blame is on the owner. Not on purpose. They believed they were protecting their dog but unknowingly created the problem so when fixing the problem half of the training goes to the owner to learn how to act. Never jerk the leash back. If you need to leave, turn and walk back a few steps then stop and gain control by getting a sit/ watch me before continuing on. It is much easier to prevent than fix behaviour problems. A dog coming up off their front feet is an aggressive signal and we are usually the ones who have caused it to happen.
Exercise, exercise, exercise. You would not believe what this can do.

puppup11
August 22nd, 2005, 02:27 PM
Hi,
Thanks again for the honest replies. I am not one to get upset when faced with things I would rather not believe, better to take advice than take the concequences of ignorance.

However I think some have jumped to conclusions that are a little off-base in regards to how I treat my dog, but seeing as how you don't have a lot of information to go by I can understand why. Here are the facts of the situation:

1. I am not by any means hiding my dog from the world. She sees lots of other people, strangers and friends, and dogs that I know I can trust her around (for the time being). My issue with walking her around unsupervised kids and loose dogs is that I know I can't totally trust her at this point to handle every situation flawlessly and probably never will, and one mishap whether it's her fault or not could cost a lot simply due to the fact that people are automatically prejudiced to her.
2. She has never shown any agression to humans. This is very unlikely to ever be an issue as she is extremely outgoing and confident. I have no worries in this department. I don't show any fear when walking her or act nervous.
3. When I do walk her I don't intentionally avoid people. In fact I have trained her to "leave it" when passing someone with a certain amount of success. I have no problems with older kids and adults. Most of them love her. Some are scared to death of her which is why I'm training "leave it", as soon as her nose goes over to sniff as we pass, some have gone into a near panic. In a hotel a woman froze in fright when she saw us walking up the hall, and then made a snide comment as she walked way about pitbulls being allowed in hotels. This was while my dog acted in her most submissive way, almost crawling on the floor as we approached her with tail wagging. Imagine if she had barked at her.
4. To me, a pitbull is just another breed. My apprehension when walking her has more to do with the fact that because of her breed there is an automatic prejudice, and if anything at all were to happen it would be blamed on her whether or not it was her fault. If a lab knocks a child down, it was just being friendly. But if a pitbull does, it was a crazed killing machine. This is why I'm nervous walking her. It's not so much her behavior but other people's perceptions that scare me.

My nervousness also has a lot to do with the fact that I'm walking her on a boardwalk that's only wide enough for two people to stand side by side. There's nowhere to get away from anything coming towards you. The streets aren't a good option because there's so much traffic. We are moving next month to a place out of town which will be a better location for walking. At least then I will have the option of crossing the road if I feel I need to in order to avoid something. She is getting calmer as she gets older so I think much of her problem with getting too excited will eventually solve itself.

Oh and I live in Central Newfoundland. I have never heard of dog trainers here and if I did I'm not sure I would trust them. Many people have no idea what breed Bowser is because there are simply none here (which is great!) and I would be leary of going to a dog trainer that had no experience with pitbulls.

Luvmypit
August 22nd, 2005, 03:06 PM
Hi Pup,

I have a pit and so do many on this board as you can see. I am so happy that you are able to take what they have said to you. Most people get defensive and we often wonder why they even asked. Good for you!
I think that you gave off the impression that you were nervous walking. The point they were trying to make is dogs work off owners instincts. If your uneasy it travels down the leash to the dog and they feel uneasy. Uneasiness (sp?) in a dog turns into fear, fear activiates their fight or flight instincts. That means agressive behaviour.

I think what best for you is to hold your head high and be confident while you walk your dog. Shoulders up and out, chest out, leash at your side and walk with confidence. You seem to be very responsible and I applaude you! If you can get your dog even more used to the leave it command then your smooth sailing. If you feel your dog is not human agressive then walk like it. Let him walk by strangers. Get your friends to come over and practise walking him on the leash past them and reinforce your leave it command until he has it down pack. Your on the right track and I see no reason why you can't walk him as your pretty responsible. If your nervous about other dogs bring a break stick. Basically a stick that helps to break up fights (you have to reserach how to use it first) but it will give you some confidence in him and yourself if anything were to happen.

Luvmypit
August 22nd, 2005, 03:12 PM
I almost forgot. That is one fine dog!! Very cute! Very luvabull!!!!


Oh yes and when meeting strange dogs try your absolute best to relax. If someone chews you out for having a pit bull. Smile and walk away! Don't let it get to you. remember there ignorant and your not. One point for you, none for them!

As pit owners in Ontario where they recently banned our dogs I have been harassed left right and centre. But I come to realize its not personal and I need to keep my head high. Be proud. When people ask what kind of breed he is I always say :he's proud to be an american pit bull terrier" , usually people don't make rude or insensitive comments after that.
Some I have heard where " muzzle that monster", "All those dogs should be killed" stuff like that.

oh ya I realized it was a female so change all those hes to she's! Sorry!

StaceyB
August 22nd, 2005, 03:45 PM
Ditto that!!!

puppup11
August 22nd, 2005, 05:57 PM
Here is another pic taken last April. She is carrying what used to be a tug rope.

puppup11
August 22nd, 2005, 06:01 PM
One more pic. I just had to post this one. I can count on one hand the number of times she's been destructive in the house. This was obviously one of them.

Trinitie
August 23rd, 2005, 11:56 AM
In that last pic it's almost like she's saying "who? me? not me! ok, me. I'M SORRY!"

She is simply adorable!!

Lucky Rescue
August 23rd, 2005, 12:06 PM
What a sweetie!! She looks just like my Chloe when "caught in the act".:p Does Bowser get that sickly, sucky grin too? Who can stay mad? :D

Excellent post by Copper'sMom. Agree with every word!

Copper'sMom
August 23rd, 2005, 01:24 PM
Excellent post by Copper'sMom. Agree with every word!

Why thank you LR!! Let me tell you, it's all from my own personal EXPERIENCE!!! Owning two Pits has it's ups and downs but at least I get twice the loooove!! :love: I don't regret having a second Pit, I just do what I gotta do whether I like it or not!!