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To All Pit Bull Owners-- my dog is becoming aggressive

hapixbuni
June 7th, 2006, 11:14 PM
i recently brought home my new 6 week old pit puppy and have been seeing some strong signs of pre aggression. iv heard puppies this age are often rough because of the fact theyre puppies but my pup, romeo, cant seem to get along w/any other dog. hes fine w/humans, he nips as much as any pup would, but hes not aggressive about it much. most the time hes a real cuddler and will easily lay next/on you and go to sleep, but once in the company of another dog he refuses to calm down. his form of play involves repeatly biting the other dogs back, neck, tail, ear, w/he can get his teeth on.
even when the dog leaves he goes after them and starts snarling, barking, lunging when they try to pull away (which by that point starts irratating the other dog making them act like theyr gunna attack). he doesnt calm down or stop biting at any time while he knows theyre there and actually starts whining if i seperate them and he can still see them.
my real concern is for his household roomie, my 7.5 yr old maltese sammy. i know romeo will easily get to 40-50 lbs and i cant keep them seperated all the time. plus i want them to get along, i want him to be able to get along with any dog.
he will be starting obedience school in about 2-3 weeks and neutered once hes old enough so im hoping that will help some. but what all else can i do before/after/during in order to help the process along.
thank you.

Lucky Rescue
June 7th, 2006, 11:26 PM
6 weeks old is WAY too young to be separated from mother and siblings, and this can cause a lot of problems, since puppies need to stay with the litter much longer to learn proper dog behavior. Puppies teach each other bite inhibition and generally how to be a dog.

Taking him to puppy classes is a good idea. Another good idea is to let him socialize with calm adult dogs, who WILL put him in his place without hurting him.

my real concern is for his household roomie, my 7.5 yr old maltese sammy. i know romeo will easily get to 40-50 lbs and i cant keep them seperated all the time. plus i want them to get along, i want him to be able to get along with any dog.

You may very well have to separate them. Hopefully you won't have to separate them when you're home, but you must prepare for that possibility. You must never leave a pit bull alone with any other dog, or take them to off leash parks.

You do know that pit bulls are disposed towards being dog aggressive upon maturity? There is no way you can expect an adult pit bull to "get along with any dog". The number of pit bulls who are like that are very, very small.

If you want a dog like that, you chose the wrong breed. I chose my pit bull because she loves ALL people and even cats. That's enough and I don't expect her to be buddies with all other dogs. It just isn't their nature.

Pit bulls prefer the company of people, not other dogs.

hapixbuni
June 8th, 2006, 12:18 AM
lucky rescue-

BELIEVE ME, i know that 6 weeks is too young to seperate a puppy.. the thing is my bf was the one who bought me romeo as a bday gift. hes not that well informed when it comes to researching before buying and bought off of impulse. he paid for romeo when the litter was only about 4 weeks old and took me to see him later on, so i had no idea what he had done. once i did see the litter i talked to the ppl who were selling them, surveyed the parents as well as their enviroment, everything was in great order. i could tell the ppl truly loved animals as they questioned me for my intentions and made it quite clear that he should be neutered and not used for anything illegal. and only b/c of that did i agreed to keeping the pup. even then i visited the litter every weekend, played with them, helped clean them and had lots of interaction up until they were 6 weeks. i planned on telling the lady that i wanted to wait a few more weeks BUT once i got there all of his littermates had already been taken to their homes! hed already been completely weaned and i figured i could help solcialize him more myself.

iv done plenty of research on pits, i thought about adopting one last yr, so i know all the conserns on them. i know the risks and the precautions i need to take. i know theyr naturally dog aggressive but i also know good socializion takes away from that. i also know many pit owners whose pits enjoy the company of theirs and other dogs. thank you for the concern though.

Another good idea is to let him socialize with calm adult dogs, who WILL put him in his place without hurting him.

the dogs that i have introduced him to, including my maltese, are pretty calm dogs. sam plays back with romeo w/o ever actually even play biting back. i actually KNOW its just ME getting nervous once romeo starts crossing the line and i start hearing sam growling at him. i dont know why i get like that b/c we've had our neighbors golden retreiver play with sam since it was 4 months and not once did anything ever go bad, even when the retriever would knock sam around with his big puppy size. he is now a gianormious yearly and they are still the best of friends. i guess im just waiting for someone to reassure me in that they wont hurt each other, just establish their status in the pack...

erykah1310
June 8th, 2006, 12:22 AM
You do know that pit bulls are disposed towards being dog aggressive upon maturity? There is no way you can expect an adult pit bull to "get along with any dog".
Is it as bad with Pits as it is with Bull Terriers?? ( Little thread jack there)

I have seen a few pits with other dogs and they were getting along great. (not trying to say that they will) really dont listen to my advice I have never had the pleasure to be owned by a pit. (not my breed of choice)

Cant this "desire" to fight, be bred out of Pits? Prolly what responsible breeders are doing, i guess.

Anyway sorry i have no advice for you, but congrats on your new pup.

Lucky Rescue
June 8th, 2006, 07:45 AM
i actually KNOW its just ME getting nervous once romeo starts crossing the line and i start hearing sam growling at him.

You have reason to be nervous since your puppy is being quite aggressive with these dogs.

i know theyr naturally dog aggressive but i also know good socializion takes away from that. i also know many pit owners whose pits enjoy the company of theirs and other dogs. thank you for the concern though.

Yes, many pit bulls have friends who they play very well with. But you mustn't expect him to get along with all dogs once he is mature. Pit bulls can be fine with any dog but can stop doing that very suddenly when they reach 2, 3 or even 4 years. Socialization and neutering can certainly help, but if your dog is going to become dog aggro, you can't change that, although he may always get along with certain dogs and for sure you can teach him to behave in your presence.

My own pit bull is not particularly aggressive, but she has become more intolerant of any rude behavior by other dogs. With BSL rampant, you can't be too careful.

Here is one of the best and most informative sites on the net:
http://realpitbull.com/

Cant this "desire" to fight, be bred out of Pits?

Probably, but I don't see it happening.

kaytris
June 8th, 2006, 07:54 AM
done plenty of research on pits, i thought about adopting one last yr, so i know all the conserns on them. i know the risks and the precautions i need to take. i know theyr naturally dog aggressive but i also know good socializion takes away from that

Let me preface this by saying that I love, love, love pitbulls. If it wasn't for the potential for dog aggression, I would have a housefull.

But on to your situation:

I would be really really careful with a puppy that shows real aggression this young. (Caveat - I would get a trainer to observe this, to make sure this is not just rough play). Personally, I wouldn't keep this puppy, but that will be your decision to make - but whatever you decide, do NOT ever ever EVER leave the puppy alone with the maltese, not even for a second.

The size difference alone means the maltese is never going to win a scuffle, and will end up losing more than pride.

Socialization and training will control some of the impulses and drive, but I would never trust a truly 'hot' pitbull with another dog

This is a good site on pitbull temperament - http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/item.php?id=1&topic=42&item=82

Based on what you've stated here, I have to say your puppy may fall in the level 8 or higher categories

Lucky Rescue
June 8th, 2006, 08:10 AM
A very short and simple rule:

Never trust a pit bull NOT to fight.

phoenix
June 8th, 2006, 08:11 AM
wow, at only 6 weeks...

puppies are usually tolerated well by adult dogs, but i'll tell you that i think if your pup tried that with my dog, he'd be flat on his back with jaws around his neck until he stopped.

both of my dogs were rough as puppies... but they never vocalized like you're describing. One of the things to look for: does he stop if an older dog warns him? Sounds like he keeps on going even if warned.

Pit bull or not, until he's an adult I think he would be at risk of injury by another dog since he lacks the social skills to play... and then if he continued into adulthood like that, he could seriously hurt other large dogs, never mind your little maltese.

I'd see a behaviourist and let a professional decide if the puppy's actions are out of the ordinary. I agree with LR: I'm confused, if you did your research about this breed, why you would bring it into a home with a small dog already living there. I wouldn't leave the 2 alone together, ever.

pitgrrl
June 8th, 2006, 12:26 PM
I agree with LR: I'm confused, if you did your research about this breed, why you would bring it into a home with a small dog already living there. I wouldn't leave the 2 alone together, ever.

I agree that the two should never be left unsupervised together, but I have to disagree with the statement that pitbulls are, as a generalization, a bad breed to have around small dogs.
I have two pitbulls, both of whom are selectively dog aggressive, but who are extrodinarily gentle with small dogs. They allow the little ones to do absolutely anything to them with no negative reactions what so ever, and they are not an exception. Dog aggression and prey drive can express itself in ways as individual as the dog themselves.

Just to add to the advice already given, I have heard of puppies as young as yours being dog aggressive. Although not typical, it does happen. As others have suggested, it seems like a behaviorist is in order, if only to help you distinguish between dog aggression and behaviors stemming from lack of dog socialization with the puppy's littermates and mother.

I think it is also important to reiterate what I'm sure you have found when you researched the breed. Anytime you have a pitbull in a multidog household, you must be prepared for the possibility of permentant seperation of the dogs. Although many pitbulls live happily with other animals, the predisposition towards dog aggression requires, I think, owners to have a plan B if their puppy does turn out to be very intolerant of other dogs.

Lucky Rescue
June 8th, 2006, 01:18 PM
It's very true that pit bulls are often highly tolerant of very small dogs - Chihuahuas in particular seem to be able to get away with nearly anything. Many pit bulls seem to prefer opponents their own size or larger.

My dog is less tolerant of big dogs, but seems to find it funny when itty bitty dogs lunge and bark at her.

Here's a Chi who regularly uses "his" pit bull as a bed.:p