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HELP - rescued a big dog and it keeps growling at my little dog

September 20th, 2008, 02:20 AM
Hi all - I'm new to this. I have recently rescued a pitbull cross who i ADORE. she is very gentle with myself and my wife, and she is somewhat submissive. She gets along well with my smaller male dog, but keeps growling at my small female dog. she has also lunged at her twice. What am I doing wrong? I have been firm about setting the rules and she responds to me more than my wife. I do not want to give her up!!! how do I get her to see my small female as a friend and not an enemy???

Please help!!!

September 20th, 2008, 01:43 PM
First of all, thank-you for rescuing her!!!! I love pits too. You may want to check out the training and behaviour problems section too. Whenever you bring in a new dog, there is a pecking order that the dogs have to figure out. I would guess she may be an alpha dog and challenging your female dog or maybe intimidated by your little one at some point. I would suggest walking the two on leash together and keep some distance so they don't have to be nervous or upset. Include stops on neutral ground (off your property) and let them slowly meet for very short intervals. Then walk, walk, walk and totally tire them out. A tired dog is a good dog. I would also switch dogs back and forth on the walk with your wife. Watch the dogs interaction, who leads, tails up or down, praise, praise, praise for good behaviour and try to keep their minds busy and off of each other by changing walking direction, crossing streets etc. Make it a fun walk.

Also, feed them separately so they don't get into any skuffles or feel threatened. Then, training at home or training classes so she knows who is boss and will listen and obey. Use the "nothing is free" philosophy where she has to do something (sit) for food or a pat. Also, keep toys away until they are better together. Don't want a fight.

I'm no specialist at this and I'm sure you'll get a lot of more experienced people here to reply. Good luck and let us know how it works out.:thumbs up

September 20th, 2008, 08:10 PM
This is a dangerous situation for your small dog, you need to seek advice from a prof. trainer if these 2 are ever going to tolerate each other.

September 20th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I have to agree. Many dogs get along with others of the opposite sex but don't tolerate the same gender. Are they all spayed and neutered? I would definitely seek the help of a professional. And whatever you do, please don't coddle the newcomer as this may encourage her behavior.

September 22nd, 2008, 08:27 AM
This is a dangerous situation for your small dog, you need to seek advice from a prof. trainer if these 2 are ever going to tolerate each other.

Sorry - I have to agree. You are very kind to take in a rescue however sometimes it may be like a 'bad marriage'.

I have had many fosters and I must tell you that my stubborness cost the life of one of my own many years ago. I learnt the hard way - and I will never forgive myself for this.

Though I am a true believer in letting things work it's way out - if your dog is smaller and this one is more powerful, please be careful. Just the fact that the new dog is making herself very comfortable so early is not that good...

Some rescues and volunteers may disagree with what I am saying but follow your instincts. If you feel this is dangerous - then it is. Take it from someone who kept trying only to lose one of my own.

Good luck.