- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Pitbull advice needed

November 10th, 2004, 07:14 PM
I am desperate for some advice. My beloved pitbull has become aggressive toward my other dog, almost killed her in a big fight. I had to break them up with a fire extinguisher. My vet has advised that we have the pitbull put to sleep, says she will attack a person. Right now, we have a fenced in yard, no children, keeping the dogs apart, using a muzzle. We will consider anything. Can anyone give me some advice? I love both dogs. She is so loving usually. Before we got her, she had been hit by a car, blinded in one eye and with a hip injury. We are always very careful to keep her away from strangers. She loves our adult sons when they come to visit.

November 10th, 2004, 07:55 PM
That's a tough situation. Do you have a way to separate them when you can't be around to supervise them? That would be my first thought. Both our dogs are crate trained so that we can keep them controlled and separated. Oh, and we have a 16 lb Sheltie and a 39 lb Staffordshire Bull Terrier, so believe me, we know about mixing up different dogs together. Ironically, it's the Sheltie who is more dog-aggressive.

As for the issue of dog-aggression leading towards people-aggression, everything I've read suggests that is not necessarily the case. If the dog is biting unpredictably, that's much more of a worry, but if there is a territorial or other pack-like behaviour behind their dog-on-dog squabbles, there's a reason why your pit did this. Pitties can tend to be more dog aggressive, sadly, but there are usually ways to deal with that.

Lucky Rescue
November 10th, 2004, 07:55 PM
My vet has advised that we have the pitbull put to sleep, says she will attack a person

I'm sorry, but this makes me extremely angry. If you had a greyhound who killed rabbits would he advise having it killed because it might attack people next?? :mad: I doubt he would have suggested killing any other breed of dog because it got into a fight.

Is your dog aggressive towards any people? Why do you keep her away from strangers?
Dog aggression and human aggression are two very different things. Even pit bulls who have been fought multiple times can still be wonderful and submissive with people. A pit bull can be both dog aggressive AND human aggressive, but one has nothing to do with the other.

If your dog is sweet and loving with people, there is no reason on earth to think that will change. My pit bull just loves everyone, and even other animals and I would trust her completely with any people BUT I would never leave her alone with another dog.

Did you know that pit bulls are predisposed to being aggressive to other dogs?
You must never ever leave her alone with your other dog. If they are getting into fights when you are right there, then you must keep them separated. How old is your pit bull? If she is 3 or 4 years old, this is often the age when aggression will become apparent, if it's going to happen at all.

I know many people who have multiple dogs, including pit bulls, and say that once they get into a routine of separate walks, feeding, etc. it becomes easy.

Here is a site that will explain things to you in more depth.
The Real Pit Bull (

November 11th, 2004, 08:07 AM
Were the dogs playing or rough housing together before this fight? If your pit still gets pains from her accident, maybe that is part of the reason for the fight. Were there any toys or food involved? Some dogs can be very possessive over toys, food, territory etc. Is this one incident or are there more? Does she growl or snap at the other dog for absolutely no reason?? If the two dogs have gotten along before this, I just wonder if there was a reason for this incident.

Like LuckyRescue said Pit Bulls are predisposed to dog aggressiveness. Take all necessary precautions that you can to avoid another situation like this. My Pit Bull was raised with other dogs BUT I would never trust to leave him alone without supervision. The number one rule for owning a Pit Bull is to never trust your dog not to fight! When my dog is playing with other dogs, I always keep this in mind. It is better to be safe then sorry.

If need be, find a dog behaviourist or trainer that deals with aggression and seek their advice and help. Putting the dog to sleep should be the absolute last resort!

Good Luck and I hope your other dog is OK!

November 11th, 2004, 08:24 AM
Lucky said it well.

Please keep these dogs seperated when unsupervised. And by unsupervised I mean that you're not right beside them. A dog fight can happen in the blink of an eye and if your in the kitchen while they are in the living room, that can be too far! This canbe done by making sure that when you're leaving the room that someone else is there, one dog comes with you, one is in a bedroom or kennel for a short time.

I don't think that putting the dog to sleep in necessary at all. I also don't believe that crating a dog and keeping it from the family is the best way for that dog to live. There needs to be a happy medium where either the two dogs can co-exist or changes in living arrangements shoud be made. Sure, seperation and rotation can work great, but who's happy?? That's just my opinion.

November 12th, 2004, 10:24 AM
First thing you need to do, is get a new vet.

Secondly, we had this issue with Daisy. She gets along with most dogs when she is off-leash (in our backyard or at other people's houses), but, to be honest, she can be quite annoying for other dogs. She kept pushing my parents dog until he got annoyed, then a fight broke out. She doesn't mean to start a fight, but when the other dog turns, she won't back down. I've seen her do it a few times, and it usually starts because she pulled a tail or something. There was one time where she thought my parents dog was attacking my sister, and she pulled her leash out of the wall and went after him, and we had to pull them apart. After that, the two could not be in the same area together unless one was in the run. She also got into a scrap with my brother-in-laws dog, and again it was a fight because she was being annoying. Since then, they don't get along either. But she still plays nice with other dogs. It seems she has an unforgiving nature when it comes to other dogs. But she's still as gentle as ever with people.

I think you're fine as far as aggression towards people, and as every vet I've talked to will tell you, the one is not necessarily an indicator of the other. That's the first time I've ever heard that from a vet. I agree with everyone that you will need to keep the two separated when you aren't around. Possibly two pens outside, or one pen and rotate the dogs, or put them in two different rooms when you aren't home. Daisy likes to annoy the cats (they don't like her, but she seems to like them fine) so we used to put a baby-gate at the bottom of the stairs so the cats could roam around, and get upstairs if Daisy annoyed them during the day.

November 12th, 2004, 04:10 PM
I really appreciate the responses. Our pit bull has always been very loving with us. The fight actually started over some cat food that had been spilled. I will keep the dogs apart. Both are house dogs plus we have a fenced yard, so we are keeping them alternated. I've been putting a muzzle on the aggressive one when they are in the same room. She has accepted that quite well since I give her treats before and after. I was so devastated with our vet's dire warning, THANKS to all of you for the reassurances and suggestions. I will definitely consider finding a behavior therapist.
THANK YOU very much.

November 12th, 2004, 04:20 PM
You guys are wonderful :thumbs up I am sure Topaz was horrified at the stupid suggestion to have her pittie put down and will probably look for another vet.But all your experiences with pitties and your advice must have made her feel so much better,you guys are great :thumbs up

November 12th, 2004, 04:34 PM
Hey, someone has to stick up for them, and who better than those who know that they are more of "licking time-bombs" than ticking? ;)

I would also keep an eye on them and see how they react to each other. Was it a one time thing? I wouldn't ever leave them alone together, and I'd always be weary, but at the same time, it may have been a one-time thing. What I noticed from Daisy is that she will NOT back down, regardless of the why or how, once she gets into it (not that this has happened alot). It can be quite frightening, I know. But I've seen her get into it with my Dad's husky (she pushed the playfullness too far until his dog turned on her), and next thing we know, there was a scrap. Next time they met, they were fine. Also, my understanding of the muzzle is it doesn't stop the dog from being aggressive, only from actually doing any damage. I have no experience in this, so maybe someone else can confirm or deny.

I don't want to see you let your guard down, but I don't want to see you live in fear either. If it makes you feel any better, lots of people have dogs that they can't leave alone in the same room, pits and otherwise.

November 12th, 2004, 06:27 PM
This was probably said but here it goes:

Your vet is an uneducate say the least..he doesn't know anything about pit bulls, and now that we've all given you some information, I strongly suggest that you send some flyers and pit bull information websites so that this shmuck doesn't say the same things to some other unfortunate people, and aid in spreading around the bad rap that this breed is suffering...that is insanity..any person that knows anything about pit bulls is completely aware that they CAN be dog aggressive...and to be honest, its almost expected..they WERE after all, bred to fight other dogs..and for your vet to say that a person is next, just boils my blood..because of morons like him, there's a breed ban going on where I live..

All you have to do is keep your dogs apart...there's nothing you can really do about animal aggression. If your dog has it, well then he has it...its nearly impossible to train it out of a dog. But please, I beg you to go back to that vet and give him the PROPER information that he is so clearly lacking. I would hate to see some other pit owner putting their dog to sleep after coming out of his office with THAT advice. :(

Hope this thread helped ya out :) Good luck!

Lucky Rescue
November 12th, 2004, 08:03 PM
The fight actually started over some cat food that had been spilled.

Yep, that'll do it. Or a toy left out. Or a glass breaking. Or two frozen peas that rolled under the counter.

A pit bull who has been in one fight may be eager for more, so as said, never leave the dogs alone together and be very very careful about not feeding them together, or giving treats and toys at the same time.

But I have to ask again - why do you feel you must keep this dog away from strangers?

November 19th, 2004, 06:18 PM
Thanks to everyone again. It has been 4 weeks since the big fight. It was a one time event, but I am reconciled to keeping our dogs apart. They have both been very calm, loving, get along great with the cats, and don't seem to miss each other. I can see that there are lots of pit bull lovers. I think ours is one of the most loving dogs I've ever had. :angel: I'm definitely switching vets.

November 20th, 2004, 08:55 PM
Some of the best advice given here was to seek another vet . There is no reason just because a dog fights another dog especially over food to suspect it will become human aggressive . I am happy to see you are looking for a new vet .

November 21st, 2004, 10:20 AM
very true..human aggression and animal aggression are two totally different things that people always suspect as being the same...its like...just because Fido decided to chomp on Rover's tail, it doesn't mean Fido's going to chew off Ally Mae's face....I mean...the people who quote me on that and agree need to go read a few books :rolleyes: