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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:07 AM
BabyGrl BabyGrl is offline
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Pits and Rotties living together?

HI all,

I have a question..

DH and I currently have a soon-tobe 5year old female pitbull. We've had her since she was a pup (actually probably too soon as we expect she was taken from her mom too early). We also ahve a 19 month old daughter.

My MIL has a 5 year old female rottie who she has to part with due to divorce. DH and I would love to take her in, but I'm very concerned about how our dog, Shelby and her would interact. They know each other and play well together, but I'm talking abotu co-habitating and living on a day to day basis. DH and I both work and DH works long hours and isn't home too much so everything would fall on me. She is a good dog, I'm just concerned about having two very dominant dogs (female no less) living together, especially when we're not home.

Also, I worry that jealousy issues may develop and that one dog will always want to be higher than the other in terms of pack ranking. I don't have time, with my 19month old, to really put too much into training them to live together. I also worry that I'd have to constantly keep my eye on both of them with my daughter around.

Just wondering if anyone has any insight. I feel like this would be too much for me to take on, virtually alone, due to DH's work schedule, depending on the amount of work we'd have to put in. The Rottie is a great dog, and if we didn't have our Pit, I would do it in a heartbeat, it's the relationship between the two dogs that concerns me.

Thanks!
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:13 AM
BabyGrl BabyGrl is offline
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Also, to add, the rottie is currently NOT spayed and possibly pregnant (grrrr! These are both totally seperate issues that anger me, but that's another topic!). So we'd then have puppies to deal with re-homing as well as having her spayed and possibly her going into heat, as I've never had an unspayed dog so I don't know what the "rule" is about how long to wait after they've given birth to have them spayed. *sigh*
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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Seriously, if you don't feel you have the time to give to the two dogs and their possible issues then it is not the time to add the rottie to the family. What would happen if they did have issues and your little one got in the middle? I know that's a possibility way outside the box but what if? Especially when one of those dogs is not spayed and pregnant with hormones all over the place.
As for the pregnancy - it's pretty easy to get her in and fixed as long as the pregnancy is not far advanced. In fact I would recommend it. We don't need more dogs (or cats) with no homes.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:17 AM
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I'm just concerned about having two very dominant dogs
2 dominant females , unspayed , and you have a 19 month old daughter. You are right to be concerned. This would be an accident waiting to happen.

why aren't these dogs spayed by the way ?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:33 AM
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Frenchy,the Pittie-girl is spayed,I assume,since the poster is upset at the Rottie not being spayed.
Baby-girl,I know nothing about dominance in dogs,but common sense tells me,a pregnant female and another female might not be a good mix.

However you say they know each other and play together,so I don't know.

We have a member who has 2 beautiful Pitties and a Rottie,I don't think the breed has anything to do with it,except they are strong powerful dogs,would it come to a fight.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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MY dog (the pit), is spayed. The Rottie we'd be taking in isn't. There's no good reason for it, she was just never spayed. We would be spaying her though, if we were to take her in.

I feel bad because this dog was my husband's uncle's dog. My MIL has had the dog for a long time, because he was living with her but he passed away in May. Now my MIL is divorcing her husband and will be getting an apartment so she can't keep the Rottie. I know my husband would love to take her in, not only because she's a good dog, but for sentimental reasons being that she belonged to his favorite uncle. She's a great dog, and if we didn't already have a dominant dog, I'd take her in a second, but I really worry about the reprocussions if we were to leave them alone during the day. Mostly if jealousy and territorial issues arise, moreso on behalf of our pit, since she was here first. DH is very loving and even with our pit, he has troubles with boundaries. I.E. she sleeps on our bed, up until about a year ago when we moved, she was allowed on the furniture, etc. So I can't see how he would let her do things and not the Rottie. And if they are both allowed, will there be fights over who wants the couch, etc? There certanily wouldn't be 2 in our bed!!!! I draw the line there. LOL But am I right to believe that all these things could lead to problems given the nature of the breeds?? Would they have a power struggle with one another? I really wouldn't want to come home to a massacre in our house.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Would they have a power struggle with one another?
sorry I thought yours wasn't spayed either

Power struggle , if they're 2 dominant dogs , yes. You could always crate them in the day time but , you would have to supervise when they're not crated , and I don't think you could do this 100% if you also have a young kid to watch. I would never put 2 dominant dogs together in the house house , and certainly not with a kid in the mix !

Now your MIL , she could still keep her dog living in an appartment , where's the problem ?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:01 AM
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Now your MIL , she could still keep her dog living in an appartment , where's the problem ?
Because she would already be taking her **** Zu and cat with her. She will be moving in with her daughter and her two young kids. I think it would be very hectic. Plus she lives in a small town and a lot of times they don't allow big dogs whent hey rent out places. I'm assuming, given the amount of people there will be living there, she's also considering space to be an issue as well.

Also, since she came from a 1 owner, male household originally, I don't know if kids (especially toddlers) would be an issue. This dog has always been fine around our daughter and SIL's kids, but on an ongoing basis, given the stage that DD is at (toddling around, unpredictable, etc.) would the dog be ok with this? Even as it is now, with MIL and her husband, there's no kids there full time. So that's a total change for the dog too.

I'm definitely concerned about the two dominant dogs. Especially since my husband works till 9pm most nights and on Saturdays so I'm left to handle everything on my own, with a child. So should a problem arise wile I'm there alone, there's no way I could tend to it. Now there's no guarantee that something WILL happen, they could be the best of friends. It's just that since our dog has never lived with another dog before and the Rottie has only lived with a small bereed dog, I don't know how they would comingle, especially since both breeds are very protective of family.

The Rottie also doesn't like aggression, likely due to the way she was originally trained which involved force. She's a very sweet dog and very loving but we've been told that if she were to witness agression, she wouldn't take kindly to it. Not that she'd witness that in our house, but what if we were just playing around with each other (DH and I) or with our Pittie and she misinterpreted it? I think a big issue too is that, I don't know her well enough to know how she would react in different sitations or to know her complete temperment as it is on a daily basis.

I hate the thought of her being sheltered or given to the wrong people and I would love to take her in, I just don't want to be clueless and naive and think that it would work out fine. I know the risks, but the other side is, it COULD all work out fine and it might even be better, as it would give our Pittie a constant playmate, which I'm sure she would love. But I'm not willing to risk 1 or 2 dead or injured dogs or a harmed child. Given the nature of their breeds re: dominance, I don't know what work we would have to do to ensure that they lived harmoniously. Can you even ensure that?? Can you train them or do you have to train them to live together? Would this still be an issue if of of the dog were a **** Zu, for example? I know I wouldn't have any problems with this if they were different breeds. But am I just being prejudice?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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Because she would already be taking her **** Zu and cat with her. She will be moving in with her daughter and her two young kids. I think it would be very hectic. Plus she lives in a small town and a lot of times they don't allow big dogs whent hey rent out places. I'm assuming, given the amount of people there will be living there, she's also considering space to be an issue as well.

Also, since she came from a 1 owner, male household originally, I don't know if kids (especially toddlers) would be an issue. This dog has always been fine around our daughter and SIL's kids, but on an ongoing basis, given the stage that DD is at (toddling around, unpredictable, etc.) would the dog be ok with this? Even as it is now, with MIL and her husband, there's no kids there full time. So that's a total change for the dog too.

I'm definitely concerned about the two dominant dogs. Especially since my husband works till 9pm most nights and on Saturdays so I'm left to handle everything on my own, with a child. So should a problem arise wile I'm there alone, there's no way I could tend to it. (You could quite easily, if you are not there to supervise, I would crate at least one, but maybe both dogs. That way you know everyone is safe.) Now there's no guarantee that something WILL happen, they could be the best of friends. It's just that since our dog has never lived with another dog before and the Rottie has only lived with a small bereed dog, I don't know how they would comingle, especially since both breeds are very protective of family. It becomes a whole new situation when another dog comes to live full-time in the home. You have two female dogs (one possible pregnant! Oy!) of the same size... although it's a debate how true this is, it is not uncommon for two dogs of the same sex and size, especially females, to be more prone to fight with one another

The Rottie also doesn't like aggression, likely due to the way she was originally trained which involved force. She's a very sweet dog and very loving but we've been told that if she were to witness agression, she wouldn't take kindly to it. Not that she'd witness that in our house, but what if we were just playing around with each other (DH and I) or with our Pittie and she misinterpreted it? I think a big issue too is that, I don't know her well enough to know how she would react in different sitations or to know her complete temperment as it is on a daily basis.

I hate the thought of her being sheltered or given to the wrong people and I would love to take her in, I just don't want to be clueless and naive and think that it would work out fine. I know the risks, but the other side is, it COULD all work out fine and it might even be better, as it would give our Pittie a constant playmate, which I'm sure she would love. But I'm not willing to risk 1 or 2 dead or injured dogs or a harmed child. Given the nature of their breeds re: dominance, I don't know what work we would have to do to ensure that they lived harmoniously. Can you even ensure that?? Can you train them or do you have to train them to live together? Would this still be an issue if of of the dog were a **** Zu, for example? I know I wouldn't have any problems with this if they were different breeds. But am I just being prejudice?
This is a lot to take on. Given your concerns and hesitance, I would be very, very weary of taking this dog in. I am a bleeding heart myself, so I can appreciate you feeling somewhat obliged and responsible to take this dog in, but it's not for the best if it ends up with one or both dogs seriously injured or worse, or most importantly, your child's safety being compromised.

She doesn't need to end up in a shelter or a bad home. You can certainly be very picky about who she goes to, and can screen the applicants well by asking for references, what dog experience they have, etc. etc. I would recommend having the Rottie spayed first, and asking something monetary wise for her (I'm weary of "Free to good home" tales).

You absolutely cannot ensure or have any guarnantee that they will live harmoniously. Any two dogs, raised from any stage of life, of any breed can get into fights, and most will at some point. Your Pittie has been the only (thus alpha) dog of the home, you can bet that if the Rottie moves in she will feel that her "status" in the pack is being challenged. They will have to re-structure the pack order, and this can involve physical fighting (although it may not). While there is things you can do to help them co-habit together, there is never a guarnantee they will never, ever fight.

In answer to your question, yes, this could still be an issue with a shihtzu! The breeds don't matter. The major difference, IMO, is instead of a 15 lb dog you have two huge breeds that I would assume weigh anywhere from 60 lbs - 100 lbs. Are you physically capable of breaking up a fight between two dogs that together probably weigh more than you do?

I'm sorry if this isn't what you want to hear. Ultimately it's your decision. But you even said so yourself that you are very concerned. Especially, since you have a very young child and your SO is away from home alot, I would be very reluctant to take on another dog at this point, no matter what the breed or circumstance.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:39 AM
BabyGrl BabyGrl is offline
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Thank you. You've pretty much summed up everything I've been thinking. I understand dogs can live together and not have issues, but the bottom line is, no, I couldn't break them apart should an altercation occur. In fact, I'd probably be scared out of my wits, grab DD and run out of the house, leaving the two of them to battle it out. I'm not getting myself killed and leaving DD motherless for any animal.

The Rottie is an awesome dog, and it breaks my heart that we can't take her in, especially because of her being DH's uncle's dog so there's an additional sentimental aspect, but I just think that, given the fact that we already have a powerful dog, we have a young child and DH is not home a lot, this isn't the best time. Even if DH were home at 5pm, like me, I'd probably consider it more because I'd have a second set of eyes and hands and he could deal with something, should anything happen. But my priority is our daughter and its hard enough getting things done now while trying to keep an eye on her, I can't imagine how I would be if I had to keep an eye on her AND two dogs.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 01:44 PM
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I have to agree that this is not a good idea for you, at this time. Obviously you need to worry about your DD first and foremost. Given all the uncertainties I would recommend against it. I did have a similar scenario several years ago and the two dogs did fight at times when my child was nearby and I was occupied, like on the toilet! It was not something that I could allow and the second dog sadly had to be rehomed. It would not be of any value to either dog no matter how much you love them if a fight occured and both dogs were injured or had to be destroyed later on due to their aggressions. I think the best course is to take your time finding her a new home with great owners, or surrender her to a rescue who can do that for you. If she is not terribly into her pregnancy at this point I would also recommend having her spayed immediately and aborting the pups. Puppies at this stage will delay her being able to be rehomed and spayed in a timely manner - unless you find a rescue willing to take in a pregnant female. Good luck to you with this very tough decision. Trust your gut.

Last edited by Dog Dancer; August 9th, 2010 at 02:25 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 01:56 PM
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I think my MIL said their neighbours would take her. They live in the country so this would ideal for Jersey (the Rottie) plus they have 3 male Labs, so probably a better fit.

As for the pregnancy, apparently she should be due on the 20th, if she is pregnant. So too far into it now, I think. I don't really understand this...if they aren't sure if she's pregnant then how do they know when she would be due? And how do you not know if a dog is pregnant? Or if it is for that matter? I don't know anything about dog pregnancies, since all of my animals have been spayed.

Anyways, I talked to my husband and told him the only way this could work is if he'd be willing to re-home our Pit (which I knew he wouldn't do) because there's no way I could keep my eye on both dogs and the baby at all times. He said there was no way he's getting rid of our dog but at least this way I made it his decision. I didn't want him to resent me if I came right out andtold him "no", since it was his uncle's dog. But he was also concerned for our daughter and me, if something were to happen, so I think he's confident in our decision. I hope!
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Old August 9th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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I have to say again, I think this is the best decision for now.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BabyGrl View Post
Thank you. You've pretty much summed up everything I've been thinking. I understand dogs can live together and not have issues, but the bottom line is, no, I couldn't break them apart should an altercation occur. In fact, I'd probably be scared out of my wits, grab DD and run out of the house, leaving the two of them to battle it out. I'm not getting myself killed and leaving DD motherless for any animal.

The Rottie is an awesome dog, and it breaks my heart that we can't take her in, especially because of her being DH's uncle's dog so there's an additional sentimental aspect, but I just think that, given the fact that we already have a powerful dog, we have a young child and DH is not home a lot, this isn't the best time. Even if DH were home at 5pm, like me, I'd probably consider it more because I'd have a second set of eyes and hands and he could deal with something, should anything happen. But my priority is our daughter and its hard enough getting things done now while trying to keep an eye on her, I can't imagine how I would be if I had to keep an eye on her AND two dogs.
BabyGrl, I also meant to mention that you should check for breed-specific rescues in your area for the Rottie. I know around here, we have rescues that specialize in certain breeds (i.e. Rotties, Greyhounds, Pits, etc) and may better understand the specific needs of the specific breed, than a regular humane society or SPCA will. They should be able to place this gal in an appropriate home and may be better able to screen a home then you may have the time for

I can't imagine watching a 19 month old and two large dogs all the time , and especially with a new dog joining the pack, it would be critical to be able to supervise 24/7.

I think you are making the right choice I know it's hard, and can really tug on your heart strings, but I think it's in the best interests for you, your hubby, your daughter, and both dogs involved.

Please keep us posted and let us know if we can help in anyway!
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Thanks everyone!! So my hubby talked to his mother yesterday and funny enough, she asked if we'd be terribly upset if she gave the Rottie to her next door neighbour. Apparently she has looked after the dog quite a bit when they have been away and they have a pretty good bond. So Jersey, the Rottie, will in fact be going to their neighbours...these are the ones that have the 3 male labs. I'm happy to know that because they are in the country so she can run around, she'll have companionship with other dogs and it's people she knows and is comfortable with. So I don't think we could've asked for a better outcome. Also I'd already discussed it with DH and we were both agreed that it would be too much for us to take on, but this way at least, he didn't have to tell his mother "No". So a happy ending for Jersey! Although DH then said he wanted one of the puppies if she is in fact pregnant. I looked at his and said "If we're not willing to take on a 5 year old dog who is already trained, why do you think bringing a puppy in right now would work!?!" LOL I think I put the kybosh on that pretty quick. I definitely don't have time to take on a pup. Ugh!

Thanks again for all your feedback everyone!!
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Sounds like things are working out well for all concerned.

I sure hope they will get that dear girl spayed though, as soon as it is safe to do so. I know you have no control over that.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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"If we're not willing to take on a 5 year old dog who is already trained, why do you think bringing a puppy in right now would work!?!" LOL
good reply BabyGrl

Do you know if the 3 males are neutered ? Even if they are , I'm hoping the new owners will get the Rottie spayed. Maybe MIL could make sure of that ? Even offer to help pay for it ?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Oh I'm pretty sure they will get her spayed. I'm fairly certain all of their dogs are neutered, I seem to vaguely remember when they got their youngest done. Having 3 males in there, I don't see how they would be able to keep them apart from Jersey every time she was in heat so I'm sure they would have no choice. It would be too difficult, plus seeing as they only have males, they probably aren't used to dealing with heats. I assume if they got their guys done they will get her done. Afterall, with their 3 guys they only have to worry about 3 little pr*cks, with Jersey, they'd have to worry about every little pr*ck in town.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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Yes if the female goes into heat , even neutered males will .... know !

and also spaying the female will rule out any chances of her getting pyometra.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:18 AM
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No, I meant, I don't know if the new owners would know how to handle her going into heat and what to do.

I've never heard of pyometra..
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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I've never heard of pyometra..
It's an infection of the uterus unspayed females can get. The problem is , when you finally "see it" (the female will have vaginal discharge because her uterus is filled with puss) it can be too late and fatal for the dog.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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OMG! I'll mention that to MIL tonight.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:50 PM
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BG,I am glad everything worked out for both you and Jersey
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Old August 10th, 2010, 05:43 PM
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I am so glad this worked out for all! and yes, please speak to your MIL or the new owners so they can get the dog spayed ASAP.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 07:10 PM
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Found this thread to be very interesting and am very, very glad that Jersey found a good home.

Can't offer advice since problem solved, but have a funny asside about canine dominance. We have a 20lb female cocker spaniel, my step-son and DIL have a 60lb male "Mount Currie special" (Mount Currie is an Indian Reservation approximately 3.5 hours north-west of Vancouver, BC, so read semi-ferral mixed breed, with possible wolf or cyote). Guess who's the dominant dog ... you got it, my pint-sized CS! So it's possible that Jersey could have been the "not dominant" (terminology?) dog and may not have had problems with your Pitt Girl, but you never know. I think you made the right choice.

BTW, awsome handling of your DH. Wish I could think on my feet like that!
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