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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three dogs - two pit mixes and a large AB. The AB is male and the pits are female. The one female is 13 years old and does not like the other dogs so she stays upstairs (I work at home and she is with me a good part of the day)

The problem is between the other pit (1 year old) and the AB - 4 years old - they got along well when the pit first came to us. In early January they started fighting over toys. We removed the toys. Then they started fighting over food. We fed them seperately. It has escalated once again.

When one is in the crate (either one) and the other is loose in the house - the free dog attacks the crate. I'm at my wits end.

They can be in our yard together without a problem.

I have signed up a trainer for the pit but my brother is technically the owner of the AB and he has refused to get him training.

Any thoughts?
 

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Sounds like your method of dealing with problems is avoidance. That works in some situations but is not going to work with dog aggression. Some here will tell you there is nothing you can do about dog aggression but I don't agree.

Here is how I would handle it. I would put both dogs on a leash when feeding. I would feed them at the same time side by side. I would use the leash to correct any hint of aggression

Your dogs have escalated because you have't correct the behavior consistently. Correct the unacceptable behavior on a consistent basis and their won't be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i cannot let them be together even on a leash to eat. The fighting is not tolerable at all. the large AB (125lbs) has inadvertently bit me 3 times. I won't have that happen again. And you say "correct the behavior" by using the leash- how? My brother says beat the dog - i really don't think that's the answer. Divert the attention to something else as you would a small child - have you ever seen to bulls fight? Say "NO" firmly - well that is what I had been doing and clearly is not work. Take the dogs out for a walk when they fight since they are now on a leash anyway - isn't that avoidance also?

I believe it can be fixed - I have hired a trainer to work on that - but was interested to hear how others have dealt with similar situations and not to get admonished for my assumed inconsistent training.
 

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Ok

If you can't control the dog with a regular collar then get a pinch or prong collar. Put it at the top of their neck. Anytime they make the slightest move at each other then you correct by jerking he leash up. The key is stopping ANY change in attitude. Once they start fighting it is too late. You need to prevent them from getting to that point.

Prior to giving them any food you need to work them. Walk them until they are tired. They should both be walking with you on opposite sides. Both walking behind you not in front. If they start to move in front you need to correct them with a quick jerk up.

If you can't wear them out by a normal walk then go buy a dog backpack. Put the backpack on and put about 10-20% of their body weight in the backpack. Then walk them.

Trust me if you do that and then keep them on leash while eating you should be able to easily correct any bad behavior.

Beating a dog is not humane and is not the answer. Showing the dog who is boss of the house is the answer. Controling every aspect of their life is the answer. They should know what you find acceptable and what isn't. Not the other way around.

To me it sounds like the dogs run the household when you should be running it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
that was very helpful - thank you! At this point the dogs are running the house. Things have changed dramatically in my home over the past 6 months - chiefly I began working at home. In the past they were very quiet through the day and then we had alot of playtime in the evening until they ate and went to bed. It seems like part of the problem is that I am accessible 24/7. the puppy was abused and is just now learning to walk on a leash - we can go about 10 minutes before she grabs the leash. I play fetch with her in the back yard to wear her out. I think the trainer may help in addition to an attitude adjustment on my part. Also at issue is the puppy is now a year old and is starting to come into her own - i haven't had a puppy in 20 years - i always adopt adults. And she wasn't really meant to stay with us, we were fostering her but have not had on application in 6 months from anyone interested in adopting her.

I'm going to get a couple of prong collars and have started using a squirt bottle when she gets pushy with me either when she is crated or loose.

I won't give up. I love them all very much.
 

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I tink you have a great attitude, and that counts for so much. You didn't get defensive at all, and are clearly trying everything you can to make this situation work. I don't have any advice, I have only one, I just wanted to say, keep up the positive attitude. Best Wishes ~Andrea
 

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I would crate both dogs, I am one that would avoid it. I would rather avoid vet bills, and getting bit. Its a chance you take when you have two bullies.

Good Luck either way.
 

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I think that getting a knowledgable trainer is a good idea. But I just want to remind people that APBTs are NOT pack animals nor were they bred to get along with other animals. Many do & that's great, but the majority do not do well with other dogs & would prefer to be the "only". I am not a proponent of "make them get along" as their purpose was to be a human companion not a doggie playmate. One cannot force their dogs to do something nor can they cahnge hundreds of years of selective breeding in the matter of months or even years....genetics is genetics. However, you can work with your dogs so they can learn to ignore other animals, but they must focus on you....if not, the other dog will happily keep him entertained.
 

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You are right genetics are genetics and I hate to break it to you, they are DOGS FIRST, APBT second. Their nature is to be pack animals. That can NEVER be bred out of them. They are dogs. The difference you ask? APBT need LOTS of leadership. They are strong willed, powerful dogs. They need someone who can let them know what is acceptable and what isn't. They need someone who will put them in their place in the pack 24/7. The problem is that most people aren't willing to do so.
 

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i agree with you jleanar, these dogs were bred to be small, powerfull, courageous and to never give up, they were TRAINED to be dog aggressive. How can training be passed a long in their genes?
Even if it is, they are dogs and dogs can be trained to do whatever you want, especially apbts because they are so willing to please their owner.
 

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bigut64 said:
i agree with you jleanar, these dogs were bred to be small, powerfull, courageous and to never give up, they were TRAINED to be dog aggressive. How can training be passed a long in their genes?
Even if it is, they are dogs and dogs can be trained to do whatever you want, especially apbts because they are so willing to please their owner.
Well they were also breed to be dog aggressive. I understand that also. But that does not change the fact that they by nature are in fact pack animals first. The problem is when you have dogs together that want to be the leader. Most APBT want to be the alpha dog. That is a problem when you throw other dogs in the mix. However when dogs live with humans, dogs should be submissive to the humans and the humans set the "pecking" order.

I believe that some dogs are hard to handle but I do not believe there are many dogs that can't live peacefully with other dogs. Now that doesn't mean I think multiple APBTs should be left unsupervised. Without direction they will get anxious and bored. They will then take that boredom and anxiousness out on each other.

But when human's are supervising, I believe all dogs should be able to get together because the human sets the rules.
 

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but still, i dont get it. How does training get passed along in the dogs genes. Beagles are hunting dogs, because they have the ability, however without proper training the dogs arent hunting dogs. I think people sorta aid the dog aggression in a way. They walk their dog, another dog comes by, the owner gets tense and scared that their dog will fight and pulls the dog back, the dog is like hey that dog is scareing my owner time to kill.

I dunno, that all makes sense but its wrong too though, i just dont get it, i dont understand how a dog can take its training and pass it on to later generations. However i think if cesar can make pit bulls get along with other dogs, i can, i just have to do research and actually put effort into making my dog not be aggressive. Its easy to make your dog ignore other dogs, its hard to break aggression, i dont ever take the easy way out though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All this discussion is very interesting. I did not intend to add the Pit pup to the mix. I have an old pit and a 4 year old AB. I fostered the little pit as she was going into a PA shelter which is a death sentence. It has been over 6 months and I have not received one application for her - so I guess she stays. it is not an ideal situation but I'm also unwilling to destroy her - she is sweet and loyal. I have hired a trainer at $800 a month. He is renowned in my area having trained police dogs; bomb sniffers etc. he is well versed in bully breeds and provided several references of other bully breed owners who had an aggression problem. Clearly, I am committed to doing everything to make this work. if it cannot be corrected we will have to destroy her or the AB which is why I am soliciting as much information as possible. Obviously I am hoping that the "dog" will overcome the "APBT" aspects of her personality and she will learn to coexist peacefully with the AB.
 

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I personally think feeding both dogs on a leash side by side is a BAD move.
You were told to feed both dogs side by side while you hold the leashes,Well what happens if one goes after the other dog,How are you going to handle that situation when both hands are holding a leash.I dont care what kind of collar is on that dog if they are side by side and your standing there with two leashes in your hand you will NOT have any control over that situation.All you are going to do is be in the middle of a very bad situation.

Be safe and feed them separately.
 

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Kelly said:
I personally think feeding both dogs on a leash side by side is a BAD move.
You were told to feed both dogs side by side while you hold the leashes,Well what happens if one goes after the other dog,How are you going to handle that situation when both hands are holding a leash.I dont care what kind of collar is on that dog if they are side by side and your standing there with two leashes in your hand you will NOT have any control over that situation.All you are going to do is be in the middle of a very bad situation.

Be safe and feed them separately.
To each their own. Sorry if I didn't spell everything out. When I suggested feeding side by side on leash, I also meant with two people holding the leash. Also keep in mind I am not refering to having the bowls within 2 feet of each other. Feeding them within 6-7 feet side by side is more than sufficient. Dogs will show the behavior at this distance and it can easily be corrected.

If you let the dogs get to the point of an attack you have already lost. The whole point is to correct any behavior way before it turns into aggression.

The way to stop aggression is to stop it from getting anywhere close to that point. If you can't read your dogs posture and body language then you obviously can't do this.

I don't see why people can't recognize body language prior to attacks. It is really easy to see. The question would be can you react to correct the behavior prior to a dog following through.

If you are goign to be paying a trainer to come in who has bully breed experience then let him handle it. However, I don't care how renowned he is in the area, if he does any physical harm to the dog, tell him to leave. Fear will not solve this problem and I have seen far too many "trainers" who believe in physical abuse to correct a problem. It can be a fine line.
 

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bigut64 said:
but still, i dont get it. How does training get passed along in the dogs genes. Beagles are hunting dogs, because they have the ability, however without proper training the dogs arent hunting dogs. I think people sorta aid the dog aggression in a way. They walk their dog, another dog comes by, the owner gets tense and scared that their dog will fight and pulls the dog back, the dog is like hey that dog is scareing my owner time to kill.

I dunno, that all makes sense but its wrong too though, i just dont get it, i dont understand how a dog can take its training and pass it on to later generations. However i think if cesar can make pit bulls get along with other dogs, i can, i just have to do research and actually put effort into making my dog not be aggressive. Its easy to make your dog ignore other dogs, its hard to break aggression, i dont ever take the easy way out though.
Gameness is what you are describing. Training doesn't pass from gen to gen. Gameness does. It's passed down. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but fighting dogs was (probably still is) the way for determining which dogs were the most game. So if your dog was not acquired from someone who did not test and breed selectively for gameness, your chances of less dog agression are better. :?:

But in the APBT, it is definately a mindset that is passed from generation to generation.
 

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bigut64 said:
I think people sorta aid the dog aggression in a way. They walk their dog, another dog comes by, the owner gets tense and scared that their dog will fight and pulls the dog back, the dog is like hey that dog is scareing my owner time to kill.
When I walk Harley and a person, dog or child go by I pull her to the side. I tell her to sit . She sits. She doesn't show any type of agression towards them. If someone wants to greet us or if they want to bring their dog to meet us thats fine. I feel as long as you don't give off the vibe you are frightened then the dog doesn't feel as if he or the owner is being threatened. Cats on the other hand are a different story. I myself have 5 cats and Harley attampts to play with them but if we are outside and she sees a stray she is definately ready to go after it. I personally think thats just a dog thing, but maybe I'm wrong.

Kelly
 

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Rooney said:
bigut64 said:
but still, i dont get it. How does training get passed along in the dogs genes. Beagles are hunting dogs, because they have the ability, however without proper training the dogs arent hunting dogs. I think people sorta aid the dog aggression in a way. They walk their dog, another dog comes by, the owner gets tense and scared that their dog will fight and pulls the dog back, the dog is like hey that dog is scareing my owner time to kill.

I dunno, that all makes sense but its wrong too though, i just dont get it, i dont understand how a dog can take its training and pass it on to later generations. However i think if cesar can make pit bulls get along with other dogs, i can, i just have to do research and actually put effort into making my dog not be aggressive. Its easy to make your dog ignore other dogs, its hard to break aggression, i dont ever take the easy way out though.
Gameness is what you are describing. Training doesn't pass from gen to gen. Gameness does. It's passed down. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but fighting dogs was (probably still is) the way for determining which dogs were the most game. So if your dog was not acquired from someone who did not test and breed selectively for gameness, your chances of less dog agression are better. :?:

But in the APBT, it is definately a mindset that is passed from generation to generation.
I don't like the term gameness anymore. There is really no way to truly test that. Yes when dogs were fought gameness was a quality term. It is now used to frequently for dogs that have little to no "gameness".

Gameness is also something that can be control. You control the dogs behavior prior to getting in that "zone". If you dog only gets in the "zone" when you allow it, then you aren't going to have a problem.

The trick is reading your dog's posture.

As for dogs going after cats. That can be dealt with. Lucy has issues with squirrels but we are working on it during walks. She is required to ignore them. The moment her attention goes towards a squirrel there is a correction. The dog just has to learn that the only thing worth paying attention to is you.

As an owner you have to decide what you think is acceptable and you can get your dog to obey. Being consistent with corrections and praise are the key parts to making the dog be submissive to your desires. Most bully breed aim to please so if they know what makes you happy and you make it clear what is unacceptable, they will do what you want.
 

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by god jleonar you are a clemson fan! i didnt even notice your banner, thats awsome i go to clemson, junior in civil engineering!

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