Until Thanksgiving, we had 2 pits - an 11 year old female (Socks) and a 10 year old male (Zeus). The male loves everyone/everything. The female had been abused before we got her and is not completely trustworthy around strangers and strange dogs. In our home, however, she has adapted well to our collection of pets over the years - rats, guinea pigs, parrots, and a shepherd mix who died of old age 2 years ago. Our Amazon parrot even shares her food dish. Now she is old, arthritic, deaf, and in the advance stages of cancer. We know that we will have to put her to sleep soon, as she starting to become uncomfortable and we don't want her to be in pain. So, to make a long story short (too late), we have been searching the rescues for a YOUNG puppy to replace her when she's gone. Zeus will be devastated without her.
Much to our surprise, a 16 month old, unspayed, undisciplined pit (Casey)was dropped in our lap Thanksgiving Day. On the plus side, she is very friendly, loves people, and her owner often took her to the dog park. On the negative side, she counter surfs, begs, jumps up, and had never been walked on a leash. Zeus already loves her. She is quickly learning not to beg/surf/jump, and by Saturday she could walk nicely on a leash. She and Socks even seemed to be getting along - as long as they were well supervised and I kept their food dishes separate. Everything seemed to be going ok - until last night. Last night, I noticed that Casey had started standing over her food dish- not growling - but her posture seemed a little too stiff for comfort. She was directing it toward Zeus, who is too laid-back to care about her food or about being challenged. Later, she tried to "play" with Socks - butt up, tail wagging, with a woof...and a growl ... and a pounce. I quickly separated them, but she growled, lunged again, and tried to bite. Still wagging her tail. Socks, naturally, wanted to accept the challenge, so I put her in a separate room for a while. They were fine for the rest of the night - and even enjoyed a walk together. This morning, Casey tried the play fighting thing again - with the same results. So...does anyone have any suggestions for me? I know we haven't even had her a week, but I want to nip any sign of aggression in the bud. She is a bundle of energy, so we have been taking her on 2 long walks a day. We will continue to keep the food dishes separate and to supervise them at all times. I think her previous owner let her play-fight with the dogs at the dog park - and, to me, that feels like a REAL fight waiting to happen.