keep 'em separated

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Postby valliesong » February 15th, 2006, 10:33 pm

so after over two years of living peacefully together, it happened. two dog fights in just as many months. at 3-4 years of age, aiden has finally matured into his dog aggression.

now i am faced with keeping them separated for the rest of their lives. it seems pretty daunting, but i know many of you do the same. any tips for coping? dividing up the time? getting used to it when previously they cuddled and played together all the time?

on a side note, this really got me thinking about pit bull adoptions at work. i am going to try to get the adoption policy changed at the shelter, so that pits go to opposite sex placements only. other than pbrc, does anyone have any good websites to send to send to our operations director?

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Postby cheekymunkee » February 15th, 2006, 10:50 pm

It's easy for me to seperate mine because there are 3 people who live here & some one is always with one of the dogs. We are hermits & pretty much stay in our rooms. :shock: One dog will get the run of the house during hte day while the other is in a bedroom ( which is how they are "crated") & at night we switch. Both dgos get time with Ollie ( she's thrilled :rolleyes2: ) and both dogs have pretty much equal time with us. There is whining & crying but we ignore it & they stop. Munkee used to be MUCH worse & would cry all day but now he will whine for a few minutes & stop. Ignoring this is key, don't give in to them. I started by spending an hour at a time with one of them being able to have the run of the house, when that hour was up the other dog had their turn & I gradually increased it. They let me know when they need to go out & the "free" dog goes to their room while the other is out in the yard. If it's nice out I can have one in the yard & one free in the house. I have an eye on the outside dog at all times. After 3 years it has become routine & I will wake up from a dead sleep when Munkee wants go pee & look for Justice to make sure she is not out of her room. What did help us is to put notes up on the door as a signal to who was where. Now we just automatically look for them. It's a pain at first but you will get used to it rather quickly. One other thing that helps us is that knowing who is where is MY responsibilty, having one person in charge is easier & it makes it harder to make mistakes. Any time a door is opened I am asked where the dog is. It'll be routine in no time. you might also save a special treat like a raw meaty bone for the crated dog so they don't get too bored. This is routine to the dogs too, when Munkee hears my daughter's door open he comes to my room & waits for me to shut the door, Justice is the same way.
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Postby pocketpit » February 15th, 2006, 11:11 pm


We are lucky in my household because barriers such as fences and baby gates work for those who don't get along with the exception of the two big males (Pit & Doberman).
We use seperate bedrooms for seperation purposes in addition to crating and our yard is divided up as well. The baby gate works for keeping one or two in the kitchen while someone else is in the living room. Outside we have a front yard, back yard and a smaller pen with another in the works.

Lots of verbal communication between family members as well as notes are needed until it becomes second nature to mentally cataglouge where everyone is before opening doors or gates.
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Postby Romanwild » February 15th, 2006, 11:21 pm

Good post Deb!
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Postby turtle » February 16th, 2006, 1:37 am

I'm sorry to hear about the fights, Val... Poor Roscoe and Aiden, and poor you. Good luck, I hope you get a routine figured out that works for all.

Bad Rap's site is one of the best:

They do a lot of good work for the breed, too.

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Postby bullymommy » February 16th, 2006, 4:22 am

im really sorry to hear about that. i dont have any info to pass along. as i dont have agression issues here.

on a off note did anyone have that song instantly go thru their head when they read the title??? i did.
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Postby Goldi » February 21st, 2006, 2:01 pm

Hi, I'm new here also. I have four Pit Bulls; one male and three females, all neutered/spayed...all rescues. I keep my "girls" in their crates when we are not there to supervise, and the male has the run of the house. They all get along great, but we are always on "alert" to any thing that could possibly trigger a possibly violtile situation. Our dogs range in age from 6 years to 2 years old.
I wanted to comment on the adoption policy change you wish to incorporate. There are so many pit bulls that need homes; it would seem to me that if you incorporate the policy of only adopting to pit bull - opposite sex homes, you are severly limiting potential adopters. I do believe that anyone wanting to have more than one pit bull needs to be well versed in doing so. I know if the rescues we dealt with had that type of policy, then we wouldn't be blessed with the four we now have....and perhaps one or more of them would have had to be euthanized because there were no homes available. Just my thoughts on the matter....
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Postby BigDogBuford » February 21st, 2006, 4:50 pm

Man, that sucks. Another option is to use tethers in the house which I use a lot. That way when everyone has had their run and exercise, we can tether all the kids together in the same room and hang out. Keeps them used to seeing each other as well as nice, relaxing together time.

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Postby Appalachian American » February 26th, 2006, 7:00 pm

Sucks doesn't it..

I have been keeping Dixie and Ginger seperated since Ginger was approaching two years of age. Up until that time they were wonderful together and I had no problems letting them near each other. Since then it has been a completely different situation. Barriers suck as baby gates will not work in the least and I have to utilize crates and doors to seperate these two. Dixie is the aggressor but Ginger will ow be backed down either. Dixie also has to be kept from my female lab as well. I have no boubt that one or both of these two would die if they were to get near each other and I waasn't around.

It is important to do everything possible to keep dogs seperated once they find that they hate each other. these dogs do not play around nor will they rectify their problems.

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Postby valliesong » February 27th, 2006, 11:58 am

now that it has taken me two weeks to reply:

crate/rotate is working pretty well so far. the only time it is a bit of an issue is while we are sleeping, but i set up an extra crate in the bedroom so we can all be in the same room. this seems to help with a lot of the crying/barking.

as far as the shelter situation, i was thinking of it being one of those rules that can be bent/broken on occasion. the main issue is that most of the pit bulls we get in are either puppies or young adults, who have not yet maintained their adult level of dog aggression. the average adopter would not be willing to crate/rotate and would simply return the dog as otherwise it would be "unfair" to the dog. (this mentality is extremely pervasive, despite the fact that a known dog-aggressive dog would be put to sleep upon entering the shelter. not to mention i am also afraid of hearing "this pit bull killed my dog. i think they should all be killed!")

i think one of the most important aspects of this is that the other dog in the household, regardless of gender, should be ALTERED. it is just far too dangerous otherwise.

it would be nice to think that the average adopter would listen to counseling and take it all to heart, but the sad truth is that most of them only pick and choose what they listen to. i don't think that a spectacular adoption candidate should be turned down because they have an altered dog of the same gender, but certainly an average or borderline adopter should be.

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Postby bahamutt99 » February 28th, 2006, 2:59 am

I think its something that will get easier as you establish a routine. I've got my first segregated household right now. One cat and two dogs are cool with each other, but one dog wants to eat the other cat. So when Jedi is in his crate at night, cats have run of the house. Same thing for a few hours during the day; other than that, Kiba is in the utility room. I know its not the same as two dogs, but the point is, we make it work.

I also try to spend some time each day with Kiba and Jedi in the same room, teaching Jedi to leave Kiba alone and praising him for ignoring him. I hope to eventually have them be able to be in the same room together. I don't expect playing or sharing a pillow, but I do expect Jedi to eventually learn that he can't eat the cat. I don't know if this would work with two dogs, but it might be worth working on. Good luck!
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