My pit bull attacked my other dog

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Postby LeeLooLucy » July 16th, 2011, 5:44 pm

It has been over a year since I last posted. My last post was: http://www.pitbulltalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32664
^^^If you go to this post first you will see pictures of the two dogs I'm about to mention.

My pit bull is named Lucy (2 years old) and my chi-weenie is named Peanut (8 years old). A month ago we got another puppy and Lucy absolutely loves the puppy! She treats the puppy like it's her baby. Peanut, on the other hand, doesn't have much patience and often growls at the puppy. This catches Lucy's attention and she often steps in, but NEVER does she growl or bite Peanut. She only sniffs at Peanut when she growls at the puppy. But last Wednesday (July 13), something changed.

The puppy and Peanut were both sitting with my mom in her chair and Lucy walks over to the chair and she and Peanut start to growl at each other. Soon, Lucy is trying to jump over my mom to get to Peanut. Well, I took Lucy outside before anything happened, and then we put Peanut on the floor so no one could be jealous of anyone. Later, once Peanut found a spot to lay on the floor, I let Lucy back inside and she walked over to Peanut and just glared at her until I called her away.

Second incident: Thursday (July 14)
I was feeding the puppy and Lucy was sitting nearby. My mom wakes up and Peanut (who is my moms dog) follows her out of her room. Peanut walks past Lucy (and the food) and then...Lucy attacks Peanut. I managed to pull Lucy off but not before she grabbed Peanut by the throat, shook her, and left a few holes in her. After getting Peanut taken care of, we decided that we would just have to do our best to separate them. (Didn't work out so well)

Last night:
I bought a bed frame from IKEA and was unpacking it in my room. Lucy loves tearing up cardboard so I gave her a piece to tear up. She took it with her out of my room, wagging her tail. A few moments later, my mom calls to me from the living room that: "They're about to start something". I run in there just as Lucy is standing over Peanut and the cardboard. I tell her no. I call her to come to me. But then she attacks Peanut again, and this time there's a big, deep gash on Peanut's side.

Today we are just keeping Peanut inside my parents room so Lucy can't get to her. More about Lucy: She has luxating patella and arthritis and it's possible, I guess, that (pain) could be a factor in this sudden aggression, but also I think it mostly has something to do with the puppy. It seems more like its some type of protective maternal thing. Either that, or one more animal equals more sharing. Jealousy is definitely a factor here.

Ultimately, the point of this post is that I don't know what to do. It could take a while to find her a good home, and in that time, we could slip-up and Lucy could have another run-in with Peanut. She's only 2 years old. She's very sweet and loving towards kids and this is the FIRST time she's been aggressive to another animal and it's only to Peanut, not the puppy. Euthanasia seems harsh and too hard to accept, but Peanut doesn't deserve to get torn to pieces. What should we do?

Again here are some picture of Lucy and Peanut from a year ago: http://www.pitbulltalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32664

And, this is a video of Lucy with the puppy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtzpXZdkYSc
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Postby plebayo » July 16th, 2011, 9:43 pm

KEEP THEM SEPARATED!!!!

Today we are just keeping Peanut inside my parents room so Lucy can't get to her. More about Lucy: She has luxating patella and arthritis and it's possible, I guess, that (pain) could be a factor in this sudden aggression, but also I think it mostly has something to do with the puppy. It seems more like its some type of protective maternal thing. Either that, or one more animal equals more sharing. Jealousy is definitely a factor here.


She's given you plenty of signals and I don't think pain is much of a factor in this situation. If you re-read your post it just seems like things have been escalating between both dogs. It doesn't really sound like a maternal thing, more of a resource thing when you consider they almost got into it because Peanut was sitting with your mom, but then it sounds like it was also over the piece of cardboard.

I don't have any advice outside of keeping them separate and if that is something you can't manage then look into finding her temporary housing while you find her a forever home.

IMO you should look into dog classes and also look into talking with a trainer who can help you read your dog and possibly stop things before they continue to escalate. It is unlikely the dogs could ever be left unattended but this might be a simple house structure miscommunication and a trainer could better guide you on how to house the dogs etc.
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Postby Malli » July 17th, 2011, 2:55 am

yep. Seperate them.

For a dog the size of Peanut, it is just too dangerous - Lucy could literally end her life in ONE well placed bite. ONE BITE. Either that, or thousands and thousands at the vet to make Peanut well.

I wouldn't really consider this breed-related aggression, this kind of behavior sounds like(because I am not there to see it myself) something you could see in any dog, of any breed. What exacerbates this particular situation is Peanut's size and Lucy's strength.

To be frank, it is possible you will never find a home for Lucy - you are rehoming her because of a problem behavior, in addition she has health problems, plus, she is a Pit Bull.

She sounds like a lovely dog and I think it would be worthwhile for you to find a way to 1) fix this or improve it -with the help of a qualified dog trainer- or 2) work around, this issue. What about having Lucy live in your room?
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Postby iluvk9 » July 17th, 2011, 6:20 am

As I preface all my posts in the training section, I am by no means a dog trainer or even close to being an expert, but from what I read:

KEEP THEM PHYSICALLY SEPARATED, as Suzanne suggested or the next close call may turn into Peanuts last day. :( I don't get into analyzing the "why's" of it all, but I can logically see that this is NOT going to turn out well if they are allowed to be even in the same room. And if Peanut is on someone's lap, Lucy is not going to care who's flesh she nips.

I hope someone with more experience here will post and offer more suggestions.
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 17th, 2011, 11:07 am

What everyone else said: keep them separated, or you're going to end up with a dead or seriously injured dog.

And when we say "separated" that means that they have NO interactions with each other. They shouldn't be out in the house or yard together AT ALL. If one is out,the other one should be crated or put away in a room with a solid door. It's called "Crate and Rotate" or C/R around here. You must think of the other dogs' safety.

Now...why is this happening? It could honestly be for many reasons. My guesses, without seeing what's going on first hand: You have two mature bitches in the house now...maybe everything was fine when Lucy was younger, but often females don't get along well when they mature. She's learned now that she can physically push Peanut around and hurt her...so things will just get worse from here. She might be resource guarding, she might just be coming into her dog aggression as she ages, who knows? She might just be fighting back against Peanut's warning growls. Honestly, the *WHY?* doesn't really matter right now.

Because the fights have been allowed to escalate to this level (injuring another dog), you'll be hard pressed to find her a new home. You have to be clear on the danger level of her dog-dog aggression if you were to put her up for adoption. She now has two strikes against her: she's a pit bull (shelters, rescues are full of pit bulls) and now she's injured another dog.

If you are going to keep her, you HAVE to keep them separated. No "oh just for a minute" or "oh, but they've been okay lately". You can't risk this happening anymore...so it's C/R for them from now on. A trainer would be a good idea...someone that's familiar with dogs, dog body language and aggression...someone that trains positively, not someone that's going to come in with a choke chain or e-collar and "correct the problem".

Also...you need to think of the future. Lucy is fine with the puppy right now...what if the pup matures and they start fighting also? What are your long term goals and prospects for all of these dogs? What kind of puppy is this?

You seem to be considering euthanasia for Lucy...which honestly, is a cop-out. She's being mis-managed, allowed to get into trouble because you can't seem to keep them separated. This can happen, regardless of breed. But with pit bulls, it's rather common to see dog-dog aggression...so you can't be completely surprised by this turn of events. I know I'm being harsh, but you're suggesting killing a dog that you're failing to help. There are MANY people on this forum that have to crate/rotate their pit bulls. No one enjoys it, no one wants to do it...but they have to do it...or have dead/injured dogs. Somehow they all manage to keep their dogs safe...so why can you not do it?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 17th, 2011, 1:01 pm

First of all, welcome back to the forum. Sorry it's under these circumstances.

Like the others, I'll reiterate that crate & rotate is your safest, most responsible option at this point. I won't lie - it's going to be hard at first and you'll probably feel guilty. But as long as you give each dog specialized attention they'll be fine. Heck, they'll be better because they won't be fighting.

Inter-bitch aggression can be, well, a bitch to deal with. They hold grudges and with a size difference like you have going on, you're asking for a dead Peanut to keep trying them out together. It sounds like this may have started out as resource guarding, but every time they get to practice this fighting, Lucy's adrenaline rushes and she's going to get better and faster at it. Which obviously won't bode well for Peanut.

This doesn't make Lucy a bad dog. It makes her a pit bull, it makes her a female, it makes her a DOG. Don't punish her by rehoming her or euthing her. MANAGE her so she can continue to live with the family she knows and loves.
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Postby plebayo » July 17th, 2011, 1:26 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:
This doesn't make Lucy a bad dog. It makes her a pit bull, it makes her a female, it makes her a DOG. Don't punish her by rehoming her or euthing her. MANAGE her so she can continue to live with the family she knows and loves.


But if you CAN'T manage her by keeping them separated I don't think it's a punishment to find her a new home. Yes, this dog has shown dog aggression but in the right situation she might be a totally different dog. I think trying to find a home with someone that is educated about dogs/understands dog aggression would still be better than euthanasia. I also feel that although you would definitely disclose that she has been aggressive towards Peanut I don't know that that automatically stamps 'dog aggressive' on her forehead. Peanut may be starting things, or contributing to the problem, they may just be two dogs that won't get along. On the other hand, this could also be the start of her becoming a dog aggressive dog, we don't know.

It just worries me from the lack of management that has been going on that the longer these dogs stay together the more likely Peanut is probably going to get killed and Lucy will have a 'bad rap' over something that could have been prevented.
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 17th, 2011, 1:31 pm

plebayo wrote:But if you CAN'T manage her by keeping them separated I don't think it's a punishment to find her a new home. Yes, this dog has shown dog aggression but in the right situation she might be a totally different dog. I think trying to find a home with someone that is educated about dogs/understands dog aggression would still be better than euthanasia. I also feel that although you would definitely disclose that she has been aggressive towards Peanut I don't know that that automatically stamps 'dog aggressive' on her forehead. Peanut may be starting things, or contributing to the problem, they may just be two dogs that won't get along. On the other hand, this could also be the start of her becoming a dog aggressive dog, we don't know.


This is fine, rehoming is a fine choice (provided that she can find a decent home)...but the big thing is that this is a pit bull that has injured another dog. That is going to be hard to re-home. So let's say it takes a short time, a month...to find a home for Lucy. HOW are they going to manage the household until the new home comes along? Worst case scenario...it takes months, or a year to find a new home. I mean, to find a home where they are pit bull savvy, don't have other dogs, or cats even, and are generally on the up-and-up.

What rescue is going to step up and take a DA pit bull that's been allowed to harm small dogs...when they already are full up with friendly pit bulls with no bite history?

I'm just trying to be realistic...they need to learn to separate the dogs NOW, regardless of what happens in the future.
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Postby madremissy » July 17th, 2011, 3:00 pm

Please come back and read, read, read. Everyone here is trying to help you. Believe me, I was once where you are at and I have a very happy household because of the advice I took here.
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Postby iluvk9 » July 17th, 2011, 4:34 pm

Kimberly, I searched your other posts and noticed you were concerned about Lucy's behavior in Jan of 2010. Did you try any of the suggestions given?

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32089&p=368119#p368119
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Postby plebayo » July 17th, 2011, 5:27 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:
plebayo wrote:But if you CAN'T manage her by keeping them separated I don't think it's a punishment to find her a new home. Yes, this dog has shown dog aggression but in the right situation she might be a totally different dog. I think trying to find a home with someone that is educated about dogs/understands dog aggression would still be better than euthanasia. I also feel that although you would definitely disclose that she has been aggressive towards Peanut I don't know that that automatically stamps 'dog aggressive' on her forehead. Peanut may be starting things, or contributing to the problem, they may just be two dogs that won't get along. On the other hand, this could also be the start of her becoming a dog aggressive dog, we don't know.


This is fine, rehoming is a fine choice (provided that she can find a decent home)...but the big thing is that this is a pit bull that has injured another dog. That is going to be hard to re-home. So let's say it takes a short time, a month...to find a home for Lucy. HOW are they going to manage the household until the new home comes along? Worst case scenario...it takes months, or a year to find a new home. I mean, to find a home where they are pit bull savvy, don't have other dogs, or cats even, and are generally on the up-and-up.

What rescue is going to step up and take a DA pit bull that's been allowed to harm small dogs...when they already are full up with friendly pit bulls with no bite history?

I'm just trying to be realistic...they need to learn to separate the dogs NOW, regardless of what happens in the future.



Umm, I'm not arguing with you that she should keep them separated? :| I've said it several times now the dogs should not be together.

I am also completely aware of how hard it is to place a Pit Bull, let alone any dog that has shown some dog aggression. However, that's really too bad because this person chose to take a Pit Bull into their home, rehoming won't be easy but if it is what is ultimately best for the dog, you have to do what you have to do.

I am being realistic too, they have let the dogs get into it 3 times now and still haven't separated them. All I'm saying is that clearly they cannot manage the dogs and it isn't a 'punishment' for the dog to rehome it.
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Postby mnp13 » July 17th, 2011, 6:31 pm

You've already received good advice here, so I don't have much to add.

My main concern in your post is that is sounds like you are "blaming" Lucy for the fights. Please be very very aware that it is just as possible that Peanut is the instigator, regardless of which dog is coming out the "winner."

You need 100% separation, 100% of the time. You don't "try to keep them separated;" you keep them separated.

You're right, Peanut doesn't "deserve" to be torn to pieces, and Lucy doesn't "deserve" a death sentence because you won't manage the problem.
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 17th, 2011, 7:02 pm

plebayo wrote:Umm, I'm not arguing with you that she should keep them separated? :| I've said it several times now the dogs should not be together.

I am also completely aware of how hard it is to place a Pit Bull, let alone any dog that has shown some dog aggression. However, that's really too bad because this person chose to take a Pit Bull into their home, rehoming won't be easy but if it is what is ultimately best for the dog, you have to do what you have to do.

I am being realistic too, they have let the dogs get into it 3 times now and still haven't separated them. All I'm saying is that clearly they cannot manage the dogs and it isn't a 'punishment' for the dog to rehome it.


Chill out. Seriously.

I'm not addressing you personally, as I know that you agree with the separation...I'm just making sure that she understands that rehoming is not going to be quick and easy...that the separation has to happen, regardless of what the future holds for Lucy. Even if the final decision is to kill Lucy, she has to keep them separated until they head to the vet.

Of course it's a good thing to rehome the dog if that's what needs to happen, but she needs to realize that just saying "I want to rehome her" doesn't make a home appear magically, and that everything will be fine. Reading back over her previous posts that Joyce posted, she's obviously been aware of the potential problems for a long time...so no, I'm not going to let her off easily, no matter how much of a bitch I appear on the forum. :|
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Postby furever_pit » July 17th, 2011, 10:09 pm

I agree that you should keep the dogs separated. I know you say you have tried but I find that hard to believe judging by what you have posted here. Crates, baby gates, closed doors, an outdoor run - these are all tools in the crate and rotate lifestyle. A schedule and structure help as well.

I also think you need to think about the new puppy that you have brought into the picture here. Lucy is fine with her now, but as you have seen that could change. One thing you may want to consider is rehoming the puppy (or returning it to its responsible breeder) and focusing on Lucy and managing her behavior. It will be much easier to rehome the puppy than it will be to rehome Lucy.
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Postby LMM » July 18th, 2011, 3:15 pm

Erin and everyone else has given you some great advice. Since this seems to be an ongoing problem, I really hope it is addressed properly.
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Postby iluvk9 » July 18th, 2011, 4:33 pm

Kimberly, how is it going?
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Postby LeeLooLucy » July 18th, 2011, 7:27 pm

Thank you for all of the feedback. We have been using "Crate and Rotate", and so there haven't been any incidents between the dogs. However, since Peanut hasn't been around, the cat has had a few close calls with Lucy, but he was quick to get away. We'll be keeping the cat separated too. Lucy continues to get along well with the puppy. But, yes, I do realize that that could change with age because Lucy and Peanut also *used* to get along. On another note, our vet has suggested a behavioral trainer for us and we have contacted them. Thanks again for the help!
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Postby iluvk9 » July 19th, 2011, 5:46 am

Yes, "separarting Lucy" would include any other animals in the house, too. Cats are delicious to dogs. If you are vigilant about it, and your trainer is as good as your Vet's recommendation, I hope you post again with a great update. :)
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Postby mnp13 » July 20th, 2011, 1:15 am

Please keep Lucy away from the puppy. Though the puppy most likely has a "puppy card" that will keep it safe for a while that is NOT a sure thing, and until Lucy decides the puppy is no longer a puppy, you probably won't know.

You need to get a handle on her behavior, and that means getting her to training and also learning to read her better. If the "behavioral trainer" suggests anything other than separation and mostly-positive training. (As in no P+) I would highly recommend against that person. You are not in a position where adverse methods are appropriate, and will likely backfire in a horrible fashion.
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