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Old 11-05-2012, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

krystleo85 is an unknown quantity at this point
Female aggressive with new puppy

Hello all! I have a question for everyone, this might be long!

We have a 2 year old female pitbull and a month ago we got a male pitbull puppy. He is now 12 weeks old. Up until now they have been best buddies. She is definitely the dominant dog, and she lets him know that. He plays with toys that she allows him to. She will put him in his place, but never mean or aggressive.

This weekend something changed. All of a sudden she has been attacking him. It has happened 4 times in 3 days. The first time it seemed totally unprovoked but we are figuring out it seems food or toy related. She has not SERIOUSLY injured him but she goes for his ears, snarling and biting pinning him down, it's very nasty. We have to pull her off of him. Luckily she never tries to bite us. Once we break it up she's fine. Poor puppy was bleeding yesterday. When this happens, she knows she messed up. She will immediately go right in her crate and lay down. We'll close her in it for awhile, and then she is fine after.

Last night it happened while i was making dinner. They were both sitting in the kitchen, praying i would throw them something. She just went off on him.

This morning the puppy stole a cookie from my son. I got up to take it from him and tell him no. She followed me and just attacked him. Luckily i already had his collar and was able to break it up immediately.

It's weird to me because all the rest of the time they are best buddies. They roll around and play, bathe each other, sleep together etc.

I understand it's a dominance thing but it's getting out of hand. Yumi was my boyfriends dog before we got together and i know the same thing happened with his parents dog. The difference is she is a full grown yellow lab, and could stick up for herself. This poor puppy can't fight back.

This is what we have been doing to try to curb this behavior:

She has been getting more attention from both of us. Praised a ton when she is being good.
They get fed separately, her first. Only her in kitchen, she eats then she leaves, he comes in and gets fed.
She gets on the bed first, she goes out first.
All toys are put up unless they can be directly supervised.
No food allowed in the living area anymore.
When dinner is being made or we are eating, the dogs are crated (this is where i'm questioning should it be just her, or both dogs?)

Has anyone else experienced this? Are the things we are doing going to help? Any suggestions or advice?

THanks!!

I also wanted to ad, although i have no idea if this in connected at all. This all started after Friday, when the puppy had a severe allergic reaction to his vaccinations. He was then injected with benedryl and a steroid, and was on benedryl on Saturday. I know dogs are very sensitive and can pick up when there are changes in other animals.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you're going to crate one when you eat then crate the other also. It's not fair to make one watch. I would do this anytime food is involved. Cooking etc. I baby gate mine out of the kitchen-no because they fight over it but so they don't get under my feet. Our female Ida dominant dog also and we have had no problems thankfully and our boy doesn't mind. We give fair treatment and they are never alone together because of the possibility of something happening. There are a lot of posts about dog aggression here if you type it in the search bar. They are very helpful. I would look at them. Our oldest is also one who resource guards her toys. One way we stopped that is removing the favorite toy all together. If she got snippy and growled we took it away. Crate and rotate is something that a lot do. I have family who has to do this with their male dogs.


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Old 11-05-2012, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Forgot to say sounds like she is more food aggressive but it can change to DA. I would do the research on that.


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Old 11-05-2012, 10:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I saw feed and crate both dogs while eating. Not just one. Also switch it up, don't always let one out first and out first, alternate days and activities. No toys outside their crates, or crate and rotate so you have one out and playing and then take the other out for playing. Then switch it up the next day.

Food or Dog aggression is very common with bully breeds. As long as you remove triggers and treat them both the same (within reason I know one is still a puppy).
Since it appears to happen around other dogs I would say your girl is just growing up and showing she doesn't like to tolerate other animals. Is she spayed yet? Is your new puppy Neutered already? It will never cure anything but it could help you be able to train and manage their aggression faster without having anything else that might get in the way. please be prepared that your girl might never be OK with other dogs all the time, and even if you work and are able to manage it, they should never ever be left alone together.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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Thank you!

Yes, she is spayed and has been since around 6 months. She lived with another dog for a year and they had similar issues in the beginning, all toys had to be removed (although that time, it was the other dog causing the problems) After that they were totally fine.

He is not neutered. Our vet is recommending 5-9 months as long as he is acting ok and not showing any issues. However i will speak to him and see if he recommends neutering him sooner because of these new issues.

For the last month that i've had the puppy, they have been allowed to be alone together with no problem (alone being, me running to the bathroom, other room etc) but from now on it's not allowed. They have been and will be crated when we are cooking or eating. If i go take a shower either they will both be crated or one dog will be in the bathroom with me. They have lost their unsupervised priveledges!

I have had SO much conflicting advice today. People telling me yes, continue to allow her to do things first as the dominant dog to people telling me absolutely not, let HIM do things first. Then people saying feed them together etc.

And then the people saying they should not have contact at ALL. It's a bit confusing!
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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Also we are making a concerted effort to excersise them more. We do not have a fenced in back yard or a tie out yet. Which is a problem, i know (my boyfriend moved in shortly before we got the puppy, i didn't have any dogs at the house prior to that)

We went to a fenced in baseball field at the park today (where people frequently go with their dogs to play) No on was there so we went in and RAN RAN RAN. And they both slept for an hour afterward.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krystleo85 View Post
Thank you!

Yes, she is spayed and has been since around 6 months. She lived with another dog for a year and they had similar issues in the beginning, all toys had to be removed (although that time, it was the other dog causing the problems) After that they were totally fine.

He is not neutered. Our vet is recommending 5-9 months as long as he is acting ok and not showing any issues. However i will speak to him and see if he recommends neutering him sooner because of these new issues.

For the last month that i've had the puppy, they have been allowed to be alone together with no problem (alone being, me running to the bathroom, other room etc) but from now on it's not allowed. They have been and will be crated when we are cooking or eating. If i go take a shower either they will both be crated or one dog will be in the bathroom with me. They have lost their unsupervised priveledges!

I have had SO much conflicting advice today. People telling me yes, continue to allow her to do things first as the dominant dog to people telling me absolutely not, let HIM do things first. Then people saying feed them together etc.

And then the people saying they should not have contact at ALL. It's a bit confusing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by krystleo85 View Post
Also we are making a concerted effort to excersise them more. We do not have a fenced in back yard or a tie out yet. Which is a problem, i know (my boyfriend moved in shortly before we got the puppy, i didn't have any dogs at the house prior to that)

We went to a fenced in baseball field at the park today (where people frequently go with their dogs to play) No on was there so we went in and RAN RAN RAN. And they both slept for an hour afterward.
glad to hear it, and I agree, I waited until my boy was 2 before neutering to let him grow, but he was a single dog so I didn't have to worry. You will see all aspects of the spectrum on who says what to you. Botom line is you want to keep both of them safe, of course. I would recommend getting a trainer to help you look for signs your dog is uncomfortable if you are not able to recognize them on your own. Although people say pit bulls don't react they just attack, that's not true, you just need to look for your dogs signs she is uncomfortable which are different with each dong. Some lick lips, other tail gets tucked, my boy closes his mouth and I can see him stop breathing. That is when I know he is going to react. there is a warning, having a trainer helped me see my boys signs. (He hates off leash dogs, and I live in a city where some people don't care about the law) Not speaking for anyone who told you to crate and rotate forever, but each situation is different. You might be able to get it to work, but if you don't have time and money to invest in ;learning how to manage the aggression and keeping them safe and separate is a fine happy life to live. Look on facebook, there are a tons of bully walking groups around me, some have training for like $20 a session you just show up and go on a walk and train while your walking.

Do you have a treadmill? Exercise is totally KEY! and having 2 pups would be hard to tire out, without you being tired out. You can look on craigslist, my boy can go forever if I let him, but when its too wet or cold, I put him on the treadmill for a hour and he is a lot better. You could also try a spring pole in your yard, or use a flirt pole with them. Have you heard of those? I use a 50 ft lead on my boy when we are in an enclosed are like a ball park and run him around with that, or in your own yard since its not fenced in.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Our female-she's a blueheeler lab mix- is a dominant girl. Cain has had no problem letting her be that either. Both get their cuddle times and we play a lot out in our yard. Cain BASICALLY takes a shower with me-haha!- so he's always with me wherever I am-big mommas boy. But I've had similar issues like you have and we correct the issue. If its food related, they eat in kennels treats I. Kennels and training one is in the kennel. They are not allowed in the kitchen when I cook to avoid that issue. Toys for us was only for one specific toy she chose. We simply took it away and neither got it. You have to find what works best for you. As of now my two are best of friends but my husband and I are always prepared for if something happens. Good luck with everything and let us know


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Old 11-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
 

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I have heard about spring pole and flirt poles, i just have to look into them.

I'm just getting really frustrated. I feel like asking advice online is asking for the craziness! I just had someone (on a pitbull board mind you) tell me i needed to get rid of one of the dogs because since blood had been drawn she will never stop attacking him.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krystleo85 View Post
This weekend something changed. All of a sudden she has been attacking him. It has happened 4 times in 3 days. The first time it seemed totally unprovoked but we are figuring out it seems food or toy related. She has not SERIOUSLY injured him but she goes for his ears, snarling and biting pinning him down, it's very nasty. We have to pull her off of him. Luckily she never tries to bite us. Once we break it up she's fine. Poor puppy was bleeding yesterday. When this happens, she knows she messed up. She will immediately go right in her crate and lay down. We'll close her in it for awhile, and then she is fine after.

Last night it happened while i was making dinner. They were both sitting in the kitchen, praying i would throw them something. She just went off on him.

This morning the puppy stole a cookie from my son. I got up to take it from him and tell him no. She followed me and just attacked him. Luckily i already had his collar and was able to break it up immediately.

It's weird to me because all the rest of the time they are best buddies. They roll around and play, bathe each other, sleep together etc.

I understand it's a dominance thing but it's getting out of hand. Yumi was my boyfriends dog before we got together and i know the same thing happened with his parents dog. The difference is she is a full grown yellow lab, and could stick up for herself. This poor puppy can't fight back.
Hey I'm glad to see you're looking up info and taking steps in the right direction. I wanted to say that I don't think dogs really know when they've done something wrong. They hold no guilt, like us humans do. (This can be debated though.) So when she goes into her kennel after she's beaten up on the lil guy she's more so reacting to you. Dogs feed off of our emotions that's why it's important to be calm in stressful situations like when a dog fights going on. It really does sound like you're doing a good job. I would expect another attack from her on the pup and in the future I would expect it to get worse. So crating both of them seems like the way to go. I wouldn't blame this on dominance (I'm no dog expert though) I would just chuck it up to her being a pit bull type dog and being dog aggressive.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krystleo85 View Post
I have heard about spring pole and flirt poles, i just have to look into them.

I'm just getting really frustrated. I feel like asking advice online is asking for the craziness! I just had someone (on a pitbull board mind you) tell me i needed to get rid of one of the dogs because since blood had been drawn she will never stop attacking him.
What? No you don't have to get rid of them. Just be responsible with her eventually you'll know both dogs so well you'll know exactly what to expect. Whether that means she can't ever be with the male or can but only under certain circumstances.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
 

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Rabbit, i think that is just what confuses me the most. That she has never been dog aggressive really before (other then with his parents dog, who was provoking it) We can go to the park and she is best friends with every dog we meet (as long as they are friendly!) She IS more wary and not as loving with other females, which is another thing that makes no sense haha.

I think i mentioned this in the original post but i do wonder if his recent medical issues may have triggered this? He has a serious allergic reaction/seizure after his vaccinations on friday which resulted in a return vet visit, steroids and benedryl for 2 days. This all started the next morning. Now it may be totally a coincidence. But i do wonder if she used his "weakness" and took advantage of it? And by total fault of our own, he HAS been getting more attention since then because of the issues he had. So who knows.

This morning after everyone was up and ate, they were playing in the living room together (closely supervised) She was actually rolling over and allowing him to stand over her, which makes me think maybe this is not a dominance thing? I know the rolling on the back is a submissive move so it surprised me to see her do this.

She will occasionally bring him toys and drop them so he can play with them (this was before we put all the toys up) But i suppose that COULD be chalked up to dominance. She is ALLOWING him to play with her toy.

Dogs are confusing! It's just so odd to me that they have been together for a month with no issue and then BAM!
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I would change it up and let HIM get and do everything first.


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Old 11-07-2012, 12:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Dogs are confusing , but observing them and learning the signs can deffinitly help you decode thier behavior. If there is one thing I say to everyone (regardless of their dogs breed), dogs are animals, and will so, act like animals. Expect no less from your dog, too many people humanize their animals and it can make people more hurt and confused when their dog does something they don't understand.
Good luck with your current situation and let us know how things unfold
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
 

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Well today went well, no incidents. I let her up on the couch with me today (she has been SUPER snuggly and really quiet/tired the last day or so) She was snuggling with me when super crazy bouncy puppy barges over and tries to get half asleep yumi to play. She growled a little, and i told her to stop, then she was fine. But growling is better then biting!

She has been rolling on her back a TON in the last few days for the puppy. What do you think that is about?
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