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Old 09-22-2012, 06:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Unhappy Is dog aggression cureable? Or do we need to put him down?

First off, I am very uneducated about pitts as a breed. I grew up around dogs my whole life, my parents were breeders, but I have mostly been around labs, sheepdogs, etc.

My now husband had two pitts already when I moved in. He never gave them the attention and energy they needed and deserved and I nagged him incessantly about that. He is not a bad person, was just uneducated about dogs and their needs and he is a workaholic. He is rarely home. I am not strong enough to handle either dog on its own to walk and they have never been trained to behave on a leash or in public.

Both are males, one year apart in age, both neutered and crate trained. Both sweet dogs, but don't know their own strength kind of energy and we must keep them separated from any guests we have over.

Last summer the boys got into two fights - bad enough that there were injuries involved and I was concerned but they weren't severely hurt. Looking back these were warning signs.

In November, my husband got me the puppy that I've been wanting for years, an English Bulldog female. She is a great dog and the three seemed to get along famously.

In April, the two boys had another fight but this one was beyond violent. I've never seen anything like it before. They were completely tearing each other apart, blood everywhere, and were locked onto each other for 30 minutes. I tried everything I could think of to break them apart without getting too close but failed. They eventually stopped on their own. Both were severely injured (in my opinion, a $600 vet bill and a couple weeks recovery for each of them). At this point I thought we needed to surrender the dogs. I contacted a pitt rescue who sent a trainer to us.

The trainer said that if we were comfortable we could try keeping the dogs. ALthough my female hadn't been in heat ever yet, he thought that was coming and maybe caused the fight. Both boys are neutered but he said it could still have been an issue. He also said they may scuffle in the future but we don't necessarily need to get rid of them because it will never be bad again.

A few months later, our friend brought his two dogs over and it was instantly WWIII. It was a four dog instant fight and luckily the dogs were quickly separated and sustained minor injuries. Our oldest and his oldest were definitely the aggressors in that situation. I had my puppy safe inside during that.

For the past couple of months our oldest has been acting out a lot. He suddenly started jumping up on everybody, barking incessantly, not minding, etc. Then, last week, the two boys got into another awful fight. While the trainer was right - it wasn't as severe as the last time, it was NEARLY. They were both hurt, and took a few days to recover.

My heart is breaking for these boys because they just can't seem to get along. Again, my puppy was inside and they were outside when the fight broke out. A few days later, our oldest went after her while I was standing between them. It terrified me. I smacked him on the head and he backed down but I am so afraid of him now - I have no idea what he is capable of.

I can see all of the mistakes that we have made but my question is if they are reparable? It is not practical for us to keep all three dogs separated all of the time. My husband and I work two jobs each. Its a bad situation. We have cried and kicked ourselves for all of this but we need to know how to move on. Can this type of aggression in the older dog be corrected? I have been asking and reading and everything I"m hearing is that we need to put him down? We have been halfheartedly searching for homes for both of them (my husband can't bear to keep one and not the other) but it seems hard to find a home for the oldest when I feel he can't legitimately go to a household with another dog or children.

Please help with any knowledge you have! We are just devastated at this point and I am EXHAUSTED from keeping all three dogs
separated all week.

Oh, and the oldest is 4 years old and the younger is 3 years old. They never fought until the younger one outgrew the older one in size, a little bit after he turned 1. They are both mixes that my husband got from a rescue.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is part of the breed. They are a Dog Aggressive breed. DA sets on at around 2 years more or less depending on the dog. This breeds fights are not like other breeds "scraps". As you have seen they are violent and dangerous. These dog were created as fighting dogs its what comes to them naturally. Keep them apart and don't have them with other dogs.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Buy some comfortable muzzles and see if that will atleast slow it down a little till you get ahold of a trainer a good trainer not a petsmart one lol good luck!


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Old 09-22-2012, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Why is it not possible to crate and rotate? http://www.pbrc.net/rotate.html

Dog aggression is not curable. Your bulldog could also be the aggressor when she is older. If you are not able to pay for a trainer to help you how to manage them, it's not their fault they have never been trained. I would start with basic obedience. My trainer is 86lbs soaking wet and has a 90+lb dog she has 100% control over. Teach them to walk on a leash. Spend time working with them individually so you have
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Confidence. 30 minutes is unacceptable. Performance kennels posted a great video in how to break up fights while alone. Search on that and get a breakstick!
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I dont agree with muzzling over some DA, just be responsible and crate train and crate and rotate. I hate when they have given you so many warnings yet you guys have chosen to ignore them ALL. Would think the vet bill alone would have had you keeping them apart. DA is not curable it is manageable with the right tools, dog crates, dog runs , proper leashes . I have DA dogs and never once had to muzzle one it comes down to proper containment.
Set up rules NO other dogs should come over for a visit that is really not needed , that is there home they should not have to be locked up for some visiting dog. 2nd those males should never be together again , I find anyways males tend to be the worst with eachother. Now that you have a female in the home that is another trigger for them , they will fight over her. Do not trust ANY of your dogs home alone together free , I would crate train all 3 of them if I were you and contain them when you are not there to watch , even the EB . { bulldogs can be aggressive like this as well , so watch for the same things with her }. There is a difference between dog aggression and human aggression. I wish people did there homework before buying this breed it really would save them time and money from the mistakes they learn the hard way. Putting a dog down due to DA is absurd IMO and I feel for the dogs who go through that all over there OWNERS not researching and understanding this is part of the breed.

I agree with getting a trainer but for working more on the watch or look commands, working basic obedience so you can walk peacefully with either boy and not be worried about other dogs during walks. I don't think you should ever have the boys together again though , they have given numerous warnings already IMO.

Best of luck.
Some threads to check out.
even though they are not puppys there is some good info in this thread you may want to read over, some contains to you some doesn't
Training and Socializing APBT Your Puppy
for the newbs and everyone else

you can also use the search at the top of the page and type in dog aggression or any other issue or item you want info on and a ton of threads will come up with some info. Will be alot of reading but most of the info you need will already be on here.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh man where do I even start. Like stated above these dogs are dog aggressive by nature. Over 100 years of breeding to be warrior dogs has made them this way. It's not a fault or lack of training it genetics coming into play. These dogs generally don't want or need doggy friends. I also agree on the OB training. I've been weight pull training my dog. He can very easily pull twice my weight, I'm not berry big to start with lol, but I have no issues handling or walking him at all. Please don't put these dogs down for normal breed behavior. That is 100% unfair to these dogs. If you can't handle crating and rotating and keeping all 3 separate then you need to find a place for them, not taking them in to PTS. Look for a foster or rescue that specifically deals with bull breeds.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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How did you ever allow them to be together after the first time?
First time it may be an accident...but to repeat that accident is nobody's fault but your own.
Those dogs are in their prime, more or less. Fixing them may be what caused them to quit.
Had they not been altered, they may not have stopped until both or one were dead.

You know now what you have are Pit Dogs.
So either keep them apart, or find them better homes with more responsible owners.
Not trying to sound rude, just giving cold facts without sugar.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I saw this thread this morning when u first posted it and I immediately didn't want to get wrapped up in it, I figured enough people here share my point of view, u don't need to hear me on repeat. However, I will admit that I haven't read everything u posted, that's a long post for me to read at work. But I wanted to say that I would NEVER put a dog own for being DA. HA is totally different and never acceptable, but DA is something else altogether. No it can't be "cured" can u be "cured" so that u get along with every human u meet? No, I didn't think so. I rest my case. I just hope that u come back and read this and take heed all of our advice.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Also keep in mind that a DA dog doesn't automatically mean that the dog is a danger to children. Have you ever had any indication that he was aggressive towards people, adult our child?

As Odin said, you don't put dogs down for DA alone.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
 

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We thought we DID do the responsible thing by getting a proffeaional trainer (and no, not a petsmart one). He was sent to us through a put bull rescue that we contacted for help. He is te one that said there was no provlem keeping them together still. They have all been crate trained since 8 weeks. I'm sorry if my post was so log that those details eluded. I should have shortened my post, I kind of regret asking the question. I tried to make it clear that I do not need to be berated for everything we've done wrong - we understand and have much regret. We just don't know where I go from here. I have been actively searching for new homes for the dogs that can give them the time and attention they need with absolutely no luck so far. and of course that is heartbreaking for my husband but clearly we have no business owning Pitts. I don't understand them enough and have too much fear of them and he is very rarely home. Anyone that suggests using a Pitt rescue has clearly meet tried that in California - they don't take dogs unless they're badly abused strays. I've contacted many.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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where in california are you? maybe someone on here can help find a home or foster for a bit until one is found . If that is the route you want to go. really dealing with DA is not hard , crate and rotate is a great way to solve this problem and very simple to do.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Were you able to read the crate and rotate link? I was not trying to make you feel bad! I honestly wanted you to know that it's normal, not something you Would put a dog to sleep over like the others have said.

You and your man just need to work out a schedule for all the dogs. You have already crate trained them. I wish I could search from my phone easier but one mod on here posted her schedule for keeping 10 dogs on crate and rotate. It might help to see how others do it for you to realize how easy safe and manageable it could be while keeping everyone safe.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Crate and rotate is much easier than it seems. It only takes a few days for all to get in the groove of it. All hope is not lost, you can do this and the dogs will be fine. You just need some guidance and encouragement.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Your dogs are not 'broken' or 'bad', they simply do not get along. I'm sorry you were given poor advice by the trainer, he or she was completely wrong to tell you that any future fights would not be 'as bad' Usually, the dogs get BETTER at fighting as they practice that behavior.
Crate/rotate isn't as bad as it sounds, it becomes pretty easy after finding a routine that works for all involved and it keeps everyone safe. It is far preferable to the stress of trying to force two dogs who don't like each other to get along and it's about a million times less stressful than breaking up a serious fight.
I run a rescue in California and yes, we are swamped. I mostly try to focus on helping people keep the dogs they have, there is simply no room for the hundreds of dogs looking for homes. I fly way under the radar and I STILL get anywhere from 5 to 10 e-mails a day, each with stories that would break your heart. YOU are your dogs best advocate. You know them, you love them (or maybe you aren't that invested, since they are the SO's dogs, I don't know)
Where are you located?
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