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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am kind of paranoid about online safety and I don’t share my dogs’ real names anywhere online. Please forgive me about being a weirdo about that. So, I’ll call them Boy and Girl.

We “rescued” Girl over a year ago. Someone I know, C, convinced someone she knows to give Girl to her. C loves dogs and is always taking in unwanted dogs and trying to find good homes for them. She even insists people agree to bring the dogs back if it doesn’t work out. But she couldn’t keep Girl. The lady Girl had been living with was moving and couldn’t take Girl with her. Which was probably for the best because Girl was kept outside chained to a tree and the lady’s son had put heavy chains around her neck “to make her strong” and had tried to breed her. Insert angry face.

We guesstimate that Girl was around 1 year old when we got her. She and my fiancé were making goo goo eyes at each other the first time we saw her, so we ended up bringing her home a few days later, after talking about it. I say Girl mesmerized my fiancé with her spooky eyes lol.

We got Boy 2 weeks ago, from someone who had an “accidental” litter of puppies and wanted them gone, she didn’t care where they went. Both parents are some type of “pits”. My fiancé and I felt bad for the puppies, and “rescued” one. He was 6 weeks old when we got him, she let us have first pick of the litter and randomly gave the others away a couple days later.

One of my questions….

Girl isn’t DA or HA, but she does have a very strong prey drive. Boy does what puppies do, and bites on Girl. Girl mostly tolerates it. Sometimes she’ll get up and move away from him, sometimes she’ll knock him over with her nose or the side of her head when he’s doing too much. She seems to recognize he is a puppy and is gentle with him, but she’ll also sometimes use her teeth to correct him. She can put his whole head in her mouth, and even though she’s still gentle with him, that makes me nervous, so I keep a close eye on them and separate them when Boy won’t leave her alone or Girl makes me nervous using her teeth.

Sometimes Girl is on her back when she’s dealing with Boy. I don’t think she is a dominant type dog. We actually had an older female dog mixed with some sort of pit when we got Girl. Girl was immediately submissive when we brought her home. When she knocks Boy over with his belly exposed, he will stay on his back for a few minutes.

I‘ve read over 20 pages in the Obedience training forum, but I’m still not clear on whether I’m doing the right things with this situation. I don’t think either of them is really trying to dominate the other, but I could be wrong. I do have decades of experience with dogs, but never these kinds of dogs, so I’d like to hear what you all with experience think.

And I apologize for the long post, I was just trying to give as much information as I thought was pertinent, to help get good advice.
 

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Sounds to me like typical bulldog playing. You're right in always being there to watch so that things don't escalate. Don't have them sharing treats or toys. Never leave them by themselves unattended. If tempers flare and it starts to get nasty, keep them separated. You may need to crate and rotate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds to me like typical bulldog playing. You're right in always being there to watch so that things don't escalate. Don't have them sharing treats or toys. Never leave them by themselves unattended. If tempers flare and it starts to get nasty, keep them separated. You may need to crate and rotate.
I have been thinking about what you said about not letting them share toys.

How do I get them to understand which toys are theirs?

Girl use to hide her toys in her crate, often under the blanket we had in the crate. It took a minute for us to figure out that was were the missing toys were lol. When we stopped using her crate, she started hiding stuff in the living room. Well, not really hiding them, there’s nowhere to hide stuff in there, that’s just where she takes things.

She’s taken Boy’s toys in there sometimes since we got him, but she doesn’t fuss when we bring them back and give them to him. Boy is not allowed in the living room yet, so there’s no worry about him messing with whatever Girl has stashed in there.

Even if I buy 2 of everything, which I’m willing to do, how do I get them to understand which one is theirs?

Regarding treats, when I give Girl a treat, if Boy is bouncing around her, she will drop the treat and go somewhere else. The only times Girl will eat a treat is if I make sure Boy isn’t around to bother her. Same with her food. She won’t eat if Boy is around. I’m not sure what that means in doggie minds.

My house has pocket doors thank goodness, so I use the doors to let Girl enjoy her treats in peace, and eat in peace. She will do both if Boy is not in her space. I think it says something that she will spit her treats out and leave them if Boy is near her, but I’m not sure what it means.

As always, any advice and thoughts shared are both very much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Boy and Girl are doing fine. I still watch them closely though when they are playing. Girl plays with him now, like she plays with my son’s dog. Sometimes Boy chases Girl, and sometimes she chases him.

Now that Girl has realized I will stop Boy from bothering her, sometimes when she’s laying near me and Boy gets started, she doesn’t react at all, instead she looks at me as if to ask “Are you going to get him off me?!”. And I do make him stop and move him somewhere else.

Girl has a bed in our bedroom and Boy is always hopping on her bed even though we make him get off. I guess because we want Girl to still have a space that is “hers”. But last night she was sleeping on her bed and boy climbed on it and nudged her head. She raised her head, he climbed under it and they both went to sleep with Girl using Boy as her pillow. It was a sweet moment to witness.
 
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