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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is going to sound a little crazy, but I am looking for some opinions on this situation:
Male Pit, owned by same people since he was 12 weeks old. Owner says he is gentle, loving and never had a problem with him.

Female Rescue Pit (?) also gentle and loving.

The two dogs have been getting along fine, they spend the day in the yard with each other and come in the house when the family come home after work.

Two weeks ago, the male started attacking the female. The owners have been bitten on the hands trying to separate the dogs. The female has been injured badly. Female hides in corner, owner has allowed this to happen more then one time.

Owner says they get along fine until the male sees the owner, then attacks the female.

I suggested to them that they need to keep the dogs apart. Keep one in the house, leave one in the yard. And I suggested seeking help of a professional.

Owner says the male gives no warning, he just grabs the female by the face.

I asked how well the male is trained, she said he knows sit. Not so well on the other basics, stay, come.

I asked how much exercise, she said they have a big yard.

I told her a tired dog is a good dog. They need more exercise then the yard. I explained that the dogs need to be socialized with people and places outside their normal people and places or they become less tolerant.

Here is the kicker, I asked her if she has any children in the house, once she told me the dog gives no growl, no warnings, she has an 8 year old, a 3 year old, and a 16 month old child AND she is 8 months pregnant.

I suggested to her that she re home her male dog. I told her the fact that a male is attacking a female is a red flag, but sometimes dogs will just not like each other. The fact that the male only attacks the female around the owners, sounds like the dog is jealous, is this possible?

The dog attacking with no warning, is a red flag for me as well. Is this normal? I realize the dog may be giving some body language that the owner is not aware of, or maybe she has unknowingly taught the dog to not growl.

I do not know this family personally. I have offered to go to their home and help them. They seem VERY inexperienced and with all those children and one on the way, this could be a very bad situation.

I do have many years of experience doing the rotate thing with two dogs that did not get along. I have been bitten in the thigh and in the arm, reaching into a dog fight. But beyond that, I am not sure what else I can do to help this family.

I feel it would be irresponsible for me, as somebody who loves the breeds and I even like most children, to not let these dog owners know that they could be really putting their kids in danger, the female dog does not need to be getting attacked all the time.

Rotating two dogs is a full time job, with that many kids, a door is bound to get left open.

Do you think this behavior can be trained out of the dog? Any thoughts on what I can suggest to these dog owners, I am pushing for the removing the male from her home and will help her get a rotation procedure set up and more exercise.

Thanks for any comments.

Premium Member
1,273 Posts
I have to agree with Joe here. The male is clearly the alpha of this pack and the owners seem to either not have the knowledge or aren't willing to put in the work to properly handle their dogs (not a criticism, some people just can't put in the time). With the male being the alpha, especially having been more or less allowed to attack the female without consequence, this is a BAD situation. I think re-homing the male is the right thing to do but I would also suggest re-homing, if possible, to an owner with bull breed experience who can be the
males leader.

Just on a side note, it is VERY common for dogs to go silent before attacking, especially bull breeds. Most dogs won't growl or give any verbal warning prior to attacking then they are truly going in for the attack. That's something I've learned working with my husband who is certified police/k9 trainer/handler and has always raised protection dogs and pit bulls. If you watch dogs with a strong prey drive, they don't growl prior to going after their pray be it a bunny, cat, horse, ect. They show many signs in their body language but it is rare that they give any verbal warning.

It's nice of you to offer to help just be careful and stay safe. Also remember that helping is one thing but having owners who can't (that's a lot of work with multiple kids and dogs!) or don't have the experience/knowledge to know how to continue with whatever you do to help will really make you help ineffectual. Dogs need to have a pack leader and their male pit is clearly it!
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Premium Member
11,000 Posts
I missed the part where he attacks humans? I thought you were describing the behavior of the Male dog towards the female not towards humans? Having a big yard means nothing if the dog i just going outside and not running around. I know many people who have kids who successfully crate and rotate. It isn't for everyone that's for sure but it is possible. As far as the re-homing, I would keep the male, who they have had since it was a puppy, and have the rescue take the dog back they rescued. If we adopt a dog out we will take the dog back if there is ever a problem. Why make the male go, the family is all he has ever known and they have to deal with being re-homed? IF the dog is just aggressive towards the female, find as new home for the female and don't get any more dogs until the male passes on. missing queues before the attack on a dog or missing queues before the male attacks a human? Sounds like you are equating if they "attack without warning" to the female they may randomly decide to start attacking the kids which are Two very separate issues.
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