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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I am new to the forum, and a new Pit Bull mommy. We adopted Zoe 3 days ago from the SPCA. She is about 4 months old, and seems very timid. She is at least half Pit Bull, possibly part lab. We already had a 6 year old Chihuahua named Rocko, who has never bit another dog, but sometimes shows his teeth if he is being bullied by bigger dogs (or cats...lol).

The day we brought Zoe home, she tried to hop towards him in a playful way, and he showed his teeth. I told him "no" sternly, but he did it again, so i very lightly smacked his butt. He stopped.

Today, Rocko was sitting on the couch, and Zoe was on the floor. When he peeked over the edge, she growled. I told her "NO," just like I did with Rocko. She stopped. About an hour later, he was walking around, and got about 3 feet from her, when she made a sound like dogs do when they are going to start fighting. She snapped in the air, but not near him, as she was laying, and a few feet from him. I smacked her lightly on her butt, picked her up, yelled no, and put her in our spare bedroom for 5 minutes. When I let her out, I didn't look at her or talk to her for about 5 more minutes, ignoring her attempts to make up.

I don't think I am handling this correctly, and would appreciate any advice that you all have, as i'm sure you are all more experienced than I am! Thank you so much!

:confused:
 

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It sounds like she is giving warnings but you are right to get advice to stop it now before Zoe gets bigger and realizes its not playing. Sorry, I do not have multiple dogs in my house and can't offer advice on training, but have you looked into hiring a trainer in your area to assist? You may have to crate and rotate them as they get older, so be prepared in case they just cant get along, not saying that is what needs to happen at this point just something you need to be prepared to do.

I though Chi's also have DA in their breed. Good for you for trying to get help now and good luck.
 

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Smacking them on the rear isn't going to fix it unfortunately this breed can be dog aggressive to begin with so if your small dog is showing these signs too I would separate them. Many breeds of dog are dog aggressive and don't do well with other dogs, so rather than trying to make things your way, you need to handle them properly to keep them safe. Rotating 2 dogs is not very hard and is the safest option for your small dog as it will take one good bite for her to do serious damage if not kill him, so I would not risk it. Crating properly is not bad for dogs, and is a safe way to handle the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both. Yes, we intend on getting a trainer for her or for both dogs. I apologize for being such a newbie, but we crate her at night and when we are not home, and never as a punishment. Is that what is meant by crating her properly? We also do not allow them to be roaming the house unless we are right there next to them.

I want to make sure that they are both happy and not afraid in their home, but i'm afraid to give up before I even give them a chance to get to know each other. Is it not realistic to think that they will get along some day? Rocko grew up with the Siberian Husky that I had until only a year ago. He never so much as looked at her in a mean way. They cuddled and everything, but I understand that Zoe is a different dog, and this may not be possible. We knew when we got her that we would never be able to trust them alone together, and that's ok with us, but it would be nice if they could both sit in the living room at the same time. However, I agree that it only takes one time for her to really injure Rocko, and I don't want to risk that.

Does it make a difference that Zoe got spayed 3 days ago? I'm sure she isn't feeling well, and maybe it was stupid to introduce them before she is feeling better. Now that I think of it, i feel horrible for smacking her on the rear, even if it was gently. I got so scared, I just reacted. Rocko mostly sits on the couch unless he gets up to eat or potty, so I assumed that it would be ok to have them in the same room with the two of us.
 

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No need to apoligize at all, its great you are looking for answers and seem willing to try anything. Yes, there are multiple people on this list who own multiple dogs that NEVER have physical contact. Maybe the spay had something to do with it, or maybe one or both have some aggression. you don't really want to find out though, I am sure. If this is your first pit bull type dog, you should also research a break stick and make sure you know how to use it correctly. Oh, and post up some pictures!! Would love to see the 2 we are talking about :)

Below is a detail of crate and rotate. You are right, no punishment in the crate but basically one is in and one is out throughout the day, not at the same time. You can't play favorites.

Pit Bull Rescue Central

dogs of any age should have to follow this:
http://www.gopitbull.com/obedience-training/11559-nilif.html

I know it has been 3 days, so I am not sure of its technically too late to try but read this, from another site I copied it from, I know lots who have had good experiences following:

The First Two Weeks - Give'em a Break! WHY?
The Two Week Shutdown


If I could stress one of the biggest errors people make with new dogs and foster dogs it is rushing the dog into the new world so fast . This shut down gives the dog a chance to say "ahhh" take a breath and restart into its new world.

From people I have helped I hear;
"I introduced her to 15 people the first day I had her!" ;" he was a bit leery but seems to like my other 3 dogs" ; "she went everywhere with me "
All in the first few days of the new home..... (!!!)

two weeks later we hear;
" I think we will have to rehome the new dog" "the new dog barked and nipped at my kid" - "we had a dog fight" ; "the new dog barked at me for moving him off the couch"

Ok, folks, here it comes, some feel this is extreme, why? I really do not know.
But when bringing in a new dog, post finding, adoption, buying, etc, Give it time to adjust to you and your family and the dogs in the new environment.
Just as if it were a new baby or puppy, we wouldn't think of rushing out with a baby or puppy, yet with older pups and dogs we just expect them to take our lives in all at once!

TWO WEEKS - "shut down"
For the first two weeks, (sometimes even longer) a dog takes in the new environment, who is the top person, or animal, who ARE these people!? By pushing a dog too fast, and throwing too much at the dog we look like we are not the leaders,and the dog can feel it MUST defend itself , as the leader is surely no one he has met so far!

We coo , coodle, drag the dog to home to home to person to person, and the dog has NO idea who we are. We correct for things it doesn't understand, we talk in a new human language using words he does not know.

A key thing to remember is "this is the dating period NOT the honeymoon"
When you first met your "spouse or significant other", you were on your best behavior, you were not relaxed enough to be all of yourself, were you?
Just think of the things you do physically once you get to KNOW a person,
you wouldn't run up to a stranger and hug them and squeeze them!
Imagine, if on the first date, this new person, was all over you touching you and having their friends hug you and pat you on the head, and jostle your shoulders, looked in your mouth then he whisked you off to another strangers home and they did the same thing.

Would you think this person normal and SAFE? Wouldn't you feel invaded and begin to get a bit snarky or defensive yourself? Wouldn't you think to push these people away for obviously your date is out of their mind, as they aren't going to save you from these weirdoes!!
Yet we do this very thing to our dogs, and then get upset or worried that they aren't relaxed and accepting of EVERYTHING instantly!

By shutting down the dog, it gives the dog TIME to see you , meet YOU, hear and take in the new sounds and smells of your home and all the people in it. In the 1st two weeks;
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Crate the dog in a room by itself if possible.(Believe me, dogs are sensory animals, they know more than you think without seeing it).
Leash the dog (so I don't have to correct it ..you don't have that right yet!), give it exercise time in the yard on lunge line or in fenced yard..but other than that.. LEASH , (yes..leash in the house too.)
Do no training at all, just fun exercise and maybe throw some toys for fun, leash the dog if you don't have a fence outside. But DO NOT leave the yard, AT ALL.

No car rides, no other dogs, (unless crated beside them), no pet stores, no WALKS even, nothing but you and household family, your home, your yard. (Unless of course the dog needs to go to the vetinarian)
Believe me dogs can live two weeks without walks. Walks are stressful for there is so much coming at you and your dog! And the dog has no clue who you are yet. The dog may react to something and we start correcting it with the leash and we just installed a VERY STRESSFUL moment to the dog in what should be a fun and learning walk.

TEACH the dog by doing the shut down, that YOU are the one to look to, that you are now here for the dog! He can trust in you and look to you for guidance. Then you can venture out into new situations one at a time, the dog knows he can trust in his new humans and can relax under the fair guidance of his new leaders!

In the house take the dog out only for about 20-30 minute intervals , post excercise/yard times.,and ALWAYS on a leash when in the house or in an unfenced yard. Exercise is important! Running and free time are stress relievers, but don't set your dog up for failure, make exercise and yard time fun and relaxing and tiring!

Then PUT THE DOG AWAY. let it absorb and think and relax. Ignore crying or barking, just like a new born baby, he must find security when you are not right there, and if you run to him each time he will think barking and crying will get your attention.

I do not introduce resident dogs for these two weeks, they can be side by side in the crates, (not nose to nose for they can feel defensive) . Some dogs will bond instantly with the other dogs if we don't bond FIRST with the dog, and this can lead to some other issues, as the dog will look to the other dog(s) for guidance and not YOU!

Literally in two weeks you will see a change in the dog and begin to see its honest and true personality. Just like a house guest.. they are well behaved and literally shut down and "polite" themselves these first few weeks, then post this time, they relax and the true personality begins to shine thru.

So, please,, if nothing else for your new dog, give it the time to LEARN YOU as you are learning who they are! This method works on shy dogs, confident dogs, abuse cases, chained dogs that come in, rowdy dogs, all temperaments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is really great advice, Ames! It makes perfect sense. Thank you. It hasn't been too long, so perhaps it will still work :)
 

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I am in a multi dog family. First I would start a 2 week shut down. No contact for 2 wks. Slowly introduce them. Both on leashes. There is a sticky on how to do this. Enforce NILIF also a sticky. We had 3 dogs at one time all different breeds, they were great with each other and had no issues. Now we have 2 and for 6 mths they were great together. Then things changed drastically, we now live the crate n rotate lifestyle. It isn's hard once everyone in the family is on the same page. We don't actually crate them but you will find many members here do. We use baby gates to control their movement. We taught them that the baby gates are a "no go zone". Each one could easily jump or push through the baby gate but they respect the gates. Nothing is shared no meals, toys etc. We spend quality time with each and they are both content with this lifestyle. Good luck and welcome.
 

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I hope it does! and make sure to read the NILF sticky also when you get a chance, if you have not already. Its never too late, but just know you can live a happy and great life with crate and rotate :)
 
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