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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a pitbull mix that is approximately 2yo. We aren't sure of her age, we “rescued” her a year ago when she was around 1yo.

We now have a 9 week old pitbull mix puppy that we got 3 weeks ago, when he was 6 weeks old.

I understand now from reading and reading, that calling my dogs “pitbull mixes” is perhaps a misnomer, with respect to the true breed, but I don’t know what else to call them since they clearly have at least a little of what we call pit bulls in them.

Anyway, I have been reading a lot about the breed(s) since we got our first pitbull mix, and even more after we got the puppy that is now 9 weeks old.

We had an older “pit mix” when we got the second dog. The older “pit mix” was a tiny puppy that my fiancé found under a church when he was doing some work for the church. He brought her home and gave her a good home for several years before I met him.

The older dog died earlier this year. We’d already rescued a pit mix dog before she died. Now we have “rescued“ a pit mix that was only 6 weeks old when we brought him home,

I have read enough to know that these dogs can become DA unexpectedly, with no warning. If it were left to me, I would crate and rotate, even now, when there doesn’t seem to be any problems.

My ex husband came home from work to a bloodbath with one of his dogs severely injured, and I don’t want that.

I keep a close eye on them when they are loose together. My sweetie puts them outside together without keeping an eye on them, and it makes me nervous. I’ve explained to him why it makes me nervous, including the kind of dogs they are, and that the older dog has a very strong prey prey drive and has actually killed a much smaller dog before we got her, by shaking it to death, not mauling. The older dog corrects the puppy, but when she gets those wrinkles on her nose, it makes me nervous and I separate them. When she is just laying down minding her own business and the puppy starts biting on her, I make him stop and move him away from her.

I feel like we need to always be watching them to intervene like I do when the puppy is doing too much. But my fiancé doesn’t always watch them closely like I do.

Am I being extra with my concerns? I’d rather not fight with my SO, but I will if it concerns me doing what’s best for our dogs.
 

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What is best for you and the dogs is the watchful eye that you are doing. Nothing may ever happen between your two but even once is too much. Time and time again we have read here about dogs and their owners getting injured trying to separate the dogs once they start fighting. The key is not to let thing escalate to that point. The only way you can do that is to learn their body language and what the dogs are feeling. That way your voice should be enough to stop anything provided you have a good command of your dogs.
Personally, I don't ever just leave my dogs at home or in my fenced in yard unattended. The two I own now have never so much as snarled at each other BUT they both have the potential. Dog aggression is in their DNA. It can be controlled but not eliminated.
So, I don't feel that you are over doing it by always maintaining a watchful eye on your dogs. No need to fight with your SO either, ask him to do some reading about the bully breed and dog aggression. Not leaving them alone in the house or the yard really doesn't take that much more effort.
Also, if you don't have a crate, you might want to invest in one. That way, when you leave the house, one of the dogs can go into the crate to keep them separated. Just make sure that you make the crate a good place for the dog and never use it as a punishment. Keep on doing what you're doing Reesha. Always be over cautious when it comes to your dogs.

Joe
 

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I know what you mean about that wrinkly nose and the growling! It can definitely be unnerving!
We just have to know our dogs, watch and be aware of change.
Sounds like you are on the ball with everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Joe!

My fiancé and I have different learning styles. I love to read, he doesn’t. If I can find some videos where people talk about the potential for DA, he’ll probably watch those. I guess I’d have to watch first to make sure it has the message I want him to get before sending it (them) to him. I’d be grateful if you can point me in the right direction to find said videos.

I started telling him my concerns when we got Girl and already had his dog. He was lax about it then. We bought a crate for Girl before we brought her home and after just a couple of weeks, he was leaving them both loose in the house while we were at work. We were lucky in that we never had an issue with them. I’ve started again with the same concerns now that we have the puppy. He’s still not getting it and does not watch them. Probably the only reason he consistently puts Boy in his crate while we’re at work is because Boy is not housetrained.

It upsets me that he’s not taking it seriously. We have different styles with dogs, period. He treats them like young children. I believe in rules and good manners, so I’m the one that trained Girl, and I’m the one training Boy. To me, that makes living with them easier, plus I’m happy and they’re happy because they don’t get “in trouble” since they know the rules and follow them. I’ve had a Bullmastiff that ended up weighing 110lbs when I only weighed 120lbs, so I know how important training is, and starting early. His dog was not trained except for house trained. I was good to her, but never really bonded with her because she was unruly (not aggressive though).

I can tell from watching them when Girl doesn’t want to play with Boy.

Yesterday Boy started biting on her and she ran over to me, he ran after her, and I made him leave her alone. So I was right that she often looks to me to make him stop. And I believe it’s on us to teach him to respect it when she doesn’t want to play. But we have to be paying attention in the first place to do that.

Maybe my fiancé would take it more seriously if he hears it from someone else, so I will try to find videos. Otherwise, I see some arguments in our future, because he’s not listening and this is important to me.

My apologies for going on and on about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BZOO, she doesn’t growl, but that wrinkly nose still makes me nervous. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve EVER heard her growl. But to me, that means she may not give that kind of warning before something bad happens.

I don’t know, I feel like I’m being an ass by harping on this with my fiancée, but I don’t feel I have a choice because I don’t want either of our dogs to get hurt by the other. I’m more concerned for Boy right now, but he won’t always be so tiny, and I just feel like we should be on the same page now to do what we can to avoid potential problems.
 

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Conner and Pheobe face wrestle for hours. He can make some pretty scary sounds!
I keep a close watch. He doesn't show any aggression, but sheer size/strength, he doesn't know how big he is. I seriously believe he thinks he's a Pug! 😁
If he gets a little rough, she lets him know and he backs off immediately. Though sometimes only for a second. She gives as good as she gets!
This will always be a watch for any changes moment.
But, he will always have to be crated when we are gone. Sucks, but it is what it is.
There are the three smaller dogs, one who cannot be crated, so can't rotate, Conner will always have to get the short end of the stick on this.
And they were just driving me crazy with it, so distracted them with a stuffed Kong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BZOO and Joe, I really want to thank you both for giving me advice and encouraging me by telling me what I’m doing right. I won’t be upset if the time comes when either or both of you tell me I’m doing something wrong, I promise! LOL!

I‘ve loved dogs since I was a young child and my Mom let me get my first dog even though she doesn’t really like dogs. In hindsight, I really understand what that meant as far as her indulging me, because she was the one paying all the costs for for my dogs, allowing them to live in her house and dealing with all the things that come along with having a dog, when dogs really weren’t her thing.

But her indulging me as a child led me to where I am today, serious about being a responsible dog owner, and serious providing a good, loving home to whatever dog(s) in my home, whatever a “good” home means for the dog(s) in my home.

I am just new to these particular kinds of dogs, because I must admit that until we got Girl, I believed the hype about “pits” and would’ve never considered having one, believing they were “dangerous”. As a young adult I realized I preferred medium to large dogs, but “pits” and boxers were a no go for me. Long story about how Boxers got on my “bad” list lol.

Anyway, I just wanted to express my appreciation of both of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
…he doesn't know how big he is. I seriously believe he thinks he's a Pug! 😁

I know exactly what you mean by this lol. My Bullmastiff never realized just how big she was either. Which was kind of good in a way, but in other ways not so good when she would try to squeeze where she fit when she was a puppy.
 

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BZOO and Joe, I really want to thank you both for giving me advice and encouraging me by telling me what I’m doing right. I won’t be upset if the time comes when either or both of you tell me I’m doing something wrong, I promise! LOL!

I‘ve loved dogs since I was a young child and my Mom let me get my first dog even though she doesn’t really like dogs. In hindsight, I really understand what that meant as far as her indulging me, because she was the one paying all the costs for for my dogs, allowing them to live in her house and dealing with all the things that come along with having a dog, when dogs really weren’t her thing.

But her indulging me as a child led me to where I am today, serious about being a responsible dog owner, and serious providing a good, loving home to whatever dog(s) in my home, whatever a “good” home means for the dog(s) in my home.

I am just new to these particular kinds of dogs, because I must admit that until we got Girl, I believed the hype about “pits” and would’ve never considered having one, believing they were “dangerous”. As a young adult I realized I preferred medium to large dogs, but “pits” and boxers were a no go for me. Long story about how Boxers got on my “bad” list lol.

Anyway, I just wanted to express my appreciation of both of you.
As someone who has learned a lot from screwing up the intro of new puppy with old dog, I love the way you're handling this. My newest pup has integrated super smoothly, to the extent that she can be. My older shelter bully mauled my oldest dog when he was a bit over a year old (they're 7 and 10 now and get on well enough). He doesn't growl beforehand. It's the freeze and hard stare we look for. He can hang out with and be the nicest dog with our other two, but I know he has a nasty side and we manage accordingly. So like you, we watch all interactions and everyone is separated when we can't watch. My youngest dog is full of herself and would absolutely start something. At 30 lbs, she has no chance against her 60 lb powerhouse housemate. He'd kill her in short order. So I play it safe. If you can't find a video, I will make one for you, because I would hate for your household to go through what mine did. My husband has a few scars from breaking up fights. I've seen my own dog shake my other like a ragdoll. I love your strategy of never letting it happen and that is definitely the best strategy. I do also support learning from someone about breaking up a fight. Choking out or a breakstick are my preferred go-tos. A lot of other tactics on the internet are nonsense when your dog is even remotely game. Here's a recent picture of the boys getting on great.
Dog Vertebrate Dog breed Carnivore Mammal
 
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