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We have two beautiful dogs. An american bull dog mix named Jack. Jack is 4 years old, we have had him since he was 8 weeks old. Our second pup Atticus is a pit mix. We rescued him from a shelter 3 years ago, we think he was about 2 when we adopted him. We are his third home. In those three years he has truly been a blessing in our home. He is so kind and gentle to my husband and I. He has also been living with our cat Luna and has been around small dogs and children of all ages numerous times without any issues. We did have two problems that happened in the three years. The first being when I first brought him home he did attack my friends dog. We did not notice him give any warning, posture, growling, ect. No puncture wounds or blood that we know of (her dog has long hair). After that I got him into training right away. He passed with flying colors. About a year ago he attacked the same dog same way, BUT there was a bone in between them. Again, no blood or puncture wounds but he is an aussie (friends dog) and has long hair. After that we did go through retraining. Part of the retraining we reintroduced the dogs. He was CLOSELY watched and they have not had the issue again and have even learned to engage in LIGHT play with supervision of course. That took the last year of retraining to get to that outcome. With that said, my sister recently got an 8 week old puppy. Within the first hour of them being there they were all given treats. While the puppy was eating his treat Atticus bit the puppy and killed him. He bit him once behind the ear which went to his brain and killed him instantly.

My Plan:
1. Atticus is never allowed around small animals or children again during his life time.
2. He will be crated when people are over Or mussled the entire time. Even though he has never shown signs of aggression towards people I do not think its fair to put people in danger just because I want to keep my dog.
3. Mussled on walks
4. I have appointments with three animal behaviorists to assess him.

My questions that I would like insight on:

1.Am I wrong for not putting him down? (What my sisters boyfriend wants done)
2.Does he sound like he could potentially be very ill with some sort of brain issue?
3.Would it be better for him if i rehome him? This is what my sister wants (Full disclosure of course to the new home)
4. With my plan in place is it wrong to keep my dog?

Any suggestions/ideas will be very helpful. Please do try to understand that I know this is my fault for putting him and the innocent puppy in the situation at all. I'm not asking you to not give your opinions, seeing how I asked for them. But I am asking for a bit of discretion when you are answering. I just would like to know what people in this community would do in my place.
 

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Dog and animal aggression is a normal and expected trait in bull breeds and their mixes. It's genetic and can't be trained out, only managed through proper supervision or separation if necessary.

It's important you understand that dog and human aggression are completely separate. There's no need to worry about people and children if he's never shown any aggressive behaviour towards them, which a stable bull breed should not.

I own an extremely DA dog and have no problem managing him. We just keep him on leash and away from other animals.

Again, this is normal. It should NOT be a death sentence or anything to even worry about, TBH. Do some research on bull breeds and you'll see that this is just a part of owning these dogs.
 

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so terrible and sad.
dogs like yours are why I get dirty looks having a pit.

Unless you live in the county and have great amounts of private property you have no right to have a dog who attacks and kills.

terrible and sad.

It is wrong to keep him, it was wrong to keep him after your first incident, and the second

Your dog KILLED a puppy, terrible and foolish and selfish to be ignoring these enormous red flags!


Dogs like yours are why people look down on pits.

and you wonder why there is a bans on pit bulls?? so foolish
 

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so terrible and sad.
dogs like yours are why I get dirty looks having a pit.

Unless you live in the county and have great amounts of private property you have no right to have a dog who attacks and kills.

terrible and sad.

It is wrong to keep him, it was wrong to keep him after your first incident, and the second

Your dog KILLED a puppy, terrible and foolish and selfish to be ignoring these enormous red flags!

Dogs like yours are why people look down on pits.

and you wonder why there is a bans on pit bulls?? so foolish
Actually, your response is what's foolish.

Do a little research on the breed you apparently love. They were created to fight dogs, dog aggression is a deeply ingrained genetic trait. While it may not surface in all bull breeds, especially mixes that may be several generations removed from those fighting dogs of the past, it's certainly still a common breed trait and one that should be expected. Go read the kennel clubs' breed standard, you'll find that they include dog aggression as an acceptable trait.

This is absolutely not something that makes them bad dogs, or makes a ban necessary, it's just another trait, like retrievers retrieving, herding dogs herding, etc. Without these traits, we wouldn't have breeds at all. It is exactly why these dogs aren't for everyone, though, and people should do their research before going out and getting one.

I highly suggest you do so, or you're going to be in for a nasty surprise if your bull breed decides, like many before him, to no longer tolerate other dogs or animals. People denying breed traits and histories are the ones causing all the issues for responsible owners.
 

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I don't think you are making the point your trying to.

I said, its foolish to have a dangerous dog unless, for example, you live in the country side and have a large amount of private property.

boasting you knowledge of how aggressive your dog is simple points you greater in the wrong direction.

if your dog attacks your neighbors, maybe your home is not ideal for your dog, if it does it again, you really are not thinking about the safety of your neighbors. If it kills a puppy, maybe you shouldn't have a dog.

foolish
 

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I don't think you are making the point your trying to.

I said, its foolish to have a dangerous dog unless, for example, you live in the country side and have a large amount of private property.

boasting you knowledge of how aggressive your dog is simple points you greater in the wrong direction.

if your dog attacks your neighbors, maybe your home is not ideal for your dog, if it does it again, you really are not thinking about the safety of your neighbors. If it kills a puppy, maybe you shouldn't have a dog.

foolish
I'm not boasting anything. You're still completely missing the point. Dog aggression is a normal trait for APBTs and their mixes. It's common. It's in the breed standard. Take a look through the hundreds of threads where people are asking why their dog suddenly doesn't like other dogs.
If you aren't willing to grasp that truth and prepare for the possibility of having to manage said genetic trait, maybe YOU shouldn't have a bull breed dog, and you certainly shouldn't be handing out advice based on your own willful ignorance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
@Spencebunker I do understand your feelings because I once was that judgemental about how people handled their dogs. So your reaction I cannot be upset with. But your comments are not the insight I was looking for. @BCdogs gave me the insight I was looking for and they obviously know how to handle this breed and have experience with this subject matter. This is the knowledge I need and was requesting. You obviously do not, which is not bad, I just would appreciate if you didn't comment on experiences you have never been in. Like I said I cannot be upset with how you reacted. I live those same feelings everyday now that this has happened to my family. If you would of fully read my post you would know I take full accountability for putting the innocent puppy and my dog in that situation. I will also take preventative measures to make sure this NEVER happens again, even with my other bully who has NEVER shown signs of DA. Again, if you would of read my post it was a friends dog, not a neighbors. I have land and my dogs do not roam freely. I do not need to continue to justify my post. I was simply requesting insight from experienced owners. Your reaction to my post is the same as what you get from people when you walk down the street with your dog and their ignorance takes over.
 

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1.Am I wrong for not putting him down? (What my sisters boyfriend wants done)

I don't think the dog should be put down. It has never shown aggression towards people if I read your op correctly. Animal aggression can be avoided by understanding that it's an issue and taking simple preventative steps.

2.Does he sound like he could potentially be very ill with some sort of brain issue?

As BC said, animal aggression is very common in the breed and mixes thereof, I don't think this is a huge red flag that your dog is abnormal. Only a vet or dog behaviorist can give you more concrete insight than that.

3.Would it be better for him if i rehome him? This is what my sister wants (Full disclosure of course to the new home)

If you are willing to continue to educate yourself, and take proper steps to ensure the safety of animals who may come into contact with your dog, then I would say if you want to keep him, keep him. You seem to be genuinly remorseful about what happened and willing to change your situation, so i think you'll be fine. Just don't EVER become complacent.

4. With my plan in place is it wrong to keep my dog?

I don't think so. But again, as BC said, separating the dog from humans and even just children doesn't seem necessary as he has never shown human aggression, and most well adjusted/cared for APBT and mixes do not(in my experience.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
@Death2BSL Thank you for taking the time to answer each one of my questions and reading my post thoroughly. I will absolutely take yours and BC's advice and educate myself. The word that stood out for me in your text was complacent, I 100% agree with this and will make that promise to myself and my family that I never do.
 

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Really glad you're willing to take the necessary steps to both keep your dog and educate yourself on how to manage him. Kudos to you.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have. It can seem overwhelming at first, but I promise you that managing a DA dog really isn't that hard, it just takes some consideration but will eventually become second nature.
 

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BCdogs- I cannot express in words the gratitude I have for you, your knowledge and advice. A very humble thank you for what you have given my family and I, and most importantly the education to move forward. THANK YOU.
 

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A muzzle is never a bad thing to get your dog used to either. Although human and dog aggression is very different j would still take precautions around strangers. That is just me and my opinion. Not that I think you have something to worry about but the reason being new situation and triggers you may not be aware of. If you are learning to read your dog as the behaviorist will assist then by all means. But the best way to ensure all are kept safe, including your dog, is a muzzle. I think your a great owner for getting more information and working with your dog. My dog was socialized and loved other animals and then he didn't. He is ok with my cat and the other dogs he met when he was a puppy but that's it and I choose not to force it on him.
 

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Actually, your response is what's foolish.

Do a little research on the breed you apparently love. They were created to fight dogs, dog aggression is a deeply ingrained genetic trait. While it may not surface in all bull breeds, especially mixes that may be several generations removed from those fighting dogs of the past, it's certainly still a common breed trait and one that should be expected. Go read the kennel clubs' breed standard, you'll find that they include dog aggression as an acceptable trait.

This is absolutely not something that makes them bad dogs, or makes a ban necessary, it's just another trait, like retrievers retrieving, herding dogs herding, etc. Without these traits, we wouldn't have breeds at all. It is exactly why these dogs aren't for everyone, though, and people should do their research before going out and getting one.

I highly suggest you do so, or you're going to be in for a nasty surprise if your bull breed decides, like many before him, to no longer tolerate other dogs or animals. People denying breed traits and histories are the ones causing all the issues for responsible owners.
I believe they were originally bred to bait and move bulls, livestock. Otherwise, I completely agree with the post. I question the wisdom of having a small pup being introduced to both dogs at same time, especially in light of previous dog aggressive behavior. Was food involved during the introduction and why was the pup in such close proximity to the adult dogs are the only questions I have. In any of the instances, I tend to blame the incident on the humans involved, not the dog. Your story is heartbreaking and I admire your candor in sharing it.
 

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The ancestors of the APBT were certainly used for bull baiting, but it was only once the sport was outlawed and dog fighting became prevalent that dogmen of the past began creating the APBT as the ultimate fighting dog.
 

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The first being when I first brought him home he did attack my friends dog.
It probably was not wise to have your dog around another dog first thing in his new home.

About a year ago he attacked the same dog same way, BUT there was a bone in between them.
High value items are going to cause problems between dogs where there otherwise may have been no problems at all. Food, bones, toys can be major triggers that set off one dog on another.

While the puppy was eating his treat Atticus bit the puppy and killed him.
Don't have treats down when there are other dogs around!

To me, this dog sounds like he might be pretty good around other dogs. Just keep the treats away! He sounds pretty normal to me.
 

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I am in no way experienced with pitbull or bullys in general as my current pup is my first one. That being said, I am pretty knowledge able about dogs in general. I have seen dogs of any breed bite or attack when food in involved. The pitbull is known for having an incredibly strong jaw and not letting go when they do bite so it caN be much more devastating as was your case. No reason to put your dog down or to rehome your dog. Take the precautions that you have planned, but aggression towards people does not seem to be a problem so may not need to kennel for that.
 
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