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Q: Thinking of adopting another Pittie. I have questions.

April 8, 2008 | By CalvinsMom | 5 answers | Expired: 2289 days ago

Thinking of adopting another Pittie. I have questions.

We have a 2/3 y.o. male pit bull already and are thinking about getting another. The shelter behaviorist said that we could get either another male or a female. I asked her if it was OK to have to males together and she said that yes it would be OK. The only situation she would not recommend is two females together. Do any of you have any experience with this?

My current dog is ever so slightly dog aggressive but we adopted him when we already had a 13.5 y.o Doberman in the house. They got along fine, though we never left them alone together...ever. Sometimes he would try to play with her and she just wasn't interested. I am aware of a PB's tendencies to be dog aggressive. I would never leave two dogs alone together anyway. They will get crated separately. We are thinking about adopting a submissive-type male from a shelter. We, of course, would have them meet on neutral territory by walking them together first but I was just wondering about the male-male pit bull thing.


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Danewillow
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Apr 10, 2008

At one point we had two neutered males, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier (raised from a puppy by my husband, well socialized) and an Olde English Bulldogge (rescued at 2 years, not very well socialized), as well as a spayed female Dane. The OEB was introduced to my husband's (not my husband at the time) household which already had the SBT. I had the Dane at my own house. The OEB and SBT had little squabbles occasionally but the SBT would always back down and they loved playing together. We combined households and the Dane kind of kept the boys in line. The Dane died, leaving us with just the two boys. About six months later they started fighting. Not little fights, they were out to kill each other. They could not be together in the house. When we were trying to determine who was initiating the fights, we were surprise to discover it was the SBT! Seems he decided he wasn't going to put up with the OEB's dominance anymore. It was a pain in the butt to keep them apart all the time.

Fast forward - we got another female Dane puppy and both dogs got along with her fine. The OEB died a year ago so it's down to just the SBT and Dane. They get along great.

So now my feedback - I don't know why they would recommend you get a male when you already have a slightly aggressive male. When we were researching our own dogs' fighting we found information about a dog's mental maturity as opposed to their physical maturity. They are mentally mature at a much later age than their physical maturity. Our SBT was 5 years old when he started fighting our other dog, your dog isn't there yet. If I were in your situation, I would get a female. I've found that our females, while ACTING like they are not dominant, are actually dominant over the males. Our SBT, proven to be very dog aggressive, will submit to our female every time. Of course, we still watch them very closely for any signs that the situation may be escalating.

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Heather S.
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Apr 08, 2008

I hope your current male is neutered. That takes away a lot of the macho behavior that unfixed males have. I am surprised that the shelter lady told you not to have two females together. In my experience it's usually two unfixed males that get into fights. My sisters have two females shepherds that get along great.

I would work on your current dog so he would stop being ever-so slighly dog aggressive. It's a totally different story when you bring another dog into your home, as opposed to the park. Your home might be his domain in his mind. Make sure when you bring the dogs together for the first time, you do it on neutral territory (so not at home). I also don't think a submissive male might be the best, it might trigger the more aggressive dominant behavior from your current male.

Just remember that pits are strong dogs that can kill. My Mom's co-worker had a male Great Dane, and her daughter had a male pit bull. The daughter was going on a trip and brought her pit over to the mother's house, and let it in the yard with the mother's Dane. In the past, the two dogs seemed to get along okay. So, she left, and later that afternoon, when the mother came home from work, her Dane was dead. The pit killed it, tore open the neck. And yet acted like nothing happened to the humans, was very friendly and wiggly.

So, I would not let your dog and the new one alone together for a while, until you can trust them together.

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Brian  K.
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Apr 08, 2008

Male and/or female makes no difference at all. What does matter is the Dominate/Submissive issue. It also matters how you introduce the new dog into the pack. Walks are always nice to do with the dogs on the outside of the humans at first. After a while bring one dog closer to the new dog and keep walking. If all is well move both dogs next to each other. This is all about the bonding.

Walk into the current dogs yard with the new dog last. Keep them on leash and walk around with them for a while. I leave the leash on all the dogs for awhile, just in case I have to pull them apart. If you do have a dominate dog already allow him/her to introduce the new dog to the pack. Then allow the other dogs to join into the introduction.

Pick up all the toys, bones, food and water. Slowly introduce all items into the group with care. For the first week or two keep the new dog separated while unattended, just in case they fight when you are not there.

Good luck and have fun with your pits.

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Marta J.
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Apr 08, 2008

Iv'e had Pits for years, never had a problem.I have 3 females (spayed). My son has had 2,(neutered males) his girlfriend 2 (Male and female) and we have had them together a lot. BUT, I have worked with dogs for many years and I'm very good at reading body language. Many dogs can start off together great, but if one is the least bit dominate it can be trouble. If you are very dominate and the dogs respect that, they are less likely to fight because there already is a leader in the pack. I can tell when a dog is even thinking about starting something and I stop it right there. I suggest watching the Dog Whisperer on fri night. There's about 5 episodes on National Geo. If you don't get it, go on line. He has 40 some odd dogs in his pack alot of which are pits. He just got a new pit puppy. He really knows his stuff.Even after all the years I worked with dogs I still learn something everytime I watch. What Docjill said is good advise too.

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Jill R.
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Apr 08, 2008

Nancy,

With dogs, you really never know. There are some really tough girls, really tough boys... sometimes even the sweetest even tempered pet has a bad day. I have two large bully breed males and they get along great 99.9% of the time. Once in a blue moon, the little one gets up on the wrong side of the bed and is in a funny mood and they clash for a few seconds.

The key is, to know your dogs well enough that you know how to avoid dangerous situations, especially around foods or items they are possessive from.

I always recommend to "try out" your potential adoptee (with permission of your shelter of course) to see if your choice is a good fit for your family. Most of the time, they will be when you go how you feel, but sometimes there are personality conflicts that just don't make it a safe match. Fostering is also a good way to find out how a pet fits in your family, talk to your shelter manager about that option. GOOD LUCK!

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