Beautiful and Happy dogs. Big happy family.

by Stephanie
(Malibu, California)

Ava & Tyson's birthday September 2010

Ava & Tyson's birthday September 2010

Ava & Tyson's birthday September 2010
Tyson, Chance and Hope
Tyson, Chance and Hope
Tyson, Chance and Hope

I started out with a Pomeranian, she was queen bee for 5 years, Ava. November 2009 my daughter brought home the cutest Pit Bull puppy, Tyson. At the time Tyson was smaller then Ava.


Currently Ava is 10 pounds and almost 8 years old. Tyson is now 108 pounds, and almost 2 years old. They get along perfectly, travel, sleep, hike, eat and play together. Tyson has grown to be one of the most handsome dogs, his personality is so low key and loving. He is a great dog.

Last year I rescued and foster two puppies from a local shelter. Everyone gets along perfectly. It is fun having four dogs around, they are like children. Each has its own personality.

The foster pups were scheduled to be destroyed the next day because of health issues, additionally this shelter euthanizes twice a week, and the Pit Bull breeds are always on the top of the destroy list.

It broke my heart to know these two young pups did not have a chance-So I rescued them and took the haul to nurse them back to health. In June they celebrated their first birthday. They are brother and sister, and I appropriately named them Chance and Hope.

We have one problem in the home. When I take care of my nephew's dog, who is a American Bull Dog / Golden Retriever Mix, Dodger. He attacks Tyson. Tyson will not even see Dodger coming, he blind sides him. Once Dodger attacks he won't give up. We separate the dogs and Tyson tries to get away, then Dodger will try to attack him again.

Days go by and the two get along as though nothing happened. Dodger is very high strung and dominant. However, he does not attack the other three dogs at all, only Tyson. If I am home alone Dodger does not want to fight. When guests come over, or you play with the dogs in the back yard it triggers something in Dodger and he becomes overly aggressive and scary. It sometimes seems as though he is showing off, jealous, and wants to be in control of Tyson.

Tyson avoids Dodger when he is showing aggression. I just can not quite pinpoint where Dodger's problems lies, what triggers him? We have to put Dodger away when guest are here. The fights are very scary, and Tyson has had to be taken to the vet 3 times due to Dodger's attacks.

I wish we could get to the root of the problem to find out what it is that is triggering him, so we can prevent it. Right now the only way to prevent it is to just put Dodger away while guests are here. He also JUMPS on people. I can't break that habit either.

It is a relief that Tyson does not want anything to do with Dodger's fighting. Dodger weighs about 68 pounds and is very athletic and has tons of energy. Tyson as I mentioned before is low key and weighs 108 pounds, just big goofy love.

Besides Dodger's visits and aggression, all the other dogs live in harmony and are a joy to have-3 Pit Bull and 1 Pomeranian. I love the expressions on people when they see Tyson and Ava being walked. They look like the odd couple. Regarding the foster pups, I am extremely happy that I was able to rescue the pitty puppies. They are a joy to have in my home.

Wanted to share the happy story of the three Pitty pups, and the Pomeranian. Also wanted to see if you have any suggestions regarding the visiting American Bull Dog / Golden Retriever mix?

Have a beautiful day.

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Jul 26, 2011
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Beautiful Family
by: Gale

Hi Stephanie - Thanks for sharing your wonderful story and pictures of your happy family. It does my heart good to know that Chance and Hope are safe because you took them in.

Regarding Dodger, if it were me, I'd be focused on helping nephew make other arrangements. As you've said, dog fights are scary and dangerous. Out of concern for Tyson's physical and emotional well-being, I'd want to limit his exposure as much as possible.

However, if you feel you must continue to keep Dodger periodically, then I think it's more about managing the environment than anything else. And, that's probably what you are already doing.

You know that certain triggers like guests set Dodger off and make an attack more likely. I think you are just going to need to keep Dodger and Tyson separated during those times--and, of course, any time you cannot be present to supervise them.


Jul 26, 2011
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Big happy family
by: Amy

Stephanie, the first thing my trainer taught me was that not all dogs will get along just as not all people will get along. It is our responsibility to understand the body language of our dogs, act appropriately to avoid escalation of situations.

Sounds to me your sons dog needs some training to build his confidence, learn control. I wonder does Dodger have troubles with other non family dogs?

When I started with my rescue Pit he needed loads of self confidence. He would act out against all other dogs. With my wonderful trainer I now have 3 other dogs in my house plus I foster Pit puppies. Every once in awhile he shows dislike towards a new dog entering the house but I have control with voice commands. This took a long time and ever so worth it.

In your home YOU need to be the pack leader. If need be keep your sons dog on a short leash with a harness. NEVER leave them alone with out an eye on them for a second. Be there with confidence and control to stop any aggression. If you want them together.

Personally working in the Animal Control field as a volunteer I have come to realize that not every dog can be saved. Those that have aggression issues that can not be corrected to me have a terminal mental illness. Not from lack of trying...at some point we have to keep in mind the safety of other animals and people. I do not mean to sound harsh...just reality.

Jul 26, 2011
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

I agree with both post. I see the body language with Dodger, and correct it constantly. Keeping him separated from Tyson when guest are over is a must. I never leave him alone with Tyson. There are other body language red flags that I notice, which I did not mention in my post. Did not want to be too long winded, just wanted to get to the point. Yes, Dodger has had incidents with other dogs. Fence barking, and attacking the dog on the other side of the fence without warning. He does not even stop and smell or greet, just jump and fight. My nephew needs to spend more time with him. The dog has massive amounts of energy. Even after a two hour hike, or a day at the beach swimming in the ocean the dog comes back energized. Interesting enough, when my nephew takes him to the dog beach or dog park and he runs around with other dogs, he never fights. My pups are all well behaved, however when Dodger is here he struts in and tries to take back my pack, every time. I have to re-establish my authority each time. So to sum it up, Dodger is a challenge. Thank you for all your impute. Much appreciated. I will check in later for some more direction.

Jul 26, 2011
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training training training
by: Lori

thank you so much for sharing I love the picture of party with cat on table. You obviously are doing a great job. I read Amy's comments, she covered all that I would say, too. I have my own crew, foster, and work with a trainer specifically trains bully breeds and guard dogs. The visitor dog has to be addressed, again defer to what Amy suggested, I would have him at my side at all times. My trainer has a leash on dogs while training and I have them at my side. So, I am alway aware of the interactions and head anything before it begins. But, having their leash on my belt loop keeps me in control. Plus, exercising the other dog separately get him really tired out to release the tension. Be the leader so he will relax and be a good visitor. Be consistent. Be patient. Help your nephew train his dog daily so when you have him over he knows the structure. thank you for all your devotion!

Jul 26, 2011
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pitbull is adorable
by: Anonymous

they are so cute and you have a big heart, we had a pitbull before but since we moved i have to leave it with my ex husband and he did not to gave us jade , we misses her so much . anyway were planning to get one when we moved to our own place . I was scared in pit before but when i got one they are the most sweet and adorable dog i ever had.

Jul 26, 2011
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by: Anonymous

Crate and rotate. Or rehome the dog so it can be an only-dog. http://www.pitbull-chat.co​m/showthread.php?13984-Alw​ays-Expect-a-Bulldog-To-Fi​ght

Jul 26, 2011
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find a different sitter
by: Anonymous

why doesn't your nephew find a different sitter for his dog since he's the problem? you're risking your pack by bringing in a dog that attacks. it would be so sad if one of your dogs developed a permanent behavior problem based on fighting with this other dog.

Jul 26, 2011
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Thank you for all the comments and suggestions.
by: Stephanie

Crate and rotate is the obvious and what I do. 98% of the time when I dog sit, Dodger does not fight. What triggers Dodger to be aggressive towards Tyson is playing out side with them together and/or when guest are here. So Dodger, if here, gets crated until everyone leaves. I do allow him outside with the other dogs. Not only does Dodger want to fight over toys and attention outside, he is a bad influence on their behavior. So I have to put him on a leash and make him sit and wait until the other dogs are done outside. Then he gets let out alone.

The three pitty pups chase butterflies, dig holes, play tug a war, jump around in the kiddy pool etc... When Dodger is up there he instigates them to fence bark and run around following him in an aggressive manner.

I agree and fear that he could bring out the worst in my pups. What I really would like to discover, and what most perplexes me is why Dodger is like this. I know when watching the Dog Whisper, he finds jobs and purpose for the troubled dogs, which in turn helps conquer the bad behavior. I know how to keep it from happening and I appreciate all the feed back. Thank you!

If the dog is an American Bull Dog / Golden Retriever Mix - what might we do with him to help him become a less aggressive dog? He loves the water, he love peoples. He is high energy and very athletic. From a standing position he can jump my height, which is 5'5" .

Jul 26, 2011
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Tyson
by: Anonymous

Which pit is Tyson? The vet told me when Peanut was about 2 1/2 that he was overweight at about 87 lbs. Thus, we have worked on his diet and anymore...I do not care what the vet says. Being as I have only one pit bull, I have no advise in your problem. I just wish I had about a dozen BUT my husband domineers this household :~(
I LOVE my Peanut. He lives such a recluse life (I am disabled) but he appears to be happy inside as long as he has me. We get out as often as I am up to it. Because he is rarely around other dogs, he does not know how to act when he can get close to one. He can be too playful with a smaller breed. Peanut does not have a mean bone in his body. I take in downtown to our city Crusin' & Groovin' and he gets more attention than the classic's and hotrods. lol He also kisses every child within kissing distance. He is a hoot. Good luck and I hope you get good advise.

Jul 26, 2011
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All got along and then one day........
by: Stephanie

I so need to tell my story, which is similar to this one. We had a male pitbull/American bulldog
mix who was 10 years old at the time and a male pitbull who was 8 years old. We adopted a 2 year old female pitbull from the shelter and for the firt year, all went well. They slept and played together. One day after a year, the American bulldog mix and female got into a fight over a toy. It ended in a vist to the vets where both were badly hurt. After 6 months another fight broke out when people arrived at the house for a party. Again, a visit to the vet. We watched them very closely and monitored all situations where we thought a fight might break out. After a year another big and last fight broke out and we called in a behavioral specialist. After working with her, we decided that we needed to separate them forever and that is when we gated the house and yard. It was alot of work and effort, but we could not go through this stressful situation, always wondering when and why a fight would occur. My American bulldog passed away last month at the age of 14 and my female still misses him. Go figure......

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