Dogs Fighting

by MMiller
(El Paso, TX)


I have two female pitbulls that are mother and daughter. The Mom is 6 years old and the daughter is 4 years old. They have been together since the daughter was born. They have always been together and just been great best friends these past 4 years until now.

My male pitbull got killed a little over 2 years ago and ever since that I notice the Mom has become a loner. I don't know if it was the Dad pitbull was with her since I both brought them home at 8 weeks old.

Well when they had a litter I ended up keeping the daughter. She is an awesome pitbull with other dogs, kids, and people.

The Dad pitbull died because someone killed him when he got out of my yard while I was at the store. They shot him a block down from my house and he didn't survive. I was devasted. but with the help of my Husband and 2 female pits I was able to get through it.

After that a couple months later my Husband found a white deaf boxer mix puppy and we ended up keeping him. My two girls are great with him and welcomed him home.

Everything was perfect all my dogs got along until about 7 months ago. My two females got in to a fight. Which broke my heart because I did not want that to ever happen. Well after that they were still okay with each other.

The next month my Husband and I moved back to my hometown and that is when it got worse. Fights between them were breaking out. It's been one fight after the other so now I keep them seperated which I don't like and it breaks my heart because they are mother and daughter.

They have hurt each other badly which has caused a lot of scars between them. My husband and I don't have any kids so we love them as our kids.

I notice the Mom is the one that starts the fight and she won't let go when my husband tells her too. The daughter lets go and I think she just fights to defend herself. She is so fearful of her Mother and trembles when she is close by.

I don't thnk they hate each other because we are able to have them on the couch of course with someone being between them. And they don't go at it when they see each other. I thnk the Mom is trying to be the dominant especially when people are around.

I don't know what went wrong I love them 3 with all my heart and they are all spoiled they have a good life compared to the other pits that are used for fighting.

Now my Mom dog has gotten into a fight with the male for food. She didn't hurt him but got into it with him. I don't want it to get where I have to keep them all seperated. He is the only companion they both have since the females can't be together.



I need help I love my dogs with eveything I have and I don't know what to do help them/us for all of us to have a happy and healthy life. Please help us out with any advice you can give me.

Thanks,

MSM

Gale's Reply:

Hi M:

You have a complex and delicate situation. Complex because you have 3 dogs which is the tipping point for creating a pack mentality. Delicate because it sounds like the daugther dog is showing signs of being traumatized.

Your first concern must be to never let them fight again. Even if they must be kept separated, it is simply not worth the risk. Dogs need each other a lot less than we tend to think they do. What they really need is human companionship, leadership and safety.

In the absence of your male dog that was killed, it's pretty understandable that your mom dog would feel the need to step in a fill the role of pack leader. But, in fact, you and your husband need to be the pack leaders--not one of the dogs.

Perhaps it just worked when Dad dog was there. Everyone knew their place. But, now he's gone AND there's a new pup AND you've moved. All of which throws everything up in the air. Dogs crave structure. I think mom dog figured the "top dog" position was open and she was the one to fill it.

Unfortunately, her aggression was reinforced each time she attacked the daughter dog. So, each time she does this, the very behavior you don't want is becoming more ingrained. This is why I'm saying above all else, you need to prevent any more fights. Well, that and concern for your other dogs--especially daughter dog. It sounds like mom dog has pushed her to the edge.

Because things have developed as far as they have, I believe you need hands-on professional help from a trainer with a behavioral analyst background. This is a professional who will come to your home and observe how you and the dogs interact with one another. This person will be able to see first hand what's going on and where interventions need to be made. He or she will also teach you and your husband how to manage things with these dogs.

Another option would be to re-home the daughter dog. She would then not need to be in fear of her mother whenver she is close by. And, there's a possibility that mom dog might settle down when there are only two dogs instead of three. But, from the tone of your story, I get the feeling that would not be your first option.

I do hope you will let us know what you decide to do and how it works out. You have a challenging situation, but there is help out there. A good place to start to search for a trainer in your area is the Association of Pet Dog Trainers website. All the best to you and your beautiful dogs.

Comments for Dogs Fighting

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Aug 17, 2011
fighting dogs
by: Anonymous

this person has givin excellent advise. i would instead re-home the mom and keep the daughter. i have the same situation in my home. my 4 yr. old male nutered pit bull usually starts the growling first and only in my presence. the fights seem to center around me and their need to be next to the alpha dog, me. they will all nicely sleep on my bed and for no reason the pit will attempt to growl all the dogs off the bed. they all get off with the exception of the am. bull dog and the fight is on. they play together and enjoy eachothers company but when this situation pops up......they will fight. i now leash my pit to one of the dressers in my room at night and never let him fall asleep on my bed. as long as he is not on my bed with me and the other dogs......there is peace.

Aug 17, 2011
Feeding from your energy.
by: Amanda

I had a female pitbull who was my baby before real babies. We rescued a male and they were bestfriends. Both were shot with in an hour of the first time getting out of my yard, my female did not survive, my male made it home. After he became depressed we got a puppy under the advisement of my vet. Our new female is now almost 2 years old, and we have had issues with her attacking him, suddenly, to the point he too was starting to tremble at the site of her.

I had a trainer come in and assess our situation and the first thing he noticed was my own fidgetty manerisms, and said she was feeding off of me. Sometimes we send messages we dont mean to through body language. After the first attack i was more stressed, and increasingly so when she bumped into him etc expecting a fight. I didnt realize she was picking up on that elevated stress and reacting to the situation which caused it. I now take action and establish myself as soon as it looks like their may be tension. I also take ques from my male as sometimes he avoids her purposely, and before hanf i wouldnt think anything of it and force them to gether for convenience, ending it a spat.

I hope this helps, although its vague I know. After a hard loss like that its hard to act like nothing is wrong. and when we are grieving, its understandable we dont appear as a strong leader. Your mama pitbull most likely filled leader position while you were grieving the hardest, and needs to know you are reclaiming your position. Feed them separately, stay calm, and try to recognize the triggers. I stand directly infront of my female as soon as i see her tense in position, and i find me challenging her motions lets her know its not her place. In the last few months we have gone from thinking we need to get rid of her, to only an occasional unfixed spat, that ends with the call of her name.

Aug 18, 2011
LET ME HELP! ;)
by: Mairi

I have the perfect solution... send me your piebald girl with the eye patch. I lost my pied-eyepatch girl to cancer 5 years ago and have been searching for a girl that reminds me of her ever since. I only have a 1 year old SBT and 2 young human children, and would love to take your girl home with me to Calgary Alberta Canada! I am serious!!!

Sep 15, 2011
Dogs Fighting Owner
by: MMiller



Thank you everyne for the comments. I just hope I find a solution because they got in to another fight 2 weeks ago because my Mom left one of the doors open and didn't realize my Momma dog Akasha was in the room and the daughter Osiris went in the room to smell her and Akasha attacked her and I was very scared because I had to seperate them on my own. Somehow I managed and choked the Momma dog and let go and my Mom was able to get the other one out quick because she is easier to handle than the Mom. My Mom says she will take the Momma dog but is concerned she will attack her 2 small dogs. I guess we just have to test her out how she reacts to her dogs. I'm just so stress out of living this way with them. I love them both so much even to think about re-homing the Momma dog breaks my heart in pieces. I know I have to do what's best for them and us too.

Aug 12, 2012
Just so you are aware
by: Anonymous

This person is saying that your pucture is her dogs. She is doing it to tons of different owners. Saying they have fought their dogs and have taken them in and re-homed them. She is a BYB who is doing NOTHING to save the great pit bull.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=253531544750091&set=a.121364517966795.13374.120732528029994&type=1&theater

Feb 13, 2013
how to stop a fight
by: cc

Two people grab each dog by the back legs . Rotate their bodies in a circle. This weakens their bite and fixation. BACON

Feb 13, 2013
REally?
by: mmiller

Does that really work when stopping a dog fight??

Jul 23, 2013
mother and daughter pitbulls fighting
by: Anonymous

BLESS your heart. i am going thru the same thing. my daughter says the daughter(2 yrs. old) is starting the fights. she is extremely energetic and ready to please. she waits for perm. from me to do anything. the mother has always been very calm and secure and rule responsive and loved the daughter for a year. but i see it that her mother (7yrs.) is being aggr. to her. daught, tries to run away but mother goes after her and chews her up. this has happened 3 times, 2 i wasnt home the last one i was and the mom would not release until i pulled her off. daugh. is traumitized. i have them comp. separated i am older and it is hard on me but i love them too much to make a choice. i dont know what to do now because i am not sure of the cause.

Feb 12, 2014
Dogs Fighting Update NEW
by: Milta

Well it's been over 2 years since I wrote this. I still have all three. My Husband and I bought a house 2 years ago and re-did all of our in and outside of our house. We have made it where it's become a dog proofing. Well they still can't be together but my Husband and I have managed to make all our lives comfortable. We split our yard in half so they both can have a yard. Our house is split in half too with baby gates. Knowing how powerful they are they respect the gates. They are so weird they kiss each other through the gate and stuff but if something is not between them they will fight. They already have a routine if one of them goes outside the other waits until she passes through and then she knows it's her turn to go to the other side of the house. They take turns sleeping with us so we are constantly rotating them so they don't feel left out and my Husband and I are always aware where they are at all times. That way we don't forget to close any baby gates. I know people might think how stressful but it's become a better situation for all of us because that way we keep them safe and we can keep them all with us. My boxer Casper is their only friend but they both love him very much. So he takes turns to play with them. When we take them for walks we all go together even if one of them is across the street or behind a couple of feet away. We have made it work and it's going on 2 years since the last fight broke out. It has taken a lot of patience and time to turn our lives around. I love them to the moon and back that I would do that and more just to keep them safe. I know rehoming them wouldn't be an option because no one would love them or take care of them the way we do. I just wanted to give you all an update and that my Husband and I decided to deal with our problem and keep them with us. So far they are still living a great life with lots of love from us and no fights so far. We always are extra careful at all times!!!

Feb 12, 2014
Dogs Fighting Update NEW
by: Milta

Well it's been over 2 years since I wrote this. I still have all three. My Husband and I bought a house 2 years ago and re-did all of our in and outside of our house. We have made it where it's become a dog proofing. Well they still can't be together but my Husband and I have managed to make all our lives comfortable. We split our yard in half so they both can have a yard. Our house is split in half too with baby gates. Knowing how powerful they are they respect the gates. They are so weird they kiss each other through the gate and stuff but if something is not between them they will fight. They already have a routine if one of them goes outside the other waits until she passes through and then she knows it's her turn to go to the other side of the house. They take turns sleeping with us so we are constantly rotating them so they don't feel left out and my Husband and I are always aware where they are at all times. That way we don't forget to close any baby gates. I know people might think how stressful but it's become a better situation for all of us because that way we keep them safe and we can keep them all with us. My boxer Casper is their only friend but they both love him very much. So he takes turns to play with them. When we take them for walks we all go together even if one of them is across the street or behind a couple of feet away. We have made it work and it's going on 2 years since the last fight broke out. It has taken a lot of patience and time to turn our lives around. I love them to the moon and back that I would do that and more just to keep them safe. I know rehoming them wouldn't be an option because no one would love them or take care of them the way we do. I just wanted to give you all an update and that my Husband and I decided to deal with our problem and keep them with us. So far they are still living a great life with lots of love from us and no fights so far. We always are extra careful at all times!!!

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