(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.
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.