Big dog doesn't take other dog's cues seriously, bullies her.

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Big dog doesn't take other dog's cues seriously, bullies her.

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Old 04-03-2018, 09:48 PM
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Big dog doesn't take other dog's cues seriously, bullies her.

I moved in with my fiancé, who has a cane corso (he found out she's not pure, she's mixed with a small amount of french mastiff), and about three months into living with him, I adopted a pure pit who was going to be put down. My pit's (Nova) dog aggressive, but through research and A LOT of consistency, I've managed to get both dogs to co exist in the same room together without major issues.

However...

Nova is submissive, Onyx (the cane corso), is dominant. We respect their personalities and will greet Onyx first when we come home, give her treats first, etc. Nova get's the same amount of love and attention, Onyx just get's it first.

The issue here is that Onyx is jealous. If you're done petting her and give Nova attention, she wines and cries and barks and physically forces her way in between you and Nova. This has me nervous about Nova attacking her.

Another thing that has me nervous is Onyx CONSTANTLY trying to play with her. Nova does not like playing with other dogs. Some people are dog people, some people aren't...Nova is not a dog dog. She's a people dog. Onyx, although two and a half years old, literally has the personality of a 120lb puppy, and is in Nova's face as much as she can get away with, trying to get her to play. Nova gives the usual warnings, such as showing her teeth, and Onyx doesn't care. She tries to pat her head with her paw (what does that even mean?), does the downward dog stance, Nova just passively wags her tail and stares at her.

Nova got Onyx once in the back yard while Onyx was trying to play with her, luckily they were being supervised (as they always are) and the fight didn't get out of hand.

I really don't know what to do anymore. Onyx needs training and physical and mental activity. Nova doesn't need it as much, she can occupy herself without my help. I've tried to play with Onyx and she isn't interested. She wants to wrestle but she literally weighs more than I do. My fiancé doesn't really want to make the time for her (training wise)...I feel like I'll have to find Nova a new home, and since she's a pit bull, I'm terrified of where she'll end up. Pits get passed around and a lot of times they end up in shelters. But it's not fair to have the dogs separated all the time just because the little dog doesn't know when to let go. It's like a bully kid picking on a littler kid, the littler kid being the only one punished when he's finally had enough.

What am I doing wrong here? What am I missing? Is there something about these breeds I don't know about that I'm just not finding online? Did I screw this up from the very beginning? SOMEONE TELL ME. I don't care if you feel like I'm being stupid just tell me so I can solve this problem. I want to keep my dog. I want them to get along. I want Onyx to quit bullying Nova and leave her alone and I want Nova to not feel like she has to resort to attacking her just to make her get out of her face.

Tips:
- Nova is spayed, Onyx is not
- Nova has hip dysplasia, causes her to skitter on the hard wood floor and this may confuse Onyx? (Working on getting her non slip booties but I'm skeptical how well that's going to work...)
- Onyx is 120lbs, Nova is 40lbs
- Nova was not rescued from a fighting situation or anything like that, she didn't get along with the dog she used to live with.
- Nova is inbred. Supposedly it was an accident but the guy WAS a hobby breeder
- Nova is 3, Onyx is 2-2 1/2 years old
- Both dogs are great with the kids.
- Onyx' behavior towards Nova is exactly the same toward the cats. She also does this half-a** listening where you tell her to go lay down, she walks half way to her place and turns around to look at you, and you have to walk her to her place and point to her spot. So annoying.
- Onyx has seperation anxiety, Nova does not.
- Neither dog has had a complete course of obedience training. I know this will help...My fiancé's sister, who is a professional dog trainer, worked with her a little bit over the winter, and Onyx can now walk respectfully on a leash without pulling. Nova cannot. Nova cannot even obey a sit command because her legs and hips are so bad.

Basically, my question is this: How can I get Onyx to stop being so jealous, stop pushing Nova around, and have some respect for Nova (and hopefully the cats too...but I'm primarily concerned about Nova)?
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:05 AM
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Have you done any impulse control training with Onyx? Teaching her to wait until you say she can do something will really help with her bad manners. A good way to start is to train a sit-stay first. Alongside that train a 'leave it'. (That's a really important command to teach anyway. It can be life-saving if your dog is a chewer.) Then combine the two using a high-value treat. At first it should be only a second between the 'leave it' and the 'take it'. Then you increase the time as she gets the idea.

As for playing/bullying, I think it's a good idea for you to intervene as soon as it starts. And to do it consistently so that Onyx learns that bothering Nova means playtime ends. It will also help Nova learn to trust you cos she will know that you will protect her.

What kind of games have you tried with Onyx? With a dog that size I would avoid rough and tumble games altogether.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:47 PM
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We are currently struggling with this exact issue in our home as well.We recently took in an english bulldog that spent most of his life ignored or locked in a cage. We have an older dog that is a lab mix and the bulldog will do the same things that you describing, jealously, doesnt pick up on social cues, etc. It left me no choice but to step in and manage him myself since he was not respecting my older dogs warnings. If I catch him being rude or not backing off I will clap my hands at him or be like “Hey! Thats enough” and he will walk away. He is getting better but it takes a lot of repition and patience. My older dog is a lot more calmer now that i step in and make sure the that the bulldog doesnt get carried away. Unfortantly, that is what it takes if you are dealing with a dog that hasnt learned proper dog manners and is constantly pushing boundaries.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:50 PM
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Also, in our situation when the bulldog becomes jealous and tries to shove our lab out of the way we will refuse to give him attention and tell him “no” because we did not call or go to him. He will walk away and lay down, after we are done petting the lab we will then walk over and pet the bulldog. They need to learn that attention comes on YOUR terms, not theirs.
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Old 04-05-2018, 02:28 PM
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I think youve gotten good advice from the other posts here. You need to be extra careful since both dogs are female. Females can get into a serious fight and hate each other for life after. Not saying it will happen but can happen....not uncommon. Both dogs should be managed in my opinion. Things do need to be on your terms not the dogs, but its a bit of a learning curve on your part. You need to manage them, but also learn each dogs limits according to their temperaments. I wouldn't personally ever leave them alone together unsupervised. A fight breaks out between those two breeds when no one is around could end in disaster even more so with two females.
It sounds to me like the corso is just being a pushy brat. Forget the dominance stuff for now....you should be able to do what you want with either dog at any time. We have an 8 year old lab and a 15 month old german shepherd. Yeah, if left to his own devices he will do exactly the behaviors you've described to the lab. Right down to pawing at the head. Not dominance.....its bratty, pushy, I'm not taking no for an answer behavior. No amount of correction from the lab will slow him down. Hes just too much dog for her. I have to step in when she doesnt want to play with him.
There are 3 things that probably could really help y'all here. NILIF, place command, and leave it command. What it boils down to, is if the dog doesnt respect the other dog enough to listen to her, then the dog needs to respect y'all enough to listen to you when you tell them to cut it out. You should be able to pet either dog whenever you want....while the other waits patiently for her turn or occupies herself with something else until invited to get attention. If the dog cant do that, either she doesnt have the impulse control, which is a training issue, or doesn't respect her humans enough to listen when told to back off.....which is also a training issue.
Dominance........overused term. Usually has almost nothing to do with anything. Most dogs I see that the owners call dominant are just dogs with bad manners, no self control etc.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sthelena View Post
Most dogs I see that the owners call dominant are just dogs with bad manners, no self control etc.
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And a human allowing it to happen without caring about it, unlike the OP.

Your post hit all the right notes.
@mousey may IMO Sthelena gave you some great advice.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:04 AM
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Also giving onyx appropriate play time on her own might help. Bigger dogs mature slower so she's still an adolescent. She'll calm down a bit with age, but someone playing fetch with her or letting her run and play at a dog park if she's good with other dogs for an hour or two a day might help get her tired. A tired dog is a good dog. Training, learning tricks and puzzle toys will get her mentally tired too. Less energy to bother her dog sister.
And if your pit is in so much pain she can't manage a sit command, is there anything that can be done for her hip dysplasia? Being in pain all the time is going to make her cranky and less tolerant and more likely to lash out at anyone who accidentally hurts her. Nothing to do with being a pitbull. Just chronic pain, and three is young. Surgery?
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