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.
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.
- 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)?