pitbull puppy aggressive to older dogs, help!

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pitbull puppy aggressive to older dogs, help!

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:02 PM
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pitbull puppy aggressive to older dogs, help!

Hi, everyone. I need help with my two six-week old pitbull puppies. I got them both a week ago from a rescue centre for abandoned dogs their mother had apparently stopped paying her puppies any attention (three of the litter of 9 died). Now the problem started when another dog with her own litter in the next pen attacked the pits killing one and injuring another. This injured puppy is one of the two that came home with me. After a visit to the vet, Billy (that's her name, her sister's named Andy) has been healing quite nicely and seems to be doing quite well.
So when I brought them home from the vet a few days ago I expected them both to get along well enough with my three other dogs; an 11yo German Shepard (Dexter), a two and a half year old Ridgeback (Delko) and a two year old Jack Russell (Patches), but it didn't. I chose to introduce them to Dexter first. Andy was immediately drawn to the older dog, coming in nose first and allowing Dexter to smell her all over. Billy on the other hand backed into a corner and began growling, it got worse as Dexter tried to approach her. Because Dexter has had aggression issues in the past, I removed him from the situation and brought in Patches, smaller dog maybe Billy had been scared by Dexter's quite imposing size. But the reaction was the same; back in a corner, growling. When Patches growled back, I ended it.
My question guys is how do ideal with Billy's aggression towards the older dogs? Does it have something to do with the attack on her at the rescue centre? How can I rehabilitate her?I don't want to see a situation that would escalate to violence. Not with these two.

Andy (left) and Billy (right)
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:19 PM
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The poor puppy is terrified of the older dogs. That is why he is acting "aggressive." Yes, the trauma of the attack probably has a lot to do with it.

You'll have to work slowly. Keep puppy and older dog on opposite sides of crates or baby gates to keep everyone safe. Offer treats to the puppies and the older dog while they can see each other. Stay nice and calm. Never scold the puppy for growling. Growling is a clear and appropriate way for him to tell you he is afraid.

Take plenty of time (days, weeks?) to let the dogs get used to each other before you let them have contact. Then make sure you can intervene and separate if there is tension.

In the long run, realistically, you may have issues with this puppy having dog aggression to other dogs, due to both the trauma of the attack and his breeding. That said, your best bet is to always, always, make his meetings with other dogs safe and happy. Never, ever discipline him for showing fear (ie growling.). The best thing is probably for him to make a few good friends with dogs he grows up around, but he may not be a happy-go-to-the-dog-park dog ever.
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