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This past October my husband and I relocated to Minneapolis with our 3 year old male pitbull. We moved in with roommates that have 2 dogs. It was a new house to all of us, but the 2 dogs got there about a week before ours did. These two dogs are female, one 50 lb mix (Doberman mix? Very sleek) and a little Jack Russell. We were told that they were friendly dogs, that they were house trained, and well behaved. All dogs are fixed.
In the week before myself and my dog arrived, the 2 dogs peed and pooped everywhere in the house. They had apparently lied about the house training and use puppy pads to let them pee and poop in the house. (they rarely actually use the pads). They also do not come when called or know any other commands.
When we show up, I suggested that we take the dogs on a long walk. That didn't happen, and they were introduced in the living room. The jack Russell was extremely aggressive and the Doberman mix was flowing the Russell's every move. Extreme pack mentality was obvious. My dog was terrified and they ended up cornering him. We've tried to keep them separate. They haven't "officially" fought yet but my dog is terrified in his own home.
We end up staying in our room with him or downstairs (there's a door separating them). The 2 dogs have full reign of the rest of the house. My real issue is the owners. They don't teach their dogs that aggression is wrong or bad. They have no follow through and keep saying "they'll get used to him". My dog has now started showing fear and aggression toward the owners. They come at him and corner him to "show him love" even when I tell them to stop. Today he growled and lunged at one of them.

My fear is that they will continue to not listen to us or not try to train their dogs. At the end of the day my dog is the pitbull and will get all the trouble for anything that happens. He was full on shaking today after lunging at her and hides under the coffee table. It's a terrible situation, I'm at my wits end, and Im not willing to lose him because of others bad behavior just because he's the pittie.
He's a rescue and has never shown aggression towards any dogs or people, just been a little unsure until they have treats or pats for him. I've never seen this behavior from him and I know it comes from fear but I don't know how to help him!
 

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Not a good situation at all. Even the sweetest natured Pittie may not start a fight. But most will finish one. Especially when being constantly bullied. I would hate to hear about your dog making a mistake while trying to defend himself. Not trying to attack bully breeds at all. I love them and have fostered pit mixes in the past.

It is also a shame that your roommates didn't want to go along with your introduction idea. Because clearly, even though the dogs were only there for a short time, the Jack Russell at least was already territorial. I also have experience with Jacks and they can be very scrappy wiyh other dogs. In many ways they are not unlike pitbulls.

I would personally try to work it so the dogs are never alone together. It's not perfect since your roommates sound like they are kind of...lazy...no offense. But I would wager their dogs probably are not getting proper excercise and mental stimulation. Since not only are they not house traines....but not even properly pad trained.

Maybe check into a professional trainer coming to your place. He/she may be able to not onlu work out some safe ways for the dogs to coexist. But also maybe help talk some sense into your roomates.

Other than that, seperation right now is the best/safest idea.
 

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How fast can you move out? The problem isn't the dogs, it's the roommates. If they're so lazy they don't care about the house having pee and poop all over it and can't bother to even housebreak two dogs, they're not going to be responsible pet owners or people in anything else. If they won't listen to you or respect you enough to not corner and intimidate your dog when they pet him so that he's scared enough to attack, they're not going to be good reliable roommates about anything else, like sticking to agreements or paying their share of expenses.
Any dog can quickly be traumatized and become fear aggressive and very hard to retrain and gain trust again. Now he's afraid of the people and dogs where he lives. He could easily start being aggressive to anyone who resembles these people and dogs.
My last dog was charged by a loose black dog while leashed with me. He didn't like most dogs but for the rest of his life would really go after and try to attack any large black dog he saw.
The sooner you can get out the better. If these roommates seemed inexperienced and willing to learn or compromise that would be different. Doesn't sound like they want to change anything.
 

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I'd definitely be looking for a new place, or a new home for you dog, and if it was me it'd be a new place! Until you find that place please keep your dog completely separated from the other two dogs. 0 contact between them, sooner or later you are going to have a 3 way dog fight on your hands and as you already know your dog, even though he didn't start it, will get the blame due to his breed. I'd also tell your roommates to stay away from your dog, the more stressed she is the worse she's going to react, and it sounds like she's already reached her breaking point.

Once you have your boy completely isolated and he has a chance to calm down, relax, and get rid of the stress hormones, it'll take around a week, you can have your roommates try and interact with him. Have them come into your area of the house (you do NOT want their dogs anywhere around) and sit down. Arm them with extra yummy treats, bring your boy in and have them toss him, no hand feeding, the treats. Then they need to just stay awhile, y'all can talk together, while your boy wanders around. If he goes to see them that's great! Let them feed him a few more treats (they can hand feed those), and they can pet him on the back or chest, NO petting on his head. Do that a few days in a row and he should start to be O.K. with them. If they cannot follow your instructions then they cannot interact with your boy.
 

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I totally agree with moving as soon as possible. This just sounds like a recipe for disaster. Its awfully hard to manage something like this when everyones nowhere near being on the same page. Not to mention your well behaved dog may end up not being so well behaved out of necessity living like this......if your dog is already starting to get the shakes, thats not very far from lashing out. I wouldnt blame him for it either, but like you said, if that happens guess who's gonna get blamed. Sounds like the new roomates shouldnt have dogs period...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you guys. Moving would be so expensive but I'm not giving him up and I'm definitely not going to let anything happen to him. My husband and I are going to have to restrict and limit ourselves in the house as well (if he's not with us, he is in his kennel). The reality of it sucks but I think it'll be our only option.
I'll definitely do my best to isolate him for a week before introducing him to them again. The dogs really should never see him again. I personally feel like they should be the ones moving or finding them a new home. But that's just day dreaming.

I'd like to keep my dog socialized with other dogs in the mean time but I'm not sure how he'll do now that he's been in this situation. I don't want him to lose his trust and loving mannerisms.
 

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You could put him in a good doggy daycare or find a good dog park with good owners like the one I go to, they do exist. But I'd let him decompress for a while as it sounds like he might be a bit traumatized from moving, the other dogs attacking him and the bad roommates cornering him. I'd let him stay alone and only have people he knows and loves interact with him for a few days so he has some positive experiences.
If he's overwhelmed he could turn too defensive. I kept pushing my old dog to go to vets and get his nails trimmed because I had to as he got older and no matter how much praise and treats I used he was so scared he got very aggressive and dangerous at any vet setting just walking in the door. It was completely out of fear but he was still dangerous. All from too many bad experiences. And he was an akitta pit bull mix so I understand being worried about stereotypes.
 

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I agree with the others that moving would be the best solution, but since that may not be immediately possible, an on-site trainer would be the next best move. Maybe propose splitting the fee, since all the dogs and all the owners will derive direct benefits.
 

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I'll add my vote. The bottom line is that, if the other owners don't fix the problem (which will take quite a bit of patient and persistent effort), it will never get better. I can pretty much promise this. They will not just get used to each other. At best, your dog will figure out how to avoid being attacked.

In the meantime, just keep your dog away from them. Either someone will get hurt or, at very least, your dog will live with constant anxiety.
 

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wow! i cant imagine 2 sets of people sharing a house, let alone 2 sets of dogs.
would never be allowed here in Australia. Thankfully by the sounds of things.

I would simply move out. I agree, the type of human who's happy to live in **** and pee, is not where you should be.
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Having owned rotties and GSD's, I agree, your dog will be blamed, though the dobe wil also cop some blame too.
 

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This sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Owners who don't care about their dogs poor behavior and not even house broke (okay personally disgusting).


Two dogs, one smaller and possibly easily injured, that are behaving aggressively and might seriously attack another dog in the household or instigate a fight.

One dog with a nervy temperament that could lead to biting or even attacking if past threshold and left with fight or flight option.

You have three dogs with temperament issues under one roof with two sets of owners. All owners need to be on the same page and I'd contact a behaviorist that can work with all three. If they won't go for it, living seperate within the household is the safest option, moving out and finding a qualified person to work with the dog the best option.

It's too bad he doesn't have a Pit Bull temperament on the one hand, though on the other certain aspects could lead to trouble too.
 
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