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So i have a Pit Dalmatian mix that i rescued about a year and half ago from a local shelter. Being naive i dove into the ownership of a dog while juggling many different life paths (he still gets lots of adventure time and attention). Everything was a ok, fine and well for the first year. We would be at the dog park, road trips, here there every where and always involved with my life activities. Then a neighbor moved in with a little bigger pure pit (lots of strength). They scuffled many times but grew tolerant of one another and now share a big yard. Then in the last half year he started getting nippy with other dogs. They were never full on attacks but enough to have to exchange numbers and feel ashamed at my dogs behavior. Then it occurred more and more often, to the point that he makes me nervous when theres a potential confrontation ahead; which has limited the things we used to do together. He seems to triggered by food and toys. when another dog or cat is remotely close to the food or toy hell have a lung and snap at them (this isnt always the case but what i have observed personally). We tried to have a kitten and im almost positive that he got over excited an took a nip, dead. Then we had the sweetest of sweet kittens for about four months then bam he snaps at her over a small piece of chicken, dead. What i need advice with is what to do with the dog. Hes a sweetheart at home, super cuddly and isnt aggressive with humans at all (although theres a baby coming to live here and the thought of him doing this over a baby toy.....scary) Please help give me guidance on the next steps i should take with an animal like this. It brakes my heart to no end but my family is demanding me to make a final move to resolve these issues. What to do, what to do? PS any other information thats needed just ask, Thank you so much in advance dog lover family!
 

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I'm sorry you're in a difficult situation. You have a resource guarder, which can be dangerous, and especially dangerous with a baby in the house. I suggest you get a good trainer to work on you with the resource guarding. This can be a serious behavior problem (although helpable), but if he's already killed another animal over this I don't think it's safe for you to attempt to train him without professional guidance. If he behaves this way this isn't a dog that you can safely take to dog parks, and maybe not even have safe playdates with other dogs even without toys there. Dogs that are serious resource guarders can sometimes guard anything like sticks or favorite places to nap and even their people.

In terms of the kittens, I think it's safe to say you shouldn't get anymore. It's possible the dog sees kittens as prey animals, and also he is such a serious resource guarder. I would also suggest not getting any small dogs, or other dogs at all.

How old is the baby that's coming? And when you say a baby is coming to live there do you mean in your home with you and the dog or next door but they'll share the yard? If they are just sharing the yard I'd say just keep the dog away from the baby all together. If the child is actually moving in with you that's another story.
 

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It sounds like he's a pretty bad resource guarder, which is really tough when it's with other dogs and not humans because it's hard to train out of them and most people recommend you let the dogs work it out - however in the situation where there are pets being killed that's not really a good option.

Stop getting cats, is one piece of advice I'll give you - or other dogs. It sounds like this dog can't be trusted around cats and other dogs, so while he's in your hands I wouldn't get any other pets if I were you. Some dogs need to be the only dog and that's okay. It's better to enjoy one animal than to be continuously heartbroken over the death of many others.

When you feed him, make sure it's separate from any other animals - even small treats. Don't feed him near the other dog living there.

I agree with Tracie, I would definitely speak to a good positive reinforcement trainer and see what they can do and how they can help you work through this for the best interest of the baby. It could also be entirely possible that this dog can't be trusted with a baby, but I'm sure the trainer can help you determine this.
 

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I would have dog and baby separated 24/7. Hire a trainer to come in (a CPDT, don't waste your money on someone who just calls themselves a "trainer") to scope out potential "danger spots" when the household includes both this dog and a kid.

For one, a very common way kids get bitten is when they tumble down while the resource-guarding dog has something that they guard... their dinner, a bone, a toy... The ensuing 'thud' startles the dog enough that they don't think, just turn and bite.

Another danger spot might be if the kid has food or a toy in their hand and drops some. The dog goes to scoop it off the ground at the same time the kid tries to pick it up again and bam, you have either a bad bite or a near miss.

You can have this dog safely in the house with a child but you will need all members of the household up-to-date and on-board with a plan that keeps both dog and kid safe.
 

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Yes, I agree with Kelly. Definitely bring in a qualified trainer or behaviorist to assess your dog. This thread has advice on how to seek one:

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/

Two more threads I'd like to recommend are:

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/resource-guarding-causes-prevention-modification-7511/

http://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-discussion/safety-children-babies-dogs-115969/

Please feel free to ask additional questions. Good luck!
 

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My opinion would not be a popular one, but generally is enforced by the law. One dead animal, seek professional help. Two dead animals, euthanize. Since that would be unpopular, still seek professional help and absolutely do not allow your dog to be around kittens or other small animals. I would even be hesitant allowing your dog around other animals and children period.
 

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My opinion would not be a popular one, but generally is enforced by the law. One dead animal, seek professional help. Two dead animals, euthanize. Since that would be unpopular, still seek professional help and absolutely do not allow your dog to be around kittens or other small animals. I would even be hesitant allowing your dog around other animals and children period.
In this case I think that since the fault was the negligence of the owner bringing in another animal after one had already been killed, professional help should still be sought out since that option hasn't yet been exhausted. Euthanizing a perfectly healthy animal before training attempts is cruel and unfair, and suggesting that at this stage - in my opinion - is extremely irresponsible.
 

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@cos - Hence why I stated it merely as an opinion and not as a suggestion? The actual suggestion being to find a professional for help.
 
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