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Hello All!

I am new here, and I am in serious need of help/advice for my newest pup. This will be a rather long post, just so I can fully explain what is going on with this dog.

First off, I have had dogs my whole life, and two years ago, I purchased a (male) Mini Aussie/Red Heeler cross which I have raised since he was 7 weeks old. He is a phenomenal dog, wonderfully well trained, obedient, well behaved etc... really just everything you could want in a dog. About 8 months ago, my fiance and I adopted what we assume is a basset hound/pitbull/bullterrier mix (Female). The vet estimated that she was less than a year old. I tried my best to train this dog (as I had done myself, and been VERY successful with my aussie/heeler). She just couldn't seem to comprehend ANYTHING. She would just stare back at me with big dumb eyes and a wagging tail, no matter what I tried. It took quite literally 6 months to sit before devouring her food. Everyday, twice a day of feeding with practicing in between, and it took her 6 months to start to get the idea. I still cannot get her to lay down. Only sit and that is still hit and miss. You might have to ask her 4-6 times to sit before you see it in her face that she processes that you are saying something to her. I have even consulted the humane society about her behavioral issues and their advice did nothing for her. It is really like she physically cant comprehend anything. Now that you hopefully have an idea about how hard of a time we have had training her, I will dive into that issues that we are having with her. I would have honestly taken her back to the shelter at this point if my fiance didn't love her so much (He picked her out and just fell in love... she does give really good snuggles haha).

Anyway. Today I just about hit my limit. She constantly pushes my heeler around, figuratively and literally walks all over him.

She beats up on him almost all day everyday for no reason it seems. She will walk up to him out of the blue and put her face right next to him and wait for him to move, and the second he does, she snaps at him and sometimes when he gets fed up, they fight and she goes hardcore.

She will try to attack him if he gets attention from people and she doesn't.

She steals any and all toys that he has, just to take them away, she doesn't even do anything once she gets the toys.

She pushes him out of the way to eat his food.

For the most part, my heeler doesn't seem to show submissive behavior, he more so just tolerates it as long as he can until he snaps back at her.

Takes his food bowl, drags it away and literally eats the bowl. I even tried switching the bowls and she still takes his, so I don't think its her just liking a particular bowl.

He cannot wear a collar or anything on him, because she has almost killed him a few times playing with his collar and tugging on it until its so tight that he's suffocating.

Today while it was snowing and I put their little coats on so they weren't so cold while they were outside going potty, When I went to let them in, she came in with her coat and I found his outside, destuffed and completely shredded. So she ripped it off of him to eat it.

I also found his food bowl, with one side missing because she ate it. It can no longer hold food and I need to buy a new one. (and its a slow feed bowl which they both have for a reason because they try to scarf down their food so fast that they choke).

She eats blankets, she has been chewing on the inside of her crate, destroys anything and everything she can get ahold of.

I am tired of her destroying everything and bullying my heeler. He cant have anything, and he seems to be paranoid in her presence now. No bowl, no collar, no tags in case he gets lost, no jacket when its snowing and he's cold but has to go potty, no toys of his own except when I have to put her in the crate so he can have alone time. She even beats up on him when he gets back from doing something without her.

Im tired of being angry at this dog and hating her all the time, and I don't know what to do. My fiance loves her so much and they have a special bond. He doesn't even seem to care that she eats everything (The garden hose, the fence, the chairs, rocks, dirt, the trees in the yard). She gets regular, daily exercise, she is well fed and at a healthy weight and we have tried to give her treats in ice like the humane society suggested. We have purchased the black kong toy and other toys for extreme chewers and she has it apart in less than 30 minutes. But she is the sweetest pup who just wants to be cuddled and loved which makes it so hard.

I really need some advice on this one, because I feel like she needs something more from us, or at least a life where she isn't constantly in trouble or constantly watched for fear that she will destroy something. I also don't think that my heeler deserves to be picked on 24/7.

Please help us figure out what to do with this dog. And im sorry that the post is so long.
 

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I don't have the answers to all of your problems, but I have a couple suggestions:

1. You, your finance, or both of you should take the pup to an obedience class. Figure out what really motivates the pup so you can use it to your advantage (special treats, tug toy, praise/affection, whatever it is). I would encourage you to look for a good, positive trainer and sign up for a minimum of 6 months (6 week classes are woefully insufficient).

2. More management. You need to be on top of this situation. For instance, you should not "discover" a torn up jacket in the yard. You should be there to stop it from happening.

3. Feed the dogs separately. Separate rooms, inside their crates, whatever. The pup should be given no opportunity to steal from your older dog. Not only is that allowing terrible behavior from the pup, but you don't want your older dog to develop resource guarding behavior because the pup keeps grabbing his food.
 

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I don't have answers for all your issues, but I do think, if your dogs are together, you should not leave them out of your sight, even when going potty. Your heeler will develop behavioural issues from being bullied constantly (and poor guy!). Look for the signs your dog is about to 'snap' and stop inappropriate behaviour before it happens.

And yes, good idea to feed seperately in the meantime.

I agree with training classes by a reputable trainer. I wonder why your dog took so long to learn the command of sit...she could be a slow learner...but I wonder if her hearing is okay?
 

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Your dog is mostly PitX and probably is becoming socially mature if at the age of 18 months....if it is going to show DA tendancies it'll be now, and you need to get advice in training/management. Consult with people who are knowledgeable in the pitty breed as they require specialized protocols. I also might suggest more physical activity as they are dogs with high prey drive and every knows a tired dog is a happy dog! Like others suggest, I too would say not to leave your dogs alone together, feed them in separate places, crate/separate.....Good Luck!
 

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Go to the Villa Lobos Rescue Center's website and read the Pitbull Facts page there is a paragraph or two on DA
 
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