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Hello! This is my first post, and I've read a lot of insightful advice on here - so thank you in advance. To make a long story short, I'm going to present this in the form of facts. It's still long so... I apologize.
-Spent 5 years with a wonderful dog who had fear aggression, who passed away in November. We knew that we wanted to have 2 dogs as I've always had positive experiences with 2. When we adopted our girl Ada, a 2 year old pit/american bulldog mix, we made sure she was sweet, happy, and loved people and animals. She is a momma to 9 puppies who were all adopted. She's a wonderful, people pleasing girl with a happy go lucky demeanor.
-The rescue stated Ada loved other dogs so much that we should get another dog as soon as possible, or she may be bored. We started seeing signs of boredom/sadness (sleeping a lot, disinterest in toys) after her first month with us. Walking/playing etc, nothing excited her as much as a dog coming over to play. So we asked for another dog that would fit and we chose to foster to adopt Walter, a 1.5 year old pit/basset mix, whom we were told was easy and loved other dogs. In hindsight I feel it was too soon. He has been with us a month now.
-Walter from the get go showed a bit more dominance and rough-housing behaviors. He resource guarded toys but took correction well. We figured it was all trainable and officially adopted Walter, since the dogs hit it off right away. At first Ada corrected Walter when he bit her too hard, but then stopped. She takes the submissive role in most instances, but when she stomps her foot and says this bone/spot is mine he listens. The more time passes the more Walter pushes the limits. He pushes for attention first and tries to take her spots or her bones. She seems to let it go most of the time and I chalk it up to the fact that she just doesn't care about that bone as much. Walter has no bite inhibition and has left marks on Ada's neck, chin, and even on her back after they were running outside and he tackled her (she wants to just run, he wants to run and tackle.) She does not yelp out in pain but it's only her that has these marks, not him. He bites the back of her legs and her feet. We correct him when he's not playing gentle and he listens well, but it doesn't stop him from getting that way the next time. Sometimes she will clearly be overwhelmed and try to get away from him, and I immediately intervene. Confusingly though, ten minutes later she will go to where he is and bait him to play again. They choose to sleep together most of the time touching, and groom each other's faces. Sometimes she seems steamrolled, and sometimes she seems to adore him. They play hours a day, definitely more activity than Ada was getting before.
-Two weeks ago, after Walter's 3rd time at my family member's house, he attacked her sick elderly chihuahua. We were all sitting right there. There was no fight or lead up - just a turn and attack. I will say the dog was yappy and rude, but it was his 3rd time being with this dog. We were completely shocked. We were told that he had lived with a jack russell and other dogs in the past with no incident. The rescue stated they think it's just something that happens (and also that his rough play with Ada is normal in some dogs.) They think food might have been involved (my Mom was eating something, no treats being given out) but Walter has not showed food aggression at all with us. The chihuahua barely survived. We don't know, any may never know why - was it that the dog is elderly/sickly and smells funny? Was it predatory drift? Now we are living in a sort of constant fear of wondering if he may ever hurt or attack Ada.
So, these are ultimately my questions:
1) Would you keep this dog? Do you believe it's an isolated incident and he's trainable? Can his bullying and bite inhibition issues be corrected?
2) From my description does it seem that Ada is happy with him, and needs him around? Or is she just making do with a bully?
 

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Hello! This is my first post, and I've read a lot of insightful advice on here - so thank you in advance. To make a long story short, I'm going to present this in the form of facts. It's still long so... I apologize.
-Spent 5 years with a wonderful dog who had fear aggression, who passed away in November. We knew that we wanted to have 2 dogs as I've always had positive experiences with 2. When we adopted our girl Ada, a 2 year old pit/american bulldog mix, we made sure she was sweet, happy, and loved people and animals. She is a momma to 9 puppies who were all adopted. She's a wonderful, people pleasing girl with a happy go lucky demeanor.
-The rescue stated Ada loved other dogs so much that we should get another dog as soon as possible, or she may be bored. We started seeing signs of boredom/sadness (sleeping a lot, disinterest in toys) after her first month with us. Walking/playing etc, nothing excited her as much as a dog coming over to play. So we asked for another dog that would fit and we chose to foster to adopt Walter, a 1.5 year old pit/basset mix, whom we were told was easy and loved other dogs. In hindsight I feel it was too soon. He has been with us a month now.
-Walter from the get go showed a bit more dominance and rough-housing behaviors. He resource guarded toys but took correction well. We figured it was all trainable and officially adopted Walter, since the dogs hit it off right away. At first Ada corrected Walter when he bit her too hard, but then stopped. She takes the submissive role in most instances, but when she stomps her foot and says this bone/spot is mine he listens. The more time passes the more Walter pushes the limits. He pushes for attention first and tries to take her spots or her bones. She seems to let it go most of the time and I chalk it up to the fact that she just doesn't care about that bone as much. Walter has no bite inhibition and has left marks on Ada's neck, chin, and even on her back after they were running outside and he tackled her (she wants to just run, he wants to run and tackle.) She does not yelp out in pain but it's only her that has these marks, not him. He bites the back of her legs and her feet. We correct him when he's not playing gentle and he listens well, but it doesn't stop him from getting that way the next time. Sometimes she will clearly be overwhelmed and try to get away from him, and I immediately intervene. Confusingly though, ten minutes later she will go to where he is and bait him to play again. They choose to sleep together most of the time touching, and groom each other's faces. Sometimes she seems steamrolled, and sometimes she seems to adore him. They play hours a day, definitely more activity than Ada was getting before.
-Two weeks ago, after Walter's 3rd time at my family member's house, he attacked her sick elderly chihuahua. We were all sitting right there. There was no fight or lead up - just a turn and attack. I will say the dog was yappy and rude, but it was his 3rd time being with this dog. We were completely shocked. We were told that he had lived with a jack russell and other dogs in the past with no incident. The rescue stated they think it's just something that happens (and also that his rough play with Ada is normal in some dogs.) They think food might have been involved (my Mom was eating something, no treats being given out) but Walter has not showed food aggression at all with us. The chihuahua barely survived. We don't know, any may never know why - was it that the dog is elderly/sickly and smells funny? Was it predatory drift? Now we are living in a sort of constant fear of wondering if he may ever hurt or attack Ada.
So, these are ultimately my questions:
1) Would you keep this dog? Do you believe it's an isolated incident and he's trainable? Can his bullying and bite inhibition issues be corrected?
2) From my description does it seem that Ada is happy with him, and needs him around? Or is she just making do with a bully?
Hi,ok personally it seems as like Walter is trying to become the dominant Alfia in the home. The way I would correct this would by slowly doing testing excerise with him. Take him to your local park on a tight steady leash that you can have a good grip on him. Try to take him by other dogs slowly. So he can get the hang of being social. My other dog had this issue as well. If he try’s to act out when walking by the other dog correct him right away. Make sure he knows that wasn’t right. I recommend watching Ceaser Millian for biting advice. It may sound as Ada may have become jealous or is messing your other dog. Slowly starting gradually watching them play and when they start rough playing correct it right away and don’t let it continue. If it continues don’t let them play in the same room have them on leashes. Make sure they know it’s not okay the way they are acting. I can also refer you to a couple YouTube videos if you like.
 

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He resource guarded toys but took correction well.
We correct him when he's not playing gentle and he listens well
1) Would you keep this dog? Do you believe it's an isolated incident and he's trainable? Can his bullying and bite inhibition issues be corrected?
2) From my description does it seem that Ada is happy with him, and needs him around? Or is she just making do with a bully?
Just a question: are your corrections harsh- either loud or painful? (yelling, collar yanks, hitting him on the nose, etc.) That could worsen the situation by causing him to either think that you are joining on the roughhousing, or, in cases like with the chihuahua where it goes beyond just play, heighten the stress and tension of the situation.

1) The chihuahua incident in concerning- but you are able to observe your dog and understand him better. Does he just not like small dogs? In that case, your pitbull is fine. Is he truly playing when he's with your other dog, or is he guarding or being territorial? If he is making life unpleasant or unsafe for your current dog, don't keep him. If your dog is fine with it, and isn't showing signs of stress, let her keep her friend.
2) This really is something you have to determine, i think.
 

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Hi,ok personally it seems as like Walter is trying to become the dominant Alfia in the home. The way I would correct this would by slowly doing testing excerise with him. Take him to your local park on a tight steady leash that you can have a good grip on him. Try to take him by other dogs slowly. So he can get the hang of being social. My other dog had this issue as well. If he try’s to act out when walking by the other dog correct him right away. Make sure he knows that wasn’t right. I recommend watching Ceaser Millian for biting advice. It may sound as Ada may have become jealous or is messing your other dog. Slowly starting gradually watching them play and when they start rough playing correct it right away and don’t let it continue. If it continues don’t let them play in the same room have them on leashes. Make sure they know it’s not okay the way they are acting. I can also refer you to a couple YouTube videos if you like.
Ok, I don't want to seem rude. But I think I'm going to. DO NOT TAKE THIS ADVICE!

1. Alpha theory has been disproven, and the scientists who established it have rejected it.
2. Cesar Millan's techniques are dangerous. They can cause lasting injury to the dog as well as physical pain.
3. His methods can also make a dog fearful and anxious, resulting in bites or other aggression.
4. His methods may seem to work, but in reality, he is causing the dog to become fearful and emotionally "shut down". This is different from being well-behaved.

Here's some info backing this up:

There's many more sources, but there's too many to put here.
Millan has been denounced by the APDT (association of professional dog trainers) AVMA (american veterinary medical association), and others.
 

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Sounds like Walter is a good match for Ada. Continue to monitor their play and interrupt/separate when it feels like it is getting out of hand. It is normal for dogs to resume play after a 'transgression' has taken place. The nicks (toothmarks) on Ada are more likely to be accidental than an intention to cause injury. They may have an occasional 'tiff' but it is unlikely to result in any serious consequences for either dog, they are still learn each other's boundaries, so it is not unusual for things to get a bit rough.

Assume that Walter is not safe around small dogs, some dogs just don't do well with them, and that's okay, we don't necessarily want to interact with everyone we meet, do we? It is quite possible Walter did display some discomfort/unease around the smaller dog, we often miss those subtle signals that they tell us they are not dealing well with what is happening.

Ultimately, it is your decision, Walter plays rough and Ada seems to be handling it well.
 

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Um... Am I the only one worried by a dog that plays so rough that it's leaving marks on his own housemate? Whose own owner says has poor bite inhibition?

A dog who nearly killed family member's much smaller dog? ("Not safe around small dogs" is a bit of an understatement). What if he does that to a dog whilst out on a walk?

OP please do ignore the dominance claptrap.
 

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Um... Am I the only one worried by a dog that plays so rough that it's leaving marks on his own housemate? Whose own owner says has poor bite inhibition?

A dog who nearly killed family member's much smaller dog? ("Not safe around small dogs" is a bit of an understatement). What if he does that to a dog whilst out on a walk?

OP please do ignore the dominance claptrap.
For sure. If these bites are in play, bite inhibition needs to be worked on more, but it can probably be worked out with supervision, careful training, and possibly professional help. If they're not, the dog needs to either leave the home or be separated. And training for "tolerating" small dogs in public will certainly be necessary regardless.

Perhaps I am taking this too lightly- but based on how I understood the post, it seems like it's quite possible this is a dog who just forgets himself while playing- which is a serious issue, but not unfixable. And while he shouldn't have any small playmates, he can probably learn to tolerate small dogs- with supervision. But again, this is based on how I understood the post. Depending on the actual situation, my take on this could be completely irrelevant
 

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For sure. If these bites are in play, bite inhibition needs to be worked on more, but it can probably be worked out with supervision, careful training, and possibly professional help. If they're not, the dog needs to either leave the home or be separated. And training for "tolerating" small dogs in public will certainly be necessary regardless.

Perhaps I am taking this too lightly- but based on how I understood the post, it seems like it's quite possible this is a dog who just forgets himself while playing- which is a serious issue, but not unfixable. And while he shouldn't have any small playmates, he can probably learn to tolerate small dogs- with supervision. But again, this is based on how I understood the post. Depending on the actual situation, my take on this could be completely irrelevant
He wasn't playing with the Chi - he just turned around and bit him so much that he nearly killed him. I'm not altogether convinced that the original pit mix is happy with his play style either.. The OP mentioned Ada being "steamrolled" and "submissive". This dog is going for her neck and her back and leaving teeth marks. I wonder if what Ada's actually doing is trying to prevent a serious fight which could see her killed.
 

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Many dogs play rough. I've seen a lot of pitbulls and pit mixes play especially rough and I'm not saying anything negative about the breed they're just high energy exuberant dogs.
My dog is five different breeds and 100 pounds and he LOVES to play rough and wrestle and body slam with other dogs. The difference is he never leaves marks on other dogs, not even in an actual fight and he has amazing bite inhibition. And he only plays rough with other dogs his size or bigger that also love to play rough and initiate it that are his established buddies.

He matches his wrestling and playing to the dog he's with. Anxious or smaller dogs he rolls on his back and gets them chew on him. Little dogs he won't play with at all except to hold up a gentle paw cause he's scared he'll break them. He'll even go after a big dog who's bullying a little dog.

Dogs who are playing shouldn't be leaving marks on each other consistently, especially not bite marks. Sometimes my dog comes back from daycare with scratch marks on his stomach from overenthusiastic wrestling but that's from too long nails on the other dog, not bites.

You can train this but you have to be consistent and have great timing and I'd keep a leash and harness on him all the time. Whenever he gets too rough with her or pushy for attention or belongings I'd give a firm tug and say no and then immediately have him sit or do something he knows and make a big fuss out of praising him. So he learns being rough and rude isn't acceptable but this is a better way to get all the attention he wants.
When my dog used to be a pushy adolescent who had to be the "teen thug" and jump into every scuffle and fight at the dog park I literally pulled him out of every one and gave him a timeout in the corner sitting or lying down with me to calm down and learn that jumping into fights led to work and no more fun. When he listened and focused on me I let him free again. Now whenever there's a scuffle or any issues he runs to me and stays out of it. He's even run away from dogs bothering him and he never used to back down from a large male provoking him.

I also taught him and my last dog a gentle command using the same methods to improve bite inhibition. My last dog had resource guarding issues and would get grabby and too rough with treats from other people and practically take their fingers off. I'd remind him gentle and he'd calm down with me working with him.
The fact that your other dog seeks him out to cuddle with and play with is probably a good sign. If she was afraid she'd be cowering and hiding.

And he could have been reacting to the older dog being old and sick. Some animals get freaked out by age and illness as it's a sign of vulnerability and get aggressive. Not a pretty kind trait but survival of the fittest that's evolved. Horses will attack and drive out aging weak herd members to avoid attracting predators to the herd and either abandon them to die or males will fight and kill the older males. I had seven cats for five years due to my mom dying and I unexpectedly inherited her cats. As some of them aged and got cancer and illnesses a couple of the younger ones that weren't particularly bonded to the older ones would steal the special diets and attack the dying ones and I had to separate them in separate rooms.
Many dogs attack and hate puppies and adolescents just as some cats attack kittens. Animals evolved to eliminate the vulnerable. It may have been an age and illness issue more than the size but I wouldn't leave this dog loose with small or older dogs again.
 
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