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Owning multiple potentially DA breeds

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Ellie

Qui me amat,- amet et canem- meum
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 9:28am PST 
I'm not planning and going out and adopting a pittie and two bullmastiff puppies anytime ever haha, but the example that popped into my head. I know some people who have no issue, or really even concept of it.
I am definitely attracted to multiple breeds that are known for potential DA, but I would be nervous to have multiple, especially of the same gender. Adopting older and knowing they are dog friendly is one thing. But even super dog friendly dogs are sometimes different in their own home. Ellie does not typically enjoy when I foster. Only one dog, a puppy, would she even really interact with! She would avoid them like the plague and occasionally snarl if they got in her space. Totally different than when she's out!
Over Christmas I went to my parents for about a week with Ellie and one of my sisters brought her pittie/hound as well. Ellie and this dog have met and played together on multiple occasions and get along fine. My sister's dog plays too rough for Ellie occasionally and we separate on those occasions. Living together for a week was a total hellish Christmas experience! Fighting and drawing blood (on them and us) and us walking on eggshells stressing they would somehow get to each other. I can't imagine living with two dogs with that kind of fighting. It was awful!

Here is another question/ thought: you get a pittie who is great with other dogs and then a pittie puppy who becomes DA at around age two and you're living in a hellish situation. Would you call this owners fault for taking the risk so deal with it, or would you rehome one?
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Fox

1178619
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 1:05pm PST 
If you knowingly adopt any dog with a known potential for DA, you had better be prepared to deal with it!

That said, I see that exact scenario happen all the time out of ignorance. The owner has always had one dog, they've been fine socializing (or just haven't socialized and the owner assumes they're fine) so the owner decides to adopt a puppy and everything falls apart. It's their fault for lack of research, but there's a trade-off in forcing them to take responsibility. If they truly are not able to handle that, you've got a situation that will most likely end in the violent death of one or both dogs.

I knew Fox was DA when she joined the family. Selective DA and SSA are common in Huskies, and I had her in front of me as a 6-year-old with a back story of fighting. It honestly doesn't bother us, or affect our lives much at all. But, she's not the "I will rip through a wall to tear your face off" sort of DA. We have no issue at all coexisting, so long as there is always a barrier ensuring she has her space. Right now Ember is crashed out in our bedroom, we have a gate across the door and Fox is sleeping on a bed in the hallway. In a little while, we'll swap. We all go for walks together, we just stay about 10 feet apart. One rides in the back of the car, one in the front with a barrier in between.

Training is key. Crate training, as well as doorway control, stay, recall, leave it, drop it - just in case something does happen.

And time. You have to have time to give every dog in your rotation enough attention. I've done insane levels of rotating dogs when I was living in a house full of rescues in behavioral rehab... It's a full-time job in itself. That's why I was living there. With my petsits, I'd frequently end up with 3-way rotations short-term, which is easily doable but I stop enjoying it at that point. I wouldn't want to commit to it for 15 years or so.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 4:38pm PST 
Barring some catastrophic happening, I don't rehome dogs once I've commited to keeping them. Over the years I have had dogs that ranged from I hate every dog to I just really hate that dog with a few that would destroy crates if they saw another dog. I spent 5 years or so with two girls who had to be seperated by multiple barriers or it was a bloodbath. It takes the fun out of life but I stuck to it. I would never willing put myself in that position again. The average dog owner would probably not have the determination to cope with anything extreme so it infuriates me that they put so little thought and effort into selection. The results are almost always tragic and yes I blame the owners.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 5:06pm PST 
I have to agree, Sabi. It is 24/7, 365!!!! The part that bugs me most is that people won't listen to you AT ALL when you try to advice them, they know everything, then, one of the dogs ultimately ends up dead when they mature!!
Anyone doubting, just go over to answers... there are plenty of "my dog killed my other dog, they've been together for years, what happened?"
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 5:44pm PST 
I think Toto needs a serious intervention from going onto the Answers section laugh out loud
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Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 5:56pm PST 
It depends too on how much experience you've had with the breeds you're considering and how much time and effort you can give to training and socializing each one. I've known people who do "crate and rotate" with rescues. They have dogs that are DA and one is out part of the day then crated while another comes out, then another one comes out and so on. As a measure for several months yeah...but I don't know how feasible that would be to do permanently...sure it can be done but not ideal
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Ezra

1241819
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 6:10pm PST 
I think it's a tiny bit more nuanced then "it's the owner's fault, period." There is a shelter here that frequently gets in puppies from the south, and often they are pit mixes. The shelter states that they are good with dogs, cats, and children.

Yes one should research a breed before getting it, and yes one should check more than one source, but I also have some sympathy for people who are trying to do the "right thing" by going to the shelter and asking questions, and who are just told incomplete information. Even here on the forums I can think of several threads I've seen where somebody has claimed their *insert commonly DA breed here* is great with other dogs, even going so far as to recommend the breed as a "loves every dog" breed, and then a few posts in you see that the dog is 4 months old.
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Ruff

1283907
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 9:38pm PST 
We did crate and rotate for 13 years, and it is not something that I would wish on anyone. It was difficult, it was stressful, and like an above poster said, I don't think the average dog owner would be willing to go through with it. But we made promises to our dogs and were definitely not getting rid of either of them. Two male neutered ABPTs, one from known parents, the other a rescue, and both got along famously... until they didn't anymore. Bloody, savage fighting where they were seriously trying to kill each other. It was a risk we took having two male APBTs, and so when the seemingly inevitable happened, they were both our responsibility, so we rose to the occasion.

Recently one of them had to be euthanized, and we took the chance introducing new dogs into our home. The remaining APBT has proven to be amazingly tolerant of other animals, to the point where we are constantly shocked with what he puts up with. He went from trying to kill his "brother", to snuggling and playing with a 1 year old Border Collie mix (male neuter), a 6 year old Chihuahua (male neuter) and a Maltese mix (female spay). Having been burned before, none of them are left out alone together and are constantly supervised, but it makes us wonder if his brother was the instigator all along?

Having gone through 13 years of what we did, I don't think that I would knowingly own another DA breed. I loved both my boys, but it was far too stressful.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 4:32am PST 
Tiller... you ARE right!!! I cannot stop reading those, it drives me CRAZY! red facered facered face

Edited to add: Agree with Ezra 100%. Shelters/rescues telling people ONLY what they want to hear is a HUGE pet peeve of mine as well. When we place a dog we want it to work! We may make some enemies when we refuse to place a stray, male street pit in a home with two male Scotties (actually happened!!!!) or the like, but, frankly, that dog is fine here UNTIL the right home comes along and that was not the right home!!!

Edited by author Fri Feb 1, '13 4:38am PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 8:11am PST 
Toto I try not to spend much time in Answers, I have to watch the bp, but it's kind of like watching a car accident, you just can't look away.
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