Needing some peace for my puppies!

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Needing some peace for my puppies!

Postby s.loves.b.0912 » Tue May 14, 2013 11:07 am

We are a 23 and 27-year-old couple with two male pit bulls (Floyd, 6 years, and Kevin, 1 year). Both were rescued, and both are the incredibly lovable. We've only had Kevin for about a month and a half, and it hasn't been easy; he was a stray, had serious health problems, and was not neutered. This was very tough for Floyd to deal with, because he's always been extremely dominant, and he's always been the only dog. We had to keep them separated most of the time, and even though it was heart-breaking, we started looking for a different home for Kevin. Each prospect ended up not meeting our standards, and we finally realized it was because of how much we love him, and he needed to be ours. Luckily, after about 5 or 6 days, Floyd got used to Kev and they started playing like puppies. We needed to keep them separate for mealtimes, and chew toys and rawhides tended to start some arguments, but everything worked out.

We love our dogs SO much...seriously, they are our children. Unfortunately, they've been apart for a week, and we decided to try to reunite them last night. It was TERRIBLE. Floyd latched onto Kevin's neck and face and drew blood, and separating them was almost impossible. We both got some bites and scratches.
We tried three times, and it was just as bad each time. We finally just took Kevin out of the house for his own safety. He seems SO sad, and I literally cannot go home because Kevin and I have been having to stay somewhere else.
We're basically on this forum for advice on how to keep the peace in our home. I want to get past the initial "attack" mode that Floyd gets into so he can realize that it's his brother...I just don't understand why he's acting like this now when he hadn't before.

Dog fights are probably the scariest thing I've ever seen, and I never want to experience it again. Kevin has already been through so much and it's terrifying to think that I can't make this his home. I also don't want to completely disrupt Floyd's entire life and cause him to feel that his owners are loving another dog more than him. Is it possible to make this work? I don't want to have to give Kevin up :(.
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Re: Needing some peace for my puppies!

Postby Curly_07 » Tue May 14, 2013 11:37 am

Hi there, and welcome! Can you please post an intro so that you can be given full access? There's a sample sticky at the top of this section to help you out with what we like to know. Once approved, your questions would be better answered if this is posted in the training or general section.

Just to touch on your issues, please keep them separated. Crate and rotate. For atleast 2-4 weeks before reintroducing them. It takes dogs a while to get over a bad fight. Then start back with slow introductions on neutral ground, like going for a walk or something. Some never can be freely together. Many of us here do crate/rotate or room rotations as many dogs are dog aggressive/dog intolerant. It isn't uncommon, and crate rotate households do/can work. Dogs don't need dog friends, and shouldn't be forced to be together. Like I said, once approved, please post your concerns in one of the 2 applicable sections so that it can be addressed more and give you better advice. Many members do not frequent this Intro section.

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Re: Needing some peace for my puppies!

Postby jamielvsaustin » Tue May 14, 2013 1:24 pm

Hi S.loves.B.
I can imagine how scary that must have been for you guys. But the advice that Curly has given you is likely what you'll get no matter where you go. What is your opposition to separating them? Are you familiar with bully breeds? Many of them have to live a "crate and rotate" lifestyle. If you're not familiar with the term it probably sounds like one stays in a crate while the other is out and about...and while that is the case for some dogs, it is not for many. In my house, our dogs are separated by baby gates (some use doors, one dog outside the other dog inside, different floors of the house, etc-whatever works for their situation). Our master bedroom butts up to the living room and typically one dog is in the living room while the other is in the bedroom. They still feel like (or appear to feel) they're a part of what's going on. As long as things don't get too exciting the dog in the bedroom seems content. Our dogs are used to the routine and "respect" the baby gates so it's easy peasy for us. Would that be an option for you guys?

Also, reintroducing them so quickly, unfortunately, is probably what made the fights worse and worse. I hate to be the one to tell you that. Have you ever been in a fist fight? You know that feeling you have afterwards (adrenaline rush)? Well dogs have a similar feeling (due to the chemicals released during a high arousal situation like that) and it takes them MUCH longer to calm down-some say weeks, even.

My suggestions to you are to start the two week shut down immediately for the new dog-even if you've had him almost two months.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=81654&hilit=+two+week" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Then, keep them completely separated for an extended period of time (during and after the shut down). And if you're really insistent on reintroducing them-start small. We've found that dogs in our house (we've had a couple fosters) that don't get along CAN get along on a walk. They don't need to interact, but they can be near each other on a family outing together. Try ending any interaction they have with each other on a very positive note. Then give each dog some time to let that positive association sit and sink in. You can try playing "look at that" (LAT) games with one dog at a time. You can up the amount of physical and mental stimulation each dog is already getting, brush up on commands....and for yourself, if you're not familiar with dog body language; it's a really good investment. Sometimes you'll hear people say-I don't know, he just went after "Fluffy" for no reason...when in reality, if they'd been familiar with body language they would have noticed "Spot" was uncomfortable the whole time. One of the biggest things that's preached on this board (I'm a preacher of it and I try to be a follow of it) is to not set your dog up to fail. Do everything in your power so that your dogs are successful in all interactions.

Are you familiar with break sticks? If you choose to reintroduce your dogs it may be an option to look into. I personally don't own any, won't own any but have no problem with people who choose to own/use them. Many believe that if you have PB type dogs and you don't own a break stick you're an irresponsible owner.
http://www.pbrc.net/shop/bsticks.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also, here are some stickies that you might find helpful.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10229
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=131787
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=79642

And some information on dominance:
http://4pawsu.com/pmdominance.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 415-1.html
http://drsophiayin.com/philosophy/dominance/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Good luck, and if you choose to post an intro and stick around be sure to share some photos of your pups!
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Re: Needing some peace for my puppies!

Postby BabyReba » Tue May 14, 2013 8:43 pm

Please do post more info so we can approve you. Having to keep dogs separate sucks. I have to do it in my own house, but sometimes it is for the best. With dedications and work, you can provide a good quality of life for you and for both dogs, and you can probably get some good tips on that on this site. Also, sometimes you can reintroduce dogs carefully and after a lot of precautions are taken, but you really cannot rush it and sometimes it just doesn't work out. Hope you stick around so you can get some help and info!
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