New member, old questions


New member, old questions

Postby janet » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:02 pm

Hi everyone,

I need some help. About 3 1/2 years ago my daughter rescued 3 pit-mix puppies who were about 8 to 9 weeks old. We found a home for one and ended up keeping the other two. One has grown up to be a kind, even tempered girl. Her sister, Marley, is also a very good girl for the most part. She has good manners, is obedient, and gets along with her sister & our new stray. The kittens have usually slept with her. She is fine with the teens coming and going, new faces and old regulars.

Marley, however, hated the bulldog, Eloise. Eloise had always assumed she was the one who called the shots. We kept them separated for three years, each having turns in and out of their space. With separation, they ignore each other. There is no growling or threatening. Last week, the two were accidently both left free. Eloise died as a result. a day or two later, Marley also went after a newish kitten who is very feisty: I came home to a huge fight, which ended with one sharp command. The kitten was bloody although not badly harmed, but he had been wildly fighting for his life when I walked in. She has dived for him several time since so now he and she have turns out. Marley also has begun to guard the room I put her in when Eloise had her turn out. One of the kittens she regularly slept with wandered into her room and Marley dived after her.

While Marley & Eloise's animosity is long standing, attacking the kittens (they are about 4 months old) and guarding "her" space is new this week. There haven't been any changes in food, household routines, or her health that are perceptible to me, except Eloise had recently been having more time out since she was 10 and needed to go out more frequently, but Marley still had the majority of free time.

Stories of dogs reporting unexpected attacks on their owners for no apparently reason seem to be something the press writes about. I could not find any information investigating why a dog would turn on the owner. How will I figure out Marley's perceptions in all of this? What evidence and clues should I be gathering? Should I be worried?

Thanks for listening. I am still deeply grieving Eloise and fear for Marley.


We don't have any trainers in the area. I need to know how to think about Marley. I do have a little fear of her now.
Newborn Bully
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:01 pm

Re: New member, old questions

Postby jamielvsaustin » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:35 am

Hopefully some one else will chime in with some links. Unfortunately I do not have them saved on the computer I'm currently on and won't have access to them until Monday (where I expect to be really busy :( ) But there are two websites (to include this one) where you can research some information that might be helpful.

The biggest thing that I think is important for you to understand is that dogs process chemicals/hormones differently than people do. Ever been in a fist fight or a serious argument? Know how you feel immediately after? Serious adrenaline rush-right? (not necessarily good, but still a rush) For dogs-that feeling can last for up to two weeks. It takes them much longer to process those chemicals/hormones. You should keep Marley separate from all of your animals for now. Give her some time to chill out, calm down and readjust. Life has changed for her. Eloise is gone. She's amped up and the cats are more aggravating to her. It may be that she can never safely be around the kittens again. It may be that she simply needs this time to calm down. For a Pit Bull type dog to have aggression towards other dogs or animals is not uncommon. It's a very well know trait of the breed, and it is an acceptable trait-there is nothing wrong with your girl.

I don't know what your set up is when you're away from home but all of the animals need to be separated. This helps to ensure the most safety. Is Marley crate trained?

If it were me and I was concerned about Marley guarding the room...I'd simply change rooms for her.

Best of luck to you! You've been approved to post, and you may want to repost this either in general or training/behavior as the the intro section doesn't really get a lot of traffic.

User avatar
Posts: 6395
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 9:13 am
Location: Palm Bay Florida

Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests