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Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:23 pm
by PitBullKisses15
This is a great post! Exactly the information I was looking for... I just adopted a Pit Bull mix from the shelter, and wanted to take the proper steps so I don't screw things up. My dogs aren't too bad about allowing other dogs onto their territory... but my oldest (who is alpha of the dogs -- not humans of course) will guard the couch, rooms, etc. So I just didn't want to chance it. Just waiting on the officer to make a home check! (It's been almost a week now!)

Kudos to this thread! Great info!

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:18 am
by APitNmdNaniBones
Is it ever safe to leave a male and female alone together?

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:25 am
by APitNmdNaniBones
Oh this goes with my last post. We have only had rage for about 4 weeks now and him and Nani play really well together I have not left them alone together since I have owned Rage. I am to nervous and I dont know him that well although they dont' fight over food, they dont fight over toys usually one or the other will give in and go give the other one the toy or bone in question, Nani sleeps with us and she gets kinda aggitated when he tries to too. The only time she gets kinda mean with him is when he tries to come in from behind if ya know what I mean, she's spayed and has never been there before. He's of course not nuetured. So shall I leave them alone unattended, I have people tell me yes and people tell me no, what is your guys input?

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:33 am
by Maryellen
This one is Courtesy of

Recommendations for Dog Introductions Related Links
Introductions with other dogs can be a bit tricky with pit bulls. Some pit bulls simply will not get along with other dogs. Others may only get along with dogs of the opposite sex or may get along with a few, select dogs. There are some pit bulls who have poor greeting behavior but when carefully introduced, may end up doing fine with other dogs. And then there are pit bulls who are very dog-friendly. It is important to recognize what level of tolerance for other dogs that your pit bull has.

When considering introductions, remember that some pit bulls do not enjoy the company of other dogs and it may not be advisable in some situations to introduce dogs at all. Respect each dog's personality and do not push dogs to 'be friends.'

Parallel leash-walking, on neutral territory with two handlers, is a great way to introduce dogs. Neutral territory means an area where neither dog has been or where neither dog resides. An unfamiliar, neutral territory is best to avoid territorial behavior in either dog. Both dogs should be wearing properly fitted collars and be on nylon or leather leashes. Prong collars, choke chains, and Flexi-leads should not be used when introducing pit bulls.

While taking a short walk, allow the dogs to curve around in a natural manner. (This is a strategy encouraged by trainer Turid Rugaas, author of "Calming Signals"). Both handlers should have a firm hold of their leashes, however, they should try to maintain a U-shaped bend in the lead. Taut, tight leashes may communicate tension to the dogs and should be avoided if possible. Avoid face-face, head-on introductions between dogs. Instead, walk parallel to each other, a few feet apart, and alternate which dog is ahead of the other. Also, do not allow a dog to greet another dog if he/she is dragging you towards the other dog or is misbehaving in any way (pulling, jumping, or lunging). Doing so will result in training the dog to misbehave to gain access to other dogs! The dog does not make the decision as to whom he will meet and when. You do!

If the dogs appear to be friendly to each other, allow brief sniffing with one dog perpendicular or "T-shaped" to the other, and then each dog should be called away by the handlers. If either dog stiffens, stands up on its toes, or shows any aggressive posturing, call the dogs away immediately and interrupt the interaction. It is important to interrupt before things go wrong so that you can preserve the possibility of a successful interaction at a later time. It might be necessary to take several walks, in different locations, over time. Multiple introductions in this manner give you a better read for how the dogs will do. Do not rush this process if the introductions seem 'iffy' in any way. Stop the introduction if either dog is showing signs of fear or aggression. Body language that indicates fear or aggression can include: raised hackles, stiff posturing, lip curling, growling, air snapping, tail tucked between legs, one dog avoiding the other or wanting to hide behind the handler, lunging, or freezing.

If the leash walking is successful, it may then be appropriate to go to a fenced area and have one dog on leash, and one off. One handler might work obedience with the leashed dog, while letting the other dog roam around, allowing them to get used to each other's presence and scent. Usually in this scenario, the resident dog is loose, and the new dog is leashed. This gives one dog the ability to safely check things out and move away as needed while you maintain control of the other dog. Make sure the yard or fenced area is free of items that may possibly trigger a fight such as high-value toys, bones, rawhides, etc.

When introducing dogs on leash, make sure that the leashes do not become tangled. Entangled leashes can increase tension and result in a conflict between dogs.

If the dogs appear to be getting along and your leash walks have been successful, then you might try both dogs off leash. This should ONLY be done in a fenced, fully enclosed area. Always make sure that both dogs are wearing appropriately fitted collars and that there are two handlers present in case there is a conflict between dogs. Also keep in mind that pit bull play can be rough and that it is important to periodically interrupt the play before it escalates into a conflict. The handlers can interrupt the play simply by doing some recalls and then releasing the dogs to go play again. What a great opportunity to practice an important obedience skill - the recall - amid distraction!

We recommended having two handlers present when introducing a pit bull dog to another dog. A squirt bottle can be handy to deter inappropriate behavior, however, keep in mind that it will not stop a fight if one ensues. A water squirt bottle can be used as a mild deterrent for mouthiness, mounting, or other inappropriate behaviors. Handlers of pit bull dogs should be prepared if a fight occurs. Please read here for information on how to prevent a fight and how to break one up if it occurs:

Some pit bulls will not play well with other dogs, particularly in an off-leash situation. If you find that your dog gets too aroused during off-leash play, you might limit the time the dogs are off-leash together. For example, if you observe that your dog gets over stimulated after about 15 minutes of playtime, then stop the play after 5 or 10 minutes, before the dog gets over stimulated. Make sure you are praising your dog for appropriate play skills when he demonstrates them. In addition, make sure you select dogs with very good social skills for your pit bull to interact with!

If your dog cannot handle the freedom of off-leash play with the other dog, but did well during the leash-walk, then you may wish to do leash-walks only. Taking a nice walk together with another dog is still socialization!

Another way to socialize your dog is to take an obedience class. If your pit bull does not like other dogs, consider taking a class that is smaller in size. Also, ask the instructor if you can observe a class first to see the training methods used, the type of dogs in the class, and the skill level of the other handlers and their dogs. A beginner class with lots of bouncy, barky dogs may be too much for a reactive pit bull.

Do NOT be discouraged if your pit bull doesn't like other dogs; what is most important is that your pit bull is people-friendly!

If you are fostering a pit bull and currently have other dogs, it is best to wait until you have had a considerable period of evaluation and observation (at least a few days or even weeks) before doing introductions. Dog introductions can involve several stages of a process, which may be shortened or lengthened depending on the success of the introduction. It is important to take your time with introductions and not rush through them. Do not attempt to introduce dogs if you know very little about the foster dog. As a foster parent, you should never leave dogs loose together when unattended, even for a brief time. The foster dog and resident dogs should always be separated in different rooms or with crates when there is no one home to supervise them. Even if your foster dog and resident dog get along, it is still important to give each dog individual attention AND individual time away from each other.

Do not introduce a new dog to multiple resident dogs at the same time. Start with your friendliest or least reactive dog and gradually introduce them. Do not try to push introductions with several different dogs in the course of the same day. Crating and separating for several days, even a week, is a good idea. Your resident dog(s) know the dog is there and can see and smell a new dog in the home. Let them acclimate. There are other reasons not to introduce an unfamiliar dog right away, mainly DISEASE! The reason it is recommended to only introduce one dog at a time is that dogs act differently together (pack mentality), and you could potentially set things off on the wrong paw. A pack of multiple dogs greeting a new dog can be overwhelming.

It is recommended to remove high value toys, chew items, and possibly food bowls, from the dogs' access in the foster home. If you are not already schedule-feeding your pets, now is a good time to start. Free-feeding (i.e., always having a full bowl on the floor accessible to the dogs) may encourage guarding behavior or result in a conflict. Instead, feeding may be done in crates, which also helps with crate training. Or you can feed the dogs in separate areas.

Implement obedience into the daily routine, 'sits' for food, water dish filled, at doorways, etc. This helps maintain a routine in the home and improve basic obedience for all dogs in the home. See our "No Free Lunch" training page. Do not allow dogs to crowd or get pushy at doorways...too much opportunity for a conflict in a tight space. Teach your dogs a 'back up' cue and to 'sit' at the door.

You might also consider buying DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) to install in a home with multiple dogs.


Be cognizant of different types of canine behaviors: resource guarding, barrier frustration, same-sex aggression, territorial aggression, etc. Any of these behaviors in either dog can complicate an introduction.
Brief, repeated introductions over time that end on a positive note are far more beneficial than a long, drawn-out introduction that may become problematic.
Once you are off on the wrong paw with a bully introduction, it's hard to 'undo' it. Better to go slow and be successful!
Remember, it's always easier to prevent a fight than to break one up! Never trust a pit bull not to fight. Always supervise and remain relaxed but vigilant.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON DOG INTRODUCTIONS AND DOG AGGRESSION: ... 40&item=82 ... 0&item=235 ... 6&item=221

Note: The suggestions on this webpage are not intended to be a substitute for having a professional trainer assist you with dog introductions. It is impossible for PBRC to address every possible scenario that could arise; this page is for informational purposes only.

(c) 2006, Andrea Kilkenney

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:31 pm
by Chris
My uncle has a Staffy which is four years old and he was due to be fostering a much younger staffy just for a while anyways what he did was put the foster staff in a cage and let his staffy find the dog, after my uncles dog found the other staff he started to play with it because he liked it because he found it and for the month or so my uncle had the foster they were like brothers

Sorry fior the long post, but i needed information

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:18 am
by bonezmama
I just adopted a 13 month old Rottweiler from a local shelter, and I am extremely ecstatic about how I chose to introduce him to my resident dogs a 1 yr old Pit and an 8 month old Chihuahua/ pomeranian mix. I arranged for a friend to keep the new dog for a week so that I could introduce him slowly to my dogs. I started by taking both of my dogs to the shelter to see what the initial response would be, they were really nice to one another and walked well side by side. They also did extremely well in a play session. Afterwards I called my friend to have her transport the new dog, as I had my dogs in the car with me. The next day I took my pit over to her house, he had never been there, and we met outside to walk our dogs. after a 20 minute walk we allowed the dogs to play for about an hour supervised of course....We ended the session with another side by side walk back to her house, and I repeated this same thing the next day with my Pomchi( my daughters gave her a breed name) I let one day pass with no interaction between the dogs, but I went and walked the new dog myself and played with him......On the 4th day I allowed him to come to my house being that neither of my dogs had shown aggression towards him, and I allowed the 3 of them to interact( sniffing briefly) for about a minute or so before we all went for a walk.......they were allowed to play with one another for 2 hrs this time and the next day this was repeated with more time added. On the 6th day I allowed the new dog to actually come in the house and back yard off leash with both resident dogs off leash as well to allow them all a chance to be free. They did well, and all the while My husband, friend, and I recalled each of them about 30 times in an hour just to make sure they were not overly excited with the new situation. I seperated them to feed them, crated each of them, and took each one for a 30 minute walk to allow for alone time with me then they all napped and the new dog just never left..........I always have one dog in the house while 2 are out and I rotate them every few hours so that they all get alone time with me and paly time with one another. I'm on the 3rd day with "Bear" and so far we haven't had any signs of aggression from any of the dogs, no guarding behavior, signs of jealousy, or any negative feedback. I tend to make sure that my pit gets extra attention though. He is the only dog allowed to free reign the house ever, the pomchi is still being house trained on leash as I've only had her 4 months, and the rott is a new dog, and i'm still not sure if he is completely housetrained or not. According to this post I did not introduce them properly, but i assume that what i did was okay because i have not even been close to thinking a fight was looming. being that he has only been here 3 days am i on the right path or have i made a horrible mistake in my thinking?

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:34 am
by Maryellen
what works for one might not work for others.. you do what works for you.. the post was initially an idea for how people could introduce dogs if they didnt know how, its used by rott rescue . i am not the author of it i just crossposted it.

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:10 pm
by Kingsgurl
He's of course not nuetured. So shall I leave them alone unattended, I have people tell me yes and people tell me no, what is your guys input?

I don't understand why 'of course' he isn't neutered? Of course that really doesn't play into the equation anyway. Never leave dogs alone together unsupervised. Even dogs that normally 'get along great' It's not worth the risk

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:12 pm
by Kingsgurl

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:53 am
by who00knows
I adopted a 6 month old APBT puppy 2 weeks ago, last night he became a little snappy at my 6 yr old APBT over a dog bone. What is the best way to handle this? I took the treat away yelled NO! and seperated them for a while, the resident dog inside and the new puppy outside.

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:24 am
by Maryellen
whoo i would post this in a new thread in training...

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:08 pm
by luvmypits
quick couple question on intro's:
my new boy has been in shut-down (see different post) and will soon be ready for introductions to my resident dog.
Obviously, during shut-down, they are aware of each other but have not seen each other. Neither one seems to be displaying any aggressive tendencies toward the others nap-bed although they do pee on each others pee in the yard.
to my question -
Should I begin the slight introduction of having their crates side by side covered up so they can't see each other? then move on to walks, etc.
Or is it better to drive them separately somewhere so that they can go on walks side by side first? then continue to keep them in separate rooms, etc. during their time at home.
Thanks for any help and/or advice!!

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:42 pm
by Maryellen
luvmypits, you can do either or, or what works for you.

again, this initial post was JUST A GUIDELINE ITS NOT SET IN STONE... i got this from a rott rescue, its to help people with multiple dogs, however what works for one might not work for another..

Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:40 am
by Codys_mum
Hey guys,
Okay I have read and followed the guidlines, we adopted Charlie Image
on Monday, now he and Cody are to a point where I can walk them together on their leashes and they act like best buddies even stopping to play with Cody's sister who lives across the street, they play together in the back yard just wonderfully, but in the house Cody is still acting very dominantly and quite aggressively, since Cody is only 9 months and Charlie is 2yrs, I worry they are at a bit of an impasse, Charlie isn't instigating any aggression but he isn't exactly being submissive, Cody won't let Charlie go into the kitchen, even though I keep all food away and only feed them when they are separated. My question really is will they eventually settle on a hierarchy by themselves or should I step in every time they try to assert themselves physically (meaning showing dominance, not actually fighting.)


Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:27 pm
by luvmypits
as a follow-up to a previous post and as information for Cody's Mom:
Let me say here that the first introductions went well and I thought we were home free cuz they played together well after a few days but then they got in a tussle so that is when we started shut-down so you can restart if necessary.
I kept Jax in shut-down for the full 2 weeks plus a couple days so that my schedule would allow me to be fully devoted to the introductions. I started introductions by taking them for walks at night ONLY after they both had been played with separately and were very tired. We went on walks where my resident Lillian had never been. AFTER a week of that, we began playing together at a different park - one that was neutral to both of them. Again this was after they had been played with separately and were very tired. The play time was limited to half hour with no toys so nothing to fight over.
4 days later, we upped play time to an hour with toys for each of them. At this point, we kept them really concentrated on their separate toy so as not to introduce any jealousy. 4 days later, we moved playtime to our backyard or hikes together.
At this point, they still were not allowed in the house together. So one would go in their crate while the other was still being played with. The one out got to spend some time with me (or us) and then we would switch them.
After almost 4 weeks, we allowed slight introductions to house together. Literally, no more than 5 minutes of walking by each other while on the way to crate or outside. Absolutely no growling was tolerated and neither were allowed on the couch or bed or between us so as not allow any jealousy of our time or attention.
Each day we upped time in the house by 5 minutes or so until a week later they were able to lay on their separate beds eating their kongs while we watched TV.
They are now the best of friends and although I would never leave them unsupervised together, they lay together quietly and play together A LOT.
It has been exhausting and frustrating but so very rewarding to now have 2 pits in the same house who actually enjoy each others company. They still each have mom/dad time alone but for the most part, if we are home, they are together and very happy.
Sorry for so long a post but I wished that I would have found such details when I was looking for advice. Best of luck to you!! with a lot of patience and time, you can have the best of both worlds.