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I live in a cooperative house with 25 other people and 4 dogs. One of my housemates just adopted a new dog a few weeks ago, and so far she has been pretty good. She's young, only about a year and a half, and very hyper. I would guess that she's a lab-pitbull mix. Most of the day she stays in her crate while her owner is at work and she comes out briefly to go on walks and be let outside. The other three dogs are allowed to run around the house and when the new dog "Lady" gets out of her crate to play, trouble occurs. Two days ago we had a huge incident that makes me not want to live with this dog anymore. Lady was playing with the pug in the house and the pug was not happy about it. The pug growled at her and gave her a small nip to stop. Lady lunged at the pug and bit her hard in the face. The pug had to be taken to the vet immediately to get stitches. The two of them have not been allowed together since unless Lady is on a leash.

She's always been very tough on the other dogs, especially the pug, who she will not leave alone even if the pug is growling at her. I'm persistent about separating them as soon as possible but other people I live with, including Lady's owner, always brush it off as play time and nothing more. That is, until the pug had to get stitches.

 

I personally think these things need to be dealt with as soon as possible before the incident occurs again. Even though this dog is being separated from the pug, she is not being separated from the other dogs including my border collie. My bc will growl at her too, and I'm terrified that they'll get into a fight some day.

 

Her owner still wants to take her to dog parks, dog training classes and doggie day care, where in all cases she will be subject to strange dogs. I'm worried that if he isn't careful and on top of her every second, she may end up attacking a stranger's dog, or worse, biting a person who is trying to separate her from their dog.

 

I want this dog out of my house. I don't think that living with 26 people and 3 other dogs is a good place for any dog with behavioral problems to be. She needs to be in a home with less people so training can stay consistent and strict. It also isn't fair for her to stay in a crate or on a leash all the time because she has to be under control whenever other dogs are around in the home.

 

Then again, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions too quickly. I know lots of dogs get into fights and never do so again. She's a very sweet dog and her owner loves her very much and I really want what's best for her. Am I being paranoid?

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I would be cautious to. When ever I bring a new dog in my house it is ON LEASH for the first at least two weeks. Never left alone with any other pet. I have a rescue with us that I took in (this august will be 2 years) and my other two dogs still pick on him. He is the weakest link (bad genetics and a few health problems) I never put him in the situation when no one is home nor not paying attention to be attacked by the other dogs. That just isn't intelligent. He was my responsibility and I have to try and keep him as safe as I can since I rescued him. BUT If it ever came down to him or my other two, I would have to pick my other two. They were here first, the house worked with just the two of them.

 

I would sit down with the people who actually own the dogs in the house and have a "group" meeting. Everyone needs to have there opinions heard. Dog parks with aggressive unstable dogs will do nothing to help the dog unless its on leash. You can't control what "strangers" dogs do at dog parks either. People wonder why other dogs especially smaller ones are "accidently" killed by other dogs..... right here is plain as day owner is not being responsible and neither are the other dog owners in your house. It's a sad thing no one notices but you. Have a meeting and try to talk some sense in to these people.

 

Sorry you and your dog don't feel safe that is no way to live.

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I suppose a lot of it would depend on the owner.

If he is an irresponsible louse with a long history of lousery...well, I would be worried.

But, if he takes her to training, sharpens his skills and understanding, utilizes the day care and parks with some smarts...is that not what it takes for many dogs to learn to fit in?

I say this without of course knowing how much has been already done and the players involved.

But with that number of folks, the old saying of "it takes a village to raise a good dog" comes to mind.

Good luck and I hope peace returns to your home soon.

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It is difficult but training and exercise will benefit this dog along with learning some doggy manners. She shouldn't be allowed to rehearse the behaviour and even on a leash it could escalate. Dog parks aren't a good way to get doggy socialization for one that is already pushy; She'll become a bully there.

 

Voice your concerns but try to be empathetic

 

Cynthia

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Personally, I wouldn't let me dog run around with 3 other dogs regardless of their temperament.

 

It could be an accident waiting to happen regardless of any past issues. If you've got more than one dog inthe house, you need rules that everybody abides by.

 

How can you be sure that Lady was the instigator? The pug was the one that bit first. Perhaps the size differential was what prevented the pug from doing any sort of damage to Lady.

 

Yes, it does sound like an accident waiting to happen and you are right to be concerned. But it's not just the issue of one dog (though it does sound like the environment could be a stressor here), it's an issure that all the dog owners need to be proactive about.

 

I second the suggestion that you have a dog owner meeting. I also strongly suggest that the dog owners in the house read some book on dog behavior (Patricia McConnell has some good ones as does Jean Donaldson) and come up with a management plan that works for everyone.

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How can you be sure that Lady was the instigator? The pug was the one that bit first. Perhaps the size differential was what prevented the pug from doing any sort of damage to Lady.

 

Completely agree. The pug sounds like the dangerous dog to me. It's the one who bit first (according to your story). I cannot stand it how little dogs get away with nipping/biting. If my German Shepherd went around nipping/biting, she'd be labeled a "dangerous dog." In my book, little dogs don't get off just because they're little- EVER. Little dog owners should have to be as responsible as big dog owners, and should be held to the same standard! Pug owner should have removed their dog when stress signals were first being displayed. And yes, of course, larger dog owner also should have stepped in if play was getting too rough. Never the less- little dog bit first.

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It sounds like there is a lot of action at your house. I would imagine that just the energy of that many people/dogs could create an environment of excitement or anxiety depending on the temperament of the dog. I agree that some separating of the dogs would be a good idea, at least until they are comfortable with one another (which may never happen and they may need to be managed forever). I also agree that little dogs sometimes are not well socialised and get away with obnoxious behaviour because they are litte and the owners and others think it is cute.

 

I would keep my dog out of the mix unless i was there personally to look out for his best interest and i would encourage the others to do the same.

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Completely agree. The pug sounds like the dangerous dog to me. It's the one who bit first (according to your story). I cannot stand it how little dogs get away with nipping/biting. If my German Shepherd went around nipping/biting, she'd be labeled a "dangerous dog." In my book, little dogs don't get off just because they're little- EVER. Little dog owners should have to be as responsible as big dog owners, and should be held to the same standard! Pug owner should have removed their dog when stress signals were first being displayed. And yes, of course, larger dog owner also should have stepped in if play was getting too rough. Never the less- little dog bit first.

I don't quite see it this way. I agree that little dogs frequently are not held to the same behavioral standards as their larger brethren, And I hate that too. I don't like most little dogs for that reason. But it seems that the pug was getting along fine with the other two dogs before Lady arrived. Also, I feel that any dog will nip if it is being harassed - whether in a non-vicious way or not.

 

My concern is that if Lady has dog/dog issues, she is in a difficult place to sort them out. Not that it can't be done, but I think it's going to be tough to get 25 people to treat/manage the dog in a consistent manner. I also think Lady should be exposed more, not less to other dogs - but in carefully controlled circumstances. Sounds like she has too much crate time for a vigorous young dog of her breed(s).

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I agree with Geonni. If the pug has lived with other dogs without any problems, then I would be more inclined to believe that the pug felt harrassed or otherwise felt a need to strike out; that is, that the pug isn't the troublemaker here. At the very least the interactions between those two dogs (Lady and the pug) need to be monitored closely.

 

J.

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Dog are allowed to growl and show another dog they aren't pleased with their behavior. If a growl isn't heeded, a nip or snap might be in order to suggest further a wish to be left alone. A well mannered or well socialized dog will respect the request and move along or attempt a different, perhaps less intrusive, method of engagement. From your description it sounds like the pug was attempting to communicate fairly and was met with a lack of respect and consideration. The pug is not the problem. The younger dog didn't respect the request and responded with an extreme lack of bite inhibition. I wouldn't have it playing freely without supervision. Eyes on supervision. Things happen can go sideways too fast to be nonchalant about it.

 

dave

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I certainly wouldn't say a small dog nipping/snapping because she is being crowded by a larger, possibly pushy/possibly overly friendly/possibly aggressive dog who won't leave her alone is being aggressive. Of course, none of us responding to this thread witnessed the event. Still, my sympathy goes to the previously peaceful pug. :)

 

Maybe because I have a small dog as well medium sized, I see both sides of the "little dogs are allowed to be terrors/big dogs are aggressive brutes" argument. My little guy is a whole ton of attitude, but I keep him by me and behaving when we are around other dogs. I still have to stop bigger dogs who may be as friendly as heck but are going to loom over him and invade his space in a way he finds alarming and insulting. Fortunately, the little dogs that come flying at Quinn on our walks have been comic relief because their insane behavior seems to embarrass him more than anything else (now his own little dog is entirely another story). The fact is so many dogs are just so badly behaved, barely trained and poorly socialized. All sizes. The average dog owner is clueless and their dogs are shining examples of that cluelessness.

 

I agree with Puppytoes There is a lot going on in that house and the owners should come up with some basic dog rules. I would not let my dogs run unsupervised with other people's dogs. It sounds chaotic and could lead to some very bad outcomes. The pug is lucky she didn't lose an eye. But then, the older I get, the more cautious I am with how I manage my dogs.

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FWIW I wasn't trying to assign blame to the pug - it was more of a way to point out that maybe there was more to the situation that should be considered. There are multiple possible stressors in that situation. Multiple dogs, multiple people, a big shift in pack dynamics (which happens when you add a new dog) can all exasperate or bring out new issues in any of the dogs. Every dog owner in the situation needs to be aware and proactive about this because it could happen again the next time someone decides to bring in a new dog. Yes you should be careful with your dog around the Pit. Yes she needs careful management and training right now. But the owner sounds willing to work with her so maybe you can suggest a behaviorist or a trainer with good experience working with reactive aggression who can assist him with his dog and offer some good hands on advice for the situation.

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The pug might have bit Lady first, but I believe that was because the Pug was trying to get Lady to stop. This was mainly the people's fault because they didn't see the issue as a problem until it got too out of control. For the record, Lady is a VERY nippy dog. It's always play bites except for the really bad one. I think the pug was getting sick of being harassed, chased around and nipped because it has been happening for a while and nobody else saw it as a problem until now.

 

I strongly agree that we need to have a meeting and I will get that done soon. If it were my dog, she would not be going to dog parks anymore. Even though her owner says she is great off leash at the dog park, I think that a bad incident can happen in seconds if you're not careful. And if a strangers dog gets hurt he may end up with a law suit or worse, have to get rid of the dog.

 

I've talked to him about this and he simply says that that's my opinion and he doesn't agree with me. I guess then it isn't my fault if she get's into a fight at the dog park. I warned him.

 

As for the house, Lady stays in her crate almost all day. This may change if she calms down when she gets older and once her training classes start.

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There's an old saying, "Motorcycles don't have fender-benders." It applies here. A dog the size of a Pug - or even considerably larger - doesn't stand a chance against a big, powerful critter like a Pit/Lab mix. Any dog of that type that delivers uninhibited bites is very dangerous. The big dog doesn't have to be mean or angry. It doesn't matter how sweet she is. The owner is a fool, and someone's dog may pay for his stupidity with its life.

 

If I were you I would get with the other dog-owners in your household and demand that the big dog be managed in a way that does not put the other dogs at risk. That, or the big dog's owner should move out.

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding but I'm reading your initial post to say that Lady is a hyper 18 month old who being is crated most of the day and only briefly let out to potty/walk. Perhaps some of her behavior is being caused by her lack of exercise and being overly exuberant on the occasions she is let out to play.

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