Are you planning to raise two Pit Bulls together? If so, you’re in for a ride.
The American Pit Bull Terrier, typically known as Pit Bull, is a very affectionate canine. When trained well, they will be gentle to kids and even friendly to strangers. However, there’s one thing they don’t like: other dogs. Pit Bulls are standoffish toward other canines, so knowing how to make two Pit Bulls get along is an uphill climb.
Nevertheless, it’s possible to make two Pitties live together harmoniously. You just have to put in the work and make sure that you do it right.
In this post, I will share my own experience owning multiple Pit Bulls to help you on this challenge.
Why do Pit Bulls hate other dogs?
Pit Bulls aren’t naturally tolerant of other dogs. They can be very territorial, so any dog that will step into their property will be perceived as a threat.
This is the same reason why Pit Bulls make good guard dogs. They will stand their ground and drive away strays that will trespass your property.
If you’re wondering why Pitties act this way, the following may explain why:
- They were trained for bull-baiting. Unfortunately, the barbaric sport of bull-baiting gave Pit Bulls the ‘vicious’ stereotype. Even though the sport has been banned for almost two centuries, the stigma lingers on for this breed. Also, some of their aggressive traits toward animals are deeply ingrained, which can still show up in some dogs.
- Irresponsible breeding is to blame. Puppy mills and irresponsible breeders tend to produce Pit Bulls with aggressive tendencies. This results in Pit Bulls that are standoffish and could bite anytime. No amount of training can dampen the faulty genes and traits produced through haphazard training.
- Lack of training makes it worse. Pit Bulls require rigorous and continuous training to remain disciplined and friendly toward other animals. This has to start as early as possible to dampen their breed-related aggressive tendencies.
- They have inexperienced owners. Before you think of getting a Pit Bull, remember this: they are not suitable for first-time dog owners. Pit Bulls need experienced owners who can train them and serve as their alpha. If not, this dog will push you around and soon become aggressive toward other people and canines.
Despite this, Pit Bulls remain versatile dogs. With proper training and socialization, these dogs will not mind living with other pets in the house.
How to make two Pit Bulls get along
It’s possible to make two Pit Bulls get along but be prepared for the work you have to do. For my Pitties, here are the steps that I took:
🐶Choose the right gender pair
Before you even bring home another Pit Bull, you should consider the gender you’re getting. In my experience, it’s easier for dogs from the opposite gender to get along. While you still have a lot of training to do, you can avoid extreme territoriality, especially when it comes to two male Pit Bulls.
Experts suggest that dogs of the same gender, especially males, will have more fights. In some cases, the goal of these fights is to exterminate the other. It will be an endless battle for dominance because there can only be one alpha male or female within a pack.
🐶Work on obedience training
Before you bring home a new Pit Bull, you have to ensure that your resident Pittie is well-trained. This will give you control for at least one of the dogs during the introduction process.
Also, you should expect your resident dog to be territorial. After all, your home is his kingdom, and the presence of another canine is a threat to his throne.
Basic commands like stop, sit, come, and so on are powerful when introducing your Pit Bull to another dog. It can help prevent attacks and dog fights.
Also, Pit Bulls that are trained for basic obedience will be less aggressive than a counterpart that hasn’t received any form of training.
If possible, it’s best to subject your Pit Bull to advanced training. This will further dampen any aggressive tendencies that may show up once you bring home another Pittie.
🐶Desensitize your Pit Bull to other dogs
Desensitization and socialization are crucial if you want your resident Pit Bull to get along with another dog of its kind. In my experience, the dog park is a free and convenient way to train your Pittie to get along with other dogs.
Months before you bring home a new Pit Bull, you should start taking your dog to the dog park. Just make sure that the pooch has been obedient-trained and received all the vet’s core vaccinations.
However, beware because not all dog parks welcome Pit Bulls. For places with breed-specific legislation (BSL), ownership of Pitties could be allowed but under specific conditions.
Also, take note that while your Pit Bull may not start a fight, they will be keen to finish it.
If you’re not confident with your Pittie going off-leash at the dog park, it’s best to set up private ‘playdates’ with your friends’ dog. It’s a good thing if you can find another Pit Bull to meet up with your dog. Nevertheless, desensitization with other canines, regardless of breed, will be a big help in training your Pittie.
🐶Keep the two Pit Bulls separated.
Once you bring home your new Pit Bull, you should keep it away from your resident dog. I recommend placing the newcomer in a separate room. This way, your resident dog won’t seek the new scent and potentially attack the second Pit Bull.
Aside from separating their territories, it’s also important to give them separate possessions. Never share your resident dog’s toys, bowl, leash, bed, collar, and other items with your new pet. If you do so, your original Pit Bull may start to resource-guard, which is a form of aggression. Instead, you should buy the new dog its own things.
Keeping the two dogs separated will give the newcomer enough time to adjust to its environment. Also, this will give you the chance to observe your resident Pit Bull. If any form of aggression occurs, you should act to fix it right away.
🐶Exchange their scents
Once your new Pit Bull is comfortable in your home, you can start exchanging the two canines’ scents. Dogs can pick up a lot of information on the scent of another canine so that you can use this to your advantage.
For my Pit Bulls, I simply exchange the two dogs’ toys, which they already used. Upon giving each other’s toys to my dogs, I pair them with treats. This will let both Pit Bulls associate the odor with a positive experience.
Do this for a few days until both Pit Bulls are relaxed with each other’s scents. Once you’re confident that both dogs have adjusted well to the scent, you can move to the next step.
🐶Set up the first meeting from a distance
The first actual meeting of the Pit Bulls can have extremely different results, depending on how your approach it.
It’s important to keep both Pit Bulls leashed. You can never trust a Pittie when it comes to meeting a new dog. The leash will serve as your point of control in case any of the dogs try to attack or bite the other.
Moreover, you should place the two dogs on opposing ends. With this, you need another person to hold your new dog while you handle your resident Pit Bull.
The moment the Pitties lay eyes on each other, you should observe their behavior. If your older Pit Bull shows signs of aggression, you should call its name or say ‘stop!’ to disrupt the behavior. When the Pittie stops the negative behavior, you should reward with a treat right away. The same goes for the new dog.
Through positive reinforcement, you can establish the first meeting as a good experience. However, you should never toss a treat on the ground. It’s crucial to hand-feed the treats to each dog to prevent them from racing into the treat and potentially starting a dog fight.
Most of all, you should end the first encounter while both dogs are still on good behavior. You can repeat it some other time to prevent the Pitties from getting overstimulated by prolonged restraint.
Keep having these short meetings until both Pit Bulls acclimate with each other. After that, you can perform the next step.
🐶Allow the dogs to mingle off-leash
After a few weeks, you can try taking the leash off the dogs and allowing them to mingle. Always be prepared to break dog fights that may erupt. Also, there should be another person to assist you with the other canine.
If any of the dogs show signs of aggression, end the off-leash encounter right away and bring them to separate rooms. By doing this, you’re teaching the Pitties that aggression isn’t a tolerated behavior. You can resume the encounter once both dogs are calm.
How to stop two Pit Bulls from fighting
Dog fights are somewhat inevitable if you’re raising two dogs, more so two Pit Bulls. If a dog fight occurs, here’s what you need to do:
🐶Perform the wheelbarrow method
With this method, you and another person will pull each dog by their hind legs. Once you take hold of the hind legs, you will spin the canine, making sure that its front legs are still in contact with the floor.
Through this, you can break the dogs apart without injuring yourself. Also, the spinning part will help disorient the canines so they won’t redirect their aggression to you.
After a few turns, let go of the dogs and put them on a leash.
🐶Use the towel method.
If there’s no one else to perform the wheelbarrow method with you, I suggest the towel method. You simply drape a large towel over the two dogs. This will confuse them and break them apart. Once one of the dogs backs out, pull one away to prevent the fight from continuing.
Remember that whatever happens, never use your body to break apart fighting dogs. Doing so is guaranteed to land you with serious injuries.
If you don’t have a towel handy, you can use any fabric you can get. You can also try opening an umbrella abruptly to scare the two dogs. However, make sure that they don’t get hit. You can also use the umbrella to separate them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can two Pit Bulls live together?
A: Two Pit Bulls can live together with proper training and socialization. However, it needs a lot of work and patience. Also, you have to understand the risks it comes with. If you can’t handle the demand of raising two Pit Bulls at the same time, you should consider other breeds.
Q: At what age do Pit Bulls calm down?
A: Most Pit Bulls will show signs of slowing down from puppyhood once they reach a year old. Still, it depends on the overall personality of the dog and how you raise it. It’s important to keep a Pit Bull busy so that it won’t show signs of hyperactivity.
Q: How long do two Pit Bulls get along?
A: There’s no timeline on how fast two Pit Bulls could get along. It all depends on the canines’ temperament, training, and level of socialization. Some Pit Bulls acclimate with each other right off the bat, while others will take months to adjust. It’s important to give the dogs enough time as each Pit Bull reacts to the presence of another pet differently.
Q: Why is my Pit Bull attacking other dogs?
A: Pit Bulls are quite standoffish toward other dogs. So if it attacks other canines, it can be due to plain aggression. This problem can be fixed with early training and socialization. If you want a high level of success with training, you should train your Pit Bull as early as puppyhood.
Q: Why do two Pit Bulls keep fighting?
A: Two Pit Bulls will keep fighting if they aren’t introduced properly or if they get too excited. It’s important to address aggressive tendencies as it occurs, so your dogs won’t develop behavioral problems.
Knowing how to make two Pit Bulls get along easily isn’t an overnight task. Pit Bulls aren’t fond of having another canine at home. But with training, socialization, and a lot of patience, the two of their kind can have a great bond. If all else fails, can you consult a professional dog trainer.
Do you have other hacks to add to this post? Share it down below in the comment section!