Managing a Multi-Dog Household

Because of their sweet, human-adoring nature, Pit Bull owners often find it hard to stick to just one dog!

However, owning more than one Pit Bull takes work and responsibility. It's twice the food, twice the toys, twice the vet bills. Before acquiring a second dog, it is important to be realistic about your expectations.

Are you prepared to break up a fight, should one occur? If one day, the dogs decide they don't like each other anymore (and yes, it does happen) - then what? Are you prepared to crate-and-rotate both dogs for the rest of their lives?

These questions require serious thought. If your answer is 'no' to either question, we highly recommend you stick with owning one Pit Bull. However, if you think you can responsibly manage a house with more than one Pit Bull - read further for some tips to ensure success.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Set your dogs up for success. Be optimistic that the situation will work, but realize that training and socialization can't override this genetic temperament trait, should it emerge.

However, if you have the diligence and patience to make a multi-dog home work, the rewards are obvious!

Selecting a Good Match

Dogs of opposite sexes (male/female) tend to "mesh" the best and have the most long-term success in getting along. And while Male/Male and Female/Female pairings can sometimes succeed, these pairings have a higher likelihood of getting into serious fights.

It is also important to note that ethical and responsible Pit Bull rescues will not adopt dogs in same-sex placements (See the Pit Bull Code of Ethics.)

And while puppies may be cute, if thinking about acquiring a second dog, it is beset to get an adult, as dogs tend to mature between 8 months and 3 years of age (sometimes older). Genetic dog aggression unseen before, may emerge as a dog matures. Selecting an already-mature adult dog increases the chances that there will be less problems in the future.

Proper Introductions

Imagine two blind-date scenarios.

In Scene A, your date arrives - he gives you a hug and a smile, yet minds his distance and keeps the conversation light.

In Scene B, your date runs up to you, gives you a slap across the rear, leans into your personal space, and discusses religion!

You'd probably be like "What the heck?", maybe slap him across the face, and probably not want to be near that weirdo again! Well, the same idea goes for dogs. Respectful, managed introductions are key to a successful relationship!

This is the link we love on how to properly introduce two dogs:
Recommendations for Dog Introductions

We're Serious, Separate!

We cannot stress this one enough - when you're not there to monitor interactions between dogs, they MUST be adequately separated from each other! While under direct supervision, rough play can be broken up before it escalates. But, if left alone, with no humans to monitor behavior, what was once an innocent play session can turn into an all-out battle. Also, fights are not always a result of dog aggression - sometimes when two dogs are excited, they can redirect on each other. This can be the result of a doorbell ringing, or a person walking down the street with another dog, or if they happen to be naughty and knock over a garbage can full of food scraps. If you're not there to quickly intervene, things can get ugly, and fast. We would rather crate/room our Pit Bulls while we're not able to supervise - just in case something happens - rather than come home to injured dogs, or worse.

Breaking up a Fight

Accidents happen - a fight can happen under the watch of even the most responsible Pit Bull owner. However, that owner is also well-versed on how to break up a fight, should one occur. When two Pit Bulls get into a scuffle - quick bursts of lunging, lots of vocalization - it may sound and look scary, but in all actuality, this is the easiest "type" of fight to break up. When Pit Bulls scuffle in this manner, they can usually be broken up with a loud, harsh NO, or by being physically pulled apart (grab the back legs and pull!).

However, if two Pit Bulls are in a full blown fight, and have "latched" onto each other (note: NOT the same as "locking jaws"!) no amount of yelling or dousings of water will stop them, and they can't be pulled apart without doing major damage to one or more of the dogs. In this case, a breakstick is needed.

Complete instructions on how to use a breakstick, and to purchase one, is available Here.
We highly recommend that every Pit Bull owner own one of these invaluable tools!


Illinois // NW Indiana