As Pitbulls were originally trained for dog fights due to their muscular body and aggression, this breed has continued to have an impression of fearful and aggressive dogs. Most often, we hear cases of Pitbulls attacking humans.
But why do Pitbulls attack other dogs? The lack of socialization and poor training are the most common reasons. As Pitbulls are territorial, they will bite any other dog that comes into their territory. While some Pitbulls have aggressive instincts, others might bite dogs when ill because they see other dogs as a threat. Dogs that have faced abuse from a larger dog also feel threatened and bite stranger dogs.
Although Pitbulls are highly dangerous, they also have a soft side and show affection to people and other dogs around. Let’s unveil more information about Pit bulls attacking other dogs.
Why Are Pitbulls Aggressive To Other Dogs?
Pitbulls are friendly towards humans. But when they see other dogs, their friendly nature can turn into ferocious giants in a matter of minutes.
The reason why Pit bulls are aggressive to other dogs often lies in the fact that it was originally trained for dog fights. When such dogs come into the street and see another dog, they will definitely see it as prey due to its training. So, such Pitbulls can be aggressive towards other dogs due to their training and also their genes.
However, some Pitbulls also become aggressive to other dogs because they are territorial. Having wild instincts, Pitbulls don’t like others coming into their territory. So, most Pitbulls show dominance to keep other dogs away from their territory.
Why Do Pitbulls Attack Other Dogs?
Several reasons can encourage a Pitbull to attack other dogs. Let’s discuss all of them.
Lack of socialization
As mentioned before, the lack of socialization is often the most common reason behind a Pitbull attacking another dog. This reason is not only specific to Pitbulls, but all other dog breeds also show aggression or fear of seeing stranger dogs.
As your Pitbull would have never seen a dog before or didn’t bond well with the ones it met, the negative effect can make it aggressive. Such dogs often feel afraid of seeing another dog, which convinces them to defend themselves.
So, the Pitbull will attack the other dog thinking of it as an enemy.
Sometimes, Pitbulls are punished for attacking other dogs, but the owner is at fault. Such owners train their dogs for dog fights. When these dogs see another dog, be it the fighting competition or a nearby park, they will quickly attack it.
Pain or sickness
Sick dogs or those in pain understand that they are vulnerable to predator attacks. So, they generally activate their defense mechanisms and see every other dog as a threat.
As large dogs also take advantage of those in pain and try to show their dominance, sick Pitbulls try to attack other dogs. They attack to show their strength to the other dog, so it won’t feel the Pitbull is weak.
All Pitbulls are not aggressive. Some will be extremely aggressive, while others will go along with strangers. When breeders breed an aggressive Pitbull with another aggressive Pitbull, the resulting offspring will also have aggression in its genes.
So, some Pitbulls might attack other dogs due to their instincts.
The reason why Pitbulls blend well with humans but not with other dogs is often because of their territorial nature. All Pitbulls like staying the leader of their pack. If they see another dog coming into their territory and showing dominance, they will attack it to show theirs.
Are Pitbulls Good With Small Dogs?
Whether the Pitbull is good with small dogs or not is linked to its socialization and training. If the Pitbull is not trained to fight and was socialized while young, it can be good with small dogs.
As all Pit bulls don’t show the same aggressive instincts, owners can train their Pitbulls to be good with puppies. However, it’s always better to keep a check on your Pitbull when leaving it with small dogs for the first time.
Some Pitbulls will not like socializing with other dogs, and seeing a small dog as easy prey, they will attack it.
Why Do Pitbulls Attack Small Dogs?
Although small dogs may not pose a threat to Pitbulls, here are the reasons why your Pitbull might still attack one.
It doesn’t like other dogs
Some Pitbulls don’t like going along with other dogs, and there’s nothing you can actually do about it. They enjoy their own company, and whether it’s a small or large dog, your Pitbull will get annoyed seeing one. So, it might attack to keep the dog away.
It is territorial
Territorial Pitbulls don’t like any dog coming into their territory. They also see small dogs as a threat and might attack only to keep them away from the things special to them.
As mentioned before, some Pitbulls have been bred from two extremely aggressive parents, and they have aggression in their genes. Whether it’s a small or large dog, such Pitbulls will bite or attack them to satisfy their instincts.
How Do I Get My Pitbull To Stop Attacking My Other Dog?
If you have dogs in the house and one is a Pitbull, the chances are the Pitbull won’t go well with them. So, here’s what you can do!
1. Socialize them
Socializing the Pitbull with the other dog is a good idea to make them friends. But never leave them alone in the beginning. You can start by making the dogs greet from a distance so that they know another dog is present in the house as well.
You can make them understand each other slowly, which will eventually help to make them friends and stop the attacking behavior.
If any of your friends or family have dogs as well, you can organize playdates for your dogs. This way they will learn to be tolerant around other dogs.
2. Take them out to different places
Just like people, your Pitbull might feel uncomfortable and scared when walking in a new location. It might make your dog feel scared and, as a result, defensive.
To avoid this behavioral pattern, make sure you take your dog out on a walk to not just your local park, but maybe to a dog-friendly supermarket or shop. Bear in mind, this approach is best for puppies, not adult dogs who can potentially hurt others around them.
3. Spray water
If your Pitbull doesn’t miss a chance of attacking the other dog in the house, you can break the fight and spray water immediately on the dog’s face. As Pit bulls don’t like making their owners angry, they will understand that attacking is bad.
4. Make them exercise
As Pitbulls have a lot of built-up energy, they might get rid of it by attacking other dogs if you don’t exercise them properly. Exercising both the dogs together while maintaining a distance between them is also a good idea to make them friends.
When the Pitbull has spent all the energy on exercise, it won’t have the energy to fight.
5. Encourage positive reinforcement
It’s never a good idea to scold or punish your Pitbull if it is aggressive toward other dogs. This way you risk having a completely opposite effect. If you scold it sometimes and not the other times, it will confuse the dog about what’s right and what’s not.
That’s why consistency is important while training your Pitbull. You should always try to teach it that aggression is bad and praise it when it behaves nicely around other dogs. Doggy treats and other tasty things will be your best friends on this journey.
6. Separate them by a barrier
If none of the methods work in stopping the attack, you have to admit that your Pitbull doesn’t like the company of other dogs. It’s natural in dogs, and you cannot do anything about it. So, it’s better to separate them using a barrier.
7. Know your dog’s character
Our furry friends all have different personalities, just like we do. So not all dogs were created to love other dogs and want to play with them. If you can see that your dog prefers spending time with your rather than other dogs, let it be it. But your dog still needs to be able to tolerate other dogs around it. You can consult a dog behavioral specialist, which we mention in the next step.
Never force your dog to socialize with other dogs when you can see they clearly don’t enjoy that.
8. Enroll it in obedience courses
If you fail to train them properly when young, there is a very high chance your dog will carry on being aggressive toward other dogs in the future. If you cannot solve this problem yourself, it’s better to enroll your adult Pitbull into an obedience training course. The professionals will guide it and help stop the biting behavior.
9. Keep the distance
If you still can’t make your dog get along with others, that’s not a problem. As discussed earlier, not all dogs love and enjoy interacting with other animals. When you are out on a walk, make sure you always have your dog on a leash and that you keep a safe distance from other dogs in the street and in the park.
This way you and your buddy will be able to enjoy the walk and not disturb anybody. Also, watch out for the dogs who are unleashed. Make sure to avoid being too close to them and choose an alternative route instead.
10. Neuter or spay your dog
Your Pitbull’s behavior can be negatively affected by the desire to mate, making him more aggressive towards other dogs. This is our last recommendation. If none of the steps above have helped you, consult with your vet first to make sure the procedure will be safe for your dog, and then go ahead and neuter or spray your dog. This should make it way less aggressive.
You can do this starting from the time when your pup is 6 months old. But we think it’s best to try to train your dog first using the above methods before performing any kind of surgical procedures.
Pitbulls attack other dogs for many reasons, and most of them are common in other dogs as well. However, the training methods and genes also play a significant role in the attacking behavior of Pitbulls.
If you keep a Pitbull in the house or near other dogs, it’s better to avoid training it for dog fights. Such dogs don’t blend well with humans or other animals and always pose a threat to them.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.