We have 2 dogs at home: a small 35 lb 6 year-old female hound mix and a 75 lb 4 year-old female pit bull mix. The pit will lash out at the hound so violently that she will force the hound to gasp for air, yelp in pain and often rips away parts of the hound's skin around the neck.
The pit was never mistreated as we got her from a loving home when she was about 6 months old. The hound was a shelter rescue, but has always been very friendly and highly social.
How should my wife and I respond to this? I used to just let it go, but there was frequently blood drawn and I began to fear for the safety of the hound. It's gotten to the point where it is obvious that the pit means to inflict damage to the hound and I have to physically separate them. It usually takes putting the pit in a chokehold, wrapping my legs around her body and putting enough of my body weight on top of her to force her flat and prevent her from being able to rip away the hound.
When she's not being aggressive, she's very playful and sweet. I have noticed that she responds negatively towards the hound upon waking the pit up, the pit being accidentally injured at play - stepping on a foot or tail, if they happen to cross paths near the garbage can, if we pet the pit while she's eating and after she gets verbally scolded.
We are planning on having children soon and are worried about how the pit will respond to a baby. We don't want to give the pit away, but maybe she needs a different environment to thrive?
Sorry for the wall of text, but thanks for your time.