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.

  • 1
    It sounds like the pit does not consider you the leader of the pack as it is protective of its food.
    – Huangism
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 17:09
  • 2
    If this is new behavior, I would first take the pbx to your vet to make sure there aren't any medical reasons for this behavior. If this isn't the case, I would recommend going to see a certified behaviorist (not just a trainer) to work through the issues. Aggression can be caused by too many things to diagnose online and it's best to see a professional.
    – Jeff
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 17:43
  • for the present, i would keep them in separate rooms at al times Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 18:31

2 Answers 2


This question was asked in April but is somehow back at the top of the questions.

Seek help from your vet and from professional trainers, you're in a bad spot that requires very specific help - and quickly. Your post sounds like a terrible situation where someone is bound to get hurt soon.

  • 1
    Including the baby ...
    – ThomasH
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 14:30

I think you are correct to be concerned, even more so with the prospect of having children around this dog (my in-laws had a small dog that they had to have euthanized years ago, when my infant daughter crawled across the floor and the dog bit her on the face. I am very grateful it was only a small dog, and only did a relatively small amount of damage...).

I would seek more information, and be very inclined to place the dog into an environment that would be safer for everyone. Don't just let it go.

Though this site is primarily for German Shepherds, it may help you find some answers:

German Shepherd Dog Forum, with great general information and many knowledgeable owners of various breeds

Good luck to you. Bruce.

  • 1
    Thanks for the response Bruce. We don't want to let her go, but we may need to find her a better home if we can't find a solution. I'll look into that website. Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 23:21

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