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I spent a long time debating whether or not to write this post. I got an email earlier this month from an owner whose dog has killed two other small dogs. In many ways, I don’t feel that it’s responsible for me to attempt to deal with such an intense problem in a blog post. At the same time, I feel like this owner – and other owners like her – deserve to have some good information online.
Earlier this month, I got the following “Ask a Behavior Consultant” inquiry to my inbox:
“My dog is aggressive towards any other animal. I’ve got smaller dogs around the house and she’s been aggressive to the point of killing 2 of them. What can I do to get her to not be so aggressive towards other animals?”
Sincerely, Pittie Problems
For more Journey Dog Training resources on aggression, check out these resources:
- Rehabbing Aggressive Dogs E-Book
- My Dog Is REALLY Aggressive to Other Dogs
- High Prey-Drive Dogs and Kittens
- Is My Dog a Red Zone Dog?
- The Best Muzzles for Hard-to-Fit Dogs
This dog is a one-year-old intact female pit bull who spends most of her time indoors/outdoors.
The owner has attempted to curb the problem by putting the dog in her crate after an aggressive episode, but otherwise is feeling lost. There are also kittens on the property that are in danger – it’s not clear whether or not they’ve been killed as well.
I’m not going to sugar-coat this: this is a very bad situation.
While we can certainly make it better (there are a lot of things we can try that the owner hasn’t tried yet), a dog who’s killed other dogs is likely never going to be safe around other dogs.
The fact that this dog is a year old, a breed that’s known for dog aggression, and that the dog isn’t just growling but has actually killed other dogs is all very bad news.
I know and love many pit bulls, but there is a truth to some of the stigma around the breed, especially concerning dog-dog aggression, and especially in certain genetic lineages.
If you’re living with a dog who’s killed other dogs, here’s what you need to do:
- Get help. This is not a training problem for an owner, an obedience trainer, or a K9-handler. This is a job for a very experienced aggression trainer. Look for a Vet Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, or Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist.
- Manage the problem. This dog cannot have access to other dogs. Period, end of story, no discussion. You need to have at least two layers of protection between this dog and other dogs at all times. That means muzzle + leash, muzzle + crate, crate + baby gate, leash + fence, or other similar combinations. This dog has killed other dogs – you absolutely have to keep the other dogs safe. Until you get help from a professional, that’s all you should do. You should not attempt actual training on your own with a dog that’s killed other dogs.
- For discussions on the management, redirection, counterconditioning, and desensitization training that dogs like this need, please see our e-book on aggressive dogs or check out our other articles on canine aggression (see above).
- Learn how to break up a dog fight safely.
- Have a long, hard talk with your behavior consultant. There’s a chance that I’m wrong, and this dog can actually eventually be helped for a “normal” life. But there’s also a chance that this dog will never be safe around other dogs.
- The fact of the matter is that rehoming a dog like this is probably not an option. After attempting counterconditioning, desensitization, redirection, and management training, humane euthanasia might still end up being on the table in order to keep others safe around this dog.
- Focus on keeping your own dog happy. Giving your dog more exercise, structure, or obedience training will not fix this problem. But helping your dog feel happier will improve your dog’s quality of life, and therefore is a worthy cause. Add in tricks training, puzzle toys, and nosework to help keep your dog a bit happier.
If your dog killed someone else’s dog, there’s a chance you’ll end up in court. I am not a lawyer or an expert witness, so I can’t say much about this.
But this is very serious.
Do what you can to support your own dog and keep everyone else’s dogs safe. At the very least, demonstrating that you’re doing everything you can to keep other dogs safe will help.
Above all, seek help from an experienced aggression trainer. Cases like this are not easy and it’s very important not to go to the lowest bidder for training.
You need a Veterinary Behaviorist, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, or a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.
You need to get expert help, the best you can get, and fast.
If that is not an option for you for logistical or financial reasons, you need to have a long, hard think about if you can keep the dogs in your area safe from your own dog.
If you can’t and you can’t get help, euthanizing your dog might be the only responsible course of action.
Of course, I cannot suggest euthanizing a dog without a thorough consultation and attempting some behavior modification. But you need to be aware that this is on the table. The dogs around you are in mortal danger.
There are a lot of things to try to help dogs that kill other dogs. But there are no guarantees in the field of behavior, especially when we’re dealing with aggression.
Kayla founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant who’s worked with hundreds of private clients, thousands of shelter dogs, and dozens of working detection dogs. Kayla’s dog and cat behavior advice has been featured in NPR, the Chicago Tribune, and Pet MD. She’s an avid adventurer who is currently doing #vanlife on the Pan-American Highway with her two border collies and a cat. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams. You can get 1:1 advice with a Journey Dog Training team member here.
I have a question because my dogs killed a smaller dog but there 3 huskys but my male gusty grew up with a smaller dog but when it died we got him two sisters and he was supper nice to them and now that they are grown they keep on killing smaller animals but I crossed the line today when they killed a small dog what should I do
Hi David, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It can be so scary and difficult. Did you try to implement the safety strategies outlined in this blog?
My lab husky female(mitsy) and my german shorthair( Heidi)who have been together all of Mitsys life got in a fight. noone seen it. Heidi was a bloody mess and ended up dying. Mitsy was devastated and grieving..Would not eat, was crying. Mitsy growled and snapped at my dads 2 year old german short hair yesterday and tried to bite her leg. We were present because I do not trust Mitsy. I thought maybe heidi who was 12 years old instidated the fight. now im not sure and feel like Mitsy should be put down for fear she will hurt my child or another dog. Please help me
Sue, I’m so sorry. That’s a very serious situation. Follow the advice in the article, and I strongly suggest hiring a trainer for further help.
I visited a 2 year old pittie in a rescue last week. Beautiful and sweet. Wasn’t aggressive to me or my daughter but one of the rescue personnel said her owner brought her there because she had killed a smaller dog by accident in the home. I was considering adopting her because she didn’t seem harmful but my neighborhood is surrounded with small dogs and small animals ie bunnies. My sister said no I shouldn’t get her. Should that be a deal breaker?
I personally wouldn’t adopt a dog that had killed another dog, no. That’s just too risky – plus it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen!
Hi , early June my Pitt got out through our garage. He has gotten out before and he usually runs as fast as he can around the block “the route he takes when walked” and come right home but on that horrible day he ran around the corner and came a pond a group of ppl with dogs. One owner started going in front of him like trying not to let him get by. But my dog got around him and got to there Lill dog and managed to lay on him and grab his neck. When we got there and told him to let go he did right away and got in the Jeep. I stayed and the Lill dog wasn’t a bloody mess she had a puncture wound and was still breathing. I managed to find them a vet that was open to take them to and off they went. After a few hours the owner came back and said they thought she would make it. The next day he told us she passed away. We were sick I literally couldn’t get out of bed for 3 days all I could think about was that Lill dog and there owners. We payed there 4200 vet bill with no problems I would hv payed 10 thousand we were devastated to say the least. I was a vet tech for 13 yrs and understand this that this was not normal behavior for our dog. We hv had Lill dogs also and he never bothered them The Lill dog behind our house he never bothered. The owner told us animals are animal and he understood that our dog never did this before and this was a horrible accident We were fined as we should hv been for dog at large. After a week or so it was brought to my attention That a flyer was going around the neighborhood with there dogs picture on it wanting justice for there dog. Then they took it to social media put our full address on there and gave a full description of my husband Then we were hit from animal control a ticket for trying to get my dog marked as dangerous. Now mind u. Our dog has never had any reports to police or animal control or any neighbors complaints to us regarding fear towards our dog but everyone now are saying they are. We hv a lawyer. And we are fighting. We hv spent thousands of dollars re enforcing our back yard and our front porch. We hv a electric collar also. He isn’t out side unsupervised neither of my dogs are now he doesn’t go on walks anymore neither Of our dogs. We lived here 30 yrs and I fell like a prisoner in my own house. This was a horrible horrible horrible accident. And I just hope I hv a leg to stand on Ty for listening
I am so sorry you’ve been through that, it sounds awful.
Ty. My court date is on july 14th and im so scared !
How did it go, Chrissy?
Wondering on how it went for Chrissy in court? Have similar case
Unfortunately I haven’t heard any follow-up from Chrissy.
I was walking my pit on leash. A man had his puppy outside without leash. It ran up on me and my dog I tried everything to stop it but my dog killed the puppy
I am so sorry that you had to witness that, Sabrina. Are you ok? And what are your plans for preventing this again in the future? I hope this article helped you make a plan.
This is a really tough subject. I am really sorry you are going through this.
Last year we went through the same situation. Aries was an American bulldog that my husband rescued, he came from a really abusive home. We knew he had some triggers, we couldn’t even hug him or hold his neck but he was a really sweet boy at the same time. That dog was so loving!
He bit my husband twice before we had “the talk”. The third time was really hard to control him. We looked for help in the shelter we rescued him. We had to make the hardest decision in our lives. We had to put a healthy, loving and happy dog down.
The risk of having it happen to my stepson or any kid, or a neighbor was not worth it.
I just want people to know that to love is to care, and we have to make some hard decisions to care for our family.
The feeling of guilty will go away at some point knowing that you made the right decision.
You’re not alone. I can tell you that our lives have been easier not having to live with the fear that something bad can happen at any time.
Oh, Leryanne, I’m so sorry. Needing to put down a dog for behavioral reasons is just so incredibly difficult. I am so glad that you’ve found some peace.
My ex husband left his old bill dog with me and he just killed my daughters pomeranian. He was my little side kick. We always kept them separate but the gate got left open and he followed me outside. It was horrible I tried to save him but could not get him to stop. I fought really hard. The bulldog paraded around for over an hour with him in his mouth. I did have him put to sleep as the attack was vicious. It took 4 people to distract him long enough to retrieve gizmos body hoping then the frenzy would stop. I cannot get his screams out of my head nor the way he looked at me as if to say please save me.
Hi, I don’t know if people are still commenting on this thread, but my pittie just killed my little Pekingese while my husband and I were at work today & we’re faced with this decision on what to do. Shelter isn’t an option because she’s just going to sit and rot until they put her down or she hurts someone else and then what? I couldn’t live with that. But do we keep her? She’s just a little 1 year old and she has had a hard life. We rescued her from the worst of situations, but idk if I can ever look at her the same or love her the same and what it she hurts another dog or animal or kid while in my care? Keeping her separated her whole life from everyone & thing is no life for a dog. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I’m so sorry to hear that, Jocelyn. I would be happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss options, if you’d like?
i’m literally going through the same exact situation /: it’s so so hard for all of us as a family and extremely difficult. I’m having to put my 5 year old pitbull, Bailey down because she got into a territorial situation with one of my little dogs and….the little one, charlotte, sadly didn’t make it. It was so scary and i’m still not over it which i feel like i won’t be for a while. ): I love both of them so much, and Bailey is such a sweet girl….anyways I just wanted to say i’m so sorry you had to go through a similar situation, i know how terrible and traumatic it is. I hope everything is okay.
I’m so sorry for both of you. If you’d like more grief support, I highly recommend the Losing Lulu group on Facebook – it’s specifically a grief support group for people who have had to put their pets down for behavioral problems. 🙁 I’m so so sorry.
I had the exact thing happen last night in my home.
My close friend is staying with me as she endures a nasty divorce. She brought with her a 10 pound Pomeranian named Bear (male, age 10 months).
I have 2 female Pit bulls. Samantha, blue nose, is 11 years old and has a heart of gold. Very mellow and sweet. I’ve had Samantha since she was 4 months old.
I then have Annie, age 10, red nose Pit bull, who I rescued a little over 2 years ago. She was abused in her past. Annie is very sweet with humans but does have a very keen sense of character.
Last night my friend & I were simply sitting in the family room and the three dogs were cool. Samantha was laying on the couch and Bear & Annie were on the floor. Bear had brought a toy from my friends bedroom (I do NOT allow toys, bones, chews, etc. for my dogs) and within 2 seconds Bear grabbed the toy from Annie and she attacked him. It happened so fast that by the time I jumped up to grab Annie it was over. However, we knew that Bear was gravely injured. We were on the way to an emergency Vet when he died in the car. Needless to say my dear friend is horrified, distraught and sad. I’m feeling guilty, sad and wondering what to do. I understand your dilemma because I’m right there with you.
What did you end up doing? I’m fearful. Take care!
Oh, Karen. I am so sorry to you and your friend. Sending all the healing thoughts I can muster. Let me know if there’s any way we can help.
We had three pups, a husky, a Staffordshire terrier, and a little chi mix. They had lived together for a year as a trio just fine, the husky and the little guy a year together before that. Pre-Covid, we left the husky and little guy alone just fine. We went out a few hours for our anniversary and came home to the chi bloodied by the door badly injured. The other two had blood on them. We rushed the little guy to the vet but he didn’t make it. We are devastated. We didn’t anticipate this but it happened. Our trainer theorized the little guy started it but she said NOT to make decisions when upset.
It’s been a week and we are mourning, but our other pups miss the little guy, have no memory of the incident, couldn’t have formed intent, and are still our responsibility. Our terrier is non-reactive on walks. We see the husky’s prey instinct, but he’s still super sweet to his friends in the neighborhood including a tiny wiener dog and a puppy. So we keep our remaining two together, we won’t take them to the dog park anymore, and keep them at home.
We’re good dog parents. We’ve fostered scores of dogs, but we learned the hard way that dogs are animals. Accidents happen. And we can’t get over but we have to get through mourning our loss.
Oh, I’m so so sorry to read this story. I wish I could offer you more comfort in your grief. That must have been shocking and so upsetting for you.
I hope you are safe;
My heart is filled with so much pain and grief I dont know what to do with myself. I have two adult female dogs and one male Rottweiler. The one bitch had three puppies and they were so adorable. I came home yesterday and found my rottweiler literally eating my puppy. It was a mess, a sight I cant get out of my head.
I dont ever want to see this dog anymore, I am so depressed. Why would a dog eat another dog?
Oh my gosh, I’m so so sorry you experienced that. I can’t say exactly why this would happen, but I absolutely understand why you aren’t feeling affectionate or even safe around this dog any more.
Hi my name is brandon I have a 5 yr old American bullie female and she has attacked and hospitalized 6 dogs now ranging from small and medium sized dogs. I live with a couple who have two dogs both bullies . One is female small the other large and old . They demand I start letting them socialize but im worried about the outcome. What would you tell me to do
,should I leave or actually try and have them socialize with her ???
I absolutely would not allow my dog to socialize with other dogs given the history you’ve described. It’s simply too dangerous for your roommate’s dogs.
My rott/lab is an EMS dog sweet to kids n people. Saved my life 2 yrs ago when I got attacked. My friend was walking him he saw another dog he gets excited she could not co troll him n fell n leash got loose. I saw this happening n ran as fast as I could but he already attacked little chiwawa. I was devastated n confused. My rot/lab has never attacked my chiwawa in my house they play n eat out of same bowl. Needless to say the little chiwawa passed n I was at the em clinic n did pay the billl n cried n hugged her n telling her how deeply sorry I am I could not sleep last night n still feel sick. What is ur advice please
Oh Monika, I’m so sorry to read your story. We can schedule a one-on-one consult to make a game plan for going forward, but unfortunately, I can’t make a game plan in the comments section of my blog 🙁
My 1.5 pitbull killed my 4 year old beagle. They got along great- would cuddle with each another, always together. Both are extremely competitive and unsure of how it happened. What we did hear from neighbors was, they were playing, running back and forth, barking for 10- minutes, and silence. I think my Pitt is looking for the beagle, but don’t know what to do. Was this caused because they were playing or did my pitt deliberately harm our beagle.
These safety suggestions are helpful, and we will uno lent them as we have another beagle.
I am so sorry, Gigi. I can’t say for sure, since I wasn’t there, because it depends on the injuries sustained. But with a size difference that’s not HUGE, it probably wasn’t purely an accident. I’m so so sorry.
hi, i have a 2 year old pit mix who has never been aggressive to dogs in my presence. she has also been socialized and perfectly fine with cats and small children, though she does enjoy chasing cats (she has never hurt or aggressed at one.) she once bit a chihuahua non-life threatening leaving a puncture behind his ear, which i thought was a freak accident after the chihuahua aggressed towards her, but recently after leaving her outside with a different chihuahua who she has been around for months i found the small dog dead with a broken neck. there weren’t any puncture wounds, and i’m wondering if this was an accident or a purposeful incident. i would just like to know your input so i can develop a plan going forward. would a dog kill another dog on purpose without biting it in your opinion? thanks so much for your response in advance
Hi, I’m so sorry you are going through this. Honestly, I can’t say for sure without more details. It’s possible to break a dog’s neck by shaking it without leaving puncture wounds, but I’m not a forensic expert and I didn’t see the Chihuahua so I really can’t say. Until your dog is evaluated by a skilled IAABC or AVSAB or CAAB credentialed behavior expert, I would not allow your dog near any other dogs – period.
So on the 3rd of this month, my malamute killed my moms mini rat terrier,Hank. We have kept them apart forever bc im a first time mom and we havent moved out since my daughter has been born bc well kids arent cheap and this pandemic as well. Nonetheless we had a whole system on how we let them out. Lots of checks and things to make sure our little Hank was safe bc oue dog had got him before about 2 yrs ago. This morning went really different, my mom did her checks before letting hank out but my door didnt latch right (old house shifts). And Lucian took his chance. It didnt last but a min maybe bc i flew out there to get them apart but i just wasby fasy enough i guess and my mom is so frail that she couldnt do much at all. We got him to the emergency vet but he died in the car. :'( All this happend on the 3yr of my dad passing away. I cant say anymore than im sorry to my mom. And im so upset at my dog i havent even wanted to be around him the last few days. Thanks for youre blog post, i now understand that aside from the accident they take what opportunity they get. I wish i couldve been up to make sure everything went ok, I feel Horrible.
I am so, so sorry Dannie. I am glad that this article brought you some small peace, but I know it’s not enough. Wishing you and your family the best.
My youngest dog is going blind. Lately she has hurt my other dog not sure why. Is it normal for dogs to get in fights when they are going blind. They have lived together all their lives.
I wouldn’t say that’s normal, no. Have you spoken to your vet?
I am beyond heartbroken right now. I have no idea what to do. I think in the back of my head I know they need to be put down.
We have/had 4 dogs. 14 year old husky the frail alpha, 7 year old chihuahua and sisters, 2 year old German Shepard, Pitbull X( had them since they were 8 weeks old). In October our Chihuahua had a puncture would on her back. Really not sure what happened (thought it was the husky because she got into beef jerky and figured it was a snap because Taquita was trying to take it). Took her to the vet, made sure to keep her away from all the dogs while healing. 2 weeks later the sisters got into it right in front of me, they were both watching the husky’s leftover food that I wouldn’t let them eat. Echo and Luna went at it it felt like forever. Luna ended up with 3 nasty bite marks that required 3 drains. The sisters were separated but missed each other so much. They would cry to each other and as Luna healed we started letting them see each other again with a 0 tolerance on even play fights. We separated everyone at meal time! The girls had always been left outside with doggy door access to the utility room while we weren’t home. Fast forward to March 25th, we had to leave them inside because the power company was doing work in the second backyard. Our little Taquita had access to both sides of the house and both doggy doors. The girls only had access to 1 door and the house was divided off. We came home and Taquita had passed with a horrible scene to be cleaned. It was one or both of the sisters I don’t know who did it, do I condemn them both?? Echo has picked on her sister in the past, Luna has always been more interested in Taquita, more so like playing but not realizing she 70lbs and Taquita was 10lbs. Taquita was an instigator and would bark or growl if either would even walk in the room. I would not encourage the behavior and make her stop. I love all my dogs but I know they can’t stay here we have kids and I can’t take the chance. I am already beating myself up that I didn’t rehome one or both after Echo hurt Luna. This is my fault for being so selfish and wanting to keep my babies. I know I can’t now I can’t get the picture of my poor helpless Taquita out of my head. My kids still don’t know because they have been out for spring break. I’m not losing 1 I’m losing 3… I want what’s best for the sisters but I really can’t think of a scenario that doesn’t result in putting them down. My husky doesn’t like any of them and ignores everyone at all costs but I think she’s upset too (she was on the other side of the house and maybe heard but she’s going deaf). I hate this
I am so sorry, Gen. Please let us know if we can help in any way. You’re in our thoughts.
Hello, I’m going through what seems it’s a nightmare! Just like the other stories here, my 2 year old boxer mix attack my 7 year old chihuahua and killed him yesterday, I have another chihuahua that is 10. I’m in such heart ache, first bc of my Baby Noa that left us yesterday but bc now I feel like I should get Callie out of my house but I have three daughters and they can’t bare to loss 2 dogs. Any advice?
Btw a friend that has a big dog is keeping the one that killed for now until I can figure out what to do permanently, I will be reaching out to a behavioral professional
Hi Ruth, I think professional help (ASAP) is the only real course of action here, I simply can’t ethically give out advice on these situations in the comments here other than I’d absolutely keep that dog away from other dogs, especially smaller dogs, until you get more help.
We rescued 2 pitbull sisters from a horrible home in January of this year.
Since then, they have killed my moms cat and have attacked and hurt our neighbors dogs. They busted through our fence to get into his yard and he was not even outside! My neighbor opened her back door to step out to call for me and they rushed into her home and attacked her two dogs.
They are so sweet and loving to us and would never hurt a person. I’m trying my hardest to rehome them but no success. Thankfully my neighbor is not suing us…
My husband can’t come to the terms we may have to put them down. I’m distraught but can’t risk this happening again.
Hi Erika, I’m SO sorry you’re going through this. It sounds like your dog is lovely with people but incredibly dangerous with other dogs/cats. Euthanasia may be the only safe option for your community, which is absolutely heartbreaking. I hope you can find some peace in a resolution going forward. My heart breaks for you.
Today my 1 yr old Golden Retriever attacked and killed my 9 yr old shihpoo whom was only 8 lbs. My shihpoo occasionally growled at the Golden if she felt the Golden was in her space. I wasn’t there to see what happen but according to my daughter my Golden stepped on the shihpoo accidental and shihpoo growled & then Golden attacked her causing death. Now I can’t look at her the same. Is she sorry, she seems sad. Does she realize what she did? I’m conflicted and don’t know what to do.
Hi Mandy, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I cannot say if your dog knows what she did – that’s an impossible question to truly answer. Please consider safety measures to ensure that your golden does not harm any other small animals in the future.
Hi so I was wondering anyone’s opinion I have a pitbull and 3 shitzus and my pit has killed 1 dog and Injured another. Both of the dogs he attacked one was in our house ( a visiting dog) which made me think it was because it was in his territory and around the three small dogs so I thought he was being protective this second time it was outside infront of our house and a yorkie mix was yapping at our little shitzu so our pit stepped in and sadly ended up killing the dog. I have been verg emotional about this cause
It isn’t easy. My shitzus have been with the pitbull for almost 6 years with never any issues and I just wonder what the possibilities are of attacking one of them now that I’m left over thinking
Hi Ana, that definitely sounds like a very high-risk situation and I would consider your other dogs to be at risk. We’d be happy to help you get to the bottom of this in a one-on-one consultation. You can find the link to that in the menu above, but unfortunately we can’t get into specifics of your case in the blog comments section.
My dog was attacked by rottweiler which barged through a screen door, the rottie was on my dog with the intent to kill, my wife was screaming and son in house came running out and pulled rottie off my dog. If he was not there my dog would of been killed, my dog is a border collie lab mix, and now has ptsd, will not walk by or socialize with dogs now. This rottweiler is going to kill a dog soon because the owners are irresponsible and naive, its their first dog and he is often home alone in small yard. Getting a Rottweiler for your first dog is very irresponsible. The dog just turned two years old and its social maturity has probably changed this animals disposition, but the owner does not know that he has a ticking time bomb on his hands, Should the police be notified about this dog, we did not call yet .
I would notify animal control, yes.
Yesterday my 5 year old chihuahua was put down because I failed her. I have two aggressive pit bulls that have killed another little dog three years ago. I sent them to boot camp continue training on handling them to this very day. I have baby gates and crates and separate yards and lived in fear on messing up. Always Checking and double checking locks and doors and crates and where everyone is at all times.
A contractor came to the house and I had to unlock the gate that separated the large dogs from the area where the smaller dog goes potty. I got distracted and forgot to go back and fasten the gate. Later on I let the dogs out to go potty and I heard the screams of the smaller dog. I ran out side and fought them off but only after one of them shook her so fiercely. I had to lay my body on the small dog to get them to stop charging for her. As I lay there the were still trying to get under me to get them. Eventually they stopped and I had an opportunity to get away with her.
The broke her back which severed a portion of her spine which left her hind legs, tail, bladder and bowel functions to be paralyzed. Surgery could have been and option to save her and get her a wheelchair until the realized that the swelling from the attach was so severe that blood flow was compromised and she was not a good candidate for the surgery. She was on pain meds but could still hear me call her name and prop up her upper half and perk up her ears and open her eyes wide. I knew my little baby was still in there and even with paralyzed legs she would have had her little wheel chair and been zipping around not caring. Having to end her life yesterday was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
I hate these dogs now!!!
The bigger dogs are so loving and sweet and obedient with humans and kids. (They are not around children and I have never trusted to leave them with kids). They play and love and go on structured walks, run on a treadmill, have jobs like the place command and do agility exercises. ALL THAT AND THEY STILL HAVE THE DRIVE TO KILL!!!
These dogs will never change and they are programmed to kill prey that’s what they were breed for.
I couldn’t keep my baby safe from them cause I am human and I make mistakes and was no one else’s fault but my own for knowing what I had and not getting rid of them sooner. That’s the long and the short of it. If you have a killer dog you will mess up one day and given the opportunity it will kill. Don’t think you can EVER TRUST THEY WONT!! Or that you can completely protect another animal from them unless they aren’t there at all.
Now what do I do?? Do I loose three dogs? No one will ever take them nor will I ever feel comfortable knowing they may do this again if someone doesn’t care for them properly . Do I Euthanize them? (I don’t think I can do that) Or do I keep them and do my best to ensure they never get out.
I am grieving and I am sad, angry and feel hateful towards them.
I am so, so, SO sorry you’re experiencing this. I hope you can find compassion for yourself and the dogs – and I’m absolutely here if you want to discuss your options. The Losing Lulu Facebook group will also certainly help with grief if you must go the euthanasia route. My deepest condolences. I’m so sorry.
Good morning I have a male blue nose pit he is one he is so quite he does not bark an he is friendly to all but we got a another male pit he was two to three months an we woke up to him killed by the bigger dog I am so hurt for our lost but I dont want to get rid of my dog he is like another child to me I don’t understand why he would kill the puppy please help
Hi Michelle. First off, I’m so sorry for your loss. I would be happy to discuss options with you if you’d like to schedule a call; we can go over the specifics of what happened and see if it’s safe to keep your dog in your home or not.
Hi Kayla. I apologize in advance for the lengthy comment. I feel as though I need to explain background before I ask the question.
8 yrs ago I brought a newborn female Akita home (12 weeks old) – her name is Chloé. I felt I needed a guard dog. Our two other small dogs “raised” her. Lucy (shih tzu/terrier) was 8yrs old at the time, and Molly (chihuahua/min pin) was about the same age. Everything was great. Then out on walks (on leash, of course) Chloé would show aggression and she even attacked other small dogs (like 4 times). So now I just keep her away from other dogs – period.
A yr and a half ago Molly passed away from natural causes, and we decided to bring home 2 Standard Poodle puppies (12 weeks old). Chloé “raised” them – she has been fantastic with them – she pretends to be submissive, and they have so much fun playing together every day – lots of exercise and a good sized backyard. Chloé is now 8yrs old and 100lbs, the poodles are 1.5 yrs old and are about 80lbs each. And Lucy is now 16yrs old and is still 20lbs – and minds her own business, mainly follows me wherever I go.
Over the past few yrs, Chloé has attacked Lucy. The first time Chloé was defending her bone (typical dog thing to do). But then it was for unknown reasons. It has happened about 5 times. Now Lucy just avoids being around Chloé, and she even whines to have me move Chloé out of the way so Lucy can simply walk by.
It’s 3am and I was just woken by Chloé’s growl and Lucy’s yelp- Chloé has attacked Lucy again! When this has happened I jump on Chloé and yell for her to release Lucy. Each time there’s a minor puncture that has drawn blood. I put Chloé outside (as punishment), and tend to Lucy’s injury.
Chloé has never attacked a person.
But I am so tired of her attacking Lucy! I can’t take Chloé to dog parks because she can’t play nicely (like the poodles do), and I have to make sure she’s walked far from other dogs. There has been two occasions where Chloé got past me and ran out front to our neighbor’s dog and attacked them. Am I a bad person if I choose to put Chloé down?
Hi Jennifer, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I can’t say for sure if euthanasia is a good choice at this point, although it certainly sounds like Chloé is potentially dangerous for Lucy in your home. Would you like to speak in a private training call to get personalized advice? I have a lot of questions I’d want to explore before making such a final decision.
Hello, My family has had a sweet boxer mix for over 5 years. We adopted her when she was just a puppy, just a couple of months old. She has never had any issues with our other dogs, a 2 yr old schitzu and a 14 yr old Chihuahua, until we brought a new corgi pup into the home last spring. This is not the first time we have brought a new dog into the family either. At that point she began to be spontaneously aggressive toward the Chihuahua. No warning, she would just grab her and hold her between her legs growling and we could hardly get her to release. We were going to have her put down, but our vet convinced us to run some tests to determine if she had a medical issue (she did not) that was causing aggression. Boxer was doing some other odd things (pacing alot, eating grass like crazy, terrible gas), so the vet chalked it up to “missplaced aggression” due the new pup in the home. We eventually put her on an herbal calming medication. This evening, boxer (after our corgi instigated a fight) pounced on the Chihuahua and killed her. We are at a loss. She has NEVER been aggressive to another dog or human EVER, and always been a big, lovable mutt to everyone she meets. This is a pup that we consider to be our 8 yr old daughter’s dog so she is obviously upset and wants her dog to be better. We have had the talk about what COULD happen, but we really don’t want to lose two family pets in one week. Any advice is welcome because as a family we are hurting. Thank you in advance.
I am so, SO sorry Shane. Please accept my condolences and let me know how I can help as far as making your household safer going forward.
Yesterday our 2yo lab/husky mix nearly killed our 10yo husky mix. They’ve lived together our pups whole life and have only ever had slats over obvious issues- but this was out of nowhere- mid walk with no valued objects/territorial slaves around. Our dogs have a wonderful life- we have 150 acres they get to run, we walk them 2-3 times a day- and I cns find no obvious reason/trigger for this sudden violent behaviour, he wouldn’t stop- our older dog has massive lacerations on his neck and now while we figure out what to do to keep them separated our pup is stuck outside tied to a dog house. We have a 6yo, and our younger dog is hers- she’s trained him walked him taken him to every veg appt since we adopted him when he was 8weeksnold. I am heartbroken because I know that if we had time/space (we have a very small cabin and can’t keep the dogs separated and both inside) we might be able to work on this with our younger dog- but We’re having another baby in a month and I know that we won’t have the time needed.
We’re calling the local shelter to surrender our younger dog today. I can’t risk him getting loose and finishing his attack on our older dog- and without understanding why he did it I’m terrified he could attack a child/person. Or if what would happen to our older dog if I’m holding the baby and can’t intervene- or if our daughter is in between them.
In the last I’ve judged people who surrender dogs- I take my commitment as a dog owner seriously and before kids I’ve adopted and loved and worked with reactive dogs- I haven’t slept since the attack and it’s breaking my heart to think of how confused our dog will be- to go from our dream dog space with woods to run and a kid who worships him- he’s slept at the foot of her bed for his whole life. But I can’t let him attack our other dogs (we have 2 older huskies) and we won’t have the intensive time he’ll need. I’m hoping someone with the time and-energy he’ll need can adopt him- the way I adopted challenging dogs when I was in my 20s.
Hi Krala, I am so sorry you’re experiencing this. What a scary situation. I hope everyone can find peace going forward.
Need help/advise on what to do with my 4 years old Aussie that attacked my 9 year old poodle mix which causes him to passed away.
Hi Razel, if you’d like to book a phone call with us we can help you in-depth there.
Found your blog while trying to calm my fears and your blog only confirmed my suspicions that an animal would probably be aggressive again once it has killed another animal. A couple of days ago my next door neighbors dog killed another dog being walked on a leash by owner across the street from our homes. I don’t know how he got out there but when I came upon the situation my neighbor was screaming and trying to control her dog but the other dog owners unwillingness to help her resulted in her on dogs death. It did not matter what my neighbor did her dog would not stop. I’m very concerned that she has two small children and secondly we share a fence line in bad need of reinforcement and my little dog would stand no chance against her pit mix. Her dog is growling at me through the fence now seemingly more aggressive than before and after what I saw the other day I am quite anxiety-ridden about the situation to say the least. Any advice?
Hi Sherry, I don’t normally say this but this sounds like a situation where getting animal control involved is probably best. That is very concerning for your little dog.
A few days ago at 2am, my 13 yr old husky had a seizure. She had never had seizures before but has had some cognitive decline for the last year. Before my husband and I could even register anything was happening, our 2 yr old spayed pit bull/great pyrenees mix attacked and ripped her neck/throat open. We got her off and noticed the wound after our husky stopped seizing. We rushed her to the emergency vet and they were able to close the neck in surgery and after 2 days in the hospital she has not had another seizure and is home. We know that our husky is closing in on the end and the vet suspects a brain tumor. At the moment we are keeping the husky completely separate from the other dogs and plan to continue keeping them separate as we can’t predict a seizure and never want this to happen again. We ordered extra tall gates and basket muzzles. Our pit bull has always been food aggressive and eats in a kennel and only gets treats away from the other dogs and we’ve been very careful, but looking back after this incident I think there have been signs that she had been becoming more territorial and guarding her toys even though no one was interested. Just little things I thought were harmless. And now I don’t fully trust her, even with our great pyrenees and certainly not our cat. I’m worried this attack on our seizing dog is a precursor to a habit. The vet said that an attack to a seizing dog is not reason to think she is dangerous, but with the guarding behavior and food aggression I’m very concerned.
That is so much to be going through, Audrey. You have my deepest sympathy. I hope that you and your husky can enjoy your time together and she passes peacefully. Let me know if you would like further assessments or support with your 2 year old.
I have 4 female Jack Russell’s. They are all siblings. 3 years old. Went out of town for a day and when I return one of them had been attacked and sadly had already passed away. I am just sick to my stomach over this. I just don’t understand it. The other 3 all had a little bit of blood on them so i feel like they ganged up on the other female for whatever reason. She had a puncture wound on her neck and one on her leg. They are all so sweet. I just can’t imagine why this would have happened!! I’ve seen them get snippy with each other before but nothing serious! I’m not worried about them being around my kids as they show no aggression what so ever with humans. It’s just with each other. Please give me some advise.
Hi Ashley, I’m so sorry. That’s devastating. Aside from the advice outlined in this article, I’m happy to support you through a private video call – https://journeydogtraining.com/product/dog-behavior-modification/
I adopted a pit mix from the local animal shelter 6 1/2 years ago. He has always been my gentle giant, rubbing your leg for pets like a cat and chasing his tail until he catches it.
A few weeks ago, we were getting ready for school and my son didn’t close the door all the way. My dog nosed the door and took off running. He has done this before and always runs around and then returns with the only nuisance being a possible potty in another yard. But this day, I was told he ran to a neighbor’s house and attacked her small dog in its yard. He was only out for 5 minutes as I immediately got him back in after he briefly left sight and I wasn’t even aware it until we were contacted by animal control later that afternoon. A week and a half later the dog passed away. We spoke with our neighbor and paid the $4k vet bill. We expressed our condolences and remorse repeatedly. We have complied with animal control and because he doesn’t have a history (never attacked, growled, or bitten anyone or anything)
We are allowed to keep him as long as we meet their requirements which we have. The owner of the small dog told us we should put our dog down because it was only fair since she didn’t have hers. When I explained why I couldn’t do that she went to our HOA ( which in 10 years has never been mentioned or any rules enforced I.e. all dog owners are to have a fence but only 2 of 7 are in compliance and nothing has ever been said)
I understand the severity is more significant in my case and I am not trying to minimize. But we have taken responsibility and done our best to make amends. Now I feel like HOA and my neighbor want my dog dead or removed (re-homing is obviously not an option given this incident) but I can’t do that to him when I don’t think this one incident is who he is. This is the same dog that does well with my other dog in the home and always has, strangers and friends/family’s dogs, small and large. He also plays with my children and is actually my son’s dog. The HOA informed me they want him removed by 11/29 and I’m heartbroken. I plan to speak to an attorney to see what I can do to fight it since we are doing what animal control is asking and the validity of the HOA enforcing this when they haven’t enforced anything in their history. I’m a desperate dog mom trying to give her baby a chance. I’m so terrified he will have to live out his days in a shelter or rescue or be put down as a healthy boy. I have literally been sick about it for the last 6 weeks it’s been happening and I just don’t know what to do. He is my 12 year old’s best friend and let’s my baby hold onto his back while he learns how to walk. Please any advice or guidance or experiences would be appreciated so much right now….my family is suffering so much
Hi Ashley. I’m so sorry to “meet” you under these circumstances. We’d be happy to help however we can. If you’ve tried the suggestions outlined in the article and aren’t seeing success or need further guidance, the next step would be to book a 1:1 consult with our team using the options in the menu bar above.
My dog is a husky/cathulla and my mom came over to visit and brought her chihuahua. Her chihuahua is aggressive towards all dogs and she started biting at my dog and my dog killed my moms. Everyone feels guilty of what happened and my dog was defending herself. I’m just worried about my dog as I have another very old dog and I recently have a new born. My dog play fights with other dogs and never bit humans. What should I do with my dog?
Hi Tanner, I am so sorry that you’re experiencing this. We’d be happy to help however we can if you’d like to connect in a 1:1 call.
I have a 6 year old pitbull and he has killed 4 dogs. He’s still alive because they were the other owners faults for not leashing their dog. I still love him and his personality hasn’t changed a bit, he’s a sweet dog and a couch potato at home but the last dog he killed was my brother’s fault. I believe both my dog and the other dog weren’t leashed and my dog ran after the dog and attacked it, it was small so it didn’t live. Animal control got called and the lady says we may have some issues about keeping him since he’s now labeled a “dangerous dog”. We now muzzle him even before the last attack happened, my brother was just being irresponsible and I feel like I failed my dog. The lady from animal control says we have to have a fence that meets certian requirements but in our neighborhood we can’t put up a fence like that, I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do anymore and I’m devastated. I love my dog more than anything and I wanted to watch him grow old and give him the best life because we found him and don’t know what he’s gone through before us.
I am SO sorry to hear that, Isabel. If you would like some one-on-one help with braingstorming, we’d be happy to chat over Zoom. https://journeydogtraining.com/product/dog-behavior-modification/
Reading these other stories makes me feel like I’m not alone. My dog has never bitten another dog, has been around small and large and sometimes has growled but had always gotten past it. She is 3. Today I left the house and she had escaped from the fence. My neighbor called me in hysterics, her small dog had been attacked by a large brown dog, which sounds like mine. we are friends so I called the vet and gave them my card number to pay for everything. Our family is the one who gave her the puppy 11 years ago and now my dog has potentially put her into surgery.I don’t know if it was for sure my dog but it seems likely. I am absolutely devastated for her dog and I am scared for mine. I don’t know what else to do and now to think I might have to confine my dog to a life locked up is devastating….. or even worse if poor Nisha doesn’t pull through with her surgery potentially put down. I’m so scared.
I am so sorry, Jamie. That sounds incredibly frightening and stressful. I hope things turn out well for the little dog and your family.
We recently had to make one if the most awful decisions ever.
I had a 3 year old Alaskan husky mix, Chenoa, spayed etc.
We have a motley rescue pack, including her sister, who is submissive to a fault.
Chenoa has always had the most awesome personality, easygoing and living towards all people and animals.
Then during covid, my mother in law and sister in law moved in with their unruly and untrained bunch of chihuahuas.
One of them was large dog aggressive, to the point of launching herself through a gate and attaching herself to our Dane’s face! She endlessly gate harassed the other dogs. Chenoa was a 9 month old pup at that point. So we spent time and money adding a half door between areas of the house, and a block wall to divide the yard so the dogs would never meet, as she had gone from curiosity to aggression.
We had the rest of the house gated into sections like a prison.
Well, my sister in law is notoriously careless, and left gates open, forgot to check her dogs were put up, etc. And as a result, 4 of her dogs had to be euthanized, as they did not have the funds for vet care.
The dog who started the whole mess was supposed to be rehomed, but due to sheer laziness on the part of my in laws, it never happened.
We tried behavior modification, redirection, you name it.
But the small dogs continued their barking and gate aggression which seemed to undo all our work. We tried to make them let us know when they were letting their dogs out into their side so I could make sure she wouldn’t be on the receiving end of the crap, but it was hit and miss.
And the line was finally crossed when I returned home one night and she attacked her sister, only slightly smaller than her.
I separated them, hoping it was just the excitement of me getting home, leashed Noa, and tried to reintroduce them after some decompression time when they had both relaxed.
Noa seemed to do the usual butt sniffing with her sister, if a bit forcefully, who plastered herself to the ground, whereupon Noa tried to attack her again.
I promptly crated her in a separate room. Checked her sister, and realized the “sniffing” was her silently trying to disembowel her sister!!! Fortunately there was minimal damage.
However, I made the decision to have her humanely euthanized. I still feel sick about it, she was only 3, and incredibly sweet.
And I feel very bitter that the probable catalyst of this mess still lives in our house.
We did give them notice to move months ago, but there is simply nowhere for them to go.
And I can’t help but wonder if we had forced the issue regardless of their situation if my sweet floofy airhead would still be with me today.
Nor can I help the guilty sick feeling wondering what more I could have done.
Her sister still cries and wanders in and out looking for her. And it hurts knowing I let her down.
I am so sorry you’ve been through this. What an incredibly difficult situation. The support group “Losing Lulu” on Facebook might be a good place to find peace. Wishing you all the best.
All these stories made me cry, almost as much as my own situation is. Our dog is a Husky/German shepherd mix. He’s only a little over a year old. He’s one of 6 dogs. Never had any issues with other dogs, except makes. He attacked my Chihuahua/mini pinscher mix dog once, but there were no injuries and the smaller dog snapped at him first. Today he got out of our yard and killed our neighbors little dog. Our neighbor called my husband and my husband called me. He said he’s got to go today.
I think he’s also attacked some birds before. I once saved a baby ringneck dove from him. One of our chickens was badly attacked and ended up dying. I’ve also found a half eaten ringneck dove in our yard.
I called the local animal control and I’m waiting for a call about the pickup. I’m so devastated. I’ve already held one of our puppies in my hands as he took his last breaths(internal injury, not entirely sure what happened) and now we’re going to lose another dog.
Ashley, my heart breaks for you. I am so sorry you’re going through this – and so sorry for your neighbor as well. We are with you and you’re in our thoughts.
I have a 14 year.old male pit and 2 year old female pit/ terrior. They have been the only dogs in my home ever. My pit/terrior came to me from a relationship gone bad, and that person kept jerking her in and out of my life and home, till i put a stop to it. After that stopped it took me months to get her to bond with me, and with that she started having severe seperation anxiety. Ive done all i can to work with her to change that. I have never seen any aggression at any time. Oct 2021 my besty passed and i was left with her 2 smaller dogs. So i took great care to acclimate them into my home. The 1st 2 months, i did not see any issues , the last 2 1/2 months one of the smaller dogs (female) became very needy of me and very snippy of my 2 year old pitt/terroir (female), i went thru great pains to be very mindful and aware of the situation to the point of going to rehome the smaller dogs. Had potential adopters in line to meet and greet. This last friday, we were all at in the yard as we always were together. I turned for 5 min and something went wrong. Unfortunately i had to put one of the smaller dogs the female to rest due to injuries. Im at a total loss and feel so much guilt. Im so unsure of what went astray. I did everything as a pet owner to rectify , work with, spend separate time with each female dog, kept separate when i worked, kept close eye and close distance to them out in yard. My pitt/terroir has acted no diffrent since the incident. Am i wrong for not having any fear leaving my male pitt and the male small dog around her. Im still the very aware pet owner. Am i wrong for not willing to give up on her and believing that she can be assessed and go thru training. I dont want to abandon her. Im at a loss over the smaller dog since ive been her life since birth and seeing the trauma and putting her to rest. Please know with this post I will be seeking professional help. I guess i need to hear she is not tainted and that im doing as much as the right thing that i can
I am so sorry to hear about this. I truly can’t give you in-depth advice based on the information you’ve given – it’s just too high-risk to make a recommendation over blog comments. I CAN say that your feelings are valid, and I’m glad you’re committed to the safety and happiness of your dogs going forward. I’m so sorry for your loss.
If a dog (German shepherd 1 yo, unknown history) has attacked two different dogs on separate occasions that ended in a death for one and surgery for another – is there a higher chance of attacking a human?
Not necessarily. In many cases, aggression to dogs and aggression to humans are unrelated. However, I would be extremely concerned about another attack to a dog.
My pit Stella killed our chihuahua Elsa and bit our other chihuahua Bella who may die too. It was a protective thing we think but aren’t sure. I have one who may be dying and one who I just had to put down last night because her chest was slashed open. Her little cardboard coffin we are barying today. I don’t know what to do with our pit Stella!!
I have a lab/border collie mix and he is a little over a year old. I believe he may have been abused as a puppy before I got him at about 4 months old. He has always been so sweet. Shy and it takes some warming up with him but then he loves people and dogs and loves to play with dogs. I have two chihuahuas that he never messes around with. My mom had a small chihuahua/Yorkie that somehow he attacked and killed. It sounds like it happened so fast. He never had any problems with any dogs before this and I’m just not sure what the right course of action is. There was only one time that my moms dog kept bugging him and he got nipped at but then we always kept them separate since then just in case. He somehow got out when my moms dog was out and just went after him for no reason. I just can’t understand or comprehend why this happened when he’s never been aggressive before like this. Other than that one time he nipped at him. I know he should probably be trained but I worry about my other two dogs now. I feel guilt and I don’t know that I can bare to take him to a shelter nor do I feel like keeping him separate from everyone is fair either. I’m at a loss and just can’t stop thinking about it.