why is our dog attacking our puppy out of nowhere?

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We have an 11 month old male pit and a 10 week old female mastiff. He gets along with her and is very gentle with her . He will be licking her face and playing with her very gently. It seems as though a switch just turns off in his head or something. They both will go to run to the yard and without warning he will pick her up and try to start shaking her like a rag doll. There is no growling, barking, or showing of teeth. He doesn’t tense up beforehand, it comes out of nowhere. I am at a loss for why this is happening because even when he does see her he never growls or gets aggressive.

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Asked on August 4, 2020 12:54 pm
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Your male Pit Bull is asserting his dominance over the new puppy. He is setting the ground rules, so to speak. Unfortunately, without your intervention the puppy may be hurt. Therefor, I do not recommend she be left alone with him at this time. This may become a problem as she gets older and larger, if she decides she does not like the subservient role. Consultation with an animal behaviorist would be warranted to work out a intervention plan. At the Sanctuary there are dogs who need to be housed without partners, they can be near others, but not housed with others. Warren Eckstein is a renown animal behaviorist and friend of D.E.L.T.A. Rescue with a radio show and website that may be able to help with this issue. His website is thepetshow.com and he takes call in questions from So. Cal on Saturday mornings from 11 AM to 1PM at 866-870-5752.

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Posted by Dr. Gaylord Brown
Answered on August 5, 2020 10:29 am