AN AGGRESSIVE PUPPY
i just addopted a 5-6mo old pitbull/boxer mix from the shelter he is very loving. i also have a 2yr lab female. He is a little rough when playing but when they are eating he (the puppy) kinda attacks my other dog. i do sit there and make sure that the pup does not get to my other dog and scold the puppy for doing so.
Do you think the puppy will get over this with a little work. and what about the biting around the neck while playing with my lab? I don't think she has mean bone in her body she just sits there and takes it. look forward to hearing your input..
This is a difficult call, as I think you have some legitimate concerns here, but it's important not to overreact.
Pitbulls are great dogs in general, and normally very loving towards people, but they do have a natural tendency towards being dog-aggressive when they're mature, and often 'play rough' even as puppies.
Your pup is a Boxer/Pitbull mix, so these tendencies should be a bit more muted, and balanced to some degree by the playfulness and good natured friendliness of the Boxer in him.
You definitely need to correct the food-aggression, and I would recommend feeding the dogs in separate areas of the kitchen (or wherever you normally feed them), to help avoid conflict. Many times pups or dogs who have been abandoned or neglected, or housed with many other dogs, become very protective of their meagre resources - food being their major (often only) one. As your pup becomes well-fed, and more secure in his environment and family this behavior may improve.
Always supervise the interaction between these two, as your Lab seems to be very submissive and easy going, and if your pup gets very agitated or possessive, she could get hurt. Don't leave the two of them alone, unsupervised until you've overcome your pups dominant behavior. It is good that your first dog is a female, as opposite-sex dog relationships are less likely to end in fighting.
Make sure there are always plenty of toys, food, treats and affection, so that he doesn't feel the need to fight for his share. I'd advise letting this pup know that your Lab is the 'senior partner' in this relationship, by greeting, petting him first. But be careful not to engender jealousy. I'd also suggest making the pup 'earn' his food, toys, petting, treats etc., by asking him to 'sit' before giving him access to these 'resources'. Dogs respect the individual who controls the staples of life, and this should help to put you in the 'alpha' position.
I think this puppy would benefit hugely from some formal dog obedience classes, and they will help you to understand and teach him better too. The socialization will also help, as Pitbulls and dogs with a similar nature need lots of positive socialization experience, but in a controlled way. A qualified instructor will be able to help you with this and give you advice on handling specific issues.
With lots of love, patience and training, your pup should learn to feel loved and secure, and that will increase his self confidence and reduce his anxiety levels. Hopefully he will then be less combative, and your dogs will become best friends.
There are lots of natural, herbal remedies that are very safe and effective in reducing anxiety levels and so on in dogs. I'd also suggest that you check out my Dog Separation Anxiety Medication page and my Natural Remedies for Dogs pages for some of these.
I hope this helps, and wish you the best of luck with both your dogs.