How to Introduce a Pit Bull to A Small Dog? A Step-by-Step Guide 

Anyone who has ever had a Pit Bull is well aware that these dogs come with a stigma. While Pit Bulls are among the sweetest and most caring dogs, decades of breed-specific regulations and media frenzy have earned them a poor reputation. 

As a Pit Bull owner, there are numerous factors to consider while training your dog, including the breed’s inclination to be wary of other dogs.

If you’re going to have your Pit Bull around other dogs, whether at home or out in public, you need to make sure that your dog will not react badly.

So, how to introduce a Pit Bull to a small dog? To introduce a Pit Bull to a small dog, you need to arrange a meeting for both dogs in a calm environment where they can gradually get used to being around each other without being overwhelmed. Make sure that the Pit Bull is properly socialized and monitor its behavior around the small dog.

Continue reading for step by step guide on how to introduce a Pit Bull to a small dog.

Do Pit Bulls Get Along with Small Dogs?

photo of a pit bull playing with a small dog to show how to introduce pit bulls to small dogs

It is natural to be hesitant to introduce a Pit Bull Terrier to other dogs or to consider adopting a Pit Bull Terrier who would have to live with other pets in the house because of the Pit Bull’s reputation for being aggressive.

If Pit Bull Terriers are well socialized and introduced to other dogs from an early age, they will get along with each other. 

The interactions between dogs of the same breed can range from simple to difficult. It is largely influenced by early puppyhood occurrences, lack of socializing, or hereditary characteristics. 

Sadly, not every Pit Bull will find it essential or appealing to interact with other dogs, but with some effort, they may be trained to accept others in a reasonable and peaceful manner.

How to Introduce a Pit Bull to A Small Dog?

Whether you plan on adopting a small dog to keep your Pit Bull Company or the other way around, introducing the two dogs is very important as it will determine how they will interact with each other in the future.

Both the Pit Bull and the small dog need to be socialized properly so neither of them would react in a negative manner when introduced.

To introduce the dogs, you need to gradually prepare them to meet in person. You can do that by bringing something that has the small dog’s scent to the Pit Bull, so it would be familiar with it.

Next, you need to set up a meeting in a calm environment where they can be around each other in person.

During that meeting, it’s recommended to keep a close eye on their body language to determine whether they are feeling threatened or turning aggressive.

It’s also recommended to keep both dogs on a leash at the beginning until you’re absolutely sure that they will not harm each other. Preventing harmful situations should be a top priority, even if your dog does not start the contact. 

You can bring some treats or toys for the dogs during their meeting to help them create positive associations with each other. However, make sure to give them the treats and toys equally so they wouldn’t fight over them.

There’s a lot more to learn when it comes to introducing your Pit Bull to a small dog, and it’s usually a challenging process. However, as long as you remain patient and consistent, both dogs will be friends in no time. You can also learn how to make two Pit Bulls get along here.

10 Tips For Introducing a Pit Bull to Small Dog

As mentioned before, introducing your Pit Bull to a small dog is a challenging process. 

So, here are some tips you can follow that will help make this process go more smoothly:

Neutral Ground

It’s preferable if you introduce the dogs in neutral territory rather than at home. For example, you can go to a dog park or any outdoor area that allows dogs.

Go For A Walk

If both dogs are nice to each other, have one person walk the new dog while the other walks the old dog. You can allow them to walk near each other, but only if you’re certain they’re both comfortable with each other.

Separate Them When Needed

If one of the dogs is scared of the other dog and showing signs of aggression, such as leaping or growling at it, it’s best to keep them leashed and away from each other for some time.

You can divert one of the dog’s attention from the other with a toy if it is biting or leaping. In some cases, you may have to take breaks and return later. They’ll know each other and eventually become used to being in the same area.

Over A Fence

Some dogs are fine with other dogs, yet they feel driven to fight them when separated by a fence.

 If your Pit Bull is a fence-loving dog, ask a neighbor if you may borrow a fenced yard for the introduction. One thing to keep in mind though is that Pitbulls can jump, and they can jump surprisingly high when they have something particular in mind.

Through A Crate

When introducing a pup into the home, it’s recommended to use a crate to keep them separate if you are not sure how they will react.

It’s a good idea to let each dog have its own space. The dogs will come out of their crates at their own time when they feel comfortable with each other.

If the dogs do come out of their crates and would like to inspect each other more, don’t leave them unattended. A lively small dog may irritate your older dog. 

Maintain short sessions, then gradually increase the duration they spend together. You can also check out my recommended dog crates for Pitbulls here. These are the best options for strong pitbulls that won’t cost you a lot of your hard-earned money, so check them out.

Bring Your Dog To The Shelter

If you’re adopting from a shelter or rescue, take your older dog with you and introduce it to the small dog there.  

This is also ideal if you are not sure how to introduce the dogs, as there are many experts in the shelter who can help you.

Test The Dog’s Temperament

If you adopt an older Pit Bull from a rescue, they will be able to tell you if the Pit Bull is friendly with other dogs or not. They might even inform you the dog has food-guarding problems.

The more you learn, the better you’ll be prepared to address and arrange for scenarios such as getting the dogs to eat in different places or moving toys from a place when you’re not there. 

Temperament evaluation is uncommon at local shelters, but you can also pay a trainer to do that for you. 

Help The Dog Adjust to Its New Space

Introducing a new puppy into your home is a big shift for everyone. 

Your existing dogs will be required to share their area, and your new dog will be confused about what to do or where to rest and relax. 

All of these negative emotions could cause the dogs to feel stressed, resulting in aggressiveness. 

So, it’s important to help the dog adjust to being in a new space. This can be done by providing the new dog with its own bed and toys so it wouldn’t feel confused about sharing with the older dog.

Be Aware Of Their Body Language

Learning how to understand the dog’s body language is crucial as it will help you tell whether they’re getting along well or about to become aggressive with each other.

A lower, half-tucked, sluggish tail, for instance, may signal that he is “okay” but uncomfortable, but an unnaturally rapid wag indicates that he is disturbed or fearful and may strike as a result.

Involve An Expert

Whether you’re taking home a puppy and aren’t certain how your older dog will respond, or you’re adopting a mature Pitbull you really do not know much about, a professional handler may contribute to making the introduction as easy as possible.

Methods For Introducing Pitbull to a Small Dog

Now that we have discussed some tips for a safe and pleasant introduction for your small dog to your Pitbull.

Here are some methods you could implement in the socialization process

The Early Method

  • Begin after vaccinations. To provide your Pit Bull pup the opportunity of getting along with other dogs, start taking him outdoors as early as your veterinarian gives you the all-clear after his vaccines. Early socializing might offer your dog the advantage he needs to avoid acquiring hostility later in life.
  • Make plans for playdates. Begin with friends that have pleasant, quiet dogs to introduce your Pit Bull to the best playmates.
  • Keep interactions pleasant. Keep an eye out for indicators of tension or worry in your dog. If he begins to display these behaviors, remove him from the setting until he calms down.
  • Change up your encounters. Encourage your dog to interact with other dogs outside of your house. Be careful in situations where dogs are allowed to run free. Never let your dog approach another without first learning about the other dog’s temperament.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity. Find opportunities for your dog to meet other friendly dogs, either in a training course, in the park on a leash, or in dog-friendly public places such as pet shops. Proceed to have similar experiences through puppyhood and adulthood.

The Tolerance Method

  • Acknowledge your dog’s boundaries. Not all dogs get along with other dogs. You can, however, train him to accept their presence. Understand when your dog has had enough socialization and when to disengage him from the setting.
  • Maintain your distance. If your Pit Bull isn’t very comfortable with other dogs, avoid approaching them too closely. Maintain a few feet between you at all instances, or more if your dog is still uneasy.
  • Improve obedience. If your Pit Bull requires a distraction, have him do several obedience commands while other dogs are present. Praise him for maintaining his attention on you.
  • Build your way up. Begin with small distractions, like a dog that is several feet away. When your Pit Bull avoids him, treat him with treats or admiration. This could take several days, but slowly approach other dogs, praising your dog each time he or she concentrates on you instead. If he starts to lose attention, take him back to where he has been successful before and start over.
  • Embrace your dog’s unique character. Some canines are simply intended to be people pleasers. If your Pit Bull is plainly uneasy with other dogs, never force him to engage with them. If absolutely required, visit a behaviorist or trainer; otherwise, be prepared to accept that your dog may not get along with other dogs.

The Reinforcement Method

  • Understand your dog’s limits. If your Pit Bull is nervous around other dogs, conduct some tests to see how near another dog must be before he becomes uneasy. Put your puppy at no risk by doing this. You should only let another dog go as near to yours as is needed to trigger a little response from it.
  • First, do some exercises. When your dog has excess energy, he is more susceptible to unpleasant responses. A fatigued dog is likely to be more relaxed and peaceful. Before meeting with other dogs, go for a long walk or run. This can help reduce tension.
  • Encourage positive behaviors. Give your dog a treat if he exhibits friendly behaviors such as a pleasantly wagging tail, play positions, or polite sniffs. These responses to other dogs are positive, and you want to reward them.
  • Meet on neutral ground. Certain dogs are possessive, and if another dog approaches the house, they are less inclined to be friendly. Bring your dog to a local pet shop or another comfortable pet-friendly location where she may socialize with other dogs.
  • Keep things fun. Ensure your Pit Bull is in a happy mood before introducing him to other dogs. If he appears worried or fearful, step away to where he was most calm and try again. When he is acting peacefully, reward him with treats as well as plenty of love before reintroducing him to other dogs.
  • Be wary of dogs who have behavioral disorders. With the owner’s permission, introduce your Pit Bull to well-mannered and sociable dogs. Never let your dog contact another dog without the owner’s consent or without understanding how the other dog would respond. For this reason, avoid dog parks.

Related Questions 

Can Pit Bulls Live with Smaller Dogs? 

Pit Bull Terriers might very well coexist with small dogs, but they must be socialized and trained on how to act with them. A Pit Bull, regardless of breed or size, could be very friendly as long as it’s living in a good environment.

Can Pit Bulls Live in Multi-Dog Households?

Pit Bull can manage live multi-dog households as long as they’re provided with good living conditions. They will get along well with other dogs with proper socialization and training. They will also rarely fight over territory or food.

Will Your Pit Bull Attack Other Dogs?

Your Pit Pull will attack other dogs if it is not properly socialized as it will perceive other dogs as a threat. Other dogs might also behave in a way that provokes the Pit Bull to attack them. It’s important to train and socialize Pit Bull to prevent them from becoming aggressive.

Helpful Resources

How to introduce dogs the right way

How to introduce a new dog to your current dog

PitbullsHome Personally-Tested Picks for Pitties:

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