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Discussion Starter #1
My neighbor has a 5 month old pit/lab mix. We share a solid 4 ft brick wall but there is a slight gap between gate and the wall where my dog Spirit and the pit/lab can see each other. Whenever they see each other they will approach the gap (barely wide enough for a snout), look and start to sniff, then bark at each other. I'm not entirely sure, but I believe Spirit & the other dog are being aggressive based on body language.

How do I get them to get along?

I was able to get the other dog to calm down a bit around me by giving treats when I was near the wall. Before that she would try to jump the wall to get at me. Now she quietly approaches the wall when she sees me. My issue is that I don't know if giving Spirit a treat when he see's her will encourage the behavior since it's a really short window between sight, sniff, and bark.
 

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Trying to get dogs on opposite sides of a fence is difficult. It forces them into a face to face confrontation, which is rude, plus add in wanting to protect their territory and it makes it hard. Personally, I would block the area so they can't sniff/get noses in there, because it can lead to one of them getting bitten.
 

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I would start by getting them out for walks at the same time. Start on opposite sides of the street, in the same direction, if they can behave for that move closer together as the walk goes on. Repeat the next day, and the next, and so on. Block the fence or work on retraining both dogs with manners and socializing them. At five months if the pit/lab is jumping to get at you and barking, then that's not a great sign of things to come. Try going over and visiting the dog with the owner, then in their backyard, then from your side of the fence and see how it goes. Eventually you might be able to have them play together but don't rush it.

I have to do the same sort of thing coming up, we have new neighbors and they have a little dog. Hoping it works out that it isn't a huge fight to get them to mind their manners!
 

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I did what bordermom suggested with Kabota and the neighbor's terrier. (Kabota wasn't barking, but the terrier was going berserk every time he saw Kabota.) We walked together a few times, then Kabota played with H in their yard, then H came to my yard to play with Kabota. Now, when they see each other, it's all excitement and play bows through the fence.

Unfortunately, it may not work out that way for everyone. Some dogs just don't like some other dogs. You should give it a try, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess I'll try Bordermom's suggestions. But first I'll have to try them without Spirit just to see if the other dog will get used to me being near her people. Looks like a 10 month project so I'll probably necropost later on.

In the mean time I've covered the space with a board so they can't see each other. Just learned that Spirit doesn't react to dogs can't see.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Casually talked to my neighbor and the more I do the more I realize I have no clue about how to raise dogs. Before we even work on the walking my neighbor has another issue to work on. Apparently, she is pulling so much that she's broken several chains. He asked for suggestions, but I've never used anything other than a harness or standard collar with a fabric leash.

Any ideas on what to look for in a chain for walking a strong puller?

On a side a note, I'm quite relieved to learn that she (the pit/lab) reacts to all dogs not just mine. OTOH, I still feel it's something to work on before that dog gets much bigger.
 

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She is literally snapping a chain leash while being walked? I can't imagine how without either choking herself out or pulling the lead out of his hand. Most people simply don't have the hand strength to counter the force it would take to break a chain lead.

That said, a nylon regular lead should be sufficient in strength- if its the hardware that is breaking (much more likely than the nylon itself), then buy a horse lead rope at a farm supply store and while at the store, make a hand loop at the end and put a clamp on it (store has the machine for this).

Or-- is she snapping a chain tie out? If that's the case, she needs to be kenneled rather than tied.

If she reacts to ALL dogs in a truly aggressive manner, while I agree that it needs to be worked on, I wouldn't expect her to become best buds with another dog either.
 

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Why do people insist on getting these large dogs and then totally fail in teaching the dog basic good manners - like walking on a loose lead from day 1. It is so simple to do if you start as soon as the pup comes home. It makes the dogs life happier, the owners life a ton less stressful and the neighbours will all get on. And you do not ever need to use steel chain chokers or worse, steel prong collars -I hate them with a vengeance.
Your neighbour needs to find a very good, experienced positive reward instructor as soon as possible and work this dog into shape pronto, before it breaks free and does someone an injury.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
She is literally snapping a chain leash while being walked?
Not sure. I had a hard time with the concept myself.
If she reacts to ALL dogs in a truly aggressive manner, while I agree that it needs to be worked on, I wouldn't expect her to become best buds with another dog either.
Besides the being a good neighbor aspect, the main reason I'm concerned (for lack of a softer phrase) is because the wall is ~4.5 feet high. They've been really good about keeping trashcans, tables, and other items away from the wall since getting her. I just worry that a mix between those large powerful and energetic breeds may gain the ability to clear the wall a few years down the line if an errant table or box is next to the wall. At the low end of expectations I'd like a good enough decor to by me the several seconds it takes me to run across my yard and intervene. At the high end is the ability to dog sit as it's incredibly hard to find kennels or day cares that don't outright refuse the anything the appears to have pit bull in them. That said, I still suck at reading other dogs' emotions quickly enough.

Why do people insist on getting these large dogs and then totally fail in teaching the dog basic good manners - like walking on a loose lead from day 1. It is so simple to do if you start as soon as the pup comes home. It makes the dogs life happier, the owners life a ton less stressful and the neighbours will all get on.
To be far, some of us initially have no clue WRT raising dogs. I had no clue what I was doing my first few months as I half heartedly applied a few things from the pack leader theory to the point that I seriously considered snacking on her kibble to demonstrate my place as alpha. The point is that loose leash and other traits take some of us a long long time.
 

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Besides the being a good neighbor aspect, the main reason I'm concerned (for lack of a softer phrase) is because the wall is ~4.5 feet high. They've been really good about keeping trashcans, tables, and other items away from the wall since getting her. I just worry that a mix between those large powerful and energetic breeds may gain the ability to clear the wall a few years down the line if an errant table or box is next to the wall.
Just so you know, a pit/lab type in good shape could easily clear 5 feet in a single leap WITHOUT any trashcans etc to jump from. My neighbor's pit girl is about 50 lbs, so no huge and she can leap the 4 ft fence with easily 6-10 inches to spare. Fortunately, she's a lovely dog and he's good about being out in the yard with her (although she likes to jump it for fun and just jump back as soon as he hollars for her)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
She is literally snapping a chain leash while being walked? I can't imagine how without either choking herself out or pulling the lead out of his hand. Most people simply don't have the hand strength to counter the force it would take to break a chain lead.
Finally figured that out. He bought the chain from the 99-cent store. Since my nylon leash cost me more I'll assume $0.99 doesn't buy a decent chain lead. In any event, I suggested a he shell out the $10 or whatever dollars on one and that they probably last for several years too.

On another note, they have not barked at each other much for the past month or so. I've covered the gap and while they hear each other they don't seem to react as muchwithout seeing each other. I'd even say both dogs have calmed down a bit in general but I think I'm too biased to judge that.

Edit: (See bolded above)
 

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Trying to get dogs on opposite sides of a fence is difficult. It forces them into a face to face confrontation, which is rude, plus add in wanting to protect their territory and it makes it hard. Personally, I would block the area so they can't sniff/get noses in there, because it can lead to one of them getting bitten.
I agree block the contact. When dogs are in their garden/home it s theirs - I think it is like us- we don't want someone sticking their noses over. I had this situation years ago with my dog and my neighbour's dog. We did all see each other in the park and all was fine but once back in the garden it was completely different. I don't think dogs feel comfortable having boundaries blurred.
 

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My neighbors and I had our dogs meet on the street out front so that they were away from their own territory. Now the 2 of them are best buds and have puppy playdates. With Onyx, we introduced him to the neighbor's dog a few days ago. The 2 older pups played and wrestled and Onyx would sniff at them both, neighbor dog would sniff him for a second then go back to playing with Delilah. With him it was like the agreement was as long as the 2 big pups were friends, he would accept the neighbor dog and vice versa. It is so nice to have a dog next door that a) stops barking when I tell her to, but most importantly b) enjoys my puppies and they enjoy her so there is no aggression going on. THe dog on the other side and mine mostly ignore each other.

Come to think of it of all the dogs that Delilah has met only 1 was aggressive and tried to bite her (but it is aggressive to people too, and the owner told me she wanted to buy a muzzle but would try 1 more walk without one first).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update:
I've been rather busy and haven't been able to coordinate some time with my neighbor to work on this much. However, I think I'm making some small progress. As stated before, the neighbor's dog Blackie is ok with me alone (I bribed her when she calmly looked at me until I closed the distance). I'm still not sure if Spirit is starting anything or being reactive.

I started near the far end of my driveway, gave Spirit a down-stay command (facing 90 degrees from Blackie), treated her then threw a treat to Blackie calmly watching through the gate. As Blackie gobbles the treat I walk Spirit up a few feet, repeat, and wait a few minutes to gauge things. If they bark at each other I walk Spirit out sight, wait 2-4 minutes then repeat from the last successfully distance. It's taken me dozens of 15-60 minute sessions but unfortunately the best I've gotten is Spirit 3 ft with me sitting between and keeping both their attention on me, not each other. That last about 5 minutes and I don't know who broke the peace. Basically I think both dogs like or at least tolerate me and I'm trying to use myself as a bridge.

I'm really starting to see that whether mine or someone else's, it takes me an atrociously long time and a few bags of treats (over many weeks) to attain a behavior. I wouldn't even call it training as I've realized my technique is really just associating good things (or a lack of bad things) with me.

Also, I'm no longer sure if I'm reading Blackie correctly. Basically, I have a hard time reading dogs with docked tails. I try to read Spirit's reading of Blackie, but they both get revved up way too high for me to accurately read.
 
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