I don't know what to try anymore! Pitbull problems -.- - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 75 Old 04-22-2013, 08:27 PM
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No, breed has nothing to do with it. How a dog is raised and trained will determine how it acts or reacts.
Dogs are not born mean - they're trained (or un-trained) that way. Unfortunately for Pittbulls, they are mostly owned by egotistical ashats that really have no idea on how to train a dog - they are sensitive and require leadership, thus are not the dog for everyone.
A few weeks ago a Chihauhau ran out and attacked the mail man and had to get euth'ed - Happens to any dog that is lacking training and discipline. Most dogs breeds just don't have the Pittbull Stigma attached to them so we never hear of the Chihauhau or the Golden Retriever that bites someone. Rotti's and Dalmations have a much higher prey drive then Puttbulls.

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post #12 of 75 Old 04-22-2013, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WSArabians View Post
No, breed has nothing to do with it. How a dog is raised and trained will determine how it acts or reacts.
Dogs are not born mean - they're trained (or un-trained) that way.
Generally speaking WSA, I agree with you, but just as in horses, breeding does influence behavior and tendencies. That's the point of selective breeding. How they're raised, early socialization and training are certainly HUGE factors, but breeding does have its effect as well, dogs or horses. This pup's breeding is a huge question mark, but we know some lines of pitties are bred specifically to be aggressive towards other dogs. This girl may or may not be out of those lines, but it's worth considering that the battle to keep this dog dog-safe/friendly may be harder and take more work if the deck is stacked against her in this regard.

And just as a disclaimer- I have GSDs, another maligned breed, work in rescue, and happen to have a soft spot for bully breeds, so I'm not trying to be harsh or negative at all, just practical. Not all dogs are going to end up loving other dogs and being 100% trustworthy with other dogs or small animals. Far too soon to tell with this girl yet though. :)
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post #13 of 75 Old 04-22-2013, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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*trying to calm myself after feeling attacked...*

I am one of the believers that training is more important than the breed. As some have said (and thank yall for standing up for me), breeding DOES influence their tendencies, it's just how the owner/trainer works with them that affects the end result.

I have NO idea what her past was like before she came to me- whatever happened to her in the first few months of her life really messed her up. When I first got her, she was deathly afraid of men, you could hardly touch her without her flinching, and she was very skittish at everything. She now is friendly with all people, although still wary of some men or other races.

I am looking around at training, I just didn't know if anyone on here had any suggestions on a good way to try to introduce her to new dogs. She's great once she gets to know them, it's only at first that she's weird.

She does not go after dogs, only growls and sometimes snaps when they get within about 3-5 feet of us. So it's not like she's just aggressive, I think it's more of protection/defensive mode.

As I've already stated, there is no one in town that I've ever heard of for dog training other than Petco. Has anyone ever had any experience with dog training through them?

But no, this is not a dog I will ever get rid of. As messed up as she was when I got her and how sensitive she still is to everything, she's not a dog that could have a home with just anyone. This is why I kept her when I found her on the street rather than giving her away.

I've never felt attacked on her before now so please try to go easy on me. I'm looking for help, not just ranting that I have a bad dog. Thank you guys who do realize breed does matter, but training does too. If I'd gotten her when she was a younger pup, I highly doubt she'd be like this. I don't have any issues with the other 2 dogs at my parents' that I worked with since they were little.
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post #14 of 75 Old 04-23-2013, 01:34 AM
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Sereno- wow! I would be ready to sue for my vet and doctor bills. You are way too forgiving if you let that go! That dog could have killed someone!

Personality is influenced by genetics. I think breed does have something to do with it, although some of it is a training issue. Sorry if you are feeling attacked Amp.

I'm not a dog training expert, but I would look for dog obedience classes, and in the meantime I would use a muzzle. If she snaps at an aggressive dog she will get bit!

She probably is over protective. One thing that helps with my dogs is that you make her sit behind you when approach a new person/dog. That way it is you who is taking charge and making first contact rather than her protecting you.
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post #15 of 75 Old 04-23-2013, 02:38 AM
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Could the change be becuase the puppy is now in heat? can you have or have you had her fixed?
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post #16 of 75 Old 04-23-2013, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by amp23 View Post
Icrazyaboutu, we have not brought new dogs into the house, so I don't know how she will do with that. My roommate's parents are coming in town next week though with one of their dogs so I am kinda curious to see how that goes. When it comes to the beach- she's usually more aggressive on the leash rather than off. She may just be overprotective of me? Like I said, I only take her off the leash when it's empty, though some people have dogs they can't keep near them.

Khainon, I may only keep the muzzle on her at home if I know someone new would be coming over. It'll take a while to get her used to it, she doesn't like even a hand around her muzzle for very long. At home, she does respect the older dogs if they snap just to tell her to back off because they don't want to play, so I trust her at home with the 2 older dogs.
get one of them heavy duty fabric muzzles..they ignore it after awhile as its so light..my boy got used to it fast enough.
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post #17 of 75 Old 04-23-2013, 04:16 AM
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I agree with those (WSArabians in particular) who have stated that it is not the breed, it is the training, as well as the dog's handling potentially prior to being in your care.

I do dog rescue (specializing in Pittie and Staffies) and while a select few of the dogs we rescue do have some form of aggression issues, the MAJORITY of the Pits/Staffies we rescue do not have any issues, are good with other dogs, cats, small animals, kids, and people in general. We have adopted adult Pits/Staffies out to families with cats, dogs, and even human infants, depending on the particular dog being adopted.

Many people think that "shelter dogs" are basically "damaged goods" in one way or another. "Oh, he was dumped at the shelter because he was aggressive.... because doesn't listen, because he can't be fixed". That is far from the truth. While SOME of these dogs do come out of the shelters with issues and need training further than basic obedience/commands (whether it be for aggression, dominance, anxiety, fear, etc.), MANY do not.

Back to my point, while your girl is a Pittie, she is not acting the way she is just because "she's a Pittie". Unlike how many people think, being "a Pittie" does not mean that the dog will magically turn aggressive and dangerous. Being "a Pittie" means that they come with a predisposed negative judgement on their breed that is more often than not extremely FALSE. Like any dog, a good upbringing/"childhood", boundaries, socialization, obedience, and training are KEY to a stable, well-rounded dog. Unlike how many people think, you can't just socialize a dog while they are a puppy, then don't socialize them properly for years and expect them to still be perfectly fine going to the dog park with 20+ other dogs. Like anything, they need consistency.

Contributing factors for her current behavior could be the way she was handled prior to you getting her, the way you are handling her (no offence), or the behavior you are allowing her to get away with (again, no offence). Many, many owners can not see the "warning signs" (with ANY breed) in regards to bad behavior, the onset of aggressive or dominant tendencies, etc. Being able to pick up on, acknowledge, and stop these warning signs in time are very important.

I have been rescuing (officially) since 2008, but have been "rescuing" animals my whole life, and honestly, out of those years I have only had one Pittie growl at me... and that was after he was dumped in a parking lot at night by his owner and after getting hit by a hard while trying to chase his owner's car. I have been snapped at, lunged at, and growled at by many small dogs though.-- These numbers are not based on a small handful of dogs, but the many strays I have pulled off the streets, rescued myself, etc.

I definately agree with whoever suggested watching The Dog Whisperer. You may be able to get some good ideas from those episodes. I also definately suggest finding a trainer. Petco is okay to use if that is all that is available; however, you will probably find that they only cover obedience and commands. I doubt they will have a trainer who actually specialized in aggression. It is tricky finding a good trainer, as so many say they are good, know what they are doing, etc., but actually do not, and end up messing the dog up even more. Very FEW trainers (actually called "behaviorists") know how to properly acknowledge, understand, and correct aggression issues.

To start, get your dog's obedience down perfectly, if you haven't already. This will help TONS in working with the dogs aggression, or other, issues. There IS such thing as "leash aggression", in which the dog shows aggression toward other dogs (or even people) while on the leash, but is (usually) fine while off-leash.

Here is the link to my training tips page. Make sure to read the bottom portion of that first page, as it gives tips on how to find a good trainer. We have dealt with a handful of bad trainers and know just how hard it is to find a good one. The "proper dog-to-dog introductions" page, the "bringing a new dog into a home w/ an existing dog" page, and the "tips on helping prevent behavioral issues" page will all come in hand for you. If you search online, you will find many different ways to introduce dogs to eachother. The majority of the time while weeding through the different ways is to use common sense. "Is it a good idea to let the dogs be set free into the yard to meet for the first time?"... No!... "Is it a good idea to let he dogs rush up to eachother and meet nose-to-nose for the initial introduction?"... No!

Also, make sure to read the section on the proper introduction page on the signs of dominance and/or aggression ("warning signs").

Training Tips - LEASH Animal Rescue

The BIGGEST thing is to STICK WITH IT. Don't try to fix the problem for 5 minutes, then assume it isn't going to work. I have found this is a HUGE issue with people, especially people I have tried to help/work with. They are not open to trying new things and they do not stick with the training if it doesn't how 100% success withing the first few minutes or within the first session.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions! Pitties are amazing dogs and are so misunderstood.
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post #18 of 75 Old 04-23-2013, 04:21 AM
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Also, yes, get her spayed if she is not already spayed. That will definately help (plus, it is much healthier for her, and we don't need more dogs on this planet at the moment).

A muzzle can be a good tool to use for SAFETY reasons, but should not be used as an "easy fix". If you choose to use a muzzle while working on her training/socialization, first use the muzzle on other occassions. Do not just put the muzzle on to have her meet new dogs, but put it on at random times before that so she does not associate the muzzle with meeting new dogs (as meeting new dogs right now is associted with aggression for her).

Contact your local shelter(s) and ask if they have or know of a good dog behaviorist that specializes in aggression.
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post #19 of 75 Old 04-23-2013, 09:20 AM
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I agree 100% with Sharpie, she is dead correct.

Not all dogs are/can be dog friendly. And bully breeds have bern BRED SPECIFICALLY to be dog aggressive. Just like others breeds are bred to hunt, or guard, or swim, or be a big couch potato. It's in their genetics.

I adore bully breeds, and I own a picky dog. I wouldn't call him dog aggressive, but he's picky about who he likes. So he is never trusted off leash and he has play sessions with dogs he knows and likes but doesn't go to the dog park or come into contact with other dogs in public. If you manage her it won't be a problem.

I disagree with looking at Cesar Milan for answers. His methods are outdated and very dangerous. The dogs he "trains" are shut-down and the fallout from that can be terrible. It causes dogs to stop giving earnings and just react. Dogs dont work the way he teaches that they do and he is a bully.

Positive reinforcement and counter conditioning mst help your girl, but Cesar Milan methods may very well make get worse.

Why does she need to be best friends with all dogs? It's not necessary. Socialization is quality over quantity. How will it help her to keep having bad experiences with other dogs in public?

My advice? Spay her if she isn't and find a behaviorist im your area to work with who uses positive reinforcement and negative punishment techniques.

Good luck.
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post #20 of 75 Old 04-23-2013, 09:22 AM
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Please excuse the typos, on my phone! :)
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