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Love-A-Bull Pit Bull Meetup Message Board › I need some pittie advice!

I need some pittie advice!

Lawren U.
user 56005542
Austin, TX
Post #: 1
Ok so the deal is is that I own a pit bull mix and a german shepherd. My boyfriend owns a pit bull as well. My boyfriend and I have both raised his pit bull together. He was raised in a very loving home, and has never even been spanked. However he has started to show signs of aggression. He has attacked my german shepherd on two separate occasions not drawing blood both times. The last time happened two days ago and her pad was ripped off the bottom of her paw and there is a gash under her neck that required stitches. I got her all bandaged up and brought her home and kept her away from both pit bulls. I was supervising the two pits in the yard just to make sure there was no fighting, and my boyfriend's pit suddenly attacked my own pit bull very unexpectedly. Neither my boyfriend or I are able to explain he sudden aggression, and we are very worried about him getting out some day and hurting another dog or person. He is unneutered, and we have an appointment to neuter him next Wednesday in hopes that it will help calm him. I would also like to sign him up for classes so he can become better socialized with other dogs. My boyfriend and I are looking at living together within the next year and I am very concerned that his pit won't grow out of his aggression. I would love to have some advice on this subject because I love this dog like he were my own, but I don't know
if this is just a phase or is he just a more aggressive dog that would do better in a home with no other dogs.

Please share your thoughts! I have absolutely no idea what to do and any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

Thank you,
Christine W.
user 14012946
Austin, TX
Post #: 6
First off let me say I am NO dog expert so what I'm gonna say is from my own experience..First question are they both neutered? Are they the same sex? Opps after reading your post again I see that they aren't that may solve the problem..maybe not. I had 2 females (Pits) that were raised together and then on day BAM! all hell broke loose..To make a long story short we just kept them seperated..for us it was in the front yard and one in the back during play time..Bedtime each had their own room..some folks say its difficult to do but for me I loved both my girls and made it work
user 33710922
Austin, TX
Post #: 14
I will leave it to the experts to give you some solid advice but wanted to let you know I went through a somewhat similar situation with my dog and my ex's dog. What I learned is that there were often signs that I wasn't picking up on. The biggest thing I noticed is that as they were playing, her excitement would continue to build. She would reach such a high level of excitement that something would set her off (usually a signal from him telling her to back off) and there would be a bite. I made it a point to always closely supervise them, look for the signs, remove a toy if anyone was becoming too fixated. We also had a trainer come out to the house and observe/work with them. He gave us some great insights and assured us that what was happening was not a problem with aggression. My dog just needed to understand boundaries. With some training and rules, the dogs now get along extremely well and we haven't had an issue in years.
Good luck. Know you aren't the only one who has had to deal with this. The trainers here will give you some great input.

A former member
Post #: 9
Hey Lawren!
We have had similar issues in our house and we had a training professional help us out. Love-a-bull likes to recommend Tara Stermer of Training by Tara and I do too. She and her crew are great. They can eval your three dogs, recommend a plan and they have great classes, all for reasonable prices. These things are always best solve with the assistance of someone like Tara who is skilled at reading dogs and looking at situations objectively where we dog parents cannot. :)

Good luck!!
Austin, TX
Post #: 5
I saw this was posted August of last year but I would like to put my two cents in if anyone still is having issues like this!

Many things in this post screamed "Dominance Order" out at me. By this, I mean the order of dominance in your pack (you, your boyfriend, the GSD, and the two pibbles). I am not a professional trainer, however I DO have a lot of experience with dogs (both small and big) and dog behavior.

From my perspective, it is vital to have an order of dominance with you AND between the dogs; I feel that many owners forget about the latter. Most dogs are naturally submissive or dominant and figure it out themselves (with reinforcement from each other - usually quick and non-violent) BUT the issue arises when they are similar personality types and they are confused as to what their place is. That is where you come in :)

It might seem a little odd but think of it as a comfort for the dog: knowing where they stand in their pack. Similar to children looking to their parents for guidance, younger siblings looking to older siblings, etc.. However, age doesn't always seem to be a deciding factor of dominance in pack situations (though I have mostly seen it as such).

Especially if you introduced a new member to the pack, an order MUST be revised or the dogs will revise it on their own (as you saw)! The owner is best suited to do this because they are already the lead of the pack. The order can be anything you choose if you are willing to take the effort to reinforce the hierarchy; it's usually easiest to make the most-dominant of the dogs the head of the canine-portion of your pack because that is what they already know. Getting your dog neutered was the RIGHT decision; many males are more dominant when still intact.

As far as teaching the order is concerned: (the most dominant is ALWAYS first!)
-giving treats in the order of top to bottom of the hierarchy
-letting them inside/outside in that order
-giving attention/affection in that order

To start off since you have an aggressive, urgent situation, I would 1) definitely supervise them when out and 2) manually begin teaching the dominance order. This can sometimes be achieved by rolling the dog you want to be LESS dominant over on their back if they start showing aggression and KEEPING him/her there (yes it might be difficult!). Once both dogs are calmed and NOT in attack mode, allow the dominant-to-be to freely sniff the less-dominant-to-be dog while he/she is still laying on their back. If the dog on the ground resists, hold firm and maintain the position. Once the more dominant freely (and nicely!) sniffs the less dominant, this is where you can add some encouraging words to install positive reinforcement, be calm about it don't get over excited or you will ruin your work (i.e. simply stating "good" and "good boy" in a calming tone so the dogs know this is what SHOULD be happening and it pleases you!)

The reason for this is that the belly-up position is very vulnerable for them, which is why you often see very submissive dogs cowering and turning over when inspected by a dominant dog. The list of things I mentioned above should also help in the goal you are trying to accomplish by continually reinforcing that order.

I'm sorry this was so long and WAAAAY past the point of being helpful to you, per se; however, I'd hope it may help anyone else who may have stumbled upon this thread with this issue!!
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