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pitbull change in behavior

charest_tam
January 28th, 2005, 09:41 AM
i have a 2 year old pitbull female terrior. i have had her since she was 6 weeks old and just recently in this past aug. or so she started barking aggressively at my boyfriend, mother, sister, etc whenever they leave. she starts to growl, the hair stands up on her back and she starts barking. she never has done this to me and she doesn't do it all the time-maybe 2 times a week, but its making me nervous. i usually just take her by the collar and put her in the crate, but the last time she did it to my boyfriend, whom has been there since she was little as well, he took her and pinned her on the ground. she knows shes wrong after she calms down but i dont know if she is getting that disease that some pit's can get, or if it is just that she is having accute seperation anxiety. i dont know what to do because she still allows for us to take her collar and overpower her, but i dont want her to bite a stranger if she is now showing signs of being aggressive to the people that feed her. please help if anyone has thoughts. she has had all her shots, shes been spayed, and she takes her heartguard and frontline monthly as well. is this something i should worry about or not?

thanks
tara

Copper'sMom
January 28th, 2005, 10:02 AM
i dont know if she is getting that disease that some pit's can get


What do you mean by "that disease?" Are you asking if she is or will "turn on you?"

First off you should not be putting her in her crate as punishment!! The crate should only be used for her "down time" when you are leaving the house and she will be there alone. Is she properly crate trained?? Does she normally go in the crate when you leave?

I would start by re-training her. You can never just train a dog once in their lifetime, they need consistent training. This will not only produce a well behaved dog but will enforce that YOU are the leader of the pack. Your family should also participate. She needs to know that she is the lowest on the totem pole. I do agree with your b/f putting her into the submissive position as this shows her he is boss.

One suggestion I have is that when someone is leaving or coming in, have her do a sit-stay. Do not let her move. If she can't do this, she really needs to be trained! When putting her in a sit-stay position, this assures her she is doing something good(to please you), she has been given a command and she must follow it.

charest_tam
January 28th, 2005, 10:08 AM
thank you for the thoughts. i was referring to the "disease" as if she would turn on us. she went to puppy school for a year starting at age 6 months. she does go to the crate when we leave and also the door is left open for her so she knows it is like her "room" and she goes in/out regulalerly. i have put her in the crate because usually when she does something bad she runs in there for a while anyway-she stays in there and almost self punishes because i dont even go and lock the door. i just dont know what triggers the barking because shell go 2 weeks w/out doing it then for 2-3 mornings in a row shell do it. once shes calm she knows shes wrong. also she does sit-stay well and soemtimes i leave her out during the day and other times not to just keep her trained in the crate and to not allow too much freedom.

Copper'sMom
January 28th, 2005, 10:08 AM
Start all her re-training on a leash. Remember to praise her when she has done the command!!!!! If she does not listen, then correct her and then praise her. Never punish her in any way, except with the tone of your voice. No need to yell, just a firm "No" and correct the bad behaviour.

If you are really in doubt, keep her on a leash and supervised at all times. It may also be a good idea to talk to your vet about her behaviour and a behavioural consultant/dog trainer.

charest_tam
January 28th, 2005, 10:10 AM
ok- thank you. i will see about getting her back into dog trainging.

raingirl
January 28th, 2005, 10:11 AM
(Maybe she means that myth that pitbulls brains swell as they get older causing pain which makes them bite?)

Copper'sMom
January 28th, 2005, 10:15 AM
First steps to take would be putting her on the leash and make her do a sit-stay EVERYTIME someone leaves the house. I know this is a pain in the butt, but proper training is essential. I realize she doesn't do this all of the time but you need to be 100% ready when she acts out, so that you can correct her right then and there. Sit-stay.....then lots of praise. If she does the sit-stay and growls tell her "No" in a firm voice. When she stops growling, the person leaving walks out the door and then you can praise her because she has done something good.

Maybe she is afraid because when people leave, they are wearing big bulky coats, and she sees them as a threat. I don't know but it is one idea I have.

I am by no means a dog trainer or professional in anyway, these are just my suggestions. But please consult a professional on this behaviour.

Copper'sMom
January 28th, 2005, 10:20 AM
I truly don't believe pit bulls "turn." There has to be some explanation as to why the dog acts this way, some reason she acts this way. Did something happen one time to startle her when someone was leaving?

What is she doing when people leave the house? Is she sleeping, playing, following someone around the house??

Is this the only time she acts aggressive? Has she ever been aggressive in any other situation?

Copper'sMom
January 28th, 2005, 10:25 AM
6 months of age was very late to start training her! She is now starting to mature into adulthood at two years of age and could possibly be challenging who is boss and who isn't! She definitely needs to be shown who is boss.

How does she react when she is put on her back?? What types of rules does she have (ie sleep on the couch, on the bed, mealtime etc)?

Lucky Rescue
January 28th, 2005, 10:26 AM
The very first thing to do is to take her the vet for a thorough check up.

Thyroid problems can cause aggression, so get a blood test too.

Sudden changes in behavior always warrant a vet visit.

Schwinn
January 28th, 2005, 10:35 AM
(Maybe she means that myth that pitbulls brains swell as they get older causing pain which makes them bite?)

I heard this one too. I think Daisy is safe, though. Like me, I think there is a LOT of room to swell! :D

sammiec
January 28th, 2005, 10:45 AM
I agree with Lucky - first step is a vet visit.

I do agree with your b/f putting her into the submissive position as this shows her he is boss.

Please DO NOT put your dog into submissive positions!!! You're asking for a bite! Dogs (especially pit bulls - IMHO) DO NOT require forcefully aggressive training. ONLY positive training.

There is something that has happened to cause this change in behaviour; please take her to the vet for a check up! When you have people enter and leave the house put the dog in a sit/stay position while they are preparing to leave. Have them give her a treat, talk to her, and pet her. This way she knows that it's okay when people are coming and going. Should she continue to snap/bark/growl firmly tell her "no". Don't grab her, don't force her into her crate! Just tell her no. When she stops, give her praise - LOTS of praise

This is not a domination problem. I don't believe this has anything to do with her trying to be boss. There's an underlying problem here that you need to consult your vet about.

Whatever you do, please, do NOT force your dog into submissove positions. If there is a fear aggression problem, or physical alment - you will get bit!

P.S. There is no "sickness" that pit bulls get that just causes them to sometimes just turn and get violent! There's a great book that I have, and reccommend called Pit Bulls for Dummies.
(They are normal dogs, just extra special)! ;)

Copper'sMom
January 28th, 2005, 10:56 AM
I agree with Lucky - first step is a vet visit.

I do agree with your b/f putting her into the submissive position as this shows her he is boss.

Please DO NOT put your dog into submissive positions!!! You're asking for a bite! Dogs (especially pit bulls - IMHO) DO NOT require forcefully aggressive training. ONLY positive training.

Whatever you do, please, do NOT force your dog into submissove positions. If there is a fear aggression problem, you will get bit!

:sorry: I should have worded this differently. Sammiec is absolutely right about NOT FORCING her into the submissive position. I do this with my dog, at play when he starts to get a little too rough. I have always done this as a PUP so he knows it's time to settle. We all have different experiences, but common sense tells us this shouldn't be done when the dog is acting in an aggressive manner as he may fight back! Sorry to confuse anyone!

jjgeonerd
February 3rd, 2005, 02:33 PM
Is it truly an "aggressive bark"? My dog will often bark/growl at my wife and I when we get home, or leave. It isn't aggressive at all...she is just talking to us. Some dogs are very vocal like that, my parents German Shepherd mix is ridiculous. This initially freaked my wife out since Gabby isn't a barker and she hasn't had a dog before, but she can now easily tell the difference between this and aggressive barking, which she very rarely does.

Just a thought...may not apply at all. :)

Luvmypit
February 3rd, 2005, 02:49 PM
jjgeonerd mine is the same. He barks at us. Its more like a look at me bark. And its like a roo roo roo kind of bark. If that makes sense. As opposed to when he thinks someones at the door its a more of defined clear bark. Hes very vocal.

Dukieboy
February 3rd, 2005, 03:27 PM
Duke grumbles all the time when he is happy.

Read this, its interesting:

http://goodpooch.com/ISSUES/grumbling.htm

jjgeonerd
February 4th, 2005, 11:35 AM
"And its like a roo roo roo kind of bark. If that makes sense."


That makes total sense...sounds a lot like what Gabby does. Kind of a mix between barking and friendly growling. I think it's really cute! She also does it at other dogs when she wants them to play...scares some of the more timid ones though.