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Pit Bull Behavioral Question

June 6th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Hello, all. First of all, let me say that I am very happy to see a special segment of the forum dedicated to pit bulls. I am a pit bull lover through and through, having two of my own and having helped start a rescue here in Virginia. It's refreshing to see others of the same sentiments.

Anyways, on to my question. I have two pit bulls, one is a lab/pit mix (Male) and the other is either full AmStaff (Female) or pretty close to it. They are each about 1.5 years old now.

The female has always been the more lively of the two. She loves to play yard, run circles around the yard and just generally act like a maniac. The male, on the otherhand, is just a big goof. He will play with the female, but usually only if prodded by her running into him with toys in her mouth. Anyway, for the last year+, I have walked the two of them together, using Halti easy walkers. They have always done fine and I rarely ever had a problem with them not getting along while walking side by side.

Over the last month; however, every time I put the Haltis on them, we have had problems. I usually harness up the male and let him outside to wait at the gate. Then I harness the female and let her out, grab them both, open the gate and start the walk. Well, as of late, every time they wait at the gate for it to open, the female will lean her face into the males (who looks straight ahead, obviously trying to avoid confrontation) and start to get very tense and focused. When it first happened, I wasn't prepared and she would lean in to him and either he would have had enough of this intimidation and would snap at her, which would lead to a fight, or she would lean in slowly and then snap at his face. This has gone on for about a month now. A few weeks ago, I had been able to hold them apart until we got out the gate and to the street. Once we were at the street, she didn't try to snap at him again and we could walk fine. Well now, even at the street, she will try and attack him (it's not a play attack, it's clearly the real deal - she is very intense and focused on his face). It is at a point now where I cannot walk them together and, living alone, I have to walk one, then come get the other and walk them again to make sure they get their exercise.

When she snaps, I put her on her back, hold her muzzle and tell her "NO" and "BAD". When I let her up, she is still focused on the male and doesn't seem to have learned her lesson. I end up having to drag her in the house, holding her muzzle, at which point I tell her "BAD", close the door and walk the male by himself. I have tried to mix things up (letting her out first, giving treats before we get to the gate, talking nicely to both of them, trying to get her to walk carrying a rawhide, etc.). Nothing has worked.

Anyone have any advice? Thanks, in advance.


June 6th, 2005, 11:26 PM
Pleaase post question in one section only.