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Funny Pitbull/boxer Story

Cactus Flower
August 11th, 2004, 11:42 AM
Just wanted to throw in some levity, with all the BSL and pitbull tension as of late.

My Mom lives in Denver (for now, she'll be moving down soon!). Her neighborhood is one of those where all of the houses are sort of squished together and every back yard shares the fence on either side with the neighbors.
When I first came to visit her, I went out to admire her back yard. As soon as I stepped out, there came a ferocious barking through the solid 6ft wooden fence that she shares with her neighbor. Scary. The neighbor has a pit bull/boxer cross and has encouraged this dog to be highly protective of the yard/aggressive. She is home alone a lot as her husband is in the service. The ferocity of the dog is a comfort to her. (No comment).
But it sure makes lounging in my Mom's back yard uncomfortable. On and on the snarling and barking went. For as long as I was out there. No matter the length of time. I asked Mom if this happened every time she went outside. Yes. It even follows her along the fence when she is weeding, etc.
People would walk down the sidewalk at the end of the yard, and the dog would rush to the fence in the back to growl and bark at them. This worried me also, as the yards slope up in the back, making the wooden fence a bit shorter back there (difficult to describe). I worried that if the dog ever got out, someone would obviously be attacked. That included my Mom. I've seen dogs climb a fence. This dog was literally frenzied by the sight of a person. How determined would he become to get out?
There is a place in the fence (that runs between my Mom's yard and the dog's yard) where a knot of wood had fallen out. About the diameter of a silver dollar. Hmmm.
The next morning when I went out back to have a cigarette, the dog again charged the fence, snarling ferociously. I went to the knothole, and it followed me there on the other side, still going nuts. I sat for an hour beside that fence, talking goo-goo-wooshy-wooshy baby talk to the dog. When he calmed down, I shoved a piece of bacon through the fence.
Repeat cycle that afternoon, that evening, and the next morning.
My Mom caught me doing this and said "The neighbor might not like you feeding her dog". Sorry, but I'm very protective of my Mom, and didn't think it was right to have to shout over this dogs barking to have a conversation in her back yard, either. I replied: "Well she shouldn't let him stand here and bark at you for hours while we're trying to relax on your own property- and besides, if this fellow ever gets out- I WANT US TO BE FRIENDS". And with that, I stuck a piece of baked chicken meat through the hole at the dog who was now quietly waiting.
The next morning my Mom called me outside. There was a chuckle in her voice. I came out back and there she stood, pointing to the little hole in the fence. The "little" hole was much bigger now- about the diameter of a coffee cup. And there was a huge black snout pushed through the hole- and whining for a treat. "See what you've done?", my Mom said, and laughed. I went over to the hole and carefully petted the snout. The dog pulled the snout out and pressed his eye to the hole, peering at me and still whining. It was hilarious. "Where's my treat? I'm being quiet!"
I began just visiting with the dog through the hole, telling him how beautiful he is (which he really is gorgeous), petting his snout, babytalking, and not giving a treat every time. Now the dog expects some sweet visitation when it comes to the fence, not a treat every time. But the sight of that snout sticking through the fence will never leave me. That was too funny.
The dog doesn't bark at us anymore. Only at strangers who walk by on the sidewalk. It comes to the hole to be petted (which Mom is still too scared to do, but I do it) and for the occasional treat. My Mom will stick doggie treats through there herself now!
And if he ever gets out.......I know he'll be eager- not to attack us- but to get some lovin and a reward for being friendly!

We're going to miss that beautiful boy when she moves. :(

August 11th, 2004, 11:48 AM
Thanks for posting that Cactus!! When the story started I was wondering where it was going?! I am SOOO glad that it has a happy/ friendly/ loving/ smushy face ending!!! :p

August 11th, 2004, 12:49 PM
that is just too sweet :)

good for you... and the dog ( i wonder how the lady that owns the dog can handle the barking ON AND ON... that must get annoying )

August 11th, 2004, 01:21 PM
That's adorable!

Sad to say, it sounds like the dog is neglected. Dogs left alone for long periods of time like this seem to develop aggressive, territorial behavior. The fact that it warmed to you so easily after what was a little bit of attention is what leads me to believe this :(

Many owners incorrectly believe that a dog likes being outside by itself. Dogs are pack animals, and they literally live to please and be "with" members of their pack. When left alone, they get nervous and confused... and this is where aggression starts to take over.

My parents made this mistake with their Lasa Apso (sp?). The assumed the dog loved being outside in the huge back yard, and would often leave it out there for hours. Indeed, the dog does seem to enjoy it, it would stay outside chasing small animals or passers by without so much as a whine to come back inside. But it behaved the same way as the boxer/pit cross did.

The Lasa Apso has a biting history too. It has bit every member of our family at least once, and barks viciously at strangers. It is increadibly territorial.

I've asked my parents to work differently with the dog, and to try not to leave it alone for extended periods of time. We take care of the dog at our home when they go away... the dog doesn't behave the same here. We have people coming and going all of the time. He'll bark, but not for long. He seems to be improving. He plays chase with our cat (funniest thing to see btw...), but he plays nice with it. Whenever he goes back to their house, he becomes instantly more aggressive.

I strongly believe that proper training, attention and environment has everything to do with a dog's behaviour.

Cactus Flower
August 11th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Much of what you say is true. This particular dog does spend some time inside with the woman and her kids, and is inside over night. Just during the day spends a lot of time outside.