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Old April 1st, 2005, 10:19 PM
.unknown. .unknown. is offline
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PitBull puppy + Aggression

I recently adopted (approx 1month ago) a pitbull mix from the SCPA.

She is a pretty smart dog, catches on very quickly, but we've noticed, expecially in the passed couple of weeks that we cannot pick her up, or put our hands anywhere close to around her neck. I don't mean in a strangling type of way, but to put on her harness for walks, or her collar. if you hold her neck or pick her up she goes insane... I just took her for a vet visit a week ago, and everything was fine, except for a skin infection which has since cleared up with antibiotics.

When she goes "insane" she bares all her teeth and snarls, and eventually starts to wriggle and try to bite you on any surface possible. If she does get skin she doesn't use a soft mouth by any means.

I tried the yelping, "no" command, then ignore thing.... she only stopped mouthing after that. I have only twice tried on the advice of "dogs for Dummies" to grab her on each side of the neck for a slight shake, to which once she responded, and the other raged...

Is there anything i can do in the mean time, i know i will need to consult a behaviorist...

I am not scared of it now, but i want to get it under wraps before she gets bigger.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 09:35 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Is this the only time she "goes insane"? No other times or circumstances?

I have no idea, but it's possible she may have suffered some trauma involving her neck. Dragged, choked...who knows.

It doesn't really matter why. Do NOT grab her neck for any reason - this will only reinforce her belief that she must protect herself.

I would definitely consult a behaviorist. In the meantime if you are sure you will not be attacked then get some food item that she is WILD about - hot dog, pepperoni, cheese, smoked chicken or whatever.

Hold it in front of her nose, but keep your fingers closed around it so she cannot get it. When she is focused on the treat, lightly and gently touch her neck with just two fingers, and for about 2 seconds. If she does nothing immediately give her the treat and praise her. If she turns and tries to snap, do not give her the treat and merely turn and walk away, and try again a little later. You must be firm but gentle.

You want her to associate having her neck touched with WONDERFUL things happening, instead of terrible things! This desensitization could take awhile and you must be patient.

Please let us know what the behaviorist says, and make sure this person does NOT suggest any harsh or punitive methods, but positive ones only!
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 10:35 AM
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raingirl raingirl is offline
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I don't have anything to add, but I was advised by my trainer (who is a behaviourist) that "dogs for dummies" is WAY out of date. A lot of the stuff in there has been proven not to work and be dangerous (like the alpha role, etc).

A better book that they recommended for me was the "Teach yourself Visually" line of books, and the one called "Dog Training".
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 11:55 AM
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twinmommy twinmommy is offline
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just curious, maybe you didn't mean to word it this way, or I read it wrong...

Raiingirl--Did you mean to say that showing your pet that you are "Alpha" is out of date? Where did you hear this? Oh and p.s.--I need another "Odin fix"!! more pics please!!(he's too cute!!)
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 12:23 PM
Daisy's Owner Daisy's Owner is offline
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I think raingirl means the alpha roll, ie rolling the dog on it's back to show who's alpha, is out of date.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 01:53 PM
.unknown. .unknown. is offline
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The only time she gets defensive about it is when we're in play and you touch her neck, or pick her up.

She is a completley sane, goofy little puppy all the other times. She isn't like that with my other dog, and vise versa.

But, like i said i have no idea what her past is, how much attention she got as a wee one etc. In the mean time, I will take your advice and teach her that it's not a bad thing if she gets a hug or a neck rub...

I am definatley not in any fear of being bitten or attacked, so it will be ok...

I'm optimistic, she's a very smart little puppy... :love:
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Cactus Flower Cactus Flower is offline
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I think Lucky Rescue IS the most up-to-date issue of "Dogs for Dummies" (not that any of us are dummies) .

Thanks, Lucky, for so much thorough advice such as you posted here.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 02:43 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Quote:
I think Lucky Rescue IS the most up-to-date issue of "Dogs for Dummies"
Wow. Thank you Cactus Flower. I am NOT an expert, or a trainer nor do I have any credentials. I advise everyone to take dogs to obedience school.

I only give advice and relate how I handled similiar behavior problems/training probs in dogs I fostered (and my own dog) and what I learned from asking either trainers or more experienced people and seeing how it worked when put into practice.
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  #9  
Old April 2nd, 2005, 08:05 PM
MegShawnMom MegShawnMom is offline
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Hi Unknown
How old is your puppy, do you have any history and where did you get your pup from?
How is Rosie getting along with the pup?
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  #10  
Old April 2nd, 2005, 09:23 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy's Owner
I think raingirl means the alpha roll, ie rolling the dog on it's back to show who's alpha, is out of date.
Someone should tell that to all the wolves, they do it all the time. My dogs do it to each other and to others and other dogs do it to them. The only problem comes when humans don't do it at the right time, in the right context and the right way.

You could maybe try using a gentle leader for a while until you desensitize the neck area the way Lucky suggested.
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  #11  
Old April 2nd, 2005, 10:55 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Actually, dogs and wolves don't roll each other over. The more submissive voluntarily roll over and expose their stomachs.

A better way to show who's boss is described by Vicki Rodenberg De Gruy

Quote:
Alpha" is an attitude. It involves quiet confidence, dignity, intelligence, an air of authority. A dog can sense this attitude almost immediately - it's how his mother acted towards him. Watch a professional trainer or a good obedience instructor. They stand tall and use their voices and eyes to project the idea that they're capable of getting what they want. They're gentle but firm, loving but tough, all at the same time. Most dogs are immediately submissive towards this type of personality because they recognize and respect alpha when they see it.

An alpha dog already knows that he can beat you in a physical fight so returning his aggression with violence of your own won't work. Until you've successfully established your position as alpha, corrections like hitting, shaking, or using the "rollover" techniques described in some books will not work and can be downright dangerous to you. An alpha dog will respond to these methods with violence and you could be seriously hurt.
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  #12  
Old April 3rd, 2005, 01:33 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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I have seen dogs do it many times at the dog park. And Jemma (VERY dominant) tosses Boo on his back and after two years together he tries his hardest being 30lbs heavier but she ends up tossing him over anyway. I worry about his spine sometimes because she slams him down by the neck really hard (you hear a slap even on grass), but he doesn't mind and gets up and keeps playing after. He never gives in and lies submissively, he's just not agile enough to ever win.

I think that dominance when established already doesn't show too much in the way of aggression or growling but dominant dogs will not hesitate to assert themselves if they are approached by a strange dog or when they are protecting their masters. And one way is by rolling:

At our park there was a Kuvasz that levelled a Eurasia three times because his owner had just had surgery and the Eurasia went near him. He just let out a loud "Rowf" and crushed the eurasia to the ground under his 115 lb body. They do it and I have seen it very often, mostly between a big dog and a smaller dog or an older dog and a young dog.

I agree with not pinning an ALPHA dog, but pinning a dominant dog is different. I think I went over all this in another thread so I'll stop before you all get sick of me....
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Old April 4th, 2005, 03:40 PM
.unknown. .unknown. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MegShawnMom
Hi Unknown
How old is your puppy, do you have any history and where did you get your pup from?
How is Rosie getting along with the pup?
She's 4.5 months old....and like i said before i don't have much history, she's from the SPCA...

A lady at work knew the kid who surrendered her. He took her from a friend who was "moving" but he couldn't keep her. Other than that, no one knows anything about this "guy" he got her from.

My other dog Luna is getting along great with her. She loves her so much, they play all day and she gves her kisses all the time. .

I attached a picture of her laying in front of Luna a couple of days after she came home... notice how HUGE Luna's paw looks... that partially goes for the camera angle but hey! =) She's 85l bs and Suzie (the puppy) is 19 lbs.


haha and My dog Luna has sat on a few dogs at the dog park...My parents dog...and when she was young she tried sitting on me too.
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Last edited by .unknown.; April 4th, 2005 at 03:45 PM.
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  #14  
Old April 4th, 2005, 06:43 PM
MegShawnMom MegShawnMom is offline
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Hi Unknown
You got a sweety there.
A mom dog will put her mouth over the face,back fo the neck of her pups and her paw on their back for disicpine.The pups know when this is happening that they ae being told'behave'This is nomal dog behaviour.When the pup is no longer with mom there is nobody around to assume her role.What happens when they misbehave;we tend to grab them by their neck or squueze their nose or hold onto them.Being pups they don't like it because we are not 'mom'They will squirm,yelp or try to nip to get us to let go,again normal behaviour.When we let them get away with it by releasing them this reinforces in their minds that they are in control.When we try again to disipline them they go back to their previous memory bank and say'hey it worked the last time for me I'll just do it agin.By letting go we have one more time reinforced their idea,they are in charge.
By having the old dog you will see how she disiplines the pup,by doing these various 'holds'the pup will not be happy but will submit.
Get the pup into obedience school(for puppies)
We teach all dogs/pups on the first day 2 commands
Watch me and gotcha
Gotcha is simply ,kneeling beside the pup you give GREAT treats-hot dogs work best,When you offer the pup the treat-lots- just pat or strke or lightly grb the collar or ruffly the sid of the neck/head and lightly shke, for only 1 second,say 'good girl and feed more.Repeat this for3-4 times.
The treats are more important to her and she will let the patting go.
We never advise to do gotcha without supervision at the beginning this should be done in a class situation with a trainer helping.
Her attempt to nip is a warning she doesn't want her neck touched and at some point she may connect.Till the classes DONOT attempt this lesson.If done improperly it will backfire and somebody will get hurt and she will not trust you doing this.
Till then just don't attempt to touch her in the neck area.
With her playing with the older dog she would of been exposing her neck/head and odviously there was no contact made that would of upset her,leading me to believe its a 'mom' thing not emotional or physical.
Again she is just being a bossy pup with you.Your older dog will keep her in her place.
Before running off to the library or book store (there are a lot of kooks out there writing books)talk and book your little girl for lessons.If lessons don't start for a couple weeks maybe you can get 1-2 private lessons to show you the proper methods to us. What part of the country are you in.I might be able to refer you to some good trainers.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 07:31 PM
.unknown. .unknown. is offline
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Just thought i would update you on what happened!

it's 4 months later, Suzie is 30lbs heavier and still just as goofy looking!

Anyway, i watched her closely after posting this to try to understand why it was she snarled and sounded really cranky when you touched her or picked her up. It was fairly obvious once i got over the initial emotional upset i had over the issue ( my sweet puppy is a demon!). She was, like MegShawnMom was implying, just being bossy. She didn't wanna be picked up or moved or touched when she was "busy"

So, i hope i don't make anyone cringe... but what i did, at my own risk of course, was just picked her up at random times. I kept her mouth away from my important parts and just held her until she calmed down. Once she was calm, i rewarded her and let her go. Now, she has no problem being picked up, doesn't snarl or anything.

The only true cranking she does is if you try to move her when she is warm and comfy and trying to have a snooze... She doesn't try to bite or nip. She just makes alot of whiney growly sounds, which is fairly amusing when you wake up in the middle of night hearing it because she's being kicked off the bed by the bigger dog!!

But, we've both bonded so well. We're frequently found under the fluffiest blanket in the house curled up and having a nap together!

She's such a little comedian!
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Old July 28th, 2005, 09:15 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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LOL I am so glad you figured this all out. I think against my better judgement, I probably would have done the same thing (I like to win the arguments with my dogs).

I hope your relationship with this doggy gets better and better.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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losinsusan losinsusan is offline
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Reading what you wrote made me think of my Brittany. He is 8 now but ever since the day I brought him home as a pup he would growl if messed with on the bed. He gets all cozy and if we want to go to sleep and he is already there, he growls like a never heard a dog growl before. He is the sweetest dog in the world. Doesn't snap or bite. But he makes the most hysterical noises when you even touch him while he is snoozing on our beds. We do it sometimes just to crack up. He actually whines and whimpers and growls in long human like sounds. Its just too funny. Over the years its become like a game for the whole family to get his lazy butt of our beds. I think he likes it more than we do now. It sounds to me like you got a good quick handle on your new puppy and you will both learn together and grow together in understand each others signals.
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