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  #1  
Old September 30th, 2006, 06:32 PM
dos17 dos17 is offline
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Question Pitbull Advice Needed

Two years ago, I adopted a pit bull/boxer mix who was severely beaten and neglected. She is an active dog who loves attention and she likes to think she is a lap dog. I did the whole training process with her and she has come a long way. However, twice she has shown aggression while eating a beef bone. I stopped buying her these bones because this is the only time I can't go near her while she is eating. However, tonight I must have misread the label and gave her a meaty bone. She bit my tennis shoe when I walked by because she was being "territorial." She didn't hurt me, but my question is whether this can be overcome? I know the obvious answer is to not give her any bones that have a resemblance to beef. I also want to know if anyone thinks that this type of aggression could escalate. I want to clarify that this has ONLY occurred during bone-eating incidents. I can go near her dog bowl anytime and I can hand feed her anytime. I am concerned that given her background, this type of aggression could continue. Is there a specific type of training that I could use with her? She has completed basic dog training.

I love my dog and I don't want to give up on her. Therefore, please don't respond if your response is to put her to sleep, or if you only have negative things to say about pitbulls (I have had this happen before). I desperately want to correct the problem. I would like to talk to someone who is a pit bull owner and who may have experienced similar issues. Thank you in advance!
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Old September 30th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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I'm not a pitty owner, but I do have a bone possessive doggy.. He's not as aggressive, so we were able to correct him without getting bitten... I'm not sure you can do that. The main thing is that he realizes that you choose what food he can have and he can't have and that you can take it away whenever you feel like it. I'm just not sure it's safe enough to test it.

I'm a bit aggressive with my doggies (people here are a lot less confrontational ) but to be honest, with Boo, I managed to get the bone away (safely) and then I put him in the "dead" position for a while (lying flat on his side). After that, I gave him his bone back, waited a bit and did it again. If he gave it to me willingly, I didn't make him get into the dead position and he got his bone back right away.

The other thing we did was inundate him with bones. I bought a bunch and left them lying around. That way, they weren't such rare commodities.

Maybe with some dogs it escalates into aggression in other things, but I know a few dogs who are only possessive of bones.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 06:46 PM
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wdawson wdawson is offline
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there are alot of pit owners here ........myself included.....you wont geg negative responses........and never a pts response...i hope.....i'm not an expert , just wanted to say welcome.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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papillonmama papillonmama is offline
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It's alway hard to ask questions when you're worried you might get a negative response, not to worry, a lot of people have had food aggression problems with their dogs before, not just the pit bulls.

I don't know if I can help you we had to start training trigs very early for that, I would give him a toy and right away tell him to give it to me, then when he would I would tell him what a great dog he was, then I would give it back, I felt that this gave him confidence that if he was a good dog, he would always get his treat back. However, he was just a puppy, and he still had puppy teeth. I went over this routine about a million times, and a million times since.

Maybe you can do this with something totally unrelated to food, some toy that she likes, after you're confident that she'll consistantly give it back you could try a treat that she doesn't act aggressively about, slowly working up from there. It could take her life-time, but if you keep working on it, I don't think it will take that long.

There's a search feature between 'New Posts' and 'Quick Links' right under where it says 'Welcome dos17' near the top of the page, I'm sure if you do a search you can find some past posts regarding food aggression.

Welcome to the board.

Good luck By the way, we loooove pictures, just in case you wanted to show us one of your doggy.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 06:53 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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oo I have a negative response I forgot to add:

How come there aren't any pics?!

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Old September 30th, 2006, 07:25 PM
dos17 dos17 is offline
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Thank you for all your responses... and thank you for being positive. I am going to try some of these things. I think it is going to be hard because she is about 4 years old... or has anyone had luck training this late? Also, she destroys most toys, even the durable ones, does anyone have any suggestions for toys to use?

I need to figure out how to post the pics... I am new to this forum stuff. Where do I go?
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Old September 30th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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papillonmama papillonmama is offline
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Posting Pics:

on 'post reply' screen, scroll down to the 'manage attachments' button. 100 kb limit, push the 'browse' button and find the picture you want to post, then the 'upload' button, which should take you back to the 'post reply' screen. Then simply, 'Submit Reply'.

Can't wait to see.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:17 PM
dos17 dos17 is offline
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I think I have finally figured the picture thing out.

Thank you for the suggestion to read other posts about food aggression. It made me feel better that other people have similar problems with this type of behavior.
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  #9  
Old September 30th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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jesse's mommy jesse's mommy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dos17
Also, she destroys most toys, even the durable ones, does anyone have any suggestions for toys to use?
As soon as you find one, please let me know for my pitty! She's destroyed everything. For me she loves squeaky toys, so the tire toys and kongs aren't much of a hit. I tried a fat cat because of high recommendations, but she destroyed it in a day. At least that one lasted overnight.

She is beautiful!
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:25 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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She's so pretty!
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:32 PM
Inverness Inverness is offline
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You want to try trading with her. Start with anything else than the one problematic bone, and while she is interested in something, offer her something more interesting in exchange. Tell her she's a good girl for giving the item to you, then walk away and let her enjoy what you have given her. Once she gives you what she is playing with without hesitation, move on to something more difficult, and always offer something nicer in exchange. Once you are at the point where you want to trade the bone, make sure you offer her something totally irresistable. You'll have to figure out what this can be, but you could try beef marrow, cooked liver, etc. Something that smells very good. Make the exchange, praise, and let her enjoy what she has won. The point is to make her understand if you take something away from her, it's to offer something else, not to leave her without anything.

The fact that she is a pitbull has nothing at all to do with this ! I've seen 10 pound dogs protect their belongings in a very mean fashion ! My own pitbull Chili used to protect things from people when she was dumped at the SPCA with her 3 week old puppies. That's a very bad thing for a pitbull. She's a bad pitbull actually. Well 18 months later, I can take anything I want away from her.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:54 PM
dos17 dos17 is offline
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I am going to try the idea of trading. What do I do if she shows aggressiveness? She will actually bring her rawhide bone to me and try to chew it while laying on my lap. It is only true beef or beef products that she gets "crazed" (for lack of a better term). When she grabbed my tennis shoe, she didn't let go for about 5 seconds and ripped my shoe but she didn't bite me. It almost seemed like she didn't know what she was doing? I was trying to think back and I can now think of two other times this has happened... and she always goes for my feet.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:54 PM
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papillonmama papillonmama is offline
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Oh, she's so pretty.

It's true, I had more trouble with guarding from our papillon, and never from our pitbull.

in all fairness though, Dory, the pap wasn't a puppy when we got her.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 09:02 PM
Inverness Inverness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dos17
I am going to try the idea of trading. What do I do if she shows aggressiveness? She will actually bring her rawhide bone to me and try to chew it while laying on my lap. It is only true beef or beef products that she gets "crazed" (for lack of a better term). When she grabbed my tennis shoe, she didn't let go for about 5 seconds and ripped my shoe but she didn't bite me. It almost seemed like she didn't know what she was doing? I was trying to think back and I can now think of two other times this has happened... and she always goes for my feet.
You want to avoid an aggressive response, hence the baby steps. There's not much you can do when a dog protects her food. It's an instinctive behaviour. If you start with easier things, you should only get positive experiences, and she should dedramatize the whole thing herself. If you get an aggressive response, you've gone too quickly and you need to go back.

If the beef bones are the only problem, it's pretty easy to just never have any, or at least give it to her only in her crate. Could be a special treat that she's only allowed to have in there.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 09:10 PM
dos17 dos17 is offline
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Here is another question for you... she is about 4-5 years old (they can only estimate since she was rescued) and I never crate-trained her because the lady who gave her to me let her have the run of her house. I should have done it from the beginning, but for many unrelated reasons I didn't. Hindsight is 20/20. Is it too late to begin crate training her? Do I need to do this? She doesn't destroy anything in the house except she likes to chew on my comforter when she is anxious, but even that is slowly decreasing. I like her to have full access to the house because I have been a victim of burglary and car theft in Baltimore City. Can I use the crate just for food?

I know I am inundating you with questions, but I truly appreciate all your input!
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  #16  
Old September 30th, 2006, 09:13 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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You don't have to crate if she isn't being a danger to herself. And even if you do have to, you can always just barracade her in a dog-proof room (but I don't think you have to). Crating isn't necessary for all dogs.
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