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Pitbull aggression fears

This is a discussion on Pitbull aggression fears within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I think it's great that you got your dog at an early age, the key to avoiding/managing DA in any breed is socialization from an ...

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Old 05-23-2014, 09:23 PM
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I think it's great that you got your dog at an early age, the key to avoiding/managing DA in any breed is socialization from an early age for the entire life of the dog. From my experiences with owning APBT's, aggression towards strange dogs is USUALLY more a factor than with dogs that have been raised together, but that doesn't mean it cant/won't happen, especially between dogs of the same gender. I do recommend spaying/neutering all dogs in the home to lessen hormonal aggression, and do not create tense situations between the dogs. But overall I wouldn't worry much about it at this point since there have been no signs thus far, just enjoy your dogs!
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:33 PM
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Thanks for your input. Yes all my dogs are fixed (and the cats and rabbits!) I am a major advocate of spaying and neutering. I really want to thank all of you for your replies, I was really having a lot of anxiety over this and you all have helped me relax a lot and just start enjoying Jelly Bean again.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by peaceloveanddogs View Post
Thank you everyone for your replies and advice. Jelly Bean is crate trained and in her crate at night and when we're not home. She also goes in there when I have the day off for a few hours so she won't associate the crate with just when we're gone. All of my dogs are inside dogs and we do have a large (1.5 acre) fenced in yard, no chains.

She is a female and my other dogs are all male, this was done intentionally, I thought this would be a better fit regardless of the breed I adopted. My other dogs don't pester her, though she does pester them at times do to being a puppy. I do separate them with a gate when I think the boys need to have a time away. She doesn't bother the poodle who's the smallest at all. The Border Collie she loves to chew/lick on his ears which I try to stop and redirect her. The Boston will play with her in the evening and I feel that sometimes it gets too rough. This is on the Boston's end and so I will start separating them when this happens, have been trying but with a big yard it's hard. Who should I pull away?

I have to thank you all, I do feel somewhat better now from reading your replies. From what I had read it made it seem that she was just going to turn on a dime one day and attack my other dogs. I want to add she is going to puppy classes where they teach positive reinforcement. She is a little reactive and the trainer is helping me with suggestions to work on that. I also have been reading the threads here.
Rather than pull one away try bringing the level of play down a notch by calling them to you and spend 5 minuets working on sit and down then release them to play again... it only takes a minute for the dogs to come out of play frenzy and by doing this they learn to play appropriately.

I've never been a fan of separating animals that live together unless there's no other choice. Using positive interruption and redirection along with positive reinforcement when they're together works better for me.
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:45 AM
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I am not disagreeing with the characterization, but it is a characterization none the less. Game bred pits are instinctually animal agressive, but it certainly doesn't mean they can't be conditioned not to be. I have true working line GSD's who are instinctually animal and human agressive, but they have been conditioned since puppyhood to be well behaved dogs, and I expect nothing less. They are not dog park dogs, that would be unfair, but they are not leash reactive and walk effortlessly off leash, and can play supervised with other dogs. Expose your young pit to as many different enviroment as you can. Take advantage of any puppy socialization oppurtunities you can. Most importantly start working an emergency down command right now, and make it as bullet proof as your recall or better :-) I usually recommend it be a seperate command from down, so it is never corrupted. I use Platz a common german command used in ring sports. And spend a lot of time on inhibition games, obedience is great, but having a dog that makes good choices on it's own is far better, for any dog.
My last point, not assuming anything, but please ignore alpha/dominance/pack theory, it is bad for any dog, but creates monsters in dogs like this :-(
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:59 PM
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Hmmm, I have a 5 months old pitbull mix and I didn't even think to worry about him developing aggression in the later years. He is well socialized and had not shown a hint of aggression to other dogs, adults nor children. Should I be worried simply because he has a pit in him?? I'm not sure after this post! Maybe because I have met a pitbull mother who is not a game bred dog and a father who is a calm dog and that's why I'm not worried?
Nevertheless, it didn't even cross my mind to worry about what happens in the future because I just assumed that if he is aggressive, I would see it by now. He is a social butterfly.

I think you got some very good advice and I honestly think that you shouldn't put these thoughts in your head. Should you be alert anyway? Yes...but don't go subconsiously expecting for this to happen.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:49 PM
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I have never heard of inhibition games, will have to look into that.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:27 PM
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@pickapoo if that question was at all directed at me, no, you shouldn't need to worry :-) My point was you both have dogs that are part pitbull, but it's no different then having dogs that are rat terrier or poodle or newfie, they just instinctively have certain motivations, in the case of a game bred pitbull, animal aggression, in the case of a non game pb animal aggression and possibly human aggression, but as long as you're aware of them and take steps to condition your pups through adult hood, not to act on them or control them your dog will be absolutely fine :-)
@peaceloveanddogs you may find a large spectrum of inhibition exercises, from stealing food off the table to chasing deer lol Tug played properly is actually a great inhibition game, because it forces your dog to control their bite. My emergency down basic exercise, which inevitably leads to my "call off " training is actually an inhibition exercise. Probably the hardest and most important exercise I do. The easiest and where I start with puppies is to put a pile of food on the floor, between the dog and myself if his mouth goes toward food my hand covers it, if the dog stays still he gets a piece, if his head moves away or even better he looks at me, multiple rewards. I know this sounds silly but you are conditioning your dog not to bite then think, if you don't know what to do, look at me :-)
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:52 PM
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It's good to be aware of potential dog aggression in the breed and to take steps to prevent it, but sometimes the dog will be DA despite your best efforts, it is in the breed, no denying it. It is also good to know how to manage DA just in case. I do think raising the dogs together from a young age will really help in the long run as far as housemates getting along, and having positive interactions with dogs outside of the home will really help, but again sometimes in the end the dog just doesn't want anything to do with other dogs.
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