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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To try and encourage submissive behavior, I put my 14 month old Pitbull mix into his cage. I then simply stood tall and steady and crossed my arms. He started barking and whining, and I have no clue why. How else can I make him submissive? He is neutered.
 

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Dominance theory in dogs has been disproven; your training mentality is outdated.

You don't want to bully a dog into "submission". He is whimpering because you are scaring him. I'm curious as to what behavior you are really expecting from this exercise??

This will instill fear into your dog, which will in turn leave you with a fearful dog that is far more prone to bite.

What you want is a happy, confident dog that is eager to work with you because you have a relationship based on **mutual** respect, not because he is afraid of you (which WILL backfire in the end).
 

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Hi! I see you are new to the forum! Welcome! :)

What @PoppyKenna says is right. But don't worry! There are many people here that shared your theory and training but have learned much from this site (and others) and updated their training methods to something much more pleasurable (for both of you)!

Here are a couple of links for you to go through -
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/suppression-modification-shutdown-fallout-4776/

What do you classify as the "dominant" behavior he is displaying?
Maybe we can help you with that? :)

Also - when he was whining, he was probably just as confused at your actions as you were at his sounds (if not more). ;)
 

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To try and encourage submissive behavior, I put my 14 month old Pitbull mix into his cage. I then simply stood tall and steady and crossed my arms. He started barking and whining, and I have no clue why.
I'm sorry but, what?

What was supposed to happen?????
 

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If you want calm behavior you need to teach him to be calm. Putting him in his crate like you did just teaches him that the crate is a trap and he has no idea as to why you are acting like you were so you teach him to be anxious and nervous.

Kikopup~ How to be Completely Dominant Over Your Dog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIEjuu0STf4
 

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why would you get a Boxermix when you want a submissive dog? they not exactly known for following orders blindly. ;)
there are a lot of dog breeds with more will to please. ^^"
just leave the dominance theory in the cage and take your dog out of there.
if you and your dog spend a lot of positive quality time together, if he trusts you that you're doing good things to him and you train him...then he'll probaby listen to your commands, but the breed can still be a bit stubborn.
 

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To try and encourage submissive behavior, I put my 14 month old Pitbull mix into his cage. I then simply stood tall and steady and crossed my arms. He started barking and whining, and I have no clue why. How else can I make him submissive? He is neutered.
Why do you want submissive behaviour? Why not go for a friend and partner behaviour through activites such as training, playing and trail walkin or cycling - whatever is suitable and available for you both. Much more satisfying for dogs and humans.
 

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Read the book Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. Might change your thinking and it will surely help you form a different kind of bond with your dog than one that requires he submit to you. Believe me, you'll both be happier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the information. I stopped this action as soon as the first reply came, don't worry. However a new problem arised. He is barking out of nowhere, it seems like it gradually worsens each day. He likes to sit around my office chair- and all of a sudden he barks and perks his ears up and starts to startle and bite be no matter how much I ignore him. It is killing me :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So let me tell you all how his life is for reference:

He is 1 year old. Neutered. He spends most of his time inside. Most of the time he gets at least 30 min exercise, 2 times/wk he is at the doggy park where he plays minimum 2 hours. Recently he jumped the fence to our neighbors house behind us and don't want to see him ever again, or bad things will happen. We started supervising him much more. Then, he jumped the fence to our right with his outdoor leash on, and if we werent there the second he did it, he wouldve hung himself to death. He is outside for 20 min a day not counting potty time.

More and more we noticed this snapping behavior where he barks out of nowhere and tries to bark/bite and gets very riled up and everyone is calm, and he barks as LOUD as he POSSIBLY can. I don't know if this is agression or not. It's getting to the point where we can't take care of him anymore and we might need to return him back to the shelter, but he's been through a lot already with separation anxiety and don't want him to be put through that. We have trained him to do so much but only have a couple days to fix him up a little. Please help.

Thank you all so much or your help. :D
 

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So let me tell you all how his life is for reference:

He is 1 year old. Neutered. He spends most of his time inside. Most of the time he gets at least 30 min exercise, 2 times/wk he is at the doggy park where he plays minimum 2 hours. Recently he jumped the fence to our neighbors house behind us and don't want to see him ever again, or bad things will happen. We started supervising him much more. Then, he jumped the fence to our right with his outdoor leash on, and if we werent there the second he did it, he wouldve hung himself to death. He is outside for 20 min a day not counting potty time.

More and more we noticed this snapping behavior where he barks out of nowhere and tries to bark/bite and gets very riled up and everyone is calm, and he barks as LOUD as he POSSIBLY can. I don't know if this is agression or not. It's getting to the point where we can't take care of him anymore and we might need to return him back to the shelter, but he's been through a lot already with separation anxiety and don't want him to be put through that. We have trained him to do so much but only have a couple days to fix him up a little. Please help.

Thank you all so much or your help. :D
Honestly? I think you picked the wrong dog for your lifestyle.

30 minutes exercise daily and two hours twice weekly at a park is not anywhere near enough free time for the pup to burn up his Wheaties.

I have a yearling Catahoula/Pit mix. He is very high energy. I see to it that he gets several hours of outdoor time daily. If I were still working, I would still make sure he got as many hours of outdoor time as weather permits.

if you haven't signed up for Beginner obedience classes, please look for a kennel club in your area who puts them on (check with your local small animal vets).

Classes are generally one hour weekly for six weeks and the fee is less than a couple cartons of cigarettes.

It is the best thing you could do for yourself and the dog.
 

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So let me tell you all how his life is for reference:

He is 1 year old. Neutered. He spends most of his time inside. Most of the time he gets at least 30 min exercise, 2 times/wk he is at the doggy park where he plays minimum 2 hours. Recently he jumped the fence to our neighbors house behind us and don't want to see him ever again, or bad things will happen. We started supervising him much more. Then, he jumped the fence to our right with his outdoor leash on, and if we werent there the second he did it, he wouldve hung himself to death. He is outside for 20 min a day not counting potty time.

More and more we noticed this snapping behavior where he barks out of nowhere and tries to bark/bite and gets very riled up and everyone is calm, and he barks as LOUD as he POSSIBLY can. I don't know if this is agression or not. It's getting to the point where we can't take care of him anymore and we might need to return him back to the shelter, but he's been through a lot already with separation anxiety and don't want him to be put through that. We have trained him to do so much but only have a couple days to fix him up a little. Please help.

Thank you all so much or your help. :D
He's likely doing so because he is full of energy and bored, I don't think it's aggression but can't say for sure since I have no idea about what his body language is like. You need to really up his exercise, while highly rewarding him for any calm behavior he engages in.

He needs at least an hours walk a day, and he needs some good play time. Teach him a drop cue and then play with him with a flirt pole, those are great for exercising the mind and body and the best part it that the human doesn't have to move much. Get him involved in obedience class, and think about getting him involved in dog sports. Teach him tricks so that he's mentally tired.

While doing that you need to also reward his calm behavior. If you see him just laying around toss in a nice treat. If he's sitting quietly next to you likewise give him a nice treat. Doing that won't work if you are not burning off his energy though. You also do not want to just exercise him without teaching him how to be calm and relax because you'll just be building up endurance and end up with an adrenaline junkie that's unable to settle down.
Here's a video on capturing calmness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c
 
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My trainer scolded me when I admitted that I took my pup to the dog park to tire him out haha It's a common misconception that dog park = tired and happy dog! What actually happens, is your dog is so stir crazy from lack of exercise, that most will be hyperactive at the dog park, bully other dogs, and be way too much for the other dogs (and you) to handle.

A dog should get AT LEAST one walk a day, in addition to play times and other exertions throughout the day. I have a lab/border collie mix which you can imagine is quite energetic! He goes on two walks a day, plus a short run, one training session, AND at least one playing session. In addition to coming to work with me. And even then, he can be a nutball.

I would suggest finding a dog daycare that you can take him to at least twice a week while you're at work so he can get all day play and walks, it helped my boy out a ton! I'd also suggest you find a highly rated positive dog trainer in the area where you can take him to a training class once a week. I find that if I have class to look forward to all week, I'm extra good about keeping up with my boy's training.

As for the barking and nipping, mine had similar problems (though doesn't sound like his were as bad as yours) and what helped was doing some cue drills where I make him sit for a few seconds, then down, then stay, then treat. I'd repeat as necessary, and soon he'd get into "focus" mode, instead of play mode. Once he'd calmed down, I'd play tug or something that positively redirects that need to bite.
 

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I concur, I feel like there are a few things going on here, but people have pointed out some good solutions.

I feel like 30 min of walking per day is not very much for a 1 year old terrier mix. A pit bull is part of the terrier family, who have a particular set of traits, including having a lot of energy which requires physical and mental stimulation to work off. My 5 month old pit bull mix gets 3x30 minute walks a day plus 2 play sessions and many little training sessions plus play with mental stimulation toys. She earns every ounce of food through play and training- both to stimulate her, but as a reminder for us about how much stimulation and mental exercise she needs. I would try upping the amount of walks your dog gets as well as spending dedicated time devoted to training and mental stimulation.

The snapping and barking LOUDLY seems like he may have too much energy and not know how to tell you or where to direct it. I think by exercising him more and doing more mental stimulation work, this behaviour might settle. You can also work on rewarding calmness (check out kikopup).

The issue in the yard sounds like separation anxiety. I would not leave the dog unattended in the yard, chained up or not right now, as it seems he is to prone to trying to escape. It would be dangerous to leave him attached to a line now that you know he can and will jump the fence while attached. I get that it's hard and leaving him in the yard for a few minutes may be so you can gain your sanity and have a break, but it's not safe for him right now.

I highly recommend you find a trainer- either for classes or some one-on-one sessions. The trainer can give you tips and pointers and help you to assess your dog's behaviour. It also provides some time where you and the dog can bond positively and work together as a team. I love going to dog class with my pup because we bond, we learn, and I take home new tips and tricks to try with my dog. Right now, when my dog is crazy, we work on solidifying the 'sit', 'down', and 'stand' commands. It helps to calm her and it gives me something positive to focus on when she is being very hyper instead of getting upset at her hyper puppy behaviour.

I wish you good luck. Pitbulls/terriers have a lot of tenacious traits which you can either use positively or be bothered by. I choose to see my dog as a smart and stubborn pup who loves to learn, rather than a stir-crazy hyper maniac who loves to bother me at the most inopportune moments.
 

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On days that the weather is crappy and I don't want to walk for an hour or two straight in rain, I will take Cosmo to the dog park for his legitimate exercise. The only reason I choose rainy days is because no one is ever there (I would leave if someone showed up as dog park with dogs is not his outlet for exercise time and not an alternative I'd use if there were dogs) and it's a safe fenced in area I can practice on training and throw his chuck its for him. (Frisbee and ball) there's a huge tree I can stand under for rain shelter and even a sheltered wooden structure built for that purpose. Our park is also huge and has tons of trees and fun scents and things.

Making your dog sit around for two hours with an unstimulating environment and over stimulating dogs could be part of the reason he's so high strung. Even when I bring Cosmo to play with dogs we only stay for 30 minutes average as he begins to get worn out and anxious after a while and can even start bullying himself.

Your dog is a high energy dog who needs more than 30 minutes a day. I would suggest putting in a lot more exercise and stimulating activities, less dog park, and find a good positive reinforcement trainer.
 

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You are definitely going to have to work in more time for exercise... that's the first step. He's just got too much energy... as the saying goes, a tired dog is a behaved dog. Or something like that, lol.

My little pup is super high energy as well. If she is bored, so is a menace. During the work week I take her to doggy daycare 3x-4x. She loves it there and every time I pick her up she's literally falling asleep in the car home. Sometimes on the nights after daycare I'll take her along for an evening walk/hike with our other dog, but she's also content to just lounge around the house alternating between napping, chewing on her favorite chewie, and trying to get the cat to finally love her. On the days she's not in daycare we go for very long walks/hikes and she gets lots of supervised outside time where I toss toys back and forth for both dogs. She has to be supervised as she occasionally tries to get under the fence to follow a scent, and we can't let that happen even one time, as we back up to a very busy road. On the days she isn't in daycare, if she doesn't get appropriate mental/physical stimulation, she will let us know by chewing something that she shouldn't. Like our furniture, walls, or kitchen cabinets.

If you have a forest preserve or something like that nearby, try an hour long walk there, giving him plenty of chance to sniff and explore. I've noticed with my little nut ball that just a 30min walk in the forest tires her out far more than an hour walk in our subdivision, because there is just SO MUCH to sniff and explore in the forest.

I'm not a fan of people on pet forums telling people they chose the wrong dog for their lifestyle. It's not constructive at all and just makes people feel even worse about their particular situation. As long as you truly care and are actively trying, that is what matters. And you obviously are, otherwise you wouldn't have logged on to the internet, searched for a dog forum, and posted about this in the first place. You would have just dumped the dog. I also think every pet relationship is give and take, as they are ALL different (I have 4 animals in my house, not counting my husband, and all 4 of them are unique in personality and needs). We have to learn what works for our pets, just as pets will learn what works for us. Dogs especially are ALL about routine. If you are consistent and patient they will eventually understand what is expected and become secure in what defines their life.

Just don't give up, and your immediate priority should be to get your dog more mental and physical stimulation. See how things go after that, and decide then if more help is needed, which would be in the form of a professional dog behaviorist/trainer. I do not advise returning or rehoming the dog. You committed yourself to this babe when you signed those adoption forms... and you know you can do it. Trust me, I've been in your shoes before too. :)

Good luck!
 

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You also do not want to just exercise him without teaching him how to be calm and relax because you'll just be building up endurance and end up with an adrenaline junkie that's unable to settle down.
^--- SO TRUE. I learned this one pretty quick. My focus for the last month has been to reward and encourage calm behavior, and teaching the word "settle" over the last week. Things are going well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
^--- SO TRUE. I learned this one pretty quick. My focus for the last month has been to reward and encourage calm behavior, and teaching the word "settle" over the last week. Things are going well. :)
Thanks everyone. He immediately fixed his behavior when we started giving him at least 3 30 minute walks a day (he is not allowed by himself in the yard because he'll jump the fence to play with other dogs). WE are going to sign him up for a Petco 8 week training session. I've heard bad things about them. Does anyone want to add on?
 

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Depends... beware of pet store training. A lot of them advertise as positive reinforcement only, but will still smack, kick, and jab dogs... so...

I don't know your area, but you could probably find a purely positive reinforcement trainer around. Or, if you have the time, you could do the basics youself. There are some great online resources and tutorials for positive training (Kikopup for example).
 
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