Dog Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My boyfriend and I have a year and a half old pitbull puppy. We've had her since she was 6 weeks old and raised her all her life.

All 3 of us have been very close until I would say about a couple months ago. She is extremely attached to my boyfriend and has been getting increasingly less interested in me.

When he is gone she is starting to become aggressive towards me when I try and pet her. She will snarl and nip at me. Tonight the same thing happened and she lunged at me. It's getting bad and I'm starting to become scared that my own dog will attack me. I tried to be assertive and raise my tone of voice but it didn't seem to do much.

To me it's a jealously issue since she and my boyfriend are so close, she may think I'm "coming in between them."

I love her very much and she is my baby that I've raised and cared for, so I'm very upset about this and can't seem to come to a conclusion or cure.



* she had not been fixed yet, but have an appt to be spayed in 2 weeks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,820 Posts
When you pet her what, if anything, are you doing different from your boyfriend? Do you try hugging her, and he doesn't? Do you pet her on the head, and he doesn't? Anything like that can make a difference.

What is she doing before you try and pet her? Is she sleeping, eating, on the couch or some other piece of furniture? Is it only during certain circumstance or at any time?

What do you mean by be assertive? What exactly are you doing when you do that?

It might be worth it to hire a behaviorist and try to figure out exactly what is going on. If you do so make sure it's a force free one, one that does not subscribe to pack theory, and dominance based techniques. Here's a link that may help you choose one should you decide to go that route http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
When you pet her what, if anything, are you doing different from your boyfriend? Do you try hugging her, and he doesn't? Do you pet her on the head, and he doesn't? Anything like that can make a difference.

What is she doing before you try and pet her? Is she sleeping, eating, on the couch or some other piece of furniture? Is it only during certain circumstance or at any time?

What do you mean by be assertive? What exactly are you doing when you do that?

It might be worth it to hire a behaviorist and try to figure out exactly what is going on. If you do so make sure it's a force free one, one that does not subscribe to pack theory, and dominance based techniques. Here's a link that may help you choose one should you decide to go that route http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/

Nothing different than from what he does. For example today she was just laying on the floor (awake) and I got on the floor to pet her and that's when all her fur puffed up and she nipped at me. When I tried to get up and away she lunged.
When she did that I raised my voice and told her no to show dominance but it didn't help.
It only really happens when he's not here. It's not any certain place or circumstance... she'll just get angry out of nowhere.
The other day I sat down on the bed to put my socks on and she ran over and placed her head really firmly on my legs and when I tried to push her away she nipped and snarled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'm always very sweet to her and never really raise my voice or hit her or anything. I yelled today bc I'm at a point where obviously being sweet and calm in these situations doesn't diffuse anything
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Yes, I'm well aware I'll be using anthropomorphic language but it is what it is.

Which of you is typically the assertive one - you or your boyfriend? This sounds more like lack of respect on the dogs behalf.

Some don't like it but I tend to liken raising a child to raising a dog. Typically the child has rules, boundaries and limitations applied to them in order to have a good child. I find many of these same attributes applied to a child do not get applied to a dog, dog tends to get away with alot more cause they are cute, or your baby. End result, the dog ends up running the household, the dog is the boss - and like you, afraid of your own dog.

Children learn divide and conquer pretty quick if both parents aren't on the same page. With the pin, he knows that GF is the weaker one and he will get away with more. He tries to be defiant with me - it's kind of cute sometimes, but he's only 10 pounds - and he learns pretty quick that I'm not putting up with it.

You and your boyfriend need to be come a team - both leading. The dog needs some rules and boundaries laid down - and enforced. The dog needs to learn some respect for you, your boyfriend, and what you expect of the dog. Doesn't mean yelling at the dog or being mean to it.

You may think it's mean - but if you can't do that then chances are you are going to get hurt.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,820 Posts
Nothing different than from what he does. For example today she was just laying on the floor (awake) and I got on the floor to pet her and that's when all her fur puffed up and she nipped at me. When I tried to get up and away she lunged.
When she did that I raised my voice and told her no to show dominance but it didn't help.
It only really happens when he's not here. It's not any certain place or circumstance... she'll just get angry out of nowhere.
The other day I sat down on the bed to put my socks on and she ran over and placed her head really firmly on my legs and when I tried to push her away she nipped and snarled.

Since there's no clear cut cause I'd really consider hiring a behaviorist before you end up getting bit. A behaviorist will be able to evaluate your girl and help you figure out how to best restore your relationship with her.

I'd also get her fully checked out by a vet, to make sure nothing medical is going to that might be causing the aggression, especially since this is relatively new behavior.

Most dogs that are aggressive do so for a few reasons.

Some are insecure and fearful and will guard objects or people / animals, or be aggressive towards people and / or animals to try and get them to go away or stop doing stuff. I'd suspect that your girl falls into that category if she were acting the way she does when your boyfriend was home, I'd think she was guarding him.

Some escalate their warning when trying to get a person to stop doing something. They'll growl, lip lift, grumble, or freeze, to ask a person to stop something, then when their person ignores them, and continues what they don't like, they escalate the warning. They'll start snarling, lunging, nipping, etc to try and get the person to stop. Ignore that and they will bite. I'm wondering if that's what happened with your girl, and it's why I asked if there's anything different in how you and your boyfriend handle the dog.

Some are simply angry for whatever reason they have.

Some are not wired right in the head and there's not much you can do with that type except put them to sleep.

Please do NOT try and dominate her, it'll likely make her worse and you'll end up getting bit. In order for those techniques to work you have to completely intimidate the dog and even then it'll cause the dog to suppress the behavior but do nothing to address why it's behaving that way, you may end up with a ticking time bomb that one day bites without warning because you taught her that displaying how she's feeling is bad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aspen726

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
Def ditto a very thorough vet visit including a thyroid panel.

I personally wouldn't expect it to be jealousy/resource guarding because normally the behavior is only present when the resource (your boyfriend) is present. Since this is only happening when he is gone, my gut says something else is going on. If she is resource guarding, she is likely guarding something else... A bed, toys, bone, food, etc.
Posted via Mobile Device
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top