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Hi-
My boyfriend and I recently (about a month ago) adopted 2 Pit Bull/Shar Pei mixes, Raggedy Ann and Andy. Not much information was known about them as they were found as strays, but Andy seemed pretty timid/scared/anxious, so our best guess is that he was abused, or at the very least, never introduced into a house. Ann is the more "dominant" of the 2, being as that she's more outgoing, not scared of everything new, etc. They did tell us that she gets territorial and somewhat aggressive with other female pits. The last couple times we've been at the dog park with them, she has done really good, but has snapped at a other couple dogs. My best guess is that she is attempting to control the situation, and doesn't mean any aggression since she doesn't bite or break skin, its more along the lines of holding. I'm hoping that once we get them into obedience classes and they can hang out with other dogs in a more controlled environment it may get better, but my fear is that she won't tolerate obedience classes either. I don't want to have them depend on us solely for socialization, and I don't want them to miss out on "being dogs" because of her "attitude" (both are very co-dependent on the other and don't really tolerate being away from each other). I want to be able to give them the opposite of the life they had, but I don't want to have to corral Ann every time we go to the dog park so that Andy can have doggie friends. Also, I don't want to perpetuate the "aggressive Pit-Bull" stereotype and have people assume that Ann will eat everyone's face off. Any tips or suggestions would be great! Sorry for the rant! :p
 

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Hi-
My boyfriend and I recently (about a month ago) adopted 2 Pit Bull/Shar Pei mixes, Raggedy Ann and Andy. Not much information was known about them as they were found as strays, but Andy seemed pretty timid/scared/anxious, so our best guess is that he was abused, or at the very least, never introduced into a house. Ann is the more "dominant" of the 2, being as that she's more outgoing, not scared of everything new, etc. They did tell us that she gets territorial and somewhat aggressive with other female pits. The last couple times we've been at the dog park with them, she has done really good, but has snapped at a other couple dogs. My best guess is that she is attempting to control the situation, and doesn't mean any aggression since she doesn't bite or break skin, its more along the lines of holding. I'm hoping that once we get them into obedience classes and they can hang out with other dogs in a more controlled environment it may get better, but my fear is that she won't tolerate obedience classes either. I don't want to have them depend on us solely for socialization, and I don't want them to miss out on "being dogs" because of her "attitude" (both are very co-dependent on the other and don't really tolerate being away from each other). I want to be able to give them the opposite of the life they had, but I don't want to have to corral Ann every time we go to the dog park so that Andy can have doggie friends. Also, I don't want to perpetuate the "aggressive Pit-Bull" stereotype and have people assume that Ann will eat everyone's face off. Any tips or suggestions would be great! Sorry for the rant! :p
First off please read these stickies so that you know what to run from when you go to training class or if you decide to hire a trainer or behaviorist
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/4-quadrants-operant-conditioning-23702/
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/suppression-modification-shutdown-fallout-4776/
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/

I completely agree with Beretw, stop taking them to the dog park, Pit Bulls, and their mixes, more often then not fall somewhere on the dog aggression scale (they don't like other dogs), the scale ranges from completely hating all other dogs and wanting to kill them, to being willing to tolerate other dogs but not wanting to socialize with them. It's genetic and while training will help them tolerate other dogs it will not cause them to enjoy being with other dogs.

Please research Pit Bulls, and Shar Peis Chinese Shar-Pei Dog Breed Information
American Staffordshire Terrier / American Pit Bull Terrier Breed Information

Dogs don't need to socialize with other dogs to be happy and content, being loved by you, going places with you, being played with and trained by you, will all make Ann and Andy happy, content, dogs. In fact it sounds as if Ann, at least, would be happiest to not have to go to the dog park. Another thing to consider is that even if it's another dog that starts the fight, if Ann joins in it'll be another big, bad, pit bull, mauled a dog story. The fact that she was defending herself will likely be ignored.

Try putting them on long training leads and taking them to an empty field and letting them run, take them to an on leash park for a nice long walk, take them hiking, get them into dog sports. All of that will be better then dog parks.
 

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In addition to the advice about the dog park, it would be good for both of these dogs to do things on their own. Giving each of them time away from the other, with you, will help both of them. Adopting two dogs that are dependent on each other makes it much harder to train either one of them. They tend to bond stronger with each other than with their owner. I don't know if they are littermates but the theory applies regardless.

Littermate Syndrome | Paws Abilities
 
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