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  #91  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:01 PM
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yoko yoko is offline
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Originally Posted by Danefied View Post

Iím assuming ďdirt napĒ is a crude way of saying the dog should be PTS.
I donít think any of us are qualified to advise anyone to PTS a dog without ever laying eyes on him. And yes, I do think this dog very possibly would be just fine in a qualified home.
Yeah it means to kill.
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  #92  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:39 PM
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Huh. Putting a dog down for chasing rodents, pulling on the leash and RG seems a bit excessive. I didn't read the rest of the thread but based on the new update putting the dog down seems like a huge overreaction.
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  #93  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:36 AM
j0equ1nn j0equ1nn is offline
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First of all, the reason I only post about once a month is because my experience with this forum is that I usually get advice that is either contradictory, or ignorant and self-righteous. Having said that, the reason I do continue to post occasionally anyway is because there are some people on here who seem to genuinely care about my situation. During the time that I am not posting, obviously I am continuing to live with, get to know, and work with, my dog. Also obviously, these are things that nobody else on this forum is doing, and so whatever opinions you may convey it seems clear that you should admit they are based on limited information. Nonetheless, I want to try to stay positive here, and thank Tucker&Me and Maxi24 for saving me some need to defend myself against the usual ridiculousness.

My first questions have to do with not being a regular practitioner of internet dog-training lingo: what does OP stand for (I gather that it refers to me but I don't know what those letters stand for) and what does "furmommy" mean (unless it's just another jocko term for sensitivity in which case I'm not interested)? After a little thought, I gather that RG means "resource guarding," but I would request that you keep in mind that I'm not familiar with your abbreviations, so if you want your comments to have an effect on Sam and me, please enlighten me as to what they mean in the future.

Next, thank you for Danefield for pointing out that people who never met my dog are not qualified to say that he should be euthanized. I'd like to further elaborate that reading a comment by someone who has never met your dog, that says he should be euthanized, is all the more impersonal when you have to stop and figure out what PTS stands for. Who exactly is your audience? If it's not me, then you should be off somewhere working on a book about all your magnificent opinions, or better yet keeping your mouth shut. This Barbara! who thinks I'm a "troll" might find it easier to believe I'm only here to upset people, but on the other hand if you find my critiques apply to you then maybe you need to wake up and figure out what it is you really want to accomplish here, when someone who took in a pitbull with some issues, was looking for some help, and found your attitude to be disgusting.

Now, I'm not sure how seriously I should take this SevenSins person: it seems (s)he is already recognized as flippant and aggressive, but I want to clarify that my approach to Sam's meals is in no way characterized by the phrase "walking on eggshells around the dog." Neither me nor anyone else who comes over here is at all afraid of Sam. He is extremely friendly and affectionate, and at this point we know that when he growls over his food, it is really just an expression of fear. Giving him space seemed to me, after trying several other approaches, the best way to approach the situation, because the bottom line is that we want him to know we are not in any way interested in taking away his food. I think I described my reactions pretty accurately, so if you understood them as a "sing-song 'there there, good doggie, good doggie' while averting eye-contact and backing away," then I think you had a picture set in your head before you attempted comprehending any information. I don't know why I spend time talking to people who aren't capable of listening, I guess it's for my own piece of mind.

Moreover, I do not think Sam's behavior should even be categorized as aggressive. Despite everything that's transpired, Sam has never really tried to bite me. In fact, almost every time he emits a growl over something outside of the food context, it is immediately followed by extremely submissive behavior. In the beginning it took the form of peeing on the floor. Now it takes the form of running up to me with his tail tucked and pressing the top of his head into me or licking me. It's almost as if the growl is involuntary. My fiance has been reading books on dog-training and one thing that rang true to me is that if you punish a dog for growling, you are not punishing the motivation for the growl, you are punishing the growl. And telling a dog that he shouldn't alert you to his feelings of discomfort could lead to more dramatic consequences.

Likewise, it's inaccurate to categorize Sam as human-aggressive. A lot of people in my neighborhood are afraid of him because of the popular prejudice against pitbulls, but Sam has never expressed anything but affection for the people he meets, and the people who do not have a pitbull-prejudice quickly became friends of his, whom he greets every time he sees with a wagging tail, eager to be pet. At this point he's not even dog aggressive. If you are so quick to say this dog should be PTS, maybe *you* have a fear that needs to be resolved.

During the early days, when I did not know Sam as well, and I thought that he might attack me when he growled, yes I was guilty of trying to establish dominance by pinning him on his back and holding his muzzle until he submitted. I wish I hadn't been so ignorant now, but I have a feeling folks like SevenSins and Barbara! would not even have the courage to get so involved, because doing away with the dog via death is apparently such a ready option.

Now that I'm done dealing with all that nonsense, let me end this post before I exceed my limit, and I'll post again with what I signed on to say.
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  #94  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:59 AM
j0equ1nn j0equ1nn is offline
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The food guarding has diminished a lot. Most meals, he eats them up and then runs to me to get his treat. To me this seems like a great way to communicate to the dog that I *want* him to eat the food, which I think is the opposite of me wanting to take his food. In fact, when he doesn't finish, now he generally just leaves it there, doesn't rush to the bowl when I enter the room, it feels more like he just doesn't want it or isn't hungry.

I actually agree with SevenSins about the Gentle Leader. Sam hated it. He would much rather have a pinch collar on than that. I don't want to get pissed off again, but I do know how to use a pinch collar, I just don't like using pain-based training when I can avoid it. The Gentle Leader though, started leaving a mark on his muzzle. And every time we came back from a walk with it he would be rubbing his face like it was really irritated. I wasn't sure how to deal with this for a while, but he was still good about being walked on a short leash on the harness. If the leash is hooked to the front of the harness and very short, he will heal pretty well. He would pull sometimes, but I would just stop walking when he pulled and make him sit before starting again. He got that message pretty fast and now almost never pulls on a short leash like that.

It's also important to let him have the long leash sometimes because he needs a lot of exercise. So the new thing I started doing that I wish I'd thought of earlier, is that every time he hits the end of the leash I call him. When I call him (command is "Come here") he has to not only come to me but sit facing me and look at me. Once he does that I release him again (command is "You're free"). And I would just do that every time. Sometimes he would just run to the end of the leash 7 times in a row, but not usually now. After a couple weeks of this policy he started avoiding the end of the leash, so doesn't even get up to the point where he's pulling. In the event that he doesn't come when called, I walk up to him quickly, switch the leash to the front, and make him heal for a good 10 minutes or so, sometimes the whole rest of the walk. Lately he is a pleasure to walk. I'm really happy about that, I never thought he would get to this point so fast.

And... he FINALLY learned the "Bring it" command! I had been working on this with him forever, but I watched some Youtube videos about teaching a dog to fetch that gave the very obvious instruction (that hadn't occurred to me) that you can teach him this by throwing something, then as soon as he picks it up you tug gently on the leash until he heads toward you. So I modified that by, instead of saying "fetch" before tossing the ball, I would toss the ball then as soon as he picked it up I would say "bring it" and tug on the leash. Once I started doing that he learned the command in 2 days. I had him "bringing" a tennis ball consistently for the first time a few days ago and was so happy he understood the command. He won't bring it as soon as he picks it up, but as soon as I say "Bring it" he comes to me with it quickly, wanting me to throw it. Today I had him doing it with a stick, which is harder because usually he wants to take the stick somewhere and chew it. But this is big progress in my opinion because bringing something to me is basically the opposite of being afraid I'm going to take it. This is all stemming from advice from Maxy24, so thanks for that.

My main concern right now is just that he seems so sad when he's in the house. He just lies on the couch waiting to go out. When I say "You wanna go out?" he wakes up and gets happy, but the rest of the time the dude looks downright depressed. I try to give him toys to keep him entertained but he looses interest quickly. He is very cuddly in the morning when I'm waking up, but other than that and going out, he seems to just lie on the couch looking sad. Not sure what's with that. He's only 2.
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  #95  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:13 AM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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Originally Posted by j0equ1nn View Post
It's almost as if the growl is involuntary.
I would tend to think that he reacts with the growl because he is uncomfortable, and he has been conditioned to believe that he when he growls he gets punished... Cue 'appeasement' (don't be mad at me!) behaviour. Essentially, he is asking you not to hurt him for being scared because he has learnt that the two go hand in hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j0equ1nn View Post
My fiance has been reading books on dog-training and one thing that rang true to me is that if you punish a dog for growling, you are not punishing the motivation for the growl, you are punishing the growl. And telling a dog that he shouldn't alert you to his feelings of discomfort could lead to more dramatic consequences.
Very, very, very true. I am glad you guys have found time to do some more reading and that the puzzle pieces are falling together for you. It sounds like you are making great progress and I am very happy to hear that Sam seems happier. Keep up the good work and drop in for an update now and then, it always makes me happy to hear progress

What makes a forum so great is also it's downfall. Try to ignore the dramatic and condescending posts. I know it can be difficult but there are people here who do care and want nothing more than for you to achieve your goals and succeed with a dog who needs help. It sounds like you are learning as you go and that is awesome. I would be lying (as would most of the other people here I am sure) if I said I never made mistakes and used poor training methods before I knew better.
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  #96  
Old 10-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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I JUST saw this thread for the first time. I haven't had time to read through the entire thing, but I live in NYC (on Long Island at the moment but I'm in the city frequently enough). If you want I can PM you some resources for trainers in the area or meet up if you need help with something specific, from the last few posts though it sounds like he's doing really well.

Is the main issue right now his resource guarding?
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  #97  
Old 10-24-2012, 03:58 AM
j0equ1nn j0equ1nn is offline
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I actually just typed out a rather degrading account of why I wasn't going to bother posting on here anymore, without having bothered reading the latest round of posts. Then I decided to just scroll up and take one peek at something and saw those last 2 posts. Well.. you two just convinced me to ditch what I typed and start over. Thank you so much Tucker&Me for the support and for backing me up against jerks. You're right, it would be good to just ignore the nasty stuff, but sometimes it makes me pretty defensive seeing crap like that.

Anyway, yeah he is doing really good. He has actually been really fun to take out on walks because he behaves. And he can actually play fetch now. I've been letting him sniff around more too, since I can trust him not to dart at something, and as a result he seems to find the walks more satisfying. He seems less stressed out.

The food issue has been fine too. These days he rarely even leaves the bowl unfinished, and even looks comfortable while eating even if I have to walk by him closely or something. He knows he gets praised and treats if he finishes, so he seems to have associated meals with more positive stuff. He used to just lie on the couch looking anxious when we prepared his meals, now he actually comes in the kitchen sometimes wagging his tail.

We let him sleep in the bed. He is an extremely cuddly dog, and we think letting him be cuddly seems good for him. I'm not sure what the conventional stance is on that, but I think it's probably to not do it if the dog growls. To us it seems like it would make him very nervous to be ousted to the other room every night. We know there's no danger but sometimes he emits a short growl (I don't know how folks are imagining his growl actually, but it's closer to what Marge Simpson does than Cujo or something). The policy on that was, he immediately gets kicked out. We noticed he would really try to manage himself and not growl. He would sit on the foot of the bed if he was nervous, or sometimes even just leave, knowing he might growl if he got too close. Anyway, one time I was lying in the bed and he darted over and sort of slid into my chest, like spooning position. Then he buries his head in the mattress and growls for like half a second, and kind of freezes waiting to be kicked out. For some reason this time I was just like "you poor thing" and kept petting him, and he lightened up.

I don't know about comforting him when he does it but I definitely agree that he seems to have connected it to getting punished, and that we need to try to break that connection ... with punishment. Just kidding, sorry. Long day.

Anyway that's what's up for now. Oh, also FYI remember I kept talking about my fiance? Well she's my wife finally.

I think I'm just gonna start sorta blacklisting people and take that advice about focusing on the positive stuff. So you arrogant morons on here, be consoled that you'll be concocting your snarky judgements solely for yourselves, or each other, or whatever it is people like that's lives consist of.
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  #98  
Old 10-24-2012, 04:42 AM
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Why is name calling necessary? You don't agree, that's cool. But don't step up on a moral high horse and then name call. Doesn't work like that.
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  #99  
Old 10-24-2012, 05:44 AM
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Danefied Danefied is offline
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Dude, you***8217;re getting free advice. Take it or leave it. No need to go off on folks just because you don***8217;t like what they have to say. Obviously some of what was said sunk in and is working. You figured out not to punish the growl and your dog is improving. That***8217;s good. Focus on the good.
Bear in mind that a lot of the people who have so kindly given you GOOD, workable advice are people who generally get paid to help people with problems like yours.
Think of it as a free buffet line. Fill your plate or just take a few samples here and there, whatever floats your boat. But don***8217;t complain afterwards of being hungry, and don***8217;t insult the cook
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  #100  
Old 10-24-2012, 06:54 AM
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AllisonPitbullLvr AllisonPitbullLvr is offline
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Just read this entire thread.

My overall view of the situation from start to finish is that this dog needs help from a qualified professional. OP (original poster), why haven't you considered getting someone to help you who knows what they're doing, who can see and evaluate the dog in person, and who can give you much better advice than anyone here is able to, simply based on the fact that we have never seen Sam, his body language, his behavior.

It sounds a bit like you're in over your head, which isn't fair to Sam, as he's sort of been your guinea pig thus far.

I've dealt with a very similar situation and even with professional help, ended up euthanizing the dog after we deemed her not-adoptable. Now, I didn't have the option of keeping her and managing her behavior, which I would have done but she was illegal here. But if I HAD kept her, you better believe I would have been working closely with a qualified behaviorist just to get her to a point where she was safe to live with.

Most of the advice here has been good, but as no one here has seen Sam and is simply working off your descriptions and interpretations of his behavior, it's not going to be successful.
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