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  #31  
Old 10-24-2012, 04:11 AM
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I'll be honest, I don't care if you use a dog park to hang out and socialize. Be careful, know who you're dealing with, and know when to leave. Arnold was a DP dog as a puppy and so were my Malinois as puppies. Before long it was no longer an appropriate option. Sometimes I really do wish it was a good option for my dogs, especially on days where I am exhausted and I just want to sit back and have my dogs exercise themselves, but I just don't trust strangers and my dogs aren't really play-with-strange-dog dogs.

That said, as much as you are offended by people telling you DPs are wrong, I find it extremely offensive and ignorant to presume those who don't do DPs somehow have dogs who never see the light of day. Please choose your counter argument a bit more clearly, there are countless alternatives to dog parks if you use you're active with your dogs. (There was even a thread on PBF about it called something like "show your pit bull interacting with the world")

As for Baloo, stop taking him until the behavior is reworked unless you can control the situation. Don't set him up for failure. I need to reread the OP before offering any advice though.
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  #32  
Old 10-24-2012, 04:24 AM
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I'm sorry, I wasn't referring to everyone who doesn't take their dogs to dog parks... Assuming that just because someone doesn't take their dogs to parks that their dogs don't see the light of day isn't logical, and that's not what I meant.

I suppose I was replying to the usual "pit bull mentality" that is so tiring on pit bull forums. Don't take your dog near strange dogs, don't take your dog to PetSmart, don't have play dates...it's exhausting. The idea that it should be a rule that pit bulls don't go to the dog park is ridiculous to me. The whole argument is usually that it has the possibility to go awry and enforce BSL. Well, so does walking my dog outside, or taking her to the boardwalk, or taking her ANYWHERE for that matter... So why hole her up just because of her breed if she is not displaying any signs of dog aggression? This is why I don't really frequent pit bull forums anymore and I don't regret it.


My MAIN worry with dog parks and the only thing that may make me stop attending is the unsocialized heathen dogs that do attend out of the blue occasionally. The dogs with no manners I fear could ruin my own dogs. If that makes sense. I feel that a dog can only take so much of strange dogs playing too rough or being rude to them before they develop reactivity problems. Which is an issue with newcomers sometimes. It doesn't happen often though, it's just something I've been considering. Maybe dog parks aren't the best things for socialization... I mean, if you wanted your kid to be more social, would you want the, hanging out with random brats, or well behaved children? Lol. So I have recently been weighing my options with the dog park. Currently there are WAY more pros than cons, and I hope that doesn't change, but I am ready to accept the consequences if it does.
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  #33  
Old 10-24-2012, 04:24 AM
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This sounds like a puppy who gets overstimulated and doesnít know how to bring himself back down again.
Call me a control freak, but I like to really control my dogsí interactions with other dogs, especially when theyíre puppies. I donít like them to practice balls to the walls over excitement without installing a solid off button first. Which would include a solid drop everything ďcomeĒ.

Click to Calm and Control Unleashed are both great places to start with that off button and teaching the dog SELF control, not always having to rely on you to stop him. That to me is the most important part - that the dog be able to turn himself off even if Iím not right there on top of him.

I think the initial bite was a redirection, but Iím a little more concerned that after he bit you he snarled and scooted away. IME with dogs who redirect, its almost an instant ďOh SORRY!!!Ē reaction where they realize they bit something they didnít mean to bite. Unless its in the middle of a dog fight and then thereís no realization about anything.

But any time Iíve been redirected on out of frustration (if you canít bite the one you want, bite the one youíre with) the dog has never gone defensive after realizing they bit me. Appeasement? Oh yeah. But snarling and scooting away suggests a lack of trust to me. IDK... maybe Iím over analyzing...

In any case, Iíd look in to desensitizing him to things like collar grabs and being touched when heís excited. Like in a good game of tug, can you touch him on different parts of his body? This is the sort of thing collar grabs and tug games can help with, and I DO think it helps with dogs who have a tendency to re-direct.
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  #34  
Old 10-24-2012, 04:33 AM
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Danefied, that worried me as well. I had a redirection problem with a pit bull foster I had before and she always sort of cowered immediately after the redirect because she realized what she'd done. She grew out of the behavior.

To elaborate more on what Baloo did... It was a woman who kept picking her Shih Tzu up and he just wanted to play with it. She picked it up and Baloo began circling her (with his face always towards her and butt away from her) and just started screaming. I went to grab him and he dodged me, circling around her. I went to grab him again and put my hand on his hip and he turned and bit me, sidestepped, snarled (he was looking at where my hand was on his body when he snarled), and sidestepped again into circling her. I gave a stern 'Baloo DOWN. RIGHT. NOW." and he flattened and let me clip his collar on him. Then we went to time out.

I tend to poke my dogs when we play tug, and he nips at me then because he's a very mouthy dog, but he has never straight BITTEN me. In tug I will poke him, he'll nip my arm, and then wiggle butt all over the place and we will tug some more.

He is extremely... "Wired". If that makes sense. At any given time, in any situation, he is always on edge and ready to just explode. Lol. Not in an aggressive way, but he can just be sitting on the floor, perfectly fine, and then just burst into running all over the house and ripping up the carpet.

We have been working on collar grabs. He's having a hard time seeing them as something positive, but he's getting there. I have been trying to show him that letting me grab his collar = treat or play time, and he is getting it somewhat, but he just HATES being grabbed/restrained.

I feel like I should try to do some sort of sport with him to give him an outlet. None of my other dogs are quite so driven, but the older he gets, the more I feel it's unfair to him to not give him something better to do.
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  #35  
Old 10-24-2012, 06:51 AM
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I haven't read ALL the responses, but:

1) I don't think pit bulls don't belong in dog parks period end of story. I know plenty of pit bulls who do fine in day care or dog parks.

2) Any dog who is reactive to other dogs in the way you describe, ESPECIALLY a terrier breed and ESPECIALLY a dog who is 8 or 9 months old (reaching sexual maturity, fully developing their prey drive) DOES NOT belong at a dog park.

It doesn't matter if 9/10 times he doesn't act like that around other dogs. What happens when he runs at the 10th dog and is so amped up he can't help grab it by the throat or head and kill it? You are perfectly describing how every single pit bull (or dog of any breed) acts when their dog aggression first begins. These are all signs that this dog is developing an inability to control himself around other dogs, and the fact that he bit YOU hard...well, what do you think he was going to do when he got to the other dog? Exactly what he did to you.

Every time I hear some person with a pit bull that kills another animal, or redirects a bite onto a person that is BAD (like, needs medical attention bad) and they say "oh my god, HE NEVER BIT ANYONE BEFORE, HE WAS NEVER AGGRESSIVE, *sob sob sob* we never saw it coming, HE JUST ATTACKED OUT OF NOWHERE." no, he didn't attack out of no where, there was a bunch of warning signs, and those warning signs are all the behaviors you are listing Baloo doing.

I don't think this necessarily means Baloo won't be ok around other dogs, ever, but he is CLEARLY telling you that the dog park is past his threshhold, and continuing to expose him to that environment is seriously increasing your chances of him becoming either very DA or redirecting a bite onto a person. AND, if he hurts another dog or person, and they find out you had seen this warning signs and CONTINUED to take him to the park, you will be liable, not only for the bite but for endangering the welfare of the people/animals at that park by taking him there. You're not only putting everyone else at the park at risk by taking him there, you're both setting Baloo up to fail AND putting him at risk.

Pit bulls don't just snap out of no where. They give warning signs such as playing too aggressively with smaller dogs, getting overexcited when not allowed to approach other dogs, and if he's biting you as a redirect, he's obviously not past coping with his excitement by aggression. At what point will you say "he's obviously not a dog-park dog"? When he tears a small dog apart and ends up getting put down?
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  #36  
Old 10-24-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
1) I don't think pit bulls don't belong in dog parks period end of story.
I don't, either. I understand the reasoning behind it, I really do. But as an across the board, blanket statement I don't agree with it. Context matters SO much with dog parks... not only your individual dog, but stuff like the culture and layout of a particular dog park, use at peak/off peak hours, and whether it is free for all to use vs. fee to use can make a huge difference whether I bring ANY dog of mine to any particular park.

My hound mix can't go to the dog park because she's an a-hole to other dogs at times. My long haired pit bull is pretty much the perfect dog for our large wooded dog park. So far my polar bear is doing well. I despise the "Thunderdome" style of dog park (just a big open fenced space) and won't go there unless it's empty of any other dogs, and even then just to practice recall. I love our dog park on acreage where you can hike through the woods with your dog and practically never see another soul. It's all about context.
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  #37  
Old 10-24-2012, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
I think it's a tad extreme and over the top. Lets just hide my pit bull in a closet.


I also take my pure bred APBT to the dog park... Oh, the horror!
Oh please.

Purebred APBT?? Who, Chevelle? LOL.
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  #38  
Old 10-24-2012, 09:06 AM
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I would be more concerned that if somebody else or even another dog were to touch or bother Baloo while he was amped up, they might get seriously bit. Or even the owner of the small dog.

I would definitely begin desensitizing him to touch, restraint and collar grabs. With Fleetwood as a puppy, I used his kibble from his breakfast and dinner to train this. This is how he earned his meals. Younmight however need a more tasty reward. I would grab collar, feed handful of kibble. Pull collar, kibble. Push dog, kibble. Restrain dog, kibble. Pick dog up, kibble. Flip him over, LOTS of kibble!

Obviously if you're doing this, it needs to be within baloo's limits and threshold, and built up gradually. But it sounds like this and impulse control are the roots of a network of major problems.

When he is around other dogs I would seriously recommend carrying a slip lead instead of a leash so that you can quickly slip it over his head, non-confrontationally restraining him with no physical contact.

Good luck, and stay wise about the issue!
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  #39  
Old 10-24-2012, 10:02 AM
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Okay, I must admit I still haven't read the OP but it's not abnormal for a dog to get easily over stimulated and lack self control when someone picks up his toy or prey. Her moving around, kicking, avoiding, and screaming could have easily been misunderstood as a game of keep away. It's a dangerous game to play but it's not uncommon. One of the worst things you can do with dogs lacking in self control is hold something above them and animate yourself.

The fact he turned and nipped at you tells me he's probably sensitive to touch and needs work there, Backup used to bite when you grabbed him on the hips. He still hates being touched anywhere on the rump but he's learned tolerance. To be honest he's a "management" dog, I'll never "fix" his issues but I can protect him and others from his quirks.

It sounds like a mixture of a dog that was over stimulated, being a bratty misunderstanding teen, and a dog that really shouldn't be playing "lets growl and bite mom" games right now.

In addition to previously mentioned suggestions (click to clam, control unleashed) I would pull out some moderate value items and treats progressing to high value (if playing bitey games applies, use it to your advantage, this game only exists when you say so) and work with him to gain some self control, build up his obedience (everywhere), and then revisit things.

Again, until this is all figured out I wouldn't take him to the park where there could be small or instigating dogs.
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  #40  
Old 10-24-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
I tend to poke my dogs when we play tug, and he nips at me then because he's a very mouthy dog, but he has never straight BITTEN me. In tug I will poke him, he'll nip my arm, and then wiggle butt all over the place and we will tug some more.
This is not how it should go - JMO. Even though I do allow teeth on skin and my dogs are mouthy, tug games have strict rules about teeth touching skin. You bite me, even by accident choking up on the tug, game ends. "Poking" him while he's tugging sounds more like you're instigating, encouraging him to redirect on to you. I would NOT do that any more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
He is extremely... "Wired". If that makes sense. At any given time, in any situation, he is always on edge and ready to just explode. Lol. Not in an aggressive way, but he can just be sitting on the floor, perfectly fine, and then just burst into running all over the house and ripping up the carpet.
Sounds like a normal wild pup to me....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
We have been working on collar grabs. He's having a hard time seeing them as something positive, but he's getting there. I have been trying to show him that letting me grab his collar = treat or play time, and he is getting it somewhat, but he just HATES being grabbed/restrained.
Its not his job to learn to like it, its your job to teach him being grabbed is okay. Have you watched videos of someone like Susan Garrett or Sophia Yin doing a collar grab? You don't start at the point they react, or even close to it. Sometimes you start without even touching them. Just reach towards the dog, mark and reward. Build from a GOOD experience, build from a happy, relaxed dog. You won't build a comfortable dog starting at a point where the dog is uncomfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
I feel like I should try to do some sort of sport with him to give him an outlet. None of my other dogs are quite so driven, but the older he gets, the more I feel it's unfair to him to not give him something better to do.
Honestly, ANY sport you put him in he's going to need to know how to control himself somewhat or someone is going to get hurt. This isn't a question of "hey I have a high drive dog, lets turn him loose on the agility field". Its a question of teaching the dog how to calm himself down, trust you, and THEN find appropriate outlets for that drive. However, if you just address the drive, you'll just have a revved up engine and no brakes and steering.
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