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Old 03-15-2005, 12:31 AM
Kimmy Kimmy is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Prince George, BC
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Default Big Problem With Biting Dog..

We adopted Aaja from a shelter about 8 months ago, and at that time they figured her to be about 4 months old. We knew nothing of her, except that she was a neglected Pitbull/Lab mix.
She's been a handful ever since, but has settled down. But we have one big problem with her, and another developing..
She's been nippy since we brought her home, and have tried the recommended training methods-the "yelping" just made her more excited, and the firm "NO" does nothing..time out makes her more excited when she is "released from prison" and she could care less if her toys are taken away..she'll just bug the cats instead! The nipping continues, and is turning into full-on biting. Tonight she licked my daughter's face, then bit it! Didn't break skin, but bit her nonetheless..then bit her again 5 minutes later while she was sitting on the couch crying from the first bite! This is 1 bite too many for me when it comes to children.
She is also becoming very aggressive towards other dogs, which is fairly new behaviour. We use to take her to off-leash parks, where other dogs would usually just get annoyed with her, but we aren't able to take her anymore because off her aggressiveness. She lunges at every dog she see's-every hair on her body up, teeth bared, attack stance, and one nasty bark/growl. Walking her has become hell, and very embarrassing! She will even do this to fenced-in dogs when we walk by, and if I don't let go of her leash, she will literally take me with her to the fence. She lunges at the fence, tries digging under it, jumping over it (thankfully she's not a jumper!), running through it..it's insane. She is now doing this with our neighbors little dogs and they are becoming very annoyed.
We tried a muzzle when walking her, but she just pushes her face into the ground, does somersaults, and scratches at it like mad, so that didn't work out. And I am no longer able to walk her alone without my husband.
We were told she wasn't allowed in one obedience class because of her aggressiveness to other dogs, and were told to go into one-on-one classes, which are very expensive here. Is this our only option? I'm tired of hearing everyone's comments about the "pitbull in her" and don't want to hear again that "it's just going to get worse and she may have to be put down"...
Any suggestions would be great.
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2005, 12:30 PM
gaddylovesdogs gaddylovesdogs is offline
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Whenever she bites you, grab her muzzle and give it a gentle but firm shake and say, "NO BITE!"

As for the aggression towards other dogs...she needs more socialization. Whenever possible take her out in public with you. Let different people pet her and give her treats, bring her to outdoor cafes, drive around in the car, etc. so that she's seeing other animals and humans and getting used to being around those kinds of things. Off-leash parks are really not good places for Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes. The breed is more likely to be dog-aggressive and should not be trusted with other dogs without strict supervision.
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:31 PM
gaddylovesdogs gaddylovesdogs is offline
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Training sessions...you may want to take a few private lessons, but she needs more socializing and if there are no other dogs.....

BTW, welcome to the boards. Be sure to post pics of your girl soon I'm sure she's a real cutie.
__________________
No touchy.
BSL - Bull Sh!t Law
Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see, all of your fears will pass away.
And you'll be here, in my arms.
Just sleeping.
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2005, 09:54 PM
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CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
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Location: Denver, CO
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Hello, Kimmy, and welcome!

Don't listen to anyone giving you trouble about Aaja being part pit bull. Those people are ignorant and biased, and they don't know what they're talking about. I've had several pit mixes and I know what a load of trouble people give you over it. I started telling people they were Amstaff (American Staffordshire) terrier mixes. The people who can tell the difference usually are educated enough not to be biased against pits and will understand completely why you fib, and the people who can't tell the difference usually don't even know what an Amstaff is, so you're out of trouble either way.

I'm going to PM you a social exercise that I think you should start right away. It sounds like your pooch needs a little help understanding what's expected of her, and what is and is not acceptable.

I'm going to have to disagree with Gaddy in the muzzle-grabbing scenario. It's just my opinion, of course, but I think that's probably a good way to increase the instances of biting, not decrease them. There are better ways to handle it. You don't need to use intimidation to get your point across.

Does it seem like Aaja gets overexcited before she bites? Or does she act irritated? You always hear people saying, "He just bit me out of nowhere! I had no warning!" That's nonsense. All dogs give off warning signals before they resort to biting. Some are just more subtle than others. I've found a few dogs that I could more feel than see when they were getting to that point. It sounds like Aaja may be relatively clear in her communications, though. You need to learn to anticipate her actions. If you start getting "that feeling", everything needs to stop. Have everyone in the room stand up, get quiet, move slowly, and completely ignore the dog. Pretend like she's not even there. I know that can be hard to do when your heart's going a mile a minute, but that's the best way to avoid a bite. Your calmness should transfer over to her in a few seconds. If she persists and keeps getting more and more worked up, leave the room and close the door behind you. Stay quiet and don't look at her. When you think she's calmed down, go on with business as usual. Repeat this any time you even think she might be getting worked up.

I'll PM you that social exercise now. I wouldn't take her for a walk until you've done the exercise for a few weeks. Right now, anything you do on one of those out-of-control walks will only add gas to the fire.

Let me know if you have any questions. Aaja will be okay! She just needs a little help. But hey, who among us doesn't, right?
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