I have a 3 year old Pit Bull whom I love very much. She has always been incredible with my 2 young children and I
have never been afraid of having her, instead always feeling safe. We recently just moved into a house, we lived
in a condo before, and she has become very aggressive with anyone that walks into the house or that she might see
I have always been able to let others pet her, but now when they do she becomes very aggressive. I'm very
scared for her, all the neighbors do not like her and I feel that I can not have any new guests to our home. My
boyfriend wants me to get rid of her, but I cannot even think about doing so. I'm looking for obedience training,
but still am very concerned. Any words to make me feel better?
Nadia from CT
Some dogs just don't do well with other dogs. Pit Bulls have a reputation for being aggressive, but this can happen
with any breed. There is a sweet female Lab that lives near us. She is great around people and bigger dogs, but
growls and tries to attack any smaller dog she comes into contact with. I'd find a trainer or animal behaviorist to
evaluate your dogs. Find one that has experience with dog to dog aggression. Try this link to locate one near you:
Also, you can join the yahoo group agbeh. They have many experienced trainers that give information and answer
questions for free. They can also help you find a trainer with dog aggression experience. Good luck:).
Ya plant turnips, ya get turnips. Why did you get a Pit Bull if you did not expect aggressive behavior? Enjoy your
dog for what he is, and do not expect him to turn into a lap dog. You did not get a lap dog, you got and
aggressive, protective (I hope) dog. Fish swim, cats purr and scratch, and unfortunately, Pit Bulls are
aggressive. Listen to your boyfriend. My husband is a mail carrier who has been bitten by a Pit Bull thinking he
was a threat instead of just a true dog lover delivering the mail. (10/19/2005)
I say remove the dog or at least find it a safe place until you can get it trained. You should be dominate over
your dog no matter what the breed! I am a mellow Lab lover myself and Pit Bulls do have a rep, but I think this is
increased by the amount of people who find puppies oh so cute and give them dominance. That is fine if you have a
small dog and spoiling is all it wants. Some just naturally want more power so to speak for whatever reason and
letting them see you are in fear only gives them more dominance. You need to be alpha. It may break your heart for
you to be apart from your pet until you can arrange the training he obviously needs, but just think how horrible
you would feel if the aggression gets worse and he hurts one of your family members and you didn't use the power
you have to prevent it. Take control and be ready to say good bye if a trainer says he shouldn't be around
children. Get the aggression training your pet needs, even if you can't keep him he is your responsibility and he
should be trained before entering another home. Good luck and I hope you can safely keep your pet in the end.
Being aggressive is in their genetic makeup. You can't make an orange out of an apple. Get rid of the animal it is
not safe around your child or your child's friends. This breed has been banned in our city and it is now illegal
to own them. (10/20/2005)
My husband and I raised our son's 3 1/2 year-old Pit Bull. I must say we have devoted a lot of time taking her
outdoors for exercise (stick fetching), walks on leash and travel with us in our camper. So she has always been
exposed to people and other dogs. She is still very energetic and smart so she still requires lots of exercise and
social activities (with other dogs and people). However, when she sees a small animal run, the Pit Bull genes take
over and she will chase (and catch and kill). Always speak in a calm, gentle (and firm when necessary) voice. Do
not hit or jerk. I'm sure she is very strong so you must maintain control by using a sturdy harness or even prong
collar (get training on how to use this in a humane manner). Because your Pit Bull is strong, energetic, and
intelligent she needs much gentle attention, play, exercise, and patience, but she will be a very sweet and
amusing companion! (10/20/2005)
Along with the advice on contacting a dog trainer and an animal behaviorist (the "agbeh" group on yahoo sounds
great), maybe your dog is just getting used to the new environment. It took my dog about two weeks to come back to
normal after being boarded for just a few days. Both times I got a stray dog, it took them several months to
finally calm down One barked at every little noise until he got used to the house. Be patient. Good luck!
Your dog is sensitive to people and animals walking by the window. If your dog hasn't been exposed to these things
in the past, you must de-sensitize your dog so she will be able to accept these normal, every day things that she
sees. Your dog clearly needs socialization with people and animals, but this must be done with patience and do it
slowly. My dog has the very same issues; barking at our neighbors walking down the street, the same people he sees
every day. My dog doesn't like other animals, but he doesn't mind if strangers pet him. He barks because he wasn't
socialized before I adopted him. We are working on this problem, but the simple truth is, some dogs need more
'space' than other dogs. My dog needs space. He wants to approach other dogs, but doesn't have the confidence.
When other dogs approach him, he growls then becomes aggressive.
My suggestion is if you haven't already, hire a professional animal trainer to work with you and your dog. You
won't be sorry. (02/03/2006)
When I moved my Pit Bull became aggressive with other dogs. I have really been working with him. I strongly advise
every Pit Bull owner to do obedience classes with their dog. I think your boyfriend is wrong for wanting you to get
rid of your dog. They are like children you wouldn't get rid of your children if they misbehaved. Moving is very
confusing for an animal. (05/10/2007)
Click on the link below. This might help you with your answer. A sign of aggression in a pit bull is dangerous.
Just to let those know, Pit Bulls are very much lap dogs. I have a problem Pit Bull, 6 months old, and I am taking
her to obedience class. However, getting her off my lap is a problem. She loves affection! (07/03/2007)
Like all dogs, Pit Bulls are pack animals and they look for a leader to follow. If you are not this leader or you
are a weak leader, you will not be followed and your dog will be the leader and you will be following your dog.
(adapting by not having people over or taking her on walks etc.)
First you need to find out if your dog is already dominating you. Does she lay on you, jump on the couch
without permission, growl at you, ignore your commands. If so then your dog is already the boss. From now on
however, your dog must earn everything! Before you even enter your house, you must make your dog sit at the door
and stay there until YOU say it is OK for the dog to enter. Once inside the house, the dog shouldn't be allowed to
bug you for attention or food or beg. It should only receive attention when it does something right. (Sitting
quietly when people pass by your house etc.)
When you take your dog on a walk (which you should do at least 3 times a day) don't let your dog pull on you.
Keep the leash short and dog by your side. Walk confidently like you are the leader and restrain your dog with
stiff and stern commands. Don't yell or get emotional, stay calm and cool yet very stern.
The dog must also earn its food. Come up with exercises that promote good behaviors and always correct bad
behaviors within 1-2 seconds of the behavior. You let the dog think it is your leader and you need to retake your
position as the leader. You decided to get a dog that is both physically and mentally demanding and though it may
be hard, it is your responsibility to keep it inline to prevent bad things from happening. Your dog will follow
If you're nervous your dog will be too, if your guests are nervous your dog will pick up on that. Your dog is
smarter then you think. (02/08/2008)
Pit bulls are not pack oriented dogs. They are great dogs, but what most people don't realize is that they are
bred to fight. They are bred to hog-dog. They are bred to pull. There are different types of pits. If you raise
them to be a good dog they will be a good dog. Your dog sees your new house as its territory. It discovered it.
You are the dog's family and that dog is going to protect that house you and your family no matter what. It is
going to die for you if it has to. It's not trying to be a mean dog. You have to reassure the dog that its OK.
Don't lock it in a room. The dog will rip the carpet up to get to you. That dog doesn't want you to forget about
it. Pit Bulls are great dogs. You just have to make sure it knows it's OK. (04/20/2009)
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