We just rescued/adopted a 10-12 week old male, Blue Pit Bull. He was abused and neglected. We are having an issue with him trying to show dominance over us and our 5 other dogs by constantly trying to hump us. Saying "no" and pushing him off is not working. How do I correct this without scaring him more or doing more damage than good? If redirection of attention is suggested, what should we use?
By Kim from Lusby, MD
Neutering should be done for sure, but he is not sexually mature at this age so that is not the issue. He is insecure based on his background he does not have a lot of confidence in people. He feels the need to control the other dogs and you to be safe. He needs to learn that you are the leaders and you will keep him and the other dogs safe and provide for their well being. the larger your pack the more complicated the dynamics. There are websites and training programs on the web. Also Pitbulls are not an aggressive breed. They are loving, loyal and quite docile. It's the way they have been socialized and trained by irresponsible owners that nurture aggression. It is not an innate trait. I will try to locate some of the training sites and send them. One technique is to keep puppy on a lead in the house and not allow jumping , humping behavior, reward positive interaction, and lots of walking with the other dogs in a controlled manner, where pup is not leading the pack but you are. Good luck
The first step would be to get him neutered.
He definitely needs professional training and that includes you and your family being involved in the training! Aggressive dog breeds especially need to know that 'you and your family members' are the Alpha and that he is equal and not Alpha to other pet family members and the sooner the better to ward off potential disasters!
Hi Kim, Here is a web site that is helpful, and they have free podcasts you can listen to on the computer. He does a good job explaining the pack dynamics with multiple dogs. I have six dogs, four males and he has helped me understand some of the issues we've been having with "pack life" :)
In response to what I already wrote about dog aggressive (which can even be poodles) and Merlene's comments this might also be helpful info for you:
"Most pit bulls aren't really as aggressive as they're made out to be. They tend to be loving, gentle and playful. But there are some that have been raised and trained to be highly aggressive. Such pit bulls tend to be more aggressive toward other animals than people. Aggressive pit bulls often have a history of being abused or neglected, and getting trained specifically to fight. Pit bulls that have been mistreated are seen as being extremely dangerous, so avoid them. If you own one, treat it gently and lovingly. Whether you've got a puppy or a full-grown dog, what's important is that you give it the attention and care it deserves. Recognizing and heeding the warning signs of potential dog aggression problems will make it easier to deal with them at an early stage. When in doubt about something dog-related, consult with a qualified veterinarian and/or animal behaviorist."
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