My boyfriend and I found an abused pit bull in a box outside our apartment building about a year ago. We decided to keep him and overall he is good, just very active. Recently I have noticed that when he sees other dogs he starts to whine and once he gets approach or he approaches them, he jumps back.
Even a pit bull can be a whussy! Some of the biggest dogs I know are nothing more than gentle, giant, slobber factories, and my Aunt's Teacup Dashhound is a bully. Sounds like he needs to be socialized. I would set up some play appointments with the locals, and make the time all about him and his new friends.
Bully breeds can be the big macho fighters but most of the time they are what they have always been - man's best friend. I'd guess anxiety as well, and learn to watch the ears and tail. They tell you more than anything! Find a small group dog training class while remembering dogs on leash often feel they have no options and they have to protect you. but they need a lot of socialization - their entire lives. Also with obedience training you give your dog more confidence, and when they are on a command they have to listen to you, their alpha, which gives them an excuse to not have to react to the other dog.
Sounds like the poor guy was maybe used in fighting which would cause the fear of other dogs and strange people. He will needs lots of TLC.
When he whines, is he wagging his tail? Usually, if they're wagging their tail, they want to play. If his tail is tucked, he's afraid of other dogs. That could have been caused by the abuse. If he is wagging his tail, it sounds like he wants to play but is afraid of the other dogs. A slow introduction with a very friendly (non-dominering dog) may help. Just go slow. Don't push him to be around several dogs at one time.
Sounds silly, but talk to him . A lot. He won't understand you, but it seems to help calm pooches. I read this online (www.petplace.com free newsletter) and it helped my daughter's rescued dog (over time - with that dog nothing is instantaneous).
Your dog needs TONS of exercise. You should run with him daily or at least do 2 long, brisk walks where your heart rate elevates to help burn off some of his energy.
Second, it seems more like he is lonely but poorly socialized and uncertain of how to behave around other dogs.
Exercise really is #1 for curing most animal behaviour problems. Discipline and good training with positive reinforcement of good behaviours (reward him when he sees other dogs but before he has a chance to back away) and consistently begin making the sight of other dogs a really good thing for him.
Keep up with the exercise and training and you'll be in dog parks before you know it.
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