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I need help on laws regarding Pit Bulls. Can my vet take him from me? I took my 10 week old puppy in for his first check up today and the vet said he was severely aggressive.
They told me I need to hit him and they are giving me 2 weeks to get him under control or he will have to be "put down". Can they take my puppy from me? How can they know what he will be at 10 weeks old?
First - get to another vet. No vet worth anything will ever tell you to hit your dog. That is outrageous.
That said, you still need to deal with the dominant behavior of the dog before the safety of you and your family, your neighbors ( and the next vet) is threatened.
You didn't say how old your pup was when you got it--if it was younger than eight weeks, it's common for dogs of all breeds, not just pit bulls, to have aggression and general socialization problems from being taken from their mothers too soon.
I'd get your pup to obedience class as soon as he has all his puppy shots--that would put it at about 3 1/2 months old; even at Pet Smart, there are some good trainers who can refer you to behavioral people if what's going on with your dog is beyond their area of expertise with the basic puppy training.
The thing of it is, even in dominant breeds, a good trainer can make most dogs unlearn what unacceptable to you. Without beating the dog, too.
Denise--saw your second post ( my second here, too) on worrying about whether you can be forced to euthanize your puppy based on ten minutes with that "vet" ( using the term loosely here, because this clown doesn't sound like one).
Don't know your location, but check the animal control website for whatever town and county you're in; most will really spell out what their laws on dangerous dogs are. Where we live, it's not classified as one unless it's a known aggressive breed and/or any dog that has actually bitten a human or attacked another domesticated animal.
The laws vary wildly all over the country, but most do not permit a vet to euthanize an animal without the owner's permission unless the dog is actually in the process of a violent and unprovoked attack.
As I said earlier, I'd change vets pronto. To be safe,on your first visit-- ask that the puppy is muzzled and explain your experience with the previous vet. Report the first vet as soon as you can; he's promoting animal abuse ( and makes you wonder if he's slapping around his patients that are there for overnight stays or other procedures in which the owners aren't present).
To ease your mind a little, ask yourself a couple of questions: can you put your hand in the puppy's food bowl without him getting aggressive? Is he okay with you touching his paws, ears, inside of his mouth?
If you haven't done these things yet with him, start. The more you do, the less antsy he'll be when the new vet is prodding and poking.
Sending good thoughts your way; I don't have a Pit, but a Belgian Malinois. They are strong-willed, hyperactive and can also be intimidating; sometimes, you need to go vet-shopping to find the right one that really understands your breed and can actually help you to understand and control your dog.
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Hila from Van Nuys, CA
I have a Pit Bull also and it seems that they are all like that. I also have an American Bulldog. This dog he is use to and they get along, but when I take the puppy out for a walk and he see's another dog he goes absolutely nuts. I have the collar in my hand and have to literally pick him up from his front legs and drag him down the street until he calms down.
I think it is in all Pits not just yours. If you hear anyway to cure it please let me know. Also there is a show and a web site you can check out that is marvelous. It is Ceasar Millan. He is a great dog trainer. His show is called the Dog Whisperer. Check him out for sure.
Linda H. (03/23/2009)
By Linda Hill
Get a squirt bottle and fill it with water. Every time the puppy misbehaves, squirt it (the narrow, fine straight stream, not the mist) right in the face. We take a squirt bottle on our walks, and as another dog approaches we give our dog a little squirt if he starts to lunge and it helps a lot. You can get squirt bottles at the dollar store or take the top of a cleaning spray nozzle and attach it to a water bottle just rinse out very, very, good first. Don't give up. Be the boss.
Your puppy doesn't respect you and he needs to. Also, you need to give your puppy a lot of exercise. All that energy needs to be drained out every day and then he won't have the energy to fight. See if it likes to swim or run with you or take it for a run while you ride your bike. Exercise is very, very important. Good luck.
Lee in FL (03/24/2009)
By Lee Taylor
You may want to try some natural supplements. You can go online to Only Natural Pet Store. These things have really helped my dogs, who have a tendency to fight each other for dominance. The supplements along with proper leadership are turning them around to being every enjoyable dogs. (03/24/2009)
The ancestry of the Pit is to fight other dogs in the ring until death. This, unfortunately, is a trait that is hard to water down over the generations. You will need to find a good trainer to work with you and your puppy. Some seem to still have this aggression towards other dogs, yet some do not. It appears that yours does.
Fortunately, the dog is young, giving you time to work with it with a professional. Check with your vet for a reputable trainer. Please, take this advice. I had a dog with aggression problems and did not take my vet's advice to get him trained. He loved children, but not adult men. He attacked our neighbor and we had to have him put down. I still regret, to this day that I did not take my vet's advice to get him trained properly. (03/24/2009)
First, I'd reduce their dry cereal for a while, and increase the availability of water and dish size, washing it often with mild liquid detergent, rinsing well, adding ice cubes in the summer. There is too much salt for the nervous system in dry products.
Don't bathe too often, unless a long haired dog that sweats a lot, or stays outdoors longer. Use the gentlest shampoos only and not colognes as some city groomers still do to cover up a poor cleaning odor.
If collared, check the fit monthly so it doesn't bind or choke them. Do not use a choke collar, but rather a harness only, regardless of size. That's animal cruelty. Remember that tie downs are illegal in most cities. Don't know about the country?
Biting at anytime other than during eating is to be forbidden, unless a young dog still teething, and old leather shoes are good for that if your closet door closes well, and if you aren't in the habit of kicking off your shoes anywhere other than inside the closet. Otherwise, choose a teether that doesn't look like clothing or animal.
Also, I'd remove the "stuffed animals" to prevent jealousy even if you think the dog knows they are not alive. It's the eyes and body shapes that cause them to want to practice attacking/ aggression. Use rope bundles, and chew toys instead. They will learn to attack whatever you let them attack or chew that looks alive.
When you play with them, be gentle, and say, "be soft, don't bite" over and over showing what soft is. They will eventually learn and play soft. Don't let anyone rough them up or play hard with them. They will follow their natural instinct if you do. Pay attention to their eyes, ears, and tail.You can learn a lot about what they are thinking, going to do next, if they are understanding/responding to you. Be consistent and don't lose your cool with them.
Also, curling your first finger out from your fist, to tap the top of the nose firmly, saying, "no! That's bad!". Use this technique when the dog does wrong for anything from aggression, biting furniture, or scratching, etc.
Try to give them "good boy" verbal rewards when they obey, not treats. There might come a time when you don't have a treat and that will produce angry learned behavior you might want to avoid. Place them first in another room when company is around. Don't set them or the company for failure.
Don't use aerosol cans, carpet sprays or powders, pesticides or chemicals when cleaning, inside or outside, unless safe for pets, again, watching their reactions for all things you clean with. Some dogs are so sensitive that even newly cut grass or pollen can set off aggression. Don't let them hang their head out the moving car window, or leave them locked in a hot car.
When leaving them alone, try to get a large metal cage and teach them that you will let them out when you are home. Don't encourage or train them to think they have the run of the house when you aren't there, then punish them if they disappoint you. It isn't animal cruelty, but wisdom to cage them in a twice larger than they are cage, complete with water and a little cereal, and worth it's weight in gold.
Feeding them only the right amount at a time, removing the rest, is the best idea. If you want a good watch dog, feed bigger meat amounts at night. Only cereal in a.m., and egg/tuna mid-day if you are at home to do so.
Avoiding canned foods which contain both diseased dead animals and every undesirable chemical disguised as "healthy" under the sun, is the best idea you can do. Feed them cheap cuts, table scraps, rice/veggies/meat gravy mixtures, and let them have about 15 minutes of sun daily, once/twice a day.
If they begin to eat grass, they have an upset stomach regardless of what anyone tells you. Give them a small amount of canned pumpkin mixed into their meat until they no longer eat grass.
Let them use the bathroom in the farthest corner from your home and your neighbor's, then use cheap cat litter or shredded news paper for a single layer over each pile, unless you enjoy picking it up. It makes good fertilizer, you must have noticed. If they are having too many bowel movements, reduce the meats. If not often enough, increase the meats and check water often. Dry cereal is constipating, as well, unless an expensive brand. You can add chicken or beef broth to help with that problem. They will thank you by being more calm.
Avoid loud sounds, shouting, high music, and highly heated air. Most animals prefer a slick floor during hot weather and a simple rug during the cooler nights.
Avoid lots of fun "clothing" for a serious dog, out of respect for them, even if you think it is "cute", unless for a special photo, or occasion, or memory album.
Inspect your fencing well and often, because even an outside animal can dig through and create a hole that tempts your pet to escape. Watch for used lumber or fencing being tossed and add a second layer of fencing to the lower 1/3rd of your wooden fence when needed.
Inspect their feces for worms of any kind, and treat them accordingly with over the counter meds from the pet store. You can identify them from the web sites.
Keep their toenails clipped, and bedding clean, along with their ears. Greet them when you arrive home, awake in the morning, and love them when you say goodnight. They don't require much, but don't deserve to be ignored, which can make for an unhappy pup.
All of these things will make for a great, loving, obedient, and faithful pet for years.
Hope this works. I had a Sharpei and a Peekapoo which died because of my lack of knowledge. Good luck and god bless.
I would go to leerburg.com and read about pack structure and Pit Bulls. He mostly trains German Shepherds, but there is a lot of info that would apply to your little dear. Mostly it is about pack structure and then you can see which of his many instructions on different topics apply to you.
By Robyn Fed