Saying hello and asking for advice

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Re: Saying hello and asking for advice

Postby Ilovethepits » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:52 pm

I welcome you and your family, both two and four legged!

I would highly recommend that you contact Red on this forum by PM. She lives in CA, has extensive experience and can steer you in the right direction regarding the training and behaviorists.

Also, you will find many threads on this forum regarding the fact that pit bulls (and also other breeds of dogs) will sometimes be dog aggressive (DA) and will never be trained out of that, but can be managed by a dedicated owner. It is a fact with some dogs.

I wish you the very best of luck with Murphy and hope that everything works out so that your lifetime committment to him does not waiver.

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Re: Saying hello and asking for advice

Postby jamielvsaustin » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:05 pm

I had a huge/long post typed out and then a power outage happened!!! So fustrating.

I second what Ilovethepits said-about contacting Red.

I've been in a similiar situation before and I remember how freaked out I was, so I understand your concern. I guess the biggest things I want to tell you are-your dog being aggressive towards other dogs has nothing to do with people. For them it does not translate. Yes, there are dogs out there that are aggressive towards people but the typical Pit Bull is not supposed to be. And you should start separating your dogs for now. At least until you can get this under control. It takes dogs longer to calm down after a fight than it would you or me. And likely the attacked dog is going to be on guard more, that in itself can cause a fight.
There are a few stickies in the different sections that I think will help you. Read the one about dog parks, it's a long sticky but the first post has the meat of the information. And then anything you can find on aggression or body language. It's likely the majority of the attacks in your home were resource guarding (and dogs can pick anything to guard-toys, places, people) but even if they weren't it's very likely they weren't "out of nowhere". Dogs' body language can be very subtle. It's likely whatever human was there supervising just didn't catch it.

Good luck! Keep us updated.

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Re: Saying hello and asking for advice

Postby Red » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:49 pm

Rednosemurph wrote:I hired a top trainer in Los Angeles who says she can help me manage the behavior using an e-collar.

Was that the only option this trainer gave you, from the get going? Why is it a must for you that this dog share toys with others? The concept of sharing is not something we should be expecting from dogs, since resource guarding is an adaptive behavior and quite common in dogs.

I would not recommend anyone who uses electric collar for these situations, and unless you chose another route I can't be of any help as far as referrals.Management is what needs to happen before thinking of electric stimulation, in my opinion.If you look around this forum there are plenty of people who put toys away when two or more dogs are together. Not sharing toys is really not the end of the world and nothing impossible to live with. Please manage your dogs for the time being, there is no need to have these situations repeating when it is easy to prevent it.

When you get approved to post in the other area of the forum I'd like to know what these trainers did before, to get an idea of what was done, if you don't mind to talk about it.

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Re: Saying hello and asking for advice

Postby Nichole » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:12 pm

Many of us have been through this, myself included. These attacks never come out of no where. There is always a trigger. A resource, an action, whatever. What makes it hard is when you aren't sure what triggered it. There is a difference between resource guarding and being DA. From thew sounds of it your dog is showing more signs of a resource guarding issue more so than being DA.

Both resource guarding and dog reactivity can be managed. With resources you can improve things to increase the dogs tolerance of toys and other dogs, but it ultimately comes down to management. Not leaving the dogs alone together unattended, picking up toys, only allowing them when they are in their own separate areas, that sort of thing. The blow up between your friends dog and your own is your friends fault for not listening to you. Plain and simple.

With a resource guarder or dogs that are DA it is important that the people you watch them for you be fully trained and educated on their quirks. That excludes your average person. One of my girls is both DA and a resource guarder. I am very very very very picky as to who handles and watches her in my absence because in the wrong hands the end result could be awful.

I have handled my dogs DA issues and resource guarding issues and I did so without an e-trainer. Positive reinforcement only, thanks. Definitely msg Red to get some contacts who can help you without the use of an e-collar.

Another thing that should be mentioned - it is generally not the greatest thing to let a large dog (like your pitty) play with such small dogs. The size difference alone can kick in a prey-drive reaction where their brain can switch gears and the small dog is not a dog anymore. It's prey. It can happen very quickly. Everyone is playing nice until they aren't and then its a disaster.

Good luck! ANd welcome!

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Re: Saying hello and asking for advice

Postby Mya&theSiebenDackels » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:02 pm

Welcome to the PBF!

x2 to what everyone else said.

No more toys or anything that triggers him to want to act aggressive towards the other dogs need to be out when he is around other dogs. If you can not trust other people to do that than he does not need to be around other dogs with them.

Just a reminder to please be very careful with Murphy around the little dogs as he could easily kill them in a matter of seconds if you do not properly manage them together. Seeing your dog kill your other dog is not a pleasant experience and I would never wish that on anyone. Believe me, I have been there and it is horrible. My American Bully Mya(dog in my avatar) killed my dachshund Piper in a matter of seconds because Piper jumped up and bit at Mya's muzzle. Not trying to worry you or scare you, just wanted to make you aware that it is always best to be more on the cautious side when you are dealing with big dogs and little dogs together and resource guarding and dog aggression issues.

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Saying hello and asking for advice

Postby JenLeigh » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:40 am

I feel like it should also be mentioned that while resource guarding is likely, and also very manageable with the proper instruction, you have a pit bull.

Yes they are maligned in the media as vicious man biters!!! Baby killers!!!!

They aren't. They are born and bred to LOVE their people.

But they are also bred to fight dogs.

Not every dog will be hot blooded. I have a very very cold dog. He wouldn't so much as blink at another dog after the initial "oh hai!!!!!!".

But these dogs have a tendency to mature and decide one day that they don't even want to look at their housemates anymore without going for blood. It's fact.

Not saying this is the case with Murphy. But it's something that pit bull owners have to be prepared to deal with. Forever home means forever. And if your dog becomes hot, you will likely live a life of crate and rotate. And many people here do so just fine. And they have happy, loving, smart, active bullies who shine stars in their eyes when they look at their people.

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Re: Saying hello and asking for advice

Postby spammie » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:21 am

I hope you can work with Red.

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