snapping

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BrokenAquarian
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Postby BrokenAquarian » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:56 pm

There is also the fact that the dog is only 1 years old. She is not an adult, she is still a puppy. As a dog grows from puppy to adult, their tolerances change.

They also tend to test their boundaries and lose respect for people they previously held to utmost standards.

If the rebelliousness is not caught right away and prevented or gotten under control, it can escalate into nipping and biting (sometimes worse).

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:12 am

Oh yeah...I overlooked that she is a year.
I'd start NILIF if you don't already, and Mind Games, both of those can only help the situation.

http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/mindgames.html

She does sound like a dog with no boundaries to speak of.

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dcomella
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Postby dcomella » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:04 am

The first time she snapped at my granddaugther My granddaugther was in the kitchen dancing swing her hands the dog was on the bed in my room where she can see the kitchen. She ran off the bed and snapped at my granddaugthers hand.

The second time she did this she was laying on the bed and my granddaugther went to get on the bed with her.

The third time she did it was my granddaugther was standing between her and the puppy when my granddaughter went to pet Bella she let out a big growl and then she snapped at her hand.

Each time it has been minor injuries. Such as small marks but not broken skin.

I have not notice any change before hand of body movements.

My granddaugther is over the house once a week for a sleep over. She has been with the dog since I got her. She was with her every day all summer.
Bella has never been crated. She is a family pet and does have the run of the house. The puppy jagger is crated when we are not home or when we are sleeping. All these incidence have happen with us right there.
If she does have a throid problem why is it she only does this to my granddaugther?

This dog always would follow my granddaugther around was always with her.

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:14 am

I'd not say it was a thyroid problem but it's good to rule that out.

It sounds honestly like, in the dog's mind, the child is doing things she "should not be doing", and the dog is disciplining her.
It's very dangerous because who knows what the dog thinks is "wrong"?

That's why dogs are not to be allowed to make judgement calls, this is why we crate and have structure, and clear rules about what is and is not allowed.

This is why the structure of Nothing in Life is Free, and "Mind Games" is so good for dogs, there are clear cut rules.

Your female was never crated, never shown, "Oh hey, this is the dog bed, this is where you sleep", she's had, like you said, "run of the house" so figures she owns it all and has the "right" to scold your granddaughter with a bite/nip.

Your goal is to get the dog to realize YOU are in charge, not her.

http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm is one way
and the mind games link I posted is another.

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dcomella
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Postby dcomella » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:28 am

I just read nilif and I do like that approach. I am going to print it out and start working with her on that. I am also going to call her vet to see if she can do the blood test.(I have nothing to lose having it checked out.) I will stop my granddaughter from petting her on the head and introducing them together slowly. Of course I will be very close to the dog when I let my granddaugther pet her on her back not on her head. Thank you for the two web sites and the advice. I am starting to feel better about the whole problem because now I have things to work with.

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:40 am

Whatever you do, do not "protect" the dog from the child, in the terms that she toddles over to pet the dog and you're there going OH NO, just keep the dog away from the child and do not try to reintroduce until you've made progress with the NILIF and mind games to the extent that the dog is more respectful, first of all, to you.
That she defers to YOU for "decision making", although that is difficult to describe you will know and understand when you see it.

For an example, someone comes to the door and formerly she'd take control of the situation, by barking or whatever, and NOW you say "Hey, (insert dog's name), come over here, and quit barking" and the dog listens to you. Not that THAT is your problem, but the point is, the dog looks to YOU for "guidance" and does not try to take matters into her own paws, or teeth so to speak.

At some point you will incorporate, as long as it is safe, having the child give the dog treats, making the dog SIT each time. The dog must be taught that the child is a legitimate family member/superior and that the CHILD must be listened to.
It is very controlled and you are right there, telling the child "Tell her to SIT" and the dog should SIT in response to the child telling her - then the child gives her one of her favorite treats.

When you reach that point, that the dog respects the child as a human and superior, and not an underling or unruly pup to be disciplined, that you'll know you've made progress.
But again, that's only after working with her every day, up until that point, so she respects YOU, too.

Because by doing what she's doing, she's saying "Screw you, this kid is a brat" and trying to boss the child around.

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dcomella
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Postby dcomella » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:47 am

up to this point the child who's name is Giulia and is six years old would give bella treats and have bella sit for her or go down for her. But I will wait to work with bella before I let Giulia be around her again. When Giulia is with me Bella will be on the breeze way with a child gate up. She will still be able to see what is going on and will not be all alone she will just not have the run of the house.

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:50 am

Interesting.
So with a basic understanding (after reading the NILIF) do you think this could be the problem?
If not, (and even if it is) I'd recommend finding a trainer who is qualified to work with her.

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dcomella
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Postby dcomella » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:18 pm

I have to print the whole web site when I print it out I am going to read it fully and have it with me to help with reining her in. I am not sure what the problem is because it is all new for her. But doing more training with her will not hurt. All my sons friends come in and she goes up to them with her tailing wagging and looking for attention. She never growls or snaps at them and she only sees them once a week. She is fixed so it is not because of her going into a heat.

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tiva
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Postby tiva » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:39 pm

My guess is that this is related to two things: your older dog's age and the addition of the puppy. Your Bella is just beginning to change from a puppy into a socially mature dog, and that can mean enormous changes in behavior and stress. Plus, you added a new puppy several months ago, and now that Bella is becoming socially mature, her relationships with the puppy and the rest of the household are changing as well. Without seeing everyone in the house, it's hard to know what she's thinking. Perhaps she's displacing stress that originates from trying to deal with this goofy puppy onto the granddaughter. Perhaps she's testing her new boundaries, and disciplining the granddaughter in the same way she would discipline the puppy. Perhaps she's just stressed from all the changes in her body and in the household, and your granddaughter is one more source of stress, so she snaps.

Whatever it is, here are some suggestions:
1. Arrange for a certified behavioral consultant who is familiar with pitbulls and who uses positive techniques to come over and watch the whole group interact.
2. Until then, do what others have suggested, and keep the child and dog separated with a gate
3. Work on creating positive associations between the dog and the child, with the help of your trainer. Start with lots of praise and treats for the dog when she's being calm (on the other side of the gate) when the child is around, then slowly work up to having the child give her treats, while closely supervised.

If the dog had wanted to hurt the child, she certainly could have. The fact that these snaps resulted in no broken skin means that your dog is trying hard to communicate that she's stressed by the child, and that she wants your help in reducing that stress. What's causing the stress is hard to say without being there. Be thankful that your dog is doing such a good job communicating her stress without causing harm, and do your best to help her out. Good luck!

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is a good organization of 6000+ trainers devoted to positive techniques, and their website can help you find an approved trainer:http://www.apdt.com/po/ts/choose_trainer.aspx

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dcomella
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Postby dcomella » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:14 pm

Thank you, I just e-mail a trainer in No.Providecne to see if he will let me bring her to his classes. I hope they will welcome a pit bull. If not I will look again for someone that will. She is a good dog and I do not want to have to choose between my granddaugther and the dog. Because of course my granddaugther would win.

I think with more training she will be a great dog.

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tiva
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Postby tiva » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:18 pm

Depending on where you are in Rhode Island, you might want to chat with Jenny Dickinson. She's experienced with pit bulls (and adores them, always a help), and she specializes in working with dogs who have bitten or snapped. I don't know what techniques she uses, but she is a member of many positive-based had lots of experience in animal behavior (she teaches it at local colleges): http://www.inhomedogtraining.net/

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tiva
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Postby tiva » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:20 pm

Group classes may be helpful for other issues, but not for snapping at a child. You really want someone to work with her privately, in your home preferably.

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dcomella
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Postby dcomella » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:40 pm

I just e-mail Jenny also. Thank you for all the help.

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dcomella
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Postby dcomella » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:53 pm

I left jenny a phone message as well as e-mailing her. Again thank you for all the help. I will get to the bottom of this even if it kills me trying. :)


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