My dog snapped at me while I was trying to clean her ears.

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frenchie_mama

My dog snapped at me while I was trying to clean her ears.

Postby frenchie_mama » Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:16 am

This is the first time I have cleaned her ears (only had her since Friday), and she obviously isn't used to it because she really squirmed. I cleaned them with the solution and cotton balls, but as I was going to just wipe around the outside of her ears with a washcloth she snapped at my hand. Should I be worried about this? I've had 6 other dogs in my lifetime and not one of them has ever snapped at me. What can I do to keep it from happening again?

Chris

Postby Chris » Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:31 am

First of all, you did NOTHING wrong. What has happened here is all too common. Pitbulls are sort of a breed apart in that they have been bred for thousands of years to take on and contol or bring down, large powerful animals. This is the original Bulldog we are talking about here.

Through no fault of your own other than inexperence you've gotten a poorly bred, defective dog, with bad nerves. In the case of a lot of dogs, say small ones this is just an inconvenience. With a Pitbulldog it can be VERY dangerous. One should NEVER get a Pitbulldog just because they felt sorry for it. Now, you had no way of knowing this and a lot of shelters will prey on peoples heartstrings. But what you want in a Pitbull pup is a happy, outgoing, confident dog that looks on the world as its playpen.


What I would do with a dog that had a bad termperment is humanly euthinise it. I got this from reading back on threads you have posted. Now, it is possable that this dog MIGHT be ok, with a ton of work and great vigilance on your part. But, then there will be a sound, well-adjusted Pitbull somewhere who gets PTS because it does not have a home.


Some people will really be angry at me for posting this since you CAN work with a lot of even very iffy dogs and make it work. And in some cases you can't .


But my take is that a combanation of bad experences and bad genetics have made your new pup unlikely to ever be a well-adjusted, trustworthy pet.

frenchie_mama

Postby frenchie_mama » Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:37 am

I was afraid that someone would say that. It was so odd. She's an absolute doll when we are playing or sitting together. But today I was out in the yard with her and one of the neighbor kids who always plays with our Frenchies rode by on his bike and she just bolted at him barking and growling. We have a fully fenced yard so she couldn't have gotten to him, but this is a kid who comes over and plays with my other dogs nearly every day. I keep thinking that she will settle down in a while, but now I am getting very nervous. I have known 3 other people with pitties and none of them ever acted this way. My husband is so attached to her. :sad:

Chris

Postby Chris » Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:38 am

The reason I posted what I posted was NOT just the snapping, although that is enough, IMO. It was the acting fearful when leaving the shelter combined with the snapping.


It might well be the case that you've never met a really sound Pitbull but they are VERY friendly and happy-go-lucky about stuff, just very unflappable sorts of dogs.

Way too many shelters go for more shy, more submissive sorts of dogs but that is not the idea in a Pitbull.

I wish you luck. Remember there ARE tons of sound, relativly bomb-proof dogs in shelters. You just have to know what to look for. Do NOT get the shy, scared dog you feel sorry for even though that might seem cold hearted. Get the friendly, happy, goofy everyones best friend sort of dog. Or even the quite, stocial dog who is freindly when engaged. If they let the dog out to be petted, you want a dog that leans into you to maximize body contact.

Any dog thats "afraid of men" or shy: bad news, IMO.

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Postby pblove » Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:02 pm

I don't like hearing that at all!
The day I picked up my dog, she was a big, happy, freindly goof ball. I just met her, took her for a little stroll so she was a little comfortable with me, then put her in my sisiter's mini van and drove off with her.
All the way home, (a 2 1/2 hour drive), I kept saying, look how much she trusts us., she has no idea what we plan on doing with her, no wonder these dogs can be so abused, they are too trusting!
I have ben able to do anything I want with her and so can anyone else.
If you would walk up to her at a pit bull edcuation day at Petco, she will gently lick you, then lean into you as if she cannot be close enough.
I hate to hear things like this with a pit bull!
Have you talked to the shelter about these issues you are having with her, they did temp test her!

frenchie_mama

Postby frenchie_mama » Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:12 pm

They said that they temperment tested her and she that she did well. That's why this is a suprise to me. She isn't afraid of adults, but she so far has reacted very badly to kids (we have a lot of kids in the neighborhood) whether on foot or on a bike like Albert was. She wasn't afraid of me when I picked her up, but the entire way home she was flinging herself at the windows trying to get at the cars going by.

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Postby MyPetTherapyDogs » Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:59 pm

Hello:

Might you try going to a behaviorist? I would not give up on your dog yet. But I certainly would be going to see someone who can give you a professional opinion and get you and your dog into a modification plan. Also obedience training would be very helpful for you and your dog too!


The chasing behind the fence just may be territorial issues.
Here is something you can try if you are able (but be careful)

Desensitization:

Many shelter dogs may not have received enough human stimulation in the past such as ear cleaning, brushing, nail cutting etc. Certain dogs believe these things are harmful and perceive them as threatening.
Maybe the dog has had a bad experience in the past that you are not aware of?
Dogs can become defensive when they are put in a situation they remember as mental or physical torture. Dogs that feel threatened and cannot "flee" can and just may fear bite.

Try to begin desensitization the dog by gently rubbing your finger around your dog’s ear as you would if you were cleaning the outer area of the ear. Easily Massage in a circular motion gently just for a few seconds (If the dog allows you to do this) give your dog a wonderful treat for remaining calm and relaxed.
Gradually build up the amount of time spent massaging the dog’s ear. Make it as relaxing as possible for the dog.
Build into trying to massage the inner portion of the dog’s ear (same as you would if you were cleaning the outer area of the ear).
Always be calm and gentle and reward the dog for being calm and allowing you to do this.

You also may want to get some info on t-touch (read below)

I do if for shelter dogs (probably not correct) but I do try and it seems to relax the stressful dogs very much.

T_Touch:

Displaying of Negative Animal Behavior!
There are FOUR (4) Instinctive behavior Categories that Dogs display -
when feeling......Stressed!,...fearful!...Very concerned!
§ Freeze
§ Fight
§ Flight
§ Fooling around
What is Ttouch?
This is where Ttouch Therapy comes in, this unique touch technique can be used on a dogs, cats, horses to resolve this habitual instinct responses, using a gentle and natural connecting touch therapy (so easy to do). We have used this therapy on all types of animals, as small as a birds, rabbits. It is non evasive, gentle and animals love it!!
NOTE: This healing technique for pets is not the same as a pet massage or the healing reiki energy. You can apply the touches everyday or only a couple of times a week is fine - no more than 5 minutes required (max. of 5 minutes ONLY if animal is ill e.g. after surgery or very stressed) - Use touches only after observing what your animals needs at the time, watch for changes and new responses, then work can be stopped on the animal, or you may need to work on another problem!
How Ttouch technique works.
The hand and arm should remain soft. Be aware of your breathing. The Ttouch moves the skin rather than rubbing as a massage would. The intention is to activate neural pathways to the brain & to improve the function of the cells. When you affect the nervous system it also affects the muscle. With light/firm /slow/steady pressures the idea is to affect the nervous system and cells not the muscles. When the touch is done properly (circles closed) it generates all four (4) brain, wave patterns in the animals receiving it, alpha, beta, theta, and delta. E.g. Normal daily activity uses the beta pattern, alpha is equivalent to human concentration or meditation, theta is deep trance, and delta is the Level below consciousness usually associated with sleep. Using the touch to stimulate the body cells and corresponding brain cells activates the brain and change old habits and patterns For Example it enables the animal to think through rather than automatically reacting by instinct. .... So instead of the habitual fight or freeze, fooling around or flight response, the animal evaluates the situation - and calms down.
The faster beginning circles awaken the dog’s or cat’s body, and the slower on that follow allow deep relaxation, release muscle tension, deepen and enhance respiration, aid physical and emotional healing.



Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
Sue

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Postby pblove » Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:49 am

If you are interested in the TT methods, the lady that started it all is "Linda Tellington Jones", she has written books about the TT. She does seminars or she used to anyway. I attended one for horses many years ago, the results with the horses was amazing.
I also never do things like ears or nails or baths until the dog gets to know and trsut me when they first come to live with me.
Have you called the shelter where you got her and told her of these issues yet?
Maybe they have an evaluater that you can take her to?

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Postby MyPetTherapyDogs » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:43 am

I would love to go to a t-touch seminar. I hope she comes around my area soon.
In the mean time, here is some info from the web site.

http://www.tellingtonttouch.com/howttouch.shtml

Sue

HartagoldAST

Postby HartagoldAST » Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:59 pm

MyPetTherapyDogs wrote:Hello:

Might you try going to a behaviorist? I would not give up on your dog yet. But I certainly would be going to see someone who can give you a professional opinion and get you and your dog into a modification plan. Also obedience training would be very helpful for you and your dog too!


This is a pit bull we are talking about. They shouldn't NEED desensitization from something as routine as cleaning ears. That combined with the other problems she's seen with the dog screams for the blue needle.

This is a dog lunging at kids, in a neighborhood full of kids. I see headlines in the making...........again. :crybaby:

frenchie_mama

Postby frenchie_mama » Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:39 pm

HartagoldAST wrote:This is a dog lunging at kids, in a neighborhood full of kids. I see headlines in the making...........again. :crybaby:



That is exactly my fear. The shelter never told me that she was like this with kids, but I haven't been able to call them because I've been working during their limited open hours. The thing is that it's just kids. Adults walk by and she takes notice, but doesn't do anything. My husband's cousin came over here while I was outside with her and she ran up to greet him. But she hates kids, especially that one in particular. I've been losing sleep over this.

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Postby JCleve86 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:39 pm

I'll have to agree with Chris and HAG here...a pit bull who shows AND signs of instability should be humanely euthanized. Not only did she snap at you, but she's shown a few times (correct?) that she will show aggression towards kids. Honest to God, I wouldn't wait for it to get worse. Pit bulls just should not behave that way.

Letting her go is, IMO, the best thing. Then, when your ready, and if you want to try again, contact a reputable breed rescue (not a shelter) that is knowledgeable about THIS breed to help you find a good bulldog. It's not really the shelter's fault either...I'm sure they couldn't have seen her in these situations. It's that shelters deal with all types of dogs and it's rare that you'll find one who really, truly knows what a pit bull rescue should know about the breed in order to adopt out truly sound dogs.

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Postby MyPetTherapyDogs » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:03 pm

Well, you know the dog, if you feel she needs to be put to sleep than go for it. Some dogs are not worth putting the time and money into.
As you know, it is your decission.
Do what your heart tells you to. Not what others want you to do. Will the shelter take the dog back?? You may want to try to return her and let them make a decission on euthanization based on what they know about her and what you tell them.

I personally would first go to a behaviorist myself. And that is my opinion. I am entitled to my own opinions.

I am curious, however, who temperamented tested the dog in the first place and how long have you owned this dog? Do you know anything about the dogs background before you adopted her?
Have you done any obedience training with her?
What did the shelter tell you about her temperament? Was anyone from the shelter able to clean her ears??
Do you know what type of temperament test was done?
Here is an example of the type of temperament testing done at one of the shelters I volunteer at:

"Ideally, dogs should have at least three days to acclimate to the shelter prior to testing. Forms are used to chart the progression of the tests and to compile an adoption profile. In the beginning, the evaluator spends time observing the dog. This initial period allows the evaluator to see whether the dog is sexually mature and intact, whether it is cautious, and whether it his showing any signs of friendliness. Does the dog acknowledge the tester and/or solicit attention? This information determines if you proceed further.

Once it has been determined that the tests should continue, the evaluator begins stroking the dog in a neutral/non-threatening area first, then progresses to stroking the back, patting the side, patting the head, and finally initiating more affectionate interaction. The dog is rated on all of his responses. Personality traits are then determined: is the dog confident/timid, calm/frenetic, independent/dependent, people oriented/environment oriented, unflappable/reactive, etc. All of these traits have varying degrees of interpretation, so careful assessment is important. Many dogs fall within a continuum of the personality descriptions, and this gives way to further explanation on their evaluation forms. Physical control and restraint responses are tested. This is similar to a veterinary examination: the dog experiences physical restraint and his teeth, ears as well as the rest of his body are checked. Also, the play and prey response is checked. The evaluator attempts to engage the dog in physical play and takes notice of how quickly the play occurs, whether it escalates (i.e. does it become mouthing, grabbing, jumping). When the evaluator stops, he also takes notice of how long it takes before the dog calms down. Interest in toys is tested, too. Retrieving and tug games are applied to see what experience the dog has. A chase response is tested to determine whether the dog is aroused by quickly moving targets.

The evaluator looks at prior training: Does the dog have any? Without physical manipulation and without prompting with the leash or collar, verbal obedience cues and hand signals are given. Response to sit, down, shake/paw, come, etc. are tested. Rewards are given when the dog responds correctly. If no training is apparent, evaluators teach the "Sit!" command using a food lure. This is the beginning of the dog's in-shelter training. On-leash behavior is also observed. Food and object guarding are tested, as are the dog's reaction to visitors and strangers. Dogs are tested to determine compatibility with other dogs and cats.

This is a brief overview of the temperament tests administered at animal shelters. Shelters sometimes improvise by removing or adding additional tests to the routine. In reality, each test is performed in great depth. Each dog is evaluated as an individual and is not prejudged by breed or size. Care is taken when completing the written profile. This information is detailed and should reasonably suggest the type of home and environment preferred for each dog".

As you can see, if the dog was temperament tested properly, the shelter should have know an awful lot about her personality in the first place.

Good luck to you whatever you decide.

Sue

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Postby pblove » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:07 am

she just got the dog 4 days ago when this happened.

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Postby MyPetTherapyDogs » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:20 am

Then I would just take the dog back to the shelter where it came from.
There are so many dogs out there.


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