...need advice, please read

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sahara311
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...need advice, please read

Postby sahara311 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:25 pm

So... the second big fight (in all of 2 years) happened last weekend.
I was at work, I get a call from the boyfriend. He says the two males, Cane and Nolo got into a fight.
Since we have issues with our neighbor, we have had to take the dogs out on a leash one at a time to go potty... mind you in our own BIG fenced in yard.... big drama, you can read about that here : http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=84071&highlight=
Anyways, Cane ( our dominant male) had gone out first, and he was taking out Mia ( the very submissive female) Now, we know the males don't get a long well, so we have a 4 foot metal gate that separates our kitchen and the rest of the house. Apparently he didn't latch the gate (or whatever) and the males were allowed to interact unsupervised.
When my boyfriend came up to the door to come in, the 2 males funneled at the doorway, and the excitement started them into a tussle.
Now, had I been home, I woulda just had to have said a few loud words, and they would have separated.
Not Billy. He tells me, he started yelling and grabbing for collars, and punching them to get apart. Finally he pulls them apart, ripping Nolo's ear in two..... ($250 vet bill...)
Now since he thrusts his hands into the mix, he got 2 TINY puncture wounds on his hand, and a sore wrist from punching..... ( and my dogs have broken blood vessels in their eyes now...)
Now the boyfriend is telling me he is sick of dealing with the dogs, and that one has to go.
I told him point blank these are my kids. You will not be euthanizing them for your mistake.
He persists. "Well, then we will get Nolo a new home"

:yucky: That makes me sick. First of all, we rescued Nolo from an abusive home. I'm not putting him back in danger of that again. I will not allow him to be dropped off at a shelter, nor will I put posters up for god knows who to want him.
Then today we have a big fight about it again.
He tells me he would rather just put Cane down.
:po:

Now Cane is our oldest ( 6 years old) dog. He's been trained and is generally well behaved. He does have his issues. He is grouchy and growls when he is cranky. He doesn't try to bite or anything, just expressing his discontent (is what I call it)
He snaps at Mia, not biting-just big talk to let her know to get in line.

I would like to get a Behaviorist in to assess and help behavior modification to correct the problems. I can't find any! If anyone knows of a national database, or just one in Central Florida please PM me!!!!

It's getting to the point where I am thinking of leaving just to save the dogs. He is dead set on one of them going, one way or the other.

And it's killing me. My once very pro-pit bull boyfriend is hiding behind stupid lies. "See? He's gonna turn on us!" "Maybe his brain is too big for his skull" (?!?!?!)
I think a lot of the aggression is coming from their lack of exercise. They used to go out on their springpole and do that for like an hour each night.
But the genius has cut it down, stating that he doesn't want the neighbors seeing the dogs hanging on the rope.
I just am at wits end. It's like he's not even understanding it's his fault!

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defendabull
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Postby defendabull » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:11 pm

i'm sorry that your boyfriend
is behaving like that. he didn't
latch the gate so the fight is
his fault. :frown:

as for his demands, i would
tell him don't let the door
hit ya where the good lord
split ya.

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Postby BrokenAquarian » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:18 pm

The boyfriend is wrong - but he's not the only one making excuses for the dog's behavior.

I'm glad you're seeking out a behaviorist

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mrpps
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Postby mrpps » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:04 am

Now Cane is our oldest ( 6 years old) dog. He's been trained and is generally well behaved. He does have his issues. He is grouchy and growls when he is cranky. He doesn't try to bite or anything, just expressing his discontent (is what I call it) He snaps at Mia, not biting-just big talk to let her know to get in line.


Does he growl at you, your boyfriend, your other dog(s) or just anybody?

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sahara311
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Postby sahara311 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:22 pm

He doesn't growl at people, he's very people friendly.
He growls at Mia when she tries to get attention that he is getting, when she gets over excited, barks, etc.
He does on occasion growl when he is cranky, at night, at us. But seriously, I don't feel like he is growling with biting intention- at us.
I am a very active sleeper, and I kick, toss turn, etc, and he growls when I hit him in my sleep-he for some reason likes to lay in between my legs.
I am gonna get a vet appointment and get his thyroid checked, after some research I have done, thinking it may be something like that.

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mrpps
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Postby mrpps » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:40 pm

When your dog growls at you under the conditions that you described, what do you do?

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sahara311
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Postby sahara311 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:35 pm

Usually tell him "no" and tell him to go to 'bed' which is his own room w a dog bed.

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mrpps
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Postby mrpps » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:27 pm

Thanks for being patient with me asking questions. I was just looking at your post and it appears that you have done a good job for quite some time keeping your dogs separated without issue. And it looks like your dogs do pretty well in your home except for one thing, the growling of Cane which is always a serious issue when they do it to their owner (not that it's not serious otherwise, but more manageable for the family of the dog).

I'm not going to presume to tell you what to do with your boyfriend or with Cane over the long haul, but there is where the two issues seem to be from your post.

Your boyfriend has become frantic and appears to hate one of your dogs. Just his attitude, tone of voice dealing with the dogs, and general way that he is dealing with your situation will without doubt continue to cause the situation to deteriorate.

The second issue is Cane growling. You made a distinction when you said you didn't think he would bite when he growled at you. But your dog doesn't make any distinction between why he growls at you and why he growls at your other dog. A growl is a prelude to a bite. All dogs growl for one or more of a few reasons: to make someone or something stop something, go away, give something up, etc. They make no distinction between the reason they growl at humans or other dogs. It's to make something happen. That doesn't mean that I am from the camp that thinks that dogs see people just like other animals. This is only about the reasons they growl and what it is likely to lead to.

The most common statements we hear when a dog owner or a member of their household is bitten or attacked by the family pet are: "he just did it without warning", out of the clear blue", "had never done that to anybody before", etc. All revealing that the owner believed the dog showed no signs of what was coming. The fact is, there is always a sign or warning. Yours is being made very clear. He may have done it for a long time, but that makes it even more serious, because people become desensitized to it and relaxed with it. And in the volatile situation that you have now, it becomes even more likely that it will escalate somewhere.

Please take the situation with Cane very seriously and if you can't get professional help immediately, at least remove him from the situations that make him prone to growl (sleeping on the bed, or whatever else usually leads to it).

Hope you can find a way to take a deep breath and get some clarity on your situation. In the absence of a professional behaviorist, there's nothing wrong with picking up couple of books by proven trainers to get some insight.

Good luck.

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Postby sahara311 » Mon May 12, 2008 9:01 pm

OK, just to update

Found a Animal Behaviorist in my region. He actually trains wild animals at a local attraction, as well as dogs.

He came in, listened to both me and my bf, while allowing the dogs to interact...together... without incident :thumbsup:

Then we all went for a walk, something Billy has never ever done before. I'm the walker, feeder, potty-er, vet taker, medicine giver, etc...

Once home, the Behaviorist let me with 2 of the dogs at home, and then took Billy out to show him how to properly handle walking them.

Then we did some exercises, walking in and out doors, responding to when people visit, etc.

He then came up with the conclusion that not only was Cane the dominant canine, he was using his snarling directed at us as dominating us.
He showed us behavior that we didn't even realize Cane was doing. He also noticed that when Nolo would become hyperactive, either Cane or Mia would correct him by nipping or growling. This is what probably started the 2 fights.
There was a lot more things, but I dont have my notes handy, lol.
We got some homework to do, as far as retraining Cane that he is NOT "Top dog" getting Nolo to be calm, and working on Mia's nervous habits/behaviors.
No laying on chairs, couches, our bed. Since Cane has recently decided chewing on furniture is ok. :po:
Boy, it's gonna be rough. He is gonna come back in 2 weeks, or sooner if we need him to.

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Postby SadiesHuman » Mon May 12, 2008 10:07 pm

I'm glad you found a behavioralist and he seems like he really knows his stuff! Good luck and work hard these next two weeks.

Have you and Billy talked anymore on what your next step is with the dogs? If working on them is enough for him, or if he still wants to get rid of a dog?


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