4 y.o.Pit Mix new aggression problem

Submitted by Lynz8605 on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:40

   My dog (Lexus), is a Pit, boxer, terrior mix. We got her from the humane society when she was 6 months old. She has always been FULL of energy, but has always loved all people and animals! Recently, she has been barking/growling alot more when people walk by. And now, she has started to bark/growl when some people try to pet her. It's always people she doesn't know, but she never use to do that! She was outside the other day and started barking at the neighbor, who was in the driveway. He went to say hi to her, and she growled, barked, and jumped at him. We have had many people over since, and she is fine with everyone. She is a little "overloving," trys to lick people and sit on their laps, but she is as nice as can be. But I'm nervous about how often she has been barking/growling at people. I feel like she is starting to be aggressive.

   I don't know what to do! Nothing else has changed, but I'm afraid it will continue or get worse! What can I do to stop this? I don't think she would ever bite anyone....but since this new behavior, she is making me question it.

  Someone please help!!!! Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

It really just sounds like she is defending you and your home.  The first time she did this did you discipline her?  She may just need to be told that it is unacceptable behavior. 

My husband works at an animal hospital, and said that sometimes dogs get anxiety like people do, and will growl and be aggressive.  They do make doggy prozac (reconcile).  You can talk to your vet about that.

I hope this helps, GL.

I yelled at her the first time it happened (and all other times) but I also kept making excuses for her :-/

I have also started yelling at her when she barks/growls at people walking by. (well...I tell her no, and say "be nice") and she stops when I say it.

She has never been aggressive to anyone that has been over, it's only when she is outside, and people come up to her. I try not to worry, because I don't want her picking up on my fear...but I also feel nervous about people petting her because I don't want to risk her doing something bad. However...I also feel like she does need to have people approach her and pet her more, because if I try to keep her from "strangers" it might make it worse. I really just don;t know what the "right" thing to do in a situation like this.

Do you know if these others who she barks at have pets of their own, specifically dogs? Or if they have come into contact with other animals? Not as if that's an excuse for barking, but I know ours sometimes will get overly excited if he smells a certain type of dog he really doesn't like. And sometimes he just gets excited and barks if the people around him give him a certain look (a COME AND PLAY WITH ME or I'M SCARED look)...I've noticed he's picked up A LOT on signals given by people.

Do you ever have her sit/stay, and have people approach with the backside of their hand? Sometimes that's less intrusive...ours is still learning this sit/stay technique...hope all is getting better with your situation! :)

Watch her body language around the people she growls/barks at.  Has anything changed in the household?  Does she seem nervous or scared or uneasy at all?  An aggressive dog  is usually a scared dog.  Is she in heat or spayed? There are a lot of compnents that can go into a dog suddenly becoming aggressive.  It's defintely something that can be fixed.  A wonderful group that I go to often is "The Dumb Friends League".  They are great with answering questions and helping with behavior problems. 

 

Good luck with her, I hope you get everything figured out.

Yes, she is spayed. She has always been weird about certain situations...for example...since we have gotten her she does not like "ghetto" people. It sounds really strange..but reguardless of race....there has been about 5 people (before this new "aggression"/barking) that she hadn't liked...and they have all acted/dressed very ghetto. Since I don't know much about her past...I'm guessing that could be related to whatever she is "picking up on" and not liking. But besides that she has loved ALL people AND dogs (especially small dogs), even cats! She has been the friendliest dog ever!!!

She has also always had really bad "seperation anxiety." She behaves really well when we are gone...but does not like to see us go at all!!! Ajnd she does get scared of certain stuff..but not usually people. She loves everyone. And SO FAR (fingers crossed) she has never barked/growled/jumped at someone who has come over (inside th house)...(besides "ghetto" people) It's only when they are outside walking by or running by the yard, or a couple times when we have been on walks.

I can't think of anything that has changed since she started acting this way. And since I first posted the problem...she hasn't growled at anyone. She has still been barking a bit, but that has even started to cut down.

I don't know if its better to try to expose her to a lot of different people/situations (under our control of course) or if its better to just leave her alone?

I've heard to pit's becomming "dog aggressive" as they got older.... (which Lexus hasn't..yet anyways)..but do they ever just become plain aggressive? Even to people?

 

Yes, she is spayed. She has always been weird about certain situations...for example...since we have gotten her she does not like "ghetto" people. It sounds really strange..but reguardless of race....there has been about 5 people (before this new "aggression"/barking) that she hadn't liked...and they have all acted/dressed very ghetto. Since I don't know much about her past...I'm guessing that could be related to whatever she is "picking up on" and not liking. But besides that she has loved ALL people AND dogs (especially small dogs), even cats! She has been the friendliest dog ever!!!

She has also always had really bad "seperation anxiety." She behaves really well when we are gone...but does not like to see us go at all!!! Ajnd she does get scared of certain stuff..but not usually people. She loves everyone. And SO FAR (fingers crossed) she has never barked/growled/jumped at someone who has come over (inside th house)...(besides "ghetto" people) It's only when they are outside walking by or running by the yard, or a couple times when we have been on walks.

I can't think of anything that has changed since she started acting this way. And since I first posted the problem...she hasn't growled at anyone. She has still been barking a bit, but that has even started to cut down.

I don't know if its better to try to expose her to a lot of different people/situations (under our control of course) or if its better to just leave her alone?

I've heard to pit's becomming "dog aggressive" as they got older.... (which Lexus hasn't..yet anyways)..but do they ever just become plain aggressive? Even to people?

 

Our lil' guy (about 2 years old) seems to get aggressive when he wants to play, but only in that "I have to play like a dog" aggressive. He barks a lot then, but after about a few minutes, we wear him out with running around. I give piano lessons, and sometimes ours just gets a certain "look" from a couple of kids (I think the kids think it's funny they can make him feel that way), and he may growl, but in a playful way. Irregardless, I try to let the kids know that they may not know they're looking at him funny, but I teach them to just leave him alone until we're finished with the lesson, then we can play if we have some time.

Otherwise, O'Shea doesn't really seem to like when other people smell of male dogs--at least we're pretty sure he doesn't like other male dogs. He gets along just fine with the ladies, lol!