pit bull/lab mix....what to expect?

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wlsk63
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pit bull/lab mix....what to expect?

I recently adopted what I thought was a yellow Lab from a private owner. He is a nuetered 1 1/2 year old. I took him to the vet the next day because the previous owners had no documentation on his prior vaccinations/health. He is now Utd on all of his shots, heartworm medicine and flea medicine. The vet said he definitley has some bull terrier in him...probably pit bull, but listed him as a lab mix so we don't have to deal with the stigma. Marley seems very well socialized, knows basic commands, is very very affectionate and has assimilated quickly into our family. I plan to take him to obedience class which starts in two weeks. Not knowing I adopted a bull of some sort, and having always been a bit freaked out by those breeds, I am just wondering if I am on the right track and if there is anything else I can do to ensure the best life for my dog and my family.......He shows no signs of aggression other than a bit of growling at the cats when they get near his food bowls and a bit of growling when a new person walks in until we cheerfully tell him it's ok and then his tail starts wagging. Any helpful comments are much apperciated.

matt
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Bauer is a pit lab, and we haven't had any problems. If anything, he's a bit too frightful of things, and way too submissive (pees all over the place when meeting new people).

llgrundler
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If he has any bully in him youare in for a treat! Start basic training to get him on the right track and socialize him in a controlled enviroment. Do your research, which it seems like you are, and as with any dog, always have contol have your new friend. Welcome to the wonderful word of Pit Bulls!!

rebeccajoshuaoshea
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I've had labs in my family before (when I was younger), but now having a pit bull, we are very keen/aware of different things. Obedience classes are a must for any dog, no matter the breed. If you are able to take classes with other dogs, that is sometimes helpful (or at the very least, have play-dates with dogs in your area; here nobody really wants their dog playing with us, just 'cuz he's a pit bull). Pit bulls are big chewers, so having bones around (and not raw hides; they will scarf 'em down), maybe Kong toys (have worked for many, but not necessarily above and beyond chewers)...the lunging thing at cats will probably be easy to fix if he's able to meet a few close up, or as you walk and the second he ignores them say "Good boy" and give him a treat.

Your dog seems well on his way to being a wonderful companion and friend. You are doing your research and wanting the best life for him. :) Yay!! I only wish more people would see pit bulls they way you are beginning to see them--I had never met a pit bull before we came to own one, and he wasn't even our first choice...but after adopting and training him, I couldn't have asked for a better dog! congrats, and keep us up to date with how he's doing!

kprout
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I have a black lab/pit mix. I picked her up from the pound when she was 8 weeks old. Not knowing what I had gotten I quickly realized that she was not full lab. She is about 7 years old now and a amazing dog! I can tell you that this mix of breeds needs a lot of exercise and many toys that have rewards. They are extremely smart and I have found that they Love training and being challenged! Now that Angel is older and have been thought almost every situation you can image she is very obedient. But it has taken lots of work and many chewed things. Just remember your dealing with lab which loves to run and chase things and a pit who is very smart and loves a good challenge. Welcome to owning one of the best mixed breeds in the world! Good luck!

Armywife_Barrett
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I had a shelter pit/lab mix. He was food aggressive toward my cats and other dog, but had no problem with my hand in his dish. Lab's are very food driven. Pits are naturally protective of their things.

He also growled at strangers but quickly accepted them. He seemed to be unsure about many things. He chewed through a LOT of toys too so buy the more expensive top quality ones (mydogtoy.com).

I had a hard time with Jericho because of his stubbornness too. I had to remind him often that I was the pack leader (which is a MUST with pitbulls!)

Definitely watch the food aggression. Jericho's "little" problem that I avoided by feeding my 2 dogs several feet apart was his undoing. Long story short my at the time boyfriend was (not) watching him and he got into a scuffle with a giant schnauzer over a thanksgiving turkey that wasn't being claimed or watched by any human pack leaders. Neither dog was hurt, but the other owner was angry. Just keep in mind the way a dog thinks. :)

rcdavids
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I have a 50/50 pit lab mix and a friend has her littermate. They are extremely affectionate, strong, and smart. They are eager to please and very responsive to people. Also, keep in mind that you have two hunting dogs (retriever and terrier) on your hands, prey drive will most likely be pretty high. If it looks like a pit, which mine does when she is panting, prepare for some nervous reactions from people. I made sure my vet records said "lab mix" and did not mention the pit bull because I am renting, but assuming your dog is well behaved i wouldn't hesitate to use him to enlighten people.

houch105
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i got a fawn red nose pit as i live in crappy england and our government has banned them and made it illegal to own them i have to tell people shes a Weimaraner cross breed ,thankfully everyone whos asked say oh yer she looks like a Weimaraner lol were see what they say when shes an adult ill have to think of a new lie.

Reece's Mommy
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I have a Black Lab/ Pitt mix as well. Everything I have read above thus far has been pretty close to my experience. Reece in fact is incredibly smart and is always trying to please me; he learns tricks quicker than any other dog I've had growing up as well. He has never shown any aggression toward any other animal even cats (although squirrels intrigue him because of how fast they move). He loves all humans, especially children but can play rougher with them than he will with adult females. He does seem to be intimidated by the smaller dog breeds that yip at him. He is submissive toward dominate female dogs vs. males so far, until they give him the OK that he is friend material. The chewing EVERYTHING is what I can relate most too. We have given Reece his own toy box to choose from, we always have to lock up our trash, and he is blocked off from many areas of the house. He is afraid of water, yes even rain so we are unable to enjoy him at the lake or convince him to use the bathroom during the slightest sprinkle. I have never experienced the food aggression that others report - as I can even take a bone from him while he is chewing to move him out of the way of company - I warn him though first.
The most important thing I learned is that Reece is so high energy that he needs to be exercised when I get home from work before I can relax or there will be no relaxing at all. After all, he has missed me all day long and has no idea how good or bad my work day was - he just wants to play with me and show me how much he loves me! Congrats on your new baby - I for one have never been happier!

mizzwoods
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when buying mylo we were told he was a blue nose cross red nose but after the months came he started growing his hair longer and taller then are other pitty. so i started looking at pics of mix breeds when i came across a pit bull lab mix. I think thats why he pees eveywhere and has a hard time controling his playful side and screams at the top of his lungs like a child when scared witch is almost all the time if im not right beside him with other people. I started to limit him on the water he drinks. is that okay for him? i find he pees less and can hold it for longer when he only gets a little at a time. also he is attached to my hip when letting him out of his kennel he is only 5 months old. I wonder whats going to happen when he gets older or if he doesnt smarten up i might have to get rid of him.

nikki9093
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some dogs urinate when they get overly excited. other reasons too is a sign of being submissive to you or another dog. gotta figure that you are his pack leader, hes going to be the low man on the totem pole. Its also a sign of greeting. They see someone that they really want to please, or who intimidates them,they pee. Also, young dog really dont have all that great bladder control. . They get excited when they see you and yeah...you get pee. If they get in trouble, they pee too.Im reading this book called "The Secret Lives of Dogs" and its says "Unless your dog is still a puppy, its unlikely that she's going to learn to control her bladder any better. But she can learn to control her emotions generally. The less excited she gets, the less likely she'll be to make a mess. By far the best way to teach dogs to control their exuberance is to teach them basic obediance. Dogs who have learned to listen for instructions are generally calmer then those without any training". The book is so interesting to read.

raisins mom
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Raisin is around 11 months old and he still has issues with his bladder. If he is riled up and running around the house playing with our shepherd and I don't put him outside right when he starts to settle down he will pee while he is walking. Often time he goes in front of the door, so he knows to go to the door just can't hold it and I apparently to slow to notice. Anyother time he perfect and will sit at door and wait. Gonan look up that book. Thank you!

nikki9093
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I have a lab/pit mix too and we have had nothing but fun with this dog. we have had him only a month if that and he has soooo much energy and is super smart. very loyal and attentive. you are going to have your hands full...of FUN!

wlsk63
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We have now had Marley for 3 months. He has been thru his first dog class and was the teacher's pet!! He caught on to his commands within seconds and was very well behaved around the 5 other dogs. We will enroll him in the next phase of training after the Holidays. The trainers liked him so well, they suggested we take his training as far as possible and they would like to use him in the community as a role model for the breed by visiting the elderly and disabled. Kudos to our trainers for accepting and recognizing the abilities and personality of the breed!!
We have since nicknamed the dog Pumpkin because he is orange and has a big toothy smile like a jack o lantern. All of his food aggression has stopped and his behavior towards the cats turns out to be a mere eagerness to want to play with them...nothing more..although they want to have nothing to do with him.
While in training we learned about appropriate toys to keep him occupied while we are away and when we have visitors. We don't muzzle him while walking but bought a chest harness that keeps him more focused while in the neighborhood.
Twice we have ended up with stray dogs in our yard while our dog was secured. Once was a larger aggressive dog that our dog barked at but did not try to bite or attack. Once was by a smaller more submissive dog that Pumpkin just sniffed and licked. Both times the owners were apologetic and seemed surprised, hopefully pleasantly, that our pit bull did not attack their dog.
The down side to owning the pit is that he hogs the bed, tosses the cusions off of the couch, licks us constanly, and steals the cats' food when we leave it unattended or within his reach...darn it. :)

kndra18
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We also have a lab/pit mix. Best puppy in the world. He is adapted to the family very well. He has built a strong, and very different relationship with each member of the family. At first, he seemed very aggressive towards other dogs. I believe he just really wanted to play, but came across as a little aggressive. After adapting into the family and some training he has become very agreeable to most situations. I will say that our dog needs exercise... and a lot of it. My husband often takes him to the local baseball park where he can lock the fence and let him go. He LOVES it.... good luck and I am sure you will find this is a very sweet loving dog.

Diamond's mom
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I have a pit/lab mix and she is smart, loyal, beautiful and full of energy at 10+ years old!  I rescued her from the pound and she's the best thing that has ever happened to me :)  Sometimes she gets into a scuffle with her BFF, a weiner, but she turns her head and bark to the side.  Even the weiner's mom isn't concerned because we know she would never hurt him or anyone else. 

They are incredible intelligent!  My dog saw me get food from the fridge and one day I came home from work and she had opened the fridge and took out a tupperware full of shredded chicken and ate it.  Now I keep a babylock on it.  She has opened cabinets, tupperware, the fridge all in the pursuit of a snack -- LOL!!!  I love her anyways! 

KaylasMom
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The mix of breed, whether he has lab or pit in him, doesn't make a bit of difference on him hogging the bed, etc.!  He is a dog that is allowed in your bed.  I can't count how many times I have woken up to my girl laying on my chest.  How she curled up there without waking me up; I have NO idea.  She weighs almost 50 pounds! 

It sounds like you are on the right track with everything!  Keep up the training and socialization.  It needs to be an everyday thing like eating and brushing your teeth.

Don't let the pit stigma get to you.  It doesn't mean a darn thing.  It is people and the way that they raise and treat the dog that has brought upon the stigma.  It isn't the breed.  Look at the stigma of small dogs.  They are yappy and bite everyone.  Not all do, though.  It is all because of the way owners treat them.  If you let the whole "possibly a pit bull" thing bother you, your dog will sense your apprehension and react accordingly.  I don't mean by being aggressive, but Marley may become fearful or reserved.  Just treat him as if he was any other dog.  Keep in mind that just because he may have some features that look like an APBT, it doesn't really mean that he has any in him!  Many dogs, especially mixed breeds, may resemble an APBT.  Do not judge based upon looks!  :)  You will never know what kind of dog he is unless you saw the parents mate and knew waht breed they were, or are willing to do DNA tests on him.  Even those are inconclusive. 

Marley will be the kind of dog YOU and your family make him.  I am going to sound like Cesar Millan here for a moment, but if Marley has rules, boundaries, and limitations, you will have a good dog.  The dog needs to know what you expect of him.  Make him "work" for things.  What I mean by that is make him sit, down, and do whatever BEFORE he is released for his food.  Make him wait until you say he can go through a door.  It is simple things like that that will keep you having a good dog.  Look up the "Nothing in Life is Free" idea of owning a dog.  If you put that into practice (it is so simple), you will have a good canine citizen. 

All training should be positive.  No harsh training.  It won't get you anywhere.  Enroll Marley in classes as much as you can throughout his life.  Even if he knows everything, it never hurts to introduce him to new people, new dogs, new sounds, and new smells.  Look for K9 Games classes, try agility, even dock diving.  Just keep his mind and body working. 

You will do just fine and Marley will be just fine. 

egmujica
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My Cosmo is also a pit and labrador mix. Just like you, when I took him in, I had no idea until I actually got him that he was a pit mix. I honestly was a little freaked out because I have 3 boys. But fear comes from being uneducated with the breed. My Cosmo is a wonderful dog. With this mix, you get the best of both worlds. My dog is protective of my kids, and always wants to be by their sides. He has the "nanny" factor which is common with the pitbull breed. Now the labrador part tends to chew and dig up everything! Although this affects them more when they are puppies LOL. The only advice I can give you is keep him social. My dog isnt very good with other dogs, but hes great with adults, especially children. Ive had him since he was 7 weeks and now he;s 1 1/2 years old. No matter where you go with him, they will never acknowledge the pit in him, he will forever be labeled as a lab mix. I find it such a shame that they feel the need to disown that part of my dogs heritage...but I unfortunately understand that society has soiled the name of a pitbull. If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer you :)

Chris Chuck
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I respond whenever I see that someone has a pit/lab mix. I have one myself. We got Molly from a local shelter that rescues dogs from kill shelters. The lady that runs the shelter has a soft spot for pits because they are misunderstood. Molly is a fantastic dog. She is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. She is loyal and desires to please. I have a seven year old daughter and a five year son and they are very energetic. Our dog is very tolerant of them as they often lay on her and squeeze her tightly. She is also great with other dogs. There are a few things you should keep in mind. First, pits can be stubborn, so make sure that you teach them that you and your family are the bosses. Don't let the dog get away with any unwanted behaviors. Also, exercise the dog on a regular basis or he may become bored, which results in destruction and exciteability in the house. Give him plenty of toys, rawhide, pig ears, other chewables (Kongs, Tirebiters, cow bones-bought from a local pet supply business-have proven to be very good for my dog) because this breed is a life-long chewer and will satisfy this need on furniture and woodwork if not given other items on which to chew. Keep in mind that two out of three of these needs for pits can be the same with a number of breeds. Additionally, any dog breed can be aggressive if made to be either by training or neglect. Some of the most aggressive dogs I have met were small and had the "little dog syndrome." It is a shame that a few inhumane people have chosen to use pits as fighters, and have thus given the breed a bad name. I find them some people are nervous when they find out she is part pit, but upon meeting my dog, they quickly see that she not a mean dog. I have also found that a number of people are very accepting that she is part pit and are not afraid of her at all because they know that these dogs can be good pets.  If given the chance, pits can be affectionate, loyal, and good friends. Train and treat your dog right and he will a great companion.

bellas_my_babygirl
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I just got a red nose pit/ black lab mix. She is 8 weeks old and I know the owners of her parents which is great since both are great dogs and the father which is the red nose pit named Bruce he is blonde with blue green icy eyes and cute she gets his coloring and his eyes. Her brothers and sisters have differ colors of eyes some brown and some green but she is by the most prettiest ( to me) she is very playful I have 4 children and one on the way next week! And she really loves us already very good at getting her outside to potty and so forth but she has to do it alone or else she wont and she is a snuggler and likes to chew so we have to get more toys then what we have for her but I am very happy with our choice to get her I am certain she will be a very good dog when she is grown and we have also a 2 year old german shorthair pointer and a cockapoo who is also 2 they are warming up to her and we have a 1year 1/2 old cat she still is slowly figuring otu what the heck is that  but hey at least she is around animals and us humans to keep her in good behavior! We love her! She is my baby girl Bella!

KPCato
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We have a pit-boxer mix and were looking for a buddy for her. We saw a picture and story on Facebook about a found dog that had been left chained to a fence and people moved away. He starved so much, he lost enough weight to finally slip out of the chain and run away. At 13 months old, he weighed just 32 lbs. The people who found him nursed him to health and had him fixed. We didn't know then, but found out he was a pit-lab mix. He now weighs 85 lbs! He is the most loving dog. He is so sweet and has gotten along with every dog he has met except one - a bull mastif that was actually scared of him! But he gets along great with Hurley, our first baby. They are actually inseparable and always lay all over each other. But if Hurley has made it clear to Duke that she is boss and he walks away when she wants or takes something.
The only problems we have are his eating and jumping. Hurley stops eating when she is full, but Duke acts like he is always starving. He eats everything, even the doors or fence outside! And he eats his food so fast. I understand it is probably because he was starved, but it hasnt gotten better and we have had him for nearly a year now.
Also, since he is so playful and hyper, its hard to teach him not to jump on new people. He gets so excited and scares many people, but he just wants to be touched. We have made great progress here, but its still difficult when we have guests.
Other than those few things we still work on, he has been a GREAT pet and friend. He loves to cuddle, he is so sweet, and is very smart. However, he is very stubborn when he doesn't want something and it is hard for me to make him b/c he only weighs 10 lbs less than me and is so strong!

i luv my pitbull
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Welcome KPCato! my pit Herman eats fast too, so I can relate. Have you tried a "Eat Slow Bowl"? The food bowl is made with large protrusions inside. Duke would have to eat around the the protrusions, thus, in theory at least, Duke would need to eat more slowly. They come in different makes & models, and if I'm not mistaken, metal, safe types of plastic, and even ceramic. Correct me if I'm wrong. I hope this helps.

jeffashandkitty
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Expect anything you would with any other breed just because it could have pit in It shouldn't make ne one nervous and really shouldn't b any more difficult to train just remember your dogs personality and try not to put him/her in precarious situations where it could be a problem for u the dog or neighobors remember pits are the most stubborn dogs ever but definitely the most loyal and ne one who says different ask em if they have ever actually owned one

csmith17
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I AM SORRY THAT I AM COMMENTING ON THIS POST MONTHS LATER BUT I COULDNT RESIST! We had a lab/pit mix. I was about 6 when we got her. SHE WAS THE BEST DOG EVER! Very playful! Never had a problem with her being aggressive. My godbrother, a baby as the time, had to be watched because he would try climbing on her. She would only growl and move, never snapped or tried to bite anyone. BUT SHE WAS ALSO PROTECTIVE OF HER FAMILY IF SHE SENSED SOMETHING WAS WRONG! But after reassuring her we were okay, whatever the situation, she would back down. Everyone who came in contact with her loved her and some of them said they did not like dogs but would take her in a heartbeat! She passed away maybe 4 years ago now due to kidney failure. STILL MAKES MY MOM CRY TO THINK ABOUT HER! We have begged my parents for another dog, my sister and myself, and they said no, they dont want to be attached like that again. WELL MY MOM HAS FINALLY GIVEN IN! We are looking to get the same breed again! She too did go through the chewing everything phase but with proper training, she did stop! I have started the search today and can not wait to find a new little one!

Chris Chuck
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Thank you for the response csmith17. I am glad to hear that you have had a good experience with your dog, but also sorry to hear that she passed. I know how hard it is to loose a dog. Molly is my first dog that I have owned in 16 years. For years I didn't want another dog because I was getting over loosing the last one. Then my wife and I lived in apartments where they wouldn't allow dogs. When we bought our house, we began having children and it was too crazy having a dog. Finally, last year I convinced my wife to get a dog and that is when we got Molly. At first, my wife was a little nervous when people started commenting that she looked like a pit, but I reassured her that it was all on how you raise them. I think watching the "Dog Whisperer," and hearing Caesar Milan comment on what great dogs they are really helped.

I know what you mean about the protective instict. People told me the same about pits. She is a real gentle dog, but when something seems out of the ordinary, she goes on the search until she finds that everything is okay. I remember when we first got her, after a long day out, my kids fell asleep (we had the dog with us) in the car, and she layed underneath my son's feet until I brought him in the house. I brought my daughter in first, and despite having the car door open and me trying to coax her in the house, she wouldn't leave him until I brought him in the house. Since then, there have been a number of times when she has showed this type of protection.

She is just an around great dog, and we love her. She loves to be around us and will often cuddle with us on the couch or when we go to bed at night, She is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. Good luck with finding your next dog,

 

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I'm glad I found this site!  A couple of months ago I adopted a 2 month old pit/lab for my son (34 years old, learning disabled).  She's so cute!  She has a pink nose and hazel eyes.  She's reddish blond. Most of what I've read here applies to her. She chews everything, she's smart, and has lots of energy. My son named her Shadow because she follows him everywhere.  We have 3 cats and 2 other dogs (a Yorkie and a Maltese).  Shadow gets along great with all of them, except for my Yorkie (Maddy).  Maddy thinks she's the top dog, but Shadow won't go along with that.  I got scared one time when I gave treats to all the dogs and Shadow attacked Maddy!  The hair on the back of her head went up, she growled viciously, and she pinned Maddy to the ground on her back by the neck!  I grabbed Shadow by the nape of the neck and yelled NO! at her.  I'm afraid that one day she might kill Maddy!  The Maltese can eat out of Shadow's food dish without incident.  I don't understand.  Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!  I love Shadow and we always treat her lovingly.  Thank you.  8-)

Chris Chuck
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Hi DaeDreamer,
 
I am glad you adopted a pit-lab. With some attention she will make a great pet. Keep in mind that any dog can be food and treat aggressive, not just dogs that are part or pure pit bull.It sounds as if you have two alpha dogs that are fighting to be the pack leader. They will begin doing this early. Just remember that you and your family are number one and the dogs are number two together.
 
It sounds as if your initial reaction to the situation was the right one. I have a few more steps that might be useful as well. My dog, even though very submissive, has had the same problem with guarding her treats even growling and nipping at alpha dogs. Early on, she even growled at my kids and me when she had a treat; however, we quickly put an end to it.This is how I have deal with the problem.

  1. I grab her front legs and take them out from under her and put her on her side in two quick moves. This really surprises her.
  2. I place my hand and forearm across her side (face, neck, and above the front leg).
  3. I say "no" in a stern and commanding voice.
  4. I pin her there until she stops struggling and trying to get up. When she relaxes, I keep her there for a few seconds.
  5. I take the treat away from her, letting her see me to let her that it is now mine since she is acting inappropriately

When she growled at my kids, I did the same, but I had my kids put their hands and forearms on her as well letting her know they are superior to her.
 
Some people may say this is mean, but it doesn't hurt the dog. Also, the mother does the same with her paw and leg when a puppy does something inappropriately. She, of course, uses a growl instead of "no," but the idea is the same.
 
Keep in mind that she is a puppy and still needs to learn boundaries like any other dog. With some time and diligence, she will make a good pet for you and your son. It sounds as if she has already bonded with your son. Hope this helps.
 
Chris Chuck
(owner of a black lab/pit mix)

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I am glad I found this site.  We were looking for a dog.  My daughter and husband fell in love with a shelter pit/lab mix that is bout a year old.  We are on "trial" adoption and have the dog at home.  He is the sweetest and has been super well behaved and seems like he has always been here.  Here is the BUT-I know pits can be great super dogs AND I am very nervous about the stories I hear about these super great pits and then at some random point down the line they snap and either hurt someone else or someone in the family.  I know all dogs have this potential, but I worry about the pits greater potential for this and then to not be able to stop them because of their strength.  I have two kids.  One will dominate the dog no problem and the other will do everything he shouldn't like run screaming in fear.

 

Parents of kids who have had pit/labs long term please let me know your experiences!!

 

Chris Chuck
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Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 05/08/2011 - 10:40am

You are right, every dog has the potential to do something harmful. However, most of the time when a dog snaps, including pits, is because the owner did not notice or ignored the signs when the dog began to show aggression. For instance, growling, nipping, trying to show dominance, etc. If your dog ever shows these signs or other potential threats, nip it in the bud, and you shouldn't have aggression problems later. Caesar Milan (aka The Dog Whisperer) says this and he has owned a number of pits. He says that if people have a "beware of dog" sign on their property than they never properly trained their dog.

As far as a pit's strength, yes they are strong. What might be worse in aggression situations is their ability to stay focussed on the task at hand. They are known for this. That is why when a pit attacks, people have trouble stopping them.

In terms of your freightened child, that needs to be dealt with quickly. The dog will probably learn that he is the dominant one. Dogs are intelligent and sense fear quickly. My daughter was scared for days when we first brought home our lab/pit, but she quickly got over it. She is now great with our dog. Have the dog lay down and be calm. Then have your child come over and pet the dog with you. Doing this should start to show your son or daughter that the there is nothing to fear, especially when the dog begins showing affection like licking. When your child gets used to the dog, have him or her get involved in the training and giving the dog commands.Also, have him or her feed the dog showing that the dog has to rely on the child to get what it needs. Have the dog sit and be calm before your child gives the food and gives the command to eat. In a little time these techniques this should help build his or her confidence because he or she will see the dog is submitting.

Be at ease, you have a combination of two very loyal dog breeds in one dog. Both are loyal, affectionate, and good with kids. I love that the pit in my dog makes her protective, but not violent. I have two young kids (seven and five), and our dog is great with them. She loves kids! However, I trained our dog early that the kids are her superior, especially when early on she growled at them. Good luck and congrats on the new addition to the family.

Chris Chuck
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Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 05/08/2011 - 10:40am

You are right, every dog has the potential to do something harmful. However, most of the time when a dog snaps, including pits, is because the owner did not notice or ignored the signs when the dog began to show aggression. For instance, growling, nipping, trying to show dominance, etc. If your dog ever shows these signs or other potential threats, nip it in the bud, and you shouldn't have aggression problems later. Caesar Milan (aka The Dog Whisperer) says this and he has owned a number of pits. He says that if people have a "beware of dog" sign on their property than they never properly trained their dog.

As far as a pit's strength, yes they are strong. What might be worse in aggression situations is their ability to stay focussed on the task at hand. They are known for this. That is why when a pit attacks, people have trouble stopping them.

In terms of your freightened child, that needs to be dealt with quickly. The dog will probably learn that he is the dominant one. Dogs are intelligent and sense fear quickly. My daughter was scared for days when we first brought home our lab/pit, but she quickly got over it. She is now great with our dog. Have the dog lay down and be calm. Then have your child come over and pet the dog with you. Doing this should start to show your son or daughter that the there is nothing to fear, especially when the dog begins showing affection like licking. When your child gets used to the dog, have him or her get involved in the training and giving the dog commands.Also, have him or her feed the dog showing that the dog has to rely on the child to get what it needs. Have the dog sit and be calm before your child gives the food and gives the command to eat. In a little time these techniques this should help build his or her confidence because he or she will see the dog is submitting.

Be at ease, you have a combination of two very loyal dog breeds in one dog. Both are loyal, affectionate, and good with kids. I love that the pit in my dog makes her protective, but not violent. I have two young kids (seven and five), and our dog is great with them. She loves kids! However, I trained our dog early that the kids are her superior, especially when early on she growled at them. Good luck and congrats on the new addition to the family.

ljimenez
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Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 07/15/2011 - 2:56am

posting

DaeDreamer
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Joined: 07/11/2011 - 7:09pm

Thank you for the comments.  I've had many dogs in my life, but the only other one I've had that got protective of his food like that was a Jack Russell Terrier.  Because Shadow is a lot bigger and stronger, it scares me more.  I tried what Chris suggested and it worked pretty well.  But I'm still scared to leave the little dogs out with Shadow when I'm not there. I've seen where the "Dog Whisperer" takes them on walks together so they feel like a pack.  I think I'll try that next.