Growling

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amanda_n_max
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Growling

Hi, I have a few question, regarding my 1 and 1/2 year old, Pit bull cross black lab. We got him about 6 months ago, when we got him he looked as though he had a broken tail. So, we took him to the vet, and they confirmed it... Any way, we have noticed, that he gets really nervous around children. He will growl and walk away from him if they try to approach him. I have really been trying to work with him, letting him know that, that behaviour is not ok. He has gotten better, he went from doing it every time to just the occasional time. We have 2 children, I don't want it to continue or get out of control. Is this something that can get better? I don't want to see my girls get hurt! We have come to really love max, he is a great dog! And he has shown he wants to please us! We enrolled him in a obedience class and we hope this will help! Please if you have any suggestions or advice I would love to hear it!
Thank you

Bloo
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From your post it seems that you think that a child hurt him before he came into your home? I have known a few pits from a rescue I used to help with who had issues with certain individuals. For example, one hated males and could only be around females. He would feel very threatened by males and would growl and lunge at them. It was caused by his previous abuse.

May I ask where you got him from? That may explain his behavior. I would be worried though about him not being comfortable around children. I wouldn't want that risk.

amanda_n_max
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Sorry for the long message below this, I just really wanted to fill you in on everything that has been going on so that hopefully you or someone can give me advice. Looking forward to hearing from you!

amanda_n_max
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Well I am sorry if I sound a bit harsh, but it is true! We got him for stupid people! You see, when we got him we were told, first of all, That he was a French Bull dog X Black Lab. Which is not true, we had him checked out by a few vet cause, to us he had way more traits of a Pit bull then he does of a Bull dog. Next, we were told he was neutered and his shots were up to date, which again was NOT true. So we got him neutered and his shots done. His tail was crooked and I sent her an email the next day, asking her if something had ever happened to his tail. She flat out told me No, it has always been like that. As I said in the previous message. We had him checked over and his tail ex-rayed and found that it was indeed broken! We were also told that he was well trained, and great with children, again NOT true. He did not sit, stay, lay down, he would pull on the leash when taking him for a walk, and when ever we opened the door he would barge ahead of us.
After getting him, we have all fallen for him. He has changed a huge amount from when we first got him... He now listens to us when we tell him to sit, lay down, most of the time he will stay when we tell him to, but it is still a working progress, I am working with him on walking correctly beside me, for the most part he does well. However, I have noticed that he likes to chase cars, so when a car passes us he will try and pull the leash to chase it. He now also, knows he has to sit and I have to invite him into the house. He is doing really well with that one! My two year old daughter is now able, (most of the time) able to approach him, without him growling. And he will even come and cuddle up to her on the couch every once in while. I have found now, that the times he does growl, is when a one of my daughters will come running towards him or the move in a quick motion near him. Any kids that he does not know that come into our house he will growl at. We know put him outside before anyone he doesn`t know get here and we let him see them through the window first and once he settles down we bring him in with a leash and make him lay down. Is this the correct way of dealing with this? He loves to be with us and we love him. Do you think he can change, or am I just taking to big of a risk?

Bloo
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Most dogs will change, but I would be lying if I said all of them do. Like I said, I have dealt with many pit bulls at a rescue, and the ones that show even a little bit of jumpiness around children are not allowed to be adopted by families with them.

Here's my problem with this (and please don't take this as me coming off rude or mean), I would never risk a dog that I don't feel safe to have around children, around children. Especially my own. This is for two reasons. First, it is scary to think that a loving family dog could accidently severely hurt someone in your home. You don't want that risk or problem. Second, it is unfair to the dog, because if something were to happen, he would get blamed and probably put down. Then there would be another news report about an aggressive pit bull.

If the dog only growls around children, I would definately think about rehoming him with someone without children who is experienced with abused or rehabilitated pit bulls. That way you can avoid any problems, and most likely save a dog's future.

This is likely not the dogs fault and by no fault of your own. So don't feel bad for this happening. Sounds like the previous owners were abusive (although this is just speculation on my part). If you still want to work with him though, definately seek professional help for him and definately monitor him at all times with your children. Most dogs who do attack, give plenty of warnings way ahead of time.

Good luck with your poor baby. Hopefully someone else can give you better news than me.