April 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm #14697Vicious McCuddleFaceParticipant
I have a three-year-old rescue pit. I’ve got no idea what her life was like before she got to me, but since I’ve had her, she responds to most cues and is very easily trained and super friendly to everyone, even the jerks who I intensely dislike. Inside. As soon as we get out for a walk (three to five a day, two of which are runs) she’s so so at recall until another dog shows up. Then it’s like all our recall training, our sits and stays and everything else disappears. She lunges and pulls and barks and generally freaks out. Scares the other people walking their dogs (what will the neighbors think? lordy!) and generally makes a ridiculous fool out of herself. She doesn’t bare her teeth, but her hackles stand up and I swear to God she’s crying. I tried to introduce her to my friend’s dogs, various breeds, sizes and dominance levels but there’s always a hint of aggression and I’m terrified that it’ll end in a mauling. She’s little for a pit, only 50 lbs or so, but she’s gorgeous and very very strong (just like her mama) and makes up for size. She recently snapped a chain (!!!) the chain part, not the carabiner hook or the handle, the freaking chain, and chased a Bichon Frise around the park. A very ungraceful flying tackle ended that escapade after she spent a good five seconds on top of the little guy. There were apologies all around, but the thing that made me stop and think is that she had plenty of time to tear little Fluffy’s throat out. But she didn’t. The other dog wasn’t hurt at all. Probably a bit traumatized, but he’ll get over it. So my question is, what indicators should I look for that she’s dog aggressive or just poorly socialized? Am I being a helicopter parent and preventing her from a normal social doggie life because I’m scared she’ll eat or get eaten?April 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm #16998LaylasMommyParticipant
Hi! This sounds almost like our problem, but here’s a suggestion – it could be leash frustration. Whenever my hubby or I walk Layla, she is a pulling machine. She does not walk well at all, always pulls, almost never loose leash walks, and forget about it if we come across someone else walking their dog. She pulls like a friggin lunatic jumping and lunging and barking at the other dogs. Especially little dogs. So we’ve just always assumed she was dog aggressive. The vet mentioned that it could be tension on the leash, and the fact that we don’t let her get to the other dog (just to sniff and be social) that’s making it seem like she’s actually aggressive when she’s not.
Anyway we’ve boarded her a few times while we were away for a weekend and the people at the vet always say how good she is, not dog agressive at all, which you could’ve fooled me!
Anyway we became good friends with out neighbors, who have 3 pits. We took Layla today for the first time to the dog park. They met us with their most sweet, docile of the 3 pits. Stony – a male, so there wouldn’t be any girl or girl tension there.
Anyway we went relatively early so there were no other people or dogs. Well, Layla and Stony didn’t really get along. I think Layla is a very dominant dog, and he just wasn’t having it. Apparently Stony always gets along well with other dogs, but I guess Layla is just not his buddy. They got into a few scuffles, but us as well as our friends were always there to break things up. And it was always Stony who started the fight. Layla was just sniffing to get to know him, and I think Layla would’ve been fine had Stony not instigated her. But we kept them separated a lot, and Layla seemed fine to ignore him, just running around all other areas of the park as long as she was away from him.
So it was a good first time. I’d still be afraid to go there when others are around though. From pit owners to pit owners, and the fact that they are friends and we all know how to break up a dog fight it was fine to work with them together. But I’d still be nervous that what if she got into it with a strangers dog and what if she did some damage or worse, there could be lawsuits, and we would never want the town putting her down because she got into a fight with another dog. So we feel better about her temperament, but we’re still a little iffy about having her in a dog park around other dogs.
I’ve heard about Pits and dog parks just don’t mix, and that could be an issue that the dog will just have to get exercise otherwise, but if you have trustworthy friends with pits, see if they can help you with socializing your puppy!
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