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  • in reply to: Allergies #16685

    If he is scratching his ears alot and chweing at his paws, that is usually an allergy thing also, most often a food allergy. 

    Paw chewing can be a behaviorial thing, but most often it is an allergy issue, especially since it is paired with his scratching of the ears.

    Contact your vet and see if he/she recommends Benadryl.  Many vets are ok with that, as another option is steroids like Prednisone, and too much of that can cause liver issues.  Not to mention peeing in the house!


    in reply to: Allergies #16683

    It does sound like either environmental or food allergies.  The key is to make sure that you feed him the same ingredients all the time, including treats.  That makes it SO difficult, doesn’t it!?!?  🙂 

    Getting grain-free treats and organic treats may be the way to go for awhile until spring arrives to see if it is environmental allergies.  There are allergens in the winter, so that could be an issue to.  More than likely, it is food related. 

    in reply to: just a question #16675

    Tasting blood has nothing to do with whether she will attack your lab again.  That is a very old wive’s tale and not to be believed. 

    There are many questions that need to be answered, but even if they are, we cannot provide you with guidance online.  Questions such as:

    What are the ages of the dogs?

    Did your lab provoke the pit?

    Did the pit give off warning signals that were missed by you?

    Was there resource guarding involved?

    Was there food involved?

    How long have they lived together?

    Are they both altered?

    Was there a “stare off”?

    And the list could go on and on.  My suggestion would be to contact a licensed trainer or behaviorist and take your pit to see him/her.  They could put her through various temperament tests to see what may have triggered her to bite. 

    As I am sure you know, pit bulls can be dog-aggressive.  That doesn’t apply to all, but that is a possibility that all pit owners need to take into consideration.  Pits tend to be late in hitting maturity (between 2-4 years of age), so depending on the age of your pit, she could be hitting her maturity level and may be showing signs of dog aggression.  I don’t know.

    We can give you all the advice and theories that we want, but without seeing what is truly going on in the home, we cannot provide you much guidance other than to say keep them apart for awhile, re-socialize if necessary, and seek the professional help of a trainer/behaviorist. 

    Give your lab a hug from me!  🙂


    in reply to: older female not loving my new female puppy… #16674

    There is a meetup group called American Pit Bull & Bully Club Tri-State that is based out of Brooklyn, I believe.  There would be a lot of owners there that could give you guidance and could also help with socialization.

    Out of the Pits is an Albany, NY organization that would probably have resources for NY pit bull owners and could direct you.  http://www.outofthepits.org

    The NYC ASPCA may also be able to provide guidance on pit friendly classes.  Many communities offer low-cost to free classes especially for pit bulls.  By contacting one of these organizations, they could probably guide you in the right direction. 

    The Animal Farm Foundation, Inc is strictly pit bulls!  They have done such wonderful things for the pit bull and it’s reputation.  Visit their website at http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org

    I hope that you can find something through one of these groups.  There are many more connections out there, but I think that this would be a start for you!  Make some phone calls and see what you can find out.  You will get a lot of happy people thanking you for trying to make the lives of your pitties the best that they can be!  🙂




    in reply to: Allergies #16673

    Pit bulls and their cousins are known for skin allergies, and a lot of it is due to food and our environment.  I could not begin to tell you how many pits have come through our clinic with stomach rashes, red and swollen feet, gooky eyes, and so much more.  If the vet did the appropriate bloodwork and skin scrapping, more than likely it is an environmental allergy or food allergy.  It could also be very dry skin, but I am sure the vet would have told you this.   

    Food allegies are hard to diagnose, unless you spend several hundreds of dollars on allergy testing.  You can do food testing on your own, but it is time consuming and VERY difficult.  You would need to do what we call the “elimination diet” and eliminate common ingredients that are considered allergens to many dogs.  This consists of beef, grains, chicken, lamb, etc.  You would need to find a limited ingredient or grain free food.  Treats should also be this way, and you would want to eliminate this same ingredients from table scraps.  There are many high-quality dog foods out on the market that are geared for dogs who have food allergies.  Natural Balance, Orijen, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, etc.  You may pay a bit more for these, but you will be able to feed less (since it is a higher quality food) and it will help your pittie in the long run.  The higher the quality the food, the better it is for your dog’s health for their life. 

    There are MANY dog foods out there that are for dogs with allergies that cost $40 for 30lbs.  Science Diet can be a total racket when it comes to speciality foods, and many vets promote them for reasons that I won’t get into here.   

    Does she scoot across the floor on her belly like she is army crawling?  If she does that a lot, her belly could also be red and inflammed from that. 

    Without allergy testing and all kinds of things, it will be difficult to determine what is actually going on.  Environmental allergies are even more difficult.  It could be anything from the carpet fibers to the paint on your walls.  it could be dust.  It is just something that we get used to.  Talk to your vet about Benadryl for your dog.  Sometimes that helps tremedously, along with a good diet. 

    Welcome to pittie skin issues!  🙂



    in reply to: older female not loving my new female puppy… #16672

    It sounds like Kenzi is begining to get irritated.  If there are any types of snaps and it isn’t in play, it could lead to a full out bite and more.  Warning snaps, growling, and what not only go on for so long before the dog bites out of utter annoyance.  In all fairness though, your older dog may be trying to establish the rules of puppy etiquette.  While biting is not allowed, a bit of dog “talk” is intended to remind the pup of her position in life.  For now, that means low man on the totem pole.  Mothers establish rules, and your pup is no longer with her mother.  Kenzi may be deciding on how far to let your pup be a pup.  She is also an adult and may be demanding “respect” from the child, not to mention personal space, just like humans do.  I do not mean to humanize the dogs, but it is a good way to explain. We don’t want kids bothering us 24 hours of the day, and neither do older dogs.  Puppies before the age of 5 months tend to not be familiar with the subtle body gestures that adult dogs give when they have had enough.  Adult dogs that were not properly socialized as a pup to all different ages of dogs throughout their lifetime will have a harder time dealing with a pup.  So, it goes both ways.     

    Did you initially introduce them gradually and on neutral territory?  If not, then you may need to rewind and start over.  Initial introductions are of utmost importance in the dog world.  You cannot just throw a couple of dogs together who have never seen one another and expect everything to be hunky dory for the rest of their lives.  Just like how first impressions mean a lot in the human world; same thing applies to dogs.  Maybe you and a friend could take them somewhere neutral and help to “re-socialize” them in a different location.  Give them treats and gradually move them closer together and treat them the whole way.  You want your older girl to associate the pup and her presence with good things.  Take them on walks together (with another person walking one of your dogs) and do fun things that won’t always aggravate Kenzi.  Everything needs to be positive.  Take it slow!   

    While you are at home, keep them separated a bit more.  If it were me, I would put the puppy in Kenzi’s least favorite room, or somewhere where Kenzi doesn’t spend a ton of time.  You want to allow Kenzi to have the run of the house still, as you do not want her to resent the pup for being there.  Treat Kenzi the same way you always have.  She may be feeling “jealous” towards the pup and another dog being in HER house.  Swapping scents sometimes helps too.  Switch bedding from their crates to they get used to each other’s smell.

    Without reading Kenzi’s body language and vocalizations, it is hard for us on this end to know what is going on and what could happen.  I think that allowing Kenzi some personal space and time on her own without the pup getting in her face would be a good thing.  Yes, they need to be socialized together, but if Kenzi is already making noises and movements towards the pup that could be read as aggressive, then there needs to be some time-outs away from each other.

    The nature of the perceived aggression from Kenzi needs to be identified before you can “fix” an issue.  Has Kenzi been to the vet for a senior checkup lately to rule out any pain issues or health issues?  Many dogs who are in pain, especially older dogs, can get grouchy around other dogs, especially those with tons of energy like a pup.  They are “not in the mood” or “feel up to it” to put up with a youngster.  There was a lady who came into the clinic for an exam with an older Newfoundland and mentioned that her older dog was snapping and growling at a foster pup that the family was taking care of.  They had never had that problem with other pups in the past.  Lo and behold, we found an issue and later was diagnosed as cancer.  More than likely, the older Newffie was reacting to his illness towards the pup.  It is always a good idea to take current dogs to the vet for a checkup to make sure that they are “fit” to handle a pup or small, exuberent dog.

    Has Kenzi showed any type of aggressive behavior PRIOR to the puppy?  If Kenzi had behaviorial issues and very little obedience training prior to the pup, that could be an issue also.  Keep in mind that if this is the case, Kenzi could turn around and teach the pup bad manners and then you will have a real challenge on your hands! 

    Just make sure that you constantly and consistently monitor the situation at all times and help assure that your pup does not infringe upon the dignity of the older dog.  You may need to control the amount of time that they spend together.  Wear the pup out a lot before allowing her to mingle with Kenzi.  Both dogs should have crates, and that those crates are NOT used to punish; only to separate when need be.  The need their own time alone, time with you, and time together.  Get your pup into some positive training as you soon as you can, as you are undoubtedly seeing that she has some spunk and could be a bit strong willed.  You have to teach her what is right from wrong before trouble occurs.  They aren’t born with that knowledge!     🙂

    in reply to: older female not loving my new female puppy… #16669

    I am not trying to scare you, but generally speaking, same-sex households contribute to same-sex aggression, with females being typically worse than males.  While you may have had same-sex groupings in the past, every dog is an individual and may not like another dog, especially of the same sex.  Many people make it work, but you have to be oh so dilligent about EVERYTHING that you do (feeding schedules, crating, monitoring EVERYTHING, etc.).  If you look any pit rescues, many will not adopt a dog to you if you already have a dog of the same sex. 

    You also have two dogs who are VASTLY different in age, and that can also cause a problem, also with being the same sex.  The senior in your group may not want to tolerate the little one’s boisteriousness, and by snapping at her, showing her teeth, she is trying to tell her off without really hurting her.  At this point, that isn’t an issues, but at some point, she may decide that warnings are not enough and acutally hurt the little one.  This is something that you need to take heed of EVERY minute of EVERY day with two same-sex dogs with siuh a space in age!  Make sure that the puppy gets a lot of play time on her own and when she is worn out, that may be the time to allow her with the senior.  As alice said, a good dog is a tired dog. 

    Keep in mind that pit bulls are slow to mature, with maturity hitting at around 2-3 years of age, sometimes 4 years old!  As your little one matures, she may not want to tolerate the warnings of your older dog, and she may become aggressive with your senior.  That is NOT what you want!

    Pit bulls, and any breed of dog for that matter, can and do interact peacefully with other dogs, but individual temperament, early & proper socialization of ALL dogs, and excellent management on your part is the key to make a same-sex household exist.  Things may not be rough right now, but just keep in mind that this is only the beginning!  We have many dogs (of all breeds) that come into my clinic to be stitched up from being attacked by their fellow dog family member(s).  It is usually been determineid that it was becasue of same-sex dogs or a large age difference. 

    It would be a good idea to take the puppy to classes when she is old enough, to learn how to get along with older dogs, and the same might be good for your older dog.  Take her to classes so she can learn how to interact with such young dogs.  Many shelters offer free classes! 

    Also, make sure that you learn A LOT about dog body language.  By learning about the different degrees that a dog holds her tail, the different types of tail wagging, whale eye, head movements, leg movements, stance, etc., you can help eliminate many future issues by being able to read your dogs and stop any issues before they happen.  Not being able to read a dog is one of the main reasons dogs bite people and their family member dogs.  People don’t know what they are looking for when a dog gives a warning.  Many warnings are extremely subtle, and by knowing what to look for, you could save a lot of distress for you and the dogs!

    One more thing, make sure all your dogs are spayed!  By keping hormone levels down to a minimum, that will help lower potential aggressive tendencies, but it isn’t 100%.

    in reply to: What do you think? #16643

    Not a problem!  Glad that I could give a bit of insight.  Don’t let me disuade you from getting a DNA test done if that is what you want to do.  They just aren’t all that accurate, but if you do a couple of them, you could see which breed is most common between the tests!  I am still tempted to have a few done on my girl, but at the same time, it just seems useless when the databases aren’t all that accurate at this time. 

    Butch does look a bit like a Staffie, but his head isn’t as round as many of the Staffies that I have seen.  Then again, if he is a mix, then all the Staffie characteristics won’t be there 100%.  His size does sound like a Staffie though! 

    He could also be what we call a “pocket pittie”.  There are some pits out there just do not seem to get much bigger than 40 pounds.  They are too adorable!  Of course with the mass breeding of pits and their cousins, it is pretty much an unknown what breeds are actually in our pups.  Not to mention the inbreeding that pits go through which causes all kinds of issues.

    As long as you love Butch and he loves you back…all is good!  🙂


    in reply to: false pregnancy….. #16624

    We see many “false pregnancies” at our clinic, but I have never personally experienced it.  Are you planning on getting your dog spayed soon?  I sure hope so!

    Did your vet tell you that your dog was experiencing a false pregnancy?  How did you find out? 

    When females go into heat, they do go into a period of false pregnancy.  Most owners will never know when a false pregnancy is occuring.  Then there are those dogs whose false pregnancies get out of control.  It can last for weeks with the dog producing milk and mothering soft toys like they are her pups.  When the dog is experiencing an extreme false pregnancy, she exhibits nesting instincts, mothering of inanimate objects, lactating, abdominal distension (appears to be with a litter), and she can even appear to go into labor!   

    If she doesn’t show any signs such as those I mentioned above, it will go away on its own.  There is no treatment for it.  If she is leaking milk, it may be tempting to wrap her or put something over her teats, but you don’t want to do that.  Any touching of the mammary tissue will stimulate more prodcution of milk; you would be replacing the puppies! 

    If she is experiencing a more extreme false pregnancy, then there is a diuretic that can be prescribed that will help to dry up the lactation.  There are also hormonal meds that can be used, but many vets do not want to go to that extreme.

    The best thing that you can do is that once the false pregnancy is over…SPAY HER!  You will prevent unwanted pregnanices and reduce many future health conditions that occur with females who are still intact. 

    Hope that this helps!

    in reply to: What do you think? #16623

    Butch is a cutie!  Who cares what he is mixed iwth, but I understand your wanting to know.  I would like to know what my dog is mixed with also.  If he is a mixed breed, you never know…he may not have any pit in him at all, though he may look like it!  But, he probably does.  True APBTs have a standard of what they look like, but not mixed breeds.  I don’t see any boxer in him. 

    One thing to keep in mind about the DNA tests….you will more than likely not get the answers that you are looking for.  There are many DNA tests available out on the market, and several really reputable ones that can be done through your vet.  But…the genetic databases for most of the DNA testing companies is incomplete.  For example, one company only lists 46 breeds of dogs!  That is way less than half the number of total breeds of dogs in the world!  Another database for another company has 120+ breeds listed.  Here is the issue…for those of us who want to know if our dog has pit bull in them, we will never know.  None of the databases contain American Pit Bull Terrier in them.  There is American Staffordshire Terrier, and a few have Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but no one has American Pit Bull Terrier.  So, in my opinion (for what it is worth), I wouldn’t bother.  Who cares!  He is a cutie and leave it at that.  Because of the lack of genetic information on APBTs, that is why I haven’t bothered.  We rarely do DNA tests at our vet clinic on mixed breeds for those reasons that I mentioned.  But, it is up to you!  You could still find out what else your dog has in it.  You would be surprised what shows up! 

    One other thing about the DNA tests…if you were to do 1 from each testing company, you would get all different results.  They rarely ever match.  That just goes to show how canine DNA databases are not too accurate.  It is hard to do when really all breeds of dogs are mixed breeds.  Purebreds were designed by breeding different breeds.  Personally, I think you should save your money and buy Butch some toys or yummy treats instead.

    I just want to snuggle that face of his!  🙂

    in reply to: Should I switch their food? #16622

    Glad to help!  Food is so important to our dog’s health and well-being, so it is good that you are concerned about it!  Alice is right, liver at the store is really cheap!  Just boil it up and serve!  Plus, it makes mealtime so much more exciting for them. 

    Keep up the GREAT work!  🙂

    in reply to: He’s too defensive. #16610


    Do you believe EVERYTHING that you read and see?  No dog just “turns on you” and attacks.  These are people who have unsocialized dogs, dogs that may be kept out on chains, unaltered, hit, and probably don’t know much about reading dog body language.  Dogs give us tons of signals before they “attack”; it is just a matter of knowing what to look for.  It really isn’t too complicated.  Basic body language is obvious.  If a kid is climbing all over the dog, tugging on the ears, and the dog is squirming…the dog is trying to get away.  Dogs react in all forms before they bite and attack.  That is their last resort. 

    On the flip side of that, dogs who are ill or in pain also bite.  Other animals do too.  But, if you don’t properly care for your dog by taking him to the vet, feeding him properly, etc. etc., you won’t know something is wrong with your dog.   

    The breed of dog has nothing to do with the behavior.  A dog’s owner makes his dog what the dog becomes.  If you just have a dog and don’t do anything with it, yes, you may have trouble on your hands at some point down the road.  Dogs are living, breathing creatures.  They need love, they need nurturing, they need education, they need rules, and the list goes on and on.  You don’t have a child just to let the child do what it wants.  You will end up with an unruly child.  A dog is what the human makes it. 

    Notice that I keep using the generic term “dog”?  That is because this applies to all breeds.  Dogs need structure and they need a routine.  A dog will give you in return what you give it.

    I think you better learn more about the breed by reading real information from real pit bull websites and learn to make your own educated decision and not listen to every Tom, Dick, and Harry.  You will find negative stuff everywhere for every breed.  Pits are the dog of choice for unreputable individuals at this time, and they are the ones making the news.  There are hundres upon thousands of good stories out there, but they will be hard to find because negative stuff is what people like you want to read and believe.

    Humans do terrible things each and every day, but does that make us as a species horrible and not able to be trusted?  Nope.  Humans can make decisions on what is right from wrong.  Dogs need for us to teach them.  If a person isn’t teaching the dog right from wrong in a positive and safe manner, then you may have trouble.

    Please educate yourself.



    in reply to: He’s too defensive. #16605

    You go, go ask alice!  🙂

    in reply to: moving! #16600

    adelia is right.  Contact local pit bull organizations, or even national ones, such as Pit Bull Rescue Central, and they may be able to help.  Contact shelters and humane societies in the area that you are looking to move to.  If they take in pits, they may be able to help as they will know what pit owners have to deal with.

    Get a list of pet friendly places that you are interested in and call the leasing office directly.  Just ask what their pet friendly policy is and if they have breed restrictions.  If they ask you what breed you have, don’t answer.  Just tell them you would like to know what the restrictions are, if any.  By telling them what you have, that person could be biased and tell you pits are on the list, even if they aren’t.  You aren’t being dishonest; you just aren’t offering up info at that time.   

    There are many rental homes out there that are pet-friendly.  Don’t forget to check those too!  Because of the housing market, many people who can’t sell their home are deciding to rent it out for sometimes less than rent at an apartment!  Many homeowners will have looser requirements for pets than large apartment communities, but you just have to ask. 

    All you have to do is ask.  I am glad to know that you are looking for pit-friendly housing and wanting to be honest about it.  People who lie or hide the dogs if moving into a non pit-friendly location just make it harder for everyone else.

    Best of luck to you and the family!  🙂

    in reply to: pit bull/lab mix….what to expect? #16598

    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. 

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 98 total)