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Postby katiek0417 » September 26th, 2009, 11:54 pm

Marinepits wrote:
Dog_Shrink wrote:As far as testosterone and resource guarding... testosterone is a HIGHLY motivating factor in dominant behavior such as ersource guarding so with the waining of testosterone hopefully the dog will be less driven to perform such dominant behaviors.


Testosterone may be a "highly motivating factor" in some dogs, but definitely not all. Mac was neutered around 8 months old and that didn't make a damn bit of difference -- he still developed into one of the most dominant dogs I've ever met and has some of the most severe resource guarding behaviours I've ever seen.

Tucker was neutered before we adopted him at 6 months and he's still developing some dominant behaviours, but thankfully no where near the same extreme as Mac.


Yeah...I agree...I know plenty of neutered dogs that are dominant...In addition, I know plenty of dogs who have been neutered and are still aggressive...

I feel like a comment about testosterone being the cause of things like this is a blanket statement. It's not always true, and you can't make the claim that it is....

In addition, I'm highly offended by your claim that people who choose to C&R are "subjecting" our dogs to something. Would it be better to put our dogs at risk? And, as Michelle said, it's not all that easy to re-home a severely DA dog....
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Postby Marinepits » September 26th, 2009, 11:59 pm

furever_pit wrote:Give me a gamebred rangy APBT over one of these "pretty" nervous Pits that lack courage or the balls to stand up for themselves any day.


Amen! I love my dogs with some spice! If I wanted a "softer" dog, I'd own a different breed.
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Postby ArtGypsy » September 27th, 2009, 12:04 am

Well............. :|
I'm wondering if Dog Shrink" has any real idea of what Crate-Rotate LOOKS Like,In Real Life.
Maybe he's only known of people who stick their aggressive dogs in a crate and leave them. :|
Or maybe he's projecting human-fears of what the dog 'must/may' __feel__ like...(abandoned, left in the cage, left alone, lonely, etc.)...

To me, watching Dar and Macy UN-Crated, shows me Just How uncomfortable and Uncertain Life is for them without the safety and security of their beds to 'go to' and 'stay in'.

Both Dogs get plenty of time out of the crate. Honestly, Dar gets a lot more time out of his crate than Macy gets out of hers, because she's old and really LIKES to stay all snuggly in her bed. She had slowed way down in activity level a couple of years ago and slept a lot of the time before we got Dar. If I put Dar in the yard and let Macy 'run' the house, she goes back to her bed(crate) 99% of the time.
I just figured it was because they're "Den" animals???????????

But I'm giving Dog Shrink a HUGE benefit of the doubt here. Being a "behaviorist", there really shouldn't be any lack of clarity of what Crate/rotate looks like or why it's being done.
Good Lord, I know plenty of dogs who aren't crated, but HAVE NO good quality of Life, because no one gives enough of a damn to do anything with them.

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Postby Marinepits » September 27th, 2009, 12:17 am

I find the term "crate and rotate" can be misleading.

Mac's daytime "crate" is two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a hallway, separated from the others by a heavy gate. He spends most of the day following the sun spots from room to room and prefers to be in those rooms. Even if I have the other four downstairs and leave Mac's gate open, he'll often stay in one of the rooms if the sun spot is there. From the humans' dinnertime until bedtime, he's in the greatroom with the rest of the crew, always supervised. At night, he gets one bedroom and the hallway that leads to the front door -- he's a GREAT security guard.

The only time any of the dogs are in their actual crates is when we leave the house, or when my baby nieces are visiting.
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Postby mnp13 » September 27th, 2009, 12:18 am

Dog_Shrink wrote:Breeders have been trying for years to breed down the aggressive traits in Pitbulls to make them a more balanced dog with out destroying the qualities that makes them what they are.

Yeah, I was in the show ring with a bunch of them last year at UKC APBT Nationals. There was an Alaskian Klee Klai puppy in a crate in the next ring screaming its fool head off the entire time we were gaiting our dogs around the ring. You could tell exactly which dogs came from lines where breeders were "breeding out the aggression" and what lines were actually being bred to produce performance dogs. It was very easy - half of the handlers were trying to control dogs that were actively looking for the living squeaky toy in the next ring and then starting to get amped up and frustrated, the other half had dogs that looked like they were on valium. Guess which were which.

To say that a pit isn't going to be a pit anymore just because the aggressive nature has been bred down is naive. Personally I give kudos to the breeders that are trying to accomplish this and garner the dog a better reputation. So you would rather keep the aggressive nature the way it is rather than try to make the dog more balanced? Who does that honestly help?


What are the qualities that "make them what they are"? I think one of the best qualities of the breed is the "never give up" attitude. The "I'll do this or die trying" part of their personality. That is actually the essence of what a Pit Bull IS. ... and what were our dogs created to do? We've all been over that ad nauseam.

It doesn't matter if the dog is "over the top" dog aggressive or "stone cold." The day that dog A and dog B decide to get in a tussle over the invisible speck of dust on the floor might be the last day that those two dogs can ever see each other again. Our dogs were bred to be hardwired for one thing - to reach a goal or die trying, that is the essence of "game." And sometimes once two dogs get pissed off enough at each other they decide that "it's on" every time they lay eyes on each other again.

There are plenty of breeds out there who by their very nature just shrug off the occasional tiff and just get on with things... as a breed, the Pit Bull doesn't usually fit into that category. So, sorry, no, I don't think it's naive at all to say that people trying to breed dog aggression out of Pit Bulls are trying to change the fundamental nature of the breed.

As for being balanced, you'll have to define that one for me.

There is an agility competitor in the club I'm in who had a dog have a major setback when it went off the dog walk at full height. She lost a year of training with him because he was terrified of it and she had to start over from scratch and s-l-o-w-l-y teach him that he wouldn't die if he went over it. Riggs fell off of the dog walk from about 5 feet in class one night and people had heart failure. He got up and charged back up the ramp to get the piece of hot dog he missed the first time... and yes, I attribute that to "game" and yes, when you start watering down all of his headstrong, bully, pain-in-the-ass, dog aggressive, stubborn, determined traits... you loose the good stuff too - like being willing to keep trying stuff over and over until he gets it.

(I'll let Matt tell you about Riggs' first encounter with a spiral slide :doh: )
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Postby furever_pit » September 27th, 2009, 12:26 am

mnp13 wrote:
Dog_Shrink wrote:Breeders have been trying for years to breed down the aggressive traits in Pitbulls to make them a more balanced dog with out destroying the qualities that makes them what they are.

Yeah, I was in the show ring with a bunch of them last year at UKC APBT Nationals. There was an Alaskian Klee Klai puppy in a crate in the next ring screaming its fool head off the entire time we were gaiting our dogs around the ring. You could tell exactly which dogs came from lines where breeders were "breeding out the aggression" and what lines were actually being bred to produce performance dogs. It was very easy - half of the handlers were trying to control dogs that were actively looking for the living squeaky toy in the next ring and then starting to get amped up and frustrated, the other half had dogs that looked like they were on valium. Guess which were which.

To say that a pit isn't going to be a pit anymore just because the aggressive nature has been bred down is naive. Personally I give kudos to the breeders that are trying to accomplish this and garner the dog a better reputation. So you would rather keep the aggressive nature the way it is rather than try to make the dog more balanced? Who does that honestly help?


What are the qualities that "make them what they are"? I think one of the best qualities of the breed is the "never give up" attitude. The "I'll do this or die trying" part of their personality. That is actually the essence of what a Pit Bull IS. ... and what were our dogs created to do? We've all been over that ad nauseam.

It doesn't matter if the dog is "over the top" dog aggressive or "stone cold." The day that dog A and dog B decide to get in a tussle over the invisible speck of dust on the floor might be the last day that those two dogs can ever see each other again. Our dogs were bred to be hardwired for one thing - to reach a goal or die trying, that is the essence of "game." And sometimes once two dogs get pissed off enough at each other they decide that "it's on" every time they lay eyes on each other again.

There are plenty of breeds out there who by their very nature just shrug off the occasional tiff and just get on with things... as a breed, the Pit Bull doesn't usually fit into that category. So, sorry, no, I don't think it's naive at all to say that people trying to breed dog aggression out of Pit Bulls are trying to change the fundamental nature of the breed.

As for being balanced, you'll have to define that one for me.

There is an agility competitor in the club I'm in who had a dog have a major setback when it went off the dog walk at full height. She lost a year of training with him because he was terrified of it and she had to start over from scratch and s-l-o-w-l-y teach him that he wouldn't die if he went over it. Riggs fell off of the dog walk from about 5 feet in class one night and people had heart failure. He got up and charged back up the ramp to get the piece of hot dog he missed the first time... and yes, I attribute that to "game" and yes, when you start watering down all of his headstrong, bully, pain-in-the-ass, dog aggressive, stubborn, determined traits... you loose the good stuff too - like being willing to keep trying stuff over and over until he gets it.

(I'll let Matt tell you about Riggs' first encounter with a spiral slide :doh: )


I heart you. You explained that better than I could have.
Don't you love those moments at training where everyone thinks your dog is going to have a setback and they come back charging harder and wanting more? I am always very proud of my boys when they show their bravery and their willingness to keep trying for me this way.
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Postby BigDogBuford » September 27th, 2009, 2:47 am

Let's face it, crate and rotate done correctly is a lot more work. It's much easier for the owner and in my opinion lazy to re-home a dog. (Erin I'm not lumping you into this category).

It's much easier to manage dogs if you don't let them escalate to a really major fight first. I never have *all* of my dogs out running around at the same time as it would be asking for a fight if one were to get over stimulated by say the doorbell or something. :|

Want a cold dog that you can take to the dog park and let run around willy nilly? Then just don't get a Pit Bull for cripes sake.
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 27th, 2009, 7:55 am

As far as testosterone and resource guarding... testosterone is a HIGHLY motivating factor in dominant behavior such as ersource guarding so with the waining of testosterone hopefully the dog will be less driven to perform such dominant behaviors.


My worst resource guarder is my dainty, girly little female Aussie... 8) Yeah, she's a bad-ass.

Breeders have been trying for years to breed down the aggressive traits in Pitbulls to make them a more balanced dog with out destroying the qualities taht makes them what they are. To say that a pit isn't going to be a pit anymore just because the aggressive nature has been bred down is niave. Personally I give kudos to the breeders that are trying to accomplish this and garner the dog a better reputation. So you would rather keep the aggressive nature the way it is rather than try to make the dog more balanced? Who does that honestly help?


I always think of the dobermans I see nowadays...the breeders, from what I have heard, were worried about the bad news about dobermans "turning on their owners" and attacking, etc...so they started breeding a nicer doberman. Watered the breed down, made them less reactive and aggressive. So now I see weird little soft dobermans that freak out at the drop of a hat, and are nice and friendly on the surface, but still have that streak running through them...which pops out at odd moments. I don't know that I'd like the original doberman either...but what I see now...eh, not so much. I never thought this breed would be "family pet" material... :| (this doesn't go for ALL dobermans...this goes for the majority that I see now)
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Postby mnp13 » September 27th, 2009, 12:30 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:I always think of the dobermans I see nowadays...the breeders, from what I have heard, were worried about the bad news about dobermans "turning on their owners" and attacking, etc...so they started breeding a nicer doberman. Watered the breed down, made them less reactive and aggressive. So now I see weird little soft dobermans that freak out at the drop of a hat, and are nice and friendly on the surface, but still have that streak running through them...which pops out at odd moments. I don't know that I'd like the original doberman either...but what I see now...eh, not so much. I never thought this breed would be "family pet" material... :| (this doesn't go for ALL dobermans...this goes for the majority that I see now)

Which is a perfect example of this. The Doberman was created specifically by two men who wanted a guard dog. Now people have decided that they don't really like "that part" of the breed so they breed dogs that don't display correct breed temperament. So you get nice mushy dogs... with other issues. Go figure.
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Postby Dog_Shrink » September 27th, 2009, 7:59 pm

Ok it seems my statements have created a lot of ire. Let me try and respond to these as best I can.

First testosterone and drive... yes it is a great motivator and will throw that already assertive dog over the top... by reducing the testosterone (in theory) it should help bring those drives down to what just his genetic programming is with out the added fuel of the testosterone. To the gal with the over the top aussie female... is she spayed if so then she is reacting pretty much on testosterone since spaying reduces the majority of the estrogen producing glands in her body. It's not unusual to see behavuiors that are considered mostly male out of a spayed strong temperamented female.

When I stated breeders are trying to breed down some of the aggressive traits in ABPTs abd other bullie breeds it does not mean make them a cat. HELL NO! We love our bullies drive and tenacity, courage, cockiness and all that comes with them. By trying to reduce some of the DA drives does not mean ruin the breed and turn them into cowards. That's where it takes a responsible knowledgable breeder with a good work ethic and breeding program to maintain those other wonderful attributes. Now honestly you tell me who wouldn't want a Pitty that's jsut a bit less dog aggressive? I sure would because I'd love to have a few rollin around with out worrying about the whole DA and C&R thing to keep peace.

As far as crate and rotate... I've never been a huge fan of crates period because it enables MOST people to be lazy and irresponsible with their dogs. I confinement train with baby gates and a dog safe room insted of crating, and even having 7 dogs in my house no one ever needs to be seperated from the rest of the pack (thank god). I know that those of you that do have to live in a C&R environment work your asses off for the dogs and that is very noble of you to devote so much and I commend youfor it, but personally I would feel guilty and like they were missing something important in life (ie being part of a pack) and couldn't do it...

I hope this helps clear some things up and if not I'm sure I'll have more for yua later if needed. Again this is all just my personal belief and opinion and not meant to criticize how responsible people have to manage their dogs.
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Postby katiek0417 » September 27th, 2009, 8:48 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote:As far as crate and rotate... I've never been a huge fan of crates period because it enables MOST people to be lazy and irresponsible with their dogs. I confinement train with baby gates and a dog safe room insted of crating, and even having 7 dogs in my house no one ever needs to be seperated from the rest of the pack (thank god). I know that those of you that do have to live in a C&R environment work your asses off for the dogs and that is very noble of you to devote so much and I commend youfor it, but personally I would feel guilty and like they were missing something important in life (ie being part of a pack) and couldn't do it...



And what do you do for the dogs that can jump the baby gates (any dog in my house can easily jump a baby gate! Heck, to many of my dogs a 6 or 8 foot fence is nothing)? And, those dogs that could be destructive? Jue, for one, has done thousands of dollars worth of damage to a room when he broke out of a crate!

Listen, I commend you for being able to have your dogs out. I think that's great! But the fact that you feel like your dogs are missing something important is confusing. You say you understand dog behavior...but that statement alone shows a lot of anthropomorphizing. Yes, many of us are guilty of doing that...on more than one occasion...but sometimes you have to separate the human feelings from those experienced by a dog....
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Postby mnp13 » September 27th, 2009, 11:28 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote:Ok it seems my statements have created a lot of ire. Let me try and respond to these as best I can.

no, not ire.

First testosterone and drive... yes it is a great motivator and will throw that already assertive dog over the top... by reducing the testosterone (in theory) it should help bring those drives down to what just his genetic programming is with out the added fuel of the testosterone. To the gal with the over the top aussie female... is she spayed if so then she is reacting pretty much on testosterone since spaying reduces the majority of the estrogen producing glands in her body. It's not unusual to see behavuiors that are considered mostly male out of a spayed strong temperamented female.

Outside of lifting the leg to pee, I'm not sure what behaviors are considered "mostly male." I know a whole lot of dominant intact dogs and a whole lot of dominant altered dogs... of both sexes.

If we're talking about resource guarding, I definitely don't agree. Resource guarding is one of the easiest behaviors you can teach a dog that is the least bit rude or pushy. The dog doesn't even have to be dominant by "nature" and you can teach it to guard.

Try this: give your dog something it really likes. When you reach for it and your dog looks at you, cringe away. Do that a few more times, and the dog will steadily get bolder about "telling" you that the object is theirs and not yours. The same thing works with the couch, the bed, or anything else that the dog might value. You can use the same method to get a shy/timid dog to come out of their shell, when they look at you, shy away. Before long, the shy timid dog will be strutting its stuff.

When I stated breeders are trying to breed down some of the aggressive traits in ABPTs abd other bullie breeds it does not mean make them a cat. HELL NO! We love our bullies drive and tenacity, courage, cockiness and all that comes with them. By trying to reduce some of the DA drives does not mean ruin the breed and turn them into cowards. That's where it takes a responsible knowledgable breeder with a good work ethic and breeding program to maintain those other wonderful attributes. Now honestly you tell me who wouldn't want a Pitty that's jsut a bit less dog aggressive? I sure would because I'd love to have a few rollin around with out worrying about the whole DA and C&R thing to keep peace.

"We love our bullies drive and tenacity, courage, cockiness and all that comes with them. " Well, all that comes with them except for that pesky dog aggressiveness, we don't like that. Don't you see that all of that comes as a package? In my mind, an "ethical breeding program" does not include changing the fundamental nature of a breed.

My dogs aren't wild dog killing monsters, but they can't just romp and play at the dog park or doggie day care. If you want a breed that can do that, get another breed. Dogs don't need "friends," that is a human need that we put on them. I know, I know, dogs are pack animals, they want to be in a pack, la la la... frankly, that's not true. Wild dogs live in packs, we don't have wild dogs. Domestic dogs were divided into breeds by humans, and some breeds - like hounds - are still pack dogs. Breeds like Pit Bulls are not (obviously). The only reason Riggs yearns to be in a group of dogs is so that he can be in a giant fight instead of one-on-one.

So, how many hundreds and hundreds of generations of dogs do you think it took to get the breed into the package of drive, tenacity, courage, cockiness and dog aggression? How many more hundreds will it take to keep everything but the last on the list? Frankly, I hope all of those "ethical breeders" are culling hard because I don't believe for one minute that they are hitting the mark with keeping all of the good things together and just getting rid of the dog aggression. When you start "watering things down", other things start slipping.

As far as crate and rotate... I've never been a huge fan of crates period because it enables MOST people to be lazy and irresponsible with their dogs.

That's like the people who don't like prong collars because "people use them as short cuts in training" improper use of a training tool or method does not invalidate its use.

I confinement train with baby gates and a dog safe room insted of crating, and even having 7 dogs in my house no one ever needs to be seperated from the rest of the pack (thank god).

I have two dogs in my house that can jump 5 feet from a stand still, and higher with a running start.

I know that those of you that do have to live in a C&R environment work your asses off for the dogs and that is very noble of you to devote so much and I commend youfor it, but personally I would feel guilty and like they were missing something important in life (ie being part of a pack) and couldn't do it...

Uh, no, there's nothing noble or anything else about it. We have dogs who don't get along, and we don't choose to get rid of them. So we manage them as best fits our homes.
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Postby Dog_Shrink » September 28th, 2009, 1:37 am

"Listen, I commend you for being able to have your dogs out. I think that's great! But the fact that you feel like your dogs are missing something important is confusing. You say you understand dog behavior...but that statement alone shows a lot of anthropomorphizing. Yes, many of us are guilty of doing that...on more than one occasion...but sometimes you have to separate the human feelings from those experienced by a dog...."


what I had said (or meant to say) was that I felt that dogs that had to live in a C&R environment are theone's I felt were missing out on knowing the pleasures of a pack... the way they were meant to live. No matter how much our dogs love you and we are their "pack" there is always something lost in translation that only another dog can understand.

"if we're talking about resource guarding, I definitely don't agree. Resource guarding is one of the easiest behaviors you can teach a dog that is the least bit rude or pushy. The dog doesn't even have to be dominant by "nature" and you can teach it to guard. "


I was talking about the added drive that is a component of testosterone, not the drive that is inhearant to each dog individually because of genetics.

"We love our bullies drive and tenacity, courage, cockiness and all that comes with them. " Well, all that comes with them except for that pesky dog aggressiveness, we don't like that. Don't you see that all of that comes as a package? In my mind, an "ethical breeding program" does not include changing the fundamental nature of a breed."


The fundamental nature of breeds were changed several times before perfection was achieved and a standard was written. Who's to say that there isn't room for improvement even now esp. if it is to benifit the dog to live more peaceably in such a negative society. I'm not talking about adding to the foundation stock to alter the breed entirely. I'm talking abut selective breeding of dogs that are known to be less DA (or not at all) yet still retaine all the other qualities of the breed we adore.

As far as dogs that can jump baby gates then they're put 2 high and then they get a crash course in respecting the gate (and/or the door is shut) and generally with in 2 days they don't challenge the gate and are happy to wait much like your crating but on a larger scale.

I know I think very differently than most on the "hows" of dogs. I believe there are a core set pattern of inherited traits that all mammals have from birth that are across the board the same in every dog regardless of breed. One of those core traits is the pack instinct and I know a lot that will call bull on this but It is very much alive in our domestic dogs and I live with it every day in my pack of 7. I know that their peaceful coexistance isn't in part to "oh they just love eachother" I'm not that niave that would be humanizing, but I do believe it is to better the pack s a whole. I know I'm the leader and that a lot of their getting along as well as they do is because of that leadership.

Imagine the high you get off being able to play with 1 dog at a time and to suck off some of that energy for a while and to truly be soaked into that dogs world... no imagine that times 7 and know that they can all be like this because you have perfected that pack hierarchy and balance is in your pack. To me that is what any dog thrives for and to not give them the opportunity to satisfy that basic need is selling it short. I kn ow I know some dogs just can not do it because of other genertic traits but that takes us back to the other arguement of softening the DA trait in pitties.

I read somewhere once and I wish for the life of me I could remember where so if anyone knows chime in but it went like this : "Dogs aren't loyal to us because we feed them... but because we give them companionship..."

ok rambling again... I wish y'all could just see it because then all this would click. Like I said I commend those of you that have to do C&R but I don't know that I could. I admire that you would be willing to go to any lengths to keep all your dogs no matter what the circumstances but where do you draw the line and askyourself am I really doing this for their best interest or my selfishness. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is letting something go.I don't own pitties... I have in the past, and after they reached a certain age they started fighting one day and didn't stop. I have had to live in a rotate situation (but it was rooms not crates) so I think I can speak from both sides of the fence there. I felt horrible having to have them live like that but I felt a little better since it was whole rooms and not a crate that was just big enough to turn in. I could start a whole nother thread on why I don't like crate training but that's for another day. Again these are just my feelings and beliefs and are in no way meant to be an insult or a criticizm to anyone that practices or endorses those methods.
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Postby katiek0417 » September 28th, 2009, 6:17 am

Dog_Shrink wrote:
I was talking about the added drive that is a component of testosterone, not the drive that is inhearant to each dog individually because of genetics.



What drive is it that you're talking about here? There are certain drives that are innate in dogs regardless of whether they are male or female (prey drive, hunt drive, defense, etc), or speutered, and the dog can be high or low in those drives. Other drives are usually some extension or combination of these other drives...

I have personally seen many dogs, both intact and neutered, that act the same. Take an aggressive dog, for example. Vets will tell you to fix the dog...but, guess what? The dog is just as aggressive after neutering as it is before. And, in some (I'd even venture to say many) instances, the aggression is a learned behavior (as Michelle points out in her post about teaching a shy dog to become more confident). If the dog has been rewarded in the past for being aggressive, then it's going to show aggression regardless of whether it has testicles or not. And the ability to learn has nothing to do with having testicles.
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Postby maberi » September 28th, 2009, 10:50 am

Interesting thread :shock:

In my opinion many of the statements being made here are blanket statements and although they may seem to work for some dogs, certainly don't work for all dogs(or as you pointed out breeds).

As far as dogs that can jump baby gates then they're put 2 high and then they get a crash course in respecting the gate (and/or the door is shut) and generally with in 2 days they don't challenge the gate and are happy to wait much like your crating but on a larger scale.


There are many dogs out there (including quite a few on this forum) that would certainly make you think they respected gating but given the chance would plow through that gating to get at something they wanted on the other side (another dog, food, toys, etc...). Unless you are installing some sort of industrial gating in your house designed to hold a large strong breed, crating is the safest and simplest thing to prevent a catastrophe in your home. Closing a door on a strong willed dog will only show you how quickly a dog can tear a room to shreds.

I know I think very differently than most on the "hows" of dogs. I believe there are a core set pattern of inherited traits that all mammals have from birth that are across the board the same in every dog regardless of breed. One of those core traits is the pack instinct and I know a lot that will call bull on this but It is very much alive in our domestic dogs and I live with it every day in my pack of 7. I know that their peaceful coexistance isn't in part to "oh they just love eachother" I'm not that niave that would be humanizing, but I do believe it is to better the pack s a whole. I know I'm the leader and that a lot of their getting along as well as they do is because of that leadership.


Outside of that fact that most dogs really don't want to fight, how does their peaceful co-existence better the pack as a whole? Wolfs worked together as a team so they could bring down large prey and eat so they wouldn't starve to death, but we are talking about domesticated dogs that are fed nice meals everyday and sleep in warm beds at night.

Imagine the high you get off being able to play with 1 dog at a time and to suck off some of that energy for a while and to truly be soaked into that dogs world... no imagine that times 7 and know that they can all be like this because you have perfected that pack hierarchy and balance is in your pack. To me that is what any dog thrives for and to not give them the opportunity to satisfy that basic need is selling it short. I know I know some dogs just can not do it because of other genertic traits but that takes us back to the other arguement of softening the DA trait in pitties.


But we aren't just talking about pits here. There are numerous other breeds out there just not built to frolic around in fields with their buddies, not to mention hoards of individual dogs in "dog dog friendly" breeds that just don't care for other dogs. Do you take all of those breeds and try to breed out the dog aggression because of a human assumption that all dogs have some sort of basic need to live in a pack?


ok rambling again... I wish y'all could just see it because then all this would click.


So many of us have seen it and I think that is why you are seeing so many disagreements with your statements. We've all seen the pack leaders with their pack of dogs running around, enjoying life. The problem is that those packs all consist of dogs and breeds which are rather laid back and don't mind the presence of other dogs.

You can tell me all day long that my dog wants to be in a pack but I know dam well the only reason he may want to hang out in the pack is so he can have more than 1 fight (and that goes for my goofy happy go lucky Lab who would probably give up hot dogs forever if he could live all by his lonesome).


Like I said I commend those of you that have to do C&R but I don't know that I could. I admire that you would be willing to go to any lengths to keep all your dogs no matter what the circumstances but where do you draw the line and askyourself am I really doing this for their best interest or my selfishness. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is letting something go.I don't own pitties... I have in the past, and after they reached a certain age they started fighting one day and didn't stop. I have had to live in a rotate situation (but it was rooms not crates) so I think I can speak from both sides of the fence there. I felt horrible having to have them live like that but I felt a little better since it was whole rooms and not a crate that was just big enough to turn in. I could start a whole nother thread on why I don't like crate training but that's for another day. Again these are just my feelings and beliefs and are in no way meant to be an insult or a criticizm to anyone that practices or endorses those methods.


Whether you agree or disagree with crates is irrelevant. For many of the people on this forum they are a necessity whether that means crating for the dogs protection, their homes protection or that the many dog sports that the members on here compete in require these crates for the safety of the other dogs and handlers.
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Postby katiek0417 » September 28th, 2009, 11:24 am

maberi wrote:There are many dogs out there (including quite a few on this forum) that would certainly make you think they respected gating but given the chance would plow through that gating to get at something they wanted on the other side (another dog, food, toys, etc...). Unless you are installing some sort of industrial gating in your house designed to hold a large strong breed, crating is the safest and simplest thing to prevent a catastrophe in your home. Closing a door on a strong willed dog will only show you how quickly a dog can tear a room to shreds.



Yep...Dru has broken INTO Nisha's crate to fight with her...Jue breaks out of crates on a regular basis, not to fight, but to just be out. I have dogs that HAVE to be in welded aluminum crates because vari-kennels won't hold them. So, baby gates will last all of 2 seconds in my home!


Whether you agree or disagree with crates is irrelevant. For many of the people on this forum they are a necessity whether that means crating for the dogs protection, their homes protection or that the many dog sports that the members on here compete in require these crates for the safety of the other dogs and handlers.


Or all of the above...Very well said, Matt!
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 28th, 2009, 11:41 am

I personally don't crate and rotate, and I don't honestly know if I could (partly because I'm really, really forgetful and kind of an idiot at times). I have dogs that live in the house altogether, none of them are pits (and yeah, one would love to be an only dog...). I teach my dogs to like crates (we use them for flyball and such)...but they don't live in them on a day to day basis. They are all crated as puppies or newly aquired adult rescues to keep them out of trouble and to help housetrain them. While I agree that some people use their crates too much, I try not to slam everyone for using a crate. So yeah, I'm coming at this problem from a whole different side of things...as I often say, I'm new to the bully world...and I soak up info like a sponge...I don't always agree, but I take in a lot of new things.

That said, there is a problem with out and out using blanket statements like that...no matter what board you are on...pit bull, maltese, german shepherds, chihuahuas, labradors, etc. I think the problem lies a lot in the feeling that you aren't stating opinions or experiences, but telling people THIS WHAT HAPPENED. The trouble is, on the internet...and even hearing a story first hand IRL, you were NOT there. If someone calls to tell me something that their dog is doing, has done, etc...I ask a lot of questions before passing judgement on what has happened...and I GO MEET THAT CLIENT and observe the dog before I make a statement about what has happened. When I read stuff online, I try and put in something that says, "it sounds like this might be happening", or "in my experience", etc...and in serious cases like this...I try and encourage them to get professional help IRL.

Aggressive behaviors have a cause...yes they do. But they're not always clear, even observing the animal doesn't always help the first time. Aggression is a symptom of something...and it may not just be hormones. As mentioned, this behavior can stem from breed type or even owner problems...unintentional or otherwise.
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Postby furever_pit » September 28th, 2009, 11:52 am

I would be interested in speaking to some of these breeders who are breeding out the DA in APBTs. Just because I am curious.

Would they choose not to breed Dog A simply because he is DA, even tho he has performed better in WP, conformation, agility, or sport work (all of which demonstrate that the DA is controllable and not something that is impossible to manage)? Would they instead breed Dog B because he has not demonstrated any DA even tho he has not performed as well as Dog A? What kind of priority is the lack of DA taking in the breeding program?

As for the crating and dog's desire to be in a pack...
I have lived both ways. I have 2 males that I crate and rotate, even tho they are able to get along (I don't suspect this will last as my puppy is already starting to grow into himself and develop an attitude). In the past I have had up to 4 farm dogs that are all out and about at the same time. I can't honestly say that the pack dogs are any happier than my boys, or vice versa. What I do know is that the pack works for our farm dogs partially because there is only one strongly dominant male (our wolf hybrid) and the others are happy to submit and pretty much do their own thing. But I also know that if I bring my older male Pit to the farm it upsets the entire thing because he and the wolf want to kill one another. So I don't bring my boy to the farm and everyone is MUCH happier. As for my boys at home, there is absolutely no indication that they are unhappy because of the crate and rotate and I actually believe that they would be more stressed if I asked them to live as a pack.
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 28th, 2009, 12:02 pm

furever_pit wrote:I would be interested in speaking to some of these breeders who are breeding out the DA in APBTs. Just because I am curious.

Would they choose not to breed Dog A simply because he is DA, even tho he has performed better in WP, conformation, agility, or sport work (all of which demonstrate that the DA is controllable and not something that is impossible to manage)? Would they instead breed Dog B because he has not demonstrated any DA even tho he has not performed as well as Dog A? What kind of priority is the lack of DA taking in the breeding program?


I can't answer for APBTs...but in my breed of choice (Aussies) there is a HUGE movement towards breeding really friendly dogs. Honestly, the show dogs I see are like big golden retrievers in blue merle coats. Silly. :bs: The Aussie was bred to be a ranch dog...herd animals as necessary, but also to guard the house and land. They're not bred to attack, but to make some noise and be suspicious of strangers. The breed standard calls for "reserved". I like that in my breed...I don't want a dog that will walk away with anyone. I don't think that calls for an HA dog (which I have met...and unfortunately they were bred because they were great sheep/cattle/duck dogs)...but just a dog that takes a while to warm up. My Inara is too far on the "reserved spectrum...and is fear aggressive and really shy. But the others are what I like in Aussies...they warm up pretty quick if they see Mom and Dad are okay with things, but will be upset quickly if things go bad. The show dogs...not so much. People like the colors and the coats, but want a friendly dog that won't herd their kids... :rolleyes2: So we see more and more of that...and I just don't like it. If you don't want high-energy, herding dog that is suspicious...get a different breed.
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Postby mnp13 » September 28th, 2009, 3:14 pm

furever_pit wrote:I would be interested in speaking to some of these breeders who are breeding out the DA in APBTs. Just because I am curious.

Would they choose not to breed Dog A simply because he is DA, even tho he has performed better in WP, conformation, agility, or sport work (all of which demonstrate that the DA is controllable and not something that is impossible to manage)? Would they instead breed Dog B because he has not demonstrated any DA even tho he has not performed as well as Dog A? What kind of priority is the lack of DA taking in the breeding program?

Excellent questions. Many dog aggressive dogs perform perfectly well in conformation, obedience, agility and other venues - even when competition requires that they be in close proximity to other dogs. When Connor and Riggs are "working" they can be within inches of each other, off leash, with us at a distance. They don't move. When not in working mode, Riggs isn't quite as well behaved. :rolleyes2:

Dog aggressive dogs also may be fine with one or two other dogs on a limited and/or supervised basis. They just may not be able to wildly play together - as in you can't let them get into "high drive" but low key play is ok.

To me, there is one simple fact here. The "need" for dogs to have "friends" is a need that is created and put on them by people.

Yes, domestic dogs are social creatures. Do I believe that they are "pack animals"? not necessarily. The key here is domestic. Humans created breeds, and when we created breeds, we refined instincts to suit the needs and desires that we had for that particular breed. There is a reason that you don't see Greyhounds doing dock diving - they are fast and they can leap, but they don't have much interest in retrieving, because that is something that humans didn't add into their breed.

So, the dogs that still like "packs" are the ones that humans wanted to still like packs. Hunting hounds are a good example of them - they live and work together in large groups and even when they are in high drive they don't get into trouble with one another (ideally.)

Livestock guardian dogs like the Central Asian Shepherd are sometimes put out with their flock of sheep at a young age so that they bond with the sheep and not with people. The sheep become their social group, not people, not other dogs - and they protect those sheep against predators, human and animal.

I absolutely agree that all dogs - even dog aggressive dogs - need social interaction. However, that interaction can come from people. Like Matt posted, there are many non-dog aggressive dogs who prefer to be left alone by other dogs.

As far as dogs that can jump baby gates then they're put 2 high and then they get a crash course in respecting the gate (and/or the door is shut) and generally with in 2 days they don't challenge the gate and are happy to wait much like your crating but on a larger scale.

Do a quick search on Google and/or a few dog forums and you'll find pictures of what dogs can and will do to walls when they want to get out of rooms when the door is closed.

We have a 4 foot gate that we can use at the front door with supervision, but would not use it as a separation method for the boys because even though Riggs isn't a "jumper," he'd still figure out how to get over it. Connor could go over it no problem, but though he'd happily tangle with Riggs, it's Riggs who's spoiling for the fight not him.

The fundamental nature of breeds were changed several times before perfection was achieved and a standard was written. Who's to say that there isn't room for improvement even now esp. if it is to benifit the dog to live more peaceably in such a negative society. I'm not talking about adding to the foundation stock to alter the breed entirely. I'm talking abut selective breeding of dogs that are known to be less DA (or not at all) yet still retaine all the other qualities of the breed we adore.

"Improvement"? According to who? I don't care about dog aggression. It's a non-issue to me. Ruby isn't dog aggressive, and I don't bring her to dog parks, doggie day care, socialization classes, or anything else. Riggs is dog aggressive, and I actually do more with him than I do with Ruby because he's a much higher drive dog overall and so is a lot easier to work. I manage his dog aggression through obedience, it's not a big deal.

Part of owning a Pit Bull is possibly dealing with dog aggression. Don't like it? Don't get a Pit Bull. There are quite literally hundreds of breeds of dogs in the world, there must be another one out there for people who don't like dog aggressive ones. I am just bewildered by people who decided they must "improve" the ones that aren't messed up in the first place.

I admire that you would be willing to go to any lengths to keep all your dogs no matter what the circumstances but where do you draw the line and askyourself am I really doing this for their best interest or my selfishness. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is letting something go

And of course, the reverse is also true - how easy is it to just dump the dog because they aren't getting along instead of coming up with a plan to manage them and altering your lifestyle to fit?

I think the problem lies a lot in the feeling that you aren't stating opinions or experiences, but telling people THIS WHAT HAPPENED. The trouble is, on the internet...and even hearing a story first hand IRL, you were NOT there.

Exactly.


The funny thing is, even when you (general you) are there, you don't always know what happened. Yes, I know that sounds weird, but bear with me. Go watch the video of Riggs and Inara and then read the comments, many people watched it and said that it looked to them like Riggs just wanted to play. Those same people could have been standing in a park watching and said "He just snapped and attacked her!" (ok, not people from here, but maybe someone from the public.)

Read this post: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=30107&p=341256&#p341256 Of course, I wasn't there, but even from the story they told me, there was obviously 100 different cues that there was a major problem. But the people didn't see it. That dog was doing everything but renting a billboard to tell them that he needed their help, but they didn't see it.

I'm teaching a brats class right now, and part of getting into the class was me evaluating the dog. Part of the evaluation was letting me handle the dog so I can experience the problems first hand. I can't go by the problems as they explain them to me, I have to see them. I had an oh-so-fun evaluation last summer with the Spaniel that bites if you reach over his head... um... at some point I had to reach over his head. Yeah. He bites. That was fun.
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