Obedience FAILURE! (She bit the Trainer!!)

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Postby call2arms » August 7th, 2006, 6:37 pm

The only thing I use the head harness for is for when my back hurts very much (I've fallen of horses on my tailbone, so my back is good for the dump) OR if the sidewalks are so icy you can skate on them.

Some if those days where bending my back hurts, I don't feel like hurting it more because Jessie suddenly goes after a cat. She'll walk on leash just fine with her collar on, but if there's a moving something in the way, she'll pull.

She does not chase anything when she wears her GL, but she is NOT depressed. Just not as exuberant as usual. I don't use the GL as a daily tool, just an "emergency back savior". She dosen't care for it...

At very first, she just pulled her heart out with it and her head was not even tilted to the side. I can attest that her neck is fine and the GL was faaaar from hurting her. Now she knows how to walk with it, and heels and loose leash walks fine with it.

In the given situation I don't think a GL would help, as fas as training goes. You need to train the dog's mind and habits, not to train it to be afraid to pull because it causes incomfort in the neck. Jaida seems to need something more like doggy bootcamp and tough love than different equipment that just restrains her.

*edited to add that an actual horse WILL move a fence post if tied to it... Halters are merely a way to TRY and hold them, but take a young stallion and try to hold it, even with a chain on the nose it's like you're holding it with string...
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Postby Pitcrew » August 7th, 2006, 11:10 pm

I have been reading this situations background for a while.

Lots of things, about many events, concern me.

I do not understand re homing a puppy, a "clean slate", because of perceived, future problems... regardless of the reason for the excuse... lack of experience... pit bull... terrier... inter-male... dominance... etc.

Yet, you will adopt a dog, with unknown history, KNOWING of many red flags (hyperactivity being only one) for potential problems.
I admire your apparent willingness to work on the problems that present you... but these problems are much more difficult and complex than what you gave up.
The dogs age, size and history are only part of your disadvantage. Your time, physical ability (because of upcoming surgery), changing lifestyle and inexperience are also factors.
I also don't know how you have suddenly become so "experienced" in just a few months. You have gone from arguing with your husband about the incident, to blaming the trainer for it.
The trainer may or may not have acted or re-acted appropriately. He may or may not have triggered the incident. The fact remains, any person on the street could have done something to trigger this. The dog has shown that their stress, state of mind (excitement), past, lack of experience, can have this reaction. Please understand, this will NOT be an "isolated incident", without some serious work, very soon.
Had this been any other individual (being bitten) it may have wound up on the news. And for some, reading it in the paper, it would either be the "pit bull"s fault, the owners fault (who should be in control), or the victims fault. The reason is irrelevant. You must manage the risk of this problem until you can properly evaluate and fix it. Both tho protect the pit bulls... and the victim... now that you know there is an issue.
There are very few excuses for a bite. Even if the trainer approached incorrectly, if the dog was not unnecessarily pressured, startled, or exceptionally fearful, there are few excuses. Bites are not a "freak" thing. If a dog is that fearfully reactive, you should have had signs. It is more likely that the dogs hyperactivity will be improved with exercise, once you can walk the dog under control. And her reactivity probably stems from her having little or no confidence in whoever is handling her because of your lack of control.
Answer? Training, exercise, and respect (control)... in any environment, in any distraction. At home is not enough, unless the dog never leaves the house. Impractical... and no fun.

A halti is NOT a recommended piece of equipment for a strong, excitable dog. The first cervical (neck) vertebrae is very susceptible to injury both because of lack of muscle in that area, the mechanics of an incorrect use of this collar, and the excitement level of the dog.
I have used it very successfully as a short term training aid for control and guiding of fearful issues in sensitive dogs who cannot handle (physically or mentally) a collar correction. But it is not usually successful, if not dangerous, if not used properly. Although I have had positive results, and no injuries, I don't recommend it. I have not needed to use one in over 10 years.

I would love to get together with Charles' club and spend a day training. Maybe we can arrange something after the Bullympics.

Its too bad you are so far from me and you cant drive. I don't know any of the trainers in your area. I would be interested in seeing how you progress with this problem.
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Postby msvette2u » August 7th, 2006, 11:24 pm

Lisa wrote:I have been reading this situations background for a while.

Lots of things, about many events, concern me.

I do not understand re homing a puppy, a "clean slate", because of perceived, future problems... regardless of the reason for the excuse... lack of experience... pit bull... terrier... inter-male... dominance... etc.

Yet, you will adopt a dog, with unknown history, KNOWING of many red flags (hyperactivity being only one) for potential problems.
I admire your apparent willingness to work on the problems that present you... but these problems are much more difficult and complex than what you gave up.
The dogs age, size and history are only part of your disadvantage. Your time, physical ability (because of upcoming surgery), changing lifestyle and inexperience are also factors.
I also don't know how you have suddenly become so "experienced" in just a few months. You have gone from arguing with your husband about the incident, to blaming the trainer for it.
The trainer may or may not have acted or re-acted appropriately. He may or may not have triggered the incident. The fact remains, any person on the street could have done something to trigger this. The dog has shown that their stress, state of mind (excitement), past, lack of experience, can have this reaction. Please understand, this will NOT be an "isolated incident", without some serious work, very soon.
Had this been any other individual (being bitten) it may have wound up on the news. And for some, reading it in the paper, it would either be the "pit bull"s fault, the owners fault (who should be in control), or the victims fault. The reason is irrelevant. You must manage the risk of this problem until you can properly evaluate and fix it. Both tho protect the pit bulls... and the victim... now that you know there is an issue.
There are very few excuses for a bite. Even if the trainer approached incorrectly, if the dog was not unnecessarily pressured, startled, or exceptionally fearful, there are few excuses. Bites are not a "freak" thing. If a dog is that fearfully reactive, you should have had signs. It is more likely that the dogs hyperactivity will be improved with exercise, once you can walk the dog under control. And her reactivity probably stems from her having little or no confidence in whoever is handling her because of your lack of control.
Answer? Training, exercise, and respect (control)... in any environment, in any distraction. At home is not enough, unless the dog never leaves the house. Impractical... and no fun.

A halti is NOT a recommended piece of equipment for a strong, excitable dog. The first cervical (neck) vertebrae is very susceptible to injury both because of lack of muscle in that area, the mechanics of an incorrect use of this collar, and the excitement level of the dog.
I have used it very successfully as a short term training aid for control and guiding of fearful issues in sensitive dogs who cannot handle (physically or mentally) a collar correction. But it is not usually successful, if not dangerous, if not used properly. Although I have had positive results, and no injuries, I don't recommend it. I have not needed to use one in over 10 years.

I would love to get together with Charles' club and spend a day training. Maybe we can arrange something after the Bullympics.

Its too bad you are so far from me and you cant drive. I don't know any of the trainers in your area. I would be interested in seeing how you progress with this problem.

:goodStuff:
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Postby julie k » August 7th, 2006, 11:27 pm

Great post, Lisa!

There are also relaxation techniques that would help this dog, but I agree, leadership should come first and foremost.

Anissa, you should really try to get together with Lisa. Your dog is not a good candidate for an indoor training class, it makes the dogs tenser, there is no place to go to get distance from stimuli, and a regular obedience class is not usually designed for dogs with issues.

Here is another trainer who may be able to help you, don't know if you are any where near her.
http://www.pcotc.org/Instructors/margie_english.htm

Good Luck!

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Postby anissa » August 8th, 2006, 1:07 am

Based on the information and advice I was given regarding owning 2 males, especially being as inexperienced as I was, I made the decision to rehome the pup. It wasnt an easy decision, and shouldnt be made out to sound like it was. I considered the advice by someone who I greatly respect and who's experience and advice is greatly appreciated by many on this forum as well.

Lisa wrote:I also don't know how you have suddenly become so "experienced" in just a few months.


I havent claimed to be 'experienced' whatsoever. Infact, if the word 'experience' has ever been written or spoken by me, it's either been: INexperience or LITTLE experience.

Also, I dont solely blame the trainer for the incident. Her sneaking up on Jaida was just one of many things that went wrong.

Lisa wrote:If a dog is that fearfully reactive, you should have had signs.


Jaida was not fearful whatsoever. She is very reactive though, but in an excited way and I did see the signs. As did the trainer throughout the class. Had I know the trainer would be approaching us so quickly, I would have taken more control. Jaida was in a sit and very calm as the trainer was circling the room, UNTIL she swiftly turned to approach Jaida. Jaida is a jumper and loves to lick and kiss. For all I know, she could have simply gone to lick the trainer and accidently nipped her. There was NO blood, and had the trainer not yelped out that she was bitten.. thats all I would have taken it for.. an accidental nip.

Lisa wrote:And her reactivity probably stems from her having little or no confidence in whoever is handling her because of your lack of control.


This dog has been passed from owners, to fosters to shelters, god knows how many times. Any dog would have confidence issues with anyone handling them after going through all of that. We had only had Jaida for a week at the time, she is still learning to trust us, as much as we are just learning her behavior.

I knew before we took her in, that she was a hyperactive dog. We knew we'de have our work cut out for us, and I realize that giving up a dog with 'possible' future problems for a dog with known problems may seem like a silly decision. Regardless, I do not regret taking Jaida in, and feel confident that we can work through these problems. We have given one pup a loving home with our inlaws, and have saved another from being put down. I dont care how silly it seems now, considering.

We were advised to take in a female instead. We followed that advice and this is where we are now. We are having some problems with Jaida that can be fixed, and to do that, my first step was coming to the board and asking for advice from people who have either trained or dealt with these same sort of problems with their own dogs. Each person has their own opinion on how to do things, and some things work and some dont. We're at the stage where we're just figuring out what to try, not knowing if it will work or not. This is not to say that I lack control or the ability to train her well, I am simply just not experienced, as Ive admitted time and time again. THIS is where a (qualified) trainer should come into the picture, and one will. Until that can be arranged however, we are simply trying our best at doing what we can on our own.


Editted to add:

We have had success with other problems she came to us with, which is why I am so confident we can get through these problems as well. Ive posted about her excessive barking problem, and with just a few days of consistantly working with her, I can say that she is no longer so vocal. It was by the help of someone else on this board, that we were able to successfully train her when its alright to bark and not. We follow the NILF program to the T with her, which works perfectly. Another bit of information I picked up from this site. I realize that posting our problems on an open board invites many different responses. Ive let the not so great responses get the best of me before, but its because of the people who do offer great advice that I keep coming back and putting myself out there to be questioned and criticed. I can guarantee that this will not be the last problem/question that I come to all of you with.
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Postby rockermom » August 8th, 2006, 8:16 am

Im glad to hear some things have improved with you and Jaida.
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Postby SisMorphine » August 8th, 2006, 9:33 am

anissa wrote:
Lisa wrote:If a dog is that fearfully reactive, you should have had signs.


Jaida was not fearful whatsoever. She is very reactive though, but in an excited way and I did see the signs.

Fear doesn't just mean backing up into a corner and shaking, or running away. There is something called "forward fear" which is when they gotowards what they're afraid of. They may not be shaking and backing off, but they're saying "I have no clue what/who you are, I don't like you, get away get away *chomp*" that's still fear.
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Postby mnp13 » August 8th, 2006, 9:56 am

and to go completely off topic - I had a friend living in the US who is a Dutch citizen. She did not have a Dutch driver's license. Because she had been in NY for over six months she was eligible to take the NYS driving test. You do not need a Social Security card or citizenship to have a NYS drivers license.

check out this link:
http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/license.htm#driversmoving
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Postby Marinepits » August 8th, 2006, 9:57 am

mnp13 wrote:and to go completely off topic - I had a friend living in the US who is a Dutch citizen. She did not have a Dutch driver's license. Because she had been in NY for over six months she was eligible to take the NYS driving test. You do not need a Social Security card or citizenship to have a NYS drivers license.

check out this link:
http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/license.htm#driversmoving


Okay, THAT'S a law that needs to be changed.
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Postby anissa » August 8th, 2006, 12:35 pm

http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/license.ht ... hernations

I do need a social security card to get my drivers permit. My Canadian license has not been valid for over 12 months, so Id need to start from the bottom.

How did she manage to get a NYS license without having a dutch license or a social?
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Postby Romanwild » August 8th, 2006, 12:43 pm

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10096.html

and directions to the Watertown office:
https://s044a90.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/Controller

Good luck I know how you Canadians drive! lol
Last edited by Romanwild on August 8th, 2006, 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 8th, 2006, 12:45 pm

anissa wrote:http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/license.htm#driversfromothernations

I do need a social security card to get my drivers permit. My Canadian license has not been valid for over 12 months, so Id need to start from the bottom.

How did she manage to get a NYS license without having a dutch license or a social?


From that link

If you are not eligible for a Social Security Card, you must provide a letter or form SSA-L676 from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) that states that you are not eligible. The SSA Letter or form must have been issued no more than 30 days before the date of your application. You must also show the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents that the SSA used to determine that you are not eligible for a Social Security Card.
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Postby mnp13 » August 8th, 2006, 12:52 pm

anissa wrote:How did she manage to get a NYS license without having a dutch license or a social?


She filed the papers that said she didn't have a SS#, got her permit and then took the driving test. It's all just paperwork.
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Postby anissa » August 8th, 2006, 12:55 pm

Romanwild wrote:Good luck I know how you Canadians drive! lol


lol not as crazy as you NY'ers!

cheekymunkee wrote:
If you are not eligible for a Social Security Card, you must provide a letter or form SSA-L676 from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) that states that you are not eligible. The SSA Letter or form must have been issued no more than 30 days before the date of your application. You must also show the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents that the SSA used to determine that you are not eligible for a Social Security Card.


Well, I am eligible for a social security card, its just a matter of waiting until immigration goes through. Seriously.. Ive been to the DMV, Ive called more than a few times to ask different rep's if there was ANY possible way to get it, and there isnt.
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Postby anissa » August 8th, 2006, 12:59 pm

mnp13 wrote:She filed the papers that said she didn't have a SS#, got her permit and then took the driving test. It's all just paperwork.


That she didnt have a social, or couldnt get a social? BIG difference.

Seems these are the papers you're talking about?:

You must also show the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents that the SSA used to determine that you are not eligible for a Social Security Card.


I have been jumping through hoops with immigration to get my social, Im certainly not going to start jumping backwards for a form that says I cant get it.
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Postby mnp13 » August 8th, 2006, 1:20 pm

anissa wrote:Based on the information and advice I was given regarding owning 2 males, especially being as inexperienced as I was, I made the decision to rehome the pup. It wasnt an easy decision, and shouldnt be made out to sound like it was. I considered the advice by someone who I greatly respect and who's experience and advice is greatly appreciated by many on this forum as well.

Lisa wrote:I also don't know how you have suddenly become so "experienced" in just a few months.


I havent claimed to be 'experienced' whatsoever. Infact, if the word 'experience' has ever been written or spoken by me, it's either been: INexperience or LITTLE experience.


I think Lisa may have been referring to this comment from August 1
We rehomed Brock for a couple of different reasons. Mostly because we were advised that having 2 males in the home might become a problem down the road. We didnt want to chance aggresion being so unexperienced with the breed (at the time), so we decided to rehome him with the inlaws as an only dog.


I put two phrases in italics that seem, to me, to indicate that you are past the "inexperienced" stage.

Also, I dont solely blame the trainer for the incident. Her sneaking up on Jaida was just one of many things that went wrong.

I think this is the first time you have said that the trainer snuck up on Jaida. Your other posts have quite different.
The trainer realized that we were having some problems and came over to speak to us, as soon as she went to acknowledge Jaida.. Jaida lunged up and BIT HER

The trainer came over, sort of leaned over to acknowledge Jaida, and she lunged up (jumped, feet off the ground) and bit her.
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Postby Maryellen » August 8th, 2006, 2:13 pm

She got close enough to one dog and lunged at it and nipped its snout. She got close enough to a dog behind us and went for its leg.


jaida should be on a short leash under your control. if you cant control her around other dogs and allow her to nip at other dogs then you need a shorter leash. jaida nipping the other dogs was partly your fault as a handler.


[/quote]
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Postby msvette2u » August 8th, 2006, 2:20 pm

Any dog nipping or biting other dogs and/or people is 100% the handler's problem. Who elses' could it be? And yes Michelle I saw the morph from "the trainer came over" to "the trainer snuck up".
I, for one, can't understand why you would take on another (and possibly/probably problem) pit bull when your husband is leaving on deployment.
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Postby anissa » August 8th, 2006, 2:33 pm

Michelle.. Each and every day I learn something new. I do feel that I am a little more experienced than I was when a month ago, a week ago, hell a day ago. But still, I have not once claimed to be an 'experienced' know-it-all pit owner.



this is a huge red flag. that many homes in a short time.. you could have stopped the entire adoption upon hearing of this.


Yes, I could have. I also called and talked with you on the phone for 4 hours about the whole situation, we both questioned WHY she was in so many homes and how much of the 'truth' we were getting, but not once did you advise me not to take her. So why is this coming up now? :|
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Postby Maryellen » August 8th, 2006, 2:45 pm

i dont think i said anything either way, i remember telling you it was up to you to adopt her or not. i told you the same with brock, it had to be your decision to make. its being brought up because its part of her history, and her behavior with you now..
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