I feel like I need to atone or confess or something

This is where to talk about Pit Bulls!

Postby amalie79 » December 12th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Ugh. I feel like a horrible pet owner.

Our local animal shelter had an open house with a microchipping clinic-- they brought in a vet to do the clinic, so I wasn't too worried. It wasn't so much the cost savings, as it was that they use the same registry that we already have River with.

Robin did very well with all the people and dogs and chaos, considering. I guess some old lady kept trying to pet her while my husband was walking her away from the fray. Robin gave a low growl, and the lady kept trying to pet her. My husband pushed her hands away and told her to stop, to which the lady replied, "Oh, she's just scared." Well no shit, Sherlock. :doh:

Anyway, that was all fine. We asked to go in a side door so as not to walk through the crammed, ridiculous mass of people and dogs. The thing was so, so poorly run. Anyway, Robin was scared of the vet and the tech, and had to be held down to get the chip in. I heard a bit of a growl. I felt so bad.

My husband took her out and I stayed with the cat to get her chipped. I was afraid I'd made a huge setback in her stranger danger. But when I came out the door, some random woman had her sitting and doing tricks. :dance:

Regardless, I shouldn't have taken her there, I'll never do that again, I feel terrible. :nono:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 12th, 2010, 5:29 pm

You have confessed and are now absolved of your sins. *makes sign of cross*

There, feel better? We all have done things with our dogs that have us thinking, "this is not a good idea." It didn't kill her. She'll be fine. :)
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Postby cheekymunkee » December 12th, 2010, 5:52 pm

You have nothing to confess! She is a dog, was in an unfamiliar setting and she acted like a dog. No one got hurt, you kept her and everyone safe. She let you know she was uncertain but that is ALL she did. It sounds to me like she recovered quickly and did just fine!
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Postby amalie79 » December 12th, 2010, 9:53 pm

Thanks. She did bounce back really well, and thankfully, that bad experience happened in a place that she'll hopefully never have to go to again and with people she'll never have to see again. It was just another reminder that she and I need to drop into our regular vet's office once in a while for a good old, harmless treat-n-greet.

My in-laws showed up right after we got home. She's only met them once or twice (they live an hour or so away), and she did her usual bark and act like a nutcase routine; but once my father-in-law handed her a couple of treats, she was wrapped around his finger, snuggled up with him on the couch. She's such a goober sometimes.
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Postby plebayo » December 12th, 2010, 11:37 pm

It was just another reminder that she and I need to drop into our regular vet's office once in a while for a good old, harmless treat-n-greet.


You really should do this as much as you can.

My dog LiLo is the same way. She barks and growls at strangers... we've been living with my current roommate's for almost 6mos now and she still barks and growls at him. She will let him touch her but if he moves too suddenly she will bark and growl at him.

As far as being held down for her chip, crap happens. Just because she growled doesn't mean she's being bad. Unfortunately in a setting like that they don't have time to make friends, and even if they did introduce themselves properly, the microchip needle is HUGE so they would gain her trust just to shatter it by shoving a huge needle between her shoulder blades. She's insecure and she's scared. A low growl is totally normal. I had LiLo get acupuncture a few times from a relief vet who came into work. The first time she knew the vet and really liked her, the second time it had been a while since she had seen the vet, so she was barking and growling and very uneasy. Eventually she settled down and let us do the acupuncture, you could just tell she was really uneasy [super tight lipped!].

I really don't think you should feel bad. You bother survived it, no one got hurt. You can shelter her from situations like this, but she'll never get better. It was a very tense, scary situation for her, but she's okay and you're okay. This situation was obviously very out of both of your comfort zones, but you both came out unscathed. Which IMO shows that Robin can handle and get over things more easily than maybe you first thought.

Pretty much, I don't think you need to confess.
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Postby amalie79 » December 12th, 2010, 11:50 pm

Oh, I don't think she was being bad at all-- I'm of the school (and I know some don't agree with me here) that a dog should be allowed to growl and communicate discomfort. I really, really appreciate how vocal she is overall. I just felt bad that she was being pushed to that level of discomfort. But I know I can't shield her from everything uncomfortable in the world. :|

This situation was obviously very out of both of your comfort zones, but you both came out unscathed. Which IMO shows that Robin can handle and get over things more easily than maybe you first thought.


I think you're right. She's really proving herself to be a trooper. :)

I think I'm just extra cautious with her because Simon is a fear biter, and at one time, would bite with very little warning-- all stiffness, but no growling. I just know what fear can bring out in even a sweetheart of a dog. Simon has to be muzzled at the vet's; he's terrified there, and he ain't too fond of strangers, either. But he wasn't always that way. It escalated over the years. I'd love to keep Robin from becoming that way at the vet, so I think the treat and greets will be a good start!
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Postby plebayo » December 13th, 2010, 12:00 am

amalie79 wrote:I think I'm just extra cautious with her because Simon is a fear biter, and at one time, would bite with very little warning-- all stiffness, but no growling. I just know what fear can bring out in even a sweetheart of a dog. Simon has to be muzzled at the vet's; he's terrified there, and he ain't too fond of strangers, either. But he wasn't always that way. It escalated over the years. I'd love to keep Robin from becoming that way at the vet, so I think the treat and greets will be a good start!!


Oh that's understandable. It can be hard not to be on edge when you already have experience with a dog who is super scared to the point of biting - and with little warning. LiLo has never tried to bite anyone, I pretty much hold my breath if someone insists on petting her [like my roommate when she's barking at him, or my brother who she hates] but I do think if she was in a situation where she felt "stuck" she would bite someone.
I think the treat thing is a great idea, we have a few clients who bring their pets in just for snacks and attention, it's kind of nice when your dog actually WANTS to go to the vet because they are expecting good things and good food to happen.
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Postby amalie79 » December 13th, 2010, 12:04 am

When Robin went in for her first set of shots, the vet dumped the entire contents of a little milk carton of those crappy Catty Shack treats on the exam table. She loved him for it. :wink:
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Postby LMM » December 13th, 2010, 1:32 pm

amalie79 wrote:Oh, I don't think she was being bad at all-- I'm of the school (and I know some don't agree with me here) that a dog should be allowed to growl and communicate discomfort. I really, really appreciate how vocal she is overall. I just felt bad that she was being pushed to that level of discomfort. But I know I can't shield her from everything uncomfortable in the world. :|


Why would anyone disagree with this? They are living beings, why shouldn't they be allowed to voice their discomfort? This is their best warning system for us.
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 13th, 2010, 6:54 pm

Geez, if I had to confess all of my sins that I've aquired as a dog trainer/mom...I'd shut down the PBT server. 8)
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Postby mnp13 » December 14th, 2010, 1:07 pm

LMM wrote:
amalie79 wrote:Oh, I don't think she was being bad at all-- I'm of the school (and I know some don't agree with me here) that a dog should be allowed to growl and communicate discomfort. I really, really appreciate how vocal she is overall. I just felt bad that she was being pushed to that level of discomfort. But I know I can't shield her from everything uncomfortable in the world. :|


Why would anyone disagree with this? They are living beings, why shouldn't they be allowed to voice their discomfort? This is their best warning system for us.

Because so many people think that Pit Bulls should be stoic statues and put up with anything and everything no matter what. I'm on another forum where this thread would already have multiple posts (including from staff) saying "put the dog down." it's really stupid (in my far-less-than-humble opinion)

We have the full range at our house, honestly the most logical is Connor, I don't think a dog is required to put up with everything all the time to be considered "stable"
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Postby mnp13 » December 14th, 2010, 1:13 pm

plebayo wrote:Oh that's understandable. It can be hard not to be on edge when you already have experience with a dog who is super scared to the LiLo has never tried to bite anyone, I pretty much hold my breath if someone insists on petting her [like my roommate when she's barking at him, or my brother who she hates] but I do think if she was in a situation where she felt "stuck" she would bite someone.


I think you need to stop this behavior completely - on the part of the people. If they can't leave her alone remove her from the situation. There may be a point when she arrives at "I've given you enough warning" and decides to escalate. And honestly I wouldn't blame her for it
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Postby LMM » December 14th, 2010, 1:42 pm


Why would anyone disagree with this? They are living beings, why shouldn't they be allowed to voice their discomfort? This is their best warning system for us.


Because so many people think that Pit Bulls should be stoic statues and put up with anything and everything no matter what. I'm on another forum where this thread would already have multiple posts (including from staff) saying "put the dog down." it's really stupid (in my far-less-than-humble opinion)

We have the full range at our house, honestly the most logical is Connor, I don't think a dog is required to put up with everything all the time to be considered "stable"


I'd like to say are you kidding me but I know you aren't. I'm with you on this point.
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Postby amalie79 » December 17th, 2010, 10:26 am

mnp13 wrote:
LMM wrote:Why would anyone disagree with this? They are living beings, why shouldn't they be allowed to voice their discomfort? This is their best warning system for us.

Because so many people think that Pit Bulls should be stoic statues and put up with anything and everything no matter what. I'm on another forum where this thread would already have multiple posts (including from staff) saying "put the dog down." it's really stupid (in my far-less-than-humble opinion)
"

Bingo.

And it's not just about pit bulls. I know people who own all kinds of dog (except small ones, for some reason; they're except from all bad behavior :rolleyes2: ) who think it's unacceptable for any dog to growl at any human for any reason short of life threatening on the part of themselves. Burglars, murderers, that's ok. Everyone else, not so much.
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