using a muzzle during socialization

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Postby guest » April 29th, 2006, 1:27 pm

I'm trying to socialize my pit bull, she is 2 yrs od and has a big agression problem with peope and other dogs, i thought maybe i could put a muzzle on her and start walking around the city... would this help or make it worse???
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Postby a-bull » April 29th, 2006, 2:15 pm

It will likely make it worse.

A muzzle is more of a control tool, and isn't generally something used to aid socialization, and could infact make aggression worse.
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Postby Magnolia618 » April 29th, 2006, 2:19 pm

Pit bulls should NEVER be aggressive towards HUMANS.

This dog needs to be euthanized. It sucks, but she is a threat to the breed and will likely contribute to their already bad reputation. Human aggression is a MAJOR fault in a pit bull's temperament and should never be allowed.
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Postby guest » April 29th, 2006, 2:30 pm

It's not that she is human aggressive, she is so scared of everything around her, and there is no way I wil euthanize her. I have tried to hire someone to help train her, but the cost is out of my budget as of this point. I could use some ideas to help the situation...
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Postby Magnolia618 » April 29th, 2006, 2:33 pm

Shyness that severe really isnt normal for the breed, at all. If you even think that she may be a bite risk, it is not safe to take her out in public. PLEASE do not risk it.

If she is that shy, introduce her to people that you know and trust, and that arent afraid of her. Make them hot dog machines. Chop some hot dogs (or some other high value treat) into little pieces and have everyone give her some. Every time someone wants to pet her, have them give her a treat first. Let her learn that people are good because they bring food!!! lol
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Postby cheekymunkee » April 29th, 2006, 3:13 pm

Hi! Can you explain her behaviour around people a bit better? Aggression & fear are two diferent things ( although they can go hand in hand). IS she shy or fearful? I have a shy dog but there is not one ounce of human aggression in her body, If you have a dog that will possibly harm a human being you should never allow her to BE around humans if you want to keep her. because I can guarantee you, IF she does harm a human she will be put to sleep and there will not be a thing you can do to prevent it. Tell us more about hwo she reacts & behaves around people & we may be able to help you. ALthough NONE of us can evaluate a dog over the internet we can hopefully give yous some advice that may help you. There are some VERY dog behaviour savy people on this board so be as specific as you can so they can get an idea of your dog and how you handle her.

Also PLEASE join the board so I can move this to the appropriate forum where you will get better help. Not eveyone reads this forum.
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Postby Malli » April 29th, 2006, 3:49 pm

The muzzle will make her feel vulnerable and could possibly cause her fear and or fear aggression to worsen.

Cheeky is right, if you want to keep your dog with you and alive, only expose her to people you trust who are not afraid of her. She should not at this point (or maybe ever) meet the public or strangers.
Most likely her confidence could be helped greatly by some simple training using a popular tecnique that some call NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free) where she has to work for everything she values. Training will show her that you are her leader and that she doesn't need to try and fend for herself, that you will take care of those things, I think training (depending on how severe her behavior is ) and some socialization like what we mentioned will really do her well.

I am anxious to hear from the real pros around here :D

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Postby a-bull » April 29th, 2006, 5:31 pm

guest wrote:It's not that she is human aggressive, she is so scared of everything around her, and there is no way I wil euthanize her. I have tried to hire someone to help train her, but the cost is out of my budget as of this point. I could use some ideas to help the situation...


I own one who is fearful, and just because a dog is fearful, does not always mean they will become aggressive with people---mine never has, and is actually very happy to see people now.

Check out "The Cautious Canine" by Patricia McConnell---also, where are you located?? Maybe some people on here could recommend some less expensive trainers for you . . .
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Postby SisMorphine » April 29th, 2006, 6:01 pm

I have a fearful foster dog right now and yes, she is considered a high bite risk because she is fearful. She would never lunge at someone just because they walk near her, or try to pet her. But because she IS fearful I don't feel comfortable walking her down busy public streets where any ol' Joe can run up to her and pet her, just in case. We go hiking down wooded paths where we meet very few people, so it's not as stressful for her. I also take her to friend's houses for socialization, and to some of my classes since the people in there are dog savvy (it's an animal based program).

She has come a long way in the short amount of time I have had her, and I owe it all to the guidance of a fabulous trainer. Even though it may be expensive, I suggest going all the way and getting the best trainer possible. The way I looked at it when I signed up for classes was this: I'll drink Pabst instead of Bass, I won't eat out as much, and I won't do any frivilous spending. I wanted only the best for this girl, even though she isn't my dog, and was prepared to make small sacrifices to get there. Since she is your dog I don't see any issue in making those sacrifices, or at least dipping into the doggy emergency fund because a fearful dog in need of training is an emergency.
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Postby a-bull » April 29th, 2006, 6:55 pm

"Pabst instead of Bass," lol No Bud???

Good advice. :)

I did not bring my guy in large crowds initially, either, because I did not want him to be overwhelmed, have a bad experience, and develop bad habits. We did the same---people we knew, small groups of familiar people, and lots of treats and enthusiasm . . . oh, and training. He's a happy camper now. He's never going to be the dog that runs up to people with absolute zeal, (although he does to a few people), but he's safe around people and so are they.

Good luck with your guy, and again, if you tell us approximately where you are, we'll all come over your house for dinner---I mean maybe we could recommend a good trainer. :wink3:
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Postby mnp13 » May 1st, 2006, 10:42 am

I'm going to move this thread to the training section, "Guest" we would love to continue to help you out, please feel free to join the forum!
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Postby dogcrazyjen » May 1st, 2006, 10:51 am

Where do you live, guest? Maybe one of us is close enough to lend an informal hand. I have had two fear issue dogs, a pit and a border/lab mix, plus worked with many more. SLOW, steady, and methodical plus a huge dose of bordering on paranoid caution is the way to go. Once you have an aggressive dog, fearful or not, you should always assume you have one, even if they act normal. Better safe than sorry.

We would need far more info than what you gave if we are even to start helping you out. Even then, there is only so much you can do online.Hopefully one of us is close to your location.
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Postby katiek0417 » May 1st, 2006, 12:36 pm

I agree with what everyone has said...Fear is not the same thing as aggression, though a dog can show aggression out of fear.

The dog does need help. Many people have the same issue as you do, and many have posted on this board....you'll find that the people on here have very good suggestions.

I absolutely agree that the dog should be around people she knows. Start with them....unfortunately, you should not take the dog out in public...with OR without a muzzle (many police dogs can still attack and take a man down even when they're muzzled). Just because a dog can't bite doesn't mean they can harm a person....
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