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Postby pitbullgirl42 » September 24th, 2009, 11:03 pm

(crossposted from my "Introduction")

This is a difficult introduction for me to make. I may end up reposting most of this on one of the behavior boards, as I don't know how much attention the "introductions" board gets, and I really need some outside input.

First, this is going to be a long post. I apologize, but I don't know any way to truncate what is going :neutral: :neutral: on in my home.

I have owned APBT and AmStaffs for 11+ years. In that time, I have shown dogs to UKC Grand Championships, Agility and Obedience titles, owned Therapy Dogs, Canine Good Citizens, and worked in herding, weight pull, and flyball. I have fostered 15+ APBT. I have been a Veterinary Technician for 10 years, and have been training dogs for 7 years, largely due to the struggles I had with my first dog and the issues he had with respecting commands of people other than myself. Just to elaborate, this dog is Genghis, who I will speak of later in this post. Genghis was always incredibly obedient to me, but would ignore other people who told him to do something. He would not heel for anyone else, and would not give up a rawhide or toy for anyone other than myself, although he never showed aggression toward any human. If someone asked him to give up a valuable possession, he would merely avoid the interaction, and if confronted, he would hold on to his toy or rawhide, but allow any human to take it from his mouth by force, just not drop it on command. I never worried about aggression toward people with this dog under my watchful eye, but I also acknowledged that without proper training and leadership, he could have easily been a problem. During this time, he lived with a 4 year old child and never showed any aggression. He tolerated (and seemed to enjoy) the constant ear pulling, laying upon, and torment that any small child shows a dog in their household. When my step-daughter slept, Genghis was always at her side, seeking her out if he wasn't there when she first fell asleep. He truly loved her company.

At one of Genghis' first dog shows, he was aggressed upon by another dog in his class. He had never shown any propensity toward inter-dog aggression, but did attempt to defend himself at this affront. I was bitten by the other dog in trying to break up this fight, but it was very minor, and I didn't even notice the bite until after our class was done and we ended up in the winner's circle.

After this issue at the show, Genghis became somewhat difficult with other adult male dogs. I was always able to control him on leash, and he completely ignored other male dogs at shows, even when they were nose to rear in the ring, but he was never again reliable in a dog park situation. I worked very hard at desensitizing him to other male dogs off-lead, but to no avail. He never showed any aggression with female dogs or puppies. I fostered many female dogs and puppies in the years that followed, and had no problems. I have had two other personal female dogs, and all of the dogs could eat together and share toys and rawhides. I have also fostered several male puppies through their adolescence with no issues. The problem appeared to be only with male dogs that were already adult when Genghis met them. Genghis was recently diagnosed with Fibrosarcoma and has had several surgeries, including a tail amputation. He is doing wonderfully so far, and his energy level and appetite are wonderful. Whether the surgeries have removed all of his cancer, only time will tell, but for now, he is doing great! My dogs largely eat a raw diet - very few things hold the value of a piece of raw meat, but the dogs have never fought over this or anything else.

Earlier this year, the police came upon a puppy (about 12 weeks old) who was emaciated and frostbitten, chained to a fence behind a drug house they broke up. The female police officer attempted to keep this dog herself, but was ultimately unable to, and contacted me. I took this puppy in, originally as a foster, but planned to keep him after a few weeks, as he meshed so well with the "pack" in my home. I named him Cash (after Johnny Cash). There were absolutely no indications of aggression on anyone's part until very recently. From January to August, all three dogs got along without incident. Cash was just neutered, in the hope of helping his aggressive reaction toward Genghis.

I also have a female APBT, 7 years old, named Mina, who ruptured a disc in her back about a year ago, and is now paralyzed in her rear end. Mina had extensive reconstructive surgery, but it was unable to restore function of her rear legs. She is incredibly functional with her two working legs, to the point of being able to climb stairs and get up onto couches and my bed. She has always been the dog who would "belly up" or at least very willingly give her rear end to other adult dogs she met, and occasionally, to very "alpha type" human men. She has always accepted her part in my rotating pack as the most passive adult dog, but she is also a wonderful "mother figure" for puppies. She gets along very well with all other dogs, and has always been my "demo dog" in my obedience classes. Mina showed great tolerance for puppies in my "kindergarten" classes and was always introduced as a neutral adult dog in even my toy puppy classes. Mina was a star in obedience, flyball, agility, dock diving, and therapy work. That has all changed since her paralysis, but she continues to be an ambassador and is wonderful with humans of all sizes and every dog she meets. Mina has a cart for journeys outside of the home, and loves being able to go to the dog beach and play fetch. (Did I mention she has an insane ball obsession? She really thinks she's a Labrador).

So, just a recap - in my house right now, we have Genghis (11, MN), Mina (7, FS) and Cash (11m(ish), now MN)

In the last 5 weeks, there have been a few small skirmishes. The first issue was when we had a BBQ and a large bag of raw chicken was dropped on the ground in front of all three of the dogs. All three of the dogs ended up fighting. It was easily ended, and none of the dogs suffered any serious injuries.

About two weeks after that, Genghis walked up to Cash while Cash was finishing his dinner. Cash immediately went on the offensive, and grabbed Genghis by the throat. With the help of two other people, the dogs were easily separated and no serious harm was done. Both dogs sustained minor puncture wounds.

In the mean time, there have been a few skirmishes between the dogs, all involving raw meals. They have shown no problems with kibble, rawhides, or other food items. They cuddle on the couch and all three sleep curled up together. During all non-food interactions, Cash appears submissive to both Mina and Genghis. I have attempted hand feeding all three dogs together, because initially, it appeared to be the food bows, and not the food itself, that was being protected. Hand feeding did not fix the issue.

I started feeding Cash separately from Mina and Genghis.

Recently, I was taking Cash to work with me (I am allowed to take the dogs to work, and Cash really enjoys coming with me) and gave all three dogs rawhide chips, mostly as a method to stop Genghis and Mina from crowding the front door when I walked Cash out. Cash dropped his rawhide when I told him to sit while he was leashed up. Mina walked toward us, (again I saw nothing aggressive or on the offense in her approach) and Cash immediately aggressed. Mina stood her own and both dogs sustained puncture wounds. Nothing was serious, as I was able to separate them very quickly.

Last night, I was eating dinner on the coffee table while watching TV. Cash was laying down on my right side, and Genghis and Mina were laying on the loveseat across the room. Genghis got up and came toward me, very nonchalantly. I saw nothing aggressive in his manner. I continued to eat, and Cash was still laying down next to me. Genghis stopped on my left side, and sat. (The dogs are well trained to not beg). With literally no warning, Cash attacked Genghis across my lap. I did not see any posturing or stiffening to warn me of this. I had a very difficult time separating this fight, Genghis ended up sustaining several punctures on one of his front legs, Cash ended up losing a portion of one of his ears. Both had other minor wounds on their bodies. The first time I got them apart, holding them by their collars, I managed to get between them, and Cash bit me on my rear end (I had one dog in front, and one in back after I separated them, seemed the best solution while I tried to move to put a door between them). Because I was injured, they managed to get a hold of each other again. I have separated many dog fights, and this is the first time I have been bitten by one of my own dogs. I am deeply upset by this, partly because my dogs have injured each other seriously enough to warrant a middle of the night vet visit, but mostly because I also required an ER visit.

I am seeking some input on where to go from here. I think that these dogs can get along in the long run, as there is only object guarding at the crux of their problems, but at the same time, I am deeply shaken by what has happened in the last few weeks, and especially last night. I suppose I have been very fortunate in that I have owned APBT for so long and never had a fight that required immediate attention beyond which I was able to provide as a Vet Tech. Maybe that has somehow given me "rose colored glasses", but I do believe that there must be a solution other than permanent separation of Cash from the other dogs. Genghis and Mina have lived in complete harmony for 7 years. I am more than willing to separate when I cannot supervise, (as I have always done with any foster dogs I have had, and have also always done with Genghis and Cash), but have a very hard time accepting that these two dogs can never be together again (or that Cash cannot be with any other dog), because they get along SO well outside of situations where there is food involved. I am also hoping that Cash's recent neuter will help in some regard. Again, Cash, Mina, and Genghis, get along splendidly, and seem to truly enjoy each others company, as long as there is no food involved. Until recently, I thought this only extended to their own food. I have recently learned that this object guarding also extends to food which I may be eating.

I know this is probably the longest post you have ever read, but I feel the details are very important to diagnose the problem, thank you in advance for all of your help.

As I mentioned previously, I have worked as a trainer and a behaviorist for many years, but dealing with the specific behavior of APBT is very different than dealing with "normal" inter-dog aggression. I feel as if this is entirely limited to resource guarding at this time, and would really love to hear insight that is not only limited to "crate and rotate" suggestions, as these dogs are wonderful buddies and playmates as long as food is not involved. They still share toys and bones very willingly and there is no guarding of any of the humans in their environment.

Thanks for any insights you can provide!

Brianna
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Postby mnp13 » September 24th, 2009, 11:32 pm

Well, the very first thing I would say is that they get no food together again, for any reason. That would also include edible "toys" like rawhides and bones.

Cash is reaching maturity, and he may be turning on. There is nothing you can do about that, but that doesn't mean that you can't manage it.

Our boys - Riggs and Connor - are on crate and rotate, but that is our choice. I believe that with close supervision and consistent work, they could be out together. However, they were both adults when they met so we have decided that it is not worth the risk to try it.

If your boys are tolerant of each other unless there is food around, then I would start with having NO food around, including treats, and crating them when you are eating.

I saw nothing aggressive in his manner. I continued to eat, and Cash was still laying down next to me. Genghis stopped on my left side, and sat. (The dogs are well trained to not beg). With literally no warning, Cash attacked Genghis across my lap. I did not see any posturing or stiffening to warn me of this.

Very frequently you see none of the above with Pit Bulls, which is why situations like yours can be so difficult to deal with.

How did you get them apart?
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Postby maberi » September 25th, 2009, 8:41 am

Exactly what Michelle said

My previous dog Yoda was horribly food aggressive and would try to kill one of the other dogs for a crumb on the floor. I would often allow Yoda to sit next to me on the couch while I ate something and if another dog got within 5 feet of me while I was eating he would go after them.

You learn very quickly that the safest thing for everyone is to crate the dogs when they are eating or you are eating (less stress for all). Outside of the food aggression, they lived very happy lives together with no issues. The first thing I would do is take all food out of the picture and see if things don't improve
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Postby Marinepits » September 25th, 2009, 9:19 am

I have five pits/mixes -- 3 males and 2 females, all speutered.

Mac, our biggest male, got *much* more aggressive as he matured, and is now at the point where he needs to be crated & rotated for the safety of the others most of the time. If ANY food or toys are around, he is kept completely separate from the others because he WILL attack them. Luckily, he has very clear body language and makes his intentions known before he actually acts.

The other four dogs get along fairly well most of the time. They have their occasional spats but rarely is anyone hurt. However, if they have high-value treats such as marrow bones, they are separated into different areas of the room and Katy, the oldest female, is put into a separate room because she has some extreme resource guarding when it comes to food.

We have a large room downstairs which has been converted into the dog room -- their crates and most of their toys are in that room and they're all fed in there. At feeding time, they are all separated into different corners and then fed in order of their heirarchy (which they established among themselves and we enforce). Mac is separated into another area of the room and the divider is drawn so he can't see the others. The other four don't need dividers because they respect each others' boundries 99% of the time. That 1% is why we never leave them alone when the food bowls are down.

When we eat and the dogs are in the same room, we have very strict rules. First one is NO BEGGING ALLOWED. If one starts, another one will, then they're all pushing each other for the best position, and that's when spats break out. Second, they are NEVER fed from our plates while we are eating. They must wait until we are finished. Third, if they do get any leftovers, they have to stay in their spots where they are put in either sit-stays or down-stays. If they break their command, they get nothing until they get back into position and remain there calmly.

It's taken some adjusting, some training, and lots of patience on all our parts, but having dogs with resource guarding and aggression issues interacting with each other CAN be done. You just have to figure out what works and what doesn't for your own dogs. Right now, a combination of crating & rotating, a system of baby gates, and vigilance is keeping my guys safe and pretty happy. But Tucker, our youngest male, is now beginning to mature and he's started challenging the others this past summer. He's definitely pushing his boundries and keeping us on our toes, LOL. It will be interesting to see how this changes our crew's dynamics.
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Postby Marinepits » September 25th, 2009, 9:45 am

pitbullgirl42 wrote:I am more than willing to separate when I cannot supervise, (as I have always done with any foster dogs I have had, and have also always done with Genghis and Cash), but have a very hard time accepting that these two dogs can never be together again (or that Cash cannot be with any other dog), because they get along SO well outside of situations where there is food involved.


You may not have to accept the situation right now, but please keep in mind that the two boys may end up not being friends in the long run.

Mac and Tucker used to be fairly friendly when Tucker first came here two years ago. Mac tolerated Tucker's puppy antics and would correct him when Mac felt necessary. We never let them get too cranked up when playing and never left the room when they played together because Tucker was SO much smaller than Mac. Mac is a 90 pound muscle-headed Mastiff mix and Tucker was barely 30 pounds.

One day we were out on the porch with them and Tucker did "something" I didn't see because I was talking to my neighbour. Mac was instantly on him and had Tucker's head in his mouth. I was able to immediately separate them and took Tucker into the house. He was VERY lucky -- he ended up with one puncture wound directly beneath his left eye and a scrape on his head. However, that was the turning point in their relationship. Now, if Mac even walks by Tucker, Tucker postures up and gets very defensive. Mac mostly ignores him unless Tucker gets vocal, then Mac stares him down. They will NEVER be allowed out together again because we're not willing to let them get into another spat. Even though Tucker is an adult now and weighs about 45 pounds, he WILL lose to Mac because Mac is just too damn strong.

If Tucker was not *so* reactive to Mac, we'd give them more leniency in their interactions. But, since he is, there is no interaction.

It does make me somewhat sad that they cannot stand each other, but for their safety and the safety of the rest of the crew, it can't be helped. It is what it is. We'll see if their relationship changes for better or worse as Tucker matures.
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Postby DemoDick » September 25th, 2009, 10:37 am

Regardless of breed or resource guarding, etc., I strongly suggest that everyone feed their dogs alone in a secure crate. It just makes sense.

However, take resource guarding out of the picture for a moment and consider something.

What would you tell a client who brings you a Jack Russel Terrier from working bloodlines who insists that with proper training and supervision, the dog will be able to safely interact with her pet rat? You find yourself in a very similar situation right now. You have dogs that aren't getting along, and it's getting worse. Please consider that this may not be a resource guarding issue at all. Because even if it is, you still have to deal with the genetic direction your dogs lean. And that is towards dog-aggression, not because of fear, dominance, or resource guarding, but for its own sake.

Most people, even those with years of experience in the breed, don't readily recognize what serious dog aggression looks like in Pit Bulls, because their particular brand is deceptive. It looks like play to those who haven't seen it. Then the dog "just snaps" and silently attacks another dog. In reality, he didn't "just snap," he just started acting like a Pit Bull for the first time and it shocked the owner. You don't see pit dogs barking and snarling in a match. They just lock up and fight. They may bark or scream before being released, but this is not a warning, it is due to frustration.

Plenty of Pit Bull owners never have to deal with dog-aggression in their households, until the day they do. Then they end up, at minimum, with a seriously injured dog, or worse, a dead one. They will usually go one of two routes at this point, if they are responsible. They will (1) accept the need to crate and rotate or (2) get out of the breed all together.

As mnp13 mentioned, we have two boys who potentially could be out unsupervised, with a LOT of work. Why don't we? Well, what's the point? The only reason to do so would be to make OUR lives more convenient because crating and rotating is a pain in the ass. We would probably still end up with a fight any way. So why bother?

Please, crate and rotate. Your dogs will thank you.

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Postby katiek0417 » September 25th, 2009, 1:15 pm

DemoDick wrote:Regardless of breed or resource guarding, etc., I strongly suggest that everyone feed their dogs alone in a secure crate. It just makes sense.

However, take resource guarding out of the picture for a moment and consider something.

What would you tell a client who brings you a Jack Russel Terrier from working bloodlines who insists that with proper training and supervision, the dog will be able to safely interact with her pet rat? You find yourself in a very similar situation right now. You have dogs that aren't getting along, and it's getting worse. Please consider that this may not be a resource guarding issue at all. Because even if it is, you still have to deal with the genetic direction your dogs lean. And that is towards dog-aggression, not because of fear, dominance, or resource guarding, but for its own sake.

Most people, even those with years of experience in the breed, don't readily recognize what serious dog aggression looks like in Pit Bulls, because their particular brand is deceptive. It looks like play to those who haven't seen it. Then the dog "just snaps" and silently attacks another dog. In reality, he didn't "just snap," he just started acting like a Pit Bull for the first time and it shocked the owner. You don't see pit dogs barking and snarling in a match. They just lock up and fight. They may bark or scream before being released, but this is not a warning, it is due to frustration.

Plenty of Pit Bull owners never have to deal with dog-aggression in their households, until the day they do. Then they end up, at minimum, with a seriously injured dog, or worse, a dead one. They will usually go one of two routes at this point, if they are responsible. They will (1) accept the need to crate and rotate or (2) get out of the breed all together.

As mnp13 mentioned, we have two boys who potentially could be out unsupervised, with a LOT of work. Why don't we? Well, what's the point? The only reason to do so would be to make OUR lives more convenient because crating and rotating is a pain in the ass. We would probably still end up with a fight any way. So why bother?

Please, crate and rotate. Your dogs will thank you.

Demo Dick


Amen! And YES! 100% he hits the nail on the head!

Okay, yes, I know that I don't have pits. But I do have two VERY DA dogs in my house. And even though these aren't pits, you can have exactly what you said, where 2 dogs get along beautifully, then one day something happens, and there's a fight. With some dogs, it will never happen again unless there are food or toys involved. With other dogs, every time they are near each other there will be a fight.

Perfect example, Asja and Dru. Used to be BEST BUDS. Played together (in fact, Asja doesn't play much with the other dogs, but would always play with Dru). One day I went to let them out, Asja was ahead of Dru, Dru jumped over something and bumped into Asja, and it was on. And they've never gotten along since. We have to be very careful...

As far as you getting bit...first, are you okay? I don't know alot about pit bull fights...but, from being on this board, I understand (at least what I gather) is that pits may not re-direct (that's what it is) if they are in a fight...I own herders, and herders are more likely to re-direct. I've noticed that with herders that if they dogs are intent enough on fighting (so they are in a state of very high drive) then that's when the redirects occur...could that happen in pits? I don't know, but I'd assume so...
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Postby Dog_Shrink » September 25th, 2009, 10:59 pm

Like you I am also a behaviorist and I agree that at least the 2 males should be crated in the presence of food, feeding in the crate for at least 2 of the 3 (doesn't sound like the girl really needs it) and let them to continue to interect with eachother when you know it's a non-confrontational situation (IE NO food). It sounds like Cash is definately entering into the age of sexual maturity and feeling his oats dispite just being neutered (which as you know could take up to 6 months to totally have the testosterone decrease inhis system). At this age a male will try to increase his rank in the pack and become more in control of "assets" such as females. The age difference betwen your males also plays a HUGE part into Cash's desire to be assertive since he likely feels the "old man" is ready to drop down in postions that he is totally willing to take by might if need be. Your fights are going to get worse and your older male is going to be more aggressive with each response to Cash's instigations. You are going to end up in a situation where Cash and at least your older boy are going to have to crate and rotate (which I am NO fan of. I would rather rehome the instigator than crate and rotate simply because that is no quality of life IMO). If Cash is acting like this with the coming of the age of sexual maturity how is he going to be at 2 when he reaches social maturity???There is anamocity now amongst your pack and Your gal and older fella are going to gang up on cash one of these days and have a tug of war. I think your older boy bit you on the bum out of sheer anxiety not any kind of personal attack. Maybe more of an instance of displacement biting than anything. IMO and I certainly hope I'm wrong but I'm afraid that Cash will take his food issues to other resources in the future such as toys or attention, but hopefully with the waining of testosterone you might be able to avoid that issue.

You already know the answers that you are asking for hon... you've been in the industry long enough to know which way this is going. Unfortunately pits have beenbred for too long to increase that dog on dog aggression and with a lot of the unethical breeding going on these days it's probably worse than you could imagine. This pup being found stray at such a young age only reinforces this theory that he was bred of aggressive lines since a COE breeder would certainly try to breed that trait down in their lines.
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Postby DemoDick » September 26th, 2009, 6:59 am

Dog_Shrink wrote:Like you I am also a behaviorist and I agree that at least the 2 males should be crated in the presence of food, feeding in the crate for at least 2 of the 3 (doesn't sound like the girl really needs it) and let them to continue to interect with eachother when you know it's a non-confrontational situation (IE NO food).


First of all, anyone these days who has read a few articles online about dog behavior is a "behaviorist," regardless of what they can actually do to predict and mold behavior. Every competent trainer is a behaviorists, out of necessity. The internet has created WAY to many "tainers" and "experts" who are lucky to be able to even get a leash hooked up properly.

What you posted is a BAD idea. These are Pit Bulls who are starting to act like it. Please read my above post regarding JRT's and rats. The owner is not at the level of expertise to allow "supervised interaction," which is actually just going to end up being "supervised prelude to a fight."

It sounds like Cash is definately entering into the age of sexual maturity and feeling his oats dispite just being neutered (which as you know could take up to 6 months to totally have the testosterone decrease inhis system). At this age a male will try to increase his rank in the pack and become more in control of "assets" such as females. The age difference betwen your males also plays a HUGE part into Cash's desire to be assertive since he likely feels the "old man" is ready to drop down in postions that he is totally willing to take by might if need be. Your fights are going to get worse and your older male is going to be more aggressive with each response to Cash's instigations.


You are making jumps in your assessment that you do not have the necessary information to make.

You are going to end up in a situation where Cash and at least your older boy are going to have to crate and rotate (which I am NO fan of. I would rather rehome the instigator than crate and rotate simply because that is no quality of life IMO).


Ridiculous opinion. NO quality of life in a crate and rotate situation? You just insulted half the members of this board.

If Cash is acting like this with the coming of the age of sexual maturity how is he going to be at 2 when he reaches social maturity???There is anamocity now amongst your pack and Your gal and older fella are going to gang up on cash one of these days and have a tug of war.


The obsession with "pack" is one of the major problem with self-styled "behaviorists" these days, thanks largely to a certain Mexican celebrity dog trainer. Yes they are pack animals and have pack instincts, but they are so far removed from true pack animals (i.e. wild dogs) in terms of behavior that trying to look at them and solve every problem from this perspective is myopic. PLENTY of behaviors have nothing to do with "pack instinct." Plenty do. It's important to know which is which, and again you have made leaps of conjecture without adequate, objective information.

I think your older boy bit you on the bum out of sheer anxiety not any kind of personal attack. Maybe more of an instance of displacement biting than anything. IMO and I certainly hope I'm wrong but I'm afraid that Cash will take his food issues to other resources in the future such as toys or attention, but hopefully with the waining of testosterone you might be able to avoid that issue.


Pure conjecture, and I'd love to hear the rational basis for this argument. You weren't here, didn't see it, and are basing your advice on the assumption that the poster accurately described what happened in the first place and is sufficiently removed from the events to provide a non-emotional assesment. We have an unneutred male in this house who is full of testosterone and has absolutely no issues with toys, attention, or any kind of resource guarding. He is a cranky old man with painful chronic injuries and is dog-aggressive though, but it's not his nuts that causes the DA, it's his lineage. He's a Pit Bull.

You already know the answers that you are asking for hon... you've been in the industry long enough to know which way this is going. Unfortunately pits have beenbred for too long to increase that dog on dog aggression and with a lot of the unethical breeding going on these days it's probably worse than you could imagine. This pup being found stray at such a young age only reinforces this theory that he was bred of aggressive lines since a COE breeder would certainly try to breed that trait down in their lines.
[/quote]

This indicates a fundamental miunderstanding of the breed of APBT's. Your "COE" breeders (what the hell is a "COE" anyway? One mans's COE is another's soap box) tried to get rid of the dog-aggression problem in APBT's a long time ago...hence the AmStaff, who still produces PLENTY of dog aggressive animals. You simply cannot change a major componenent of the dog's genetic makeup and behavior because you find it distasteful. Would anyone suggest breeding small animal aggression out of a terrier because it's "inconvenient"? What would the resulting dog be? Certainly not a terrier of any kind, and what other problems would manifest as a result? How many people would get themselves one of "the good ones" only to find out at a year that their "docile terrier" suddenly remembers what decades of selective breeding have programmed into his genetic code? If a breeder finds dog or animal-aggression distasteful and too difficult to manage, they should pick a different breed without those traits. Period.

The future of this breed, if we are to truly save it, is to get back to the TRUE APBT, a healthy and vigorous super-athlete with a rock solid, confident temperament that would sooner die than quit at a task placed before him. If I were breeding, that's what I would actively produce. Dog aggression is and can be a part of it, and it's up to the owner to be responsible and recognize what they have on the end of the leash.

To the OP: Just use common sense, apply it, and everything will be fine. Crate and rotate, accept your dog for what they are, and enjoy them while you learn from them. I wish you gook luck, though luck doesn't really have anything to do with it.

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Postby ArtGypsy » September 26th, 2009, 10:24 am

Dog Shrink, You said:::
I would rather rehome the instigator than crate and rotate simply because that is no quality of life IMO). If

I"m going to preface this little post ------I am not a dog expert of any shape or kind. I"m so new at being a pit bull owner, I still have a warranty. (bad joke)...We rescued Dar a year ago, mid November.

I was hearbroken at having to instill crate/rotate because after 4 months of 'getting along wonderfully', Dar and my old 12 year old shar pei mix, decided no more 'play time', and when my old female got really snarky with Dar, he attacked.
Her throat was ripped and torn before we could even blink. ((We were standing RIGHT THERE....NO way was 'supervised' a pertinent word. I like the way demo put it ----para phrasing, supervising an imminent fight.
We had already had an altercation or two, and the board told me then, that crate and rotate was the best option.
I almost cried.
After all!! These two loving dogs that slept together?????? These two "NEW FRIENDS" would have to take turns in a crate??

But after the last incident, I had no choice.
Crate/Rotate .
When you suggested that 're-homing' a dog would be a 'better quality of life' than crating and rotating...........My mouth dropped open.

I'm not trying to be anthropomorphic here, but I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that re=homing has similar affects on a dog that it does for foster children
**That's one of my day Jobs........I train Foster Parents who take in children, for a myriad of reasons, cannot be in their own homes with their families. Sometimes these kids come with a WHOLE crap-load full of problems that are difficult for the foster parent to handle/accept. Sometimes these FP want to 'find another placement".
EACH AND EVERY SINGLE TIME A CHILD IS 'RE-HOMED' THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT Loss/Trauma.

So it's not a stretch for me to imagine Dar or Macy ((and really, which one is the offender ?? Dar is the Pit bull that did the most damage........but Macy is an old snarky shar pei mix that really does send him "bring it on' signals))
being SIGNIFICANTLY affected by this 'new home.'.
I've loved them. They have their own beds, their own toys. The walks. The back yard that has all their smells. The way the kids pet them, the way the phone sounds when it rings. Dinner at a certain time, the same way, always. The way I scratch them on the head......all these moments are an ingrained, way of life for them.

Re-homing to me, ((in my situation and many who have DA dogs) to be MUCH MUCH MORE traumatic and compromising to their ''quality of life'' than having each dog in their own crate, with their own blankets, being talked to by the people that they've come to love.
Crate rotate is not locking the offending dog in a cage and shutting them away in the bedroom somewhere..........it's a 'this is your safe space''''''and this is Dar's safe space'>

I hope you understand what Demo was saying... :) ....and maybe, if you can go back through and read Demo's REALLY GOOD insight and advice, (without taking it personally)), :rolleyes2: you will find that despite your well intended post, Demo is right on the money.

I've learned so much from being on this board.......I can't even begin to tell you what life would have looked like (with Dar) had I not listened to the folks here.
Throughout my entire adult life, I've had dogs. Every size, shape and color. From a Rottie to a Pom,,,,rescue dogs, abandoned dogs..........you name it.
Getting a pit bull and learning what I needed to learn meant I had to give up a lot of what I knew about dogs. (Okay, that stuff wasn't wrong, it just didn't apply to pits).
And.........I had to stop watching Cesar Milan. :oops:

Jody
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage.
Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby Pit♥bull » September 26th, 2009, 11:19 am

ArtGypsy wrote:I"m so new at being a pit bull owner, I still have a warranty.
:spit: LMAO LMAO
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Postby dlynne1123 » September 26th, 2009, 1:32 pm

Pit♥Bull wrote:
ArtGypsy wrote:I"m so new at being a pit bull owner, I still have a warranty.
:spit: LMAO LMAO
l

lol
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Postby cheekymunkee » September 26th, 2009, 5:57 pm

LMAO

I agree with Demo and Jody. My dogs are crated and rotated and they seem to think their quality of life is pretty damned good. If your answer to pit bulls acting like pit bulls is to rehome then this breed s NOT for you
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 26th, 2009, 6:35 pm

Honestly, I think the crate/rotate situation depends on the person/family that has to do it. Some folks can and will deal with the situation...some won't, or can't for some reason. I would rather rehome a DA dog than keep it in my house...due to my circumstances. That said, I'm not sure if I could do a rehoming if it came down to it...it would depend on many things.

That said, I think the OP would be best served by having someone else come observe the dogs...a qualified someone.
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Postby mnp13 » September 26th, 2009, 8:37 pm

Well, I'm going to start with this, just to get it out of the way
Dog_Shrink wrote:I would rather rehome the instigator than crate and rotate simply because that is no quality of life IMO

How do you do this? "I'm looking for a home for my dog, he's a great dog, but he keeps picking fights with my two other dogs and now they can't be together in my house safely." I'm sure people will be lining up to take in a dog that starts fights like that.

As for the crate and rotate comment, I find that offensive. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but those of us with dogs that don't get along have to make the best choices for our families - and that may include permanent separation. Who are you to judge if my dogs have an adequate quality of life or not?

Dog_Shrink wrote:I think your older boy bit you on the bum out of sheer anxiety not any kind of personal attack.

How did you ascertain that? (oh, and she stated that Cash bit her, not Genghis)

I also asked earlier how the fight was broken up, and I'm interested in the response. Having been in the middle of a fight or two, and having been injured, the response to my question actually has a lot to do with what might have happened and how a similar thing could be avoided in the future.

Dog_Shrink wrote:IMO and I certainly hope I'm wrong but I'm afraid that Cash will take his food issues to other resources in the future such as toys or attention, but hopefully with the waining of testosterone you might be able to avoid that issue.

I agree that if it's not controlled, resource guarding often "spreads out" from one item to another, but what does testosterone have to do with that?

Dog_Shrink wrote:This pup being found stray at such a young age only reinforces this theory that he was bred of aggressive lines since a COE breeder would certainly try to breed that trait down in their lines.

While I agree that because the puppy was found as a stray that you can safely say that it does not come from a responsible breeder, that has nothing to do with the amount of dog aggression that it may or may not have.

Dog aggression is part of our breed. It's part of our breed just as retrieving is part of Labradors, killing rats is part of Jack Russells and pointing is part of Irish Setters. Do I think that dogs that can't be bred naturally should be bred? No. However, breeding to "remove" dog aggression from the breed is breeding to remove what the breed is. If you don't want to deal with dog aggression, don't get a Pit Bull. It's pretty simple. Any breed can be dog aggressive, but if you have a Pit Bull, it's a safe bet that you're going to have at least a little.

Any breeder trying to remove dog aggression from the breed is at about the same level as the ones breeding for a pretty ear set in my book. They aren't exactly at the level of the short-n-wide breeders, but I could still do without them, thanks.

TheRedQueen wrote:I think the OP would be best served by having someone else come observe the dogs...a qualified someone.

I agree.
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Postby furever_pit » September 26th, 2009, 10:00 pm

I am in a similar situation as you but without the fights. I link that to the fact that when my boys (a 3yr APBT mix, and a 4 month old AB) are out together there is no food or toys out. Why give them something to fight over? If I am working with one and feeding him outside of his crate then the other is in his kennel, otherwise they eat in their kennels. My older male would start a fight over food in a heartbeat and he could do the same over a toy...I actually see no reason to find out.

Anyway, my point is PREVENTION. Keep the dogs separated while they are eating, feeding in their respective kennels is probably the easiest. Pickup any toys or anything else that could be a reason for them to fight. But I, personally, would just crate/rotate the dogs from here on out.

Dog_Shrink:
What makes you think that crate and rotate provides no quality of life? Have you ever done it? My boys are C/R the VAST majority of the time and neither one of them has an issue with it, my 3yr old had no problem adjusting to it. Actually, I think they like it because it ensures each of them more one-on-one attention from me. And honestly, even tho my dogs spend more time in their crates per day than most dogs I can pretty much guarantee that they get more exercise and mental stimulation than most dogs nowadays.
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Postby Dog_Shrink » September 26th, 2009, 11:03 pm

Like I said... those are just my opinions or C&R life for dogs in that situation. it doesn't make me a judge or a critic... it's just my opinion and how I feel... If it works for you great... but it's not the kind of life I would want to subject a dog to.

I misread the post I thought it was the older dog that had bitten her in the bum... my bad...

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.

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?
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Postby ArtGypsy » September 26th, 2009, 11:10 pm

Uh-Oh.
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage.
Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby Marinepits » September 26th, 2009, 11:29 pm

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.
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Postby furever_pit » September 26th, 2009, 11:37 pm

Dog_Shrink wrote:Like I said... those are just my opinions or C&R life for dogs in that situation. it doesn't make me a judge or a critic... it's just my opinion and how I feel... If it works for you great... but it's not the kind of life I would want to subject a dog to.


We are all entitled to our own opinions, but I am still left wondering WHY you feel this way. What about C/R makes the quality of life so bad for dogs? An explanation for why you feel this way will only help others understand where you are coming from.


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 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?


In my honest opinion, dog aggression in Pit Bulls does not make them un-balanced. I actually think that breeding out DA in a program a priority is a sign of laziness on the owner's part. 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.
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