...With Heavy Heart *UPDATED*

This is where to talk about Pit Bulls!

Postby cheekymunkee » October 22nd, 2009, 12:18 am

Not every dog can or NEEDS to be saved. He is a handful for them & there are not many places that will take a pit bull with his issues. None of us know how he acts, all we have to go by is what they have posted. None of us are behaviorists. We do not know what is going on in this dogs head. Not everyone wants or should have to deal with a dog like this. Especially a dog that you have no real connection with.

Christine, Mick changed for you because he loved you & wanted to make you happy. Duke does not have the connection with them that Mick did with you, he doesnt seem to care if they are happy with his behavior or not, that makes a HUGE difference in how he is going to react to them. Something was obviously going on with him before Bob & Shanna took him in. It is a shame they were not made aware of it but that is neither here nor there. The breeder is recommending he be euthed and she has personally dealt with him. There may very well be MORE issues with him that no one here is aware of.

I wish every dog could be saved but that is not the case. I am not the kind of person to tell another to put a dog down but I am also not going to try to talk you into keeping a dog you do not trust. I am behind you in whatever decision you make with him (((hugs)))
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

Debby
User avatar
cheekymunkee
I Have Your Grass
 
Posts: 28540
Location: Dallas

Postby mnp13 » October 22nd, 2009, 12:29 am

I have VERY different feelings on this kind of issue than most people, and I'm going to try and stay out of this thread from here on, but I want to say a few things first.

plebayo wrote:I am from the club of, you let me touch it, poke it, squeeze it or we'll need to have a serious discussion.

I disagree with this. I used to agree with it 100,000%. I was in the "hardcore rescue" camp of stick my hand in the food bowl every day, take toys all the time, annoy the crap out of the dog all day every day because every dog should put up with every thing no matter what. I don't agree with that any more. At some point, I believe that dogs have a right to actually be able to say "hey, I don't appreciate that." Attack? No. Communicate? Yes.

amazincc wrote:I don't think euthanasia is justified at this point.

Justified? There are a ba-zillion dogs out there with issues, Duke is one of the very very lucky ones who ended up in a home that is trying very hard to work with him. I wish that there were more options open to you for training, but even if there were, that still may not be a great fit for you. You have to make the best decision for the two of you, Trouble and Duke and not justify it to anyone.

airwalk wrote:It is very hard (Christine and Michelle you guys know this). It is a lifestyle - it governs what you can do, when you can do it, how you can do it and with whom you can do it. Whether he is HA (which maybe not) or just having lots of anxiety issues - either way this is a long process that may never be good, just managed.

Absolutely. No different than crate-n-rotate. You plan your life around it. After a while it becomes second nature and you don't even notice it, but it's still there.

airwalk wrote:It would be wonderful if a home that is able to handle him and is willing to handle him can be found...but i can tell you from personal experience of trying to place hundreds of dogs with "issues" every year...those homes exist but it's a bit like looking for a needle in the haystack and there is still a dog and his issues to be handled in the meantime.

And it is that last sentence that is the most important part to consider.

airwalk wrote:Shanna and Bob love Troubles that much...they would do whatever and have done whatever it takes...but Duke is new to their home and doesn't sound like he is making himself easy to love that much.

I bet they love him a LOT. I know I loved Cleo. Sometimes you can love an animal so much that the very best thing for them is to say goodbye before something horrible happens that would destroy your memory of them forever.
Michelle

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
User avatar
mnp13
Evil Overlord
 
Posts: 17234
Location: Rochester, NY

Postby TheRedQueen » October 22nd, 2009, 12:43 am

Coming in late...but it sounds like Duke has rather clear signals (good for him!) and has rather clear trouble spots (feet...). Definitely can be worked through...but fighting fire with fire is not the way to go, imo. We can debate this all we want...I'm with Michelle and Christine...dogs should be allowed to say "HEY! STOP THAT!". I don't correct dogs for telling me "ow that hurts". I muzzle my dogs if I feel something is too painful for them...(Sawyer got muzzled years ago for a broken toe/toenail...just in case). Being foot sensitive and not having self control does not a HA dog make.

That said, if you guys can't deal with him...and can't find anyone willing to work with his issues, then euthanization might be the best route.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby amazincc » October 22nd, 2009, 12:54 am

mnp13 wrote:
amazincc wrote:I don't think euthanasia is justified at this point.

Justified? There are a ba-zillion dogs out there with issues, Duke is one of the very very lucky ones who ended up in a home that is trying very hard to work with him. I wish that there were more options open to you for training, but even if there were, that still may not be a great fit for you. You have to make the best decision for the two of you, Trouble and Duke and not justify it to anyone.


Well... that sorta didn't come out sounding the way I meant it. :oops:
I probably should've written "warranted", maybe? :|

I'm gonna stay out of it as well, I think.
User avatar
amazincc
Jessica & Mick
 
Posts: 9814
Location: Holding them both in my heart.

Postby Malli » October 22nd, 2009, 3:25 am

I also think that euthanasia may be the most kind option. It is an ENORMOUS responsibility to own a dog with any aggression issue, HA(I'm using this in the literal sense - where aggression is used to communicate with people) in particular, and an even more mammoth responsibility to own a Pit Bull type dog with these traits. While I have great respect those that will step up to the task of keeping, I also cannot fault someone who can acknowledge their limit in this situation.

IMO, to be blunt, there are few safe places in this world for a Pit Bull with Human Aggression, workable or otherwise.

Shanna, I am sorry that you and Bob are going through this, that you have to make these decisions, and that, from the sounds of it, one way or another you will have to say goodbye to Duke.
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
_______________________________________
"You didn't know of the magical powers of the break stick? It's up there with genies and Harry Potter as far as magic levels go." SisMorphine 01/07/07
User avatar
Malli
E-I-E-I-O!
 
Posts: 6341
Location: CANADA EH?

Postby hugapitbull » October 22nd, 2009, 7:42 am

I'm sensing that some of you aren't feeling comfortable commenting. I'm pretty thick skinned and certainly know when I'm in over my head. There have been many interesting points made and I appreciate the effort each of you have put forth.

Just a few side notes that have been addressed. We are using NILF and he accepts it well. Overall he is well behaved and has good obedience...except when one of his triggers goes off.

He allows himself to be muzzled without any problem, and maybe someone in his prior life trained that into him. He is not pushy and bossy unless triggered. I think, as some of you pointed out, he is intolerant of some things. While I respect that he must tell us in the only way he knows, I have issues with a dog that will react that badly to the people who care for him. We do not routinely smack either dog for their behavior, and for Duke that wasn't a good move. I suspect he has many past demons we do not know about. If that is true, they are sure to rear their ugly heads on occasion. We must choose how to live with that.

Most of the time he is quiet and right beside one of us snoozing. We do not have to crate and rotate him. He and Trouble are best buddies. He is overprotective of our house, we take him out to meet visitors and then bring them in. He has accepted that the neighbor lives behind us and is allowed in their yard. He does not want dogs walking within sight of our yard. Outside of our house he is friendly meeting new people. My fear with this is that you never know if a new person is going to trigger him. Do we even take that chance with him anymore? And doesn't his quality of life go down if we eliminate human contact other than ourselves?

He may not be a fit for us, we may have made a horrible mistake deciding to take him. All of you know that Trouble is my heart dog, I doubt I will ever feel the same about Duke or maybe any other dog for that matter. I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing, just a fact to deal with.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
'Spirit' Trouble departed for the Bridge 3/16/2011 a victim of aging
Visit - http://k9cancer.org

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain--and most fools do. ~Dale Carnegie
User avatar
hugapitbull
The Better Half
 
Posts: 1570
Location: My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge

Postby HappyChick » October 22nd, 2009, 9:13 am

Shanna and Bob - I'm so sorry you are having these problems with Duke. You have done a wonderful thing giving Duke another chance at a happy life. I have no advice, but I want you to know I support you 110% in whatever decision you make regarding Duke. Only you two know what things are really like with him and I'm sure you will make the best decision for everyone involved. Good luck and Good thoughts headed your way. Please give Trouble and Duke a hug from me and hugs to you too. :hug3:
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
HappyChick
Loyally Bully
 
Posts: 701

Postby Dan+Bec13 » October 22nd, 2009, 9:29 am

I'm really sorry to hear about this and I hope everything will work out for you all. We had problems similar to this with Maddie when she was younger. All I can suggest is some of the ways we worked with her. With the feet and nail problem we would just sit with her and rub her feet while one of us would feed treats. Then move to feeding treats while the other cut the nails. This worked well, but then we just started cutting them in the bath tub with her. The nails will soften up a bit from being in water and Maddie will just stand there all pathetic and not move while we get her all clean.
Dan+Bec13
Just Whelped
 
Posts: 42
Location: Rochester, NY

Postby katiek0417 » October 22nd, 2009, 9:57 am

Okay, I'm going to put in my two cents...

First off, in reality, this dog gave Bob FOUR warnings. FOUR. That is three more than most dogs would've given. If the dog wanted to bite Bob, I don't think he would've given the number of warnings that he did.

We do not routinely smack either dog for their behavior, and for Duke that wasn't a good move. I suspect he has many past demons we do not know about. If that is true, they are sure to rear their ugly heads on occasion. We must choose how to live with that.


Why does this have to mean he has past demons? Shanna, he may just not have liked being "smacked" (and I put it in quotes b/c the word smack might make people think you brutally hit him, and I know that you and Bob are awesome with your dogs)...there are plenty of people who have raised their dogs from 8 week old puppies, yet if they were to smack their dogs, their dogs may not respond lightly to that...

My fear with this is that you never know if a new person is going to trigger him. Do we even take that chance with him anymore? And doesn't his quality of life go down if we eliminate human contact other than ourselves?


You're putting human emotions on this dog. Dogs don't NEED other people to have a good quality of life. We have dogs in our house that we DO NOT allow people to touch...does that mean they have a poor quality of life? No! Our dogs are happy, healthy, they play with each other, they play with us. Jue, in fact, is quite content having only Greg and I in his life. Cy is an aloof dog, I have to be careful with him meeting new people. I have a new puppy that I'm raising that I suspect may not be totally social when he gets older. I will continue to try to socialize him, but I understand it may not happen. That's fine...I'll deal with it. With a dog that isn't as social, it just means that you need to be more guarded. You can't be as lax with the dog...it doesn't take major lifestyle changes. People think it does...but I can take our non-social dogs in public....I take Jue down to the pier by my house when there are people down there and let him off-leash and play with him (he loves to swim)...I take Cy and Dru out to PetSmart/Petco...I just use alot of obedience, and I stay more guarded when we're out. I keep my eyes out for stupid people, but my dogs still love life...Quality of life comes from YOU...

And YOU and BOB are giving him a good quality of life. :hug3:
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
User avatar
katiek0417
pointy ear hoarder
 
Posts: 6280
Location: Glen Burnie, MD

Postby TheRedQueen » October 22nd, 2009, 10:11 am

katiek0417 wrote:You're putting human emotions on this dog. Dogs don't NEED other people to have a good quality of life. We have dogs in our house that we DO NOT allow people to touch...does that mean they have a poor quality of life? No! Our dogs are happy, healthy, they play with each other, they play with us. Jue, in fact, is quite content having only Greg and I in his life. Cy is an aloof dog, I have to be careful with him meeting new people. I have a new puppy that I'm raising that I suspect may not be totally social when he gets older. I will continue to try to socialize him, but I understand it may not happen. That's fine...I'll deal with it. With a dog that isn't as social, it just means that you need to be more guarded. You can't be as lax with the dog...it doesn't take major lifestyle changes. People think it does...but I can take our non-social dogs in public....I take Jue down to the pier by my house when there are people down there and let him off-leash and play with him (he loves to swim)...I take Cy and Dru out to PetSmart/Petco...I just use alot of obedience, and I stay more guarded when we're out. I keep my eyes out for stupid people, but my dogs still love life...Quality of life comes from YOU...

And YOU and BOB are giving him a good quality of life. :hug3:


Good post Katrina...:)

Inara is not friendly with people...so her interactions with people were VERY limited at first. Now she can be out and about to make friends, but always with management. If people are coming over for short visit, I often just put her away downstairs instead of bothering with her. We manage the situation...and with lots of positive reinforcement training, she's learned to actually LIKE people (people=good things). I'm lucky, because like with Duke, she gives a LOT of warnings...I'm thankful for all of the barking and growling that she does...(even though it drives me crazy some days!).

And I wanted to mention this...

He allows himself to be muzzled without any problem, and maybe someone in his prior life trained that into him. He is not pushy and bossy unless triggered. I think, as some of you pointed out, he is intolerant of some things. While I respect that he must tell us in the only way he knows, I have issues with a dog that will react that badly to the people who care for him. We do not routinely smack either dog for their behavior, and for Duke that wasn't a good move.


You said that smacking him was not a good move, but you've mentioned multiple times that you verbally correct him for growling. Either way, you're using a punisher...and some dogs don't let ANY punisher roll off their back easily. Sawyer is a talker...he grumbles, growls, etc...(just like John)...when certain things are done to him. He grumbles when I take off his harness, he grumbles when I trim his tail fur, he grumbles when I brush his butt fluff. If I push the matter and use a punisher (even just yelling at him...) he escalates the grumbling into growling...and occasionally into snapping into the air. (grumbling: under the breath soft rumbling) He also gives tons of warning. Instead of punishing/yelling/etc...I use clicking and treating, luring and rewards all to get better behavior. If it's something really bad...like when he broke a toenail and broke the end of his toe bone off also, we muzzle and praise/pet for good behavior. :| I don't consider this HA, I consider this a dog that is less tolerant of husbandry behaviors...and a dog that choses "fight" rather than "flight". Score hates to have his nails done (my fault)...but he pulls away and tries to get free...different type of temperament. It has less to do with their past, and more to do with their temperament and how they deal with things.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby Pit♥bull » October 22nd, 2009, 10:36 am

First, let me thank everyone for their feedback. As usual we can depend on the great folks at PBT in time of 'crisis'. :)

We opted to bring Duke into our lives with full knowledge there could be serious issues, Duke was purchased for Angie as a young puppy by her husband from supposedly a reputable breeder/kennel and had issues from the start. He was returned to to the breeder at an early age for evaluation and possible training which seemed to be helpful although she still continued having issues.
We must say that Angie did her best and didn't give up on him until her declining health forced her to place him in a local kennel where he remained until her death. She visited him at every chance and loved him very much. Duke was in the kennel for over six months after her death until we picked him up.

Duke is a very lovable member of our family and has really settled in with the exceptions Shanna has posted, He's is extremely intelligent, minds well, and has become Trouble's friend to a high degree. He acknowledges Trouble as alpha and I really believe he would protect her as well as us with his life.

I'm at a total loss :|
What we do know:
    Feet are 'off limits'.
    He cannot be awakened by touching.
    He cannot be trusted around other humans or animals.
    It will take major lifestyle changes for us to continue giving him a happy home.
    I don't frighten easily but he had me in major fear for my life.
    I could not and will not consider having someone else adopt him.

We have not decided on a course of action but the thought of putting him down brings tears to my eyes.

Thanks to all for listening.
Pit♥bull
Supremely Bully
 
Posts: 1207

Postby Pit♥bull » October 22nd, 2009, 10:52 am

P.S. :D

Just an FYI..... When a 'smack' was mentioned I suppose it wasn't made clear.
The 'smack' was no harder than the affectionate 'pats' he receives many times during the day. I was just trying to get his attention as he is bad about going in to 'focus' mode. :rolleyes2: Kinda like tunnel vision.
Pit♥bull
Supremely Bully
 
Posts: 1207

Postby maberi » October 22nd, 2009, 11:05 am

Just wondering if you ever got Duke into see a trainer? I know you were looking for one a few months back
Look beyond what your own eyes see
User avatar
maberi
I Save My Empty Calories For The Bottle
 
Posts: 2781
Location: rochester, ny

Postby TheRedQueen » October 22nd, 2009, 11:14 am

Pit♥Bull wrote:P.S. :D

Just an FYI..... When a 'smack' was mentioned I suppose it wasn't made clear.
The 'smack' was no harder than the affectionate 'pats' he receives many times during the day. I was just trying to get his attention as he is bad about going in to 'focus' mode. :rolleyes2: Kinda like tunnel vision.


I understand...but a punisher is a punisher...no matter if it's a light swat on the butt or using your voice to yell. Some dogs take punishers more seriously than others...no matter the intensity. It doesn't always have to do with the actual punisher, more then intent behind it. Some of my gang will just shut down if I yell, some will just cringe, Sawyer will get defensive. Just depends on the dog. With punishers, as with reinforcers (treats, toys, etc)...it's not about what WE think, it's about what the subject thinks about them. We might think that liver treats are a great reward, but if the dog doesn't like liver, it's not good enough for them. Some dogs can take a punisher/aversive better than others. :|

I didn't really think you were hauling off and smacking the dog across the room...;)
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby Pit♥bull » October 22nd, 2009, 11:27 am

maberi wrote:Just wondering if you ever got Duke into see a trainer? I know you were looking for one a few months back
No, we contacted one but weren't impressed and all the others are several hours drive which makes it rather impracticable. And we thought we had made real progress until the latest incident :(
Pit♥bull
Supremely Bully
 
Posts: 1207

Postby mnp13 » October 22nd, 2009, 12:13 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:a dog that choses "fight" rather than "flight"

excellent choice of words.

Pit♥Bull wrote:Feet are 'off limits'.
He cannot be awakened by touching.
He cannot be trusted around other humans or animals.
It will take major lifestyle changes for us to continue giving him a happy home.
I don't frighten easily but he had me in major fear for my life.
I could not and will not consider having someone else adopt him.


I am not "questioning" your statements, I am "exploring" your statements - since I can obviously not see any of this in person, I can only ask questions and try to see things though your answers.

Some of your statements above can be addressed through conditioning, some through management. Trust can be earned.

However I will say that if you fear for your own safety with Duke in your home then you need to remove him from your home immediately. Whether that means kenneling him for a few days to regroup and map out a concrete management plan/strategy, or means that you decide to put him down, either will be 100% supported. But if you are afraid him he knows it and his behavior may worsen (or may not).

And I agree with not rehoming him.
Michelle

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
User avatar
mnp13
Evil Overlord
 
Posts: 17234
Location: Rochester, NY

Postby Pit♥bull » October 22nd, 2009, 12:23 pm

mnp13 wrote:However I will say that if you fear for your own safety with Duke in your home then you need to remove him from your home immediately.
This 'fear' was short lived (momentary) and I never backed down from him or let the fear be shown, all is back to normal as he still takes corrections well. I think rather than 'fear' I was just dumbfounded for the moment.
Pit♥bull
Supremely Bully
 
Posts: 1207

Postby DemoDick » October 22nd, 2009, 1:40 pm

From everything you have written about Duke, I do not believe that he is "human aggressive.". In fact, I think the opposite is likely true. He has had multiple opportunities to bite, and he has specifically avoided doing so. He is literally trying to figure out "How do I make Dad stop doing this without biting him?". Hence his repeated warnings without contact.

I think you are misunderstanding his behaviors as disobedience or aggression when he is in fact just problem solving using what has worked before. It seems like you and his previous owners have unknowingly taught him to use unfriendly, anti-social behaviors to make unpleasant things go away and that is the first tool he pulls out of the toolbox.

I'm sure it can be fixed, but it will require that you both learn to see the world through his eyes and stop qualifying his behaviors as "good" or "bad," as all he understands is what "works" and "doesn't work." Fixing this will require a step back to coldly analyze and discover why he acts the way he does. You will have to drop any and all preconceptions about why you think he is doing X, because you don't know and are assuming too much. You guys are also going to have to learn to pick your battles and allow the dog some space, as you can't control every aspect of his life and behavior.

Fixing this is not for everyone, but it can be done. If you do decide to tackle this problem it will give you a new skill set to more clearly communicate with future dogs. On the flipside, you have to understand that this is a learning process and it takes time and patience, and while you're figuring it out you still have a dog to deal with and manage.

Demo Dick
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge
User avatar
DemoDick
They Like to Fondle My Gun
 
Posts: 1910
Location: New York

Postby TheRedQueen » October 22nd, 2009, 3:22 pm

DemoDick wrote:From everything you have written about Duke, I do not believe that he is "human aggressive.". In fact, I think the opposite is likely true. He has had multiple opportunities to bite, and he has specifically avoided doing so. He is literally trying to figure out "How do I make Dad stop doing this without biting him?". Hence his repeated warnings without contact.

I think you are misunderstanding his behaviors as disobedience or aggression when he is in fact just problem solving using what has worked before. It seems like you and his previous owners have unknowingly taught him to use unfriendly, anti-social behaviors to make unpleasant things go away and that is the first tool he pulls out of the toolbox.

I'm sure it can be fixed, but it will require that you both learn to see the world through his eyes and stop qualifying his behaviors as "good" or "bad," as all he understands is what "works" and "doesn't work." Fixing this will require a step back to coldly analyze and discover why he acts the way he does. You will have to drop any and all preconceptions about why you think he is doing X, because you don't know and are assuming too much. You guys are also going to have to learn to pick your battles and allow the dog some space, as you can't control every aspect of his life and behavior.

Fixing this is not for everyone, but it can be done. If you do decide to tackle this problem it will give you a new skill set to more clearly communicate with future dogs. On the flipside, you have to understand that this is a learning process and it takes time and patience, and while you're figuring it out you still have a dog to deal with and manage.

Demo Dick


Demo...I wuv you. :loveU:
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby amazincc » October 22nd, 2009, 3:35 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:
Demo...I wuv you. :loveU:


Me too! :heartbeat: :)
User avatar
amazincc
Jessica & Mick
 
Posts: 9814
Location: Holding them both in my heart.

PreviousNext

Return to Pit Bull Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]