Obedience FAILURE! (She bit the Trainer!!)

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Postby cheekymunkee » August 9th, 2006, 9:30 am

anissa wrote:Oh blow it out your asss Karen.


You need to cut this crap out RIGHT NOW.
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Postby mnp13 » August 9th, 2006, 1:01 pm

Anissa, I will speak for myself and many other members of the forum. It is getting VERY frusterating to try and help you.

In this particular discussion, your story has changed drastically. At the beginning the trainer approached you and Jaida bit her, then she was lunging and growling before the bite, now the trainer snuck up on Jaida and surprised her, resulting her the trainer being bitten. Those three things do NOT match, nor are they being "twisted". I can only go by YOUR words, and your words clearly conflict.

I went back and read the posts about Brock, and your husband's deployment was listed as part of the reason you re-homed him.
With my lack of experience, my husband deploying to Iraq for the next 12-18 months, my upcoming surgery, a daughter and our 2 year old/male Charlie to take care of.. As strong, committed and determined as I am.. I know I will not be capable of providing the best home for Brock, and/or the best supervision over 2 immature males.

Not the only reason, but a contributing factor.

Now, for a reason that I don't understand, you have added another dog to your family - when ALL of the same things that are listed above still apply. The only difference is that instead of trying to supervise 2 immature males, you have an immature male and an immature female and that female has some clear behavorial problems.

MANY people here have been trying to help you, but you seem to be completely unwilling to take ownership of the difficult position you have put yourself into. Admitting you are in over your head (which is how it seems from infront of my computer screen) is the first step in figuring out how to solve the problem.

You need to stop pointing fingers and look to yourself for the source of the problem and the solution. I've been in your position, and in fact, I am still in your position. It's a different set of problems, but I struggle with them every day with my dog. Admitting you are the source of the problem is VERY hard to do, until you have done that the problem will never go away.

Now, here is what I would do...

  1. Stand up and move away from your computer, if you have time to be here, you have time to look for a trainer for your dog.
  2. Call Charles and get the name / phone number of a trainer to evaluate Jaida
  3. Call that trainer and make an evaluation appointment for BOTH dogs as soon as humanly possible. Evaluations may be expensive, but having your wound site ripped open won't be cheap, and neither will a lawsuit because Jaida jumps up on someone and gives them a 1 inch scratch. (and no, that is NOT far fetched)
  4. Bring your daughter to the evaluation, as she likely will be the primary caregiver during the 6 weeks of recovery from your surgery. If she will not be, then you need to bring whomever will be.
  5. work with that trainer every day you can with both dogs and your daughter to get as much work as possible into them before your husband leaves. Both of you will need to work both dogs individually and together every day.
  6. create a complete and through game plan to deal with the dogs after your surgery, including pre-arranged housing if necessary. You can NOT depend on the dogs to "sense" that you are ill and not jump on you or pull you around. It's nice to think that, but unrealistic and dangerous
  7. Be prepared to accept that your dogs may need to be on 100% crate time while you are in recovery. Get them used to it immediately. You will not want them freaking out if/when that needs to happen. My mother had her gall bladder out, and was unable to walk their fifteen pound Pomeranian for two weeks. The odds of you being able to do anything with your two Pit Bulls is VERY small.
  8. Stop taking every post here as an attack. We are trying to help you and your dogs, but you seem to be unwilling to hear anything except for what you want to hear.
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Postby anissa » August 11th, 2006, 4:52 am

Its been crazy busy around here, but I wanted to make sure to reply to your post Michelle. You know.. I am not TRYING to come across like I dont appreciate the help, I really do take in alot of the advice given.

You're right that my husband deploying was a contributing factor in the decision to rehome Brock, but it wasnt the main reason. I realize that taking in another dog so soon confuses some people, but honestly.. after evaluating the situation, and having a plan set for when I go into surgery, our hearts were ready to have another (female) dog fill it, and I prefered to do so while my husband was still here.

Although there's no telling what type of problems you'll have with a rescue/shelter dog.. when were told about Jaida's problems, we were fully prepared to deal with them with some training and consistency. In a couple of weeks, we've managed to break her of her excessive barking, introduce NILF and calmed her excitement down quite abit. We had no idea we'de be dealing with a biting/nipping problem.

I will be taking the advice to have her evaluated. My husbands deployment has been pushed back a few days, so we finally have some time to breath, and talk/meet with Charles this next week if he's available. There's been another incedent today, making this even more of a priority than it already is.

I do admit Ive made mistakes, Ive got alot to learn.. but thats why I come here. I dont only learn from my own posts and questions.. but from everyone else's posts as well. What I dont appreciate.. is when I do make a post, some replies definately come across as attacks. No matter what mistakes Ive made, no matter how Ive rectified them.. they keep getting thrown in my face.

Despite a few word changes.. I do believe this thread has been 'twisted'. Just for clarification (again) Jaida was lunging and growling during the walk around the room. This wasnt in the same time frame as the trainer approaching us. To be technical.. she did not 'sneak' up on us, but came to approach us without warning. We didnt antisipate her coming.. and I chose the wrong word to describe the situation. THAT single word, is what twisted this up.

I appreciate your 8 steps of advice. Like I said.. I will be calling Charles and finding someone to do this evaluation. My daughter will definately be attending, simply because she plays a big part in the dogs life. She will not be the primary caregiver of the dogs while Im recovering from surgery though. I mentioned I will be having my adult brother and sister coming up from Canada. I mentioned my daughter will be providing alot of the attention (cuddles and lovin) the dogs need, and will be providing them with alot of the excercise they get (springpole, fenced yard activities etc.) while it will be my brother and sisters responsibility to walk/run the dogs. The dogs are great in the crate, so we will definately be using them when Im recovering.

We'll have to see how things go over the next while. Like I said.. we've had another incident with Jaida today, that may have to change things completely.
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Postby SisMorphine » August 11th, 2006, 7:08 am

anissa wrote:Like I said.. we've had another incident with Jaida today, that may have to change things completely.

What happened?
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Postby Romanwild » August 11th, 2006, 7:14 am

I look forward to meeting you guys!
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Postby anissa » August 11th, 2006, 7:50 pm

SisMorphine wrote:What happened?


She bit me yesterday. I was sitting at the computer, and my husband was standing next to the desk talking to me. Jaida was sitting at his feet. I took my hand off of the mouse and just hung my arm over the chair, and she leaped towards my hand and chomp! I didnt move suddenly in any way to startle her.. again it was just out of nowhere.

There was blood this time, but she let go just as quickly as she did with the trainer incident. As soon as I yelled, she took off running. I wasnt handling treats or have any smell on my hand that could have prompted this.

Not that her biting someone else didnt make dealing with this behavior a priority, but her biting me and/or a family member makes it all that more urgent. Ive briefly talked with the lady who we got her from, and she knows of someone in the area available to come check her out. I'll follow up that evaluation with someone that Charles can recommend.


On a positive note: Charlie graduated top of the obedience class. We kept him in the class, he's been very well socialized with humans and animals since we've gotten him, and he did really well. The trainer.. when giving Charlie his certificate, was telling the class about the breed. How pits are very smart and despite what has been said about them, are very loyal and loving. Im glad she did this, regardless on how well she knows the breed.. especially after the whole class witnessed what happened with Jaida. She told my husband that she thinks Charlie is ready for the Good Citizen test, so thats what we're going to work with him on next.
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Postby Kingsgurl » August 11th, 2006, 8:32 pm

That sucks, Annissa. This was not a play bite? It doesn't sound like it, but just want to be clear. She, on purpose and unprovoked, bit you? JMO, but she may have just passed (or rather not passed) the eval stage.
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Postby anissa » August 11th, 2006, 8:44 pm

Well, we know what the dogs play bites feel like, and that wasnt a play bite. At the same time, I dont think it was a bite intended to take my finger off either, or she wouldnt have let go when I yelled. :|
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Postby Kingsgurl » August 11th, 2006, 8:59 pm

Like I said, Anissa, that really sucks. I am sorry you are going through this with her.
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Postby msvette2u » August 11th, 2006, 9:37 pm

anissa wrote:Well, we know what the dogs play bites feel like, and that wasnt a play bite. At the same time, I dont think it was a bite intended to take my finger off either, or she wouldnt have let go when I yelled. :|

I'm interested to see what Charles says about her. IMO, that sounds like her way of "communicating" and she needs to be taught bite inhibition. Does anyone know how her life began?
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Postby SisMorphine » August 11th, 2006, 10:20 pm

msvette2u wrote:
anissa wrote:Well, we know what the dogs play bites feel like, and that wasnt a play bite. At the same time, I dont think it was a bite intended to take my finger off either, or she wouldnt have let go when I yelled. :|

I'm interested to see what Charles says about her. IMO, that sounds like her way of "communicating" and she needs to be taught bite inhibition. Does anyone know how her life began?

However it began, it began 9 homes and two almost euths ago . . . and that is an insane amount of baggage for one dog.
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Postby msvette2u » August 11th, 2006, 10:36 pm

Oh yeah I agree - I'm just guessing, too. I am curious to hear what Charles has to say...
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Postby sadowner » August 11th, 2006, 11:56 pm

Hello, I am new, im far from an expert . Some of you know my dogs story. After reading this post it remind me alot of how i was with my dog.

I tried to make excuses because i LOVE him and didnt want to deal with what really hapend. :(

Im not passing judgment or anything, just posting what i think. :(
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Postby anissa » August 12th, 2006, 12:54 am

I read your story sadowner, and I am really sorry for the outcome you had to face. In all honesty, that is my biggest fear. Unfortunately, sometimes its the best thing, for our families and the dogs.
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Postby mnp13 » August 12th, 2006, 1:30 am

I've been bitten and I've been bitten. This dog sounds like she is out of control, not aggressive, just out of control.

If she wanted to attack you, she would have done actual damage. Aggression bites from this breed come with serious consequences.

Riggs had a bad habit of grabbing hands (it's 90% gone now). If you dangled your hands near him he poped up and niped at your hand and fingers. Sometimes he got me harder than others and occasionally he drew blood. No warning, just pop up and snap. He knows that treats / toys come from hands, and it's a habit he had when I got him. I made it MUCH worse after I got him because I instinctively jerked back from him when he popped up at me. My jumping made him worse, not better. I had to adjust how I related to him to fix the problem.

I haven't met you or the dog, but NONE of this sounds at all like aggression. None of it.

Some dogs will jump at you just to see you jump. It's a game; an annoying game, but still a game.

Put her in her crate, take her out three or four times a day to exercise her and to go to the bathroom and LEAVE HER THERE UNTIL YOU GO SEE A TRAINER. Having her loose in the house with you is not doing either of you any favors. Between the obedience class story and this one, there is a serious communication breakdown between you and your dog. It's your responsibility to identify it and fix it. Not one single word you have typed about her so far says "human aggressive" to me.
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Postby anissa » August 12th, 2006, 1:50 am

Thats what Im sayin.. if she really wanted to do damage, she would/could have. I hope.. through this whole mess that I havent come across like I am giving up on her. I am not trying to label her as HA, but due to the incidents that have happened, I need to be concerned and definately more aware.

How is a typical evaluation performed? She's actually had quite abit of temperment testing, considering all that she's been through.. but how exactly does an evaluation prove if she is 'sound' or not?

Despite some behavior problems that can be easily worked on, and this biting business.. she really is a good dog. She is very loyal and loving. She listens well, and does whatever she can to please us. All I want to hear is that she is alright, after the evaluation... we've only had her for a few weeks, but we are in love with this girl!
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Postby anissa » August 12th, 2006, 1:54 am

BTW: how did you fix the nipping problem with Riggs?

Jaida is a jumper, so Ive gotten used to it and she doesnt get any sort of jerk or reaction from when she does it. We give her a firm "OFF" and thats it. When we give her treats.. she hasnt mastered catching it or really doing any tricks with it.. so we hand feed them to her. She mouthed abit when she'd take them for the first few days, but now she's really good taking them and doesnt use teeth at all anymore.
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Postby mnp13 » August 12th, 2006, 2:09 am

anissa wrote:BTW: how did you fix the nipping problem with Riggs?

For one, I stopped getting mad at him for it. He nips because he's not being otherwise directed and he has a lot of energy and drive, not because he's vicious. It was pointed out to me that he really started chewing on me when I stopped haveing a training goal for him. I got lax, he got pushy, and it got worse from there. Handler error.

How is a typical evaluation performed?

Evaluations are different with every trainer, I can't tell you what you will see or do. Your dog has a behavorial problem, many (if not most) behavor problems are handler error, you will need as much training as Jaida does.

She's actually had quite abit of temperment testing, considering all that she's been through.. but how exactly does an evaluation prove if she is 'sound' or not?

I don't believe in "temperament testing".

The evaluation doesn't "prove" anything. It shows the trainer what the problems are with the dog and what the problems are with the handler and what the problems are with their interactions.

People don't have dog problems, dogs have people problems.

I am not trying to label her as HA, but due to the incidents that have happened, I need to be concerned and definately more aware.

Don't even think of the words "Human Aggressive" any more. Your dog nipped you and your dog nipped that trainer. It is not a big deal, and it is NOT human aggression. She is not lunging and attacking people who are walking by on the street. She is jumping up and being mouthy. That is a learned behavior.

Despite some behavior problems that can be easily worked on

Behavior problems are not "easily worked on"; they take a lot of time and consistancy. Your life is in upheaval right now and her problems will likely get a lot worse before they get better. Your family is going down by one when your husband leaves, then you will be in the hospital for a week, then your sister and brother will be there, you will be home but recovering, etc etc etc.

Dogs learn through routine and habit. Your home is going to have no routine or habit for quite some time. This is going to be VERY hard on both of your dogs. I meant what I said in my other post, you need to get your dogs used to longer crate time now because there is a good chance you are going to need it over the next couple months.
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Postby anissa » August 12th, 2006, 3:34 am

I thought an evaluation included testing much like temperment testing. Thanks for clarifying.

I know its going to be hard work retraining Jaida and curbing her bad behavior habits, especially with everything going on during the next few months. I meant its going to be easy.. in comparision to having to deal with Human Aggression if that WAS the case, in which I agree.. it's not. Personally.. anything will be easier than having to give her up or put her down. We just have to remember that consistency is key.

Luckily, I will only be in the hospital for the day of surgery, and in recovery for one night, then home the next day.. so long as there arent any complications. I will be up and walking the day of surgery, and should be back to my normal self within a week.. apart from lifting heavy objects (ie: dogs) for a couple of weeks to be safe. Thats where my family comes in.. but I feel better knowing I will still be around and mobile enough to give them proper direction. I met with the surgeon yesterday, and we're looking at a date of mid to late November now, so I still have time to work with Jaida. My husband also mentioned taking his 2 week R&R during that time.. so that'll work out even better.

I think we'll all be alright when Jake leaves next week. Right now, as it is.. I am the one that keeps the dogs on schedule and keeps the structure around here. My husband is simply the dog walker and night time cuddler. lol

They might feel some stress off of me or from his absense the first few days, but other than that things will remain the same. We'll just have to see how it goes and work from there.

Thank god my dogs love the crate!
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Postby Kingsgurl » August 12th, 2006, 9:56 am

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with some of what mnp posted. Some dogs ARE wired wrong and it has nothing to do with the handler. Sometimes it is rude, untrained behavior, but other times it is not. Just as it is impossible to assess this dog and suggest euth over the internet, it is equally irresponsible to suggest that the dog is 'fine' and just needs more work. She is in a home with children, is she not?
Why don't you e-mail someone like BADRAP, Anissa? (http://www.badrap.org)
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