Need Some Help Please (Long)

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Postby Vanessa » August 23rd, 2006, 7:40 am

As some of you may or may not know i have had some problems with Ozzy in the past. When he was around 1 and a half he began acting aggressively towards people that he didn't know. He lunged at someone walking by in the street and tried to nip/bite them. I wasn't with him at the time, my mother was and it totally scared me to death because i know what a bad sign that is.

I went out and bought a muzzle (not the best solution i know) and didn't let anyone walk him but me. At this time alot of different things were going on in our lives and i thought Ozzy might just be acting out because of all the changes. A couple of weeks later when i was letting my other dog Titan outside Oz charged out and when i grabbed him to take him back in he jumped on me and scratched my face. I origianly thought that he bit me because in all the comfusion i didn't see if it was his teeth or his nails that got me. I later figured out that it must have been his nails because i only had a small (but deep) cut on my face and it did not look like a bite at all.

I got really scared about this and also my boyfriend who had just moved in with me had Ozzy act aggressively towards him when i wasn't home and Titan would intervene. It only happened once or twice and my boyfriend was kind of freaked out but not really until Oz jumped at me.

So i called around and found the best trainer on PEI, and took Ozzy for the first evaluation. The trainer said that he didn't believe that Oz was a HA dog and that he just needed us to show him who the Alpha is. Oz hadn't really had alot of disapline and now that i had 2 dogs on my hands he was getting less (Titan was a dream to handle by the way. A wonderfuly well behaved dog).

I made the extremely difficult decision to rehome Titan with a family outside of town and i feel that it was the best decision that i could have made under the circumstances. I had to concentrate on Ozzy's problems and since Titan had no problems i thought he should be the one i rehomed. I miss him every day.


We took Oz to the trainer for 3 months and did NILIF at home and did alot of training at home. After a few inital battles Oz improved so much that we thought our problems were over. It is completely my fault for stopping the NILIF (well not sticking to all of it) and even though we had watered it down alot he has been behaving really well for the last year or so.

Every once in awhile he would bark at some one in the street while my boyfriend was walking him but he never did it with me. (Unless the person had an umbrella. He is terrified of umbrellas). Then yesterday i was putting him in his crate and he decided that he didn't want to go in. Most times he runs right in but every once in a while he won't. Anyway being stupid i was bent over him pulling on his collar and pushing his butt in. He jumped up and nipped/ head butted me in the face. Again i didn't feel any teeth just a sharp blow to the face but my boyfriend was standing there and says he saw his teeth but isn't sure if that's what cut me. My lip bled ALOT and i freaked out a bit. I have braces so i can't say whether or not his teeth actully came in contact. It seems to me if they did i would be in much worse shape.

Either way i think what he did was a dominance thing right? I was standing over him and making him do something that he didn't want to do and so he corrected me? I have implemented NILIF again and we will not be going off it again. I just really need some advice on any other training or behavioral issues with him. My boyfriend thinks that he might have to be PTS. Is he right? After reading all the posts about Anissa's and Sadowner's dogs i'm not sure. Any thoughts would be appriciated. Sorry for the extremely long post, i'm just really worried. I love him very much but if he is a danger to me or anyone else, i know what to do. If there are any other options though i will do anything.

I will be taking Oz to the vet for his check up and when we go i'm getting them to do the blood test to check his thyroid just to rule that out as well.

Thanks for your time.
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Postby SpiritFngrz » August 23rd, 2006, 7:57 am

It sounds like to me if he did so great on the NILIF, that is the best thing to do. I wouldn't make any rash decisions. He sounds like he is being more bratty, much like what Anissa said Jaida was acting like. I would just re-implement the NILIF and see if that helps. It doesn't sound like he is acting to the extent sadowner's dog was acting.
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Postby Vanessa » August 23rd, 2006, 8:22 am

That's pretty much what i was thinking too. He's almost 3 so hopefuly with the NILIF and growing more mature he will be ok. I'm going to keep him on the NILIF for the rest of his life. I think he needs it. Thanks.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 10:15 am

Sounds like you were being "corrected" by him---he was reprimanding you.

Dogs in general, and pitbulls specifically, are prone to responding to what they perceive as overly harsh treatment---not saying you were being harsh, but maybe to your boy, because he didn't want to be crated, he felt you were.

There tends to be alot of over-reaction and unrealistic expectation that a pitbull never, ever be anything other than happy, joyful and well-behaved. At the end of the day, they're just dogs, too, and they will act as such. Plus, alot of the "pitbulls" these days have obviously been mixed with some other breed.

A reprimand boink, jump, or mouth graze is very different from a dog who bites.

Reinforce your NILIF training, get back into some training classes, and have him evaluated if you're worried. Just make sure the evaluator is well versed in bully breeds. Pitbull hysteria can cause even evaluators to make bad assessments.
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Postby Big_Ant » August 23rd, 2006, 11:26 am

a-bull wrote:There tends to be alot of over-reaction and unrealistic expectation that a pitbull never, ever be anything other than happy, joyful and well-behaved. At the end of the day, they're just dogs, too, and they will act as such.


I have to disagree. While I do agree from a quick reading that it doesn't seem like this dog is 'over the top', I think that far too many people use the statement you made above to justify their dogs actions and not accept some of the signs that are there.

These dogs have a long and storied history as you well know, and one of the main characteristics was the temperament.

True, there are many many mixed dogs out there that people called "Pit Bulls", and obviously those will not be entirely accurate to the breed's history, but IMO, far too many people look for ways to justify their dogs actions and avoid seeing the truth.

One of my biggest issues is when people say, "Oh, he's completely afraid of X". Unless X is something that is absolutely oddball, I don't understand how someone can just leave it status quo.

- Anthony
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 11:30 am

Big_Ant wrote:
a-bull wrote:There tends to be alot of over-reaction and unrealistic expectation that a pitbull never, ever be anything other than happy, joyful and well-behaved. At the end of the day, they're just dogs, too, and they will act as such.


I have to disagree. While I do agree from a quick reading that it doesn't seem like this dog is 'over the top', I think that far too many people use the statement you made above to justify their dogs actions and not accept some of the signs that are there.

These dogs have a long and storied history as you well know, and one of the main characteristics was the temperament.

True, there are many many mixed dogs out there that people called "Pit Bulls", and obviously those will not be entirely accurate to the breed's history, but IMO, far too many people look for ways to justify their dogs actions and avoid seeing the truth.

One of my biggest issues is when people say, "Oh, he's completely afraid of X". Unless X is something that is absolutely oddball, I don't understand how someone can just leave it status quo.

- Anthony


Maybe far too many people use the statement I used to justify their dogs actions, but I don't.
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Postby Big_Ant » August 23rd, 2006, 11:32 am

a-bull wrote:
Big_Ant wrote:
a-bull wrote:There tends to be alot of over-reaction and unrealistic expectation that a pitbull never, ever be anything other than happy, joyful and well-behaved. At the end of the day, they're just dogs, too, and they will act as such.


I have to disagree. While I do agree from a quick reading that it doesn't seem like this dog is 'over the top', I think that far too many people use the statement you made above to justify their dogs actions and not accept some of the signs that are there.

These dogs have a long and storied history as you well know, and one of the main characteristics was the temperament.

True, there are many many mixed dogs out there that people called "Pit Bulls", and obviously those will not be entirely accurate to the breed's history, but IMO, far too many people look for ways to justify their dogs actions and avoid seeing the truth.

One of my biggest issues is when people say, "Oh, he's completely afraid of X". Unless X is something that is absolutely oddball, I don't understand how someone can just leave it status quo.

- Anthony


Maybe far too many people use the statement I used to justify their dogs actions, but I don't.


Nobody said you did, but by you posting it, someone who is new to the breed, or just learning about the breed, might construe that as factual, which I do not believe it is.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 11:40 am

I understand what you're saying, and I agree.

I will say, however, that I have seen the over-reactions and unrealistic expectations first hand over and over again. If my statement were just an opinion and I had never witnessed it, I would have said "It's my opinion . . . "

. . . but I think I understand your point~You don't want someone new to the breed writing off some red-flag behavior as an over-reaction, right? I'd agree with that.
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Postby Big_Ant » August 23rd, 2006, 11:43 am

a-bull wrote:. . . but I think I understand your point~You don't want someone new to the breed writing off some red-flag behavior as an over-reaction, right? I'd agree with that.

Precisely! :)

- Anthony
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 11:49 am

Big_Ant wrote:
a-bull wrote:. . . but I think I understand your point~You don't want someone new to the breed writing off some red-flag behavior as an over-reaction, right? I'd agree with that.

Precisely! :)

- Anthony


Yup, gotcha. :wink:

I usually try to remember to recommend a bully-breed savvy behaviorist in most of my posts addressing naughty behaviors, particularly for newbies, but I agree with you. I don't want to send the wrong message. :)
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Postby Vanessa » August 23rd, 2006, 12:32 pm

Thanks for your opinions guys. I am definately going to be doing everything you guys suggested. I am defiantely not going to sugar coat anything. I just don't believe that he's HA from all the things i've read and from dogs i saw that were HA.

I have no idea why he is afraid of umbrellas but everytime he sees one he gets scared and barks or trys to run away. I'm not saying that i think it's right for him to bark at a stranger with one.

He is mixed with lab so who knows where his traits come from. I just want him to be the best DOG he can be and be a good ambassador for his breed (pit bull and lab).

Do you think that his behavior is "red flag" or just bratty? He has been evaluated by a very good trainer who has worked with lots of pit bulls and that trainer did not think he was HA. Can he develop it since then? His behavior back then was much worse then it is now.

I don't want to over react or under react but sometimes i do feel a little scared of him. I hate that i do and mostly it's undeserved. He is really a great dog 95% of the time and i think with some hard work he can be 100% of the time.
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 23rd, 2006, 12:42 pm

Do you think that his behavior is "red flag" or just bratty? He has been evaluated by a very good trainer who has worked with lots of pit bulls and that trainer did not think he was HA. Can he develop it since then? His behavior back then was much worse then it is now.


Based on what you have said he just sounds bratty to me. Of course, you know that no one can evaluate him on-line but that is what I take from your description.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 12:44 pm

You are obviously trying to do the right thing and not make excuses, so I bet you two will be fine. :)

It does not sound like h.a. to me, either, but particularly in light of the fact that a pitbull savvy trainer did not think so either.

Run a search regarding human aggression in dogs. You will quickly realize why the trainer does not think your guy is h.a. :wink:
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Postby rockermom » August 23rd, 2006, 12:48 pm

However as a first time bully owner I apreciate that explination. Because of all I read my expectations of my dog was to be this incredible always happy never dominant do what I say and dont talk back dog. And it's not that way and when he does back talk it makes me way overract and worry. being the anxious person that I am.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 12:55 pm

rockermom wrote:However as a first time bully owner I apreciate that explination. Because of all I read my expectations of my dog was to be this incredible always happy never dominant do what I say and dont talk back dog. And it's not that way and when he does back talk it makes me way overract and worry. being the anxious person that I am.


Probably that naughty Lab breed in him, lol.

I hear ya. The hysteria in the media and regarding pitbulls in general these days does not help fer sure.

Hang in there. I own two that are a shining example of dogs that others would have tossed out, and they are awesome now---lots of work, but awesome and more than worth it. :)
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Postby mnp13 » August 23rd, 2006, 2:13 pm

a-bull wrote:Sounds like you were being "corrected" by him---he was reprimanding you.

Dogs in general, and pitbulls specifically, are prone to responding to what they perceive as overly harsh treatment---not saying you were being harsh, but maybe to your boy, because he didn't want to be crated, he felt you were.

There tends to be alot of over-reaction and unrealistic expectation that a pitbull never, ever be anything other than happy, joyful and well-behaved. At the end of the day, they're just dogs, too, and they will act as such. Plus, alot of the "pitbulls" these days have obviously been mixed with some other breed.

A reprimand boink, jump, or mouth graze is very different from a dog who bites.

Reinforce your NILIF training, get back into some training classes, and have him evaluated if you're worried. Just make sure the evaluator is well versed in bully breeds. Pitbull hysteria can cause even evaluators to make bad assessments.


EXCELLENT POST.
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Postby Vanessa » August 23rd, 2006, 5:59 pm

Thanks everyone. I am really relieved to hear that he is most likely just being a jerk. I know that noone can diagnose a problem over the internet but you guys have alot more experiance then me!


I have a problem with not giving in to him when he looks at me with his sweet little face. I think in this case the owner needs as much work as the dog :oops: I'm going to work hard at keeping him in line.
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 23rd, 2006, 10:03 pm

I have a problem with not giving in to him when he looks at me with his sweet little face.


OH NO!!!!!!!!!!! No one told you the FIRST rule of ownership!! NEVER look them in the face!! They will turn you to butta!
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Postby Vanessa » August 24th, 2006, 11:26 am

SOOOOOOO true!!!! :P Too cute for their own good. lol
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Postby prinpoms » August 24th, 2006, 9:58 pm

The eyes get me every time.
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