Level 10 Aggression!
by Tiffany Sutton
(Mt. Carmel IL United States)
I have a 5 year old female pit bull that i rescued. She is very aggressive towards other animals and it's getting worse. I've tried everything and anything. I dont know what else to do.
I talked to a trainer that deals with aggressive pit bulls. She said that there's nothing more that we can do because she's at a 10 aggression level and the only other option is to put her down. I don't want to do that because she's my baby.
She's great with people and kids just not animals. I just don't know what else to do because it's getting really bad. I don't want to see another animal get seriously hurt by her or anything else. So can someone please help me in what I should do. My email roughnecksbaby at
Wow! That's rough to have a trainer give up on you. Here are my thoughts. Of course, I know little of your situation (whether you have other pets or your living circumstances regularly brings your dog into contact with other animals). But, I'm a little surprised that a trainer who specializes in pit bulls would recommend euthanasia for a pit that has a high prey drive but a people soft temperament.
Assuming you have the capability to manage your environment in such a way that your dog will not be allowed the opportunity to harm other animals, I think your first stop should be your vet's office. Ask whether Prozac might be appropriate. Research has shown that hyper-aggressive dogs often have unusually low serotonin levels along with high levels of cortisol in their systems.
SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) like Prozac can be helpful in combination with behavioral modification in lessening aggressive behavior in dogs.
BUT it's important to understand that the pill, by itself, is NOT a magic bullet. Rather it's thought that the drug balances the dog's out-of-whack brain chemistry so that learning through counter-conditioning and obedience training can actually take place. Whereas before the dog was so worked up, it was unable learn.
Dog aggression and high prey drive are pretty common in pit bulls. But, it sounds like your dog's aggression level is really over-the-top. And, if that's the case, then maybe it's time for pharmacological intervention.
Good luck. I hope you'll post back and let us know what you find out from your vet.