My pitbull is showing agression towards my family members now!
Hello there! I am so happy to have found your site! My fiancee and I have had our pitbull since he was a puppy for a year and a half now. He has been in two altercations with other dogs, one he was bit and the other he attacked. He is a rescue dog and was taken from a breeder because they were planning to fight him. My dog (Dozer) shows agression towards dogs which we knew and were prepared for. Yet, now he is showing agression towards some strangers and some of these strangers happen to be my family members.
I am not sure how to handle this situation because I know him to be a loving dog towards many other people. He is afraid of children too and shows agression to them also. If you have any feedback for me please let me know! Thank you for listening!
First off--you have a beautiful dog. As I'm sure you're aware, there's a lot at stake here. If Dozer bites someone, the consequences could be serious--for Dozer as well as for the person he bites. If this were my dog, I would be seeking out the services of a behaviorist or a trainer who is experienced with the breed.
You say he is afraid of children. Is he also afraid of adults he doesn't know? In other words, is his aggression motivated entirely by fear or is he guarding something or someone? It will make a difference in the approach.
For example, a dog whose aggression is fear based needs a classical counter-conditioning program like the one outlined in The Cautious Canine to help him gradually overcome his fears.
Whereas a dog that is guarding or wanting to be top dog needs to know that you are the leader and that he needs to relax and leave managing the environment in your capable hands.
While you can gain understanding and some good tips from reading books like these, I highly encourage you to let a professional guide you through this given the extent of his displays of aggression.
Please feel free to post back here if you have more questions.
For more information on obedience training, visit our Pit Bull Training page.
For help with behavioral problems, check out our Dog Behavior Training page.
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