My pitbull is showing agression towards my family members now!

by Noemi
(Illinois)


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!

Gale's Reply:

Hi Noemi

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.




Comments for
My pitbull is showing agression towards my family members now!

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Nov 22, 2010
dozer
by: Anonymous

I HAVE TO TELL YOU DOZER IS VERY HANDSOME. I KNOW THE TROUBLE YOU ARE HAVING MY 5 YR OLD PITBULL BUDDAH WAS NEVER DOG AGGRESSIVE WE HAVE ANOTHER 11 YR OLD SHEPARD GOLDEN MIX THEY GET ALONG GREAT BUT WITH OTHER DOGS HE IS AGGRESSIVE. HE WAS ATTACHED BY A BIG GREAT PARANESES 2 YRS AGO & THAT IS WHEN MY TROUBLES BEGAN. ON OUR WALKS IT IS A NITEMARE OF CONSTATLY PULLING ESPECELLY WHEN WE SEE ANOTHER DOG & IT IS TO THE POINT WHERE HE DOES THE SAME THING WITH PEOPLE. BUDDAH LOVES PEOPLE THAT I KNOW. MY ADVCE GET A TRAINER I AM WORKING WITH ONE & SHE TRAINS DOGS AT THE ANIMAL SHELTERS & IS VERY REASONABLE BECAUSE DOG TRAINNERS ARE VERY EXPENSIVE. TRY THAT YOU REALL NEED TO GET HIM TRAINED YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO GIVE HIM UP IF HE BITES SOMEONE. GOOD LUCK

Nov 22, 2010
Dozer
by: Noemi

Thank you for your advice! It keeps me hopeful knowing im not the only one going through this and that another dog (not a pitbull) was a big part of my troubles with dozer. Its hurtful when people see him and think that he was born like that. He has been working with a trainer ever since he was a puppy yet i think it is our job to really put those practices into effect concretely now. Thank you again and good luck to you as well!

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