Suddenly Aggressive Behavior Toward Family
We have a 10 month old female pit. She is usually very friendly and affectionate. We have had her since she was 5 weeks old. She has gone to the dog park since she was 8 weeks. She loves other dogs and people.
We have recently had to move in with my parents. She has 5 acres to run around on and another dog to play with. She is mostly an inside dog. Where we lived before, we could not have fences, so we went with her when she went outside. She has never been teased, hit or abused. She is spoiled rotten and usually very sweet.
Lately, she has been aggressive with my 12 year old son. She gets a "look" about her and then goes after him. She growls and tries to jump on him. I have been able to stop her. However, last night, she followed him into a room, jumped up on the bed and bit him. She drew blood and one puncture is fairly deep. She is usually very close to him.
He spends a lot of time with her playing fetch and chase for the ball. She sleeps with him every night. She is more affectionate with him than anybody else. He is very frightened of her now. She is a huge part of our family but I don't know what to do at this point. Please help!!! Any suggestions??? Gale's Reply:
When a previously happy affectionate dog suddenly gets aggressive towards humans, it can be a signal that there's an underlying medical issue. I would get her
to the vet ASAP. Explain what's happening and insist on a thorough work-up.
As I read your description of the incident with your son, it sounds entirely unprovoked. Assuming he is a dog-savvy kid who knows when to give an animal its space, to not bother it when it's eating or sleeping, etc, makes the incident all the more perplexing. I mention it because some children unwittingly (not intending to be mean) do things that dogs don't like. But, that doesn't seem to be the case with what you've described about your son.
Your recent move to live with your parents who apparently also have a dog may have caused her to feel insecure. Structure is important to dogs. Some more so than others. That's not an excuse. Just an observation.
Any time a dog bites a human without provocation, it's a serious thing. If there's no medical basis for her behavior, then I strongly recommend you get a professional involved--preferably a behaviorist or a trainer who will come to your home and observe your girl and her interactions with each of you in her natural environment.
Until you get to the bottom of this, I wouldn't allow your dog to continue sleeping with your son. It's understandable that he would be wary of her--especially since she went out of her way (followed him into his room) to bite him. For the time being, I think an adult needs to be available to intervene if necessary whenever the two of them together.
Good luck. I do hope you'll write back and let us know how things are going.