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Old 02-03-2014, 09:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Question about Pit Bull Behavior

Hello, I am new to this forum.. Just a brief summary, My girlfriend and I have been living together in a new place with two adopted, 3.5 year old male pit bulls (adopted from different locations) for about a month. They have been together in our place for a month and 3 weeks during the holidays in a dog behaviorist camp. They get along well together and were approved by the dog behaviorist for living together and no human or dog aggression.

When on walks, Zeke the blue pit, shows more of an interest in dogs and prey. Toro the red nose, is more of a follower and will react if the energy level gets that high. We have never had any issues with people, either on a walk or coming into our house. The dogs normally greet them and follow them around, just looking for attention. Toro never barked for the time we had him before Zeke.

I'd like to get some opinions and feedback on the only issue that we have had so far is when my girlfriend's brother came to visit on Saturday night. He is a bigger guy, with a raspy voice and smells like cigarettes.

When he came in through the door Zeke was the first to greet. No barking and let him pet him no problem. Toro was a little more cautious, coming over to lick his offered hand then turning back and just watching. The brother was kneeling down petting Zeke on his side and head, tail was going. When the brother went to stand up, Zeke still let him pet him. When the brother leaned over to get closer to Zeke, Zeke jumped at him unexpectedly and hit his cheek with his nose. This surprised us all.

After this Zeke, started growling as I had to pull him back. Toro got in on the growling and barking. I had to lay Zeke on the ground in a submissive position to calm him down. Toro calmed down and sat behind me on the couch.

At this point we had the brother sit on the couch and Zeke on the floor. We let Zeke walk over to him and he got up on the couch and laid on the brother with his front paws over his legs and the brother petting his head, making sure to keep his face away from Zeke's when Zeke looked back at him.

All was good at this point. We gave the brother treats and he fed them both, all while seated.

After a while, we wanted to show the brother the rest of the house. I suggested we get the dogs down first and on the other side of the room, then he can stand up, just to be sure. I got Toro and Zeke off the couches and on the other side of the room. As soon as the brother stood up, Zeke growled and went after him, biting him in the backside. I had to grab Zeke and put them both in the other room for the rest of the night.

I am not sure why Zeke didnt like him from the start. I dont know if it was something about his physical appearance or some motion he made that made Zeke on the offensive.

I know we havent spent alot of time with these dogs yet, and I dont mind if he did that to an intruder, but he needs to know who is friend and who is causing harm to his owners.

What do you guys think made him attack when the brother was standing? I've had my other friends over and some are as big as him, and they loved them...

Thank you for your help
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
 

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He bit somebody twice. I would put him down.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It could be ha (human aggression) could be a medical issue. Have you been for a vet check? Just to make sure there isn't an underlying problem? We have one friend that our girl doesn't like. She growls and barks at him when he's over. We put her in a different room or.crate if he comes over which isn't often.

Personally I won't stand for HA. But I would make sure it wasn't a medical issue or something he did before I made a choice on euthanasia.

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Old 02-03-2014, 10:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wait, let me get this straight and don't get offended from my being blunt! I'm tryin to help ya here!
did you say you moved in together recently? And did i get it right that you just tossed two apbt's into the same house with no rules put in place first?
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cain's Mom View Post
It could be ha (human aggression) could be a medical issue. Have you been for a vet check? Just to make sure there isn't an underlying problem? We have one friend that our girl doesn't like. She growls and barks at him when he's over. We put her in a different room or.crate if he comes over which isn't often.

Personally I won't stand for HA. But I would make sure it wasn't a medical issue or something he did before I made a choice on euthanasia.

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I have had many people over and the dogs were fine. It was just my girlfriends brother that he had an issue with. I suppose my girlfriend is now afraid he will turn on us.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I'd keep them separate. Have read of too many story of the "pitbull pack dogs" attacking people.

"Better safe than sorry" is the best proverb of the day.

As for human aggression, that is a no-no with this breed. Then again, blues are not American (pit) Bull Terriers, IMO.

Question: why not just one dog?

As for growling, that is a sign of fear and is a threat display. But caution is needed, as if your dogs act the pack, one will follow the other.

I'm no "professional" dog trainer, and personally do not tolerate it in a dog for any reason, so I'll let others help you in that area.

Just saw the "bit" part. I follow catchrcall on this one. I'd put it down. That was a warning for you if you can read it.
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Last edited by Goemon; 02-03-2014 at 11:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well its hard to say not being there, but a few things come to mind. one, it takes a bit to get over the honeymoon stage in dogs. When some people meet people for the first time they don't behave like their true personality and typically need time to adjust. Maybe your dogs over the honeymoon period and there has not bee a clearly defined leader and he felt he need to take that role when threatened. (leaning over a dog is threatening to a dog, especially one not used to his surroundings). Then when he stood up the dog may have thought he was going towards him. Leaning over a dog is stressful to a LOT of dogs. A stranger in "their" home touching the dogs head could be stressful. Who knows like I said I wasn't there. Then you have TWO dogs about the same age, both from who knows where who have dealt with who knows what now living in a new situation. HOLY STRESS they have no clue who to listen to. or maybe your dog is Human Aggressive, but it seems like he got spooked from what you described never seeing and previously meeting new people before.

Since you rescued these dogs you have no idea what breed they are but my guess is society would label them a pit bull, so you have to be careful and diligent from this point on and be responsible for who your dog meets and who he doesn't. You may have some that feel your dog needs to be immediately put down. I am under the impression you do not know how to read your dogs signals and if you were able to the situation could have been avoided. I am not placing blame on you or anyone, I am just trying to get you to understand you can learn to predict his behavior and make sure it never happens again.

Do you know if he was temperament tested at the shelter he came from? Where was he rescued? I would recommend finding a behaviorist in your area to come and temp test the dog themselves and then find a qualified trainer to help you with your dog. there are many ways to avoid this. Starting until you seek professional help not allowing ANY strangers to greet your dog. Keep your dog and everyone else safe.

My dog is slow to warm up to people. I need them to enter my house while my dog is in his "place". By giving him something to do, waiting on his bed, he isn't anxious and unsure of what is expected of him. I do not allow people who enter my home to greet my dog until he is calm and non reactive, not stressed, back to his old relaxed self. The guest and I sit start talking, doing whatever. Then when mel is relaxed I tell him its ok to come meet whoever arrived. the visitor still does not look or make contact with Mel. I allow my dog to come and sniff on his own time, watching closely to see how he is reacting. I can visually see my dogs body language go from 'who is this stranger' to 'oh he is cool I can do my own thing'. I still NEVER let my guard down. My dog has never gone after anyone in my home, but I saw signs of discomfort with someone one time and I learned what to look for and now I let him tell me when he is OK and comfortable.

Dogs do not just turn on people. They show clear signs that get ignored ALL THE TIME until its too late.
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Last edited by ames; 02-03-2014 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I love dogs with a passion, but if mine ever attack someone for no cause I will have it put down. These dogs are just too powerful if aggressive towards humans.

Last edited by absea; 02-04-2014 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
 

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Maybe owners are telegraphing a problem? dogs sense the nervousness of owners in certain situations and get on their alert.

Last edited by shonno; 02-09-2014 at 01:00 AM. Reason: mis spelling
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shonno View Post
Maybe owners are telegraphing a problem? dogs sense the nervousness of owners in certain situations and get on their alert.
So the brother was "telegraphing" nervousness in the presence of 2 new carnivores in the house, and then actually got bit by one of them.. Seems brother was right..

Does that sound like a defensive attack that should condone questioning the "alert" of the dog? Cause to me it sounds like aggression towards people, and what use does that dog have in their home?

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