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Old 01-01-2012, 05:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Need advice with socializing

Hello. New guy to the forum here. Im looking for some tips and advice for socializing my dog with other dogs. I took in a Pitbull from a rescue last May near West Philadelphia. He's 2 years old. I was told he was a bait dog. From what I understand, he was tied to a tree and other Pitbulls "practiced" their fighting skills on him. (Im not a fighting expert and not sure how accuate of a definition that is for a bait dog, its just what the rescue told me.) Anyways, Dock is doing great since Ive had him. Well manered, loves people and kids, very playful and friendly. The only problem with him is that he absolutely hates other dogs. (which is understandable given his past) Ive tried with neigbor's pets, dog parks, other Pitbulls, etc. Ive read numeous articals, blogs, books trying to break this but nothing has worked. If anyone has any tips or advice it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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DA { dog aggression} is very common in this breed so socializing isnt always to do with other dogs especially if he is showing signs of DA already. You dont want to set him up to fail and if he dont like other dogs then he dont like other dogs no point pushing it, you could end up with some injuries to your dog or someone elses if you do. I would focus more on socializing with people and new places vs other dogs , as well as work on obedience so when your in a situation with say an off leash dog you can maintain some control over the situation and your dogs attention. Here are some great threads to get you started on here, hope they help.
https://www.gopitbull.com/do-yourself...-dog-park.html
https://www.gopitbull.com/obedience-t...our-puppy.html
https://www.gopitbull.com/general-dis...dog-parks.html
https://www.gopitbull.com/general-dis...dog-fight.html
https://www.gopitbull.com/schutzhund/...-training.html
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some dogs just don't like other dogs. And considering your rescues history, why force him to socialize with the very thing he fears and hates the most?

As long as he's good with people, I would focus more on managing his fear-aggression towards other dogs.

You can teach him the 'Watch' or 'Focus' command, which you can use on walks to get him to focus on you and ignore any other dogs he sees.

Does he go nuts (barking, growling, lunging, etc) when he sees another dog? If he does, you can use the LAT (Look At That) method.

Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog

This basically teaches him that he doesn't need to erupt when he sees another dog and he can ignore the other dog. You can start teaching Dock the basic method with his toys or something. When you see him look at the toy, say Yes! and treat him. Every time he glances at the toy, say Yes! and treat. Eventually he'll start offering the behavior, the looking at the toy, on his own. That's when you'll want to "name" the behavior. As he looks at the toy, say Look!, and then treat him.

Once he understands that you saying Look! means you want him to look at something, then you can move on to actual dogs.

You start off with Dock as far away from the other dog as possible before he starts reacting. You want him to be "sub-threshold" or under his reactive line so that you're not rewarding him for reacting. When you see him look at the other dog (but NOT react), you say Look! and treat him.

You slowly and gradually progress closer and closer to the other dog, as LONG as Dock is not reacting. If he does react, you've gone too far and need to do a quick u-turn away from the other dog and keep walking until he calms down again. Then you start the process over again.

At this point, Dock doesn't like dogs and probably never will. He's had too much of a negative history with them. Socializing him with other dogs can be dangerous for Dock and the other dog unless handled and observed by a trainer who knows what they're doing. Focus on management and love your dog for who he is, not what you think he should be.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
 

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Thanks for the advice. I havent been pushing the issue too much, he loves kids, adults, people have never been a problem. A lot of people in the neighborhood dont use leashes when they let their dogs out. So when Im walking mine, we run into a lot of them which doesnt help the situation.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Id look into carrying a break stick and possibly mase or bear spray { depends on your laws about that stuff} . But getting { can make one easily or buy from online} a break stick and learning how to properly use it may save some time and injuries if something does happen with one of those off leash dogs.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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He doesn't growl, he never barks, and Ive never let it escalate to the point where I think something bad is going to happen. We had a few close calls, he usually gets completely still before he has had enough with the other dog. Thats usually the tippig point and we walk away.
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