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Old 02-14-2013, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Worried

Karma started barking and growling, with fur on edge at men she doesn't know. I'm not really sure where this came from, she's been meeting new people since the day I got her & she's normally around more men then women, I'm the only girl she really spends time with.

I've had a blue pit ( he was already two when i had rescued him) with male aggression before, but it was cause because he was beaten and burned with chemicals by a man. I was able to stop his aggression but it took a really long time and it was a lot of hard work.
Karma has never had anything negative like that happen to her. It started about a month ago when she turned 7 months.
No rhyme or reason.

I carry treats and have guys give them to her when they pass and she doesn't react, but it hasn't made a difference.

Do u guys have any advice????




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Last edited by Karmagirl; 02-14-2013 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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chances are the "blue" pit bull you had wasn't a pit bull. But that's beside the point.

you have any people willing to work with you to desensitize her to others? Giving treats to a dog that is having anxiety is telling her that anxiety is good! that you like how she behaves when she is anxious. The key is to watch her body and notice when she is stressed. THEN wait her out until she relaxes THEN reward. you want to reward the behavior you like not the bad behavioir.

Can you read her signals? My dog licks his lips, tighten his back leg muscles a bit when he is fearful and if he is about to go after something (squirrel, dog, etc) he will stop breathing really quick and tense up and go to lunge. Its before that point I intervene to get him focused on something else. I try VERY hard to NOT let him get to the panting, lip licking, butt tight state.

for instance my dog HATES trucks and Buses. I live in a city. its sucks. before we got 40 inches of snow dumped on us, I would bring my boy up to the train/bus station up the street from me. TONS of buses come through pretty steady all day. I walk towards the buses and when I notice him getting anxious I make him sit. We do a few tricks he know 100% and is very confident with. His demeanor changes when he KNOWS what is expected of him. I then take a few steps closer to where the buses enter until he gets nervous again. Then I wait him out again doing some tricks and until he is fully relaxed. Its takes TIME and patience. I am still about 40 feet away... one day we will walk between the buses, you can count on it!!!

Does that help? or did I misunderstand your question?
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Last edited by ames; 02-15-2013 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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She is 7 months and it could just be fear stage.
DO NOT have strangers give her treats. Instead have her ignore people and and don't let people walk up to her. If she is already worried by men making them give her treats and approach her can make it worse. Instead having her ignore other people all together and focus on you is what she needs. Not everyone has to pet your dog and really I HATE it when someone tries to pet my dog without asking. My dogs are fine with people but when we are in public they are to pay attention to me not everyone around me. When I am training a dog who has fear issues we build a solid foundation of Obed and have them ignore the surroundings. Pretty soon strange people just fade away to the background and are no longer a concern.
If someone comes to your house put her in a crate for now. If she is in public and reacts to a man then correct her (whatever is appropriate for you dog) and let her know that is not allowed or what you want. You want the correct enough to stop the behavior but not make her scared of you. There is a good middle ground. After the effective correction get her to focus on you (with food) and reward her for looking at you.
Don't be the one to just shove food in face when she reacts to someone..... that does nothing! instead correct it, then bring her focus on you and reward. Soon she will learn that is not the proper way to react to a stranger instead she is to ignore them and focus on you.

Fear stages come and go and if you make a big deal out of it then it becomes a problem. If you tell her it's ok and not to be scared.... you are telling her it's ok to be scared and it's justified by reassuring her.
A few of my dogs have gone through the same thing and you just work through it.


Now the other possibility is it is more than a fear stage and she is a weak nerved dog. That doesn't mean she is a bad dog but just her temperament. In that case I would not treat her any different than above but it is a character flaw you learn to work around. With bad breeding practices from BYB's you can see temperament flaws and you just work around them. Even good breeders can produce a dog with weak nerves.... it happens.... you just learn to adapt but that does NOT mean you have to accept crappy behavior with your dog acting out in public. I have a few dogs who were rescues who do not like strangers. You would never know in public because I have control over them and do not put them in a situation where they are setup to fail.... Like have strangers give my dogs treats.....

If its a fear stage once she gets better and thinks men are no longer scary then you can have friends start to interact with her again if she is comfortable. I say friends because if you have strange people you do not know approach your dog and god forbid they got bit..... That's not a liability I would want to have!
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Worried

Ames:
Thank you for you're advice, I'm sorry my first post was kinda sloppy and unclear. The treats where given to her when she didn't react and sat quietly.
I can read her body language she gets really tense, her tail goes I between her legs and the hair on the back of her neck and on her back goes up. She also gets the really intense stare, I have to completely redirect her or turn her the other way in order to break it.
That was a good idea to do tricks to try and distract her! I'm defiantly gonna try that out

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I am defiantly gonna try that. i defiantly want her just to ignore them. I don't like when stranger pet my dog without asking either , that's actually part of the reason I got the nose lead for her. She gets so worked up when people walk by its hard to control her. The nose lead has done wonders.

At fist I thought it was a fear thing too, but I think You where right about the bad nerves, she is so sensitive and submissive it's nuts. I think that's part of the reason I was so blind sided by this aggression. At 6 months she started peeing every time went to pick her up or raised our voice at her. I've been working on confidence building, that has helped a bit. We have stopped picking her up unless its absolutely necessary

I have been keeping her in her crate when company comes over, that is one thing I learned fast with my blue nose. He was way more comfortable meeting people outside of his house, then when they came into the house. There isn't a worst feeling then having you're dog snap at someone. Defiantly never wanna come close to that point again.
And since karma didn't seem comfortable meeting people outside the house, I didn't wanna push having to deal with people In her house.



Did you have any dogs with bad nerves, how did you adapt you're methods to deal with that?




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Old 02-17-2013, 07:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Given her age, she is, most likely, experiencing her final developmental fear stage, and it does sound like she is a fearful (weak-nerved) dog to start. It is good that you are able to read her body language and see when she gets tense. You need to capture her after she notices the trigger (in her case, in this instance, men) but BEFORE she is close enough to react. Do NOT have the trigger approach her, just treat, treat, treat, ask for easy commands (watch me's) and move on. You can counter-condition the dogs response to a stimulus pretty quickly if you remain under threshold and the stimulus always equals a reward or pleasant experience. You do not decrease distance until the appearance of the stimulus is a strong predictor to the dog of a reward. You will see the change in body language. Fear is an emotion, and what you are trying to do with counter conditioning is change the emotional response to the trigger.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Working with dogs that are weak or thin nerved still depends on the dog. Each dog of course is different so they slightly different approaches. Like I said I just emerged them in Obed and everything else starts to melt away. Like Kingsgurl said it's changing the dogs response to these situations that's important. So instead of my dog getting nervous when she saw something that unnerved her, she would calm down and ignore it. I do the same thing with clients dogs when they have the same issues. It also applies to aggression and reactive dogs. Good luck it sounds like you are strong enough to work her through this!
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