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Old 08-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Despite early socialization and professional training...

hi, i'm new to the forum. I have an 8 month old pitbull. She is spayed. I have spent a lot of time trying to socialize and train my dog. I literally take her everywhere with me that we can go. She is very well trained in controlled environments and she is the most loveable, calm and well-behaved dog i have ever owned. But she has this one problem that is such a HUGE problem. I just can't seem to find the right training that works for her.

Karma is dog-aggressive/dog-excited. She is perfect around humans. She shows absolutely NO signs of aggression or excitement around them. However if there is even a hint of the scent of a dog (new or known), she goes absolutely crazy. I have been able to get her trained enough to where she will actually lay down or sit down next to me during this distraction, however she will yip, howl, whine, shake, fixate and foam at the mouth if another dog is anywhere close. She will refuse all treats, she will not give a crap about affection or anything at all. I know this is mostly excitement but it turns into aggression quickly. But it has become such a huge problem. I have paid money to take her to obedience classes with a trainer and she is still in the process of helping us. The thing is that Karma does fine once I have taken her to these "problem" places. She is actually very submissive to other dogs and humans. once she is trained to interact in a controlled environment she is fine. But I want a well socialized dog who can behave well in any environment where there might be strange animals. Like for instance, I cannot take her to the park, where there may be a new animal walking around. she will go ballistic. But I need a dog who is perfectly fine in all environments, new and old.

She is also great when we go on walks. she walks directly next to me. But if i start to stray from our typical path (which i do once a week at least) she starts to become too alert and too excited about where the new place we are going is. Even when I am training her with other distractions. I will train her to look at me and she will look at me, but she will take the treat and immediately redirect her attention to where i was trying to get her mind off.

I have tried clicker training and I have tried treats to redirect her attention right when i know she is going over that threshold of excitement, but it's really not working too well. I suppose it works enough so she isn't lunging at the dog or pulling on the leash, but she will still yip, howl, whine, shake, fixate and foam at the mouth. I have tried touching her before she goes into that state of mind. I do not keep the leash tight. I have no problesm with her pulling on the leash. I have tried a quick tug right when i see her trying to fixate, I have tried everything I can possibly think of. I do not have thousands of dollars to send her to behavioral training, but i do have a lot of knowledge on how to train a dog like her. I feel confident in that I have her trained enough to at least be able to keep her under control so she's not one of those crazy pits who lung, bark and try to attack other animals. I think it's fear/excitement-related. Even if she is sitting next to me, she is still shaking, howling, yipping and etc...

I also exercise her daily. She plays fetch/tug 3 times a day in the backyard and goes on a daily walk of at least 30-45 minutes at a fast pace. at least 3 days a week, we do more with her as I try so hard to keep her socialized.

I have a very calm disposition, i do not get excited about anything. i ignore/correct unwanted behavior. if she is not following me, i do turn around immediately to make sure she knows she is following me.

It's just this dog thing. I want her to be calm in all public places and she is, if there isn't a dog around. But dogs are everywhere. Strange dogs, small dogs, big dogs, barking dogs, dogs that are not well controlled. I need a calm dog during these instances. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the super long post.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow you situation sounds like my situation. Welcome . Keep doing why you're doing. The only thing I have been told to try next, besides continuing redirection and avoiding Any and all possible triggers (which is hard in a city) is trying an ecollar. Before you do that you should get a trainer specialized in the because if used wrong is can cause more issues or redirection since they do not know where it's coming from. My boy is a hundred times better and a pleasure to walk now. He used to war cry at any animal over a football field away but consistent work and low stimulation has helped me so I can walk down he street on the sidewalk and a dog is across the street on the sidewalk and he is able to ignore them. Some dogs don't like other dogs. My boy is now 5 and has about a 4-6ft buffer he can listen to me an respect other animals before losing focus. Squirrels don't bother him at all any more, neither do cats. My boy is fine with a few dogs he met prior to 10 months old. Any dog after that its been pretty obvious he hates them and I do my best to avoid them so he doesn't get worked up. I'm sure you have noticed the more amped up your girl is the easier the next thing bothers them.

Good for you for trying to get help and work with your dog. It can be a pain and since your dog is still young I wish you luck. My boy is 5 and I didn't try I help him until he was around 2. I had accepted him the way he was and didn't realize how unhappy and stressed he was because of the reactions. I also didnt realized could help him. Post up some pictures would love to see your girl!


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Last edited by ames; 08-17-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
 

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Thank you so much for your response! I really don't mind it if she doesn't like other dogs. i just would like her to be the type who can ignore them or calmly sit and maybe watch them so i can enjoy our time at the park or getting outside coffee. as I said, Karma is extremely submissive. She had an 8 pound chihuahua put her to the ground on her back and Karma was completely okay with it... and this was recently too. a 55lb pit bull fully and completely submissing to an 8lb chihuahua lol. Like her head was plastered to the ground and this chihuahua was holding her down by her neck hahaha. When in a controlled environment and introduced correctly, Karma actually can play with other animals and she does fine. But if there is a dog who will not teach her their boundaries, she tends to be a bully.

The strange dogs/surroundings and the "battle cry" (as you stated so perfectly accurate)... that's an issue i truly wish i could get under control.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
 

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She's a blue fawn. in some lights she looks grey and in some lights she looks brown.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Sassygirl8606 View Post
She's a blue fawn. in some lights she looks grey and in some lights she looks brown.
I believe she'd be considered champagne (could be wrong) but she appears to have a red nose, so couldn't be blue fawn. (Not that color has anything to do with anything really)
Shen IS a pretty dog though.


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Old 08-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
 

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her nose and skin are like purple-ish... vet says she has "lavender" skin.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
 

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She's a doll!!
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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My boy has DR/DA and shows the exact reaction to all dogs. You should hear him in the vets office lol. You would think I was ripping his legs off. You might look into getting a freedom harness. It works wonders for my boy. Do you ever allow your girl to take time to sniff and wander about when in a different area? I know my boys limitations so I don't take him to places where he may fail. Learn to read your dogs body language when she starts to show signs of reaction, remove her from that situation. You may want to take the time to read the other end of the leash, if you enjoy reading.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My shepherd doesn't make any noise but he does pull very hard when he sees another dog. If the other dog owner wants them to meet I have to ask what gender their dog is, if the dog is male, 90% of the time Eko will try to rip it to pieces as soon as he can reach it. It makes it difficult to convince people he WILL attack since he is silent and acts excited instead of barking or growling, they think he wants to play and I end up having to body block and leave before things get ugly. I can't add anything more to what you have already been doing, sounds like you are doing everything right and it may just take more time.
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