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Work them Pet Bulls!
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A brief history on my new pup. She will be 5 months old on the 23rd of this month. She was the last pup left in a litter of 8 so she missed out on ALOT of important early socializing by staying with the breeder for so long. She came to me very well mannered, house broken, and knows a few commands. I have had her 2 weeks Wednesday and have been socializing her like crazy by bringing her to Petco, Petsmart, and Petlife. She is a bit shy and cautious when meeting new people but has already come out of her shell quite a bit. I am starting obedience classes with her this Thursday for more socializing. However, she worries me a bit with some of the belly growling she has been doing. I posted a thread yesterday on how she was growling in the bath tub when I was washing her. Now today my daughter has a friend over and she growled at her once and then keeps going up to her wagging her tail. I'm not sure how to read into that :confused: I told my daughters friend (who is 9) not to just stand there and look at her but to talk to her and go slow with her. I gave my daughters friend some cookies to give her and she has been cool. The breeders I bought Bella from lived out in the country so they tried to bring her with them everywhere they went. However, it wasn't often enough. I am worried that she is going to be a problem dog and where she is a pit bull I don't want her to be acting this way. I plan on doing alot of obedience classes with her and keeping her involved in possible agility classes as well. My ultimate goal for her is to get her CGC and be an ambassador for her breed. Any advice would be great and much appreciated. Getting an older pup has it's ups and downs and this lack of socialization is a BIG downer for me :( Thanks in advance!
 

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I rescued my girl at 2 and she had these problems too.I firmly corrected it and as stupid as it sounds talked to her a lot .she doesn't do it any more but when she did I used the command be nice with a lot of eye contact it worked she knew exactly what I was saying .try this hope it works sorry couldn't be more help.
 

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Bitch Noone Wanted
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she needs firm correction and until you get that I would not have her eating from the kids hands, the OB classes will help, her growling at you should never be tolerated. Growling while playin tug of war of on teh springpole is different that is what they are supposed to do, she is testing you and you need to be alpha as well as your daughter and her friends. But until her manners are better and the growling stops, try not to have the kids give her food or be too in her face, she will learn, just takes repetition and love :D Good luck
 

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Where are you going to take obedience classes at? Petco, Petsmart, etc do not have good training classes. I would take her to a behaviorist and get help training from them or someone they recommend. I would be very careful. How you handle this could make her way better or way worse.
 

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K9 Pshrynk & Conciliare~
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The only thing Im concerned of is the dog is sensitive of its belly, when you posted the other day I was going to mention that the dog could have had a hernia or has some sort of shyness about touching underneath or near the rear end, alot of dogs do. At this point is the time when I recommend contacting a vet and getting a psonogram or xray and make sure the dog has no internal problems.. If that is cleared then during puppy classes you should take advantage and have everyone pet the dog and her/his belly and let the pup know its not in danger or being pushed.

As far as having company with dogs that are high end, when company enters they need to ignore the dog and the dog needs to be made to ignore the company for 1st 5-10 mins. I recommend a crate, and crate train the dog so it has its own space, then for the first few minutes of company have the dog in the crate before you let visitors in, then after visitors are comfortable let the dog out to greet everyone in a civil manner, reward the dog for being calm and friendly. If your dog displays HA you should correct it with an air snapping AHHT(at) or SHHHT type of correction NO is too confusing for dogs in general esspecially in a house with children. No is said alot. And make the dog sit and then down (laydown) then teach roll over, or scratchya belly.. does that make sense..

If you contact you local ASPCA they should have a certified canine behavior specialist, if the vet does not have one and FYI not ALL vets study canine behavior so thats not neccessary a sound source for extensive canine psychology. Some vets pride themselves to be VETS and know the answers or sources for their patients/clients questions.. You need to find out if its just vocalization or if they are threats, because I currently have a dog that is vocal with growls woofs yips and barks, and we just talk back to him and ignore any self imposed fear intinct.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone! I am aware of Petco and Petsmart classes. They are terrible. That being said I am taking her to a private trainer. The gentleman I am going to is very familiar with the breed and he has worked with many bully breeds. He is affiliated with my local MSPCA here in Boston and also holds many classes at the shelter itself. Our shelters here like most across the country are flooded with pit bulls and the ones that come in with "issues" are usually rehabilitated by him. I hope I can get through this with her and have her be the sweet girl she is most of the time.
 

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Bitch Noone Wanted
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awesome news, keep us posted as to how things are coming along :D
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks APBTmom :) I appreciate the support and all the advice from everyone! As I said I want my girl to be an ambassador for this misunderstood breed. She is in very good hands with me as I will do right by her. I can't wait to start training!
 

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Bitch Noone Wanted
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Thanks, call me Tye, my oldest niece just joined here today, I try very hard to educate and make my dogs the same way, my Penny (RIP) was a great breed ambassador, it can be done, but I had had her since birth, be patient, lots of positive reinforcement, but again she should know YOU are alpha. Like I said, good luck, keep us posted :D
 

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Without actually seeing the body language and situations it is hard to tell exactly what is going on. The good thing is she is still young and you are right on top of the issues. So if it is just that she needs more time and training you are off to a good start. However if it is a genetic issue it may be something that might not quite ever go away though may be managed. It is definitely something to keep an eye on... Although I wrote the thread Training and socializing puppies for younger pups some of the things in it can help you get ideas on what to work on with her before and during the training classes. It sounds like she is lucky to have gotten you as an owner. I hope everything works out. A lot of good advice was already posted that I would have also suggested.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you Patch-O-pits! I'm sure we can work thru this with proper socializing and training as stated. BTW, I was licked to death by my pups mom and 2 year old brother from there first litter. My pups dad is the guard dog for the family seeing as how the husband works nights, they live in the country, and the nearest neighbor is 2 miles away. Needless to say I didn't meet the daddy..... nor did I wish to LOL!

I also just had my girl at the vet this past saturday and she was excellent for the vets and wagged her tail almost the whole time. No growling at all. She was greeting everybody. This is why the occassional growling is throwing me off :confused:
 
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