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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I have an 11 month old pup called Odyssey and she's a lovely well behaved dog. I socialised her a lot in her first few months and I'm used to her being overly friendly and even jumping on people for food which I've been working on preventing. During the last few months however I noticed her being more aloof with non dog walkers which I found more of a relief because a lot of dogs get stolen around here and she was always wagging her tail as if she truly wanted to greet them but then chickened out last minute.

Last week whilst walking her off lead in the park a cyclist spooked her as I turned a corner and she ran off in the other direction in a panicked state until I finally ran across the park and caught her attention. She thought she had lost me and when I thanked the dog walker which had tried to help catch her she started barking defensively and scaring the poor woman.

Ever since she has barked at a shady kid in a hoody and a tramp on a bench who reached for her which I saw as understandable but now she is barking at random people for no apparent reason. Each time I corrected her but she works herself up into an anxious state.

Does anyone have any advise on how to deal with this problem and how to help her regain trust in strangers?
So far its just been treats for every stranger she meets calmly and teach her to focus on me.
 

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I mean was she off leash?? It sounds like she was.. I would not let her be off leash until she knows all her commands. As far as your problem I'd take her out and expose her to everything possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. Yea she was off lead, she didn't run away but as we passed through the narrow corner a bike scared her and she thought I disappeared.
Yea she doesn't visit busy areas much, but today it was a sunny day with lots of people and kids out and she didn't bark at anyone, got loads of treats and fuss for meeting strangers.
 

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Jr MEMBER
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The man in the hoody could of caused her to associate negative things with strangers who don't have dogs. I'd also keep my dog on the leash at all times unless I am up in the woods were no one else is. You don't have control over the actions of other people.

My dog has trust issues with new people, and if someone is making him feel uneasy he will bark at them. He barely does this anymore, what I found really helped was carrying around treats and having people who greet him give him a treat. I reward him for going up to the person, then reward him for letting them pet him. Eventually I put the command "Say hi" onto it so that he associates treats with that command and those people.
 

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The Yard Of Many Colors
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definately would keep him on a leash from now on.... i had a similar incident with my cousin and one of my dogs because he was wearing a hoodie and had the hood on... something about Tyson makes him uneasy when he cant see their face or if their head is cover (besides hats)
 

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Pits Are For Chicks
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You defiantly should not have your dog off lead. Sadly anyone who saw that gets a terrible idea about the temperament of these dogs. You need to work on socializing her on leash and getting her to experience and become comfortable with a variety of surroundings. Then you can enjoy your walks remaining on leash....
 

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Dare to dance the tide
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I have to agree you should not have your dog off leash you never know what night happen what if another dog came running up and you had a fight or if she got spooked and ran off and you coulnt find her atleast with her on a leash you have some control. I personally dont like to have stangers offer my dog treats I teach my dogs to "leave it" treats come from me. I have taught all of my dogs to ignore people. I perfer it as I dont want some one thinking that my dog is super friendly adn they can steal her when they she her sittng in the car.
 

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+1 on the leash. I don't like seeing any dogs off leash but with this breed they can get themselves in a lot of trouble very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yea I like the idea of her ignoring people, I will try that :)

I agree with keeping her on lead until she improves but the park is the only safe place for dogs to excersise since I have no garden. I know all the dogs there and it is the norm for responsible dog owners.

Please don't attack me and say I am being iresponsible. I have taken time to learn how to break up dog fights and am aware that her dog friendliness could change as she matures. If she showed any signs of dog aggression I would walk her on the streets instead as any other dog owner would. For now she is the perfect social dog and I encourage it.
 

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Yea I like the idea of her ignoring people, I will try that :)

I agree with keeping her on lead until she improves but the park is the only safe place for dogs to excersise since I have no garden. I know all the dogs there and it is the norm for responsible dog owners.

Please don't attack me and say I am being iresponsible. I have taken time to learn how to break up dog fights and am aware that her dog friendliness could change as she matures. If she showed any signs of dog aggression I would walk her on the streets instead as any other dog owner would. For now she is the perfect social dog and I encourage it.
Could you bring a really long lead along with you to the park? That way you can retrieve her easily if something spooks her again but she'll have the slack to run and play a bit. I have a 15' lead for Jake cause he's a coonhound and enjoys rooting around and smelling things in places I don't want to accompany him! LOL And I can't trust his recall AT ALL if there is some sort of wild varmint involved.
 

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I stopped reading at the "walk off lead" part... keep walking her off lead and ur gonna have a bad situation on ur hands
 

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NO TROLL PASSIN
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I understand your wanting to let her run free, even socialize with other dogs when they are pups but she is not way past the age you should be allowing her to roam free with any group of dogs. It really doesn't matter how well you think you know the other dogs or yours all it takes is one SNAP and no matter who started it your girl will be to blame, while adding to an already tarnished image just for being the breed she is.
Its good you have learned how to break up a fight, glad you are learning about the breed you own but reading on how to break up a fight thou a good thing is not in any way shape or form easy to do especially in a panicked state and I repeat why even wait til that happens. Please keep her on lead for her safety ....

Where are you located? Are there any enclosures you can go to where its just you and her alone?
 

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Bloody hell. If you really feel the need to have her off leash (you shouldn't at all but you're not going to listen to reason) you should at least find somewhere that you know there are no other dogs around. Otherwise I can guarantee you will get your dog and yourself in trouble.

You also need to go to obedience classes where you will learn off leash obedience.

As an example, on the odd occasion that I want to work on my dogs' obedience off leash, we go to a different park than normal where there is never anyone around. At this park there is excellent visibility all around and I can see if anyone else arrives at which point we will immediately leash our dogs back up.

I don't mind saying that it goes against my principles to give you this advice because I don't think you're going to really follow it. All I ask is that when the inevitable happens, don't come here and complain. Forewarned is forearmed.

Oh, and the easiest dog fight to break up is one that never happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
She already has off lead obedience, she went to puppy classes and she's perfect off lead and recall etc :)

I had to go through that when she was in season and she just hates not being able to play with other dogs. The only time she's ever tired is either playing with her dog friends for 30 mins or a 4 hour walk.

Anyways I didn't intend for this to be an argument, I absolutly respect everything you guys do with your dogs and feel it is the best for them but in her current situation I don't think it's right for my dog just yet.

Theres no enclosures every patch of grass has dogs on it lol its a busy city.
I'm getting her spayed in the next few months, i think this is a second fear period but maybe spaying might help.
 

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Dare to dance the tide
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Spay will not help a fearful dog.
I cant not imagine living in an area that doesnt have some kind of open space that there are no other people. I feel bad for you :(.
I hate to say this but attending puppy class does not mean your dog is off leash trained. All dogs go through their terrible two when they dont listen and it seems like everything you alredy taught them has gone down the toilet and you need to start all over again. That is why we are STRESSING that you not do the off leash thing with your girl. We only want what is best for you and your dog and our breed. Please heed this warning.
You could alwasy try mental exercise for your dog rather than playing with other dogs or the long walk. I know that when I make Vendetta use her little brain she is tired. You could set up a small rally course with the simple signs. Like take 15 steps then make her lay down. Do some comefronts. Sits and downs just plain and smple work on her obedience while out on your walks. This way you will have a really well mannered dog and you will avoid any fights that we know is going happen at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I know this thread is dead but I hate finding threads where people have problems and never follow them up with a conclusion. Dessy is now a happy 2 and a 1/2 year old dog, she's actually in her spay surgery as I type and has changed phenomenally since my last post.

She no longer barks at strangers, she occasionally takes a shining to certain people but mostly ignores them. She is dog friendly but ignores most of them unless it's one of the male dogs which we know, with whom she'll play for hours. We also rescued a chihuahua/pomeranian male who was 6 weeks but is now 8 months and they are inseparable. It proves a pit off leash in a park doesn't always have to be a problem but I really do know my dog and set her up for success. I just wish others could do the same and not just wait until disasters happen. Gentle exposure and introducing a good coping mechanism is what helped in my situation and socialization is ongoing. I can say my dog is definitely not DA but I know she has the potential to fight like all breeds and i'm not saying this can work for every pit, just that some really can be the complete opposite of their predecessors.

I feel she was just going through a big fear stage at 9 months, she also had severe separation anxiety at the time, which we worked on and is no longer an issue. It goes to show you can often work on these problems. The leash was never the right solution for my dog, and she wouldn't be who she is today if she didn't have a chance to build confidence. It took years to get Dessy to this point where I can actually say I have a lovely, well behaved ambassador for the breed.
 
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