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So I have Chopper, who is a 16 month old beautiful blue male pit bull. I have had him since he was 5 months old (taken from the shelter before they could do away with him). He was well socialized, graduated from puppy classes and tolerated most dogs on their play dates.
Right around the age of one year he flipped a switched and started showing bizarre signs of human aggression. Completely unprovoked, and very unpredictable aggression. I had him at a park and we were walking behind a couple and when we were within a few feet of his leash distance he started growling, lunging and snapping at the people in front of us. They let us pass, and he kept turning around to try to go back at them. On the same day he actively tried to attack an elderly man to the point I had to pin him to the ground until they were out of our sight. (keep in mind he's 70lbs, I am a 120lb female, he wins in the strength department). I thought it was just a fluke because he had never acted like that before.
Now more recently he lunges at passerbyers, and growls at strangers. What is more concerning is that he will wag his tail and whine to say to someone, and he will let them pet him for a min then BAM! he snaps at them. I had two friends over and one he loved, the other he kept trying to go after even after being corrected multiple time.
I have contacted a vet behaviorist for help, but in the mean time I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. I DO NOT want to give him away, but I am afraid he is going to become a rather large liability in the future. I have considered muzzling him and trying to resocialize him. I have been taking him running with me to try to burn and excess energy he may have.
I'll add that he is also a very anxious dog. When he sees me getting ready for work in the morning he immediately starts drooling. Or if I keep him in the crate while I have company, he whimpers and drools not stop, however if I let him out...he's aggressive.
Once upon a time he loved to play chase with my 4 year old niece. He would never make contact with her, just loved chasing her around. Now I'm fearful to bring him around her.
Any comments or suggestions would be more then appreciated! I am a nervous wreck thinking about the possibility of rehoming my best friend :(
 

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The Yard Of Many Colors
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A dog like that does not need to be Rehomed.. if he is really that human aggressive then there is only one thing to do with him.. im not tring to hurt your feelings or anything but if you were to Rehome him then someone was to get hurt it would all be on you.. sometimes we all have to do things we don't want too..
 

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muzzle him and never let him around anyone until he is checked by the behaviorist. do exactly what the behaviorist says. you cant rehome a dog like that
 

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i guess i should clarify, by rehome, I mean find a rescue that has the time and resources to rehabilitate him. I have a hard time believing that at the ripe age of 16 months he is beyond repair. He is amazing with me,my family, my boyfriend, and a majority of my friends. He picks and chooses who he wants to go after. Thankfully he has never actually bit anyone. Just puts on quite a show.
 

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The Yard Of Many Colors
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i guess i should clarify, by rehome, I mean find a rescue that has the time and resources to rehabilitate him. I have a hard time believing that at the ripe age of 16 months he is beyond repair. He is amazing with me,my family, my boyfriend, and a majority of my friends. He picks and chooses who he wants to go after. Thankfully he has never actually bit anyone. Just puts on quite a show.
If you send him to a rescue then there's a 90% chance he's gonna be put down.. most places won't take the risk if he's as aggressive as you say.. not tring to be mean just truthful :)
Like Dave posted do what the behavioral person suggests and only that
 

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rescues dont have time, money or resorces to take this stuff on. just keep him under control long enogh for an evaluation. then get a second oppinion if you're not satisfied with the first one. hopefully it can be corrected but bottom line is you took responsibility for a dog and you need to be responsible till the dogs last breath.
 

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The Yard Of Many Colors
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rescues dont have time, money or resorces to take this stuff on. just keep him under control long enogh for an evaluation. then get a second oppinion if you're not satisfied with the first one. hopefully it can be corrected but bottom line is you took responsibility for a dog and you need to be responsible till the dogs last breath.
:goodpost::goodpost:
 

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I'm glad to see everyone is so warm and receptive when someone reaches out for help. Obviously when I bought him I planned on keeping him til "his last breath". I'm not giving up on my dog after a one time shot. I've been working with him since november and am now seeking professional help. It is ignorant to think that I am going to live a child free life with little to no visitors in my house because of a dog that was bred bad. His actions are not a result of my own. I was asking for suggestions on how to work out his aggression issues in the meantime until the vet can make a house call. Not get chastised because I was unlucky enough to rescue one of the pitbulls that has fallen victim to the stereotype.
 

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I don't think anyone is attacking you, the point is that there are hundreds of dogs at rescues that have no history of human aggression and to give one to a shelter would just lead down one way path, if they accept him at all in the first place. A change of scenery IMO will be the worst thing, he's comfortable in your house, with your family, and to be separated from that safety blanket could have even more negative side effects. I would crate and muzzle him when going to a crowded park or having guests. Sorry but I don't think there are many other options. Hopefully he will grow out of it the more he is socialized. Best of Luck
 

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I'm glad to see everyone is so warm and receptive when someone reaches out for help. Obviously when I bought him I planned on keeping him til "his last breath". I'm not giving up on my dog after a one time shot. I've been working with him since november and am now seeking professional help. It is ignorant to think that I am going to live a child free life with little to no visitors in my house because of a dog that was bred bad. His actions are not a result of my own. I was asking for suggestions on how to work out his aggression issues in the meantime until the vet can make a house call. Not get chastised because I was unlucky enough to rescue one of the pitbulls that has fallen victim to the stereotype.
Noone has chastised you at all here. There are some very knowledgable people here who have responded to you some who have dealt with similar situations. You are not to blame here most likely this is a bad result of a bad breeding and gentics playede a big role. Noone expects you to live a child free life with noone to visit. The only thing people are making sure you understand is whatever happens in your case you DONT rehome this dog as the next person may not be as responsible as you to keep him conatined and away from harming anyone. I would look into a trainer who has experience with human aggression and who can help get you in the right direction IF the dog passes the medical test and evaluation from a certified vet and IF you chose to go through and work on this. If you chose to not go that route I hope the only other option would be to euthanize, for safety of other people and safety of the life that would bring him. Noone is blaming you at all , and offer you as much support as we can on a forum, hard to offer specific things since we cant be there to help hands on. A good tool though as redog mentioned is the muzzle, even if until you get everything figured out here. Hope for the best with you .
 

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Your only option here is to keep him confined, away from anyone and everyone aside from yourself, until your appointment with the behaviorist. You will need to follow his/her recommendations to the letter. You need to be prepared for the worst. This dog's background and or breeding could be the reason for his sudden uncommon behavior, and you may have to do the inevitable. It's hard to get the thought into your head, but you have to come to grips with reality and know that more than likely, you will have to euthanize Chopper. Dog men of old would not hesitate to euthanize a man-biter. Neither should you.

Let me share something with you that may help you better understand the situation at hand. Many years ago, I made a decision to breed my supposed OFRN male APBT. Later on, I found out his registration papers may as well have been used in the bathroom (they were false, no good). The female I decided to breed him to had no registration papers, and was a sweetheart, well mannered and I saw no reason why I shouldn't breed my male to her. Well, we let them handle their business, and roughly 3 months later, myself and the owner of the female had a litter of 9 beautiful puppies of all different colors. After some disagreements between myself and the dam's owner, we lost 5 pups to parvo at 4 weeks old. I took custody of the remaining 4 pups and kept them in my house and on my yard. My pick of the litter was a beautiful solid white, red-nosed female, with just a few red spots on one ear. I did up contracts, did home checks and agreed to do free obedience training for the owners of the other 3 pups. All was well and fine.

Fast forward to my pup being 18 months old, I have an 18 month old daughter and am roughly 8 months pregnant with my 2nd daughter. My daughter is playing outside, with the dogs, under my supervision. Some neighbors walk down the sidewalk between the rows of houses (we lived on a military base at the time). The dogs are barking at the people walking by, my daughter runs to the fence, mimicking the dogs (barking at the people walking by). In that split second of excitement, my 18 month old pup I kept out of that litter turned, looked at my daughter with a look I'd never seen before, and ran full force towards her. She leaped into the air towards my daughter, and I caught her, just in time. She let out a snarl as I body slammed her to the ground.

Now, this dog had previously shown signs of aggression, trying to redirect on me when correcting her for something, and lunging at friends that had come over to my house, whom she'd known all her life. I'd had her thoroughly examined by the vet, and had spoken with a behaviorist. I was told that she needed to be euthanized because she would only get worse, but I chose to ignore those words and warning signs. Thankfully, nothing happened to my daughter. This was a Friday afternoon when this happened, and working part time at the vet's office where my dogs were vetted, I knew the routine. I knew what I had to do. I spent a lot of one on one time with her, made her last days as care-free and enjoyable as possible. Sunday evening, I fed her earlier than the rest of my dogs, took her for a long walk, let her have her last drink of water before 10 pm. First thing Monday morning, I loaded her into my truck, and to the vet we went. The vet actually wanted to re-home her to a home without children, thinking that would solve the problem, but I knew better. I knew that wouldn't prevent her from biting someone. I insisted on being present when she was administered the drug that would help her sleep peacefully for eternity, I monitored her vital signs to make sure she was completely gone, and I carried her to the incinerator myself to ensure she was dealt with accordingly. I created her, without a thought about genetic testing, temperament issues, etc., and I knew it was my responsibility to deal with her from start to finish.

I'm not saying you had any control in how this dog's temperament would turn out, but you have the power and the ability to deal with it, however it needs to be dealt with. You have to put personal feelings aside in this matter, and think about the bigger picture. You need to think about the reputation of the breed, the impact it will have on your friends and family if he does bite someone, and what it will do to your conscious, knowing that you could've prevented it. I'm not saying you have to be superwoman, I'm just saying you have to be vigilant in dealing with this dog. I know he's your baby, and you love him, but you have to make sure you do right by him, whether it's a medical problem, or a neurological problem, and make the decision to do what needs to be done.

I know this is a lot to handle, a lot to read and take in, but deep down inside, you know what you're feeling, and you know what needs to happen here, otherwise, you wouldn't have sought out this forum and asked for advice. As mentally sound adults with any kind of common sense, we don't ask questions we don't already know the answer to. I have a feeling you're smart enough to know the answer, and you came here for reassurance that you were doing the right thing.

Best of luck to you in your near future endeavors. I know this is a hard thing to handle, but we'll be here to help you through it, if you need us. Please don't think of my post as being insensitive by any means; I just want to get the point across without any room for doubt or confusion.

Here's Chica with the pups:

Axil is the all white one up by her front paw


This is Axil at 12 wks old


My last photo of Axil, at roughly 14 months old.

*Just so you know, it's not the easiest thing for me to talk about, to own up to a major mistake, but it's easier to admit I did wrong and rectified that wrong by doing what I knew I had to do. I'm sorry if this doesn't help you, but the truth should be told, and if my experience helps you make the right decision, that's all I can ask for.*
 

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The Yard Of Many Colors
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I'm glad to see everyone is so warm and receptive when someone reaches out for help. Obviously when I bought him I planned on keeping him til "his last breath". I'm not giving up on my dog after a one time shot. I've been working with him since november and am now seeking professional help. It is ignorant to think that I am going to live a child free life with little to no visitors in my house because of a dog that was bred bad. His actions are not a result of my own. I was asking for suggestions on how to work out his aggression issues in the meantime until the vet can make a house call. Not get chastised because I was unlucky enough to rescue one of the pitbulls that has fallen victim to the stereotype.
You asked what to do and we told you. When you have a dog that is bred badly there isn't much of anything that can be done.. if you want to base the rest of your life around a ha dog then so be it but don't waste a rescues time and money or risk someones life by rehoming him.. these dogs have bad enough names because in situations like this people wouldn't open their eyes and do what needed to be do e
 

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Im not chastizing you becky, im giving advise from my own real lif experience. if I can handle bob then you can handle Chopper

just do what the behaviorist says to do and dedicate yourself
 

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I think you have recieved some really good tips. I am going to put in my two cents, whether you like it or not, eh i wont expect change.

My first thought when reading this is your dog should be seen by a vet. If he started showing anxiety type behaviors at the same time as the aggression, you may even be dealing with a seizure disorder or brain issue...

Second is that i had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life just in this last year with my boy Nytro...
We rescued a four week old puppy from a homeless couple who got the dog from random people at wal mart, they admitted that they would blow pot hits in his face to make him sleep. From the day we got him, he was off. he wasn't a normal puppy play biter, he would actually get extremely riled up and not quit bitting and it didn't matter if it was a toy or your hand. a friend had even told us when Nytro was just four months old that he is going to bite someone. We blew him off at the time....as time passed we just continued to work around his issues, always muzzle him at the vets office, tie him up when camping and warn anyone to not walk up on him, crate him if we weren't home and hope no one let him out if we werent there, only go on hikes in rarely visited areas, NO public parks. we then had to contiually replace our fence as everytime someone walked past our house he would body slam through it etc... he wasn't always bad and at times he was perfect but youjust never knew day to day.
The day he finally bit, we were lucky in the fact that it was my husband and not a stranger. it wasn't a nip, it was an ER doctor telling us my 6'1" 190lb husband is lucky he didn't have any broken bones. the bite was deep enough had the punctures lined up you could have seen through his hand. Sadly we knew this wasn't an "if it happens, it was a when". sadly it was too late for my husbands hand.
After the mandatory 10 day quarantine as required in OR, Nytro was euthanized at our request.

i see hundreds of dogs come through my shelter that are 110% non aggressive and perfect in everyway and sadly some will be euthanized because there are no homes. To save a dog that has the capacity to bite a human while knowing that others that do not will be killed, just does not sit right in my stomach, mind and heart.

If you decide to "save" your Chopper, please be careful and most definitely follow any guidlines given to you by the trainer. one misstep could mean a lawsuit and having to put him down anyways.
Good luck in your decision.
 

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I think you have recieved some really good tips. I am going to put in my two cents, whether you like it or not, eh i wont expect change.

My first thought when reading this is your dog should be seen by a vet. If he started showing anxiety type behaviors at the same time as the aggression, you may even be dealing with a seizure disorder or brain issue...

Second is that i had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life just in this last year with my boy Nytro...
We rescued a four week old puppy from a homeless couple who got the dog from random people at wal mart, they admitted that they would blow pot hits in his face to make him sleep. From the day we got him, he was off. he wasn't a normal puppy play biter, he would actually get extremely riled up and not quit bitting and it didn't matter if it was a toy or your hand. a friend had even told us when Nytro was just four months old that he is going to bite someone. We blew him off at the time....as time passed we just continued to work around his issues, always muzzle him at the vets office, tie him up when camping and warn anyone to not walk up on him, crate him if we weren't home and hope no one let him out if we werent there, only go on hikes in rarely visited areas, NO public parks. we then had to contiually replace our fence as everytime someone walked past our house he would body slam through it etc... he wasn't always bad and at times he was perfect but youjust never knew day to day.
The day he finally bit, we were lucky in the fact that it was my husband and not a stranger. it wasn't a nip, it was an ER doctor telling us my 6'1" 190lb husband is lucky he didn't have any broken bones. the bite was deep enough had the punctures lined up you could have seen through his hand. Sadly we knew this wasn't an "if it happens, it was a when". sadly it was too late for my husbands hand.
After the mandatory 10 day quarantine as required in OR, Nytro was euthanized at our request.

i see hundreds of dogs come through my shelter that are 110% non aggressive and perfect in everyway and sadly some will be euthanized because there are no homes. To save a dog that has the capacity to bite a human while knowing that others that do not will be killed, just does not sit right in my stomach, mind and heart.

If you decide to "save" your Chopper, please be careful and most definitely follow any guidlines given to you by the trainer. one misstep could mean a lawsuit and having to put him down anyways.
Good luck in your decision.
Absolutely agree with the first part..talk to a vet. There could be something else going on and hes trying to let you know. This doesnt happen overnight with dogs. Talk to the behavorist and if that doesnt work see a vet. Try not to stress too much until youve exhausted every possible soulution.
 

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I am really sorry you are going through this, Becky. I hope you realize that people are only really trying to get you to realize the seriousness of the situation (the breed can't take any more hits from poorly bred and mismanaged dogs) and give you some realistic views of what your options are.
You can NOT re-home this dog., you are only passing on the problem to someone who does not know him as you do, who may miss his signals or not believe you.
Speaking as a rescue, I could not take this dog on. I have dogs I can not push over the bite threshold, despite their past, despite trying to push their buttons. I can not, in good conscience, place a dog I feel to be a risk, nor should you. It does the breed no good to pass on problems. Saving the one dog becomes a nail in the coffin of the whole breed at that point.
Managing a dog with severe dog aggression or human reactivity is not an undertaking for everyone. You need to look at your set up, your lifestyle, and decide how much you are willing to put into this dog. There are training protocols and management techniques you can employ, but they take time and commitment. They also take an ability to make hard decisions (as outlined above) if the situation the dog is in is not safe for all involved.
Your dog, thus far, has shown some reactivity issues, which can be worked with. Only you, who live with him, can assess his actual bite risk and only you can make the decisions necessary to keep people safe. We only have your info to go off.
I can send you some good info for working with issues, but you must understand that it is a long process and will, most likely, require you to closely monitor your dogs environment for the life of your dog (though I do that with all my dogs, for one reason or another, so I don't really see the big deal, others do)
 

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I agree see a vet to make sure nothing is wrong health wise. See a behaviorist and go from there. You may have to muzzle everyone is giving you great advice and most come from people who have been there before. That takes courage!

If he gets so anxious have you tried a thundershirt? Thundershirt | The Best Dog Anxiety Treatment
 

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I agree with all of the above. Vet visit, behaviorist, commitment, or PTS.
Work hard on commands like "leave it", "off", "come", and "watch me".
My fingers are crossed in hopes that with training and exercise he becomes more manageable for you.
 

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muzzle him and never let him around anyone until he is checked by the behaviorist. do exactly what the behaviorist says. you cant rehome a dog like that
:goodpost:
there is a resident behavior specialist right here on GPB ;)
:rofl:
However that requires my 10 cents; my 2 cents is free....
:rofl:

Until you find a Canine Behavior Specialist, muzzle your dog in public... seriously this is an issue that will need immediate attention and is really easy to correct however this is not something you can learn to do for free most likely. I could give you the best tips: if you are going to keep the dog you need a canine behavior specialist to intervene, the only other accountable option is euthanasia and Im certified in that too although is a very last resort and can advise if that is the route to contact a good vet or local SPCA.

If you do not act soon your dog will not only land you in legal and financial trouble he'll be put down as an aggressive dog by someone who has no emotional bond or shot 2 or 3 times by the police.

Good luck and best of wishes...
 

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So I have Chopper, who is a 16 month old beautiful blue male pit bull. I have had him since he was 5 months old (taken from the shelter before they could do away with him). He was well socialized, graduated from puppy classes and tolerated most dogs on their play dates.
Right around the age of one year he flipped a switched and started showing bizarre signs of human aggression. Completely unprovoked, and very unpredictable aggression. I had him at a park and we were walking behind a couple and when we were within a few feet of his leash distance he started growling, lunging and snapping at the people in front of us. They let us pass, and he kept turning around to try to go back at them. On the same day he actively tried to attack an elderly man to the point I had to pin him to the ground until they were out of our sight. (keep in mind he's 70lbs, I am a 120lb female, he wins in the strength department). I thought it was just a fluke because he had never acted like that before.
Now more recently he lunges at passerbyers, and growls at strangers. What is more concerning is that he will wag his tail and whine to say to someone, and he will let them pet him for a min then BAM! he snaps at them. I had two friends over and one he loved, the other he kept trying to go after even after being corrected multiple time.
I have contacted a vet behaviorist for help, but in the mean time I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. I DO NOT want to give him away, but I am afraid he is going to become a rather large liability in the future. I have considered muzzling him and trying to resocialize him. I have been taking him running with me to try to burn and excess energy he may have.
I'll add that he is also a very anxious dog. When he sees me getting ready for work in the morning he immediately starts drooling. Or if I keep him in the crate while I have company, he whimpers and drools not stop, however if I let him out...he's aggressive.
Once upon a time he loved to play chase with my 4 year old niece. He would never make contact with her, just loved chasing her around. Now I'm fearful to bring him around her.
Any comments or suggestions would be more then appreciated! I am a nervous wreck thinking about the possibility of rehoming my best friend :(
I think that the muzzle idea is a good one, I also think that you need to work on obedience with your dog and establish once again that YOU are the leader of the pack. Correct him when he does the undesirable behaviors and reward him when he complies with you and ceases that bad behavior. Contrary to what some people may suggest to you, I wouldn't confine him when people come over, I would have him muzzled, and give him a place command , as well as keep him on a leash. Regarding the muzzle, you will have to desensitize him to it, so he doesn't see it as a "punishment". You can do that by putting some treats in the muzzle, letting him get used to it. Here, this man can say it better than I can:
"Training the Dog to Wear the Muzzle

Dogs must learn to accept and wear a muzzle. No dog likes a muzzle the first few times it's put on. They all try and get it off. But through training they can learn to accept the muzzle and in some case even come to like putting them on.

The way we get dogs who have food drive to accept muzzles is to put a treat in the muzzle and then let the dog take it out without even trying to fasten the straps. When the dog takes the food we "mark" the moment with a "YES." If you are unfamiliar with markers you can read the article I wrote titled Training with Markers.

This should be done 4 or 5 times a day for a week. Our goal is to desensitize the dog to putting its nose in the muzzle. When we see that it is eagerly looking to stick his head in the muzzle we will fasten the straps. This is always done on leash.

When the dog has the muzzle on and tries to fight to get it back off it's given a voice correction accompanied by a leash correction. The level of correction must be strong enough to refocus the dog's attention back onto the handler and off the muzzle. Handlers who say that their dogs go crazy and will not listen are not correcting hard enough.

The muzzle is never taken off until the dog settles down and accepts it. When we take the muzzle off we "mark" the moment it comes off. This takes the dog's attention off the muzzle.

No matter what the reason for muzzle training the dog always has to wear the muzzle in its normal life before you introduce it into training. In other words, if you want to use the muzzle to see if you can control the dog in the presence of other dogs you don't introduce the dog in muzzle to other dogs until the dog will wear the muzzle on walks and in the house without trying to get it off. This can take a week or more."

I would also suggest taking him to the vet to see if he's sick. Good luck! Don't give up yet!
 
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