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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so this is my first thread (dont be too harsh) lol

well anyway, last week me and my fiance adopted our first pit, Lacey. We got her from the MSPCA in Boston, the woman there said that she was an amazing dog (which she is) trained (for the most part) and she would trust her with a baby. she is such a cuddle bug, she got spayed the beginning of last week and is finally off her pain medication and everything.

my parents have fed into the pitbull stereotype so ive been bringing her over to get them use to her and to show them what an amazing breed it can really be. she's been awesome with them.

well until today. my dad got home from work i was sitting on the end of the couch and she was on the other side of me, my dad went to reach over me and pet her, she licked his hand and like LUNGED at him. Thank god i have quick reflexes because I caught her in mid air.

Shes met him before and has let him pet her and everything so i have no ideo where this came from.

so much for showing my parents that its not the breed its the owners... Thanks Lacey!

once that was done she knew she did something wron and kept burying her head in my lap and i ignored her, she went back to him after and let him pet her, but i dont know what to do in this type of sitatuation. she's NEVER done this before, has never been aggressive (since we've had her) and since shes been at the MSPCA, shes 4 and use to live with another pit, a cat, a 9 month old and a toddler and they said shes never had those issues, so im at a loss.... any advice or training tips?
 

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I don't know if that's protective behavior, really. Possessive, maybe. ("This is MY mom. Don't touch her or me.") I think people overuse terms like "protective" because they think it sounds more acceptable. A protective dog might just subtly move in front of their owner when approached by a stranger. They don't throw themselves into the leash and start mouthing off. The latter is aggressive, or maybe fear-aggressive, nervy, something. Protective has uses, and doesn't necessarily lead to an attempted bite. JMO, and my own personal beef. :)

Before I give this advice, let me say that I personally have no use for a pit-type that would try to bite somebody for no reason. Its a hard-line approach, but if there is no medical reason, no extremely extenuating circumstances, that dog would no longer be breathing. (So you may want to start by ruling out any medical problems causing her pain.) So I actually don't have a lot of experience with rehabilitating a dog showing these kinds of behaviors. What I'm about to say is just my gut reaction as a dog person.

First, IMO, get her butt off the couch. She doesn't own that space; you do. If it really is a possessive behavior, by having her snugged up next to you, you're empowering her. Google Nothing In Life is Free (NILIF or NILF). The idea is basically that she has to earn her privileges. Want something? Do something. That should (in theory) take her down a peg or two. If you want to keep her, you have to make sure you know where she's at at all times while you're working out these issues. If you can't monitor her when other people are around, put her in a crate or shut her in another room. Don't take any chances.
 

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I agree with the above get her off the couch . { mine are allowed up there but they have earned that privledge and if they did what she just did they would lose it} And I agree her being allowed to snuggle you is reassuring her its ok even if you think you ignored her. She may not think of your dad as someone of higher rank then her and needs to be put in her place. I personally wouldnt be letting that fly without getting it checked out , was she temperment tested before she was put up for adoption? Lisa Performance kennel might have some advice for training and methods to try at this point I havent ever had a dog who has gone for someone. possesive seems to be the right word as bahamutt said.
 

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:goodpost::goodpost::goodpost: @ Lindsay.

There's a difference between a dog being possessive and protective. IMO, possessive = a reaction that isn't warranted (your father, from reading what you say here, did nothing to warrant being lunged at); protective = a reaction that is warranted (walking down a dark alley and a stranger threatens you). Possessive dogs tend to react over-the-top to the stimulus they receive, whereas protective dogs only take it as far as it needs to go (showing the possible threat the dog is aware of the threat).

Honestly, this sounds like something you need to get a behaviorist or trainer on. We weren't there to see whether the lunge was done out of pure aggression or fear-aggression (which can be worked with).
 

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Welcome to the list. Read the above links. Also, don't keep toys or anything for her to play with. you should be the one in charge, no free anything. I know some people have had success with the two week shut down. She your pup is new to you, she doesn't really know whats expected of her yet, and is testing the waters, so to speak. here is a copy of the article I have seen. Not sure if its too late at this point. not sure who the original writer is to give credit.

The First Two Weeks

If I could stress one of the biggest errors people make with new dogs and foster dogs it is rushing the dog into the new world so fast . This shut down gives the dog a chance to say "ahhh" take a breath and restart into its new world.

From people I have helped I hear;
"I introduced her to 15 people the first day I had her!" ;" he was a bit leery but seems to like my other 3 dogs" ; "she went everywhere with me "
All in the first few days of the new home..... (!!!)

two weeks later we hear;
" I think we will have to rehome the new dog" "the new dog barked and nipped at my kid" - "we had a dog fight" ; "the new dog barked at me for moving him off the couch"

Ok, folks, here it comes, some feel this is extreme, why? I really do not know.
But when bringing in a new dog, post finding, adoption, buying, etc, Give it time to adjust to you and your family and the dogs in the new environment.
Just as if it were a new baby or puppy, we wouldn't think of rushing out with a baby or puppy, yet with older pups and dogs we just expect them to take our lives in all at once!

TWO WEEKS - "shut down"
For the first two weeks, (sometimes even longer) a dog takes in the new environment, who is the top person, or animal, who ARE these people!? By pushing a dog too fast, and throwing too much at the dog we look like we are not the leaders,and the dog can feel it MUST defend itself , as the leader is surely no one he has met so far!

We coo , coodle, drag the dog to home to home to person to person, and the dog has NO idea who we are. We correct for things it doesn't understand, we talk in a new human language using words he does not know.

A key thing to remember is "this is the dating period NOT the honeymoon"
When you first met your "spouse or significant other", you were on your best behavior, you were not relaxed enough to be all of yourself, were you?
Just think of the things you do physically once you get to KNOW a person,
you wouldn't run up to a stranger and hug them and squeeze them!
Imagine, if on the first date, this new person, was all over you touching you and having their friends hug you and pat you on the head, and jostle your shoulders, looked in your mouth then he whisked you off to another strangers home and they did the same thing.

Would you think this person normal and SAFE? Wouldn't you feel invaded and begin to get a bit snarky or defensive yourself? Wouldn't you think to push these people away for obviously your date is out of their mind, as they aren't going to save you from these weirdoes!!
Yet we do this very thing to our dogs, and then get upset or worried that they aren't relaxed and accepting of EVERYTHING instantly!

By shutting down the dog, it gives the dog TIME to see you , meet YOU, hear and take in the new sounds and smells of your home and all the people in it. In the 1st two weeks;
.
Crate the dog in a room by itself if possible.(Believe me, dogs are sensory animals, they know more than you think without seeing it).
Leash the dog (so I don't have to correct it ..you don't have that right yet!), give it exercise time in the yard on lunge line or in fenced yard..but other than that.. LEASH , (yes..leash in the house too.)
Do no training at all, just fun exercise and maybe throw some toys for fun, leash the dog if you don't have a fence outside. But DO NOT leave the yard, AT ALL.

No car rides, no other dogs, (unless crated beside them), no pet stores, no WALKS even, nothing but you and household family, your home, your yard. (Unless of course the dog needs to go to the vetinarian)
Believe me dogs can live two weeks without walks. Walks are stressful for there is so much coming at you and your dog! And the dog has no clue who you are yet. The dog may react to something and we start correcting it with the leash and we just installed a VERY STRESSFUL moment to the dog in what should be a fun and learning walk.

TEACH the dog by doing the shut down, that YOU are the one to look to, that you are now here for the dog! He can trust in you and look to you for guidance. Then you can venture out into new situations one at a time, the dog knows he can trust in his new humans and can relax under the fair guidance of his new leaders!

In the house take the dog out only for about 20-30 minute intervals , post excercise/yard times.,and ALWAYS on a leash when in the house or in an unfenced yard. Exercise is important! Running and free time are stress relievers, but don't set your dog up for failure, make exercise and yard time fun and relaxing and tiring!

Then PUT THE DOG AWAY. let it absorb and think and relax. Ignore crying or barking, just like a new born baby, he must find security when you are not right there, and if you run to him each time he will think barking and crying will get your attention.

I do not introduce resident dogs for these two weeks, they can be side by side in the crates, (not nose to nose for they can feel defensive) . Some dogs will bond instantly with the other dogs if we don't bond FIRST with the dog, and this can lead to some other issues, as the dog will look to the other dog(s) for guidance and not YOU!

Literally in two weeks you will see a change in the dog and begin to see its honest and true personality. Just like a house guest.. they are well behaved and literally shut down and "polite" themselves these first few weeks, then post this time, they relax and the true personality begins to shine thru.

So, please,, if nothing else for your new dog, give it the time to LEARN YOU as you are learning who they are! This method works on shy dogs, confident dogs, abuse cases, chained dogs that come in, rowdy dogs, all temperaments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the replies guys...

i used the word protective because i didnt think of possessive honestly. Possession does sound more like that it was.

she was temperament tested at the MSPCA and she passed with flying colors.

I think that maybe shes gotten so attached to us because in all honesty we're always up her ass, if my fiance is working im at his house with her we're always cuddling because she is a huge cuddle bug. but maybe thats the issue. we stayed with her all the time 1 because its a new dog and we love her more than anything and 2 we didnt know how she would react by herself, whether she would have separation anxiety and destroy everything.

i truly want to do everything i can to try and work this out, i see that good dog she is capable of being, she's amazing when it comes to me and my fiance. we owe it to her to try and give her a better life than before, and if that means obedience classes or whatver, then i guess thats what we'll have to do.

this is the first time shes ever done this, she never did in her previous home or anything, maybe thats why im so baffled by it, i would think if she was going to have any sort of aggression issue she would have shown it already (shes 4)

i have also heard from other people that their female pit was amazing until she got spayed and now she lunges at anything, i found that weird because i thought that was suppose to calm them down? but maybe thats what happened?

i also forgot to say that she just stopped a false pregnancy due to the rapid change in hormones, maybe that had something to do with it?

i dont know i guess im just reaching for anything so it doesnt come down to i got a bad dog

sorry for rambling, thanks again guys
 

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You have to also realize that she's recently had some big changes--going into the shelter, having surgery, coming to live with you guys ...

She's only been with you for one week. You need to give her more time to settle in and figure out what's going on and where she fits in. It can sometimes take months for a dog to settle into a home and show their true personality after being shuffled around.

I would say give her another week of lots of cuddling and attention and then SLOWLY wean her off--she needs to learn to be by herself and occupy herself with toys, etc, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yea, we're going to try the NILIF training and hopefully that works.

luckily my dad was a good sport about it, hes on guard but doesnt hate the dog, we were eating and she came in and i told her to go back into the other room and lay down and he was telling me to let the dog stay in there its not a big deal. so im taking this way harder than him, but its also because its my dog and i dont want this to go into future problems.

Thanks a lot again, I'll let everyone know how the training is going and keep everyone updated on the situation
 

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she went from having nothing to having everything and with the doting she probably just feels like she is queen bee right now and more then likely is looking at you as one of her pocessions lol you are there for food and attention who wouldnt want a toy like that lol. Great posts and info from the above people , hope with some work and training she can figure out her proper position in the house and can show your parents how great this breed really is :)
 

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With any type of aggression issues it is impossible to know for sure what is going on by talking on the internet. So many things can be a factor in what happened that it is just not sound advice to speculate over the internet. My advice is to find a trainer in your area and have the dog temperament tested and work with them to work out any issues. since you have had the dog only a week you may not have seen the true personality and temperament of the dog. It takes dogs several weeks to get comfortable in their new environment to show their true colors and this is when a lot of problems start to happen. From my experience I would guess this behavior might get worse if not handled right away. Find a good trainer in your area and work with them.
 

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I didn't read the part where the dog has only been with you for a week. A lot of people advocate a 2-week-shutdown where the dog isn't exposed to a lot of new stimulus, pretty much just kept quiet (even crated quite a bit) while they're adjusting. I'm not sure what that all entails because I've never taken in a rescue dog. But maybe it has something to do with it.
 

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I didn't read the part where the dog has only been with you for a week. A lot of people advocate a 2-week-shutdown where the dog isn't exposed to a lot of new stimulus, pretty much just kept quiet (even crated quite a bit) while they're adjusting. I'm not sure what that all entails because I've never taken in a rescue dog. But maybe it has something to do with it.
Read my post above, It explains it if your curious...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh i m already an over protective pit parent... I know what an amazing breed they can be, and I want to be able to show others too, that's y I'm willing to do or try anything in my power to correct this before it happens again, its only been once in her lifetime from what I've heard, and honestly once is too much already, it'll be easier to try and correct it now than try to avoid it and there goes my dog being euthanized because I turned into the irrisponsible pitbull owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so just an update... Ive started the NILIF training and i've already started to see results in the way she walks on the leash and now before she gets on the bed she sits first without me even telling her to, we use to have a crate but shes scares to death of being enclosed and shes good when we're not home, so we got her a huge comfy dog bed instead and we're hoping to use that for her to sleep on instead of the bed so she knows that is her space in the house.

we are going back to the MSPCA on thursday to talk to the obedience trainers that they have there and hopefully enroll her in classes.

my only issue is how am i suppose to know if what im doing is working with my original issue... i dont want to use my dad as bait lol
 

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so just an update... Ive started the NILIF training and i've already started to see results in the way she walks on the leash and now before she gets on the bed she sits first without me even telling her to, we use to have a crate but shes scares to death of being enclosed and shes good when we're not home, so we got her a huge comfy dog bed instead and we're hoping to use that for her to sleep on instead of the bed so she knows that is her space in the house.

we are going back to the MSPCA on thursday to talk to the obedience trainers that they have there and hopefully enroll her in classes.

my only issue is how am i suppose to know if what im doing is working with my original issue... i dont want to use my dad as bait lol
Thats great! Maybe you can put lacey and your dad in the same scenario as before, and see if she does it again :)
 

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Sounds like you are on the right track. Keep at it!
 

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get a friend to help you instead of your dad have him wear acouple sweatshirts so if she bites/nips nothing really happens. the issue wouldnt be with just one person it'd be with any stranger
 
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