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Old 07-08-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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Just concentrate on training her and socializing her with adults, children and other animals. She didn't do anything and yet you are judging her. She may not even be mixed with a pit bull. I really wish these stereotypes would stop.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 60sfemi View Post
Oh by the way, you can stop "alpha behavior" very easily in young dogs. Just make sure you are ALWAYS the strong, patient, loving alpha dog and immediatly stop even the tiniest alpha behaviors right away. If they are a bit bullish with toys....take the toy away until he plays properly...if he starts to bristle or hold his tail stiff while eating or holding a treat....take it away immediatly and don't give it to him until he has had a second or two of "accepting" that you are alpha not him. But you must start young and never give him a chance to misbehave...but do it with love and firmness. You wouldn't allow your child to bully, don't let your puppy bully. Same concept.
So far, we haven't really had any alpha issues with her. But if she was being snarly with a toy or food, I would handle that behavior by taking it away and redirecting. I don't know that I can be right on top of her at all times - between the dogs and the kids and their friends, our house can be a bit of a three ring circus.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kandle View Post
Just concentrate on training her and socializing her with adults, children and other animals. She didn't do anything and yet you are judging her. She may not even be mixed with a pit bull. I really wish these stereotypes would stop.
I know that there are lots of really great pit bulls out there. I really don't have anything against the breed at all. But my experience is with a golden right now so I want to make sure that I know what I'm getting into to.

Ex: If I take our puppy to a lake, will I be able to let her off leash to splash and play with our golden or will I need to keep her on leash and/or really watch her around other animals/people.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,605,548 times
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Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
Thanks - it's hard to imagine this little fur ball being anything other than sweet. But I've been doing some research on pits and I'm concerned that while many people seem to appreciate the breed's overall sweetness/loyalty to their owners, many have noted that they need to "really be watched" around other dogs (tendency to fight, never let them loose at a dog park) and children as they tend to be alpha over kids.
What you are doing is allowing negative sterotypes to distort your opinion of this dog. This dog is still a puppy and you are already listening to all of those that malign the breed. Careful, b/c you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy by listening to those that tell you to be fearful of these dogs and not to trust them; you will get the same back from this dog, not b/c of it's breed, but b/c of how you treated it.

There are a lot of people out there that think that certain dogs are "wired" a certain way, that a breed will determine behavior, and both are simply human excuses for an owner's failure to properly care for and/or train a dog.

Dogs are a reflection of their owners: how they have been treated by their owners and how much attention has been paid to them by their owners will determine what kind of dog you end up with, regardless of breed. Abuse or neglect a dog and it will behave aggressively (b/c it has learned that human=pain). Train a dog to fight (by rewarding it when it fights) and it will fight. Treat a dog with trust, love and kindness, and you will get the same.

Don't fall into the trap of ensuring that this dog will become vicious by assuming that it is (and treating it as such) before it has even demonstrated any vicious behavior You will ruin the dog and also end up believing a bunch of nonsense that was caused by you rather than the dog. Moreover, ALL dogs need to be watched all of the time, especially when they are puppies. This is part of normal and attentive care. If you have children, supervise their interactions with the dog, as kids usually have no idea about dogs and will do things that hurt them, causing an unwanted reaction (same as if you had left your child alone with another child/cat/horse/rabbit/toy/plant, etc.)

Begin with normal care and training and treat this dog like the cherished little creature that she is. Do not scold or hit when she bites; this is normal puppy behavior called "teething" in which dogs lose their teeth and use their mouths to explore the world (toddlers do this as well, first with their mouths, then with their hands). Redirect to a toy when she bites, especially during play. Invest in a lot of toys and/or nylabones during this phase so that she is properly directed.

If you cannot get over your prejudices with regard to this breed, then please rehome her to someone who does not have such prejudices. As another poster stated, you need to educate yourself, especially about puppy care and caring for and/or training a dog in general.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
So far, we haven't really had any alpha issues with her. But if she was being snarly with a toy or food, I would handle that behavior by taking it away and redirecting. I don't know that I can be right on top of her at all times - between the dogs and the kids and their friends, our house can be a bit of a three ring circus.
If you are unsure and if you will always be an guard with her for the rest of the pets life then I would continue to train it while looking for another home. if you can't relax and not worry then it isn't a good fit. I agree these dogs can be excellent dogs, any dog can be a problem given the right circumstances. my decision would be based on my comfort level with the dog. there are breed rescues and tons of animals that would fit your family. you should not have to worry about your dog, I would think the dog could feel that and only add to it's tension in certain situations.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,605,548 times
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Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
I know that there are lots of really great pit bulls out there. I really don't have anything against the breed at all. But my experience is with a golden right now so I want to make sure that I know what I'm getting into to.

Ex: If I take our puppy to a lake, will I be able to let her off leash to splash and play with our golden or will I need to keep her on leash and/or really watch her around other animals/people.
You need to keep an eye on her because SHE'S A PUPPY; you will have to worry more about the water and your Golden than your puppy. Keep her on a leash with other [stranger] dogs and people, if only for her own safety. And stop treating her as if she's going to be aggressive when she has never exhibited behavior to justify treating her that way. Stop treating her like a "Pitbull" and start treating her like a puppy: she needs to be watched in order to be protected from things in the world that will hurt her rather than the other way around.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,281,343 times
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Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
I know that there are lots of really great pit bulls out there. I really don't have anything against the breed at all. But my experience is with a golden right now so I want to make sure that I know what I'm getting into to.

Ex: If I take our puppy to a lake, will I be able to let her off leash to splash and play with our golden or will I need to keep her on leash and/or really watch her around other animals/people.
I don't want to sound rude but the reality is that it has far less to do with the breed and so much more to do with the human. Virtually any dog responds in the same way to positive leadership and, if done right, will do pretty much whatever you want it to. The "personality" of dogs has so much more to do with the nurture rather than nature.

While it is true that pit bulls are known for being bred to "fight," this is not because there is an inherent "aggressive instinct" inside the dog but because they are very muscular and powerful dogs that, when treated wrong, can turn into a violent, cruel and powerful dog. But, if I were so evilly inclined, I could easily turn a Jack Russell Terrier or a Chihuahua into the meanest dog in the world as well. It wouldn't make for an interesting dog fight to gamble on and that's why you don't see it. It's almost always about the owner and not the breed.

I assure you. If you are happy with the way your Golden Retriever worked out, and you stick to that same regiment with this lab/pitt, you'll have nothing to worry about except a very loyal dog who will take a bullet for you.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: 213, 310, 562, 909, 951, 952, 315, ???
1,537 posts, read 2,217,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
The puppy is a 9 week old lab/terrier mix of some sort, a mutt, but we have no other details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
But there is one problem - there is a chance that she is a lab/pit mix.
Congratulations, you have yourself a lab/ terrier mix either way. American Pit Bull Terrier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Pit bulls are great dogs! There are just bad owners! I had a pitbull mix, she was the sweetest dog ever, never growled, just a baby dog forever.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:57 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 9,137,285 times
Reputation: 5884
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Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
What you are doing is allowing negative sterotypes to distort your opinion of this dog. This dog is still a puppy and you are already listening to all of those that malign the breed. Careful, b/c you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy by listening to those that tell you to be fearful of these dogs and not to trust them; you will get the same back from this dog, not b/c of it's breed, but b/c of how you treated it.

There are a lot of people out there that think that certain dogs are "wired" a certain way, that a breed will determine behavior, and both are simply human excuses for an owner's failure to properly care for and/or train a dog.

Dogs are a reflection of their owners: how they have been treated by their owners and how much attention has been paid to them by their owners will determine what kind of dog you end up with, regardless of breed. Abuse or neglect a dog and it will behave aggressively (b/c it has learned that human=pain). Train a dog to fight (by rewarding it when it fights) and it will fight. Treat a dog with trust, love and kindness, and you will get the same.

Don't fall into the trap of ensuring that this dog will become vicious by assuming that it is (and treating it as such) before it has even demonstrated any vicious behavior You will ruin the dog and also end up believing a bunch of nonsense that was caused by you rather than the dog. Moreover, ALL dogs need to be watched all of the time, especially when they are puppies. This is part of normal and attentive care. If you have children, supervise their interactions with the dog, as kids usually have no idea about dogs and will do things that hurt them, causing an unwanted reaction (same as if you had left your child alone with another child/cat/horse/rabbit/toy/plant, etc.)

Begin with normal care and training and treat this dog like the cherished little creature that she is. Do not scold or hit when she bites; this is normal puppy behavior called "teething" in which dogs lose their teeth and use their mouths to explore the world (toddlers do this as well, first with their mouths, then with their hands). Redirect to a toy when she bites, especially during play. Invest in a lot of toys and/or nylabones during this phase so that she is properly directed.

If you cannot get over your prejudices with regard to this breed, then please rehome her to someone who does not have such prejudices. As another poster stated, you need to educate yourself, especially about puppy care and caring for and/or training a dog in general.
Makes sense.

I've never hit/spanked/yelled at our golden and I wouldn't treat this puppy that way. Totally not my style. We are all very gentle with her - the kids have grown up with our golden and they are good with dogs in general and I count on them to help me with this pup. Our golden is a very sweet, happy, friendly dog. I hope that our golden will prove to be a good mentor for this pup.

We've been redirecting when the puppy bites or if she goes bitey at my hand I'll put my palm flat in front of her face so that when she tries to bite she doesn't get any flesh - I'll then get a toy/chewie for her to munch on. She isn't being mean when she nips, she's just being a teething puppy and I'm sure that like our golden, she'll grow out of this phase. So far, she has been a little doll.

I feel as though we will sail through this young puppy phase, my concerns are more about what to expect as she grows older and becomes more territorial/protective/watch-doggy - traits our golden does not have and that a pit/lab might. I want to make sure I fully appreciate, understand and respect this dog's nature.

Last edited by springfieldva; 07-08-2011 at 03:17 PM..
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