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Old 07-08-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Reps to all for the great advice, links, pics!
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
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.
There are certain things I've noticed about certain breeds that are behavioral or physical according to their breed. For example, my GSD has a high prey-drive. Consequently, I train accordingly (as far as I know, Pits nor Labs have high prey-drives, although they can be trained for hunting). Moreover, Labs tend to put on weight easily, which should be something to watch for (but not try to prevent by restricting food). However, regarding "aggressiveness," Pits are no more prone than any other dog. Even when she's older, I wouldn't worry about it. As with any dog, you should train with a "Leave it" command as well as train to walk away from a fight (difficult for any dog).

With regards to your other dog, again, I doubt you will have a problem, especially if this puppy grows up with your Golden. And as far as being protective, well, welcome to dog ownership. Your Golden may not be protective, your Pit might be, but that's a good thing. Watch dogs usually only bark; you need to train them to be "attack" dogs, that really isn't something that is inherent to any breed.

My GSD is protective, especially with other dogs, but this doesn't necessarily mean that she is aggressive. Everything will depend on your reaction to things like protectiveness. If you freak out and get really scared or angry, then you might have a problem. I would treat her as you have treated your Golden, although I wouldn't expect it to be the exact same experience; they are, after all, two completely different dogs/individuals.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:50 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 9,101,538 times
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Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
There are certain things I've noticed about certain breeds that are behavioral or physical according to their breed. For example, my GSD has a high prey-drive. Consequently, I train accordingly (as far as I know, Pits nor Labs have high prey-drives, although they can be trained for hunting). Moreover, Labs tend to put on weight easily, which should be something to watch for (but not try to prevent by restricting food). However, regarding "aggressiveness," Pits are no more prone than any other dog. Even when she's older, I wouldn't worry about it. As with any dog, you should train with a "Leave it" command as well as train to walk away from a fight (difficult for any dog).

With regards to your other dog, again, I doubt you will have a problem, especially if this puppy grows up with your Golden. And as far as being protective, well, welcome to dog ownership. Your Golden may not be protective, your Pit might be, but that's a good thing. Watch dogs usually only bark; you need to train them to be "attack" dogs, that really isn't something that is inherent to any breed.

My GSD is protective, especially with other dogs, but this doesn't necessarily mean that she is aggressive. Everything will depend on your reaction to things like protectiveness. If you freak out and get really scared or angry, then you might have a problem. I would treat her as you have treated your Golden, although I wouldn't expect it to be the exact same experience; they are, after all, two completely different dogs/individuals.
I think I might have been confusing protectiveness with aggressiveness - two different things. And we are sure not training this baby to be an attack dog, so that shouldn't ever be problem.

The natural prey drive (which I'm assuming might lead to aggression towards other animals?) is not something that we've dealt with before. What kind of training/commands will we need to get control over that?
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
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.
Well said!
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:02 PM
 
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Our female pit never displayed any behavior like that. She was raised from a puppy with cats, and never attacked one. As a matter of fact, she was very protective of the cats, treated them like her puppies.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:05 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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I have a Lab x pit bull foster dog...I've yet to see a shred of aggressive behaviour. I know quite a few very stable, nice pit bulls. And I've had Rottweilers for 26 years. Pit bulls are usually not very good attack or guard dogs. Labradors certainly aren't!

Excellent site for info:
Bad Rap : Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit bulls

IF your girl is likely to show any aggressive tendencies it will be prey drive (like most terriers and sighthounds, pit bulls may have a high prey drive, which can be channeled and tamed with training) and possible dog-aggression, particularly same-sex dog aggression. Also can be dealt with through heavy socialization and classes, classes, classes.

It is possible your pup may not have either of these drives much at all...many pit bulls and pit mixes are extremely sweet and low-key dogs, especially if socialized and raised right. But you are smart to do some research so you can head off possible problem behaviour as she matures. Sounds like you are doing things right so far...I DO recommend obedience classes. For just about any puppy, actually.

The prey drive thing...it's pretty hard to override and some dogs with a very strong prey drive can't be reliably trained not to chase cats, rabbits, etc. Greyhounds are notorious for this. I have a little Jack Russel terrier mix who is sweet as a bug and very gentle with my cats...but I would not put it past her to kill a stray cat in my yard, nor would I fault her for it. She's killed mice and squirrels and one possum. And lots and lots of insects. Prey drive is fairly specific...not directed towards all other animals, or people, but towards smaller animals that act like, well, prey. Smaller, fast-moving, squeaky, tasty.

But you can channel it by teaching the dog to bring things to you, to release when asked, and by giving her lots of appropriate outlets for it - frisbee, chase, that sort of thing. Plenty of structure and training will get you a more responsive dog, one who will maybe do a u-turn back towards you when called while chasing a rabbit or something.

Also, ditto everything StarlaJane said!
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
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Your puppy is very sweet, active, smart, loves kids and has played well with other dogs. Other than what you "suspect," what is the problem? I think there are lots of mixed breed dogs that have pit in them, but as long as they are not abused, there should be no problems. In fact, I imagine that our Darcy has some pit in her, and she is very sweet even though she has spent most of her life in shelters. Don't create a problem when you don't have one. Just enjoy and give your dog the best life that you can.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
I think I might have been confusing protectiveness with aggressiveness - two different things. And we are sure not training this baby to be an attack dog, so that shouldn't ever be problem.

The natural prey drive (which I'm assuming might lead to aggression towards other animals?) is not something that we've dealt with before. What kind of training/commands will we need to get control over that?
Again, prey-drive has nothing to do with aggression. It simply means that a dog has a higher instinct to chase prey (i.e. small animals), but it does not mean that said dog will chase and kill; for most dogs, you really need to train them to kill. As Chiropetra noted, dogs like JRTs can kill animals such as rats or squirrels, as they were bred for ratting, etc. but a lot do not.

For example, my GSD loves to chase the cat. However, she has, nor would she ever, hurt the cat; she just likes to "play" and she really, really enjoys "tracking" the cat. However, for the sake of the cat, I always make sure she has a "safe" spot to go to (the top of the dryer, a hole in the boxspring of my bed, etc.) when she feels that the dog is being overly "attentive."

Moreover, that is what the "leave it" command is for: if the dog is being too eager/annoying to the cat, I tell her "Leave her alone" and the dog walks away and lies down. "Playing" with the cat is a favorite pastime for the dog. And, yet, they usually just sleep and/or ignore each other when I am not around Every time I have come home, they are in separate rooms, sleeping.

Unfortunately, a lot of herding breeds will instinctively nip at something they are trying to herd, something which many people mistake for aggression but that is, in fact, merely a way to intimidate and get an animal to move; there is rarely ever a real bite.

A "leave it" command is a good idea for any dog, for a number of reasons.

Last edited by StarlaJane; 07-08-2011 at 04:37 PM..
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
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Oh.....I was where you are and it is so unnecessary......I got a dog from the shelter "terrier mix"; I couldnt see the terrier......but came to realize she looks a bit like a pit. I was worried! Just like you....what about the grandchildren....will she turn on me.....can I handle her.

This dog is the sweetest gentlest girl......a real love bug. Everyone Loves her.....she is an exceptional dog. We are all as happy as clams. We have since adopted a little 3 legged beagle girl.....she steals bones and food from my "terrier mix".....and takes her favorite spots to lie down.....there has never been a bad interaction.....and they do groom each other and cuddle sometimes. The terrier mix helps the beagle clean her ears..

I have never had a full blooded pit bull terrier....but some pit terrier adds something wonderful to a mixed breed! Calm temperment, Loyalty, gentleness, sense of humor, obedience! As you can tell I am a big fan of the pitt terrier cross.

My terrier mix doesnt seem to have any "prey drive"..... ..if I call her name....."McKenzie Come!" She stops and turns on a dime and comes to me....at full speed. I didnt have to teach her....she just does it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:46 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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You are getting some great advice, I can't count how many times I've had my makeup practically licked off my face by a pittie.

I do have one question. Where are the pictures of the little one?
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