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Old 07-08-2011, 05:00 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,298,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
A "leave it" command is a good idea for any dog, for a number of reasons.
Yes it is. Anything from a cooked chicken bone found on the ground during a walk to pills spilled on the floor to a fledgeling bird..."Leave it" is a wonderfully useful command!

Actually my word for "release whatever you have in your mouth NOW" is "OUT" and "Stop whatever you are doing this minute" is "That will do". I also play a lot of restraint and control games - these not being natural dog traits - with my dogs. The butthead teenage Rottweiler, for instance, is currently working on stay...so I make him sit or down-stay, I carry his food to a distant corner of the yard, then walk around in circles or throw a toy in front of him...he does not get to go eat unless he's demonstrated a solid stay.

Several of the nippiest dogs I've known were heelers and Border collies...they can be really bossy and heelers and Australian shepherds especially use their teeth a lot to control stock (hence the name "heeler" as in biting heels- my JRT mix is crossed with a red heeler and I joke that she doesn't know whether to herd something or kill it).

Really as SMXgirl and others have said...no point freaking and fretting over some trait that may never manifest. On the other hand, it doesn't hurt to be proactive; you can relax on the training and rules once your pup has proven herself.

PS: definitely, we need pictures!
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,387,002 times
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LOL we fostered a full pittie from birth; she was one of a litter of 10 whose momma died. She was the only one who survived. We bottle-fed her every 4-6 hours.

Pepper was perhaps the most innocently loving dog on the whole planet. She was big and muscular and had a terrifying bark - but the only danger from her was that she would leap up, wrap her paws around you, and cover you in kisses! Children, though - she'd just lay down and roll over to get them to laugh. I hated to give her back to her owner!

Dogs are bred to do certain work, but all can be trained. Well, except our Afghan - she was only trained to be a couch potato. We too had border collies that would nip and bite to enforce their decisions, and when thwarted would eat the heels off of shoes. Right now we have an Aussie shepherd/heeler mix that herds the cattle just like he is supposed to, when he's told it's time to "WORK!" - but he would never ever think of biting a human. He has herded an irritated cow AWAY from me if he even thought she got too close. But that's his job. Dogs like to have jobs (except for the Afghan); like children, they need to be trained.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
39,232 posts, read 18,771,218 times
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Reading all these wonderful posts from folks who love dogs.......is so heart warming and makes me so happy that I am in that number.....I Love Dogs! <3
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,562,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Yes it is. Anything from a cooked chicken bone found on the ground during a walk to pills spilled on the floor to a fledgeling bird..."Leave it" is a wonderfully useful command!

Actually my word for "release whatever you have in your mouth NOW" is "OUT" and "Stop whatever you are doing this minute" is "That will do". I also play a lot of restraint and control games - these not being natural dog traits - with my dogs. The butthead teenage Rottweiler, for instance, is currently working on stay...so I make him sit or down-stay, I carry his food to a distant corner of the yard, then walk around in circles or throw a toy in front of him...he does not get to go eat unless he's demonstrated a solid stay.

Several of the nippiest dogs I've known were heelers and Border collies...they can be really bossy and heelers and Australian shepherds especially use their teeth a lot to control stock (hence the name "heeler" as in biting heels- my JRT mix is crossed with a red heeler and I joke that she doesn't know whether to herd something or kill it).

Really as SMXgirl and others have said...no point freaking and fretting over some trait that may never manifest. On the other hand, it doesn't hurt to be proactive; you can relax on the training and rules once your pup has proven herself.

PS: definitely, we need pictures!
"That'll do, pig, that'll do." LOL, your story reminded me of one of my favorite movies

My dog's favorite game is "hot-and-cold." I never thought of it as a restraint game but I guess it is; she has to listen to my verbal cues in order to find the coveted toy or treat. I then applaud her when she finds it, and you have not seen a dog happier than she at her find!

As any livestock farmer will tell you, the herding breeds use their teeth to herd, but any well-trained herder worth its salt will never bite; they're only supposed to nip at the heels but not to actually bite.

And, yes, they can be quite a pain about it. My GSD, for example, is *obsessed* with baby horses and will sit outside their paddock/stall and stare for hours on end. She has actually gotten in with one but she only barked herself horse (hehe)

Her sister made the mistake of getting too close to a horse once; she liked to chase the horses when they went out and she was allowed to do so. Well, she nipped at the heels of a mare that *just wasn't having any of it* and ended up with a concussion and a permanent dent in her head Just one of the reasons why the herding dogs shouldn't ever try to actually bite; hooves can do just as much damage as teeth.

The same sister also lived with a cat whose head she loved to put in her mouth, playfully. She never bit the cat but the poor cat's head would be lathered in slobber. The same GSD also lived with a JRT with whom she would go hunting for rats. The JRT would flush them out and the two would then kill the rat together. I always thought that it was sort of strange that the smaller dog seemed to be the more aggressive of the two but that most people would expect the GSD to be the "dangerous" dog.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Lakes & Mountains of East TN
3,454 posts, read 6,574,228 times
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Our pit mix is irreplaceable; the best dog I've ever had; I'm 46 and I've had dogs all my life.

Thank you to those who say that of course, pits need a firm hand and strict boundaries.

Like any dog, they will run amok if allowed to do so.

If you are consistently the loving-but-firm-alpha to this pup, it will grow up to reward you with the most satisfying relationship you can possibly imagine. I promise!

A photo of our beloved Victor and his beloved "sisters", Reba and Sharona:
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/71680_478314886076_637496076_7200724_7681563_n.jpg (broken link)
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,298,480 times
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I spent many of my formative years around working stock and herding dogs (in Scotland; my family had sheep and working collies) and they could indeed be stinkers. Although sensible adult dogs have exquisite control over their bites...none would have ever done more than a nip, startling though it may have been to the uninitiated!

"That'll do" is a time-honored Brit admonition, I think.

My teenage Rottweiler, due to my own inattention and stupidity, found himself in the pasture with three Clydesdales a few months ago. I about died from fright, seriously. Thank God, when they all trotted over and surrounded him, he shrank down flat and still on the ground and allowed them to sniff him (while I was helpless at the fence, terrified that they'd stomp him.) As soon as they lost interest, he raced back to me with his ears back and white eyes with a total OMG mom they were HUGE and SCARY look on his face. This does not happen often with Rottweilers; usually they simply assume they own the world.

SCGranny...I have a friend very active in rescue - she has two pit bulls, an 8-year-old female who has tolerated countless dogs and cats in the house with good grace, and a one-year-old 100 lb, one-eyed male pit bull whose major etiquette faux-pas currently is trying to climb onto visitor's laps and lick their faces. He is sort of obnoxious and exuberant but utterly gracious, and very "motherly" with kittens and puppies, as is their female.

I've had a lot of dogs in my life...several stand out as "dogs I would leave all day in a room-full of crawling babies." (Theoretically, of course, this is not a good idea with any dog!) Two of the seven Rottweilers I've owned, a Rottweiler x Chow (former foster dog, now owned by close friends) and a foster pit bull x some-sort-of-hound. And perhaps this one blind Sheltie/Cocker mix foster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
"That'll do, pig, that'll do." LOL, your story reminded me of one of my favorite movies

As any livestock farmer will tell you, the herding breeds use their teeth to herd, but any well-trained herder worth its salt will never bite; they're only supposed to nip at the heels but not to actually bite.

And, yes, they can be quite a pain about it. My GSD, for example, is *obsessed* with baby horses and will sit outside their paddock/stall and stare for hours on end. She has actually gotten in with one but she only barked herself horse (hehe)

Her sister made the mistake of getting too close to a horse once; she liked to chase the horses when they went out and she was allowed to do so. Well, she nipped at the heels of a mare that *just wasn't having any of it* and ended up with a concussion and a permanent dent in her head Just one of the reasons why the herding dogs shouldn't ever try to actually bite; hooves can do just as much damage as teeth.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:51 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,298,480 times
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This is really excellent advice for any dog:

http://www.badrap.org/rescue/owning.html
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:50 AM
 
577 posts, read 1,578,221 times
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Congrats on your new addition to the family! She sounds great and you have gotten excellent advice. The main thing I will stress and repeat over and over is SOCIALIZATION! The majority of Aggression is usually fear based... and that usually comes about with new places, new people, new noises, etc etc. The more you take her out and get her used to dealing with new things ..the more she will adapt and adjust to new things instead of acting out of fear. Once she has all her shots, take her everywhere you can.. introduce her to people, go to dog parks, let her interact with other dogs off leash, attend dog events where you can bring her with, walk her in a highly public place like a downtown area, expose her to some loud noises, livestock, everything really. And do it young.. don't wait until she's a year, she needs it as early as possible. Until she can go out and about due to shots.. have people come over and see her, bring their dogs ( if up to date on shots) Socialization is key.

Have fun with her!
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,562,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
I spent many of my formative years around working stock and herding dogs (in Scotland; my family had sheep and working collies) and they could indeed be stinkers. Although sensible adult dogs have exquisite control over their bites...none would have ever done more than a nip, startling though it may have been to the uninitiated!

"That'll do" is a time-honored Brit admonition, I think.

My teenage Rottweiler, due to my own inattention and stupidity, found himself in the pasture with three Clydesdales a few months ago. I about died from fright, seriously. Thank God, when they all trotted over and surrounded him, he shrank down flat and still on the ground and allowed them to sniff him (while I was helpless at the fence, terrified that they'd stomp him.) As soon as they lost interest, he raced back to me with his ears back and white eyes with a total OMG mom they were HUGE and SCARY look on his face. This does not happen often with Rottweilers; usually they simply assume they own the world.

SCGranny...I have a friend very active in rescue - she has two pit bulls, an 8-year-old female who has tolerated countless dogs and cats in the house with good grace, and a one-year-old 100 lb, one-eyed male pit bull whose major etiquette faux-pas currently is trying to climb onto visitor's laps and lick their faces. He is sort of obnoxious and exuberant but utterly gracious, and very "motherly" with kittens and puppies, as is their female.

I've had a lot of dogs in my life...several stand out as "dogs I would leave all day in a room-full of crawling babies." (Theoretically, of course, this is not a good idea with any dog!) Two of the seven Rottweilers I've owned, a Rottweiler x Chow (former foster dog, now owned by close friends) and a foster pit bull x some-sort-of-hound. And perhaps this one blind Sheltie/Cocker mix foster.
LOL, as is "Well done."

My GSD had a similar experience with a mule when she was a puppy. I now know that mules really don't like dogs and it's best not to try to introduce the two.

She also had some close calls with horses as a pup. Suffice to say, she developed a healthy respect for them and has never tried to give chase.

It's just the cat that she thinks is the most fun the stalk and chase. Fortunately, the cat is very scrappy and always outsmarts her
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:53 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,298,480 times
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bbKaren - what a neat photo and handsome pibble.

Jasmine is right, that's a good point: much of what people consider "aggression" is really fear and defensive behaviour and socialization is SO important. Especially with breeds that are likely to be either fearful or reactive.

Has anyone mentioned dog parks yet? I am not a fan. Just one scary experience with another dog can set up a pup to be defensive for life, if it happens during an impressionable age, or is really scary. Controlled and structured exposure is best, IMO....well-run classes, a good doggie daycare, visits with sensible, puppy-friendly older dogs.
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