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  1. Territorial Aggression

    I wanted to seek help with a behavioral issues Iím having with our male Pit Bull, Ozzie. He goes Red Zone when the doorbell rings, so I spent several weeks desensitizing him to the sound of the doorbell. I can say now that itís not the sound of the bell that sets him off, but the presence of someone at the front door and my laymanís diagnosis is that Ozzie has developed territorial aggression.

    Weíve had him for 4 years now and in the last year or so he has become more and more aggressive towards new people in our house, but primarily women or small children. Itís almost as though heís identifying who is the weakest of the newcomers and seeking them out to establish his dominance over. Heís not bitten anyone (yet), but I can see that we are progressing to the point where he will. The aggression is only in our house though.

    As an example, we meet our neighbors in the street all the time. They say hello to him and pet him, everythingís fine. If that same neighbor rings the door bell and we let her inside, I have to restrain Ozzie for several minutes, then he will calm down and give her a sniff and be fine with her.

    It works the same way for dogs. My brother brought over him 6 month lab and we all went for a walk. Everyone sniffed each other and got along swell. We all go into the house and Ozzie wants to go after the lab because heís eating ice.

  2. #2
    Hmmm. Sounds to be like he needs training at the front door and clear boundaries. He shouldn't be allowed near the front door if this is his reaction and I also feel there shouldn't be a dog in your house that doesn't live there if this is his reaction! Asking for trouble if u ask me! Dogs can walk into a room of 8 people and in 8 seconds with his nose know 2 of them are scared and depending on his temperament and training /. He will play into that! I suggest first setting up people coming to ur door and you working on a calm sit and stay. Have friends help. Ring bell and you putting him in his spot. And practice every day. One you get this down pat he shouldn't be given a release from the stay till visitors are settled in and then he may approach but only if he is calm. It's hard to explain during text but you I'm sure are gettin sort of what I'm saying. Some dogs have threshold issues. I advice against bringing any dog into your home if he is displaying aggression towards them! Being outside and then in his home is a whole different dynamic.!
    Work on sit stay.
    Set up roll play with help of friends to proof it.
    People that are afraid of your dog I would keep at a distance for now until you gain more control of his behavior and reactions to house guest. Otherwise you are setting him up to fail and it may end bad! Good luck.

  3. #3
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    What Lisa said ^ -or- Just crate him up or put him away when someone comes to the door or in the house. Especially with another dog. I contain both my mutts before letting anyone in or answering the door. Snow is very reactive to a knock or a door bell ringing. She will go nuts. So if its not my husband walking through that door, I just put them away. Simple solution to what seems to be a difficult problem. You can also do this and work on the dogs boundaries.

  4. #4
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    I'm sorry but this doesn't sound good.

    A dog going at women and small children is never a good thing, especially with a powerful breed like this. If you think he will progress to biting given what you've seen, he probably most definitely will!

    It's a good thing that you've worked on desensitizing him to the doorbell, but I'm sorry to say that I don't think this is something you should undertake on your own (or possibly at all, meaning this dog might be best always kept away from visitors, but would be a liability, or PTS).

    This is an accident waiting to happen. Keep the dog separated for now, don't try to work on it, I commend you for wanting to try but this is a pretty serious problem that has serious consequences if you aren't successful.

    Get a reputable trainer/behaviourist immediately, separate from visitors and come to grips with the possibility that this dog may always be a serious liability, in which case you might decide euthanasia is the best for everyone involved.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by K9 Love View Post
    I'm sorry but this doesn't sound good.

    A dog going at women and small children is never a good thing, especially with a powerful breed like this. If you think he will progress to biting given what you've seen, he probably most definitely will!

    It's a good thing that you've worked on desensitizing him to the doorbell, but I'm sorry to say that I don't think this is something you should undertake on your own (or possibly at all, meaning this dog might be best always kept away from visitors, but would be a liability, or PTS).

    This is an accident waiting to happen. Keep the dog separated for now, don't try to work on it, I commend you for wanting to try but this is a pretty serious problem that has serious consequences if you aren't successful.

    Get a reputable trainer/behaviourist immediately, separate from visitors and come to grips with the possibility that this dog may always be a serious liability, in which case you might decide euthanasia is the best for everyone involved.
    Yeah, that's a one way trip to the bridge that needs to happen sooner rather than later.

    Sent from my HTC-PG762 using Tapatalk 2

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    I agree with K9 Love. You KNOW your dog has the possibility of biting. You need to get PROFESSIONAL help as soon as possible. Don't try to do this on your own.

    Speaking from experience, it doesn't matter if your dog is "getting better" or "almost there" because if he bites someone, you're done. No one will care if he's "so much better than he was!" when they're on the way to the emergency room. So be prepared to muzzle this dog or crate him everytime you have a visitor until he is 100% perfect. You may even have to put him down if he doesn't improve. You need to realize that now. If something happens, you don't want someone else to be in control of his fate.

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