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09-09-2011, 01:06 PM #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
I need help! My 8month old pit bull boxer mix is aggressive towards other dogs.
Dixie is 8mo old, we've had her since she was 7 weeks. She is a pit bull boxer mix. She is a great dog, except when she sees another dog! She instantly starts growling and her hackles go up. Weve had her in puppy cl$#@!, to socialize her more, she was ok in the cl$#@!. She would let the other puppies sniff her but then her lips would curl back and she would start to show her teeth. I would scruff her and reprimand her as the trainer told me to do. It seemed to help, but yesterday I brought her to the lake with my 3 kids and a black lab came up to her and she went nuts, snarling, growling, hackles up, the caretaker of the beach told me I had to leave. We love our dog, she is not aggressive towards people, she loves everybody! She listens really good, learns commands easily. We have another dog a 12 yr old female pug she gets along with, our pug doesn't like her much though, she gets mad at Dixie when she tries to play with her. I'm worried she will get worse, we live in the country which helps but we want to get horses and I'm afraid she will be aggressive towards them. Can this be Fixed? Please help!
Fixed no,because the dog is not broken or defective. It is perfectly normal and acceptable for a pit mix to be aggressive towards dogs. You just have to make sure that it is not in a position to hurt or get hurt.
In a word, no, it can't be fixed, but it can be managed.
A Pit bull dog's natural instinct is to fight. It's genetically a part of them because that's what they've been bred to do for a hundred years (probably more). Your dog is Dog Aggressive. Again, it's a completely normal breed trait. Terriers, in general, have extremely strong prey drives, stronger than most other breed cl$#@!. You can't train it out of him. You can, however, manage it by teaching him to ignore other dogs. This will also strengthen your relationship with him.
It's impossible to train genetics out of ANY dog. You can't teach a Border Collie to stop herding. You can't teach a Golden Retriever to stop retrieving. So what makes people think they can teach a pit bull to stop being dog aggressive? Yes, there are some pits/mixes that get along well with just about any other dog, some get along with only other resident dogs, some only females, some only males. There are varying levels of dog aggression but it's still not to be taught that it doesn't exist. Truth be told, if your dog gets along with other dogs, is the exception not the rule.
The following threads will help you out immensely if you haven't already read them:
The APBT and Aggression
Always Expect a Bulldog To Fight
Being a responsible APBT owner
Get a breakstick and learn how to use it.
Responsible uses of a Breakstick
Just so you're aware: Dog Aggression and Human Aggression are NOT the same thing. DA dogs do not "tend" to turn on their owners. There is no relation between the 2. That said, HA is completely undesirable in this breed and any dog exhibiting it needs to be PTS.
As a general rule, your pit bull does not need doggie friends. He only needs you.
FWIW, my pit bull mix is similar to your boy. Bentley HATES other dogs, extremely dog aggressive. He does, however, love the dog he lives with. Even still, we Crate and Rotate them because we don't always have time to closely supervise. You might want to consider doing it anyway so that you can have individual bonding time with each dog. That way, if the time ever comes when you HAVE to keep them separate, you'll already be used to the idea and it will make a stressful situation less stressful.
Last edited by _unoriginal; 09-09-2011 at 01:20 PM.
09-09-2011, 01:28 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Nothing wrong with your pup.... she is a bully mix, which means that DA (dog aggression) is a very normal trait for this breed. You have to learn how to manage a DA dog, but you cannot "fix" it or get rid of it, you can only learn how to handle a DA dog. I had never heard of a DA dog, until we got our first "pit bull" mix, Mollie. I now have 3 "pit bull" mixes. Some get along great with certain other dogs (I have a total of 5 dogs, the other two are a Lab mix and a Shih Tzu mix). Some cannot be around each other at all.
I have two female "pit bull" type dogs and the other one is a male that I am fostering. Mollie came to us at 5 weeks. She was 4 years old when we adopted Bella, who was a rescue and approximately 3-4 months old. They got along wonderfully for 2 years, even slept in the bed with us together. But one day it changed.... and now, they are no longer allowed anywhere near each other.
It started out with Bella just getting snarky with Mollie... which I managed fairly well. Then we tried leashing Bella to us when we were in the living room. She had the couch with me, Mollie had the love seat by herself. This worked well for a while.... but eventually, it became apparent that they would not be able to be in the same room with each other without them both stressing out, and stressing me out as well. It is easier to keep them separated than to break up a fight.
Luckily, none of their fights have ended with a vet visit.. however, the last fight ended up with my daughter getting bit when she put her hand in Bella's mouth to loosen her grip. Not a good idea, but she was reacting instantly to the fight and didn't think before she acted. Now, she has very limited use of her right thumb and it won't bend at all. The only option that "might" work, is plastic surgery. So far, she has decided to just live with it. I hate that she lost the use of her thumb, but I think of how much worse it could have been with a trip to the ER as well as a trip to the E-Vet, which charges $300.00 just to walk in the door past the receptionist.
The thing is, this breed is known to be dog aggressive..... it isn't a fault, it's a trait of the breed. It's not a big issue if you have a DA dog, but it can be a big issue if you don't learn how to manage it and prevent fights. Your dogs can get along great for 5 years 6 months and 25 days..... but on day 26, they can get into a fight over a sun ray or dust bunny. One can look at the other the "wrong way" and that's all it takes to start a scuffle. It can go from bad to worse in 1.2 seconds and unless you have a break stick and know how to break up a fight, you can be in a serious bind with two dogs that will not give up.
If you do not have a break stick, please get one ASAP. Pit Bull Rescue Central has nice break sticks for a reasonable price. I ordered mine after Mollie first got snarky with Maxx, who she had been raised with since she came to us, but at 3 years old, for whatever reason, she decided she didn't like Maxx (who was older and not a bully type and has since passed due to age). That scuffle resulted in a trip to the ER with the tip of my finger injured when I did the same thing my daughter later ended up doing with Bella. Luckily, the tip of my finger wasn't crushed, but that was 4 years ago and the tip of my finger is still very tender and has a numb spot right where the scar is and sometimes tingles.
Here is the link for PBRC's site regarding Break sticks. Please be sure to read the instructions on this link, as it describes how to properly break up a fight. http://www.pbrc.net/breaksticks.html
Never leave your dog alone unsupervised with any other dog. Also, I would keep her leashed at all times when she is outside where another dog could come up to her and startle her. If it were me, I wouldn't take her to the beach without having her leashed, and having a break stick in hand. I know it stinks to not be able to let her rip and romp, but unless you have a secluded area where you know no other animals are around, it just isn't worth the risk, because if a fight breaks out, even if the other dog starts it, your dog will be blamed due to its breed, and it could result in you having to have your dog put down if it is deemed a "dangerous" dog. People don't realize that dog fights are just part of life sometimes and they over react and demand that the bully type dog be put down because it is a danger to society, regardless of who started the fight. Your dog will come out on the losing end and it isn't worth the risk in my opinion.
All of my dogs get alone time with me that is just one on one with me and them. None seem any worse for wear with the system we have going, and each dog has time with me without anyone else trying to nudge their way in. Some people think crate/rotate is cruel or inhumane, but honestly, if you have more than one dog in your household, it is the best way to be a responsible owner with a bully breed, and especially being as you having an older dog that is less tolerant of the young pup. My Shih Tzu Gizzmo will be 13 years old this October, and he thinks he is a Rottweiler. He is always trying to pick a fight with the male pit bull, who weighs 75 pounds to Gizzmo's 20 pounds. I have to crate Gizzmo when Cooper is out because if I don't, Gizzmo will attack Cooper and Cooper will react like any normal dog does when they are attacked, he will fight back and the result will not be good for Gizzmo. The best way to break up a fight, is to prevent it.
Remember: An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure. :)
09-09-2011, 07:15 PM #5
$#@!uming your dog is truly dog aggressive, no it cannot be fixed. However, you can learn to manage it better. You can reduce her re-activity to other dogs by teaching her to focus on you. Here's a good video for you to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXeSvoeorEI&feature=results_video&playnext =1&list=PL7654A69D8024C4FB
As far as you not trusting her around the horses, why can you not just keep her tethered up or on a leash when she is outside? Keeping her properly contained is good for not only keeping the horses safe, but keeping her safe too - a horse kick can do some serious damage.
07-31-2013, 11:48 AM #6
I'm a lucky owner of my own pit bull boxer mix named Jordan. I just got her two days ago. She is extremely playful and such a great girl. She gets along just fine with my other dogs, a chihuhua shiztsu mix and chihuahua heeler mix. Jordan is only 6 months old, whereas Kitsune (the heeler) and Tora (shiztsu) are still getting to know her. Kitsune plays with her all the time when she goes out. But Tora is still a bit skittish about her. I guess what I am trying to show here is that maybe Dixie needed to be around other dogs, growing up with them, to keep from aggressive toward them. I know I'm 2 years late on this reply, but I just found this while looking up information on this particular mix breed when I found your thread. So far from what I have read, it all depends on what characteristics it took on. Boxers are playful, energetic guys, whereas the pit bull side is protective, but also playful and energetic. What I fear is the boxer side in the tail and health issues. Not all pits are aggressive, naturally. It all depends on how they are raised. Since you got Dixie at 7 weeks, she is highly protective of the family and sees other dogs as a threat to her family. That is natural instinct right there. My Kitsune, at first, saw Jordan as a threat and she's not a pit boxer mix. Despite many rumors, pits are not bad dogs. Just extremely protective. Jordan barks at any human she doesn't know that comes near me or my daughter. She sees them as a threat, but she won't bite. She'll just lower her tail and bark while growling. Kitsune and Tora do the same. Then again, I also keep them from attacking anyone. Kitsune $#@!erts her dominance over Jordan and Tora, but knows I am the dominate female of the house. I'm still working on teaching Jordan this.
Her aggression can't be fixed, as others stated, but it can be managed, as they stated. Just make sure exercise is a part of her regular routine and, especially, make sure she is worn out before meeting other dogs, otherwise she'll be aggressive again. Wearing the dog out will help her get accustomed to other animals being around. Hope this helps.
Here's a fun fact: Most dogs, despite breed or mixture, will change their ways if they accidentally hurt children. Jordan accidentally scratched my little girl when I first got her and she has been chewing on her nails to shorten them ever since. She's even more gentle when around her. Kitsune and Tora does this as well.
07-31-2013, 12:18 PM #7
07-31-2013, 01:13 PM #8
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
- Port Elizabeth, South Africa
I have a 10 month old puppy that gets along with all dogs he met by far, even the aggressive one BUT I am keeping a watchful eye because he is a pit bulldog. I always pull him away from the aggressive dogs.
Though I socialised him early, I know the genes are still there, hence I must be vigilant, especially as he matures.
Thanks to what I have learned on this forum.
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