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new pup, a million questions

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by kayla baxter, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. kayla baxter

    kayla baxter Big Dog

    Hello everyone!

    My name's Kayla, and up until this point I've only ever had female labs, and have two at the moment. Shadow is almost 9, and Molly is 3. A week ago tomorrow I found this little man in the snow hiding behind some garbage cans in a rough part of town. I took him home since I couldnt find his home or anyone that had reported him missing. He's around 10-11 weeks old, and I have no idea exactly what breed he is, so I'm stuck just calling him a pitbull.
    I'm really trying to make it work so that he can stay here. We have a large fully fenced back yard that goes through the woods behind the house, and my labs are slowly getting used to him. My mother doesn't want a third dog, she thinks it will be too much work for her, yet I'm the one who walks each dog 3-5 miles a day, vacuums everyday, pays for all vet care, and obedience classes, pays for and feeds RAW to the labs, and does all training. *sigh*
    Anyway, I'm just looking for anyone who has experience with labs or similar breeds and pits, and what I need to know to keep things running smoothly. I've read through a lot of the stickies already, but I want to get as much info as possible. I've always liked APBTs and ASTs, but never planned on owning one, but he's such a smart, loving little dog that I really can't imagine him leaving now. I'll be looking into puppy class tomorrow, and have been taking him out with me to meet new people and experience new things.
    I guess my main question is if it's going to be fair to keep him crated if he stays? I've only had to keep my dogs crated until they could be trusted alone, but I understand that he can never be trusted alone with the other two dogs, plus cats, but is it normal for people to keep their pits crated while away always? It'll be about 6 hours a day.
    I'm sure I'll think of more to add later, but for now here's a few pictures of the little man who remains nameless because mom thinks that naming him means he's staying...I've been calling him Braxton when she's not around. What would his coloring be called? He's a realllly light brindle, but is there any actual term for it? Oh, and can anyone give me any info on knuckling info with pits? I know a ton about growth issues in giant breeds, and am used to seeing great dane pups knuckled over, but this is new for me. He's on 500mg of vitamin C a day to help tighten up his feet, and he's on taste of the wild for food, so hopefully proper nutrition fixes his joints. You can see it in the last picture.







    And Molly

    And Shadow

  2. bostonitis

    bostonitis Good Dog

    He looks like a pittie cross. As for crating don't feel bad, look at it this way would you want a home without a bedroom? A crate is THEIR place so it usually makes them happy, most of my fosters end up wanting to be in their crate and my dogs love their crates.
  3. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Staff Member Administrator

  4. 2mnydgs

    2mnydgs Good Dog

    I think the color is called red brindle. He's really a cutie! I think you're on the right track in managing his joints. It doesn't look serious to me and you're feeding him well.

    Labs and pit-mixes are a little different. I only had labs before I got into this breed. My labs were always mid-energy. They would play and rest, but they were always running around 50%. My pitties are either 100% or LUMPS on a couch. They are much more intense. The highs are higher and a resting pit is nearly dead. Oh, and the pitties are so much smarter! No offense to labs! I loved my labs, but it took more time to teach them new skills.

    My labs wanted to be near me and loved to be petted, but my pitties are velcroed to me and they love to be hugged and held. My labs wanted about a foot of space. My pitties want full body contact.

    I wish you the best! Rehoming a brindle pit mix can be pretty tough. The little guy is lucky to have you. Remember though, he isn't a lab. Follow the rules for the breed. You will not have a clue about his potential for dog aggression until he is at least 3, and even then, you will not be able to think of him as a lab. Terriers are different than sporting dogs.
  5. DeeDirtyDawg

    DeeDirtyDawg Good Dog

    Nice post, 2mny. I totally agree. And he does look like red brindle.
    Some dogs turn on before 3 so watch behavior.
    6 hours a day crating is best for safety to avoid injuries to him and the other dogs.
  6. Mollie's Nana

    Mollie's Nana Krypto Super Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    What a cute little pup! Looks like he has a little brindle mixed in, very cute!
  7. DeeDirtyDawg

    DeeDirtyDawg Good Dog

    oops lol!
    i meant 6 hours a day isn't too bad, and crating is best to avoid injuries to him and the other dogs.

    LOL... stupid phone.
  8. Ry454

    Ry454 Puppy

    Hi Kayla,

    I'm fairly new here as well, and just adopted a pit-mix puppy and already have a 2.5 year-old lab mix.

    There's a ton of great information on the stickies section. It'll take awhile but I suggest reading through as much as you can, especially the stickies pertaining to multi-dog management, crate training and NILIF training.

    I'll warn you that a lot of the information presented can sound a bit scary (breaksticks, crating whenever they're not supervised, etc) and I think that's purposeful. Pits are a strong breed and complacent owners have allowed them do great harm and damage the breed's reputation. So it's important to go in with your eyes open and be aware of the realities of owning a pit.

    Having said all that, in the last two weeks I've met and talked with many owners who have multi-dog, multi-breed homes. With a lot of diligence, work and common sense they've all created very happy, calm and nurturing homes for their pups.

    From the sounds of it, you've already got most of the important dog-owning responsibilities down pat. Just add in a little breed-specific info and you're golden.

    Good luck!

  9. Patch O' Pits

    Patch O' Pits Good Dog

    Adorable pup, Patch O' Luck. Check out the sticky threads at the top of the training forum. There is a ton of stuff to help with new pups.
  10. kayla baxter

    kayla baxter Big Dog

    Thanks everyone,
    Sorry for not responding sooner, internet was down for a while.
    Anyway, it looks like he's here to stay, and finally has a name after two weeks of being nameless. Since he's a brindle, I wanted to call him Chevron to go with the pattern on his back, but it didnt suit him, so we went with Chevy instead. He's now 11-12 weeks old and weighs 16.5 lbs. He was 12.2 lbs at 9-10 weeks, and 14.8 lbs at 10-11 weeks. I realize that all dogs grow at different rates and have the potential to reach very different sizes based on genetics, but anyone care to guess roughly how large he might be? I'm hoping he'll stay smaller than the labs.

    He's sooo different from what I've grown up with. Maybe it's the breed, maybe it's because he's a male, but he's not fully happy unless he's sleeping on me. In the last two weeks he's learned to sit, down, come, stay, off, and we're still working on leave it, and starting heel. He starts puppy class on valentines day, and that runs for 4 weeks, then he'll start basic obedience. He's such a smart pup, much smarter than the labs ever were.

    The labs are starting to come around to him, the younger one will lay down and roll over and kind of mouth his muzzle while he licks at her face. She makes these really weird noises while doing it though, really high pitched whines and barks, it sounds like it should be coming from the pup. The older lab is still pretty touchy with him. Not aggressive, she doesn't go after him, but she'll bark when he comes up to her, yet her tail will be relaxed and wagging. She will growl at him if he doesn't back off, and has kind of put him in his place a few times I guess you could say. She just seems really anxious when he's around, but is fine with him outside. I'm just worried that if this continues when he's older that it might lead to a fight? Right now he just acts like a submissive puppy, but I know that won't last forever.

    As much as my mother likes him, I know she still has an issue with him being the breed he is, and when I mention things like keeping him crated when we're not home and not taking him to the park with the other dogs it kind of scares her I think. I just need things to go smoothly with him because she will make me rehome him at the first sign of any aggression towards the other animals. Just a side note: would it be possible to put up a gate and separate the house instead of crating? I live in a split entry, so I could put a gate at the bottom of the stairs and keep him downstairs and the labs upstairs? Or is this too risky?

    Anyway, this is long enough, so here's some new pictures of Chevy and his almost friend Molly, and his not so friend Shadow.

    his favorite place: my bed


    please love me (the spiked collar is on her to stop Molly from biting at her collar when they run outside. I've had them get stuck and this is the only collar she wont bite at)

    unfortunately this is the usual reaction. How do I correct this?

    I had too. I'm sorry. He hates the cold. He has boots too...

    Look at that face

  11. APBTlover09

    APBTlover09 GRCH Dog

    awww, your puppy is so adorable and precious :aww:
  12. Patch O' Pits

    Patch O' Pits Good Dog

    AWe the new picts are totally precious! Looks like he is doing great!
  13. monkeys23

    monkeys23 GRCH Dog

    He is really cute!
  14. Alix_lvz_her_pits

    Alix_lvz_her_pits Little Dog

    as for the weight/size issue, since he's of indeterminate background/lineage.... i'd say ask your vet to judge by feet size vs. degree of weight gain/growth to get a good guestimate.

    and it's not b/c he's a male, lol it's b/c he's a bully breed that lil' man isn't content unless superglued to your side. It is something in them (i think someone else on here talked about it) I've owned other dogs (currently own two other breeds BESIDE my APBT girl) and while they love to cuddle and be loved on.... eventually they move off to get some space to sleep. Babygirl will be unable to sleep or relax unless she is on/half-on/full body laid out with me. I've never met a bully breed who wasn't a totaly human love sponge. it'll take some getting used to but eventually you may find that you love the adoration and closeness you feel with him.

    i can't help you with the older labs & young Chevy issues other than to ask if you did the 2 week Shut Down with them? that usually helps ease things a bit. I can't help really b/c my bully was my first, the other pups came after.

    have your mom read up on crate training and crating on here. It is not cruel (unless you're talking 8+ hrs alone w/ no break) it is part and parcel of multi-dog homes especially if it involves ANY of the bully breeds or mixes thereof. Yes, it may scare or unnerve your mom to realize that due to his guessed breed it's best to be cautious.there's no guarantee he's pit bull, he could be american bulldog or another bully breed.

    But (again, i think someone on here said it before me) it's those ppl who own these guys and DON'T take all precautions that end up with trouble on their hands. You won't know what - if any - form of animal or dog aggression he may have until he's reached full maturity (3-4 yrs old) but even AFTER that, you'll always want to monitor body language around other animals because it isn't a magic formula --- oh, he's 4 and no DA so he'll never have an episode --- it's just a rule of thumb. There'll always be exceptions to it.

    as for my personal experience in a multi-dog home, we crate our GSD in her own seperate room w/ her pillow and blankie, my BC mix in his crate w/ bed in another room, and my APBT girl gets my room all to herself. I used to crate my BC and APBT girl together (i know... bad momma) b/c he had seperation issues when we first got him and her being in there w/ him comforted him while i was gone - they've been together crated everyday while i was at work for over a year and a half. A few months ago, they got into a scuffle...while i was at home cleaning and they were crated... and it was over a SUNLIGHT patch if you could believe it (i made sure at that time there was nothing in there for them to EVER argue over prior to that... go figure). we had some minor scrapes and cuts, lasted all of 5-7 seconds.... but never again. I had to learn the hard way that crating everyone seperately makes a happy multi-dog home. they all still love one another and in fact are doggie-piled with me as we speak.

    hope i helped. and reeeally hope someone else has better insight into your other questions about your labs. and much luck on Chevy the cutie patootie. :)

    oh! p.s. grates/fences in home... may work w/ baby... but these guys are climbers and high jumpers.... i wouldn't see that panning out in the long run.
  15. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    I think the pictures where the black dog is correcting the pup looks okay. As long as the puppy is responding properly and the black dog isn't going over board. Right now your other dogs can "talk" better to that puppy than you can. You know your dogs best, so if you think the black dog is being snarky without warrant-you may want to step in. And you may want to step in anyways, at some point all dogs in your household have to realize they are not in charge-unless you're okay with that. Personally if it were me, I'd keep an eye on it. They wouldn't be left unsupervised and I'd be hyper aware of body language.

    What initiates it? Is the puppy looking to play? For affection? Is he hasseling the other dog just to test his boundaries? And is the black dog always in the mode of correcting the pup? Or does s/he put up with it for a while and then is over it?

    Just like some people aren't "kid" people, some dogs aren't "puppy" dogs.
  16. DeeDirtyDawg

    DeeDirtyDawg Good Dog

    Omg. I love him!
  17. xobbycxo14

    xobbycxo14 Puppy

    I say he looks like a pit mix.I don't know that much about all the breeds but he does look like my friends dog and shes a pit mix.Hope your new pups doing well (as well as your labs!)
  18. kayla baxter

    kayla baxter Big Dog

    Thanks everyone.
    I think he just wants acceptance from the labs. He'll come up to them and jump up at their faces trying to lick at their mouths. Molly the younger yellow one will usually tolarate this and just roll over and let him climb on her. But if he nips at her or gets a little too excited she'll gently take his muzzle in her mouth for a few seconds. I think he just scares her when he runs at her too fast. The older black dog Shadow usually tries to avoid him, so she certainly isn't going out of her way to be a bully towards him. But she doesn't tolerate him jumping at her face and corrects him like the picture shows. He'll back away for a few seconds then comes back for more, which is when she starts barking. But her hackles are never raised and she never actually tries to hurt him. If he's lying down she'll actually lay down next to him in the dog bed, but the second he makes a move toward her she'll quietly growl at him. I don't get it. At least there's less barking now.
    I'll try and post a video of the behaviors later on, that would make it easier.

  19. duke' mom

    duke' mom Little Dog


    Hes so ADORABLE!!! He's lucky to have you. My bf & I were both lab owners until Duke fell into our lap. We were skeptical about having a pit bull (as was the rest of our family), even after they first met him. We got him when he was 9 months old and he was WILD! He had never had any kind of real training until us so he just did what he wanted when he wanted. This trait did NOT work well with our families, especially my bf's parents.

    Duke is totally different that any lab we've ever had. He is much smarter (as in learns a lot quicker) but he also will figure out ways around what we want him to do. He will also ignore us if he doesnt want to do what we want. He can be very stubborn in that regard, but evenually he does give in.

    He also his a HUGE lover/furnace (hes always so warm). He absolutley loves to cuddle, a lot. One of his favorite things to do is lay his upper body on my lap & park his butt next to mine while we watch tv. He is all about being with his humans, all the time. That was something else we had to adjust to. Labs are no where near as cuddly as Duke. And every other pit Ive came in contact with was just as loving & cuddly. They LOVE attention, or just being with people.

    Now that we've had Duke almost a year, hes so much calmer because he has stability. He loves to visit his grandparents, and behaves himself. They also have overcome the breed stereotype & love him to pieces. My mother is still a little skeptical of his 'huge mouth' but still loves to get Duke kisses. His parents have finally warmed up to him as well.

    Getting past the breed stereotype takes time and a behaved, loving puppy. I still wont qualify duke as well behaved, but he does listen (most of the time). We have found that exposure to a dog that isnt trained to fight has helped the most in our area in terms of acceptance of his breed. I wish you luck, enjoy your time with him, and have fun.

    ---------- Post added at 04:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:52 PM ----------

    and where did you get that little jump suit? Its so cute! Duke has t-shirts & coats that he wears in the winter cuz he gets cold
  20. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    Do you mean from the pup? Or the resident dogs? If it's less barking from the pup-whoo hoo! Lucky you :) We have two dogs and a foster. Bailey our first was practically a silent dog. Trooper our second talks all the time. And I think has encouraged Bailey and the foster to talk more.

    If it's from the resident dogs and it's because you're correcting them. I'd be careful about that. I don't know that this is the situation but wanted to point out that I think it's important for your dogs to be able to..."voice their concerns". If the black dog is telling the pup to knock it off, and you tell the black dog to stop it. Eventually the black dog will stop giving warnings. And then might act out...and you'll find yourself saying-it came out of no where. When really you conditioned the dog to stop giving a warning. Like I said, I don't know that this is the situation, but I think it's an important piece of information to have.

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