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Nature of a Pit Bull - specific to Betty

Discussion in 'Dogs - Pit bull breeds specific' started by Betty's Daddy, May 19, 2006.

  1. Betty's Daddy

    Betty's Daddy New Member

    Hey guys,

    Betty is the first pit Ive ever had so I come here usually looking for some insight usually about a specific event. This time however, Im just looking for some general answers I guess you could say...

    This could get long-winded but please bare with me. Betty is fifty seven pounds, twenty months old, and a great dog. I've raised her like a baby and she really has become daddy's little girl.

    Now...when I take Betty out to playdates, her true pit comes out, as I like to say. She's never mean, but man, she establishes her dominance from the get go. I've only seen her outworked one time "playing" in her life and that was playing with a male pit who was twenty pounds bigger.

    Having had two labs before her, its like she cannot relax with her friends. Its like she's blurring a line between playing and flat-out harassing. I guess you could call it bullying yet she's never even remotely mean. Just two weeks ago she was playing with my friend's lab and chow mix who is almost one hundred pounds and Betty literally ran circles around this poor dog. My friend's dog could not wait for me and Betty to go home...

    When I have nieces and nephews around, for one, I never leave them alone, but I have to hold Betty on a leash because most of time she'll treat these children (eight and younger) like her doggie playmates. That is to say, she would knock these poor kids down if I gave her the opportunity. Now granted if she's tired she'll let the kids pet her and she won't bully them but still...

    So my question is, will she ever outgrow this??? Will she ever get old enough to relax around other dogs and children????

    I guess this is to say, will Betty ever learn to chill when she's NOT tired before she reaches old age like eight or nine years old???
  2. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Hi Bettys Daddy,

    I didnt respond to this earlier as I havent actually owned a Pit Bull (had a friends mix staying with for about 6 months a few years back and have quite a few friends that have them, mostly though Ive worked with....probably a few thousand either in training or at animal hospitals so I will give you my opinion based on that).

    I very often hear people saying that Pits are different than any other dog, Ive been told by many Pit owners that you have to train them a certain way etc....experience has taught me that the method Ive used for training works great for all breeds including Pits.

    I do agree that every breed has certain traits more likely in that breed (whatever the breed is) and what you describe is 'typical' (although Ive worked with many Pits that dont behave like this at all). I think that what Betty is doing is being her happy self, the other dogs that she interacts with....if what she does causes no problems then her body language is fine, she sounds a little on the rambunctious side and with you saying she cant seem to relax then I would say that there is some level of anxiety....meaning shes just wired to almost always be on the go....got to be doing something, kind of like a teen that cant sit still for more than two minutes.

    Sometimes this can be due to a certain food, not enough exercise, (some dogs need a good run once a day, some dogs need a good run 3 times a day) sometimes its the enviroment....like for example if your house has a lot of activitiy, people around always up and doing something, having friends over then this can 'carve' the behaviour of the dog to act in a similar way.....at the other end of the scale if you live in a very quiet house then a dog in that enviroment could well behave 'naturally' in a calmer manner (its not actually naturally its behaviour based on environment/surroundings).

    What I will suggest is working on giving her like a time out....calming sessions, if you only do this when the children are around its going to be tough, she sees the opportunity to play but your preventing her so it will become a frustration for her.....which will build up and build up and as soon as shes let loose again, not only does she have her regular level of energy....shes got that added frustration and goes a bit overboard.

    In training, and Ive come across many dogs that are similar to how your describing Betty, what I incorporate with the basic training is teaching the dog to have a 'down time', for example after a session, we play ball for literally just a few minutes and then before they go back to the run (and after theyve learned the 'down' command) I sit in the office/living room area with them, have them lay down, keeping the leash on and then just look through a magazine or watch a little TV for about 10 minutes to start with, if the dog gets up I tell them to lay down again, I dont give them any treats and other than if they move they get no attention from me at all.....the dogs do learn that this is not a time to play, goof-off, roll around etc.....once theyve got used to this, increase the length of time.....most of the training I do is over a 4 week course, by week 4 they can easily spend 40 minutes laying calmly....at this point theyve usually fallen asleep, main thing is that you have controlled the situation.

    Dont know if that helps at all.
  3. heaven

    heaven New Member

    i have a pit/shepard mix who will be 3 in october

    i feel the same way you do about her not being able to relax

    my husband works the evening shift 3-midnight

    it seems that from the time he leaves for work until the time he comes home she's on guard and can't seem to relax

    she will bark like a maniac at anything that is remotely near my house, even when she seems to be in a deep sleep she will jump up and go wild at someone in front of my house

    needless to say this has my nerves frayed
    trying to calm her down is worthless because when she gets like this she seems to be so intent on protecting(?) us that she doesn't even hear our commands

    when hubby is home she is a different dog, she won;t bark and if someone happens to be on the driveway or whatnot she will growl but will not go crazy as she usually does with just me home
  4. YO

    YO New Member


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