Aggressive Pitbull Lab Mix

by Amber H.
(Austin, Arkansas)

I have an 11 month old pitbull lab mix, his name is Rowdy.

Rowdy was given to my boyfriend and I by my boyfriends mother as a housewarming gift before we even bought a house. We were still in an apartment when she got him.

We have had to overcome several challenges with Rowdy.

First rowdy was doted on endlessly by my boyfriends mom and it seemed to cause separation anxiety. This was a problem because when we got him at 4 months old we would have to leave him by himself. We both work night shift so Rowdy was left with a large privacy fenced back yard and a doggy door that led inside to a certain extent. He started showing signs of separation anxiety by ripping off all the screens over the windows of our brand new house, then he began eating our deck.

He Also started showing signs of jealousy towards me and often would push me away from my boyfriend and vie for his attention. Every other day it seemed like he would single me out in aggressive barking and growling as well. He even jumped me in the yard and latched onto my forearm drawing blood at 5 months. My boyfriend brushed it off as having too much energy from being alone all day.

My solution was to get a miniature Australian shepherd to reduce his stress. That worked out pretty well for a while. His anxiety went away as well as temper tantrums and aggression.

But that all came back at 9 months. Hes eaten the box spring out from under our bed, ripped the flap off the doggy door, ripped the vinyl siding off the house and has started a lot,of dominant behavior. Jealousy is extended toward, Kimber ( the Aussie) Keena ( our cat) and me.

When he is caught in the act of bad behavior he immediately becomes aggressive and starts growling and barking. He hides under the bed and growls. We tell him to go to Kennel for time out and he continuously growls but finally listens. Once he's in the kennel he throws a temper tantrum for about 10 minutes and growls and barks at anything coming near him. After 15 he's completely fine and tail wagging but if you call him a bad boy he goes back to aggression. Clearly he feels scared and tormented.

Most recently he's been marking his territory inside and outside.

It started with him peeing on the fences which we allowed, then anywhere Kimber would potty he would go potty over it. Now he pees in the house on everything. We catch him and tell him he was bad and he growls, barks and goes under the bed or straight to the Kennel very rarely. The entire time he's being aggressive you can tell it's purely from fear. You can see it in his eyes and it's heart breaking. He looks at you with fear and resentment. We really don't know what to do and are at our wits end with him.

This is our last call before we try to find a home with more experienced handlers. Please help us.

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Mar 03, 2018
Nothing In Life Is Free
by: Adam G. Katz

Employ the "Nothing In Life Is Free" approach, so that your dog starts to view you as the "pack leader." If your dog doesn't see you as the leader, then your corrections will be meaningless. So, if you're doing subtle things (inadvertently) to undermine your leadership role around the house-- it will be counter-productive.

All the best,

Adam G. Katz is the author of, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" -- which you can find at

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