"She Wants Advice On Her Pit Bull's Interdog Aggression" ...
A Free Dog Training Tip From The "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer" Discussion Forum:
I have an 8 year old pit bull who we got from a friend of my son's when she was just under a year old. The dog was for my husband who unfortunately passed away a few months after we got her. The previous owner did not socialize her and unfortunately the year after my husband died, I did not do any training with her as my head was elsewhere.
Since then, I have spent a lot of money trying to curb her interdog aggression but with no luck. The last trainer I took her to said it was hopeless and that I should not bring her back. She would just have to live a certain life with no dog contact. Of course, that is pretty impossible as I have to walk her and we will come up on other dogs.
I try to be calm but her hackles rise up before we are up to the dog and she lunges at them as if to kill. She has bitten other dogs before when she has escaped. When we go on walks, she knows every house where there is a dog and you can see her get more alert as we approach. If the dog in the house starts barking or come to the window, I have a hard time restraining her. She is a fantastic dog in other ways who I love very much and I keep trying but every time I think something will work, I am let down. Help please as you are my last hope in helping her.
** DogProblems.com Dog Training Advisor Responds:
I would recommend you read through the "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer", especially the part on the three keys to correcting unwanted behavior. The loose-leash video in the Dog Training Video Vault will also be of help to you. She needs to be fitted with a pinch collar and learn to keep her attention on you instead of focusing it elsewhere. This is not hopeless, but you must be consistent with your demands (don't waffle on what you ask of her) and motivational with your corrections. The stakes are a little higher for you because of her breed.
Has this been going on for 8 years or did something happen to make her behave this way towards other dogs?
This has been going on for 8 years but it seems to have gotten worse when I was with the last trainer. Nothing happened that I could see that would make it worse.
DogProblems.com Dog Training Advisor Responds:
You'll probably have a bit more resistance from her because she's been doing this for so long. Don't give up, though. Keep your end goal in mind, and teach her that there are consequences to her behavior.
Another thing I thought of is for you too: when you go by the houses where you know she'll react, don't tense up. It's natural for us to get nervous/tense and "set up" for an explosion, but this is counterproductive, especially since you are trying to correct this behavior. Take a deep breath and stay calm, firm and confident when you issue your correction or work on any obedience exercise!
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