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Current Replies for Aggression Question
9/8/2009 8:04:15 AM
Posts: 1
Hello everyone, new poster here! First a little history. We got our girl Sully about a week ago, she is a one and a half year old pit bull. We spend most of our time at home with her, and she is usually sleeping on the couch with us (she always has to be invited to come up) or she spends time chewing on her kong or some other toy. We take her for walks 3 times a day around our neighboorhood and to a local park, that is usually empty. I am trying to make her transition stressless, and do not want to introduce too much stimulation too fast.

So far she has been introduced to my parents, as we share the same house (different apartments) and she sees them come and go daily. We also had two friends over one night, and she was very good with them. She tried to play and hump a bit with one, but I honestly blame that more on his behavior than hers (he tried to play too rough and got her very excited). I talked to him about it and told her down every time she jumped. We try to encourage her to be calm, then she gets pets and love. She also does a bit of mouthing when playing, but we discipline her and resume petting her once she has calmed.

Now the problem. The last 2 days my boyfriend has taken her for her early morning walk. Yesterday she was on the porch and spotted a woman walking to her car with keys. Sully pulled on the leash and barked and growled. My boyfriend told her no and stop, but she persisted. Eventually she calmed down and they resumed walking. This morning she did it again to two separate people. The first was a man walking down the driveway, and when he saw her he stopped dead, he was probably afraid. She spotted him and did it again. Then she did it a few minutes later, when they saw a woman. I have never seen her behave this way with humans, but I have seen her bark and growl at cats. She doesn't look like she is hunting them so much as very curious about them.

Also, this morning she was whining after they came back from their walk. He came back to bed with me (he had taken her in the first place because she was whining and he was afraid she had to go out). She was pacing around the bed and putting her paws up, but she listens when we say down. Eventually she fell asleep in my laundry basket (which she has never done). Usually she falls asleep at the foot of the bed on her doggy bed, but after falling asleep in my basket I think she might prefer a crate.

Any advice? We start obedience training in 2 weeks, but I want to get this barking and growling thing under control. She is terrifying people. She does so well with people in our home, I don't know why she would act like this with random strangers. We've seen people on our walks many times and she has never acted this way. Any advice would be appreciated. She has always been so sweet and loving, but this aggression streak has me worried.
9/9/2009 4:37:35 AM
Posts: 137
First question..

I she spayed? If not she may be commming into season and that may account for the strange change in the whining, and sleeping in the basket..Also I Have seen far to often dogs doing some really odd behavior.. get "touchy" or cranky before comming into heat.. that the question does come to mind..

She also may be showing early sighns not so much "aggression" but protective tendicies of the home.. this is why.. people in the home.. that she knows or have been invited.. met.. and people on walks do not trigger the behavior..

People.. Off the propery who she sees... will trigger barking and growling as a "warning"

Best recommendation... get started ASAP with training.. also talk with your trainer about the problem.. There are a couple of methods to work on this.. all are best worked out in person with a trainer.. You may want to call the trainer and see if you can arrage perhaps a private or early start on this Now.. while waiting for your class to start..

Good luck..