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New Family Member! Update to Adoption/Pitbulls

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  • New Family Member! Update to Adoption/Pitbulls

    Hi everyone,

    Some of you may remember the thread that I posted on adoption and pitbulls. Well, after meeting several different dogs (not pits) we ended up bringing home a rather skinny and shy pit mix. Katie is 1.5 years old and an absolute love bug. She loves "her" people and is learning to quickly accept strangers.

    I do have two books on order by Patricia McConnell. Hopefully I'll be able to better understand doggie communication and behavior after those reads. But in the meantime...we have some walking issues that need to be addressed but I have no idea how to address them.

    Katie is already learning sit/stay in the house, and is getting the idea of loose leash walking (using the make like a tree method). We are also working on slowly desensitizing Katie to noises and cars outside, both of which tend to cause some fear and pulling to get home.


    Our main problem involves Katie planting herself and not budging during a walk...which I believe is either due to miscommunication on our part or her not being allowed to do what she wants.. If I am walking Katie I usually give her some time to sniff around. But if I want to walk forward before she is done sniffing she will plant herself and not budge. How do I get her to continue on our walk? Placing treats in front of her will get her to move a few steps forward, but after 2 or 3 rounds of this Katie simply sits down and yawns. Any ideas? I usually face her and try to get her to walk the 5 feet to me, but I'm not sure that is the correct body language to use.


    We start our first beginner obedience class on July 12th! So until then, advice would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Excellent. I read your thread with interest but refrained from commenting. I, oddly enough, know the dog you adopted (or I assume so given her recent adoption and the same name) she is a lovely girl - and does not have any of the undesireable "pit" characteristics.

    Congratulations!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by In_ View Post
      she is a lovely girl - and does not have any of the undesireable "pit" characteristics.
      I hope by that you mean skin allergies common in the breed and Dog Aggression (though DA is a breed trait.)

      To the OP:

      As for getting her to walk longer on a leash, it will take some time for her to build up her confidence with you. She may be out of shape as well.

      Where are you walking her? On concrete? Asphalt? Grass? In a park? Hiking?

      Right now I would just work on bonding with her at home and before obedience so when you do take her to obedience class she will be more than willing to trust you and work for you

      Congrats on the new addition. *cough* pics *cough*
      If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
      DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
      Originally posted by talkofthetown
      As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        We are walking on mostly grass and some asphalt. Katie's pads were quite sore on them when originally found so we thought that this may have been the root cause of the problem. However, she has no problem tearing around the house like a crazed woman, err...dog! I agree that it may simply take more time. But how on earth do we keep this dog exercised? She comes home from a walk and wants to run around the house.

        In_: We are absolutely SMITTEN with this dog. She wants nothing more than to be a lap dog. Everyone in our neighborhood stops us to tell us how cute Katie is, even both sets of vets that she has seen adore her. I'm glad that I could provide an update

        I'll try to post some pics later today.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HydroPHILE View Post
          I hope by that you mean skin allergies common in the breed and Dog Aggression (though DA is a breed trait
          Yes, exactly. My sentence was incredibly poorly written - forgive me! What I should have said was - to our knowledge, Katie does not have any of the health problems sometimes associated with pits (skills allergies, hip dysplasia, or eye problems) nor the behavioral concerns sometimes seen in recently surrendered/rescued animals.

          In other words - OP, you picked well!

          Thanks, HydroPhile, for checking me on something that could have been misinterpreted!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MtyMax View Post
            But how on earth do we keep this dog exercised? She comes home from a walk and wants to run around the house.
            Welcome to the world of terrier ownership (specifically pits and pit mixes.) Her pads may have been sore from her previous home possibly keeping her outside on concrete or being in a concrete kennel too long. You could try some Musher's Secret rubbed into her pads (she can still sweat from her paws with it,) and she gets used to you handling her paws, too

            P.S. 20 acres of dog-safe fenced property and a Chuck-It does the trick to exercise ours
            If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
            DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
            Originally posted by talkofthetown
            As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Well in that case HydroPHILE, can we come to your house and play?

              Katie is still learning about the wonderful world of toys. She'll take one in her mouth, but the minute you say "good girl!" she drops the toy and comes running back for pats. Hehehehe...poor dog is going to be a velcro pup for sure. Same thing with a rawhide or anything yummy...she'll gladly drop whatever is in her mouth is she gets attention

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MtyMax View Post
                Well in that case HydroPHILE, can we come to your house and play?

                Katie is still learning about the wonderful world of toys. She'll take one in her mouth, but the minute you say "good girl!" she drops the toy and comes running back for pats. Hehehehe...poor dog is going to be a velcro pup for sure. Same thing with a rawhide or anything yummy...she'll gladly drop whatever is in her mouth is she gets attention
                Come on down I love my little working girl (er, not in the streetwalker sense, but in the "she LOVES to work" sense ) She had to learn to sort of be a cuddle bug, but she's still mighty independent. She picks up on things very quickly and can hardly contain her happiness when we ask her to sit for her medicine or before she eats. Her little body (53 lbs of her) literally quivers in excitement as her tail swishes from side to side on the floor. Then she moves into "monkey girl" mode where she makes the most unique and oddest noises to ever come from a dog's mouth. All the while just completely excited that we're talking to her.

                Originally posted by In_ View Post
                Yes, exactly. My sentence was incredibly poorly written - forgive me! What I should have said was - to our knowledge, Katie does not have any of the health problems sometimes associated with pits (skills allergies, hip dysplasia, or eye problems) nor the behavioral concerns sometimes seen in recently surrendered/rescued animals.
                Yeah - we weren't as fortunate. Our girl has food an environmental allergies (indoors and out.) She's on a strict raw diet with only certain proteins, can't be around down comforters or pillows, has to be wiped down when she comes in from outside, and gets itchy when she's stressed.
                If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                Originally posted by talkofthetown
                As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MtyMax View Post
                  Our main problem involves Katie planting herself and not budging during a walk...which I believe is either due to miscommunication on our part or her not being allowed to do what she wants.. If I am walking Katie I usually give her some time to sniff around. But if I want to walk forward before she is done sniffing she will plant herself and not budge. How do I get her to continue on our walk? Placing treats in front of her will get her to move a few steps forward, but after 2 or 3 rounds of this Katie simply sits down and yawns. Any ideas? I usually face her and try to get her to walk the 5 feet to me, but I'm not sure that is the correct body language to use.
                  This is the reason people own Yorkies; when our terrier pulls this, I pick him up and laugh at him as I carry him down the street. You could try to wait-it-out style - flop down next to her and wait until she's begging you to start walking again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My trainer always told me that dogs make great mops when they decide they don't want to move

                    Obviously, don't drag her across concrete, but if she plants herself in the grass, just keep walking, 99% of dogs are going to realize that actually walking is much easier (and more pleasant) than being dragged.

                    I've had to do this with my pup, because he has some confidence issues.. so I just gently drag him along.. usually takes 5' and he realizes "Okay fine, I'll just walk"

                    For exercising, do you have a treadmill? I treadmill all of my dogs (I have 2 Pit Bull mixes and an Am Staff, btw) if we can't "work" and they're pent up. Usually though, we go to a 200 acre field and ruuuuun.
                    -Kady

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Unfortunately we do not have a treadmill. But, we discovered that Katie loves going to the barn! There are no cars, so she does not shut down in fear. My hubs ran her around the outdoor ring (on leash) and let her jump over the dressage ring railings They were both worn out after thirty minutes of that.

                      Its a shame that we do not have a great location that is enclosed where she could run and play. There are a few dog parks but I'm a little fearful myself when it comes to overcrowded dog parks.

                      Also, Katie is beginning to venture further from the house on walks. As long as she isn't tugging on the leash I am letting her explore the neighborhood at her will. She made it about
                      50' from the house all on her own this morning Poor girl....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Congrats on your new addition! I look forward to the pics.

                        Do you think it's a confidence issue?

                        Turning to face her after she has planted herself may be scary: it's confrontational and a lot of pressure for this girl new to you and your world. Eventually, facing her will be super rewarding/reinforcing. Right now it's like loading a horse: face them and they aren't budging! Turn around so your back is to them, and they load right up .

                        If there are no physical issues and this is fear or an independent streak, I would make her move forward. You want to set up this relationship right from the start.

                        What type of equipment are you walking her in? If on a collar, move it high up behind her ears -they always slip down and pitties typically have thick necks- and just keep walking: happy talk, nonchalant, but keep moving. No need to look at her, you know she's there! If on a harness or you feel bad causing her to choke (I promise she will not let you choke her to death) walk in a different direction not straight out from her, but at an angle like getting a kid getting a stubborn pony un-stuck.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Hahaha. We frequently take off from a different angle that what was originally intended. Katie is walked in a harness...better for dragging when necessary. I don't like her in a collar because although I keep it snug, I'm afraid she will get out of it if there is some panicking on her part.

                          Letting Katie explore on her time seems to be the best for her right now...although I want to be the one in charge, not her!

                          A lot of our problems stem from fear, but I think this dog also has a major stubborn streak....I just have a hard time telling which is which.

                          Thanks for the help!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another thought: check out clicker training?

                            A lot of people have had great luck getting a really nice heel (good for both the laggers and the pullers) using a clicker to teach how to walk on the leash. Plus, clicker training in general can be fun for you and the dog. It can really help a dog understand what you want and figure out how to work with you.

                            There are quite a few really good books on clicker training and more general positive rewards training. Karen Pryor's book, Reaching the Animal Mind, is a good primer, but it's definitely not a step by step book. One that is a really simple step by step guide is: Clicking with Your Dog. It has illustrations and very nicely laid out steps, plus, most libraries have it, so you might not have to buy it. When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs, is a pretty good summary of different authors and also has step by step instructions. The author has challenging bull terriers who inspired her = )

                            Also, lots of stuff on youtube for step by step guidelines if you search a bit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MtyMax View Post
                              Its a shame that we do not have a great location that is enclosed where she could run and play. There are a few dog parks but I'm a little fearful myself when it comes to overcrowded dog parks.
                              Nooo dog parks. You're smart in being weary of them, they are a recipe for disaster for any breed of dog, much less a Pit Bull mix. You always have to think this way: If your dog gets into an altercation with another dog, YOUR dog will get them blame, no matter what (even if another dog started it and your dog is just protecting herself), 99.9% of the time, solely based on the breed.. so, it is your responsibility to protect your dog as best as you can.

                              Here's a good read about that: http://www.badrap.org/rescue/dogpark.html

                              It's great that she likes the barn and can exercise there I'm sure you'll find other ways to get that energy out. Do you have a big backyard? You could build a flirt pole, most dogs go bonkers for them.

                              http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthre...-The-Flirtpole
                              -Kady

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