Fear aggressive Pit Bulls

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by PitBullLove, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. PitBullLove

    PitBullLove Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    WA State
    I have come back to discuss something I am having a very hard time with, to get opinions on the matter.

    I deal with rats who bite out of fear day in and day out. Dealing with a pit who bites... I have known the decision I would be faced with when it comes to dealing with such a dog, being so involved with the breed.

    I am having trouble because I love the breed so much and I hate to have a dog that is such a horrific example of the breed. Pit bulls are supposed to be bomb proof with people, etc. etc. I could go on for days...he is not. He has bitten multiple people, always out of fear. Simply being grabbed by the collar, he will bite. And he has not been abused at all - he has been socialized, and trained. I believe it was simply his breeding...

    I am also having trouble because for that same reason - because I love the breed, because I love dogs, because my passion is rescue, how can I just give up on him? How can I take his life? I have worked and worked and worked with him, but then one day someone will go to grab his collar and SNAP he'll bite. What if a kid runs up to him one day and he bites? I have no doubt in the world that he will.

    I would never PTS a biting rat, but I'd PTS a biting pit bull...simply because of the breed's image? But that's the human race's fault. What if he was a different breed of dog? Would he be given more of a chance? More of a chance can't be risked with a pit bull because of their breed's image, I know...but it's so unfortunate.
     
  2. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    8,070
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Cats, Dog, Leopard Gecko, Gerbils, Fish, African C
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Well a rat can't send somebody to the hospital, or kill them. Is this your own dog or a dog at the shelter/rescue?
     
  3. Muttkip

    Muttkip LABRADERP!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Jefferson, Ga
    You put them down because of the breed image, as sad as it is. Many die hard APBT have been through this and do it for the safety of the public, the dog, themselves and the breed as a whole.

    The breed has a VERY damaged reputation and every bite is another nail in the BSL coffin, that so many people fight with everything they have to prevent.
     
  4. AmberH

    AmberH Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Indiana
    Are you describing your own dog? It sounds like you already know what the answer is but you're just coming here for confirmation?

    If it were my dog, I'd euthanize it. If it were a pit bull or any other breed. In fact, I did euthanize a dog (non-pit bull) for biting and he just got worse with age.
     
  5. Shakou

    Shakou New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Never mind the Pit Bulls image. Never mind that he could seriously hurt or kill someone. It CAN'T be fun for a dog to live that way, constantly in fear. Are they sure it's fear aggression though, and not something medical?
     
  6. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had an aggressive APBT and I managed her. My dog, my choice. It was a rough road but we were successful. I loved that dog with all my heart and nothing or anyone could have changed that.

    It was my responsibility to make sure that the public is safe and that my dog is safe as well. It is also my responsibility as a bully breed owner to make sure my dog doesn't add to the negative image and through training we managed that.

    Bottom line, there is No clear cut decision or line.
     
  7. AmberH

    AmberH Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Indiana
    This.
     
  8. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    It doesn't matter what the breed (heck, or even species) is, IMO - if it is a dog that has caused damage, especially repeatedly....euthanasia is probably the best option. If it can't be managed safely and when incidents happen they cause harm...it's just not safe.

    I own a 6.5 year old Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, who currently is living with my parents. I adopted her as a nine week old puppy. Even at a young age, she had a lot of temperament imbalance issues. Anxiety, low threshold, resource guarding issues, handling issues...honestly, she was (and is) an unbalanced dog. I worked my butt off with her and did everything in my power to help her overcome her issues. We made brilliant strides...but her foundation is cracked. It took me a long time to realize that, but it just is. No matter how much behavioral work, or how much medication, I give her...it is only patch on the issue, and her core issue can't be fixed. Sounds horrible to say it, but it's true. So, for the past 6.5 years, we have managed her. My parents agreed to keep her when I moved out, because she would not have adapted well moving.
    As the years have gone on, her aggression has been escalating. She now triggers with family members, not just guests, and her reactions have become much more extreme. In years past, she would only air snap and not make contact. Now she is making contact, drawing blood, and remains triggered for longer periods of time (maybe five seconds versus just a quick snap and done). She's bit my older brother (twice - once in the face, once on his hand), my younger brother (his arm), and just recently my dad (his hand).

    I always said, from the time she was a pup, that if she ever drew blood I'd euthanize. Well, she's drawn blood multiple times now, but my parents (my dad, really) aren't ready to let her go. I've discussed it with my mom, and we may decide to let her go before I move out of state, just so I can be there to say goodbye instead of having to hear from Mom how she attacked someone due to mismanagement and they were forced to euthanize. My mom has said once mobile grandchildren enter the picture, Chloe can not be in the same household. And I agree. And since Michael and I are planning to have a child within the next year or two...puts a bit of a time frame on it.

    It sucks. It really, really sucks. It sucks adopting a puppy and hoping with all your heart that this puppy will be "the one", that it will be THAT dog, the one that will be with you for the next stage of your life, and...it just isn't. Chloe is the reason it was so important for me to find a breeder that prioritizes temperament above all else. I couldn't have another dog with her issues. I just couldn't.

    And yes, I'm sure if she were a larger, more powerful dog we probably would have made the decision to euthanize a long time ago...and I'm glad that she's a cute, fluffy Collie mix so our hands were not forced before we were ready. But the fact that she is a cute, fluffy Collie mix doesn't change the fact that she is still dangerous.

    Luckily for us (and her), she was easy to manage. My parents live out in the middle of nowhere, so all visitors are expected. When guests come over, she's put away. My siblings are grown and able to give the dog her space. They've also lived with her long enough to avoid her triggers (most of the time) and read her body language to prevent a bite before it happens (most of the time). She used to not trigger with the people she lived with, but now that she is starting too...it's becoming much more hard to manage.

    She's a happy, awesome, playful, intelligent, fun dog 98% of the time...it is that 2% that has become worrisome.
     
  9. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    8,070
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Cats, Dog, Leopard Gecko, Gerbils, Fish, African C
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Well it sounds like the biting just happens when the collar is grabbed. If that is the case and it were my personal dog then I could see managing it while also counter conditioning. Just don't grab at him (assuming a home with no children) and have strict control over who interacts with him. But if its a dog in a rescue/shelter then I could not imagine feeling safe adopting such a dog out knowing how bad his bite inhibition is and that a fairly common act causes him to bite. I wouldn't expect most people to do the management properly, plus who would choose to adopt such a dog? I am capable of managing it and I would never choose to adopt a dog requiring that much management. For me it's not so a much a breed thing as a safety thing. If it is your personal dog then you are only giving pit bulls a bad reputation if you allow him to continue biting. If he's properly managed then no one need know he's aggressive outside of the household. It's just a question of whether or not your situation allows for that sort of management.
     
  10. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    What kinds of bites? Have you seen the chart of bite 'levels'?

    Trey landed 3 bites but they weren't past level 2. Some blood drawn but no deep punctures. To me those are not 'serious bites'. Worth being aware of and you need to be getting a game plan to manage that dog but euthanasia wouldn't be crossing my mind at all.

    In my opinion, a bite isn't a bite isn't a bite. It would depend on the circumstances leading up to the bite and if I could work on them/manage them. It would also depend on the severity of the bite. That goes for all breeds.
     
  11. PitBullLove

    PitBullLove Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    WA State
    Thank you very much for all of your replies!

    This is my own dog.

    Yes mamn I am. And yes, that is true.

    Exactly. Exactly why I am heartbroken over this, and forcing myself to face this decision, after he bit me today.

    He does not live in constant fear - he has a lot of fun at home, playing in the back yard. And when he is with my other dog on walks, he has a lot more confidence. However, if he goes on walks on his own, he slinks and has his tail between his legs. When he meets new people he shys away, puts his hackles up, and growls. He has done this since he was 8 weeks old...when he warms up to them, he is great with them, loves to play, etc. but if he gets scared for whatever reason - even if he is told to come when he doesn't want to come, and then his collar is grabbed, he bites. I'm pretty sure it's nothing medical...

    Thank you for saying this. He was my first dog after Georgia (my heart dog) died. So I really had hope that he would be "the one", you know? It sucks.
     
  12. PitBullLove

    PitBullLove Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    WA State
    He has never inflicted deep puncture wounds, however he has ripped skin and drawn blood. So it sounds like his bites weren't past level 2, either.

    But I just wanted to say ANY kind of bite inflicted by a pit bull is going to be blown out of proportion and thrown against the breed...especially a bite that draws blood...sure I could keep him in the backyard 24/7 at home, and not take him out in public. I could keep him kenneled anytime we have visitors. Constantly be careful. I just worry. I worry because what if he gets out of the yard one day (just some freak accident since our yard is fenced and when unsupervised the dogs are indoors or crated) and a kid like me (I would always try to catch stray dogs as a kid) tries to get him? And he bites?
     
  13. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I will personally never keep an unstable APBT alive for any reason. Sometimes, people can keep an unstable dog safely and choose to keep a dog like that alive. But this dog has already been put into situations and allowed to bite multiple people. That's the point where it becomes personal because it has the great potential to negatively affect me and my own, temperamentally stable APBTs, and I'd have to very honestly recommend euthanasia. Sorry.
     
  14. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's your decision on what to do, but don't use his breed as a cop out.

    Managing a fearful dog sucks and it isn't for everyone. But make sure your decision is the best for you and your dog.
     
  15. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Do you honestly think a Golden Retriever biting a person has the same impact (as far as how people perceive you and your individual dog, much less the breed and other people your actions affect) as an APBT biting someone?
     
  16. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, and 1 horse
    Location:
    A hole in the bottom of the sea.
    Sally is timid with strangers, but luckily her reaction is flight. She has no interest in aggression, just escape. We do manage her to keep her out of situations that might put her over the edge-no sense in tempting fate.

    I used to be of the opinion that if either of my dogs bit it would mean PTS. The more I've learned about dogs however, the more that opinion has changed somewhat.

    I don't think you can really compare rats and dogs as far as your response to that aggression. I have a bird that is unpredictable. He has bitten both DH and I pretty badly. He draws blood and latches on, often having to be pried off as gently as possible while having blood pouring out of your finger. He sometimes is fine and friendly and sometimes unpredictably aggressive. However, he is easily managed. Nobody outside of DH, myself, and vet staff ever touch him. The vet staff is always warned that he will bite violently if allowed, and will probably try to bite them through the towel when they wrap him in it. They are used to handling birds and can deal with him accordingly. If he were a dog with this sort of temperament and behavior? He would have been PTS already. It would be extremely dangerous to ourselves and the public.

    I can say that I would probably PTS if I were in your shoes, but I'm not in your shoes, and it's easy to judge when you've never even met the dog, much less are his owner. I think you need to take a good honest look at this dog, his behavior, and whether it can be managed. At the end of the day it is YOU who have to live with the decision one way or the other. I'm very sorry you have to go through this.

    Just one thing, have you tried any meds on him? That might be a way to take the edge off if you try behavior modification.

    Either way, lots of (((HUGS))).
     
  17. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Honestly I would probably not put down a dog for a level two bite. In my experience that's a dog wanting to send a warning, not really wanton to damage. Manage the heck out of him? Yes. But I've known overstimulated dogs that have bitten and landed a level 2...

    Trey could not go everywhere. He had to be managed pretty closely and wasn't allowed around visitors. I would never leave a dog like that unsupervised outside either.
     
  18. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, and 1 horse
    Location:
    A hole in the bottom of the sea.
    I'm actually most concerned that the fear aggression is happening with people the dog knows well. Have you worked with a trainer or behaviorist one on one with this?
     
  19. PitBullLove

    PitBullLove Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    WA State
    Thanks again for your replies.

    I completely understand.

    Do you not understand your breed and where their image is in the world today?

    No I have not. I will check into that tomorrow.

    That is what confuses me as well. He trusts people one moment and the next he is very, very scared of them. I will e-mail a trainer tonight and get their opinion.
     
  20. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, and 1 horse
    Location:
    A hole in the bottom of the sea.
    I would see if you could get an actual one on one with a trainer-especially if you are seriously considering PTS. Some will work with you on price. One thing I know for sure is that I absolutely would not make that decision without having a trainer evaluate the dog in person first.

    Are you sure it is pure fear or has he possibly learned by fear biting that he can just get you away when you are doing something he doesn't like? He has the option to duck and flee when you grab his collar but he bites instead...
     

Share This Page