got stuck with an 8 week old pit with issues, help?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by DianeRushMav, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. DianeRushMav

    DianeRushMav New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi there!

    So basically here is this long story. My cousin was given a 6 week old pit puppy (from a BYBer - horrible I know) on valentines day from her friend. She had no idea she was getting a dog, and her apartment, and the surrounding apartment complexes have a breed ban on pits and rotties. She was so torn because she had no idea what to do with this puppy so I offered to take him for the time being. She said it would only be about a month according to the bank for her to be able to purchase a home. She was planning on it anyway, but getting the dog made her do it sooner rather than later. So I got this puppy I thought was 8-9 weeks old, he was 6 weeks and barely weighed 4.5 pounds. Hes about 8 weeks now, and fat and happy.

    I though he was this sweet little puppy, and lately hes been getting increasingly more aggressive. Biting legs/pants, chewing on body parts. I will take his mouth off my legs and he will growl and snap and go right back to doing what he did before. He is a really sweet puppy - dont get me wrong, but he will randomly turn into the hulk. Its like hes bi-polar. He has started to do it to dogs too. My border collies ignore him, and when he gets an attitude he has been snapped at a few times. Rush accidentally got him in the eye once, he cried for a good 5 minutes (he is okay, it was just red and swollen for a little bit). Did he learn his lesson? nope. I have been rolling his gums under his teeth when he bites down, so he bites himself hard and not me. This makes him super angry and he will growl and snap and try and bite me. The only thing I have found that does work, is picking him up by his scruff and just holding him until he calms down. After that he acts like nothing happened. I dont know if its working or the passage of time has made his baby brain forget what happened. Either way I know he needs to be socialized, but I dont have time to do it to the extent I believe he needs.

    I am at my wits end. My cousin just moved to Las Vegas, which is far. I am on the east coast. She told me today she cannot take him like she had planned and asked if I could find a home for him. My problem is I dont know where or who to home him to, or what to do in the meantime to work with him. Maybe its not as bad as I think it is? I have never seen a puppy act like him.

    My mom wants to take him to the humane society, where he will no doubt be adopted very fast. That concerns me. I don't want to throw him to someone else and have them mess him up or raise a dog that eventually attacks someone, there is so much bad breed rep I dont want him to make it worse. I have never dealt with this type of aggressive behavior before though. Both my border collies have had some sort of fear aggression I worked with them to overcome, but this is like straight to angry, frustrated aggression. The funny thing is, he isnt food/toy aggressive and he doesnt resource guard, he just gets mad and attacks things.

    I am trying to do the right thing, but I cannot keep him. I just don't know what to do with him. I do know there are a few pit rescues in the area, but my friend got stuck with a family friends pit bull when he moved and he didnt get along with her dogs and she contacted these rescues and none of the rescues would take him.

    He is a good dog. He started walking on a leash for the first time yesterday and took to it like a champ. He boldly walked on the sidewalk and even when the cars passing scared him he kept walking and by the end of it he didnt want to go inside. He started being housebroken and he is doing really well with that too (much faster/better than all my other dogs were to housebreak). Hes got a lot of energy and I think he would make someone an awesome companion. Felt like after all the bad, I needed to end this post on a semi good note. I don't know what I expect from posting this, but here are some ridiculously cute photos of him.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hope I didnt rant too much.
     
  2. DianeRushMav

    DianeRushMav New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I feel I should add..

    I have been socializing him, but I just recently started as he just got his first vaccine a week ago.
     
  3. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Canada
    I'd try contacting as many rescues as possible, just because your friend didn't have any luck, doesn't mean you won't. Try asking if they have any individuals who might be interested in fostering/etc as well.

    Although the temperament of the parents, and lineage, does play a role in aggression based on my understanding... if you, or someone else, can socialize him properly and get him quality training, he could turn into a great dog.

    It sounds like he's super sweet and smart, aside from the aggression issues (which could be summed up to him being a puppy but being a pit puppy from a BYB....), I can't see why you wouldn't be able to find someone who has the time for him.

    Also, there are a few people on here that seem to be well-established in the bully world so to speak... hopefully they'll come on here and suggest some rescues to contact.
     
  4. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 not counting ducks, chickens, and fish
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Honestly, he sounds like a totally normal puppy. It doesnt sound just based on your description like aggression. Pups taken too early do tend to have issue with bite inhibition and reading other signals.
     
  5. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Canada
    This was my original thought as well... especially considering Cali still has those moments where she likes biting pant legs and playfully biting toes. But I do understand the OP's concern about it, with a puppy with an unknown background and a breed that is stereotyped as aggressive, although all pitbulls I've ever met have been sweet as can be.
     
  6. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    He's a completely normal TERRIER puppy, from the sounds of it. That said, if you aren't knowledgeable or equipped to handle a bull and terrier breed and the unique responsibilities/expectations that go along with owning a B&T breed, best bet would be to turn him over either to a private rescue (not one of the big-name "warehouse" rescues) specializing in dealing with B&T breeds, or an individual with breed experience.

    What area on the east coast are you in?
     
  7. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Yep, totally normal terrier puppy. No aggression, just puppy behavior.


    Where are you located?
     
  8. teedub

    teedub New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How is an 8 week puppy aggressive? That's like saying an infant child is aggressive.
     
  9. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's been known to happen. Doesn't sound like that's the case here, though.
     
  10. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Agree with the others. Normal terrier puppy, taken away from mama/litter too soon, so he didn't learn bite inhibition. He's a cute pup, there's an excellent chance you can find a rescue to take him on.
     
  11. 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
    Just sounds like he's trying to play with you but hasn't learned that you don't make a good toy. Doesn't sound like aggression at all. Encourage him to play with toys and if he starts going for you get up and walk away from him, then ignore him for a minute. My dog was a really bad biter but was unable to get on the couch, so for a while if he went after me I'd stand on the couch until he stopped wanting to get me. Then I'd encourage him to play tug with me using a toy so he learned that when he got the urge to play with something he knew he could use a toy. Now he has the best bite inhibition ever. You just want him to learn that you fail as a chew toy, you're never any fun when he tries to get you to play.

    Tucker literally drew blood from us every day and made me never want a puppy again. But oddly enough the super bad biting only lasted a few weeks, it just felt like a lifetime. You just have to be very consistent and he'll stop wanting to use you as a tug toy.
     
  12. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Colorado
    I just wanted to come in and say that rescues are usually much more willing to take in puppies than adults. Puppies get adopted MUCH faster and easier. It can't hurt to try contacting some, I bet at least one would be willing to do a courtesy post!
     
  13. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,713
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    It's hard to say without seeing the behaviour, but it does sound like a typical puppy.
    Could you get a video of when he's acting up like this?
     
  14. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I also don't think your description of this puppy makes him sound aggressive, whatsoever. He sounds like a very, very, very normal boisterous puppy.

    It also doesn't sound like the methods you're using (restraining him by the scruff of his neck, pushing his lips into his mouth so he bites them) are going to be helpful, and they might be making it worse. You're going to teach the puppy that he should avoid human handling because it's unpleasant for him, or even worse, make him afraid of people - which could CAUSE aggression to start.

    Instead, when he tries to mouth at you or your clothing, shove an appropriate chew toy in his mouth and praise him heavily for accepting the toy. If he drops the toy to bite at you again, end the game. Stand up, turn away from him, no longer speak to him. He WILL continue biting at you for a few minutes, but continue ignoring him, and eventually he'll give up and grab a toy, instead. When he does this, praise him, and start to interact with him again.

    He is not going to learn to stop mouthing you overnight or in a few days. But if you're consistent with it, he'll catch on pretty quickly.
     
  15. DianeRushMav

    DianeRushMav New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am located in MD.

    I have recently contacted a rescue (Jasmine's House) and I am just waiting to hear back - its the only one I found that has a surrender option, and I am in the process of still looking around. Sometimes I know he is playing, but other times I don't think that's it. I have met plenty of rowdy puppies (and pit bull puppies), but its the change in him in certain situations that has me concerned. Mostly situations he doesn't have control of, like when hes biting himself instead of me. Either way, I know the behavior can be worked with, it has just made me more hesitant as to where to re-home him to. I know like 3 of my friends would snatch him up, but I wouldnt trust them to train him properly. I thought about keeping him for a microsecond, but honestly I don't want another dog and I don't have the time he needs. I think an experienced home would do wonders with him, he is very smart and athletic and also very sweet (when he isn't being a demon :p). All that being said, I just want whats best for him.

    If anyone knows of rescues, I would love information! I am hoping to find him a place within a few weeks. I don't know how rescues work, if they will take dogs that fast or not. My mom wants to take him to the shelter, but I don't want to. My county shelter is filled with mostly Pit-bulls and they wont adopt them out to families with kids or other pets.
     
  16. DianeRushMav

    DianeRushMav New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can try to get a video.

    Also, I have been doing the toy replacement thing since we got him. He will chew on it for a few seconds and then go back to nomming on body parts. Its a work in progress.
     
  17. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    You could try to rehome him with a contract stating that they'll take him to a training class you choose or consult a certain trainer.

    What sort of situations cause the puppy's temperament to change so rapidly? Is it if he's around more people, the other dogs start to play, certain types of toys, etc? It could even be that he is getting over-tired, or a certain amount of time before/after he eats, that he gets "wired" and has lower inhibition and self-control, or a lower threshold for excitement. It sounds like it could be caused by frustration.

    And what do you mean by situations where he's not in control, and biting himself instead of you? Why is he biting himself?
     
  18. ZillyAPBT

    ZillyAPBT New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How far would you be willing to drive, to get him into a proper foster home?
    Please let us know what the rescue says, if they can't take him I may be able to work something out.
     
  19. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I was going to ask the same thing. OP, how far can you transport?
     
  20. DianeRushMav

    DianeRushMav New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When a puppy bites me, I have always just gently rolled their lips under their teeth (if the puppy is biting down hard), and it makes them let up in their bite and have a softer mouth. If I do it, he sometimes bites down harder and gets angry. He has also gotten really mad when I picked him up and held him for too long. I think its out of frustration definitely, but whether or not its aggression idk honestly. I mean to me, it seems like aggression. I have stopped rolling his gums under his teeth since that obviously doesn't work. I now just remove myself from the situation and place him in his kennel for quiet time. Usually this behavior springs from him being too rough and me trying to make him stop. No matter what I do (I have pushed him away and he has gotten mad). A few times I just put my fingers on his jaw to remove it from my pants and he reacted horribly to this and started snarling and snapping at my fingers. Maybe my methods are horrible and the cause of the problem. I'm not sure honestly.

    I have a no-car situation, but I hope to remedy that soon (within the next couple of days). I would probably be able to drive a few hours.
     

Share This Page