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Please help with my APBT’s sudden aggression.. how do I stop it?

Question by : Please help with my APBT’s sudden aggression.. how do I stop it?

I have a great 6 month old American Pit Bull Terrier name Vino who I’ve had since he was 9 weeks old.

[We’ve done all the right things thus far: Searched for a reputable breeder, choose the MUCH more relaxed pup, did lots of research (as I’ve also grown up around the breed as well), got him registered, started teaching and training him early and he’s very smart (he learned sit within 2 hours of bringing him home), eats a healthy no-grain diet (taste of the wild), he’s all up to date and he was neutered a few weeks ago.]

From what I know (from what I hear as well as from what I’ve read) Pit bulls have a BAD reputation and as they just may be aggressive with other dogs (in which we don’t have that problem; haven’t seen this problem with him) they should never be aggressive towards humans.
HOWEVER within the last few weeks (maybe in the last 2 weeks) he has become a little aggressive towards my girlfriend and I. *When he gets into his mood.. He barks, will snap his mouth if our hands are close by, growls and even will lunge. When he does this, we’ll get control of his leash (which he wears pretty much 24/7 because of this problem now), say no and either place him in his cage or pin him down (if those two deam necessary).
He also gets in a mood where he’ll tuck his tail between his legs, put his bottom closer to the floor and just take off running crazily. A trainer once instructed us that this was “Puppy Energy” and eventhough we walk him and exercise him, it may not be enough.. if this is true, is this something he grows out of? or are we suppose to be doing something specific to change this? when we try during his “puppy energy” moment, he really barks and growls at us (and during that time, I actually think he will bite one of us).

Is this normal (like is this just what they do to challenge for alpha status) or is this something we should be worried about..
We’re not scared of him and do issue disapline, but what do we he gets like that? I know “training” can help this situation…so please help! What am I suppose to do?

Best answer:

Answer by Sapphire
try a professional trainer. the running around is normal and theres nothing you can really do about it, the trainer my pom and i went to called it the zoomies. it gets less frequent with age. you might want to buy a muzzle as well. dont give him any attention when he misbehaves and lots of attention and treats when he behaves well. it sounds like your doing the right thing when you say no and crate him.

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  • The tucking and running thing is called Zoomies – It’s an excitement thing, it’s not something to be worried about.

    The pinning and using the crate as punishment HAS to STOP NOW! That is NOT ok, the crate is NOT to be used as a form of punishment. Pinning teaches the dog only to fear you, or can create fear aggression.

    If this dog truly IS HUMAN aggressive, then you did NOT get the dog from a reputable breeder, and he should be euthanized, as he is a danger to you, and the public.

    Also, you are being too vague when describing this behavior. WHEN does this “snapping” behavior occur? When food is around? When he has a toy? Around the time he does his “zoomies?” He is still a PUPPY, and puppies nip, bite, and growl and have lots of energy.

    The dog needs a trainer ASAP, and needs much more exercise.

  • I think at this point I would consult a professional trainer (with an excellent reputation).

  • I actually just reacently had a pit that is aggresive and I had her since 5 weeks old. I tried everything as I didnt want to give her up but she to come find out was a dominant female and he might be a dominant male or he might just not like u? U can try a trainer or u can not hard but spank the dog just so he gets the hint and say NO sternly with him. I dont like to be stern with dogs but I raise pit bulls and they are hard headed sometimes. He may also be might be having problems because u nuetered him his hormones might still be going. I would do the little spank and put him in the kennel for a few and then let him out keep doing it until he learns. U can also look up things on how to train him away from the aggresion as trainers just want a lot of money from u. But its your choice. Good luck with him pit bulls are the best

  • 1.) Pinning him down is a physical, hostile attack. Your dog is likely reacting to your open hostility by behaving in a similar manner. It’s an inappropriate correction and a behavior that no canid, domestic or wild, exhibits. Canines simply do not force another canine down to the ground unless the intent is to inflict grievous bodily injury–hence the “alpha roll” myth and it’s bad reputation.

    2.) Google NILIF training and “small dog syndrome”. S.D.S. applies to dogs of all sizes, despite the deceptive name.

    3.) Never use a crate as punishment. Dogs don’t really get much out of a time out, they don’t have the attention span for it. Plus using his crate as punishment may make it difficult later down the road if you need to crate him for any other reason.

    4.) Learn the value of a firm, growly voice. Be confident and self assured around the dog, don’t be domineering or a tyrant, just be confident and in control. Your girlfriend must do the same. Your dog is behaving like a petulant brat and needs to learn his place. When he’s being a pest ignore him. If he makes physical contact with you shove him away with your knee and literally growl the word “no” at him, then turn your back on him and ignore him for 10 minutes.

    I’m betting his problem is either you or your girlfriend. Sounds to me like he’s trying to claim one or the other or simply doesn’t like you two interacting the way you do. He’s trying to push you around. High drive dogs can go through phases like this, it’s imperative that you teach him his place and make no question about just who is in charge. 😉

    [Add] While the American Pit Bull Terrier is generally eager to please, bully breeds in general can also be stubborn and willful. Failure to be firm and consistent can lead to serious problems. Also, as another answer states if your pit bull is truly human aggressive then he is most assuredly not well bred, let alone from a reputable breeder. Human aggression is not and never has been tolerated in the breed. A good breeder knows temperament is genetic and will have certified ATTS or equivalent temperament scores on all breeding dogs.

  • I’ve had my pit bull since she was 7 weeks old (she’s now 5) and she still runs around like she’s crazy sometimes. When I have to discipline her I either stand up and she stops immediately or I smack her butt. But I’ve never had problems with her being aggressive.

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