My Dog Suddenly Started Being Aggressive and Rude?

asked 2017-09-28 17:45:47 -0500

Me and my boyfriend got a new pitbull and she is about a year old. When we first got her about a week or so ago she was sweet and loving and only bit in a playful or accidental manner. She was only aggressive when being played with. My boyfriends parents made us chain her up so she wouldnt get hit by a car while we werent home or so she wouldnt mess anything up. Ever since then, we cant even pet her without her attacking our forearms and hands or jumping on us. We thought maybe she wanted freedom so we hooked her up to her leash and tried to walk her but she only bit the leash and tried to yank it out of my hands. She has not been abused at all, she has not been neglected, (we tried to get her off the chain as much as possible) but we cant anymore because shes so mean now. What should we do?

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answered 2017-09-29 15:15:29 -0500

I would highly recommend you find a local dog trainer who can assist you in getting your dog under control. A good source may be the shelter or adoption group you used to adopt your pup. A good trainer will work with you and teach you proper techniques so you have a successful adoption

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answered 2017-10-02 11:34:34 -0500

First off, congrats on adopting a rescue pup and for looking for help.

So many things can explain this but it is difficult for me, even as a professional trainer and rehabilitation therapist to make a proper assessment over the internet, with limited information and without seeing the dog in person but I can perhaps help you understand why this might of happened.It is most likely, like 95% chances that it is fear based pure and simple. If you chained her up outside while you were gone, anything could of happened to her in your absence, someone could of hurt her, something could of scared her and being tied up, she did not have to flight option so the potential for trauma is high. Because she is a rescue, you dont really know her history and perhaps she was tied for a very long time in dire conditions in her previous life and it simply makes her bunkers when she is. She might have confinement phobia, trauma of some sort, separation anxiety and they only way she knows to express is and deal with the threat is to become aggressive.

I would as Walt recommended find a good positive reinforcement trainer who specializes in rescued dogs and rehabilitation to quickly get this under some type of control. It will most likely be expensive but so worth it and really strengthen the bond between you and your rescued pup.

Having said that, you still need a solution at this moment so I will give you some advice on how to earn her trust so you can start handling her in a way that is safe and pleasant for everyone. I would not try to approach her past the point where she tarts being reactive, I would simply sit down outside of her reach and remain there until she has calmed down a bit. You can toss very high value treats at her like bacon, cheese, hot dog wieners. Do not speak to her or look at her, let her understand that you are not a threat, that you will respect her boundaries, that you can be trusted. When she is calm and seems ok with you being near her, you can come a bit closer but if she starts reacting you must back away and start over. It is crucial that she knows you will respect her boundaries in order to be able to push those boundaries. The use of treats will also help her understand that you getting closer is a good thing rather than a scary one, they also keep her busy so her mind is occupied at something else than being afraid and aggressive. This might take a while but should help a lot.

Once you can touch her again or at least be close to her, make sure you speak to her in a low tone of voice, that you avoid sudden moves and such. I would definitively not play any games like wrestling or tug ... (more)

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