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New pitbull question

Discussion in 'Terrier' started by Daisydog28, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Daisydog28

    Daisydog28 New Member Registered

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    I just adopted a pitbull. She is around 1 yr old. And so far is a doll to my 1 year old plot hound mix and stays away and respects my 14yr old Bechon Fresè x Cocker Spaniel mix`s space when the cocker growls. I just got Daisy yesterday, she was at the pound, they picked her up as a stray.

    So, with that said she is WONDERFUL with dogs. With people not so much. I've tried treats. She won't come near me. She doesn't eat and she isn't interested in toys right now. I've got seen this in a rescue before. She is also very hard to grab, she learned her name in hours, but when you call her she just stares. Or when I use the treat ball or toys she just stares. We plan on taking her to training classes, like we did with my plott hound mix. But it's 2 weeks away. In the mean time, any suggestions on how to get her to trust us?

    1503147373764471164017.jpg
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    She needs to learn it's safe to trust you, give her time. Be very aware of your body language, eye contact and face to face can be perceived as a threat. Make sure she has a safe place to go to where she is not disturbed. Try not to grab her, that won't help you bond. Instead you could have her on a house line - a lead with no loop handle is good so it can't catch - so if you have to redirect her you can. Better still to use a treat like chicken to lure her if you can. She may not take treats or toys yet as she is still stressy at the move so get great ones like chicken or frankfurter, which you can drop (not toss) as you pass her to get her attention on them. Just a word of caution, if you are in the UK Pit Bulls are a banned breed so be careful how you describe her.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2017
  3. gypsysmum2

    gypsysmum2 Well-Known Member Registered

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    I agree with Joanne about taking lots of time to gain her trust. I would cancel the training classes for now as dogs need to be bonded to their handler in order to get anything out of a training class. If you need help with training then contact the trainer and see if they do house visits. But even this may be too much for her just yet. Do remember that any methods used to train her must be kind. If she gets even a hint of a trainer that uses anything but positive reinforcement you will put back her progress by miles.

    There is a book called "Understanding the Rescue Dog" by Carol Price. Might be available on Amazon. It has some good advice and is based on modern methods.

    Every interaction you have with her should be a positive experience for her. The best way to describe the handling, you need to practice, is to imagine you have taken in a wild animal and are trying to gain its trust. Dogs are still very much in touch with their wild side when they are scared. You know you mean her no harm but she is just a dog and has no idea what your intentions towards her are.

    Always allow her to move away and hide if she wants to. Try to find her a quiet den somewhere in the house that does not have much passing traffic. The more she relaxes the quicker she will learn. Anxiety prevents learning as the brain cannot prepare for fight/flight and learn at the same time.
     
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  4. Daisydog28

    Daisydog28 New Member Registered

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    I'm in USA, ty both for the insightful response.
     
  5. gypsysmum2

    gypsysmum2 Well-Known Member Registered

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    You're welcome :)  Do keep us posted on her progress.
     
  6. dogmatize

    dogmatize Closed Accounts

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    Hello and welcome to the forum. :) I am wondering how well your 14 year old is coping with the newcomer and to be honest I am posting because I feel  anxious about it. I think it might be a  bit challenging for an older dog to cope in this situation and  Would be grateful if gypsysmum2 would give some advice on potential problems and what to look out for.

    I have only ever introduced a puppy to an older dog and I expect this situation requires different handling?
     
  7. Daisydog28

    Daisydog28 New Member Registered

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    Good question. I was worried about it too. She is doing better than expected. So far the 14yr old only growls when the two play. I think she doesn't know what the two are doing, or thinks they are fighting. She is loving not harassed by my plott hound though. It's early still. The vet said she thinks we picked a good one. I agree!
     
  8. gypsysmum2

    gypsysmum2 Well-Known Member Registered

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    It all depends on the individual temperaments of the two dogs. I assume that introductions were done at the shelter before the new dog was adopted? This is the usual scenario. In which case the older dog's acceptance, or otherwise, of the new dog would have been noted.

    The OP described the new dog as "wonderful" with other dogs. The new dog has already respected the older dogs "warning" which is a good sign.

    The 14 year old dog is already sharing its home with another dog and so, one would assume, is used to a multi dog household. In some ways it is easier for an older dog to accept an adult dog because the new adult dog already understands about "manners" and so is low maintenance for the older dog.

    Obviously, it is very early days in the long term relationship of all the dogs. My one small area of concern would be the gender of the dogs. A mix of sexes is usually the best recipe for a harmonious household.

    I have just seen DaisyDog28's reply and it seems that he/she is well aware of the potential pitfalls of a multi dog household.

    I assume the older dog has a safe haven to escape to?
     
  9. Daisydog28

    Daisydog28 New Member Registered

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    Yes we spent a good 2 hours introducing them at the shelter. They did really great there. I was really impressed. Yup they all do. And we have had dogs throughout our lives just first time with a pit. Older one is female, plott is male and daisy is female, and we think she had puppys once. She seems VERY tolerant of things. She even slows down when jax(plott hound) and her are running in the back yard so he can catch up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2017
  10. gypsysmum2

    gypsysmum2 Well-Known Member Registered

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    She sounds as though she has been well socialised with other dogs. You won't really know until you have seen her around lots of other dogs. There may be some breeds that she has never seen before.

    Pit Bulls, if brought up properly, are great dogs. They have a terrible reputation over here because they were brought into the country, and bred, by the wrong people. Such a shame but it will take a huge shift in public opinion for them to lose that reputation and, of course, the badly bred and raised ones are still around.
     
  11. Daisydog28

    Daisydog28 New Member Registered

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    What I'm worried about is that she handy been eating. And she is sleeping a lot. Vet gave her a clean bill of health. And jknowitsonly been a little over a day. but shes not eating?

    They have a bad rep here too. And banned in many big  cities.   But I believe its the owner that makes the dog. Chihuahuas are worse than most pits. Most small dogs are. Treat the dog right and it will treat you right.
     
  12. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Part of the stress 'fight or flight' response is not to eat (or to vomit) as a full stomach is not conducive to running or fighting. So don't worry yet. You say she is hardly eating, so I take it she is eating a little. Dogs very seldom starve themselves and will only fail to eat badly enough for it to be serious when there is a medical (or very serious psychological) condition so it's too early to worry about that yet. I'll bet you a cupcake that she will be eating you out of house and home by this time next week!
     
  13. Daisydog28

    Daisydog28 New Member Registered

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    Hmmm cupcake, I mean I didn't know that an empty stomach was part of fight or flight, thank you.
     
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  14. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Have you thought about an Adaptil collar/spray/diffuser for the first few weeks as she settles? I don't know if the same brands are available in the USA but they are artificial calming hormones which can be used to settle anxious pets. 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2017
  15. Daisydog28

    Daisydog28 New Member Registered

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    No she isnt anxious she seems more depressed . She sleeps all the time and doesn't have interest in much, her tail is between her legs. I realize that dogs take time to adjust. I've just never seen this. She plays with my other dog, and sleeps, thats about it. She doesnt come to us. Has no interest in coming to us when we put our hand down. And doesnt play with the toys we bought her, come to think of it she isnt drinking much either. I have never seen this behaviour. Im ofc going to give her time, I just want her to be ok.
     
  16. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    The artificial hormone in Adaptil or similar might still work. It mimics the hormones that her mum would have had and is a comforting, feel good pheromone. Totally worth a shot.
     
  17. gypsysmum2

    gypsysmum2 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Adaptil might still be called DAP in the States? Stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone. Well worth a try.

    She may well be emotionally exhausted. If she has been straying and then caught and kept at the pound and then moved to your house it could all be too much for her. And that is before taking into account what her life was like before being on the street. Perhaps she was not in contact with humans much?

    My rescue took two years to come to terms with hands approaching him. He still has problems with some strangers. He also likes to be separate from people. If we are sitting downstairs he will take himself upstairs and lie on the spare bed, never our bed even though he is allowed. If we go upstairs he will take himself off downstairs and go into his bed. He will not get on the sofa even if we try to encourage him. He used to get in my husband's old chair but not mine. We now have swivel recliners and he does not like them.

    There was a case on here earlier where a rescue refused to eat for quite a while. The owner tried all sorts of things and we suggested some others. Turned out that the dog preferred a metal bowl! The foster carer of the dog suggested it as it is what she used to feed the dog. Can be all a matter of "trust". The dog learns to trust food that comes in a familiar container.

    You could try asking at the pound to see what regime they had for her. Also try feeding her away from the other dogs, change the place, put her food on the floor as though she is scavenging it, different bowls. I would not, yet, change the actual food too much, only back to anything you know she has eaten before. Also be careful not to give too much attention when she refuses food as this can cause behaviour problems. Just put it down without eye contact. Leave it for 10 minutes and then pick it up with no comment or eye contact again.

    As Joanne says, though, she will probably be eating this time next week. Feeding our dogs is an expression of love and it shows your commitment to her that you are worried when she refuses food (your love) :)  
     

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