I read in a local paper that Broward County residents were fighting, and fighting hard to pass a law to make pit bull and pit bull mixes illegal in Broward County, similar to what happened in Miami-Dade County.
This really disturbed me and it made me think as well. I have had pit bull or bull breed mixes almost my entire life. I understand the difference first hand between a poodle and a pit, and the damage they can inflict when a fight happens.
I think the severity of the damage is the most important difference between the bull breeds and the countless other dog fights, human bites and aggression that is encountered amongst dogs.
I have learned there are many ways to control behavior
Of course, we’ve all heard why dogs become aggressive and why not, so I won’t even get into that. I will however, say that only recently, through my personal experience with my favorite friend and the love of my life “Buddy” the pit mix, I have learned that like all other breeds, there are MANY ways to control aggressive behavior.
Since I bring Buddy to work with me regularly, I get lots of compliments on how obedient he is, especially for a dog who had shown some pretty scary, and unpredictable behavior in the past.
His obedience came from desperation on my part, and I wasn’t even sure if he could be obedient or that his life could be a healthy and happy one. I was afraid and if any of you have witnessed a real bite from a dog, you know the fear I’m talking about.
Well, my Buddy had his obedience down pretty well now, and I knew he would stay in a down stay for as long as I needed but his confidence however, was fading. It took an outsider, a friend who has a very different method of training to tell me that Buddy was so subordinate of me, and sensed my nervousness so clearly, that he was afraid to DO ANYTHING! I learned that even for a “high drive trouble maker”, positive, and I mean POSITIVE reinforcement really works wonders!
Now I’ve got a dog that is obedient, but always looks to me for rewards, whether it is a treat or a “good boy!” and it’s making him a truly confident, respectable bull dog! (We have a lot more fun together too)!
The moral of my story … If you feel that you have a problem with your dog, don’t let anyone tell you it’s hopeless. It’s rarely hopeless! But remember this; if you have a dog who is aggressive or a dog that has bitten even without breaking the skin, you need to get help and get it fast!
Our animal companions experience the same kind of emotional disturbances we do … they just can’t tell us what’s wrong. Often it is something easy and simple to diagnose, other cases take longer, but in my business, we come across a lot of dogs who have spent time in shelters or just bad situations, and in my time we’ve never known a dog we couldn’t help in some way.
Some problems cannot be cured entirely but modified to the point of being tolerable. It’s important that you help your pet if he/she is exhibiting symptoms such as a change in personality or toileting.
Having problems with dog training does not always indicate a learning problem, but could be a medical problem. Always be open to new methods of training because, like my family … it could mean the life of your pet!
Looking for more training articles? Check out this article about preventing aggression…
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