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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was somewhat touched on in the former topic "How does your dog act around strangers?", but this is something a little different. Tiger is 10 months old and ,for a pit bull, is on the larger size (23 in. high and 95lbs.). Anyhow, he is a very sweet dog. Too sweet, actually. He is very good with basic commands at home and on the lawn, naturally. Yet, when he's out in public, especially with other dogs, he gets very very excited and wants to play with them. I know this is natural.

Now my problem is that, usually, people get very defensive when he does this to them or to their dog. they think that he is going to nip or bite them when he obviously is not (he trys as hard as he can to lick their face). This is especially true for small dog owners. I have gotten many, many ugly looks and was even told one time to "put that dog up". When people ask me what breed he is I say Pit Bull and it's about a 50/50 chance that their going to give an ugly look and walk away.

I don't go up to people or dogs uninvited. Rarely, dog owners and children ask if he's a good dog and when I say yes they come up to him. The people who give the looks and comments are those who are walking toward him on a jog or come up from behind him with their dogs wanting to get a sniff of him.

My question is how to solve this. I have had him socialized almost every day of his life at parks, pet stores, relative's houses, etc... no matter how many dogs he interacts with he never gets any less excited so I have ruled out the "get him around more dogs" solution.

One thing that does seem to work is to wear him out with a long walk and then let him greet people and dogs, but you can never really plan this type of thing especially if there are a ton of dogs when you first get to the park to exercise.

the last solution I could think of was to use a "gentle leader" type of collar, and it has worked wonders. I'm not sure what the technical name is for the collar but I have posted pics of it. Anyways, this would be the perfect solution despite the fact that everytime I have put it on in public people say "look at that muzzle on that dog", "OMG what a mean dog he has to have a muzzle", etc... My concern as a Pit Bull owner is to not ruin their rep. anymore than it has been. It really upsets me that I am contributing to this bad reputation they have by putting that collar on him. I've seen other breeds with this collar on (not in public, though), and have seen people act just normal around them.

So, I would like to ask your opinion and maybe a possible solution. I've heard that he will probably grow out of it, but I've also seen 6,7,8 or more year old dogs still acting like this. Thanks for your input.



 

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Just chalk it up to STUPID HUMANS :roll: ....you just keep up the good work with his socialization and OB Training :wink: ...it is a persons lack of intelligence that makes them react like that..
 

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I used to have a Cocker Spaniel and I used to take her to obediance shows. At that time, Judges wanted a little more control on a dogs enthusiasm. I was concerned about this but she won first place at this particular show. When the judge came up to congratulate me, I told him that I didn't think she would win because she was always wiggeling her tail. The Judge laughed and said the one thing you cannot control in this world is a Cocker Spaniel's tail, it is always happy. To me, this sounds like your dog. Your dog is always happy and is just showing this to people and other dogs when he sees them. Just make sure that he is on a short enough lead that he cannot jump to them and as you pass people with concerned looks, just smile and say with piride in your voice, " he loves people". You would be surprosed to see how many people will stop to talk about it.
 

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Why not use an actual training collar instead of the gentle leader? Get it fitted properly by a good obedience instructor and practice using it. Also, his reaction to other dogs and people was most likely how he learned to behave in order to get reinforcement from you. This was probably unintentionally learned during the socialization stage since he was responding in a non-agressive manner you showed you were happy with him. It is possible that he reacts the way he does to seek that attention subconsciously or perhaps he is just a really friendly dog. :) If you want him to stop trying to lick everyone you need to watch for the signs where he is gearing up to start the attempt. When he starts you have to distract him and refocus him on you.

Good luck.
 

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Titus was the same way until OB training, now when he has his pinch collar on and we are walking one quick "No" and he calms right down and refocus' on me instead of the other people or dogs, and if he doesn' then he gets a No and a pop of the collar, but anymore it is just a verbal cue. He knows that he has to stay focused until I tell him it is ok to act like a nut.... normally with the verbal "Ok Titus" as soon as he hears that he is off to the races...LOL!! good luck and just keep working on his Obedience training (OB)
 

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Tora has been taught that she no love until she is sitting....I don't pet her or let people pet until she is sitting....I love that she loves EVERYONE but at the same time I repsect people's fears....I know that you do too....I would not put a leader on my dog just bc people think it is a muzzle... I would start telling him to sit when you get home then pet him and have strangers that want to pet him wait until he is sitting.....As far as, people fearing them it just part of the stigma, ignore it..It sometimes does hurt my feelings too, when people treat her like the plague.......But I know that she is wonderful it is them that is missing out not me....MORE BULLY KISSES FOR YOU :wink: I am greedy with Tora kisses if they don't want them I will take them :D Honestly I kinda pitty "those" people they are missing out on the most loving breed there is :cry: :cry:

He is a doll by the way :wink:
 

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I can understand everyone's reply here, and I feel for ya. Harley is just like your dog, a big lover. Unfortunately, some people see the "package", and that's all they want to know. I've learned it takes a thick skin to own a Bully. I really likes Angie's post, about teaching him to sit to receive attention. I've used "no", and "leave it" with Harley, in situations where people seem afraid, however, it seems to me that people then just assume your dog MUST be dangerous, if your giving him those commands. Obviously this is just my opinion, not a fact. Good luck with him, (although it sounds like you won't really need it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the info. I guess the real problem I'm having is getting him to focus on me. I have just lost the fact that even though he sits to be petted or aproached he still needs to have my commands and wishes first on his priority list instead of wondering how many licks he can get in before I tell him "let's go". I know this is going to be hard to learn, but it's something I should have been teaching him from the beginning.

ScottB said:
Why not use an actual training collar instead of the gentle leader? Get it fitted properly by a good obedience instructor and practice using it.
Before I started working in a pet salon I would have been up for this option, but I have seen too many dogs come in with hair loss (around the neck) and neck problems because of the choke/prong collar. I comend anyone who can use this training tool properly, but I would, personally, rather not risk it.

It's funny how many people think that just the act of putting a training device on your dog will actually get them trained. It takes A LOT more work than people think (including me sometimes :roll:).
 

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quicksilver88 said:
ScottB said:
Why not use an actual training collar instead of the gentle leader? Get it fitted properly by a good obedience instructor and practice using it.
It's funny how many people think that just the act of putting a training device on your dog will actually get them trained. It takes A LOT more work than people think (including me sometimes :roll:).
You're funny :lol: . I don't think Scott was refering to a prong or choke collar, though. Although these can be training tools, if I'n not mistaken, he was refering to a collar that's made of (usually) nylon, resembles a regular collar, but has a section of chain where the D-ring is. These collars are easier to use, b/c they don't slip out of place as easily as the others.

(Am I right about this?)

I don't ever take treats on my walks to re-direct Harley's attention, but maybe I should.

Anyway, there are so many people on this forum who train everyday, you should have no problem getting the help you need here. :wink:
 

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quicksilver88 said:
It's funny how many people think that just the act of putting a training device on your dog will actually get them trained. It takes A LOT more work than people think (including me sometimes :roll:).
I took some private lessons for the same reasons you stated. Our girl is so friendly she once ran about 100 yards from me to say hello to a forest preserve cop--in a forest preserve where she was supposed to be leashed!! :oops: Talk about a frustrating situation! Thankfully the cop could ascertain that Vega was charging to say hello, not to destroy. After her trainer introduced our girl to training with the prong collar--it took me a couple of private lessons to realize she didn't need to be treated so roughly, I then intoduced her to the softer, positive reinforcement method. I think she prefers my method much better, so if she gets a bit reluctant to listen, I simply show her the prong collar and tell her we can begin using it again--talk about getting results!! Plus, she became more "John-focused" when we started playing tug-of-war, going for bike rides, playing fetch/frisbee, going swimming, etc.

Check it, she's in a sit-stay/down-stay (no collar required) with lots of distractions. Then comes to receive her well-earned reward:



















 
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