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I think some of you will remember me. This past weekend we went to see an APBT named Pumpkin. The original post can be seen here in "Introduce Yourself"

Today, my wife and children went to see Pumpkin again and something happened and now we may not be able to adopt her :(

When the staff let Pumpkin out in the waiting room, she went to jump up on my oldest. Last night i explained how to handle that and she did the right thing. She brought up her knee and turned her body. Pumpkin slid off her knee and then in excitment went towards my younger daughter, and this is where things got weird.

Pumpkin is a 2 yr female APBT that has been spayed. Kirsten, my daughter is 7. They are both about the same height (when Pumpkin stands). Pumpkin jumped up and wrapped her legs around Kirstens neck and then began to pull Kirsten into her (almost like a male dog in heat). My wife and the Staff member managed to break her off of Kirsten.

Pumpkin looked around and then went for Kirsten again, only this time facing her. She had her front legs around her shoulders and facing her. There was no growling or anything, just the pulling of herself into Kirsten. Again my wife pulled Pumpkin off. It wasn't easy, but she managed.

This happed a few more times and then the staff brought Pumpkin back to the kennel. The way my wife explains it, Pumpkin was fixed on Kirsten for some reason.

Can someone tell me what's happening here? Did Pumpkin pick up on something? Nothing like this happened on Saturday. Could it be that i was there and Pumpkin knew she wouldn't get away with that behavior. The kennel is going to call the vet to ask questions, but it looks like they will not let us adopt at this point. :cry:

Steve
 

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Oh I'm so sorry. I wish I had an explanation for you. It kind of sounds like she was picking which child she could dominate, but I could be way off. I'm just sad that you weren't able to adopt her. :(
 

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If Pumpkin was doing kind of a humping motion, it could be that she is trying to show dominance. She choose your daughter because she is the same height and sex, therefore she sees her as her equal. This humping can be handled by tethering the dog to you, and giving a sharp NO and a quick tug on the leash. This shows her that you are the dominant one and that she needs to submit to you. It also teaches her that you do not approve of this behavior (or any behavior that you correct her for). It is part of NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free) training. You can google it to find a bunch of info on this method.
Tethering works very well, it just requires alot of work on your and your wifes part. The children could also do their part by being the one who are in charge of treats and food. While you have the leash, make her wait a little bit back from the bowl, while your children fill it. I had a foster dog who did this too. We kept him tethered all the time (at night too when he wasn't crated) and he learned that he was low man on the totem pole, that our kids where above him.

But it really comes down to if you are willing to work with her and keep her tethered whenever she isn't crated (if you choose to crate her), and if the shelter will still adopt her to you. Perhapse the shelter would be willing to do a trial adoption?

Good Luck, and keep us posted!
 
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