Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

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pitmixmama
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Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

Post by pitmixmama » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:34 pm

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I just wanted to be as thorough as possible. May cross-post on another board as well.

Background: We adopted our Pit/Dalmatian mix (Pearl) from a rescue group about 5yrs ago, making her approximately 6yrs old. She started out friendly with all dogs and humans, but has become dog aggressive with most dogs outside our home. She and her Pit/Greyhound sister are besties though, and have never had issues. She and I have always had a bit of a power struggle, though she completely respects my husband as a pack leader type. Our son was born just over 2yrs ago (recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder), and we swore we'd never allow an opportunity one of the dogs to make a mistake with him. We refuse to perpetuate the bad rap that Pits get. The girls have always been a little leery of him, and almost seem to sense his importance and get nervous that they'll make a "mistake". We don't allow them to be openly mixed without very close supervision (we are always within arms reach and/or in between him and the dogs). Until yesterday. :(

Yesterday my son and I were playing outside with the dogs and throwing the balls for them. I relaxed too much. My son was standing next to Pearl, and she was aware of his presence. He suddenly gave her a sweet hug (not leaning on her, or pinching or squeezing or pulling), and she snapped very suddenly. It came with a vicious growl. Her mouth touched his hair (wet with slobber), but her teeth didn't land. He immediately burst into hysterical tears and I told Pearl "NO NO NO" and sent her away from us. I consoled my son and all was right with the world again. Except...we always said if it happened just ONE time, that would be it. We wouldn't risk an accident in our house. Now that it's happened, we're totally torn.

The dogs were our first babies. The thought of sending one or both away seems so sad and unfair. We're discussing the idea of getting professional help to get us started in the right direction (ongoing is out of budget). This is very fresh and I'm having a hard time. Right now I don't trust her. I feel bad, but I don't forgive her yet. I feel like I'll be waiting for the next time...the big regret, you know? How realistic is it for us to keep them separated like this? As mentioned, my son has ASD and is only 2yrs old. Like most 2yr olds, he has to be told things over and over again...times ten. I don't know that I could get him to understand that hugging the dogs isn't ok.

I'm totally at a loss. What do we do?

Kenisya
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Re: Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

Post by Kenisya » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:11 pm

I retract my previous statement.
Last edited by Kenisya on Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wes
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Re: Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

Post by Wes » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:22 pm

Kenisya, please be aware that pack theory is scientifically proven to be incorrect and out of date, and you are recommending methods not endorsed by this forum. I believe this thread has been addressed in the dog training section.

Kenisya
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Location:Utah

Re: Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

Post by Kenisya » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:23 pm

I retract my previous statement.
Last edited by Kenisya on Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Wes
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Re: Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

Post by Wes » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:30 pm

Alphas *cough, cough* I mean leaders eat first.
This is also incorrect. Puppies get first meals. :D Please, do read up on the new research. Victoria Stilwell has also since changed her views on "alpha" and leadership from her UK series.

If I tried that "leadership exercise" with the food with my resource guarder, I'd either lose a hand or set him back two years. I can go near him while he eats now after showing him I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS FOOD. If you set a plate of steak in front of me and kept taking it away, you bet your rear I'd bite you too.

Kenisya
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Location:Utah

Re: Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

Post by Kenisya » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:03 pm

I retract my previous statement.
Last edited by Kenisya on Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WufWuf
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Re: Incident with Pitmix and 2yr old son - HELP!

Post by WufWuf » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:23 am

Kenisya wrote:I am not endorsing any positive punishment (A.K.A. a correction in training terminology "it is called a positive because something is being added to the equation and punishment because if done the dog is less likely to do it again" depriving a dog of treats is called negative punishment) o
Technically you are
Kenisya wrote:If their butt leaves the ground quickly pick it up firmly say "No"
the "No" would count as +p as you are adding it in the hope of decreasing the frequency of a behaviour .

You might find this site helpful in furthering your doggy education http://www.dogwelfarecampaign.org/statu ... rammes.php and we would be happy to help you with more links if you have questions.

The truth is dogs just don't have a ridgid social hierarchy and if you understand the correct definition of pack they don't fit into that either. Even wolves don't have the pack structure we once though they did (I can give you links if needs be).

I really admire your desire to learn and to help animals and I once thought the same way you do so I can understand why it can be difficult to let go of the idea that "leadership" has anything to do with dog training. I've been
Kenisya wrote: injured, sick
the whole time that I've worked my own dog and she's come on very well :wink: . That's not to say they aren't in tune with us it's just that it's NOT the be all and end all of dog training that some people might try to sell it as.

If you are interested you can see how this issue was addressed here viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17256&p=126932#p126932
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules

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