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Canine Behavior/spontainious pitbull attacks on other dogs


i have a 3 1/2 year old red nose and american mix pitbull, she a female, none spade. sometimes when me and me girlfriend are arguing the dogs seen nervious  they get ansiouty and sometimes will go off on each other when we argue. [their both females from same liter 1swt and last born of the litter] but me concern is for the last born her name is sissie. today we have been arguing more than normal lots of shouting  doors slamming ect...... i could see the nerviousness and sissie was, trembleing a bitthen i was told to leave the house so i gathered up some things, sissie was at the door waiting for me at this point,normally she goes with when i go some where she loves riding in the car and always at my side, so we proceeded out the door  without a leash , this is normal not to exit on a leash,she noticed a group of dogs being walked by their owners  just outside the door ,she attacks the largest of the dogs bitting on the dogs ear and  would not let go . this has happened before  same case sinario exsept on the other occations i yell at her or even grab her she stops . not this time, she would not let go at all fortchainetly  she lost grip and the other dog  got loose and i was able to restain sissie and put her in the vehicel  what the hell should i do .do i need to put her down or  is this normal under sercumstance. the other dog wasnt hurt badley  broke the skin , i had the owners take the dog to a vet to be looked at .the dog will be fine please help . sissie  is very loving, loyal ,never had a dog as friendly to other animals of all kinds including cats , birds ect..... this  seems to happen in spontainious situations, and when she is suprised  by the presents of other dogs as we leave our home

The situation in your home is causing your dogs a tremendous amount of stress.  What you saw in this attack is called "redirected aggression".  The "Pit Bull" is intended not to "let go" and this dog might be a clear and present danger to other dogs and perhaps even children when reacting with fear to what is going on in your home.

I suggest you get your dogs OUT OF THAT CIRCUMSTANCE and that means LEAVE THAT HOUSE and that relationship.  You will also need to have the dog evaluated by a professional (NOT a dog trainer).  She must be spayed but you must know she is not close to estrus before doing this (requires a blood test to measure estrogen levels).  A GOOD veterinarian might prescribe a beta blocker, propanolol, which short circuits the fight/flight response and allows you time to attempt to counter condition this dog.  You must find a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist in your area from one of the following sites:

It is the CIRCUMSTANCE she is in that's causing this problem.  If the dog were out of control, a lot more damage would have been done to the other dog.  There's work to be done but this dog should not lose her life because of your problems at home.

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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