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Canine Behavior/My new puppy


Hi there,
I have a pitbull bitch, I have had her for about 2 months now and originally i got her to keep watch over my house.My house has been burgled a few times even with my three dogs here so I want her to be somewhat vicious. I want her to be friendly with the children and my close family and friends but how do i make her know the difference? everytime anyone comes to the house she just runs up and licks them. I also want her to stop barking at other dogs or animals. I have a sharpe and he only barks at people and I want her to be like that instead of barking at just anyone. and also 1 more thing, how do i keep my dogs within the gate? even when the gate is closed my older dogs just jump over it. I would love to take them to dog training classes but there are no classes available in my area. What ever help you could give would be much appreciated.
Thank you,

Hi Haleigh -

There is no such thing as a somewhat vicious dog.  I am assuming she is a puppy since you don't mention her age.  It is VERY important for you to socialize your dog so that she is confident and people-friendly.  You do not want an aggressive or vicious dog!!!!  It sounds like she has a wonderful temperament.  As she matures she will start to become more protective of her home and alert you to people on your property, but you will want her to settle down and accept people you allow into the home.  If you are worried about your house getting broken into - please consider getting a anti-theft alarm system for your house.  The combination of the dogs barking and the security signs should keep your home pretty safe.
There must be some type of class in your area.  Perhaps a private dog trainer that can work with you for a couple sessions?  Some of the major pet stores (I don't know if you have Petco or Petsmart near you) offer positive reinforcement dog training classes.  Any training you do with your dogs should be positive reinforcement based so you and your dog have a good experience.
For the barking you can teach your dog's the leave it command (link below) and for the gate you will have to work on boundary training with them or get a higher gate they can't jump over.  Correct the dogs for jumping over (bring them back to the correct side) and praise and treat them when they don't jump over so you make it more rewarding for them to stay on the correct side.  You have to be pretty diligent for this method to work.
You should also read the e-books by Dr. Ian Dunbar (links below)Before you get your puppy and After you get your puppy.  Good-luck with your pup.

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Jennifer Ganser, LMT, ABCDT


For canines I can answer questions related to behavior, obedience training, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) For equines I can answer questions related to behavior, barn management, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) I am not a veterinarian and it is not within my scope of practice as a licensed massage therapist or certified dog trainer to diagnose health conditions. Please contact your pet's veterinarian for illness related questions and emergencies.


I am a licensed massage therapist for people, horses, and dogs and a certified dog trainer. I teach group obedience classes as well as private lessons. I also work with horses and help barns establish good management practices.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Certification Board of Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

2009 - graduate of Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy 2010 - certified in canine/feline first aid + CPR by Red Cross 2012 - graduate of Post University equine program 2012 - graduate of Animal Behavior College Obedience program

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