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Canine Behavior/Night/Morning aggression



My dog Duke a 4 year old blue nose pit bull has been with me since he was 6 weeks old. I have never had a problem with him being aggressive towards anybody, until the birth of my sons. With my first son Duke would tense up and try and block people including my wife from getting to him, but a distraction would quickly diffuse the situation. Now with my second son, who is now 7 months old, Duke has been much more aggressive. It has come to the point where he will not even let my wife re-enter the room in the mornings when she is getting ready for work, and the baby and i are asleep in the room. As soon as she steps foot in the room he begins to growl, and immediately blocks her from coming in. This has begun to scare my wife as she thinks he will bite her. We have been getting by it by having her enter with a treat and he will then follow her outside to get the treat. this seemed like an Okay temporary fix, but ow it has gotten worse. Now when my oldest son wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom duke did the same, he growled, and jumped right into my sons face. This even scared me, and I did not know what to do. duke didn't bite and he never has, but the thought of him attacking my son in the middle of the night on his way to the bathroom has become a little frightening. My belief is that he is protecting the baby, but it's not acceptable to have my family members scared. What can i do to fix this problem? Duke has always been a great dog, and we've never had problems with him being aggressive to anybody other than this. Your help would be greatly appreciated, because this is causing huge altercations withing the family.

The "blue nose" (blue) Pitbull has an inherited genetic tendency toward aggression.  They are not "accidental" breeding, they are specifically bred for appearance (by idiots, apparently).  When any breed of dog (and other canine types) are bred specifically for appearance, along with that breeding comes behavioral changes (unwanted or intended if the breeding is done quite carefully and only to specific breeding stock that never demonstrate any negative behaviors or "throw" puppies that do.)

Your dog is a clear and present danger to your wife and your children.  I cannot address this in a text box, it is far too serious.  You MUST FIND a CERTIFIED APPLIED ANIMAL BEHAVIORIST as soon as possible (tomorrow!)  If you do not find one in or near your location (New Mexico), then call the veterinary college in your geographical area and ask for referral.  Someone with an expertise in Pit Bulls and aggression problems would be best but ANY CAAB can evaluate cause.  This dog will require extensive behavior modification.  This will not be a "quick fix" nor will it be an easy "fix".

You can attempt to contact VillaLosos, they are no longer located in New Mexico (unfortunately).  Google them and fill out the contact information form.  This is a rescue facility and they are exceptionally expert in the "blue" Pit Bull.  You CANNOT place this dog in another home.  Either fix him, or find him a safe haven where he can be evaluated and, eventually, professional re-located to a home situation that is "safe" for him.  Your only other alternative is to put the dog down, last resort.

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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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