Socializing my APBT?

missmustard

Prima Donna Assoluta
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Oct 15, 2006
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Monterrey, Mexico
Hey guys!

I'm the proud owner of a beautiful female APBT. Contrary to the general belief, she's the sweetest and most playful dog ever. She doesn't attack neither people nor other animals. She might chase birds around but that's about it.

Now, my new roommate owns two adult female dogs, a maltese and a schnauzer. They all just moved in a couple of days ago, and I've been trying to socialize my Lucy with her dogs, but all she'll do is chase them around and.. well.. she gets on top of them which to me, appears as if she were a male dog trying to mate.

She doesn't bark or grunt at them or anything menacing, but the poor dogs get scared and I have to bring them back inside the house. I have a big, safe yard where they could all stay but Lucy won't behave!

She's still a pup compared to them.. but I was wondering.. Does anyone have any tips on how to socialize them?
 

he432

sofa king awesome
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Feb 15, 2008
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my female dane does the humping thing, according to the trainer we consulted when we had some behaviour issues with her it's just a dominance thing and part of establishing their pecking order.

If no one is getting hurt just let them work it out. They are dogs and they need to establish dominance and a pecking order. If you keep them separated there will never be peace in the house, so try group activities like walking them together and having them all do things for treats so they are focused on you and not each other... Every night our dogs play catch the cookies and love it.

Things like keeping them all together at night when you and your roommate are watching tv, when the dogs are calm and you can focus on them and keeping everyone under control may help as well. Are the maltese and the schnauzer sort of wimpy (for lack of a better word) or have they been well socialized and exposed to lots of other animals?
 

Kathyy

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Apr 30, 2006
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I wouldn't be letting the dogs work it out due to the size difference in the dogs. I would be doing lots of parallel walks, keeping dogs separate unless in very close human contact, rewarding for looking away from one another, stuff like that. Taking turns for treats, in the future. Right now treat at same time and I sure wouldn't be tossing any treats. Dogs don't have to play with one another to get along. I would be playing separately with them as well, taking turns. Play can get out of hand fast. Treat the waiting dog for waiting patiently - not looking intently or being all excited. The little dogs acting scared is probably a bigger deal than your dog humping them.
 

elizat

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Sep 21, 2007
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I wouldn't be letting the dogs work it out due to the size difference in the dogs. I would be doing lots of parallel walks, keeping dogs separate unless in very close human contact, rewarding for looking away from one another, stuff like that. Taking turns for treats, in the future. Right now treat at same time and I sure wouldn't be tossing any treats. Dogs don't have to play with one another to get along. I would be playing separately with them as well, taking turns. Play can get out of hand fast. Treat the waiting dog for waiting patiently - not looking intently or being all excited. The little dogs acting scared is probably a bigger deal than your dog humping them.
I agree w/ this whole post, esp. the bolded part. The size part concerns me as well. Also, your dog may be friendly, but play can turn rough quickly and the size difference could be a disaster waiting to happen. I'd keep the dogs separate for the time being, if you aren't present. Also, your dog is showing dominance and I wouldn't leave them alone until that issue is worked out either, esp. if they aren't getting along yet.
 

gymangel812

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Apr 14, 2006
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do you have other friends with bigger dogs? that might be better to socialize with. perhaps take her to a dog park if she shows no aggression problems. apbts can be prone to dog agression so socializing is very important.
 

he432

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Feb 15, 2008
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the apbt is a puppy though. It's a judgement call, I'm not saying for her to let them have at it, but by seperating them at all times she's not going to accomplish anything either. You can usually tell when play is starting to go downhill, but if she doesn't have a lot of dog experience she should be calling in a trainer to examine the behaviour between these animals.

gymangel812, good point. Some other owners may be hesitant to let a pitbull run with their pets though (stupid but true). Some trainers offer supervised socialization with other dogs that are also taking lessons with them.

...I'm a big fan of calling in experts when you're not sure how to deal with a problem, by the way.
 

missmustard

Prima Donna Assoluta
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Oct 15, 2006
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Monterrey, Mexico
Thanks for all your answers!

Yup, Lucy is probably twice as big as the other 2 dogs, but she's still a puppy (around 9-10 months old).

Just earlier (while my roomate is gone lol), I let the maltese and the schnauzer out to play with Lucy. She humped them both for like 10 seconds, chased around, and then left them alone. I hadn't been able to let them run around freely because my roomie would freak out when Lucy chased them, but right now they're all outside laying in the sun, chilling.

It appears they've solved their lil problem hehe. I suppose, as he432 said, she was just trying to show them who's boss here. I'm still keeping watch on them, though. I understand APBTs have a quick temper (which is why I sort of identify with Lucy lol), so I'm gonna leave them outside to get to know each other and bring them back in at night until I feel like I can completely trust them alone.

Thank you all again for your quick answers!!
 
Mar 24, 2007
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- NyC -
I don't think you need to think of your APBT as a APBT but more as a dog. One thing, is she spayed? That can also be the dominance factoring coming into play. My little boxer at 4 months was mounting another pit mix because she didn't know any better. It's really just a habit you have to stop her from doing. Every time she mounts the dog just stop her and say no. She needs to understand that she can't do that.

Also about her being with other dogs, in the beginning they might not like each other, but over time like the other members replied, if you walk them, play together in the park, etc. they'll come to think of each other as a pack. I see big dogs with little dogs all the time and they do fine. You just have to watch them.

Good luck!
 

he432

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Feb 15, 2008
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I don't think you need to think of your APBT as a APBT but more as a dog. One thing, is she spayed? That can also be the dominance factoring coming into play. My little boxer at 4 months was mounting another pit mix because she didn't know any better. It's really just a habit you have to stop her from doing. Every time she mounts the dog just stop her and say no. She needs to understand that she can't do that.

Also about her being with other dogs, in the beginning they might not like each other, but over time like the other members replied, if you walk them, play together in the park, etc. they'll come to think of each other as a pack. I see big dogs with little dogs all the time and they do fine. You just have to watch them.

Good luck!
good point!
 

gymangel812

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Apr 14, 2006
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the apbt is a puppy though. It's a judgement call, I'm not saying for her to let them have at it, but by seperating them at all times she's not going to accomplish anything either. You can usually tell when play is starting to go downhill, but if she doesn't have a lot of dog experience she should be calling in a trainer to examine the behaviour between these animals.

gymangel812, good point. Some other owners may be hesitant to let a pitbull run with their pets though (stupid but true). Some trainers offer supervised socialization with other dogs that are also taking lessons with them.

...I'm a big fan of calling in experts when you're not sure how to deal with a problem, by the way.
people shouldn't take their dogs to dog parks if they're afraid of some breeds due to their bad reputation. they can always leave if they're afraid. i wouldn't worry about taking her to a dog park.
 

4theluvof-it

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Aug 17, 2007
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You need to learn to read your dogs, and other dogs body language...it can tell you a lot. You will be able to tell when your dog is being dominant, playfull or aggressive. I would also suggest obedience classes, you would be amazed at what you and your dog will learn. Good luck.