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Discussion Starter #1
We recently adopted a 1 year old pit bull mix. He's incredibly friendly and training is coming along well. The part that has me stumped is his behavior around other dogs. If we are on a walk and pass another dog he's actually very good. I tell him no, we are not seeing that dog, and he'll simply move on. If, however, he's in a situation where he is allowed to be introduced to another dog...all bets are off. He's still very friendly, but he just gets too excited. All he wants to do is play.

1. He pretty much skips the introduction and immediately tries to start playing with the other dog. He is bigger than most dogs that I have introduced him to (he's 65 or 70 lbs) so i can see how he would be intimidating. He sniffs for maybe a few seconds, if we're lucky, and then is immediately ready for face to face action. I think that if he could learn how to properly introduce himself, he might have more success coercing others to play with him.

2. When another dog doesn't want to play, or is done playing, he simply doesn't get the message. He's been growled at, snapped at, and even nipped...but he just keeps wagging his tail and badgering the now annoyed dog. Basically he's just obnoxious, and he's always in play mode around other dogs; no matter what.

What can I do to better socialize him and teach him how to properly interact with other dogs? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Pitties are easily overstimulated and LOVE rough play and sometimes that combo can be way overthetop for the other dogs in the picture.

Two words:
Control Unleashed

This is a book by Leslie McDevitt. The book was originally written for agility fans with reactive/impulsive/easily overstimulated dogs. This book has become a HUGE recommendation for anyone with dogs that don't know when to stop (whether due to fear, lack of impulse control or basic reactivity).
It can be a bit of a confusing read sometimes but the exercises like Look at That, Gimme a Break and It's Yer Choice can work wonders in helping dogs and owners get control of the behaviours in a positive manner.

Some quick questions:
Have you had a bully breed before?
Is he neutered?
Do you know his history?
How long have you had him?

For basic management for now, I would work on LEAVE IT and RECALL and keep a leash on him for all play if you can. This simply gives you the ability to remove him if he doesn't respect the other dog's signals. It's really not the other dogs JOB to tell him off, if the other dog gets uncomfortable or irritated or your pup gets overstimulated, take the lead, lead him away get him to sit or down or whatever (mini time out) and reward him either by allowing to go see the dog again (other dog willing) or give him a treat or a toy to play with and leave.

The trick is to see it coming.

My dog gets overstimulated in chase games. She is quite high in chase drive and you can SEE when it starts to drift into prey drive. I can now call her (RECALL training) BEFORE she gets to be a head down, baying, hip checking, rump biting maniac. Some dogs at the park that I know are "racers" like whippets or small speeding terriers, I leash her immediately upon seeing them and go do something else. Prevention of the behaviour is half the battle.
 

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My lab/pit mix was the same way. We just went to the dog park everyday (or dang close to it), but only after a good run or other exercise. She would still annoy the other dogs, but not as bad, and it got steadily better. Now we can take her to the DP anytime and she is good!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Some quick questions:
Have you had a bully breed before?
Is he neutered?
Do you know his history?
How long have you had him?
- This is my first 'bully' breed.
- He is neutered.
- Don't know his history in detail. The shelter said that his previous owners had kids and it was just too much for them to take care of both.
- I've had him for about 3 weeks.

Thanks for the pointers. I will look into that book.
 

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Pitbulls are good dogs that were bred to be very good with people. The bad rep is related to the fact that some people don't socialize them.

When they play, they can get excited and bite ... not in anger but out of excitement. So, when you go to the dog park, you might approach other Pit owners, Lab owners, and other large breeds to ee if they are knowledgeable owners. Simply ask if they can help you socialize your pup. If they don't understand, then be polite and find some other folks.

If you can get her to play with larger and older dogs, she will begin to learn manners. BTW, read the stickie: The Bite Stops Here to learn about Bite Inhibition and start training her that behavior, also.
 

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A friend of mine talked recently about playstyles. Try to match him up with dogs that have the same playstyle, duration of play, ect. Maybe look for a meetup group, or start one! He may never be a DP dog, and that's ok.
 

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I recently fostered a pit mix that was about 60 lbs and 10 months old, so still quite the puppy. He was extremely overbearing (in a sweet/loving way) to smaller dogs, so much that we started going to the "big dogs only" dog park so that he could safely get his energy out among the dogs that are his own size.

My suggestions for you would be to take a precautionary measure and stick to only meeting dogs around the same size/energy level, so that a fight or bite does not occur. As dogs mature, their energy level will go down and they'll be more gentle with puppies and small dogs.

Just so you know, one day we were in the regular dog park (all sizes allowed), and Maddox started the play bow with a 10 pound poodle. It's owner got scared, picked the poodle up, and Maddox jumped up to try and play with the poodle. The owner ended up falling down after Maddox nipped her arm while he was trying to play with the poodle in her arms... So its better to be safe than sorry at this point with your pup! Tire your dog out with the big dogs for now!
 
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