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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oh this should be interesting....

Meet Luna. Aptly described by the pittie rescue as "a force of nature"



I got an email on Monday which included this statement
"She's a beautiful little red brindle who weighs less than 40lbs, but is a force of nature. She's great with people and dogs, but has no social skills/impulse control with either b/c she's been in a foster home that was a bad match for her where she's been getting little to no time on a leash, exercising, or being taught boundaries."

.... and this one
" She'll love you to death or insanity b/c she's a sweetheart, but you can't take her anywhere right now. "

I agreed of course :doh: and she arrived tonight. One of the rescue board members brought her over with her crate etc. We walked her with Chester and she was friendly to him but a little overwhelming. She tackled him basically and he rolled over for her to play but she was a little too intense to just let them play loose. I think with some exercise and training time though, they could be friends. There was no aggression, just no social skills at all. She is (supposedly) crate trained and house trained and I will continue the crate training. We want to really start pushing her for adoption after the holidays and I plan to work hard with her for the next 5-6 weeks till early January. She'll be available for adoption now, but won't be going to any of the adoption events etc yet till she gets some manners on her.

Wish me luck everyone :) and any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Edit to add her Petfinder profile
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
omg she is like my dream pit bull! Look at that face! Sounds like she's gonna be alot work! But probally alot of fun along the way :)
I like a challenge as long as it is a good challenge...I'm going to exercise her little wiggly butt until she falls over :) She's just so damn happy to be near a person, its adorable. The problem is, she thinks that greeting people by leaping on them with her mouth open is the right way to do things. Of course, your average person is going to freak out if a pit bull says "HI" by trying to lick their nose.


That smile is adorable! Good luck with her - she sounds like a "right handful" as someone recently described my dog around here. Let us know about her progress!
Perfect description. We did actually go for a short walk (it was well after dark) and she didn't do too badly on a leash. The rescue person asked the previous foster "so, how are you leash training her? Are you using anything like a gentle leader, harness, or prong collar?" and the reply was something along the lines of "Huh? Leash training?" She pulls on the leash but she does go forward and doesn't wander or stop randomly. That, I can work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is this going to be a foster fail ;)
Nope. She's cute and sweet but she's just not my type of dog. I like the big strong silent types and she's a wiggly little vocal ball of energy. Very vocal, not barky per se, but she howls, whines, talks, yips and barks.

But we had a successful leash walk this morning for 30 minutes before work and I plan to do close to an hour's walk this evening with her.

Priority training is the jumping thing. She just can't keep tackling people.
 

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I like a challenge as long as it is a good challenge...I'm going to exercise her little wiggly butt until she falls over :) She's just so damn happy to be near a person, its adorable. The problem is, she thinks that greeting people by leaping on them with her mouth open is the right way to do things. Of course, your average person is going to freak out if a pit bull says "HI" by trying to lick their nose.




Perfect description. We did actually go for a short walk (it was well after dark) and she didn't do too badly on a leash. The rescue person asked the previous foster "so, how are you leash training her? Are you using anything like a gentle leader, harness, or prong collar?" and the reply was something along the lines of "Huh? Leash training?" She pulls on the leash but she does go forward and doesn't wander or stop randomly. That, I can work with.
I envy you that. I absolutely hate pulling on the leash - it was the hardest thing to train Hobbes out of. (Okay, to be honest he's not entirely trained out of it....this might turn out to be my life's work). But I'm so glad you brought Luna home and are working with her. Good luck with the jumping!
 

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She's definetly a very pretty girl. I think she'll learn quickly with someone (like yourself) actually making the effort to teach her and interact with her to show her how to behave politely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, we survived a long afternoon walk where she behaved fairly nicely. She also appears to play fetch, so we tossed a tennis ball for a bit after the walk. She is nearly impossible to get a leash on, she just spins and leaps non-stop and she's mouthy while doing it. Trying to lick and nibble on my arms like a 8 week old puppy, except that she's nearly a year. Gotta stop that, since in my book at least, it is unacceptable for any adult dog to be mouthy and particularly a Pit Bull, given the breed's reputation problems. Got her a basic harness, that helped with getting the leash on since it is easier to hold the harness still while clipping on the leash.
She's a total lovey though and wants to be close all the time.



 

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I agree with exercise her wiggly little butt off, that should help a lot. I consider Pits to be just as people pleasing as Labs... when I trained Bite Inhibition to my Lab, I used a Yelp! and I turned my back. I can still use the Yelp and back turn to communicate "please stop, I don't like that."

However, I'm fairly confident that if you turn your back, Luna will happily jump on you. But, it might not hurt as you're tweaking her Bite Inhibition to consider these other opportunities to apply the training. I recommend as many play opportunities with other dogs, and offer two observations: 1) When Pits get over-excited while playing, they can chomp down pretty hard, and not let go. This isn't aggression, but the blood and stitches are the same. (The only way that I learned that it was Not aggression was that the 'victim' came back to play... still bleeding. And, we got some appeasement behaviors from the Pit.) 2) Our approach was improved Bite Inhibition (as you've already implied), and briefly stopping the play when it grew too exciting. Our goal was first to reduce excitement to stop the holding bite, then it was easier to soften the excited chomp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
She's doing great about walking with Chester; we did an hour and a half this morning. Pardon the crappy cellphone pics taking while walking. She has to sniff everywhere he sniffs, which turns out really funny because he then usually wants to pee on whatever he is sniffing so I have to tug her back away from where he is about to pee... and then he does the "kick after pee" thing and flings mulch at her face (and once he kicked her..oops).


 

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She really is gorgeous and sounds like my kinda dog. Energetic and spirited. Have you thought about making a flirtpole. It will ware them out a lil more, especially on uneven terrain, but its also both mentally stimulating and fun.

They love it!




 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Have you thought about making a flirtpole.
I did actually think about that, I looked around the garage for something to put together. What is your's made out of?
Also, do you think that encouraging her to jump for the flirtpole will make it harder to get her to quit jumping on me or not?

She's doing great on her walks, even loose leash walking on her harness last night when I took her out without Chester.
She's not happy about her crate, took her about an hour of on and off barking last night to settle down in it and she goes absolutely crazy when its morning and she sees me to let her out.

Should I just let her bark in her crate until she settles down to sleep? (I did check to make sure everything looked okay and that she was just barking because she was annoyed)
 

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I made my flirt pole out of a 4 ft piece of PVC 1" pvc and about 7 FT of rope and tied a toy on the end, my Dobe girl LOVED it and I'll be making another once we're in a house (the old one finally wore out after two years).
 
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