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Hello all, I adopted this pit bull about 6 years ago. He was 4 then. When I first brought him home he was as pretty well behaved for the most part. Except he would urinate inside the house marking territory. That caused some problems. I Grew up with these animals in the house and have adopted a few others. I have had to deal with behavior problems in the past. Never have I ever had to deal with mental issues in a dog. Since I got him he has like I said always been very well behaved. After I broke him of the pissing in the house problem he was absolutely wonderful. Except for how timid he was. If you raise your voice at all he cowards and sticks his tail between his legs.

this is a trait that I hate the most. I assume he was probably beaten in the past. I have never hit him outside of popping him on the ass like you would a kid, but you wouldn’t know thatif you saw how he acted towards me. Now to the weird crap he does that I can’tfigure out how to correct and it’s just starting to bother me.
This dog seems to crave and desire only 2 things. Attention and human food. I work from home and I am I’ll so I am around him 24x7. I take him to the dog park quite a bit. I had a German Shepard that I had to put down last Christmas, and I want to keep him socialized with other dogs and people.

remember I said he like topee all over the house marking territory. Well that wasn’t just inside. This dog peeson every single last little thing when I take him on walks. Garbage cans, poles, bushes, cars, things laying in peoples yards, electrical boxes. Literally every little thing. I have never seen a dog piss that much in my life. It’s almost like it’s his way of compensating for something else. So when I let him off his least at the dog park he runs and pisses on everything in sight paying little attention to other animals or myself. Once he completes his rounds he then comes over and lays next to me wanting water. He will drink and lay there for a few. Then half ass play with other dogs for 5 minutes. Then starts his second round.

He does not like to play. Not fetch not tug of war nothing. All he does at home is sit and stare at you waiting for food. He follows your every move and when you finally have food he won’t take his eyes off you. So I started to feed him at the same time I eat and put the doggy door up until I’m finished. He won’t come back in though. He will sit in the middle of the kitchen in the dark. Then he will stand up and come in the living room and sit in the middle of the floor staring at the wall. Then he will go sit at the bottom of the stairs and stare up.

I had to move his dog bed into the kitchen about a year ago because he started pooping on the carpet in the living room. So now he goes in the kitchen at night and dog gate goes up. Now when I take the gate down he either won’t come in the living room at all and he will stay on his bed, or he will do that walking around and sitting down to stare at walls thing. When he finally decides he is tired of staring at walls and up the steps. He will lay down right in the middle of the floor where everyone walks. So he gets told to move. Where does he go? Yep right back to his bed. He just lays there with this depressed ass look onhis face like he need some Zoloft or something. Not sure what to even do with him at this point. Well any advise or insight would be appreciated.

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It's quite possible a dog therapist - they're called behaviorists - could help your dog a lot, if you're genuinely interested.

I am not a qualified behaviorist, just a dog nerd interested in behavior who's read a lot. I also haven't observed your dog in person, so take that as you will, but I do have some thoughts.

It sounds like your dog is very sensitive. There may be trauma involved in his past, but it's just as likely that this is just part of his genetic temperament. Sensitive dogs often really care about pleasing you, and find any physical or harsh verbal correction devastating. Even just a 'pop'. Many of these dogs 'shut down', as it's often called in dog behavior, where they wind up acting like lumps because they're so afraid of negative consequences that they avoid behaving - good or bad - at all.

You can usually bring these dogs around! It might take changing your perspective a bit and committing yourself to learning a bit more about how dogs think and interact with us, but the results are worth it. As I said, sensitive dogs tend to care so much about their people, and the bond there can be a truly wonderful thing.

Drop any popping or harsh verbal corrections. Focus instead on looking for good behavior to reinforce (praise or food or whatever else he likes). You don't have to ignore bad behavior, but keep up with managing him so he can't practice behaviors you don't like, such as keeping him out of the room when you're eating. That's an awesome solution! Try instructional corrections instead of punishments - for example, if he puts his paws up on the table, ask him to sit in a neutral tone (because he can't sit and keep his paws on the table at the same time), then reward him for sitting. Now you've avoided causing him distress and taught him what behavior you want him to do instead - and that the new behavior gets him something he likes!

I'd look into joining a class with a force-free, rewards-based trainer, either in person or remotely (a lot of trainers are offering zoom classes and similar right now given the global situation). This will give you an opportunity to work with him on teaching him he can earn things he likes with his good behavior, and help him gain confidence in himself so he's more willing to try new things and act like, well, a normal dog. You can try this yourself, too, but make sure you read up on positive training methods and are prepared to keep training sessions fun and low pressure, with no corrections and lots of good things for the dog.

You can also add some more enrichment to his life, by teaching him games where he has to search for food or treats by sniffing: hide them around a room, or under a blanket, or in an empty egg carton, for some examples. Feed meals in food toys so he has to work to get them out. Get that brain going, it'll reduce stress and help him find more safe ways to engage with his environment.

I suspect that, once you ease off the pressure of punishments and teach him that there are behaviors that can get him positive things, you'll see some of his other problem behaviors resolve. Maybe not the peeing, though, that's just a thing some dogs do more than others, haha.
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