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CVT_in_MN
CVT_in_MN, CVT
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16185
Experience:  Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology.
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Well, I have two calico girl cats that I have had for nine

Customer Question

Well, I have two calico girl cats that I have had for nine years. I have recently taken in my brother's pit bull, King. He is 1 1/2 years old. I have had his shots updated, had him micro chipped, and neutered. He has not been trained and he jumps when myself or anyone comes through the front door. He is also a leash puller. He and my cats are separated by a baby gate and have been for the past few months. A few times, my cats have climbed the gate, King has chased them, and they go back over the gate. I had worked with a family for a few months to rehome him but they had changed their minds because their dog wasn't adjusting. I want to take him to training school and move into a bigger place. Do you think that there I s a possibility that this situation could work out or would I be better off to find him a new home. I am a cancer survivor and had a major surgery in June and recently finished chemotherapy. I am extremely stressed out and this situation is not helping. I have tried to contact shelters and refuges and haven't gotten any help. I won't take him to a no-kill shelter and there are a million pit bulls that needs homes. Please help me!
JA: I'm sorry that King is feeling poorly. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the veterinarian can help you. Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about King?
Customer: My brother is now staying with me and he hasn't been of any help in training. My cat's are skittish, anyway, because they are both rescues from the streets. I am willing to move or do whatever it takes. I am so desperate!
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  CVT_in_MN replied 1 month ago.

Hi,my name is ***** ***** I've been with this company since 2008. I'll be happy to help you with your question today.

Expert:  CVT_in_MN replied 1 month ago.

How much time can you devote to training?

How much exercise is he getting daily?

When he chases the cats, does it look like he's playing or wants to eat them?

Is he crate trained?

When you walk him, do you use a traditional leash and collar?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have a fractured ankle that should be healed soon, so as soon as I get am healed, I can donate time on evenings and weekends.
He isn't getting enough exercise because my brother doesn't walk him enough. I was walking him much more until I got hurt.
I think that he is playing. He stares at the cats and doesn't seem aggressive. He is walked with a harness and a leash.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
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Expert:  CVT_in_MN replied 1 month ago.

Great. Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.

It absolutely sounds like you have the perfect example of a terrier on your hands. This breed of dog, possibly more than any other breed, is infamous for their energy, hyperactivity and habit of getting themselves into trouble.

I do pitbull rehabilitation and have spent many years learning about them...and one of the most important things to know about pitbulls is that they are very prey driven...which made them great for working with livestock (which is what they were initially bred to do), but unfortunately it also made them very likely, unless well socialized and trained, to chase smaller animals/other dogs as well, and some dogs are simply more prey driven than others, and it's important to remember that any self-respecting dog, regardless of the breed, if not socialized will act out in this fashion ..this is as true of Chihuahuas as it is of pitbulls or pitbull mixes.

There are many, many great sites that can give you a ton of information about the history of pitbulls:

http://www.pitbull411.com/history.html

http://www.pitbulls.org/article/brief-history-american-pit-bull-terrier

http://www.pitbull-info-and-training.com/pitbull-history.html

Pitbulls have a long and wonderful history that demonstrates that, in the right hands, with an owner who understands the breed and knows how to handle them, they can be amazingly wonderful companions who do great with kids, other dogs and even smaller animals.

My favorite suggestion in cases like this is to suggest you enroll him in a obedience class. It will give him a chance to become better socialized in a controlled environment with other dogs who are also learning how to interact with one another, will give you and King the chance to bond through working together, and will teach her the basic rules on how to get along with other people and animals (I know that currently he has no problems with people or small dogs, but if her behavior with the catsis prey drive, it could transfer to people if we don't get it in check).

The next thing you're going to need to do with your guy is get him on a strict regimen of exercise. I understand that you have a pretty significant injury, so obviously this will happen once you're healed, but it's important to always remember that terriers NEED to be exercised every single day, and I'm talking more than a quick walk around the block. A rambunctious breed like yours needs a couple miles a day to drain his energy and keep him from getting into trouble because he's too wound up.

You may want to consider using something like a Gentle Leader (www.gentleleader.com) on your walks rather than a prong or traditional leash and collar. This is a head harness that goes over the nose and behind the ears. It makes these big strong dogs easier to control because the logic is that if you control the head, you control the dog. I use it with my rehabilition pitbulls and really like the control it gives me over them.

Secondly, you might want to consider clicker training your dog. This involves buying a 'clicker' which has a little metal plate in it. You press the plate and the thing clicks, then you give the dog a treat immediately. Soon, the dog learns that the click brings a treat and will usually drop whatever they're doing in order to come get the treat. You can see more about clicker training here:

http://www.clickertrainusa.com/clicker-training-videos.htm .

This isn't an easy thing to change, but I think that with a lot of patience and some fine tuning, you can turn his prey drive into something better.

I hope this helps.

Expert:  CVT_in_MN replied 1 month ago.

I also meant to mention that you may want to get King a kennel for in the house. This will give you somewhere to put King when he's chasing the cats...and give you a chance to relax and not worry that he's chasing them.