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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3028
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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Can I fix this? Is the baby safe? My pack has now been attacked

Customer Question

Can I fix this? Is the baby safe? My pack has now been attacked twice by an otherwise wonderful pit bull. How can I fix this without becoming a mangled chew toy?
The problem has 3 possible roots, so I have to give details. He (Gator) has had the same family for about 8 years. About 6 months ago, his family got another dog. She's a Cocker Spaniel and is a bit hyper. She is also not potty trained yet. Their way of punishing the dogs is to yell. About 3 months ago, his family brought home a human baby.
Then I managed to upset him. I usually visit with my small female dog, but this time I also brought my female rottweiler with me to his home. NOTE: Before Gator came out, their little dog diddled on my shorts while I was holding her. At first, he was fine. Then, while I was standing close to them, he growled at my big dog, then went after my small dog. I snatched her up, and held her over my head (not my most brilliant plan). Thankfully, his owner stepped in and stopped him and I quickly left.
I visited again (without my dogs), again the new dog diddled on me as soon as I got there. Their pit attacked again, but this time he came after me. I noticed that he seemed fine, then he sniffed at my shorts. He started to walk away, stopped and turned to look back. I didn't like the look in his eyes, so as soon as he began to move, I began to move, turning my back to him. At the same time, I yelled "GATOR, NO". He still tried to bite me, but he only got a bit of skin. His dad grabbed him and took him outside.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today.
Are you a trainer?
Is Gator going after the new cocker spaniel? How old is the Cocker spaniel?
Why are you bringing your dogs over?
What was Gator like prior to all of this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do NOT need a trainer, I need a psychologist who might understand what triggered this dog's aggressive response, and what might defuse it. If your psychologist (which is what I initially asked for) thinks that a trainer is what I need, then it proves to me that I am barking up the wrong tree by using this website.
As for your questions:
I am not a trainer - why does this matter?
If Gator was aggressive to ANYONE, I would have mentioned that.
The cocker is a puppy. I mentioned that she was not yet potty trained.
Why are you asking me why I'm bringing my dogs over? I find it offensive.
Gator has always been a mello puppy.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry you are unhappy and offended. Sometimes one's explanation does not come through thoroughly. I will opt out and see if another expert wishes to help you.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. I am a behaviorist for dogs. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply. I hope you can be patient.
Often a client may not understand our reasons for asking questions but they can give us some clues as to why a dog is behaving the way they are.
What is the relationship between you and the dog's owners?
Have you been a frequent visitor to the home during the pit bulls life in the home?
Has he ever behaved aggressively toward an animal or person before now?
Did you bring your small dog with you often to the house before these incidents without any problems from Gator? It sounds like you did, but I want to be sure.
Was the cocker there previously when you brought your small dog?
Was your rottie ever around gator prior to this?
How does Gator react to the new Cocker in his family?
How is he around the baby?
Have you been to visit since the Baby has been there?
Has he ever been around your female rottweiler before?
How did your rottie react to Gators response?
It sounds like you might have been uneasy around him the second time you visited. Is that correct?
Did you bring any dogs to the house the second time?
What obedience training has the pit bull had?