If you have or considering getting a pitbull you might be wondering if the rumors of Pitbulls and dog aggression are true for the breed.
Do you want to know If its how Pitbulls are raised or if pitbull are born a certain way?
In this article, we will start diving into Pitbulls, aggression, how they came to be and if a PitBull is the right dog for you.
Genetics and the Breed
It’s no clue at this day and age that most people have a notion of where pitbull were derived from and how they came to be, which is dogfighting.
Now in today’s age that’s in the past and pitbull are commonly found as family pets but are pitbull aggressive genetically as a breed or are their certain things that occur to make the dog aggressive?
The truth is that every kind of dog breed has the potential to become aggressive but it is also true that every dog breed has genetic tendencies which derive from what the specific breed was bred to do.
In the case of the Pitbull being bred for dogfighting, the pitbull does have a genetic tendency to be aggressive toward other dogs, now that doesn’t mean that Pitbulls is aggressive towards other dogs,
It just means the breed as a whole has a higher tendency to display aggression the same way an individual human can have a higher genetic tendency for addiction.
That doesn’t mean that that individual will become an addict it just means that as a human he has a higher likely hood that he will display addictive behaviors to substances.
Now if that same human never gets the opportunity to try any substances he also doesn’t have the opportunity for addiction.
The Same is true for the pitbull if he never gets the opportunity to feel the gratification of what it was bred an has a genetic tendency for, the chance of the pit bull become aggressive diminishes greatly.
Pitbulls and dog aggression can occur in many forms from self-reinforcing behavior to past experiences
Self-reinforcing behavior is exactly what it sounds like, behavior that your dog does that is doesn’t have to be reinforced by you the very act of doing the behavior is reinforcing to your dog.
certain behaviors such as barking, pulling and lunging are self-reinforcing to your dog, how does this relate to aggression?
Well, behaviors such as barking a lunging can start with an initial view like curiosity from your dog but with enough repetition, that curiosity takes on another form which is frustration.
Frustration Based Aggression
When it comes to Pitbulls and dog aggression there is a way which it can slowly develop which is the case with frustration based aggression
When your dog barks and lunges at other dogs it’s with a different intent because your dog views them full of frustration!
The easiest way to prevent this from ever occurring is to prevent your dog from participating in self-reinforcing behavior
For instance, if you know that your dog has started barking when he sees other dogs be preemptive in managing that early on, don’t wait until your dog is at the end of the leash to try to redirect him.
Because even your dog may just be staring that “hard” staring will develop into something more.
Competition Based Aggression
Competition based aggression is essentially dog aggression deriving due to competition over something that your dog holds valuable.
For instance, if you have 2 dogs and you throw 1 ball for both of them there can be a possibility for your pitbull to display dog aggression if your dogs view the ball as a high-value reward.
Lack of Proper Exposure
Lack of proper exposure is probably one of the biggest reasons why Pitbulls and dog aggression arises.
If you don’t take the time to socialize your young pup or older dog you can’t expect your puppy or dog to be comfortable in certain situations that you failed to socialize your dog to.
check out our Socialization Article which covers how to properly socialize your dog
Past experiences molds everyone even us. for dogs, past experiences dictate how he will approach and handle a given situation.
What does that mean?
It means that if your dog has had a negative experience in the past your dog will respond based on how his past experience, that can be your Pitbull and dog aggression or simply barking out of fear.
You will have to adopt a preventative approach and start counter conditioning and changing your dog’s perspective on dogs.
If you want to learn how to best tackle on-leash issues read our “ Dog lunging article”
how to manage
The best way to manage our dog’s perspective on other dogs he’s displaying aggression towards is through a complete rehabilitation process. the process comes down to preventing, teaching, acceptance
This is all done through proper training by becoming relevant to your dog
Pit bulls are great dogs to have but like other dogs breeds, they have their specific genetic tendency.
Managing your dog’s experiences ensures that he doesn’t practice “self-reinforcing” behavior and that your dog doesn’t have negative experiences with other dogs.
Pitbulls and dog aggression can come in many forms it’s up to you as an educated owner to invest time in training and taking the proper steps!
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!