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Categories: Pit Bulls

Q. Sometimes my pit bull becomes aggressive, I think when she has too much energy and is running circles around my apartment. Do you think maybe just more exercise will help?
Mr. Frawley,

Let me first commend you on such an informative and well thought out website. This website keeps me occupied for hours, I just flat out love it.

I am new to dog training but have been around dogs for a while. I am a 20 year college student and I own a pit bull, but let's get back to that in a minute. I recently bought your e-collar DVD and I have purchased the Dogtra 1900 ncp collar (I got it because I saw it was one of your favorites on your web site. I have not received my collar yet, but I watched your DVD the other day. I found it very informative, but I have some other questions. With the dogtra 1900, could you tell me the stim levels that correspond with the ones in your DVD, because I believe that the Dogtra 1900 has 1-120 and something like that. That would be a great help. Also I was wondering if the e-collar can be used to train more then what was shown in the DVD, such as getting into the garbage, inappropriate chewing, and so on... I have some more, but let me tell you a little about my dog. I have a 7 month old pit bull, she is about 45-55 lbs and is very athletic. I know that you are a shepherd and malinois guy, but I was wondering what you thought about pit bulls? I have done a lot of research and have seen that they have one of the best "never quit attitudes," and a constant want to please their owner. I was wondering what you think of this. Now I am having a couple problems with her.

Sometimes out of nowhere she will show signs of aggression, I think it may be built up energy and its how she gets it out of her because usually when this happens it will start by her running circles throughout my apt, and when you really try to stop her is when she gets aggressive. I should tell you that she is not really territorial at all, no food aggression, no toy aggression, but when playing tug she does start to growl and gets very hyped up. But for the tug part I have started to teach her out, and she is really starting to pick it up. She is very smart especially for a pit. I was hoping you could give me some of your expert advice. For this aggression would a very high level stim help? I mean from your DVD you say you have to use it (in animal aggression) before it escalates. Usually before she goes off she will back up with her hind legs upright and her front legs laying down. Do you think maybe just more exercise will do it? I cannot lie sometimes I am so busy I forget to get her exercised. Please any and all advice would be great. Also if you could tell me of any toys or dvds or tugs that you recommend on your site that would be great, thank you for your time and for all you do for dog owners.


A. No one can tell you what stimulation levels to use on your dog. I would have hoped you would have gotten that from the dvd. The level you use will depend on the hardness or softness of your dog.

I like Pitts. They are often driven dogs and overall as a breed have nice temperament. With that said they need to have their pack structure established because of the underlying tendency towards dog aggression. To ignore training and pack structure work is a huge mistake with these dogs. I didn't get the feel that you are using a dog crate in your home. Another huge mistake.

In your case you are making a huge mistake to not provide this dog with more exercise. If you are limited in what you can offer then get a weighted vest and have the dog wear it on your walks. Bottom line is you need to make time for exercise with this breed. To put a remote collar on it and try and correct it for running around the house is not a productive solution.

As far as the breed goes, they can go out and do club level dog sport work.
They can't do high level dog sport competition. They can't handle the stress of training. Once would think they can but the facts don't prove this out.

If you want to learn how to get control of this dog get my DVD Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet and become a master of "Marker Training." The resources for marker training are:

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers DVD

Your challenge will be to master every detail of the system. In my opinion 8 out of 10 people who attempt this work don't understand the details. When that happens they cannot apply the training correctly which only ends up confusing the dog.

You would be better advised to use marker training to teach your dog obedience. You can use a remote collar to extinguish behaviors you don't like (I.e. getting into the garbage) but with this said if you're doing your pack structure work properly your dog will not have the possibility to get into the garbage. A remote collar is better used to tighten off leash control at the end of the marker training work.

Good luck with your dog.

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley
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In my DVD, I provide 3 1/2 hours of information to help people solve their problems with dominant dogs and aggressive dogs. This information is based on 45 years of experience training dogs. For the last 30 years I have studied the art of protection training dogs. I was a police K9 handler for 10 years, and was chairman of the training committee for the WI police dog association for a number of those years. I have bred German Shepherds for police service work for 28 years. During this time I have bred over 350 litters of working dogs. I have dogs from my kennel working in law enforcement, Search and Rescue and competing in Schutzhund all over this country. No one I know in the United States can make these claims.

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