protective instincts at 10 months

by priscilla
(houston texas)

Today we walked our 10 month old rottie just as we always do on a daily basis. but i walk through the bike trail to avoid a brindle pit bull without a leash or chain and on the way home we heard the dog bark and another one ran up beside it and they continued to bark at us from 100 yards away.

At this moment if these two dogs run up on us will my dog protect us or will he shy away cause it's two dogs? Do i let him hold his ground or pull him away. What should i do in a case like this, this is the route i take him on for his daily walk.

Hi Priscilla
This is a difficult question as all dogs are different in terms of temperament, 'flash point' and maturity levels.

At 10 months old your pup is an adolescent or teenager and is starting to experience both sexual and protection instincts. It's kind of like being a human teenager, with all sorts of emotions and impulses swirling around and not much idea what to do with them, or how to control them!

If you or your pup is actually physically attacked or threatened, I would expect your pup to react in a way that will defend you both, but if there are two other dogs he may not be mature enough, or strong enough to actually protect you. If these Pitbulls aren't leashed and running around free to intimidate other dogs, then you should really talk to their owners, or as a last resort animal control.

Pitbulls are not vicious, evil dogs at all. Properly bred, raised and taken care of they're loving, loyal and devoted pets. However, even in the best of situations they tend to 'play rough' and can be dog aggressive. They should never be allowed to roam around unsupervised.

It's important not to transfer your fear or anxiety to your pup as he won't understand it, and it may cause him to over-react. Don't encourage him to attack, or to act aggressively at all, but don't scold him if he reacts to a REAL and imminent threat.

As he grows and matures he will get better at controlling his protective instincts as long as he gets plenty of positive socialization experiences with other dogs and people.

Hope this helps. Best of luck with your Rottie.

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