Because of cruel owners, Pit Bulls often get a bad name.
People who don’t take the time to get to know the breed see them as dominant, possessive, and aggressive.
But Pit Bull owners know this couldn’t be farther from the real truth. Pit Bulls are actually very loyal, enthusiastic, loving, and eager to please their owners.
They are also intelligent, and extremely friendly, good with children, and adoring to their family.
With that being said, some Pit Bulls can be extremely protective of their loved ones.
For some reason, most people believe that female Pit Bulls are more protective than males.
The truth is that both genders have an equal likelihood of being protective. Male Pit bulls are more protective in general but enter in a litter of pups, and female pit bulls will stop at nothing to protect their litter if she feels they are being threatened.
With that being said, Pit Bulls of both genders can become equally protective of their family and loved ones.
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Is There A Difference Between Protection And Aggression?
Let us ask you a question. Imagine the two following scenarios.
A man attacks another man as he is walking down the street, for no other reason than to start a fight.
Another man attacks a man because they are trying to harm his child.
Is there a difference between these two scenarios? Our guess is that you can tell the difference pretty quickly.
A random attack is a form of aggression. The latter is a form of protection. And the same is true in the dog world.
Sometimes dogs act out as a form of aggression, while others act as a form of protection.
So how can you tell the difference?
Unfortunately, it’s not always clear-cut as to whether your dog is being protective or aggressive, but in most cases, you will be able to tell by their behavior.
A dog who is being protective will generally only do so when they feel they or someone they love is being threatened.
In other words, it will be extremely situational and you will not see it happen often.
A dog who is being protective may enter into a completely alert position, but will usually do so silently without growling or snarling.
They will only react with aggression if they determine that there is, indeed, something to be protective over.
In most cases, however, protective dogs will quickly realize that the threat really wasn’t a threat at all, and will ultimately back down.
Aggressive dogs, on the other hand, often use force to display their dominance.
If your dog is being aggressive, you will probably see this behavior often.
Like protective dogs, aggressive dogs will often stand alert but will growl or snarl for little reason.
Growling is generally a warning sign that the dog is prepared to bite, and the owner should remove the dog from the situation immediately.
If your dog is being aggressive, there could be several reasons for it.
Most aggressive dogs were not properly socialized as puppies, and require extensive training to repair this ingrained behavior.
Alternatively, aggressive dogs could be reacting out of fear. Again, this will require extensive training to rewire the behavior.
Keep in mind that when it comes to Pit Bulls, very few act out of aggression.
Unless they are trained to do so by inhumane owners, most Pit Bulls are extremely friendly and would rarely growl, snarl, or bite anyone.
And the truth is because they are so friendly, most Pit Bulls actually make horrible guard dogs.
Yes, that’s right, we said that Pit Bulls make horrible guard dogs.
While we can’t speak for all Pit Bulls, the majority aren’t even that protective, because all they really want is for people to love them.
But from time to time, you do come across a protective Pit Bull.
And like any other dog breed, sometimes they can become over-protective.
So what do you do then?
Are Pit Bulls Over Protective At Times?
To some degree, it is safe to say that all dogs are protective.
When placed in a threatening scenario, the majority of dogs will react aggressively to protect themselves, their young, or their family.
But how do you know when protective has reached the point of overprotective? It’s basically using your own instinct.
If you feel like your dog is protective too often, and in situations where they don’t need to be, they are probably being overly protective.
There are several problems with an overly protective dog.
Not only can it be embarrassing when your dog growls or snaps, but it can also limit the enjoyment you and your dog can have together.
Having guests over to your house can become a chore, and walks can become extremely difficult. And when protectiveness turns into aggression, it can become dangerous.
This is especially true if you are a Pit Bull owner.
Sure a nip from a small dog can create a wound, but a nip from a Pit Bull can cause some serious damage, and render some serious consequences.
So how can you curb this behavior?
Before we answer this question, we need to understand why Pit Bulls become protective in the first place.
Why Do Pit bulls Become Overly Protective?
There are several reasons that a pit bull can become overly protective, but in most cases, it comes down to a lack of leadership on behalf of the owner.
Of course, we never want to admit that it’s our fault.
But the truth is, negative dog behaviors are almost always inadvertently caused by their human’s behavior.
(Yes, just as they are your dog, you are their human!). Anyways, here’s how it works: dogs are natural pack leaders.
They want to follow the leader, but they naturally take over the position when the leader doesn’t lead.
Negative behaviors like overprotectiveness and aggression.
Reasons Why Dogs are Becoming Over-protective:
- Too much affection. Yes, dogs need lots of love and affection. But too much affection can lead to protectiveness and aggression. How? When their love and affection goes unearned, your dog sees you as the source of their treats and attention. So why would they want to share you with anyone else? Anyone else, humans or dogs, that come into your space are now seen as a threat to their love and treats. The result is over-protectiveness.
- They emit certain energies. Dogs are extremely intuitive. And if your dog senses that you are nervous, fearful, or timid, they will instantly become protective. If your dog senses that you feel threatened by everything, then they will too. So when a human is overly submissive, a dog can become overly protective and dominant.
- They show instability. As we said before, dogs are members of a pack. When one member of the pack shows instability, another dog steps up in their place. Similarly, when there is tension between two people, dogs will attempt to protect them from each other. In certain cases, this can lead a Pit Bull to turn again whichever family member they find more threatening.
So What Can You Do To Stop This Behavior?
Protectiveness and aggression are learned behaviors. The best way to stop them is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
In working with the three points above, give your dogs lots of love and affection, but make them earn it. Be the dominant one in the relationship, and show your dog that you are a stable owner.
Start when they are puppies.
Okay, so we know this is easier said than done.
So what happens when you’re past the starting point and your Pit Bull has already started to become overprotective?
How Do You Correct Their Overprotective Behaviors?
Become a pack leader. In dogs, over-protection is mostly due to a lack of leadership.
So the best way to stop the behavior is to regain control.
It’s time to start setting rules, boundaries, and limitations for your Pit Bull.
Here are some tips to help you correct for your Pit Bulls overprotective behavior:
- Anytime you feel that your dog’s behavior is becoming excessive, redirect them.
- When your dog becomes protective, don’t yell. This will only make the behavior worse. Rather, regain control, but do so calmly and assertively.
- Create your own personal space. Your dog is not welcome into that space unless you invite them. Simply walk away from them anytime they enter your space without invitation.
- Reward your dog when deserved. When working with protective behaviors, reward your dog only when once they have calmed down and stepped out of protective mode.
If you are dealing with an overprotective Pit Bull, either male or female, it’s time to start changing your relationship with your dog.
As soon as you become the leader of the pack, you will start to see huge changes in your dog’s behavior.
So give your Pit Bull lots of love and affection, but make them work for your time.