Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Previous owner
Posted November 11, 2014
When my sister-in-law's American Pit-bull terrier and her Presa Canario "accidentally" mated (felt the call of the wild so to speak), my husband and I decided it was time for us to have a puppy and we adopted Loki. We brought her home and began crate training. The first night in the crate, she soiled the crate, but she never defecated in the crate or the house after that first time. Housebreaking her not to urinate in the house or crate was a little more difficult, and took repeated effort to accomplish. It took about six months to fully potty train her, by taking her outside and telling her "OUTSIDE" after every accident. She learned to go in the crate if we were leaving the house, and occasionally as punishment. Our vet instructed us to differentiate between time-out in the crate and just being in the crate, so if it was a time-out it was a 15 minute max and she got no treat. We would not speak to her in time-out or make eye contact. If we needed her in the crate for any other reason, she was given food, water, treats and praise. This method worked extremely well and now that she is a year old, we can trust her out of the crate while we are gone from the home. Our biggest challenge has been her chewing on furniture, which we are still trying to work on. Providing her with plenty of chew toys, especially raw hide bones, has helped the most. We have socialized her by taking her to dog parks, going for walks, and having lots of friends over. She loves people and is good with small children and other dogs as well. We noticed she became more aggressive while on the leash, and were instructed by the vet to keep her at our side when walking, instead of letting her go out in front. Doing this took her out of "lead dog" mode and she does not show aggression, but it does require some muscle! Pit-bulls love to pull and she is quite large and strong. This is not the dog to have if you do not have the time and patience to deal with an animal! She is very affectionate and highly sensitive emotionally, so we give her lots of love and attention. Socialize a dog like this early and often, and you will have a loyal, sweet companion for life.