So, this is my first bully breed. I'm working my way up to the Pit Bull to show people they aren't a horrible breed. So me and my boyfriend decided on a Staffordshire. I think we're doing the right thing, but I just want to make completely sure. At first, he was the most perfect dog, then, I was taking complete care of him, Jeff works third shift so I was with the puppy all day alone. He didn't go potty inside, and he wasn't acting up. He finally leaves the cat alone, or for the most part, and he's being nicer to my Chin. When Jeff had days off, he would take partial care of him. Now, Stump, as we call him, for he has a short tail, is going potty inside, not all the time, but I'm leaving Jeff to learn on his own because he's not listening to me..whats new with that right..lol. Well, even when we take him outside he'll go to the bathroom decently fast once he comes back in. And, now he started biting, even after the first night he knew not to do that with me. He was just play fighting, but he bit my face, so I grabbed his nose really hard, or, not really hard, decently hard, I guess I'll say threw him on his back, and I held him there and screamed 'no', and then he started to cry and then I let him up. Another time, Jeff corrected him to not bite at my puppy, and he gave him a little pop on the leash, Stump started growling at him and bit at him. Jeff put him on his back and said 'No', and Stump was crying and wriggling, but he didn't let him up until he stopped. Jeff doesn't like doing it because he feels its mean. I'm being that harsh with him because I don't know how else to get through to him, he doesn't listen to 'don't' or anything, and I was watching animal planet, with them raising wolves, and they corrected them that way. I realize wolves are different from Staffordshire's, but they're both real pack animals, so are we correcting him the right way or should we be less or more harsh? Thanks.
I tend to agree with the above. There are many versions of the "right way" to deal with bully breeds. It's hard to do online because no one can tell the intensity of the dog's actions.
Talk to a professional trainer. Not the ones at Petsmart, but a real dog trainer. Also get into obedience classes.
Don't feel like it is a lost cause, either. It may be tough, but you can do it, and the trainer will show you how to show Stump who is boss, and then you will have a lot of confidence in your abilities. Mostly the training is to train YOU how to be consistent and what sort of messages you are sending with different actions.
Also, look into training books: "The other end of the Leash" and similar ones. They all don't directly address your issue, but you know..."the more you know!"
Good luck! Stay positive.
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
Your puppy is only 2 months old? How old was he when you got him? If he really is two months old, and if he was taken away from his littermates before the age of 8 weeks, it's likely he has no idea what bite inhibition is, he doens't know it hurts when he bites you. Most likely he is getting worked up and in play mode when he bites. If he were with his litter mates or mother, they would have put him in his place for his over eager ways.
When he gets over excited, say 'No more' and get up and walk away. You want to play on your terms, not his. If he is following you, biting on your pants leg or whatever, then pick him up and put him in his crate for a time out, if you have one. if you dont you really need to get one , they're priceless.
When he tries to bite at you, you can substitute appropriate things for him to mouth, toys, chews, etc. Some dogs are very persistent and 'mouthy' and constantly want to put their mouths on you, if that ends up being the case, you can put bitter apple spray, lemon juice or vinegar on your hands, and when he bites or mouths you, say 'no bite!' so he associates the words with the taste. If things get really desperate, tabasco or hot sauce will also work equally well. Keep a leash on him when he's in the house to make him easier to control.
Regarding the potty training... if he's 2 months old he is really just a baby. You can't expect a pup that young to 'get' housetraining, many dogs aren't fully housetrained until they are 5-6 months old. Just be as consistent as possible, when he does go in the house and you catch him in the act, pick him up immediately, even if he is still going, and take him outside. Keep him out until he goes (on the leash), then let him free for play time, and praise/treat him. If he goes in the house and you don't catch him, there's nothing you can do other than clean it up and vow to keep a better eye on him. NEVER punish him or correct him for going potty in the house if you didn't actually catch him in the act of going. Close off areas of the house so you are able to keep a better eye on him. Child gates, shut doors, etc work wonders.
And its never too early to start on the NILIF program. Info on that is here
Where do you live? I did the Petco training and went alright, but most of what we did in class I had already completed at home. The socialization was wonderful, though. Anyway, as far as professional trainers - try your vet. They usually have a list of people who will work with you at your home or theirs for a reasonable cost. Also, if you have a local dog show facility or club, they will have information for you (thanks Windy Valley).
Well I live in Cherokee Village, AR. I would go to petco, but thats about 2 hours from me..lol. Supposidely there's a petsmart less than an hour, but I've never seen it. Plus, its so expensive, I wish I had my old dog training place still, I liked them a lot, and it was about half the price of petco and petsmart. I'm going to ask the vet today, though. Thanks :) I will put up pictures of my dogs, eventually. I want to get a pic of me showing Mr. Puppy first, though.
Look for local training lessons in the parks or ask around (other dog owners of large dogs/or even bullys are usually pretty willing to tell you about what trainer they used and we found a great one this way)
For us, Lucy was three mos. when we adopted her. She never did the biting of faces, but she was very powerful when she played (she didn't know her own strength).
Putting her into local training classes (held at a park two times a week) really helped to get out a lot of the built up puppy energy. With practice, persistence, and fun your dog will be able to understand play from major no-no's. (Lucy is in local agility classes and she is doing great!)
For training we were told to use a prong collar (at first I thought they were horrible) however she did not need it for long and we only used it during training (I did buy ruber caps to put over the end to protect her neck). It really helped with the "Bully" pulling.
As far as mouthing at two months, I would NOT allow hand play. We strictly used long ropes, balls to retrieve, or stuffed kongs for play time. It was best to keep these around to stuff in their mouth. If the dog still continues to go after your hand quickly pull his lip over his teeth (A rotty breeder informed me of this) NO HANDS is a good rule of thumb for these guys!
Also, you may already do it, but crate training is really the way to go with these guys. Lucy has not had one mistake in her house or our house and I truly feel it is because of crate training.
Good luck with your bully they really are great dogs & I hope all works out for the best =)
Hi, Biting is a real NO NO, I have shelties now but have rescued 2= american Bull dogs !!. Please remember your puppy is that a BABY! and getting your attention by being good or bad is what the BABY IS LEARNING. It sounds like he has bonded with You, Thats Great, Stump is now your DOG. And a STRONG NO is ok as long as IT DOES NOT GET CARRIED IN TO A UNNECESSARY PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT.remember Stump is learning what gets your attention on him. wolves cast out or ignore a member of the pack that needs disipline. I feel what you did was ok, but also reward and love when stump is good. good luck valerie
I agree with the profession training. I have 2 bullie breeds, Am Staff & American Bulldog, the AB was a battle as a puppy, but he was soooooo worth it, you couldn't ask for a better boy, and we DID go to professional training :) Good Luck!
K, thanks for the help. I feel bad because Stump is "my" dog instead of Jeff's..which is what he was intended for..oh well. He has gotten a lot better, I'm training him myself at home but am taking him to a class that starts next saturday for dog socializing purposes only, because lord knows he is HORRIBLE with dogs, he's starting to get in fights with my Chins, I don't know how they start, I let them outside long enough for me to go the bathroom and they are already in one. I seperate them now, it only took twice for me to learn from that one. Its so weird, he was doing well and now he does this. I am trying to find another place to train because $100 to learn outside is ridiculous to me..but I guess its as good as its going to get out where I am. Hm, well, I suppose, once I figure out how to post pictures on here, as I never have, I'll share pictures of everyone here. Thanks for the input, though.