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First of all, regardless of this situation, all dogs need training. If you lack experience with training dogs then find a QUALIFIED trainer to help you.

In the meantime, you need to teach your dog a command for letting go of things. I use the word "out" and it is very easy to teach. Make sure your dog is hungry...in other words you can substitute his meal time with a training session.

Give him a favorite toy.....someting that he goes nuts for. Then show him you have the food, Tell him the word "out" . If he's hungry and has any type of food drive he will probably let go of the toy before you even finish getting the word out of your mouth. That is ok...reward him with a handful of food anyways..but always say "out" as he is releasing in the beginning. Keep doing this..eventually your dog will understand that "out" means release what is in his mouth...and will mean he is rewarded. Do this every day if you can until you see the dog is understanding...eventually this will transfer to the garbage stealing.

Once he is clear with the "out" and if you catch him in the trash the command should transfer. You can proof this by trying to take a chew toy or bone away from him after you have done the training with the toy. Of course, preventing your dog from getting into the trash in the first place would be the best thing...put it in a room he cant get to or elevate it somehow.

The growling is a whole other issue. Your dog is probably dominant and when you are yelling at it to release what it has from the trash your dog is probably confused and has no idea what is going on or what you want. Unless you have TAUGHT him through training what it is you are asking of him then it is not fair that you get angry at him for not listening to you. Many times dominant dogs will not take too kindly to unfairness. From his point of view you are taking from him what is his all the while probably yelling/scolding him. The dog is like "WTF". What is she screaming about and out of frustration lets out a growl. The growling does need to be dealt with but first you need to teach the dog what you want. You have to be FAIR with the dog. Some dogs will try and take a chunk out of you if you are not....I admire a dog like that but it takes a certain type of owner to manage it. It all comes down to training....teaching commands fairly and motivationally, then proofing them later and correcting them when you know they are 100% cognitive of what you asked. Until then you have no business scolding a dog for not listening to you...dogs are opportunistic creatures and you can't blame them for doing things like stealing food from the trash, counter surfing etc. But, you can blame them if you have farily taught them what is expected and they flip you the bird anyways......that is when a good, hard correction will usually work well to deter "most" dogs.
 
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