Bulldog Breeds Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:cry: Friday was the first day with the trainer. He immediately had the respect of my 14 month old female. My 12 week old male was a little more off in his own world. I guess just being a puppy. He taught us how to do distance control, come off leash, sit/stay, and proper walking. They have to wear their leashes all the time (except when crated). He says it's not forever, but gives us an edge when first starting. That if their out of our reach but the leash isn't, that when we catch them just about to do something or if they've already focused on it, to grab the leash, give our command and tug/yank on the leash at the same time and make them become submissive. I think I am failing miserably. This morning my two were playing around and the male started getting rough and aggressive again, so I had to pull them apart. They wouldn't listen to my commands and kept going for one another. I finally had to take my girl to the ground because she wouldn't listen. I cried and cried. I don't like using force/being physical with them. I feel like I'm hurting them by tugging/yanking on the leash. I won't and don't ever hit my dogs with my hands or anything else for that matter. I just don't think that they respect me at all and that it will become and issue. I mean already has or I wouldn't of sought out training. Before getting the puppy we had no aggression issues out of our older female. She had some behavorial problems but that's my fault because I'm "humanizing" her as the trainer said. But really I didn't believe she had one aggresive bone in her body. Then last night the two dogs were going at each other for this kong toy that had some liver paste in it. When the puppy left it alone and found something else, the older one went over to get it. I didn't want her to have it so I went over to take and all the hair on her back went up. I've only seen that when playing chase/keep away with her. I was able to take it but for a second was thinking, "she could take my head off if she wanted to." I love her and him too but I just think I'm a failure. I know it's only been one weekend, but I just don't think I can get it. I have to learn patience but its so hard. How long did it take you to finally earn your dogs respect for you and the ALPHA of the house? :cry: :cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,671 Posts
Toys and/or food amongst amongst multiple dogs is a huge NO NO. These are the 2 things that most often start fights. Do not have toys or food out when you have more than one dog out that can fight over them. Bulldogs/bullbreeds are tenacious and you should really work at doing things that prevent fights rather than encouraging them.

When they got into that scuffle, what commands were you yelling at the dogs to get them to stop? Were the commands you were giving commands that your dogs actually taught and understand fully?

I would go back to basics with both dogs. It will be really easy with your young one but you could have some success also with the older dog but it is going to take time.

I would start by handfeeding all your dogs meals. Start with simple eye contact. Do this separately. Make sure that while you are working with one dog that the other remains crated or in another room. Everytime time dog/pup looks at you give a handful of food. Once your dog has caught on to this idea then you can start introducing other simple commands like sit and down. Use the food to lure dog into the desired positions.

I also recommend using a "release" word. I use the word "okay" some use "free" you can use what ever you want. Your dog will learn that it cannot break any command until you release the dog. This eliminates the need for "stay" in the sit/down stay exercises for one and also teaches the dog that it must remain focussed on you until you say its ok for the dog to go ahead and just be a dog. :) This must be used all the time! If you use a release you must be consistent. I will often release my dog to play with me several times throughout a training session just to break things up, keep it fun and relieve stress if I have been hard on my dogs in that particular session.

Once the dog is working quite well with these exercises you can aslo start introducing the come command. Put the dog in a down or sit then call the dog to you. Reward the dog with food. If the dog likes a certain toy you can bring that into play also as a reward. Do use corrections but only once the dog understands fully what you are asking of it and is mature enough to handle a correction. One of the biggest mistakes people make is expecting their dog to execute a command that they were not failry taught to understand and then getting corrected for non compliance. Good training consists of a balance between both positive and negative reinforcement. A dog needs to be corrected for non compliance (once it is old enough to understand and you are sure it is ignoring your commands and not just confused). If you refuse to correct your dog once it understands what you want you will not get respect. You will be there for 100 yrs trying to get your dog to respect you. Its all about balance.

I also recommend keeping you dog on lead for now. There is no way you can expect a dog to listen to you off lead if it isn't realiable on lead first. If you dog is not solid with a recall for example then there is no way that dog should be doing recalls farther away from you than the leash allows. Start with a 6 foot leash then build your way up to longer ones..15 foot, 30 foot etc. You need a leash for your dog! I also recommend a prong collar.

One last thing and that is you need to NEVER give commands you can not enforce. I see people do this all the time and this is what prevents people from having a well trained dog. This usually happens at home. People get busy in their homes, yell commands at their dogs, the dogs either don't understand because they weren't taught or they do understand but the people are not consistent with following through so the dog learns it can ignore the owner. I have a friend who her and her b/f do this alot. Her dog knows basic commands and will work well for her, however many times when they are not acutally "training" so to speak her or her b/f will tell the dog to "down". The dog will down, her and b/f will get distraced by company or get busy doing something and the dog will break the command and nothing is done. I tell her she is much better off crating or kenneling her dog if she is too distraced to enforce commands she is giving the dog and the dog is annoying her or her company. This is the biggest mistake people make...not enforcing commands. Crate or kennel your dog if it is being a pest and you are too distracted to enforce a command!

I would guess you have 2 problems with your 14 month old dog

1. dog wasn't fairly and clearly taught what is of expected of it. (dogs aren't born knowing what sit, down, come etc mean)

2. no consistency

Go back to basics with your dogs. Your pup is at the perfect age to do this and if you follow these steps you should end up with a very well trained dog. Eventually the dog will be weaned off most of the food reward and get to the point where you only have to reward once in a while to keep the dog guessing.

I know its alot of work but by being your dogs food source and source of fun (you control their toys and when they are allowed to play with them) your dogs will automatically focus on you. Once you have the ever important focus the sky is the limit with your training. Make yourself the centre of the dogs universe. This also means limiting your dogs time together. If they are together too much they will look to eachother for fun OR they will begin fighting or annoying you with their antics and you more than likely will accidently end up screaming commands you will not enforce for a variety of reasons. Training is all about focus, consistency, and balance.

Beleive me, I learned this the hard way. :D

Hope my input helps.

On edit. One other important thing to do is mark correct and incorrect behaviour. If a dog does what it is asked I say the word "YES". If it does something wrong I say "NO". This makes things very clear and black and white to the dog. You must always mark behaviours. Saying "yes" then rewarding with food/toy etc is similar to the idea of clicker training. Except instead of using a "Click" every time the dog executes the desired command I say the word "YES". Much easier than carrying around a clicker!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
Lisa- as always GREAT advice!!!!


I have two dogs myself and feed them in separate rooms.If you are going to fill kongs with food you need two kongs and need to put the dogs in separate rooms.You are only asking for trouble giving one dog a kong filled with something yummy and other nothing but to sit and watch,no good.
If your dog is growling at you or snapping it might be a good idea to put him in the submissive position to show him who is boss.At this point it seems your dogs run the house.( last night I was on the floor playing with Buster when out of know were he came charging at me and bit my side and broke skin.Intanlty I grabbed him and put him in the submissive position and yelled NO and he submitted right away and came over to give kisses.They need to be shown there spot and by doing this you are showing you are Alpha dog.You must get that point across or you will have non stop issues.Follow the food steps above,Works very well and by hand feeding and making your dogs work for there food they will soon see who runs the show....................YOU!!!!! It takes time but you'll get there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies.

In regards to the Kong situation, they both had one with filling in it. I always give them equal of everything. Maybe that's wrong too. Our 14 month old when in the puppies crate and grabbed it when my B/F took the puppy outside.

I didn't know that I had to limit their play together. We don't let them play all night. We try and make them go on their seperate beds and play with whatever toy they want at the time. The puppy (Zoro) is pretty good about playing with himself and his toys, but Zelda always wants what he has. I'm curious, if they don't have any toys to play with, what are they suppose to do? I know that Zoro will start chewing on furniture.

The trainer told us to stop using the word no because we've used it so many times that the dogs don't know what it's suppose to mean. So we use the word BAH... but stretch it would to sound almost like a growl. That is the new word that they are learning that means NO or that the behavior isn't warranted. I do see that we we use it, they do look up at us and for the most part, they will stop what their doing or go away from each other. Saying NO didn't get us no where because we never taught them right.

I know we are completely to blame for not trainging them properly and not being consistent with all the commands. I don't nor have I ever believed that a dog should just know what we're saying and what we mean by it. It has to be taught to them. I know I don't have the patience at times to keep saying the same word over and over. But I will if that's exactly what it takes.

And Zelda didn't snap or growl at me when I took the Kong. Just the hair raised up. Which I know is a warning sigh she's giving me. I need to correct that and not be so passive. I just think that prong collars and choke chains will hurt them if you give it a nice tug along with the command. Don't those hurt your dogs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
I just think that prong collars and choke chains will hurt them if you give it a nice tug along with the command. Don't those hurt your dogs?

Not if used properly.Your trainer should instruct you on how to use one of these which ever you are comfortable with.Ask the trainer the next time you see her.The trainer I have spoken with and Buster will be going to the end of April has collars that are I am guessing the nylon but just the top is the chain. Supposivly when you yank it makes a sound and that alerts the dog that you are asking for him/her to do the command that is being asked.She has them to purchase at her training facility and highly recommends them but I am sure the others will work out just as good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,671 Posts
Even if you give both your dogs a Kong or other treat or toy you have to separate them. It's the only way to prevent fighting.

Your dogs can have toys, don't get me wrong. But, its YOU that should be deciding when they play with them. I will bet that many people here will disagree and that is fine. I have found through personal experience that you deciding when they play with them it help you get that respect you are after. I use toys in training. They are rewarded for a job well done. My dogs do get to have fun but its on my terms. I don't like to give my dogs too much time together because I don't enjoy having to patrol them and break up spats and I also don't want them looking to eachother for fun. I want them to look to me for that. That's how you get focus. You make YOURSELF the centre of your dogs universe, not other dogs, not other people. My dogs are social and know how to act in a social environment but 95% of their fun comes from me.

I find many of the problems people have with their dogs are partly due to allowing their dogs too much freedom. Especially with puppies. Most people just don't have the time to chase 3 month old puppies around the house. At least I know I don't! Unless I can monitor my puppies 100% they are crated. Once they are older and are not a terror in my house they start getting more freedom.

A dogs world is only as big as you make it. If you give them too much freedom and allow them to have too much fun without you being involved, your dog will not focus on you and will focus on things that give him/her more pleasure. YOU have to make yourself fun and a joy for your dog to be around.

You must get over your phobia of correction collars. If you think you are going to get a well trained dog with only hugs and kisses you are mistaken. Like I said good training is all about balance. Positive and negative. Positive first to make it fun and be fair and negative so you can reinforce and make sure your dog knows you mean business. If there is no price to pay for non compliance why would your dog chose to listen to you? Positive training methods only get you so far. It's a good start but good training doesn't end there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kelly said:
I just think that prong collars and choke chains will hurt them if you give it a nice tug along with the command. Don't those hurt your dogs?

Not if used properly.Your trainer should instruct you on how to use one of these which ever you are comfortable with.Ask the trainer the next time you see her.The trainer I have spoken with and Buster will be going to the end of April has collars that are I am guessing the nylon but just the top is the chain. Supposivly when you yank it makes a sound and that alerts the dog that you are asking for him/her to do the command that is being asked.She has them to purchase at her training facility and highly recommends them but I am sure the others will work out just as good.
I actually have the chain you're talking about. It does make a sound, but it doesn't phase Zelda. Zoro has a martingale collar since he's just a puppy. I don't want to seriously hurt him. I was reading your other post about the bitter apple spray. The water doesn't phase either one now as they tend to want to try and catch the water. Trust me, I don't laugh at this behavior either. So you think I should try the other spray? Where do I spray it? And do I follow it with a command?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
Follow Lisas Advice! its great advice.
I am telling you from expereince young Abs will surprise you when you dont have control over them . I was eating a sub one day on my couch One of my Abs was on the couh watching me kind of lazying around the other came over by the table, and Poof the fight started. My two bitches only 8 months old started fighting and broke my hand in 3 places. THIS WAS MY ONLY DOG FIGHT. everyone of my dogs are seperated now.
Buy a prong collar. You will need it. After the basics are taught and you follow lisas advice and they get bigger. You will want one believe me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for that story, as I see I'm not the only one now. This morning was the worst. The male puppy was great this morning. My older female was out-of-control. She was running around and I couldn't catch her. She was jumping and running over the sofa so fast that she knocked me back onto the couch and then got herself in a corner. She tried to jump over me and the couch and ended up hitting my thumb and dislocated it. Of course it had to be my bad thumb that has one torn tendon already and the other tendon is sitting sideways. I screamed in agony and that didn't help the situation. I got so mad that I was throwing things. I honestly have never been that mad in my life. Especially not at a canine. I knew I wasn't helping the situation at all so I just walked out of the room and tried to regroup. I needed her in her crate so I could leave for work but she wasn't having it. I finally caught her by the collar and put her in, which she didn't like. I have never seen her this bad. It's as the training session made her worse. Is that possible? I'm honestly saying that I don't know if I have this in me to handle the girl. Who I was told that she is the heart of the problem. I don't know if that's true. I hated the way I was this morning. I felt out-of-control and I never want to be that person again. :cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,423 Posts
I'm sorry to hear about your problem. As always, Lisa gave 100% excellent advice. Let me add, please do not be afraid to use physical correction. No, I don't mean hitting them. Example, Chopper is a very dominant dog and can easily escalate his behavior to out of control. Sometimes my husband will take him to the ground until he can submit and listen to the commands. This does not hurt their feelings. If anything it will make them happier in the end because you will have a well behaved and stable dog. Keep up the good work. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
Kasco said:
I'm sorry to hear about your problem. As always, Lisa gave 100% excellent advice. Let me add, please do not be afraid to use physical correction. No, I don't mean hitting them. Example, Chopper is a very dominant dog and can easily escalate his behavior to out of control. Sometimes my husband will take him to the ground until he can submit and listen to the commands. This does not hurt their feelings. If anything it will make them happier in the end because you will have a well behaved and stable dog. Keep up the good work. :D
I couldn't agree more with Kasco.Like I said before my husband and I both do this with Buster( making him summit) I do it more because he is what my husband calls " MY DOG".It shows that you are the Alpha dog and that you will not tolerate his behavior. Let me tell you it wakes them up real quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for the advice. I just got off the phone with the trainer and he said he sounds as though Zelda is really testing me right now and will try just about anything. He believes that since Zoro is showing he can be obedient and isn't getting corrected that much, that now Zelda feels as though she needs to possess something since she can't possess Zoro anymore. If that makes sense. He thinks that something triggered Zelda to go backwards in the training. I told him that after he left Friday she was an angel, and for part of the day Saturday, but then when we were outside and she saw the neighbords she went out of control trying to see them. He said that when Zelda knew I couldn't control her she did what she normally does and at that point she had me under her control. And still does because she lost respect for me. He's going to come out later this week or on the weekend to work with us more. I will do my best with the training but now I can't use my thumb, so I have to figure out a way to participate without using it. I'm praying it gets better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,423 Posts
It will get better, but not without 100% confidence in yourself. You can train this dog and you have to believe that. Stick with it, you'll see. It takes time but it will pay off in the end. Keep us posted. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I sure will keep you posted. I can't help but think that if I wouldn't have gotten this other dog, Zelda would still be the sweet loving dog she was before. Guess it's my fault for causing her to be this way. All the attention was taken from her luxurious life. I will try my best to be confident and hopefully I won't suffer any further injury to myself along the way. :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Training Update

After the caos that happened yesterday morning, I'm happy to say that last night Zelda was on the good side. When I got home last night by b/f was outside with the puppy and Zelda was inside. I walked in and ignored her. I ignored her for the entire night actually. She would try and walk up to me and lick me or nudge me, but I would always walk away or just not look at her. She eventually went and laid down for the rest of the night. The trainer called and asked how everything was going and I told him what I was doing. He said that was good and to continue it as long as I felt it was necessary. That what Zelda was doing was being passive and get my attention and that ignoring them is a form of dominance. He said he was good on my part and this morning was different. She was really good this morning. No fiasco like yesterday. However, it was extremely hard for me to ignore her for so long. She looked so sad, although she was shaking her tail. I don't know what that means, but I kept telling myself, "Brit... dammit, this is YOUR domain so act like it." I hope it's working. :)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top