Hello :)

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Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:34 pm

Hi my name is Michelle and I have a 2yeat old bullie called Travis! He is a lovely dog! Typically of the breed he is very stubborn and can be hard work. Sometimes he is aggressive towards me and I would like some help with controlling this. A typical scenario is if he is on the sofa and I want him off he has been known to go for me, it's like he doesn't want me to be telling him what to do. I just want to feel more in control and not to feel uneasy and sometimes scared. He is amazing with other dogs, the only aggression is in the home! Thanks for reading. Look forward to reply happy

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Re: Hello :)

Post by ella on Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:15 am

Hi from me and the boys happy

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Caryll on Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:26 am

Hi Michelle, lovely to see you here.

It'd be good if you could start a new topic in the 'behaviour' area. That way people will know you want help rather than just introducing yourself.

This is where to start it...
http://allbreedsdogforum.forumotion.co.uk/f3-behaviour-and-training


P.S. Any chance of a couple of pics of Travis?

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Shisa on Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:54 am

Hi Michelle. Welcome to the forum.
Have you had Travis since a pup?
If he neutered?
Has he had any training?
Do you have a safe yard?
How many people in your house?
Does he have his own bed?

And some pics would be great!
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:30 pm

Hi, Michelle! happy

As said earlier, you'll probably get a lot more replies if you post in the Behaviour section, as more people should see it! happy

Bull Terriers in general can be very difficult, stubborn and prone to tantrums when they're young. If he's behaving aggressively when you want him to do something, my guess is that he's throwing a hissy fit. We had the same problem with Dempsey. It took us a while to get to grips with it, but all it really took was cracking down and being very firm. Setting down firm rules and sticking to them. happy

When somebody wanted to get Demps off of the sofa, he'd often kick up a fuss and do his best monster impression, thrashing around and grizzling. It wasn't aggression, per se, but a toddler tantrum. He'd do it because he knew it would allow him to get his own way. Once he realised that thrashing around and mouthing wasn't going to help, he stopped doing it.

It would probably help if you could describe the situations where he most often gets out of his pram. happy

Age has also helped a lot. At that age, most Bullies will test their limits and challenge their owners. Once he reached about two-and-a-half years old, he settled right down in the space of about six months.

We also found that providing an energy outlet helped. happy Lots of playing and interaction, particularly on walks.

Do you think it might be possible to get somebody to record one of his episodes when he kicks off?
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:45 pm

Thank you for replies. I will work on some pics! I have had Travis since he was 3 months old, he isn't neutered, he went to puppy training and was very response and loved all the interaction with other dogs. There are 4 people only house and we all work together so we do the same, Travis sleeps in a crate and he loves it.
I will try and record Travis when he kicks off as I realise that would be easier to actually see him! It is like a hissy fit trying to get his own way! Mostly it seems to happen when he is being cheeky trying to get his own way! Another scenario is he barks constantly at the back door when I approach he starts getting all fidgety like he wants to go out! But I don't always let him out as he just runs up and down the garden growling and barking! If I go near him he gets arsy and growls! Like he is wound up! I must just say that he doesn't like my neighbour very much as her son wound him up when he was younger! I think recording it is a good idea song will do my best to catch it! Thanks happy

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Zack on Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:32 pm

Hello and welcome, I am new too, this forum is a lovely, friendly place to be. thumbs up
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Caroline on Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi and welcome from me, Millie and Bella happy
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:33 pm

Travis0309 wrote:Thank you for replies. I will work on some pics! I have had Travis since he was 3 months old, he isn't neutered, he went to puppy training and was very response and loved all the interaction with other dogs. There are 4 people only house and we all work together so we do the same, Travis sleeps in a crate and he loves it.  
I will try and record Travis when he kicks off as I realise that would be easier to actually see him! It is like a hissy fit trying to get his own way! Mostly it seems to happen when he is being cheeky trying to get his own way! Another scenario is he barks constantly at the back door when I approach he starts getting all fidgety like he wants to go out! But I don't always let him out as he just runs up and down the garden growling and barking! If I go near him he gets arsy and growls! Like he is wound up! I must just say that he doesn't like my neighbour very much as her son wound him up when he was younger! I think recording it is a good idea song will do my best to catch it! Thanks happy

It sounds very frustrating. Believe me, I know how you feel! Hopefully some sort of solution can be reached happy

I think it's very good that he has a crate that he enjoys. They can be a Godsend! Do you ever give him time outs when he throws his tantrums? We found that this helped to calm Dempsey down when he got too riled up. We made sure never to tell him off as we put him in there, as it's important that the crate doesn't turn into a punishment. It can provide a safe, calming environment, though. This can help to break the habit and cycle of 'owner's command >>> dog's refusal to respond to command >>> tantrum'. happy

As for the barking, do you think it's in response to your neighbours then? Or perhaps a noise outside? That's another problem we've had with Demps in the past, so hopefully we could share ideas for that! happy Have you tried distraction to deal with this, with a toy, for instance?

Fingers crossed, maybe a recording will give a better idea! happy
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:00 pm

Hello, yes we do give a time out in the crate and that does work to calm him down! So we have found one solution, as for the barking, if he hears a noise then yes he barks and then at least I know why, but most of the time it's like its a habit and I think its neighbour related, if I let him out and she is in her garden he goes mental, growls, shakes his head etc it's different if it's just a wheelie bin someone's bringing in, that's not so angry! So I feel sure he is very wound up when he hears her! Sometimes she isn't even in her garden but he is still getting angry and looking in her general direction when he is doing it! I do try distraction and sometimes they work fine but when he is in the zone t doesn't always work, he loves toys so that's generally what I use happy

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:08 pm

I'd keep trying with the toys. Have you considered using a 'special' toy? This involves getting a toy specifically for the purpose of distracting him from barking - it would be the only time he'd have the toy. This way, the toy could be a novelty for him and might add that little bit extra to help stop the barking! happy
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Re: Hello :)

Post by LyndaW on Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:51 pm

A bit late (I was out yesterday) but Hi Michelle and Welcome to you and Travis! welcome
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:02 pm

Thank you for the lovely welcomes happy
Yeah that's a good idea he loves a squeaker so I could use that! And keep it for that. So do you think eventually he will get over it ? If I try distractions more! As calling him doesn't always work when he is focused on barking!

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:22 pm

Honestly, yes, I do think he'll get over it! happy If I'd been asked that same question about Dempsey three years ago, I'd have said, "Not a chance!" He did calm down, though. Still barks sometimes, but it's controllable! We also introduced the 'quiet' command, which he knows means that he needs to stop barking. That command can be taught by using it as you squeak a toy (for instance) and then giving a reward ("good boy" and a game with the toy) when he stops barking. happy

It might take some time, but stubborn dogs need stubborn owners! laughing
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:54 pm

That's so true! Would you recommend neutering too, I know this doesn't always help so I was wary of doing it!

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:05 pm

Ooh, that's a big debate. laughing Personally, I wouldn't. Neutering affects sexually dimorphic behaviours, such as territorial aggression and general testosterone-fuelled behaviours. Normal stubborn challenges may not be fixed by it. It can actually 'freeze' the behaviour, making it harder to train out at that age. That's my personal opinion, but there's also a thread here that just lists facts, rather than opinions, which might make it a bit easier for you to decide. happy
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:06 pm

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:17 pm

Ok that's helpful, so many people have so many different opinions on it! I had a staffy before Travis I i never even thought about it with him! But then he was a lot easier to be fair ha ha

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:26 pm

I definitely think it helps to know the pros and cons of neutering before considering it. At least, that way, you know what you might expect from it as a result! happy

laughing Yes, it's hard to ignore the big 'N' word with some of the more difficult dogs. We decided not to neuter Demps, as his behaviour (very similar to the way Travis seems to be behaving) was very typical of his breed, rather than his sex. I'm glad we decided not to, as he really has settled down with training and maturity. But then again, every dog and owner is different, so I think it depends entirely on what you decide is best for you and Travis! happy
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Shisa on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:26 am

It's great that everyone in your household is on the same page and that you are looking to fix your issues.
Are you ever nervous or scared of Travis? You or anyone else in your home?

That he goes for you when you tell him off is a bit worrying for me. It should never be accepted behaviour. My first recommendation is that he is not allowed on the couch anymore unless someone invites him and then he has to get off before that person gets up, even if he's in dreamland. If you have to give him a complete ban from the couch for a while, do that.
Couches, beds, food, food bowls, toys etc are high value items for dogs. These things have to always be under human control.

From your description regarding the neighbours. It sounds like he's being territorial and it was aggravated by the neighbours son.
If you want to try distraction remember that you have to break the behaviour before it starts. What you need to do is set a completely new routine. Take him out on lead if you need to, so you can keep in control of the situation and he has to listen to you. Make him sit, down or whatever commands he knows.

Despite what Eleanor said I would also recommend you neuter him. Taking away his testosterone will make him easier to manage. Some dogs you don't have to neuter and some you have to neuter early. Depends on the dog and on the owners capabilities.
At 2 years you are dealing with a dog that is fully matured and ready for it's place in the world. He's going to be a bit more challenging and working on your problem areas will be a little more work.
If possible take him back to a few training classes. The socialising and reinforcing commands always help.

You can also at feeding times keep his bowl on the counter and make him work for the first 1/3 - 1/2 of his food. Make him sit, down, heel,stay, walk nicely through the kitchen etc for every bite and then give him the rest to eat in peace.
It's all about enforcing your control/ being the boss of him, for lack of a better description and putting it badly.

happy
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Re: Hello :)

Post by Caryll on Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:01 am

Hi Michelle, sorry I haven't responded yet.

Some things to consider in the other posts.

Just my own observations, though...
Bull Terriers are very strong, stubborn & wilful dogs, especially before they reach full maturity. I think people underestimate their strength, high physical & mental, and they can take advantage of this.
What you are describing does not, to me, sound like aggression as such, but "I wannit!" toddler tantrum. However, it obviously has to be controlled. As Theresa says, the sofa must be off limits until he has learned some manners! If he does get up, get some treats, call him off and do a little training. Don't confront him as you'll just exacerbate the situation. Entice & control.
Regarding neutering, I wouldn't. My reasons? Although it could help with aggression/being 'wound up', it may not, and I don't think it would help with your neighbour. That's a learned response, not a testosterone based behaviour. Are you on speaking terms with you'd neighbour?
Can I ask a couple of questions?
1. How many walks a day does he have, fir how long, and what happens on the walks?
2. What training do you give him on a regular basis?
3. What food does he have (brand & type) and how many meals - what is his mealtime routine?

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:12 pm

Wow this is a lot to take in! But thanks for all the tips! I am quite persistent with Travis not having things he wants! So I'm good at keeping him off sofa etc, I feel he has lost that luxury for now! The treat to get him off sounds good as this is when we do have issues, when I have control, he doesn't like it! I have been known to be scared especially when I am trying to get him down and he starts, I really try not I let it show but he makes me wary! Travis gets walked twice away in no particular routine he goes out all different times, sometimes it's an hour down the beach sometimes with a ball to play sometimes just a nice long walk, other times they are a little shorter and more local! I do try to get him out as much as i can, sometimes some days are very busy but my family walk him too. We do let him off his lead, he plays with a ball other times he stays on his lead, we do some training like recall etc sometimes he is a bit stubborn with that! He is very good at the wait command! He eats twice aday around 8am and 6pm he eats burns and raw meat diet mixed with fruit n vegetables which he seems to like, and agrees with him, he does a sensitive stomach I can't give him supermarket crap which is probably good!

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Caryll on Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:15 pm

Thanks - yes, it's a lot to take in. wink

Would your neighbour be prepared to help with getting him over his dislike? Safely, of course!

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Travis0309 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:40 pm

Oh I forgot to say about that bit, we don't speak at all as last summer when her boy was deliberately leaning over my fence winding Travis up I had a go at him and told him to stop as it wasn't helping and when Travis was getting angry he was laughing at him, so as you can imagine I had to say something and she didn't like it much so we don't talk! Annoying as she could see and hear we were having difficulties but still she didn't see my point! I have often thought I wonder what travis's would do if her son came in my garden coz he absolutely hates him!! He growls and barks and shakes his he really aggressively!! This is easier to get a recording of as it's not aimed at me and happens when he is in the garden so next time he is out there I will record his behaviour and you can see what I mean

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Re: Hello :)

Post by Eleanor on Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:52 pm

Your neighbour should be ashamed of herself! straight face Perhaps she thinks it's funny to allow her son to torment animals in their own home, but in that case, she has a twisted sense of humour.

It sounds overly simplistic and easier said than done, but I think the main goal with the "I don't want to do that!" tantrums is to stop them before they start. As mentioned before, treats, toys, distractions, firm voices, etc.. Yes, it's a lot to take in! laughing It does get easier though!

I don't know if this applies to Travis, but Dempsey used to get encouraged during his tantrums if the person trying to remove him from the sofa was nervous. If I tried to get him off and he did a little air-snap, I'd automatically withdraw. Even though I'd go back again, it would reinforce Dempsey's idea that "snapping = I get my own way".

If you do find yourself in a situation where you can't use treats or toys to entice him off, I found that it helped just to go straight in. Not roughly, but without hesitation. And then plenty of praise when he gets down! happy

He actually seems very similar to Demps, right down to the sensitive tummy!

Depending on how practical it is for you, it would probably be helpful to restrict access to the sofa unless he's invited up. If he has to wait to be invited, it helps to get the message across that it isn't his own personal lounging space and he doesn't decide who gets to sit there! laughing
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Re: Hello :)

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