Dog owners frequently contact me with questions. An all-time hit are undesired behaviors in dogs of all ages. I have taken one of the recent request for advice as the basis of this essay, because the problem situation seems to apply to a lot of situations owners experience in one way or the other.
Dog owners often find themselves confronted with are undesired habits of their dogs, which can show in a variety of behaviors. Bull Terriers are little bull dozers even when they are happy and just want to make fun or show affection. And when young they come with a bunch of quirks in addition, such as nipping and roughhousing, which are all too typical. But that does not mean we have to accept them as the owners.
We all know that the best time to work on those undesired behaviors is as early as possible while the dog is still young and has not settled into routines and behaviors yet, in order to avoid bad habits from developing and establishing and our dogs from taking them as “normal behavior”.
This time I’ve taken this desperate cry for help from Ruby to write a few more articles about the “wild puppy days” of a Bull Terrier in order to help other owners who are experiencing exactly the same problems as well.
“Hello, I am having a hard time trying to train my 4 month old bull terrier, Pluto is his name. He is full of energy and I have a few questions to figure out how to make him stop acting up. He is always ripping the carpet in my house, He starts to get crazy (happy and excited) when he sees people, or other dogs, he doesn’t stop barking even if I speak to him in a calm voice, and in the car he will continue to bark at me or try to get on my lap. I really want to get some help on how to train him because I don’t want him to get out of control when he gets old or become aggressive. Please help me.”
Does your Bull Terrier keep popping up like a “Jack in the box”? Are you green and blue with “bruises of joy” from your dog? All of those, who already owned a Bull Terrier in the past probably know about this issue.
It is a pretty natural behavior of this breed. Many English Bull Terriers are very high-energy and active dogs and need proper outlets for this energy. Poorly exercised Bull Terriers can easily develop destructive and self-destructive, obsessive behavioral disorders.
Many NEW owners are pretty much caught by surprise when their English Bull Terrier keeps jumping at them and going up a lot – often accompanied by constant nipping. Luckily this behavior can be corrected.
But let’s take a quick glance at the causes first.
Jumping is not limited to English Bull Terriers, but it is very common among them and if not corrected can become pretty extreme and even lead to injury, loss of teeth and similar unfortunate events.
In my blog among others I try to also address problem behavior or general problems occurring when a dog, especially a Bull Terrier, newly comes into a household. Who does not know this complaint: “My dog destroys all her toys”.
This is what I want to talk about today.
I often hear of owners of Bull Terriers and other mid-sized dog breeds searching for the “indestructible” toy or complaining about how much money they spend on dog toys, because their pooch just destroys everything they offer – often within minutes.
And I confess: There was a time when I was one of them and was looking for this miracle toy, too. There are so many manufacturers out there using the term “indestructible” – which I personally find misleading with EVERY pet toy I have encountered so far. So we owners are spending hours on research to find the perfect toy, spend the extra Dollar on something that is labeled “indestructible” and make sure to choose something too big to just be swallowed by our dog – and still find it in pieces just minutes after we gave it to our Bull Terrier.
This essay was inspired by many stories of owners feeling overwhelmed by their puppy’s behavior or exasperated in their attempts of correcting aggressive puppy behavior in their English Bull Terrier puppies and tired of their nipping/ biting and dominance issues.
First of all, please note that young dogs DO nip, chase feet, even growl and guard – these are all absolutely normal behaviors for a puppy. An aggressive puppy usually is not “bad” by nature. The puppy is behaving exactly the same way as before, when it was still member of the litter among its siblings.
Now in your household the puppy needs to learn which behaviors are acceptable, and which are unacceptable. Aggressive puppy behavior needs to be addressed and corrected by training through the owner.
As a dog owner are you wondering about how to entertain your Bull Terrier or any other dog at home? Especially during the winter time many owners feel challenged with entertaining theirs dogs at home. Here’s one fun way I use with my Bull Terrier Mila almost every day that only requires your dog’s bed, a blanket and some treats – no long preparations necessary. I usually use part of my Bull Terrier’s daily serving of kibble, so she does not get too many calories.
In my video I show you how to set up a little maze full of yummy surprises within seconds to keep your dog busy searching for about 5-10 minutes. Easy-peasy – and your dog will LOVE it! If your dog does not sit and wait until you’re finished as Mila does, just send her out of the room for a minute and then present the “treat-bed” to her as a happy surprise. 🙂 I recommend to use a dog blanket you don’t mind beint torn here and there, because in the heat of the moment it happens. This is also a way to try and slow down dogs, who use to gobble down their kibble and make them work for it while eating more slowly.
Maybe you are currently thinking about becoming a puppy owner for the first time in your life. Maybe you already own a puppy or an adult dog and just want to double check, if you are already doing all the good stuff. Either way, this post is intended to provide you with information on the basics of a happy and healthy dog – Bull Terriers included, because apparently they are dogs as well, although sometimes they behave more like little clowns. 🙂
The basic principles of a balanced nutrition, proper care, hygiene and exercise apply to any dog, no matter the breed.
In addition, there are often also some breed specific aspects to consider. But for now I will mainly cover information that applies to dogs in general.
I have prepared a cartoon style chart for you that shows the essentials of the happy and healthy dog. I am giving away the printing file for this poster for free. Contact me, if you want to have the file.
Dog breeds are usually distinguished by different characteristics. One of those characteristics is their energy level.
While there are indeed some dog with low energy levels, I would say MOST dogs really need some exercise. Bull Terriers, for example, especially when young, often have pretty high energy levels and therefore need quite an amount of attention and exercise.
Not every kind of exercise is suited for any dog.
Some dogs will be completely happy with walks and should not be encouraged to perform certain exercises, such as excessive jumping, long-distance running etc. -because of their physiognomy. That does not mean these dogs just do not need exercise. It just means that other exercises may be more appropriate for them.
Have you noticed that your dog sucks on blankets or other soft objects and do you know why he/ she does that?
I had planned on writing an essay about this after researching possible causes. The problem is, I could not manage to find conclusive information on the internet and not even after talking to other dog owners.
Mila suckling on a pillow
Obviously a number of owners have witnessed that their dog sucks on blankets or other soft objects, such as pillows or soft toys no matter what breed.