Give your Bull Terrier a place to retreat
Especially when they get tired in the evening close to bed time, the young and super active Bull Terriers tend to tune up a little bit by barking, becoming nervous, and running around the house. It’s almost like they do not want the day to end. I feel like their nervousness is actually a sign of being really tired, but not wanting to give in to it – a lot like a small child.
Try to to actively interrupt this behavior. For this it is a good idea to have a remote refuge ready for your Bull Terrier to retreat and calm down.
This could be a crate or better yet a huge kennel or box that provides a more protective and less exposed atmosphere, compared to an open metal crate. Bull Terriers LOVE boxes and it will do no harm to get your Bull Terrier used to sleep in a locked box at night.
This will spare you a lot of worries about your furniture during the night and your Bull Terrier will just LOVE to have her “own room”.
If you get a lockable box, just make sure, it provides enough room for your dog to stand straight and to turn inside the box.
Mila is so used to her box that once we order her to go into her box at night she will merely fly into it, swing around and tightly sit and wait for her night treat to call it the day.
Do not just “through” your dog into the box and lock it. Also do not use it to punish her for bad behavior by being locked away. Give her a chance to get used to the idea, to feel comfortable inside and to like it as “her place”.
to get her used to being in a box, first lure her into the open box with a treat and praise her once she steps inside. Repeat this several times over several days and just let her walk into and around the box, sniff it and get familiar with it. After a few times of her stepping into it for the treat, try to connect a command with the action, such as “go crate!”. Once she steps into the box on her own, lock the door only for a moment, praise her for staying calm and shove a treat into the box for her.
Do NOT wait to give her the treat when she steps outside the box, because that rewards her for leaving it.
Expand the times with the closed door until you try a full night.
Once she has accepted the box as her refuge, getting her to stay in there for the night will be a piece of cake.
If your Bull Terrier obviously does not feel comfy in her box or permanently refuses to calm down inside, one reason – besides lack of exercise – could be that the location of the box is not calm enough. The box can be located near the family gathering place. But to give the dog a chance of making herself comfy when she needs some rest, it should also be able to provide a dimmed and a little quieter atmosphere.
If the box is open and located in a very exposed place, maybe just try another spot and see how your dog responds to it.
Eventually you will very likely be successful in familiarizing your dog with a box or crate.
However, please notice that a crate is not a convenient alternative to “manage” your dog. Excessive crating can cause serious harm to your Bull Terrier!