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  1. Pingback: Bull Terrier Puppies - how to buy a Bull Terrier puppy

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  14. Pingback: Here comes my latest Bull Terrier Christmas Greeting Card

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  38. Hi,
    My name is Tony from Thailand and i interested in your advert pls,kindly send me the download link for the campaign.

    Hope to hearing from you soon

    BRG,
    Sithiporn (Tony)

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  48. Pingback: Obedience training & socializing your dog

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  57. Pingback: Obedience training & socializing your dog

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  60. That are some great tips. I recently purchased a bulldog, as our last one passed away 10 days ago…… Would definitely try out these tips on the new comer 🙂

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  63. Hi Dorothea

    I love your website & especially your wonderful bully drawings. I have had a link to your site on our webpage for ages, but would really like to use some of your images too please?

    Anything printable would be great to use please & if you have something suitable for us to print onto a canvas please, that would make an awesome raffle prize? 🙂

    Many thanks

    Mel

    NSW Bull Terrier Rescue Inc
    Bull Terrier Rescue Qld

    http://www.australianbullterriers.com

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  66. Hi there,

    We have an 18 month bull terrier and comes across as a very “naughty” dog. We have trouble walking him and getting him in the car ect.
    Is there anything you can recommend.

    • Hello Jess,

      you are in the middle of the “Bull Terrier teenage madness”. Even if your dog is an extra wild one, it WILL get better when he ages.
      But there are likely things you can do about the situation right now already. I would just need some more details to give you advice:
      How old was the dog when he came into your home? Did he attend any kind of training – a puppy class or obedience training at home, something like that?

      What exactly is the core problem? Is he pulling all the time or just not listening?
      Based on your input about his history in your home and the worst current behavioral issues, I will be happy to share my experience with you.

      Dorothea

  67. Pingback: The dog heat cycle explained for owners of "intact" females

  68. Pingback: Help! My dog destroys all her toys! What can I do?

  69. Pingback: Dog trick training: Teaching a dog how to operate a potty bell

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  72. Pingback: Dog trick training: Teaching a dog how to operate a potty bell

  73. Pingback: Potty Bells and potty bell training for my Bull Terrier

  74. My bull terrier Jazz is like Mila and this helps me out a lot!
    Every day is about draining Jazz’s high energie and keeping her stimulated.
    I want to be the best ‘bully mom’ I can be for her and have come a long way with understanding her needs and how to get us on some kind of schedule so we can make the most out of every day.
    Thank you so much… I love your website… really helpful

    • Hello Kim,
      well, aren’t they a handful?! 🙂 But that’s why we love them even more, right? Thank you so much for your feedback.
      I am a bit busy lately. But I have tons of information waiting on my schedule to get out here into my blog. And I’ll keep posting. I’ll try to focus on some more tips regarding exercise and activities on the one and calming exercises on the other hand.

  75. Pingback: Puppy Potty Training - Bull Terrier puppy house training tips

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  77. I have a nail bullterrier I got him when he was eight weeks so he’s eight months old now he looks just like the target dog I’m not quite sure I know you can’t be a miniature bullterrier I’m not sure if he’s a English bullterrier but I would love to send you a picture of him his name is Zeus and he’s weighing in right now at 54 pounds and 3 ounces I was just wondering how much more bigger is he going to get

    • Hello Donna,
      I would love to take a look at your sweet Bull Terrier – just because I can’t get enough of seeing them. I bet people often recognize the “Target dog” :).
      Feel free to send me a picture at contact@bullterrierfun.com

      He probably is a handful, not only in terms of personality – which we all love so much – but also keeping that all white coat shiny and bright. Don’t they love a nice mud puddle. 🙂

      In general it is hard to predict the eventual size of a puppy. Zeus will still grow at least a little (dogs of this size usually grow until about 12 months old).
      In order to estimate his eventual height at the age of eight months the best bet is to take a look at the parents, if possible. If they are pretty similar, Zeus will likely end up similar as well. If one of the parents is significantly taller and heavier that the other, comparing Zeus to both of them can help to find out, who he seems to follow.

      His weight sounds like he is beyond the size of a Mini already. But in order to predict the eventual size, also his shoulder height is an interesting factor. If he is beyond 14 inch already, he is not a Mini.
      I don’t know, if you measured him when he was 8-9 weeks old. If he was beyond 8 inch at that age already, chances are he will end up on the bigger side. Comparing the size of the babies in the litter can also give a hint of the outcome in relation to each other.

      But after all, it’s a lot of guessing. At the age of around 12 months he should reach about his final height. Some dogs continue to pack on some more muscle subsequently. Meaning they don’t grow any higher, but still a little heavier and compact. Males tend to grow taller and heavier than females, but that’s only a rule of thumb.

      However tall he ends up – he’s a package full of love and fun! And isn’t that always the bigger the better. 🙂

      Dorothea

  78. I didn’t realize that distemper and ticks were a challenge in my area but then I talked to my vet as you suggested and turns out they are. I will be getting them vaccinated in the next week. Thank you for helping me do what is best for my dogs. Thanks for posting this article.

  79. my border collie does this too, I have met the breeder at their home several times and seen the puppies with mom before taking my dog home, so I don’t believe there are any issues with early separation. i also I saw mum not too keen on being milked at around 7 weeks, thereby reducing the opportunities for the pups to have a comfort suckle, as it were. It was her first litter. could this be the reason? I don’t Know. But my dog is very calm and settled in very easily. As with humans we all have moments when we feel vulnerable, or simply want comfort. I see nothing wrong. Trick (the dog) seemed very happy when doing this and from experience with children I will allow him to do it for as long as he wants. there is no harm done but only enjoyment. If it makes him happy and relaxed that’s the way to go, it has nothing to do with “human expectations” and how a dog ought to behave in this case!

  80. Hola Dorothea, a Luke lo rescatamos a los 7 meses en diciembre de este año ahora ya tiene 1 añito que cumplio el 30 de junio, el es dulce cariñoso, pero…….. tiene momentos de euforia de locura, sabe sentarse muy bien aprendio a hacerlo muy rapido pero todo lo demás nos cuesta…. aveces creo que tiene sindrome de atencion disasociada, jjajajaaj. Estamos intentado seguir tus pasos.
    Por ahora quiero que pare cuando camina y compre una correa larga y lo detenemos, pero…….. aveces regresa y aveces estamos horas esperando que se le antoje regresar. algun tip para esta tarea, (por cierto acabamos de comprar el clicker)

    • As they can learn everything else in terms of behavior they can also learn HOW to play correctly – in our human understanding – and not immediately destroy everything they are given.
      Many dogs are very curious and like to dismember things just to learn what’s inside. Looking at their ancestry it’s no surprise that chasing things and ripping them apart is part of their nature – especially for dogs as the Bull Terrier, who was originally bred and used to chase small rodents. Many games they play are prey games, that’s imprinted in their genes. So, that is what they usually do, when we give them small items to play with without giving any instructions on how to use them.
      This is especially true for what I call the “new toy factor”. Everything new is particularly interesting and needs to be examined closely.

      But most breeds – also Bull Terriers – are eager to learn and to comply. If we take the time to show them how we want them to play with their toys, supervise and interrupt rough play, pretty soon they turn from little destroyers into more gentle players.
      The best way to do that is to play and interact WITH them and the toy, which most of them LOVE anyways – much more than playing on their own.
      Mila has a whole basket full of soft toys she has access to all day long, all of which are months to years old.
      Well, it never hurts to know how to repair a broken seam now and then. 🙂 After all they’re dogs and their teeth are sharp. 🙂

  81. Luke tiene un Azul, fantastico pasa horas con el, y despues le gusta que lo tiremos y lo trae de regreso, es duradero y tenemos 6 meses con el y esta sin grietas, lo recomiendo para mandibuals fuertes

  82. We adopted an 18 month old intact male 3 months ago. We are his 3rd owner. The first one abused him. He is at the vet now recovering from neutering. He is very dog aggressive and has recently become people aggressive while on walks. We are working on obedience training but almost ready to give up. He seems to be getting worse with people including me. He is becoming food aggressive with me. Would like your thoughts. This is not our first bull terrier. We adopted a male and had him 12 years

    • Hello,
      first of all it is really hard to evaluate this situation without seeing the dog and experiencing the incidents in person, your reactions to it and the circumstances around. AND without knowing much more details than just a few sentences describing the problem. That’s the problem with the internet when it comes to very specific problems, such as aggression.
      One major reason that the online evaluation is so hard is that there is no such thing as THE STANDARD AGGRESSION.

      Triggers and motivations can be very different. Resulting in different training approaches and sometimes even a vet visit.
      Many times – but not always – aggression is a result of insecurity which is often misinterpreted and therefore handled in counterproductive ways by inexperienced owners.

      There are still some things I can tell you. But I am sorry that I have to tell you I can’t give rock solid advice on any training strategy over the internet for this particular situation. That would be careless.

      At 18 months it may be hard to really completely change things regarding the dog aggressiveness. At least not within a short period of time. Maybe never.

      Issue no.1 is that Bull Terriers are a breed known for common incompatibilities with fellow individuals. They are people dogs and not every Bull Terrier is so much into other dogs, even if they are Bull Terriers, too. Some even show aggressive behavior.
      And that is just the way it is. People also do not necessarily all like each other. Sometimes the chemistry is just off, and there’s nothing that can be done about it other than just walk different ways.

      Problem no.2 is that you probably know little to nothing about his history with the previous owners, and if the aggressiveness has been a problem from the start, how it has been handled in the past etc. If it was present in the past already and he has been abused, my guess is that this issue at the most has received the wrong kind of attention so far, which has probably only made things worse.
      There may be a chance to work on that. But in my opinion this would only be possible with a one-on-one evaluation of the dog to first find out if the behavior is caused by dominance or the opposite insecurity, because the following training strategies obviously will be different.
      The reason why is seems to start showing now and not from the start may be that he changed strategies from cowering and just being scared to going forward now that he feels a little moe familiar in his new environment.
      Some dogs choose going forward versus avoiding the situation even when scared. But that does not mean that they are bad dogs.
      It is often a behavior that can at least partly be corrected with proper training and a lot of patience.

      Also if he has been abused, if you have not done that already, I would definitely discuss his medical status with the vet and make sure that there is no physical limitation involved – possibly a result from the abuse – causing him constant or recurring pain. Because pain is a factor that can contribute a lot to aggressive behavior.

      Another point is that you did not mention in which situations, when and where exactly the aggression occurs. Neither if it happens on leash, off leash etc… The motivation if it takes place at home in HIS territory so to speak may be a completely different one than if the same thing happens in the dog park, for example.
      Also you did not say anything about the extend of the aggression and how the situation usually develops. And I don’t know anything about the things you have tried so far to handle it or which training approach you have tried.

      Bull Terriers are known to be quite territorial and protective of their people. This is another possible motivation for aggression.

      The aggessivness towards people is probably the easier thing to work on for you. Also the more important one, because you can always manage and avoid contact with other dogs. But it will probably be hard to avoid other people altogether.
      Again, the training strategy depends on the causes and his motivation.
      With a history of abuse the causes may very well be simple fear or insecurity.

      If you are dealing with food aggression right now that would again point to insecurity and show that you just need to grow towards each other a little more. Just do things together and allow him the time to grow and settle his trust in you. He has only been in your house for three months now and so far all he seemingly has learned in his former life is how people forced their will on him through pain.
      Nobody can shake this off within just a few weeks. And the moments when he is struggling with his trust in you are the most important ones for you and the best chances for you to show him that he actually CAN trust you.
      How to do that, that’s something a competent trainer will show you.
      I could start writing about hand feeding and trust games now. But I do not even really know, if that’s truly the issue you’re currently struggling with.

      Many vets recommend spaying/ neutering to “handle” aggression problems. To be honest I am not a huge fan of messing with nature to correct behavior. Because it buys a lot of health disadvantages and there is no 100% guarantee that anything will change regarding the behavior. The only chance for this to cause a change would be, if the hormone situation actually WAS the cause in the first place. But that is not always the case.
      But that ship has sailed now. So, you will have to wait and see, if things balance now that the testosterone will be washed out of his body and the situation settles.

      As you see there’s a whole bunch of “ifs” and “whens”, which make it impossible to give clear advice over the internet just from the little information I read about your situation.

      What this dog needs right now is definitely a lot of understanding and for now a lot of management to avoid incidents.
      If you feel more safe with him on the street wearing a muzzle for now, just get one that fits him good, keep him on leash at all times outside until you have sorted things out at your own pace.

      This issue is probably not impossible to integrate into your life in some way or maybe even resolve partly or completely. But it will take time. And my suggestion is to really find the help of an experienced trainer. Not a puppy class or something like that. Solid 1-1 training, a thorough evaluation on-site and a solid strategy with enough time and under appropriate circumstances to allow your dog the time to learn and develop trust. I would really try to find a trainer in my area that is – ideally – experienced with Bull Terriers but at least with bull and terrier breeds. Because after all they ARE just a little different than many other breeds.

      I wish you good luck with your little one. I am sure he has a great personality. He just needs more time, attention and training than the average dog, because he is a Bull Terrier and on top of it one with a history of abuse.
      Try to find solutions and 1-1 NOW – and I am sure things WILL get better for you and your family, including the furry members.
      Don’t hesitate to write back, if you feel there are more things to say about your situation.

  83. This is lovely! Right this can be consider as high quality food for our dogs, Homemade recipes for our dog foods are better than choosing some dog food brands.. Just saying.

  84. Hi There,
    The Committee for Bull Terrier club of Western Australia would love a copy of the link for this poster? we would like to give a copy to each exhibitor at our next show.. our Summer is just around the corner so perfect timing. Love your site by the way 🙂

  85. Is it durable for bullies who dig? Is the fabric of the actual bed that strong? And the cushion you use, does it hook on in a way that is dig proof?

    • Hello Ally
      Well, what I know is that the aluminum, the nylon fabric and the mat are pretty durable indeed. But I also know that the dig of a Bull Terrier can be pretty forceful and sustained. Plus their claws and teeth are strong. That being said, I would not give any guarantees that there is anything existing out there in terms of bedding that could withstand long-term “abuse” by a Bull Terrier forever.
      But if any kind of bedding could hold up against that forceful digging for a longer while, the Kuranda bed would probably be amongst it.

  86. 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.

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  91. Hi
    My puppy Arna come into her first session on the 24th September 2016 and has only stopped bleed for 4 days since then, she humps her bed so I take it away from her, she seems fine in herself, but a few weeks ago she got a bad tummy upset and had to stay at vets, for the day, she now growls in her sleep and in the evenings, she is very friendly with other dogs she meets and people, I have had several tests done on her and nothing shows as being wrong, she is deaf in one ear so I was going to get her spad. Has anyone else had this problem with there bitch

    • Hello Sonja,
      I am afraid, I can’t really figure out the core problem you are seeking answers for. You seem to be dealing with different issues. Which one is the problem you are trying to resolve? Is it the humping or the growling or the question, if having her fixed would be a good idea or not?
      Once I know what exactly is bothering you, I will be happy to provide advice.
      Dorothea

  92. Hi I have a female bull terrier that will be one year old in February she started bleeding and has been bleeding for over a week I was wondering how long do they bleed, i feel bad since i have her in her crate all day other than letting her out to use the bathroom or somedays outside her kennel.

    • Hello Jenn,
      in my experience heat cycles are really different with every single bitch and the bleeding can last up to three weeks.
      During that time you should remove valuable floor coverings, if possible and use towels and blankets to cover places the dog is using (sofa etc.). Also you can limit the dog’s access to certain areas. But it is never a good idea to crate this breed – or actually any dog – for longer periods of time, just because they are messy. Bull Terriers easily get bored and tend to develop obsessive and self-destructive disorders, when crated or kept on short leash without entertainment for longer periods of time (that can even be just a few hours). And that can lead to a whole bouquet of other problems that are much harder to deal with than just a few blood stains.

      There is a very good cleaner available – I am using it all the time – they have different varieties for different problems:
      Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover
      https://astore.amazon.com/bullterrierfu-20/detail/B0002ASLMW
      It does not only remove stains, but also neutralizes odors. That stuff works wonders!

      To reduce messes when my girl is in a heat cycle, I am putting her in a suit. I wrote an entire essay about it, because I am thrilled by this product, you’ll find it here:
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/dog-heat-suit-a-great-alternative-to-diapers-for-intact-bitches/

      The Suitical Recovery Suit for Dogs was originally invented for dogs after surgery.
      https://astore.amazon.com/bullterrierfu-20/detail/B00NGQMJKE

      But it really does a great job during a heat cycle also! I can even let my dog sleep with us in bed, because it works like a romper on a toddler – no messes!
      I hope this info helps. Please feel free to ask more questions anytime.

      Dorothea

  93. Great article! I came to your site from bulliesofnc.com forum. You give great advice and I like your tactics. So how do you exactly teach leave it/let go and stop? With treats? Thanks!

    • Hello Kelly,
      thanks for asking. I’ve been planning to write more essays about training in general. But right now I am awfully loaded with work.
      Nevertheless, here’s a quick answer that will hopefully help already. Please just note that training is as diverse as individuals are. Therefore not every approach may work for everyone. If you get stuck with the tips below, just try Youtube, for example, to find some new ideas for different approaches:

      Leave it:
      Best thing to start with is something edible and attractive to your dog, but for starters it should not be something your dog goes absolutely crazy about. Leave it open and available to your dog as long as he does not touch it. Cover it or hold it and close your hand as soon as your dog goes for the treat. You may have to be quick with that part first. 🙂
      You can start without any commands and just reward your dog for leaving the treat for a few seconds.
      While the treat is exposed and as long as your dog only sniffs it at some point you introduce your command. The reward is that doggie can take and eat the treat after you allow it. If he is going too fast for it, covering the treat prevents your dog from taking it prematurely. Build the exercise by prolonging the time of exposure and wait time for your dog, plus more yummy treats. If he’s doing VERY good, now and then an extra reward can be super motivating.

      Let go:
      Best trained with a toy. Easiest object is something you often play tug o’ war with. With other objects it can be hard to get your dog to HOLD it in its mouth in the first place. Usually when you let go of the tug toy, after a few seconds your dog will let go too, because he thinks the tug game is over. Catch that second to introduce your command (before the toy touches the ground) and reward. After lots of repetitions in different sessions, try telling him to let go, while you still hold the toy in your hand.
      Tip: A yummy treat appearing in your other hand could help in stubborn cases. Only make sure to consistently use your command and reward right after he let go.
      Once your dog knows the command and reliably follows it, you can try training with edible things.

      Stop/ Stop it:
      In my personal experience, this is best trained in everyday life at home. It does not make any sense to try it outside with lots of distractions with a young dog because it is close to impossible to get through to the dog under these circumstances. The calm environment of your home makes sure that you will be noticed. If your dog does something, he should not do, use your command and speak it out loud and with emphasis. The fact alone that you are talking to your dog, will probably already cause him to interrupt what he is doing in order to look at you. Catch that moment, have treats ready and reward.
      If he has done something, he is repeatedly going for, you can either use that to practice your stop command. Or if possible you can remove that trigger and wait for the next situation. Try to avoid scolding. Your dog should be able to focus on learning the command.
      Only lots and lots of repetition and rewarding successful behavior every time in different situations will reliably show him that stopping whatever action he is doing at that moment is the meaning behind your “stop”. It will take some time and consistency is key.

      In everyday life, I actually use the “stop” a lot less than the more precise control commands “let go” and “leave it”. But that is not a general rule. Just personal experience and makes it easier for me to direct my dog.

  94. My beagle does it. He gathers his blanket together and spoons it with his arm round it laid on his side. The then sucks the top of the blanket whilst pawing gently.

    • My beagle does it too. He was 9 months when I got him . I’M the 3rd owner. He is 16 months now and still sucks. I believe it relaxes him and it doesn’t hurt anything.

      • My beagle does this everyday. She pulls the end of her bed up high so she can get as much in her mouth as possible. Then she begins to suck. Usually about 15-20 minutes. She is five.

  95. My 11 month old Jack Russell has been doing it since he’s been seven weeks old I thought maybe it was because he was separated way too early my sister has a Pomeranian well in the age and he still does it. My BillyJack is a happy boy.

    • Interesting. This behavior does not really seem to be rare after all. In the meantime, I’ve heard of numerous dogs doing it. Until today, however, I have not found an explanation why our dogs are doing this. Anyway, it looks like all dogs doing it are happy. That’s most important.
      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  96. My four year old mini but has started “love bites” on people’s hands when they reach down to greet her. They aren’t aggressive but do pinch! once she greets them she lets go and is her wonderful, passive self again. I need to find a way to stop this behaviour because I don’t want it to lead to greeting children this way to, as she LOVES being with and around toddlers. I’ve tried scolding, holding her nose, asking people to hold their hands closed and low when they greet her, etc.
    She also has a very bad habit of jumping and grabbing larger dogs neck ruff while playing with them, I worry that this might be an aggressive behaviour and not a playful one! She has always done it and otherwise is a very submissive dog.

  97. My Corgi does this. And it turns out he came from a puppy mill in Korea and was separated from his mother because he was sickly and they did not want to pay for his medical expenses. So needless to say he was then rescues from a dire situation and I got he previlage to become his momma. So it is sad to think my little one does this because of trauma.

    • This sounds like a sad story, luckily with a good end in this case. I am happy that your dog found a secure and comfortable place in your home.
      I have received a lot of feedback on this behavior since I have written this article – not only on my blog. And the circumstances are all different. Many dogs coming from a perfectly normal background and not suffering from early separation from the mother – including my own dog – seem to be doing it.
      So yes, it could be related to trauma. But for all I know today, it does not necessarily have to.

  98. I have a 9 yr old rescue GSP mix, and I am her 7th owner. She frequently does this suckling thing mostly when I am not home or late at night before bed. When we adopted her, we knew before hand she was a shy, unsocialized dog and had a severe case of separation anxiety. We noticed the suckling behavior right away, and as the first year of training and re-socializing began. She completely changed to a happy go lucky dog. But! her suckling still continues. I think it’s because her separation anxiety might never completely go away, but I have gained so much of her trust, her anxiety levels are way lower. I never correct her suckling, unless it’s on something unwanted. So from my experience, I think our dog suckles to calm herself down, due to her separation anxiety

  99. I have a 5 month old that I have to keep outside, 1 she is bitting my young Children trying to play and the landlord too saying not inside for now. Just wondering what tactics will work for stopping the nipping.

    • Hello Patricia,
      my suggestion to tackle the problem is described in the last paragraph of the very essay you have answered to. You basically use the behavior that dogs show among each other within their litter. Your puppy does not intend to hurt you. It just does not know better for now. So, very clear actions – loud yelping, interrupting play, ignoring – should be used to make it very clear to the dog that the behavior is not wanted.
      In my experience, starting obedience training at an early age – as early as possible – will also contribute to establishing good manners and will also enhance communication between owner and dog. Consider visiting a puppy class or just read about training and try it yourself, if you like. A very, very great book on training and English Bull Terriers is Jane Killon’s “When Pigs Fly”.
      Others may have different experience and suggestions on what they have been successful with. Some use spray bottles with water, for example. I have never tried that.
      Dorothea

  100. Hi, we have a 8 month old English bull terrier named Bently, we purchased Bently after our previous English bull terrier passed from bladder cancer. We have raised them both the same way, all women in the house so we are very loving with him but also strong voices so when he is naughty we’re very vocal to let him know. But he is by far the naughtiest dog we’ve ever had, he chews EVERYTHING up and demolishes anything in his path, we bought a non chewable bed for him, he chewed it to pieces. He is very playful, and can be quiet vicious when he is, I don’t think he realises it but you can tell when you’re playing with him he’ll be playful and doesn’t bite hard but he passes a barrier and will just sometimes randomly attack you to the point you bruise and bleed from him, especially if you’re walking him, sometimes he can turn and will attack you on his lead in public. We can handle all of that but what’s most annoying is that because he chews all of the furniture up we only let him in the living room when certain people aren’t in there (as he attacks them constantly) and if there is somebody that can pay constant attention on him to stop him from chewing these things so when he’s in the other room seperated by a baby gate he barks, continously, for hours on end none stop, nothing will stop him, I must admit we have tried many things, shock collars aren’t one because we don’t agree with that, we have admittedly tried the spray gun but he just thinks it’s fun and tries to eat the water, telling him no doesn’t stop him, we’ve tried the treats method trying to train him with treats, we have this device which lights up when he barks I’m guessing sending out some kind of noise that he can hear when he does but that doesn’t bother him one bit. We’ve tried everything, our previous English bull terrier was a beaut, no problems would never harm a fly even if you tried to play with him he’d think he was biting to hard and would stop, he never barked unless he heard something he just loved attention and being close to us, the only issue we had with him was he was VERY lazy, to the extent to walk him you had to drag him as he’d sit down and refuse to walk. We’re all out of options. We just miss having a calm, loving dog. He does seem un trainable! Also another thing, We wanted our previous English bull terrier to be trained so we did take it to professional training centre which was very expensive they had dog pools and everything, they turned him down after a couple of sessions saying he was un trainable and that’s when he was a puppy so I’m dreading thinking that Bently can’t be trained because he really needs it.

    • Hello Paige,
      I am so sorry! This one comment escaped my attention. I just found it.
      I hope my words will still be helpful and you have not given up on your dog yet. Because let me tell you this one thing: NO dog is untrainable. Especially not one that you have adopted as a little puppy. With Bull Terriers many things are all about patience. And yes, they can be different in their temperament. No dog is like the other, even within the same breed. Patience and consistency and the will to commit to this little “monster” are your hope now.
      If you stick to it, you WILL be successful – sooner or later.
      As your dog seems so incredibly hyperactive and the former one was a little lazy, the first question that pops into my mind is: Does your puppy get enough exercise and diversion? Fetching balls, chasing things, mind games, water games, agility … there are a lot of options around. But they all take an engaged owner. The very agile Bull Terriers for sure are not something for people who love their couch. That would be other breeds, although with age he probably will settle a little. My current girl is also one of those pretty active ones. And I tend to think that those ones also are a little bit nippier and rougher when young. However, he’s not meaning bad, whatever it may look like. He needs to learn.
      Try entertaining him as well as giving him time-outs. He may be whining, but that’s probably mainly defiance after he got a nice playtime and does not want it to end. Try to focus his attention on chew toys and durable toys, away from yourself, your hands and feet. Maybe try a toy tied to a line on a stick to create some distance between you. Try to avoid games that involve some kind of simulated fight, such as tug in order to not incite his competitive and wild side much more.
      IF he gets you (biting, nipping), interrupt everything immediately. It may seem ineffective at first. But believe me, after some time he WILL connect the dots and he will start to avoid doing things that end his beloved playtime and attention from you.
      For calming and in order to save the furniture you could try to get him used to a sturdy and roomy box or crate gradually. This will not happen overnight. But if done right, he will learn to love the box as his own room and sanctuary when he needs some “alone time” on his own will. However, keep confined times limited because Bull Terriers can develop obsessive behaviors when confined too long at a time and too often, something that will not improve the rest of their overall behavior and can make them mentally ill. But short periods up to 2-3 hours at a time are tolerable and can even be very beneficial since giving them time to calm down and take a nap, especially when they are young and still need that sleep.
      This brings me to the question how long and often your dog is alone each day. If he chews furniture a lot does he do that while you are present?
      If so – great! – because you have the chance to interfere. If he does it when alone, he may be alone for too long at a time and bored. Just a thought.
      Another important thing: Stick to actively rewarding DESIRED behavior and ignore every undesired behavior (if necessary time-outs). This way he learns on the go what earns him interaction, love and reward, and what doesn’t. Be firm and consistent, but loving at the same time. Sternness does not hurt your dog as long as it is fair.
      I don’t know how long you have tried each method you have described, but I somehow feel you may have switched too fast and just have not stuck long enough to one strategy for it to take effect. It is a very common phenomenon that we as dog owners just expect success way too soon. We don’t notice the progress because we are hoping for more in less time.
      But while that happens our dogs still grow and learn.
      Dog training by a professional trainer, by the way, with Bull Terriers most of the time only makes sense in single sessions (not group sessions) and the trainer should be experienced with this particular breed. It is ridiculous to hear from a “trainer” that a dog is “untrainable”. These people like to train dogs/breeds who are very compliant by nature, such as herding dogs e.g. But not every dog is equal and a trainer should be able to keep up with that. If not, he is not worth one dollar spent.
      So, if you still want to engage a trainer, try to find someone familiar with Bull Terriers in your area who does single training sessions TOGETHER with the owner. Because not only our dogs, also we as owners can always learn one thing more. And working together with your dog and the trainer gives you the chance to bond more with your dog, watch and enjoy progress and build your dog’s trust in you. You will see that this makes worlds of a difference, even with such a little roughneck as yours if you have the “right” trainer.

      One other thing I hear out of your description and I can SO relate to that because I just felt the same way! I did not want to realize it at first but it was definitely what I’ve been hoping for: Hubby and I had loved our last Bull Terrier SO much! She was an angel and so devoted! She grew 14 years old before she left us. And me missed her insanely.
      When the new puppy came into our home, everything was different. We tried to love her from the start. But in our hearts what we wanted at that time was the other dog back. But we tried to be fair and remember that when our former dog had been young, there was also some damage here and there. And while she never was as wild as Mila now, we still had to grow together and get used to each other.
      So, we decided to chew down our heartache about the dog lost and tried to focus on the new temperament we now have. And it worked. It took its time, but it worked. And I love her today as I loved our last dog.
      It may be that you are – knowingly or unknowingly – in the same situation right now. So I’d just try to give the new one a fair chance.

      Please, don’t give up on your dog. If you stick to it and keep up with the training at around the age of three a switch will flip and all of a sudden you will have a much more devoted dog, much more compliant and insanely in love with you.
      You will get there. Just allow it the time and until then try to manage as good as you can.

  101. Hello,

    We just got a little miniature bully. And our concern is. He only plays with ball for a short period of time and don’t chase toys or people. He just laying down.;( is he ok? Bully’s suppose to be very active.

    • While English Bull Terriers are notorious for being very active, even for this breed the following is true:
      Besides the disposition of a certain breed, activity levels also depend on several different factors, such as age, nutrition, health and environment (hot summer, cold winter …).
      I would need to know much more details to answer your question. But if you really think that he is much less active than other Bull Terriers of his age I would probably recommend to get him to a vet for a check up anyway, just to make sure the little one is physically ok.

  102. My female was in heat in december 2016,her heats r 7 months apart. Shouldn’t she be in heat now?on july 11 she had a few drops tgat lasted about 3 days..i was hoping to breed her again this cycle..she is a siberian husky

    • Hello Dianna
      Usually, I am more than happy to provide advice. But in this situation, I think a vet visit or a test kit is well warranted. Because the best way to find out what is going on is to have an ovulation test performed on the dog, especially if you intend to breed her. Dog’s cycles can vary and even be completely irregular. If you have read the essay you’ve commented on, you already know that blood is not a very reliable indicator for the dog being in its fertile phase.
      A vet can also test for other breed specific issues and tell you if your dog does bring the right genetic conditions for breeding.

  103. My standard poodle does this! I adopted her at 10 weeks from a rescue, but her mom came to the rescue before giving birth and had the puppies in a foster home. I got to meet her mom too so they were definitely living together right up to 10 weeks. One thing though is as I was reading the comments I remembered this was her mom’s first litter and she’d been bred a bit younger than is normally acceptable, not so young as to cause severe problems but younger than a reputable breeder would intentionally breed (and the breeding was unintentional, the breeder’s health declined quickly and my pup’s parents ended up mating on their own earlier than planned due to someone not locking a gate properly.) Someone above mentioned their dog was from a first litter and they wondered if that had anything to do with it, so now I wonder that too! She’s otherwise a very well-adjusted pup except for a few issues that are entirely my fault (lack of socialization because I had no local friends who could come meet her and I was terrified of parvo, so we barely went out until she was fully vaccinated :/ my bad now she barks a lot at strangers but she’s great at home and on midnight walks!) and the blanket sucking doesn’t bother me and doesn’t cause any issues so I let her do it. She also used to suck at the air in her sleep when she was younger which was absolutely adorable.

    I also remember reading about human babies comfort nursing for a while after they no longer need the nutrients from it, and that’s also why some kids suck their thumbs or use pacifiers for comfort, right? So maybe the blanket is just her pacifier. As long as she doesn’t suck on the pillows I sleep on, we’re cool.

  104. Hello I have my male bull terrier who jut turned a year now. We socialized him early as possible where he got along with all dogs, never bit back. Now for the past month he gets aggressive with dogs. He starts off wanting to play with them. When he plays with them for at least 30 seconds than he gets aggressive. Once we stop him he cries for the other dog. We can’t find the issue but this has been going on. He has always been a people and dog lover but now we are afraid I take him back to the dog park. Any ideas? THank you

    • Hello Ashley,
      that is textbook adolescent Bull Terrier attitude. When maturing, especially males tend to really push their limits and challenge owners and other individuals in order to find out what they can get through with.
      You did not describe the “aggression” in detail. So it is a little hard to tell from afar if you have already reached the point where your dog actually attacks and bites others or if he is basically “just” going over them, mounting and dominating them, no matter if male or female. If biting is involved I would first skip meeting other dogs in uncontrolled places, such as dog parks, and put all of my efforts into working on the issue under controlled circumstances, ideally with a trainer.

      Basically, you are absolutely right about not wanting to tolerate dominance and aggressive behavior, especially when exhibited pro-actively by your Bull Terrier. At that age, working hard on obedience and your bond can help a lot, even if success may not be visible right away. Dominance needs to be interrupted every time immediately and playtime ends right there in order for your dog to learn that nothing good results from aggressing others.
      If no biting is involved already and you know of any other dogs, he is getting along with an not trying to dominate them, maybe it is a good idea, for now, to limit playtime with other pals to just these particular dogs. All other situations – as it sounds to me from your report – should better be avoided and only be entered very carefully and under strong supervision in the future. Also I would keep a long leash on the dog and warn the owner of the other dog that yours tends to dominate others, before they interact. The leash enhances your chance to intervene early once your dog starts to go over the top again. If the next few very cautious attempts fail and your dog seems to continue escalating its behavior every time rather than dialing back a bit, like said before, I would skip dog parks and other gathering spots for dogs for a while altogether, because chances increase that sooner or later there will be a fight, once another dog does not accept being bothered by your dog. Bull Terriers are courageous and once challenged they often do not back out of a fight, even if they were the ones who started it by bothering the other dog.

      Scientists say that dogs minds are comparable with the ones of a three year old child. And in my experience this seems to be true, sometimes resulting in irrational decisions.
      You also did not mention if your dog displays the described behavior EVERY time with EVERY dog or only in isolated cases.
      So, here’s another tohught to consider:
      If it only happens now and then it would be a great idea to really monitor the situation closely when your dog interacts with the other dog and watch, if your dog is really the one starting things or if the other dog is for example nipping ears, going over your dog or in general also showing provocative behavior.
      Also it is a good idea to watch owners. If an owner obviously does not care about what his dog is doing, think twice about letting your dog play with his dog. Because once things escalate you will be left alone with TWO dogs to handle and separate and in the worst case the only thing the other owner will have seen is your dog attacking his.
      Rather try to find people, whose dogs are getting along with your dog an who are aware of the risks, who are actively involved with theirs dogs and willing to work on the situation with you.

      One more thing to keep in mind: Some Bull Terriers have a general tendency to develop aggression or an aversion against other dogs. Right now, honestly, your situation does sound more like just adolescent quirks. But it might as well turn out that your dog is just not compatible with other dogs.
      Things should not accumulate to a serious fight to make that clear. There are lots of other preceding signs.
      General incompatibility is a possibility that should be kept in mind but if it should turn out to be the case, it would still not the world’s end. It just needs to be considered and handled and your dog needs more human play pals in that case. 🙂

      Hope it helps a little.
      Dorothea

  105. Hi,
    Just found this website and I think your drawings are amazing! I have an 8yr old miniature bully, and a 4 yr old (English) Staffordshire bull terrier. Any chance you could feature a brindle and white bully?
    I would also like to use your poster if I may. I think we all need to get this information out to as many dog owners as possible.
    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Hello Steve,
      thank you for the flowers. 🙂 We once owned a Staffi, too. He was a really adorable rascal. Love that breed either.
      I already have created a poster on Bull Terrier colors, also featuring some color variations:
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/bull-terrier-colors/
      I will try to keep your suggestion in mind and try to include one or the other color variation in future cartoons.

      So far, the white was an artistic choice to make the figure really popping out of the rest of the colors in the image.
      Also, white made it easier to introduce that kind-of-heart-shaped mask around the eye that I have chosen as a hallmark for my figures, in case you have noticed … 🙂

      Please feel free to download and distribute the heat poster. EVERYONE should be aware in the summer, I totally agree!
      Dorothea

    • Hello Melanie,
      tail chasing and excessive barking in different situations in many cases have one of the following two reasons:

      Either boredom or over-excitement.

      So, the first thing to try is to find out which one of the two is in your case.
      Does your dog get enough exercise, diversion and social interaction with you? OR Are you trying SO hard to entertain your dog sufficiently that it constantly keeps your dog on a high level of excitement?
      Depending on your answer, your dog likely needs either a little more attention and exercise OR it needs to learn to calm down. Tail chasing, in particular, is a serious sign that it is time to fix some things because this behavior can become obsessive and will be very hard to stop then.
      If your dog barks at its own reflexion in the mirror, it might think that there is another dog and try to communicate territorial claims. Have you also watched your dog barking a lot at other dogs? If so, working on this issue may also resolve the mirror barking. In the essay you have commented on you already find some advice on how to handle barking, for example by training.
      But the bottom line in this case, in my opinion, is that you are dealing with some underlying causes here and if you deal with those, the other problems will likely vanish on their own. This, of course, is only some general advice from afar and just what I take from your description and just a few keywords. Your situation may be much more complex. But assessing that would require seeing you and your dog interacting in real-life.
      Dorothea

    • Romano,
      if you referring to your dog’s vulva noticeable swelling is quite possible and normal. If it’s only swelling and she does not seem to feel uneasy or sick in any way, I would probably not be worried.
      Her teats could also be swollen already, but usually this happens a few months later, about the time when the dog would be wet-nursing her offspring. That is usually the time when the teats grow larger in some bitches – pregnant or not. A few weeks after the heat a false pregnancy could occur as well and contribute to even more swelling. Even a little lactation can happen. Going back to normal for the teats could take a while. With my girl it always takes months.
      If there’s anything you really worry about, buy yourself some peace of mind and let a vet take a look at it. He will also be able to give you some expert advice.

  106. I need an advice from someone who is rooted deeply in bullies nature . From what I understand , you would be the right person. I am still working with our bullie on leash walking and destruction aspects, she is lovely and mastered all basic commands, but hates to be left alone even for 2 hours, she is a chewer, giving her toys does not necessarily work as she bites through them in seconds. Majority of the time someone is always home with her, but I feel like she has become so attached to us that even a grocery trip is a race with time for us….will we make it home quick enough to make sure she has not destroyed anything? She pulls when we walk and I have tried any possible harness and collar that is out there on the market. I believe that the trainer we had gave up on her as she was so stubborn. Little by little I implemented my own training (being consistent) and I see some results. Maybe it is separation anxiety in her? Would this possibly go away if we get her another bullie to keep her company?

    She has been showing some ( I would say very little) aggression and becoming very territorial) when I pet other dogs in the park too, her jealous side shows at times. What is the best way to approach it and train her not to do that?

    I feel like the training we invested in was a waste of time as the trainer had hard time working with her or maybe was not persistent enough, I mastered all commands with her on my own at home without his help . She is a sweet lovely lady and I want to make sure she is well behaved and controlled. She obeys the commands but outside she gets so excited that she just seems not want to listen.

    • Dominika,
      I don’t know if I am telling you anything new. Or if you have heard this a thousand times already: The fact is, you are dealing with some of the most common Bull Terrier issues, as those just lie within the breed. This breed takes tons of patience, a good sense of humor and at the same time consistency and the ability to assert oneself. That much is for sure.
      Many first-time owners feel overwhelmed by the temperament of a Bull Terrier and even people who call themselves “dog trainers” but do not have any experience with this breed can become exasperated with those little furry energy shots.

      The good news is that all of those little chaotic destroyers and disobeyers at some point become the most loving and devoted family dogs provided the owners have been consistent and assertive. But it’s a way. And it’s longer than with many other breeds.

      Many of the things you have tried so far were probably a step in the right direction already … and the biggest problem right now may be to expect too much success too soon. If you stick to the things that have shown tiny effect so far they will likely show even more success in the future.
      A well-trained Bull Terrier takes around three years until the bond with the owner is completed and devotion kicks in. Everything before is usually a real piece of work – and MANAGING!
      This breed does not just line up somewhere in the family. It wants to be involved.
      Maybe the above is one of the most interesting and important realizations to have: These dogs have really huge personalities
      and they need to be managed.
      Many of them will never just trot calmly right beside you off leash, just as many herding dogs will do easily.
      Bull Terriers seek the fun in life … something they hardly ever lose even when growing older. They do settle a little over time, some of them even become lazy. But the larger number will still keep their funky attitude.
      Once we understand the intention and minds of our Bull Terrier, things become a lot easier and strategies reveal.

      Leash walking and pulling

      A problem in many young dogs. It is more severe with Bull Terriers because their body composition is very compact which makes them heavy and strong compared with other dogs the same size. Therefore handling a pulling Bull Terrier is usually more stressful and can even end up in injury.
      Many owners feel like a collar (prong, martingale or just a really sturdy leather collar …) gives them more control over their Bull Terrier. The problem is that the feeling around the neck and the choking does not stop the Bull Terrier’s curiosity and it will keep pulling – with a certain potential for injury to your dog’s neck.
      I personally rarely use any collars anymore. I use a sturdy harness – one I actually produced myself. But there are also good options available on the market. For a Bull Terrier a sturdy harness obviously is a good choice. Some have a handle on the top which can come in handy.

      Active training is necessary to relieve the problem of pulling – no matter if harness or collars are used. And it will take time. My girl still pulls in different situations, especially when getting excited. But she is responsive to commands and we are able to walk in an orderly fashion if I use my corrections and commands. For me that’s enough to be ok with the situation. Others would possibly want more. So, first of all, you have to know what you want to end up with. And secondly, you then will have to invest time and patience into your goal.

      One thing many owners miss when starting their training is to understand that excitement comes in different levels for the dog. And every excitement is a distraction. In general, everything new is super exciting.
      Once a puppy got used to the situation in a new home, it is usually pretty easy to start the first training steps there in a calm environment. But it will start to feel incredibly hard to just transfer this to the outside world were there are tons of new and exciting things and distractions that make it extremely hard for the dog to focus.
      Focusing is something the dog needs to learn. And focusing with many distractions around is one of the hardest things you can expect from your dog. So, getting there will only work if trained in different steps, gradually raising the bar.
      First at home, then in a calm and familiar place outside, then under controlled circumstances in a less familiar place with few distractions. Then unfamiliar and more distractions and finally practicing in everyday life in all kinds of places.
      If we try to skip working on impulse control, focus, and very important the dog’s trust in us and just place the dog in the distracting situation the result will likely be that none of our training success at home will work in real life on the street. That is just like trying to write an exam in the middle of a street fair.
      Our dog is simply NOT ABLE to make such a huge step and translate what it learned at home to the street.
      This is why training is hard and continuous work, a long process and most importantly should be divided into reasonable steps.

      There are different approaches to leash training.
      Here’s what I did:
      I trained under controlled circumstances, meaning I did not expect her to learn in everyday life. During training sessions I used changing direction and “the tree” to get her attention. Every time she started pulling I stopped or changed direction. It is exhausting and it takes lots of sessions. But it works eventually. Still, today if she gets too excited on leash I will just stop and stand still until she remembers that she is not supposed to drag me after her.
      During training the key is not to wait until the leash is completely tight. Once close to that point I just used a quick yank (and my command “slow”) to remind my dog that she started running again. Once the leash is under constant tension it is harder for the dog to realize what we want when WE ourselves start pulling on the leash in order to stop the dog from pulling.
      So, once we’ve reached that point – tightened leash – the tree (just stopping until the dog releases tension) is the more self-explaining option for the dog to understand or changing direction.
      In separate sessions, I first practiced the “heel” command at the same time and did a lot of exercises close to my legs and involving my legs (weaving around legs etc.). Some of them are just cute tricks but they teach the dog to stay close to you. Then I combined the heel command with my leash walking training.
      I used different spots on the harness to hook the leash in for “leisure walking” and the training and different leashes (telescope and short leash). This is a great way to let the dog feel the two different situations. I have not kept up with this differentiation. But theoretically it is possible and it will likely help you to separate the leisure walking situations from the orderly walking ones also in the future. Because after all, that’s what our dog needs to understand: WHEN do we want THIS OR THAT from it. Everything that enhances communication and gives the dog clues to make the situation more clear will enhance chances of compliance.
      My husband sometimes used a toy to get her attention for heeling which also worked great for the both of them. I myself liked other ways better. So, you see you will have to find the way that suits yourself.
      This training took place completely without treats in our case because outside they are no option (not interesting to her).
      Especially outside close to busy streets, sometimes a stern voice in our case was key. Bull Terriers are very responsive to voice once they have figured out your different moods and have started to care about, which is not the case right from the start. 🙂
      Btw. I also use a very long training leash (50 feet or so) still today when I let my dog play in unfenced environments. I started using it when training the callback in open field. This way she can run freely and I never completely lose control of her. Especially close to busy streets for me, this is very relieving.

      Chewing

      When the Bull Terrier is young, chewing often occurs during teething to relieve pain and itch and in general chewing is just a good way to keep themselves busy. Also never to forget dogs are prey animals. So, it should not be too surprising that any of them still have a quite strong urge to dismember things or just “take a look inside”.
      The puppy can get chew treats – I used rawhide. But no matter what we give, I always advise supervising (also with toys), because you will want to be ready to intervene if things get eaten or stuck. It is just as with human babies, only this baby has stronger and therefore more destructive teeth.
      But in dogs exploring, in general, takes place through the mouth. The mouth, in addition, to our dogs is their “hand”. They hold things in them and use them to eat. That explains their extensive mouth use.
      If possible, things that pose a risk, such as small objects (shoes, household items, electronics etc.) should just be out of the dog’s reach in general and especially when still a puppy.
      Many owners think they can give their dogs toys and leave them alone playing with them. That’s when most toys get shredded within minutes.
      Engaging in play (fetch, chasing or searching things, tug etc.) is usually much more fun for the dog and far less destructive.
      That is true especially for new toys which are most enticing and most interesting to the dog.
      At the same time training “leave it” and “let go” actively in training sessions will help a lot. I did that with clicker training. But that is not necessarily the only possible way. With clicker training, the dog actively learns in a very positive way that there are things it is supposed to take and things it should leave alone. And it will get responsive to the commands. This is also a great exercise to train giving things away in dangerous situations of choking etc.
      Clicker training – or positive reinforcement in general – also gives you great options to train your dog HOW to play with its toys. Reward gently play and interrupt rough play.
      Again, all of this takes time does not replace supervision.
      My girl today knows that she is not supposed to rip or chew her stuff apart – that’s the result of our training. That does not mean the toys are not breaking over time and need to be replaced. But they last a fair time (some of them for years now). But I never leave stuff with her in her crate or when she is alone – neither hers not ours.
      Which brings me to another point: For short periods of absence we have familiarized her with a huge box, which she looks at as her own room, taking naps in there etc.
      This box keeps her and our stuff safe when we have to leave for one or two hours and can’t take her with us. Bull Terriers love boxes and if familiarized slowly and in a positive way they do not feel like confinement is something negative.
      Another option could be a room prepared for the dog with none of your personal stuff in it the dog could destroy.
      However, confinement needs to be strictly limited, because otherwise Bull Terriers can quickly develop obsessive behaviors (licking, biting their feet, for example) and get mentally ill. A few hours a day are tolerable. If you are out of the house for let’s say an 8-hour shift, a box will NOT be a great choice!
      In that case options such as a dog walker, doggie day-care or such are necessary. This is not only necessary to let the dog go potty in the meantime, but also because during such a long time frame, boredom/ curiosity will kick in and make destructive behavior more likely. The dog does not look at it as destructive, it is exploring. But the result is often destruction.
      A second dog could help to bring diversion. BUT it can also have quite the opposite effect, resulting in both dogs being bored, causing twice the destruction.
      Some owners are lucky that a very well behaved dog transfers good manners to the other dog. But this is not something that’s true in general. It just happens – or not. Therefore getting a second dog just for this reason is not a solution and can cause even more trouble in some cases.
      Especially two Bull Terriers in one home will certainly provide each other with company and play together. But Bull Terriers are so into humans that no other dog will ever be able to ever completely substitute this relationship.
      As some Bull Terriers tend to be loners, even within the same breed, it can also be tricky to get them to like and accept each other in the same household.
      If you did not get the two dogs at the same time, a lot of consideration and preparedness may be necessary when adding another dog to the household.
      I have also writen an essay abouy chewing:
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/how-to-stop-excessive-chewing-in-bull-terriers/

      The trainer called my dog untrainable
      This is something that can be answered really quickly: If you encounter a trainer calling your dog untrainable – run! And try to find someone familiar with the breed.

      Aggression/ Territorial behavior/ Jealousy
      Aggression comes in many stages and can show towards humans as well as other dogs.
      Some owners ore mistaking the typical puppy nipping as aggression. I have written about that in several essays also about adult Bull Terriers:

      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/nipping-jumping-rough-play-adult-bull-terriers/
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/afraid-bull-terrier-will-become-aggressive-dog/

      Especially in Bull Terriers it is not rare to see them being incompatible with other dogs and just more drawn to people.
      This often starts to show when the dog gets a little older. Also, it is usually a good idea when looking for play pals to seek dogs of the same physiology, such as American Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bulls or other Bull Terriers. Bull Terriers have their very own way of playing which can easily be mistaken by other dogs who will react irritated or worse.
      In exchange, Bull Terriers can also feel bothered by the way other dogs play. I have experienced this with my girl. They usually show a lot of patience. But once they get “beyond” the point it can be hard to stop their rage.
      My motto is: My girl is not obliged to like every other dog because I also do not like every other human. I have started socializing her as early as possible and try to expose her to as many different situations as I can. But I still try to avoid risks.
      I am very careful every time we encounter other dogs. I always take toys off the table to avoid fights over them. And if I feel uneasy in a situation or notice my girl feeling uneasy, I leave.
      I never let her play with dogs of inattentive owners because I know once something happens I will be on my own to separate the dogs.
      The situation is a little different with humans.
      My last Bull Terrier obviously felt uneasy around men for quite some time. It faded a little over the years after numerous encounters with men, but never vanished completely. She never reacted with open aggression. But you could tell from her pose that she felt cornered in that situations.
      Bull Terriers are also known to be very territorial. That can result in a lot of barking or not letting strangers enter the home.
      These are all situations that need lots of time and training. The goal would be to expose the dog to as many of those situations as possible under CONTROLLED circumstances – not train in everyday life – and reward every positive behavior during the process.
      Open aggression towards other people – can never be tolerated and should result in intervention in every case. Causes can be manifold, such as food aggression, jealousy or fear.
      With aggression, in my opinion, it is always important to get to the roots of it and find causes and triggers, because the emotions causing aggression can be so different – ranging from pure dominance to plain fear.
      In every case, a different strategy is likely applicable.
      For example, I would just show my dog who’s boss by voice, posture, and actions that I am boss if I noticed aggression caused by dominance. But I would choose a completely different strategy if my dog growled at me because it feels pain or fear when I handle her.
      Jealousy is a hard topic. Also, in this case, aggression should not be accepted as a solution. But I would also try to analyze the triggering situations and environments and see if there are little things I could change with huge effect.
      Just really watching our dogs and paying attention, just as they are watching us all the time, can give us a lot of understanding already.

      I hope my answer can help a little. It’s not a textbook with easy steps to cross off. But, actually my main intention every time I discuss issues with people is to make them understand that they have to find their own way because for many issues there are no standard solutions.
      Every dog is different and so is every handler.
      But most of the time, once we get to the point we start to notice the “person” in our dog – not in that slightly weird way of putting pink dresses on them or so :), but by recognizing their intentions and being able to look at behavior we don’t like in a different way than just perceiving it as defiant, strategies start to fall into place on their own and all of a sudden it even becomes easier to be more patient.

      Also one of the most underestimated things I experience with owners, again and again, is MANAGING.
      That should be my last point therefore: EVERYTHING can be managed until training kicks in. It is just a matter of acting forward-looking and NOT leaving any decisions to an untrained dog.
      Example: As long as my dog does not reliably respond to a recall, I just don’t let her run completely off leash. I can use a long training leash to allow my dog the feeling and at the same time still, have the last bit of control. As long as I am not sure that my dog will be friendly with another dog, I only carefully introduce the two if they seem interested in each other, anytime ready to interfere and leave the scene, in the best case warning the other owner that my dog can be bitchy with other dogs. And I don’t expect my dog to be friendly with every other creature. If I have experienced my dog showing aggression towards humans, I handpick the encounters and use people I know to familiarize my dog gradually with being handled by other people than me. Not everybody has to touch my dog anyway. I could make up hundreds of examples. But I think the message is already clear.

  107. My girl is a lab X and she does this too. She was a pound puppy and the runt of her litter, so had a hard time feeding from Mum. I got her at approx 8 weeks (wouldn’t be surprised if she was younger – they didn’t know). She’s definitely a little cautious with dogs and people she doesn’t know, but soon warms up. She only seems to suck when i’m around, when i’ve gone away and left her with friends she doesn’t do it, so maybe associating me with Mum? When I get home, she races to get her blanket and brings it to me so she can snuggle up and have a suck. She used to do it after a bout of the zoomies when she was little so figured it was her way of calming down and getting ready for bed. I don’t discourage it as she seems happy.

  108. So I’ve been looking for information on this for a while now and no luck. My dog is 2 years old and he actually just suckles on my other dogs fur. He sometimes even pulls her hair. It doesn’t seem to be bothering her, but I’m worried that there is something wrong with the one doing the suckling.

    • I am really overwhelmed by the feedback on this essay. So many dogs seem to do that. My girl still does it almost once each day and seems to enjoy it.
      Kei, as long as the dog that gets suckled on does not feel bothered and the licking does not cause any sore spots I guess it should be ok. Funny habit, I have to say.

  109. My English Bull Terrier does it too. He was sucking on his baby blanket when he was a pup. Then he stopped for few months. And today he was doing it again. He was very sad and kind of feeling blue because it was raining whole day long and he doesn’t like rain at all. Even chicken could not cheer him up. And then he was laying on the couch and suckling his blanet and snoozing a bit. I think it reminds them of puppyhood.

  110. I have a 3month bull terrier and I am currently feeding her Blue Buffalo. I was looking for something better for her. She hasn’t been eating as much, but she ends up eating it because she’s hungry. Right now she’s very gassy and her poop smells very strong. I’m not sure if it’s the food, but I want to give her the best. What do you think I should give her?

    • Hello Michelle,
      currently, I am alternating home-made raw dog food and Victor Active Dog and Puppy Grain-Free dry food and Victor Ultra Pro Grain-Free dry food
      and I m very happy with the results.
      “Alternating” in this case means, I feed raw in the morning and the kibble in the afternoon.
      Raw is still no.1 for me and always will be.
      There is an awesome provider for raw food, I’ve tested myself, named DARWIN’s.
      However, in general, I rather speak about my own experience than recommending particular brands or formulations. That’s because besides many other aspects, every dog is different, every owner has different budgets available and, of course, because I have not tested every brand available on the market.
      There’s no such thing as “THE BEST Dog Food”. But there are milestones for orientation and red flags to avoid.
      I really like to focus on the important factors when trying to figure out if a dog food is of good quality by looking at the ingredients etc. and give general tips on a dog’s nutrition.
      You will find some more advice in this article of mine about “Choosing the right dog food” already.
      And, obviously, you have also found my recommendations on supplements.
      After checking back in on my essay about “Choosing the right dog food”, I decided that there are some more general aspects I would like to share with you guys. So, I am currently working on a “part II” for this article, so to speak, that I am planning to release soon. Stay tuned.
      Until then, if you are uncertain about the quality of a dog food you are considering, check it out on dogfoodadvisor.com.
      This site is very informative and very helpful. You did not mention which variety of Blue Buffalo you are currently feeding. But you can use the information on the bag (or can) to check what dogfoodadvisor has to say about the quality of this particular product. Obviously, I would always look for brands/ products with a rating of at least 4.5 to 5 stars out of 5 stars.

    • In this recipe the only ingredient that is chicken are the innards (chicken hearts). That’s the 10lb. ADDING to it: The 30lb meats, which is ground beef. Of course you can substitute as you wish.

      “Meats and Organs
      • 30-31 lb beef (makes for 50% of the batch, 0 calcium) If you get lean pieces, you do not need to trim the fat
      • 10-11 lb chicken hearts and beef liver (makes for 15-17% of the batch, almost no calcium)
      (every now and then you should replace the liver by another organ in order to avoid overdosing of vitamin A. Also if your dog does not tolerate chicken, of course you should substitute the chicken hearts. A very valuable substitution for dogs is green tripe for example.)”

      If the dog needs to get some more calories, I recommend to choose meat with a higher fat content and not trimming the fat.
      I hope this answers your question.

  111. Hi I have a bull terrier cross staffy she is 6 months and I want to get her desexed before her first cycle. I know they say that they can get their first cycle from 6 months on but I’m just wondering if you have a rough idea of when that might be. Thanks

    • Hi Michelle,
      I really think this is the perfect topic to discuss with your vet during the next routine exam or so. I am not able to give advice from a medical perspective, simply due to lack of experience. I am actually strongly opposed to spaying/neutering. My girl is 4 years old now and still intact. During my life with dogs I had to deal with the issue only once when my last Bull Terrier was suffering from a life threatening infection and the only way to save her life was to surgically remove her entire womb.

      I will not try and talk you out of your plan because I believe that everyone has to make their own decisions based on conviction and circumstances in life.
      Yet, just in case you are interested to know more about why I do not favor fixing dogs here’s an interesting video that explains some of the reasons:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enPCZA1WFKY

      Dorothea

  112. I have a 7 month old bull terrier and I have try treats and talking in a soft voices and also sounding loud and demanding and she is still biting.. every time she gets excited and wants to play she bites me she is friendly with everyone else but I can’t control her I don’t know what other method to use to stop her from biting.. any advice ?

    • Hi Nan,
      first of all, please keep in mind that Bull Terriers take up to THREE YEARS to really mature. That is much longer than most other dog breeds. And even when older Bull Terriers will still always remain those little clowns, craving human attention and always up for some mischief. That’s just how they are. The behavior of your pup is absolutely normal for the age. Don’t lose your patience. Your life with a young Bull Terrier can be wonderful, as long as you are willing to constantly guide your dog and enforce the rules. By “enforce” I am not talking about punishment, just to be clear. Consistency is your best bet.
      That being said, its important to stick to your methods. If you decide for one strategy you feel comfortable with, stick to it for a while and apply it EVERY SINGLE TIME. No exceptions. Your dog needs to understand that you will really not tolerate certain behaviors. Switching methods all the time will make things less clear for your dog. One “mistake” we humans often make when training our dogs is to expect the desired result way to soon. All too often we start seeing success AFTER we got to the point of thinking our efforts are not going to work. Bull Terriers are known for being stubborn. That’s another word for “pushing their limits”, they really are like little kids. But the good thing is, once they REALLY understand what you want from them they are almost as easy to direct as any other dog. Stick to your plan and don’t feel bad about being consequent and giving your dog a time out now and then when it pushes your limits too hard.
      If you are able to keep up the patience and consistency, you WILL see success. It’s a process.

      One more thought: If you have a feeling that your dog is constantly “over the top”, you may want to consider providing more exercise for your dog (walks are often not enough for Bull Terriers, a good game of fetch or running around with play pals or mental games are often more effective), if you suspect that not enough exercise could be the reason for the overexcitement. Yet on the other hand, another reason for overexcitement can be TOO MUCH exercise. If you feel like your dog is experiencing problems with calming after play, active calming sessions, some cuddling, stroking, putting it in a calm environment for a nap, can actively help the dog learn to calm down.

      Also, you can always actively REWARD GOOD and CALM behavior. Just give a treat or praise (in a low tone to avoid igniting the excitement accidentally) every now and then your dog shows calm and polite behavior. This is another measure to make clear to your dog, which behavior you favor.
      This way you are able to walk two routes at a time: Learning through negative but also through GOOD experience.

  113. Hi,
    This is so helpful—thank you! We just got a 9-week-old bull terrier puppy, and I have been worried we got the “devil” of the litter, like you mentioned. Like the comment above, our girl is obsessive about biting our feet and clothes, arms, hands, face—every part of me. She will not stop, even after constant redirection with toys. I can’t even pet or cuddle her, because all she wants to do is bite (“grab”?) me. She is spending 75% of her time in a crate because we simply don’t know what else to do to get her to calm down. Almost all of our interactions with her involve trying to get her teeth off of us. We are meeting w a trainer next week, but any additional ideas would be great. What “mental games” would you suggest? We are desperate to train and raise her well and give her the affection she wants, but it is proving so difficult.

    • Sarah, I am so sorry. I just found your comment. It must have slipped my attention.
      Mental games can be anything from searching to training. With a pup I would suggest very simple and short lessons. And why not let the pup take the biting out on a yummy chew and drain the energy by doing some fetch, if you have the time.
      Your puppy will probably still nip for quite some time. That’s just their nature.
      I don’t think that so much crate time is really helpful.
      Half of that time would probably be better invested in games that drain energy instead of accumulating it – such as the crating does. Choose games that allow for a distance between you and the dog. So you don’t get nipped all the time.
      Also training the bite inhibition – showing that biting hurts you and is unwanted – can start as early as possible.
      I did it by yelping and immediately interrupting the games each time my girl went too rough. It takes some time, but sooner or later they’ll get it, provided the owner is consistent.
      I hope you have already seen some progress with the help of the trainer. Good luck!

      • We just got an eight week old boy who also bites like a possum all the freaking time. We have Inc. chasing games, I have given him leather straps and chew toys and sometimes redirection does help a little bit. He does hate being separated from us so we have set up a time out and quiet time run in the livingroom as we dont want him associating his crate with punishment. For the most part we also spend 60 to 70% of our time trying to remove his teeth from our skin or our clothes or my hair- and as much as I hate to strike animals the only thing we have found Is flicking him between the eyes when his biting gets to an extreme level. If he has to be flicked he instantly goes to time out. We have discovered that all of these things combined with a very loud yelp by the person being injured has started to turn the biting into licking instead 🙂 Rough housing with these puppies is not recommended if trying to curb biting. Our playtime consists of lots of hugs and scratching and running fun loops up and down the hallway and playing tug of war. Routine is very helpful- very smart dogs. We keep him on as strict a time schedule as we can for eating and naps. Yes naps!!! Ours takes three to four full naps a day in his crate, since hes only 8 weeks- but we make sure to keep him up for three hours before bed and make sure to do alot of playing during that time for a puppy to sleep most of the night. Paint sticks and vinyl webbing straps are good for wearing down those teeth and they seem to prefer them to chew toys. Very proud dogs, so be sure to tell them often when they are good and give them lots of hugs and kisses. This will make their separation time more unbearable for them.

  114. Hi, when I was 24 yrs old my wife and I got an English Bull Terrier. There was no internet at the time, mid 80’s, so all correspondence was by phone or mail. We found a breeder in Canada who sent us a pic of the puppy she had, we traveled 4 hours into Canada, we live on the border U.S. side, went to her house where she bred the dogs. It wasn’t really the nicest place, there was a barn with the dogs in it and a barbed wire fence surrounding it. She brought us the puppy but it wasn’t the one in the pic that she had sent us. Also the puppy’s front paw was bandaged, she said he had got it caught in the barbed wire fence. We ended up taking the dog and fell in love with him. He slept in our bed, we pampered him and took very good care of him. We’d heard English Bull Terriers were good with kids and soon we were expecting our first child. We named our dog Solomon George and he was part of our family. When he reached 6 to 7 months old he started becoming aggressive, he’d start growling at things. Like when he was in bed sleeping and we bumped him accidentally while one of us rolled over he’d start growling real low and it was kind of scary. It got to the point where he’d just snap for no reason at somebody. Once my wife and another time my brother who were sitting on our couch just playing with him. Once he bit my hand and drew blood. It was like he’d snap and then calm right down. I called the breeder, she said to put him out in the garage by himself as punishment the next time he does it. We hated to do it but the next couple times he snapped or started to growl like he was ready to snap we put him in the garage but it didn’t seem to help. I’m disabled and usually in a wheelchair but sometimes would get on the floor to play with Solomon. A couple weeks before our son was born my wife and I were sitting on the floor of the room we were fixing up for our baby. Solomon was in there, everything was great. We were talking about what things we had left to do fixing up the room and what it was going to be like having a newborn, thinking about the future. I gave Solomon a hug and all of a sudden he started to growl, I lifted my arm off him. Fortunately he didn’t shoot straight ahead at my wife but turned and came at me. He bit my face, ripping down through my nose up through my chin and locking on my top lip. I grabbed him by the neck holding him close to me so he wouldn’t pull back and rip my lip apart anymore than it already was and squeezed as hard as I could. He opened his mouth and I pushed him back still holding him tight as he was in a rage trying to get to me. Then just as quickly as it started he calmed right down. My wife called the ambulance, I went to the hospital and had my face stitched up. 30 to 40 stitches later I was back home I still didn’t want to get rid of Solomon but my wife and family that lived nearby convinced me, saying. If Solomon snapped and went at the baby what would happen, he’d very easily kill our baby. Not wanting to have him put to sleep we set up a meeting with the breeder at the border for her to take him back. She pulled up in her car got out, saw my face, she turned and said I don’t want that dog. I said hold on, she said “sue me” and off she went. We had him put to sleep, we buried him out back of our house. Sorry to make the story so long but I’d really love to get another one. Seeing the clips online of how friendly they are and what great pets they are, I don’t know what went wrong with Solomon but my wife is scared to death thinking of me getting another one. Thanks for reading this,peace:out.

    • Once people went through such trauma, decisions become solely emotional and no longer rational. I can understand that. Who would want to go through such drama again. On the other side I am amazed that you have obviously not lost your faith in the breed, despite the injury you’ve suffered. I am pretty sure that there was something wrong with your pup, probably a mental issue. Maybe even something hereditary I don’t know the breeder you purchased the dog from. But your story doesn’t sound like she really cared about crossing individuals of good temperament and health only. From the stories I hear and my own experience I get the feeling myself that some Bull Terriers just are a little mouthy, even when older. But my experience also tells me that – if not disease is involved – this behavior is pretty well manageable by training and consistency.
      In terms of disease, there is a phenomenon called “SOA” (Sudden Onset Aggression), which is rare but occurs more often in Bull Terriers. However, very characteristic about it is that dogs with SOA often attack from their sleep and do not seem to be aware of what they did after it happened and they regain consciousness. This is very special because in those cases the aggression is not really a conscious behavior. I am not saying that’s what your dog was suffering from. I am just talking about some possibilities.

      If you ever really decide to get another Bull Terrier I can only encourage you to look for a puppy from a reputable breeder. Not only in terms of temperament but also health-wise it is more important than ever to look for a puppy from a breeder, who considers these two aspects in breeding.
      Thank you for sharing your story.

    • I agree with Dorothy. You did not get your dog from the right breeder AT ALL. The first indicator that she was not a reputable breeder was that she was willing to allow you to take home a six week old puppy. It is scientifically proven that dogs who are taken from their mothers and litter mates before eight weeks of age suffer socially and mentally later down the road. That’s why many states now have laws stating that puppies HAVE to be at least eight weeks old before they go home with their new families. The second indicator was that she wanted absolutely nothing to do with your dog and she was not remotely helpful in addressing your concerns regarding Solomon. Something that I would like to point out though is that based on what you’ve written Solomon was not an unpredictably aggressive dog that attacked just because. There was always a reason.

      When he growled at you for bumping him that was the reason. You bumped him therefore disturbing his sleep and you likely scared him and made him anxious. You said he went after your wife and your brother while they were playing with him. Bull Terriers like to play rough and they love to tug and play with their mouths. There is a strong chance that he didn’t go after them due to aggression, but because he was hyped all the way up and he never learned how to play appropriately with people. That’s something that you HAVE to teach puppies early on or you’ll wind up with a grown dog that was indirectly taught that biting is an acceptable form of play and when they bite with their adult teeth you will feel the difference. Playing nicely with people is not something that most dogs are going to suddenly know how to do when they grow out of puppyhood. They MUST be TAUGHT. I don’t know the situation for why he bit your hand. It could’ve been food aggression or play aggression or overstimulation from being petted when he did not want to be petted. I know why he ripped your face though. You hugged him. Hugging is not considered a form of affection for most dogs. In fact, many dogs find being hugged equivalent to being forcibly restrained and potentially suffocated and it scares the heck out of those dogs. It is scientifically proven that the majority of dog-human aggression stems from anxiety. A lot of the incidents you described above in which Solomon attacked was because you made him feel anxious. Suddenly bumping into him startled him and made him anxious. Hugging him startled him and made him anxious. The fact that your dog started off with giving warnings and then seemingly very quickly advanced to nipping is suggestive that he wasn’t an unreasonable hyper aggressive dog. It was a combination of your and your wife’s lack of understanding of dog behavior and terrible advice given to you by a terrible dog breeder that lead to Solomon’s unfortunate demise.

      Confining an aggressive dog to a small space does nothing but increase their aggression due to the fact that as I said earlier most aggression stems from anxiety and putting a dog in a garage when almost 10/10 they don’t know WHY they are being put in the garage makes them anxious. Dogs have a very narrow window of accountability. If your dog nips at you and you get up and walk to the bathroom to grab a spray bottle then fill it up with water and return and spray the dog with the spray bottle I guarantee you they have NO IDEA why you just sprayed them with the water bottle. If at the time you sprayed the dog they happened to be laying down while chewing a Nylabone, they will think that you sprayed them because they were chewing the Nylabone and it will be harder to convince your dog to chew his Nylabone as opposed to your furniture because in his mind you punished him for chewing the Nylabone. Aggressive forceful methods are NOT the ones to use with this breed. For one, because they have a freaky high pain tolerance and will easily ignore it and for two they are a stubborn independent breed. If you give a Bull Terrier a good reason for NOT listening to you and respecting you as their pet mentor, then they will not listen to you at all. However, if you use modern dog methods such as positive reinforcement you are giving them motivation to listen to you at all times. Bull Terriers are far more likely to thrive with positive reinforcement than with outdated training methods. Look into dog trainers like Zak George who use those methods and stay away from trainers like Cesar Millan who regularly practices forceful dominance training.

      As long as you get your Bull Terrier from the right breeder or breed rescue, socialize them extensively, exercise them regularly and thoroughly, feed them the proper diet, commit to regular obedience classes well into your dog’s adulthood or senior hood if you get an adult dog, are consistent in what is and is not acceptable for your dog to do (which you and your wife NEED to come to an agreement on BEFORE you get your dog) and treat your bully nicely your wife has nothing to worry about from this breed.

  115. My 8 yr old lab also does this. She did it occasionaly but the older she gets the more often she does it. Now she does it every day. Always before she goes to sleep at night. I have had her since she was 10 weeks old from a breeder.

  116. My 2 year old mix breed does this. I got her at 8 weeks from neighbors who had bottle feed her from just a few days old after the mother dog died. I have always thought it was a way she dealt with not having her mother at such a young age.

    • Oh my gosh! Finally a pit bull that does this!!.My pitty is 21 months old and just started
      Sucking on her favorite blanket again…she did it all the time when just a baby.
      She quit doing it until today..shes doing it as I write this. A lot of dogs do it..I leave her be cuz shes so into it and I want her to b happy. But I can’t help but feel its kinda sad.

      • Both of my pitbulls do this!! My girl will drag a pillow around the house with her and does it at anytime of day or night 😅 I got both dogs from friends so I know they stayed with mom for the right amount of time, both 8 weeks. So I’m thinking it’s just for comfort, makes them relax because they both will fall asleep doing it. I just think it’s the cutest thing 🥰 My small mixed breed doesn’t do this , he is yorki, pug, and chihuahua.

  117. My Ruby is an 8 month old Pug from a great breeder and was 10 weeks when she came home with us. No trauma. The girl just loves her blanket!

  118. I have a pure bred bull terrier. AKC regiestered pet. She is 8 months old. She is exhibiting some very unusual behavior. She is highly intelligent. The vet told me that her purebred DNA could be of concern. He said she could flip out on me and get very dangerous. Watching her grow up stong and beautiful has been a real joy. He has green eyes and snow white color. Any fact behind this vets opinion that her DNA will kick in and she becomes dangerous?

    • Well, that story sounds odd on different levels. First of all, if it is indeed an ENGLISH Bull Terrier puppy with AKC pedigree I am wondering about the green eyes. Because for all I know brown is the standard color. Secondly, this is the first time I have heard of a vet predicting aggression based on the dog’s DNA. On the other hand you’ve mentioned “very unusual behavior”. Wondering what that means.
      Sadly, there is by far not enough information in your post – neither about the behavior, nor the fundaments of the vet’s statements – to get a real picture of the situation and say something.
      If you like to provide more details I’d love to look into it again.
      Dorothea

      • Definitely not a purebred English bull terrier if Eyes are green, actually a purebred English bull terriers eyes are black. My girl had her first heat at 7 months, now she’s approaching 17 months and still no signs of a second heat. Is this normal?

        • Neither normal nor abnormal. It’s just impossible to tell at this age without an exam. Her body may still be in the process of developing and moving into the repeating regular heat cycles. I think this is an excellent question for your vet at the next routine exam.
          If your dog seems happy and healthy I would not be too worried at this time and wait a little longer. However, if you are worried, I recommend a vet visit.

  119. My Corgi/pit mix does it and now he has a blood blister on his mouth that bleeds a little when he sucks. He has only done this for about a year. Unfortunately, he sucks not only on his own blanket now, but my comforter and any other fabric he finds. He was once surrounded by 5 kids at home and now they are grown an left home. We both work abotu 10 hrs/day so he only has our aging pit/lab mix for company. I think he misses the kids and Im seriously thinking of rehoming him to a family with kids bc when they come to visit he goes nuts with happiness then gets depressed when they leave.

  120. My Great Dane/Pit mix does this and he is a little over a year old, I adopted him when he was 8 months. He use to always do it at any time of the day and on anything from pillows to random blankets around the house but now He only does it when I get home at night and will do it for almost an hour and it’s always on my comforter on my bed. He is always very happy and relaxed when he does it and doesn’t do any harm to it so I let him do it as long as he wants. It also tends to make him tired. He is a very high energy dog and it always calms him down. I have no clue what he’s been through in the past and I’m still trying to figure out why he does it.

  121. My 5 year old Irish terrier does it. He’s a happy happy and has no issues. I’m with him most of the time so he gets loads of attention. Him doing it is like me sitting and reading a book. Just enjoying some time out. All good.

  122. Hi, I am wondering after a female heat cycle, to know when the next cycle should begin, should I count from the beginning off her last cycle, or the end? Thanks

    • I can only tell you how I am doing it: I am tracking the time-frame during which I notice bleeding in my girl. I know that this is likely not the entire period of her heat, because I always notice her being swollen around her private parts quite a while before the bleeding starts. The swelling is my warning sign that she is due. So, I basically know before the bleeding starts that the time has come and can take precautions. I keep track in a calendar and meanwhile I know that my girl is getting into heat pretty accurately about every nine months. From past experience I also know that her bleeding will last for about three weeks.
      While the swelling is a pretty good indicator already, the bleeding is something I can definitely pinpoint with start and end and count the days. So, that’s my orientation. As a result of my own experience I am starting to count the next nine months after her last heat from the LAST day I notice bleeding. That works good for us.

      If you are trying to identify when she is in her morst fertile state during the heat, that is an entirely different story, however. Because as you may have read in my article the bleeding is not necessarily an indicator for a fertile or non-fertile state and the most fertile time can be even BEFORE OR AFTER any bleeding occurs.
      If you want to avoid a female getting impregnated – as I do – there should definitely be an eye on more than just bleeding, such as swollen intimate area, mood changes and such things in order to not miss the point.

  123. Having read all of the posts up to 16 April 2018, I’m astounded that so many dogs do it. I’ve only ever seen the behaviour in one of my dogs. An English Bull Terrier, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, a Springer Spaniel, a Fox Terrier and various cross breeds haven’t shown this behaviour but it is shown by my Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross. She’s a re-homed dog. She came from a house where there’d been children but the marriage had ended so she’d spent months being alone 12 or more hours each day. Her owner worked long hours which is why she came to be re-homed with me. She’s very undershot in the jaw. Maybe that’s the reason why she was hand reared by a vet nurse. Perhaps she couldn’t latch on to her mother. She’s now 2 and what she does is to suck on her blanket when she goes to bed. Licking other dogs has been mentioned in the comments. I’ve noticed she too is very keen to lick my other dog, a laid back (mostly) English Bull Terrier. When she isn’t licking him, she amuses herself by lick, lick, licking her front feet. It would be very interesting to know the reason for this behaviour.

    • That’s actually the same thought I had, looking at the feedback to this article. I would never have imagined that so many dogs are doing this.
      The licking seems to be one of the many special behaviors in Bull Terrier to me. I think this body care ritual on themselves, each other and even humans has a calming effect on them and at the same time seems to have some kind of social function. I would be curious to know how much this is a pure Bull Terrier thing or if this also goes across breeds.
      The only thing is – as with many things in Bull Terriers – they can become obsessive about the licking. That is especially not such a great thing when they start licking their own feet because of allergies, which I hope is not the motivation for your dog to lick its own feet.

      • I just adopted a 2 year old pit and she does it every night to fall asleep, she was found chained in a yard for an unknown number of days until animal control found her. Then spent almost 2 months at the shelter before I took her home

  124. My min pin does this too and he was born at home, is still around his mother. He is cheeky and lively so I dont think he has had any trauma…

  125. I have found theses answers very help full I have a 10 week old boy and he’s a typical bull terrier puppy . If he gets to rough bitting . We put him in his crate only for a short while or try and distract him through play you do have to be very firm . There beautiful dogs but can be very stubborn we have got him some mental stimulation toys as well to distract him . Make sure all family members use the same methods to train him or he or she will get confused .

  126. Our Beagle/Corgi mix does this. We adopted her, so we know nothing about her past. We got her as an adult dog and we’ve had her for over 5 years and she’s done it since day one. The thing is she ONLY does this to her crate bed and nothing else. She is a relaxed/laid back dog and definitely not shy.

  127. I am teaching at a summer camp next week and our kids are creating Robotic Dogs and playing as vets. I’d love to have your dog care posters to use in the classroom so they learn to care for real dogs! Thanks so much!

  128. I am currently sitting on the sofa with my 1+ year old redbone coonhound/retriever mix cuddled up next to me and suckling her blanket. She is a rescue that we got fairly young. 8 weeks or possibly younger. She’s friendly, outgoing, fully of energy pup. She often suckles her blanket before napping.

  129. My, almost 2 y/o Mini Golden Doodle does this! He’s the happiest dog you’d ever meet. Fearless too. I adopted him at 13 weeks when he was still living with his litter and his momma. No clue why he does this! It makes me worry that it’s because he’s sad or something??? – Not that i’ve EVER seen this dog sad or scared or anything but happy… But maybe it’s just comforting. I wish he’d just snuggle me for comfort!!

    • Well, Mila still sucks her favorite pillow on a regular basis. She seems happy enough. I’ve come to think that it’s just some form of entertainment for her. And I like that she is doing her own stuff now and then because in general she is very focussed on people and interaction.

  130. we have a 2 yr old lab that likes to suck and kneed his pillow when he goes to sleep at night….we got him at around 10 weeks, seems to be very happy…. I thought it was some sort of early seperation from his mom, but after reading all these posts im not to sure now….

  131. Hi Everyone!

    We recently brought home an EBT. She was 8 weeks when we picked her up and is now coming into week 12. The first few days she was very passive, sweet and cuddly, but things quickly changed once she became more comfortable with her surroundings and new home. I was really really concerned about her biting until i read some of these comments which reassure me a bit that shes not overly aggressive. With that being said, she is very mouthy and plays extremely rough. She is constantly looking for something to bite and her bites continue to get harder which is concerning my GF and I. We’ve been trying to provide as much exercise as possible but the behavior seems to be intensifying instead of decreasing. I’ve also noticed shes not as “kissy” as other puppies that I’ve had in the past. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

    TIA

    • Hi Alex,
      over the years I have realized that there might be some truth about the often cited specialness of Bull Terriers. There are so many little things I could name, I don’t even know where to start.
      It is also true that they are pretty mouthy and VERY playful puppies. However, while that might distinct them from some other breeds the teething phase is a tricky phase for every puppy. It can involve discomfort and even pain. And some puppies try to compensate for it by excessive chewing and mouthing.
      That being said, I can assure you that you did not invite the devil into your home. You just own a regular Bull Terrier. 🙂
      Even if your pup seems very self centered at the moment and not very cuddly at this age, don’t worry. It will come! And if it is a real Bull Terrier it will come so massively that some day you will look back misty-eyed at those glory days when no Bull Terrier was sitting or lying on you or almost kicking you out of your own bed at night. 🙂
      As for the “aggressive” behavior, I would not call it aggression, it is testing and experiencing, learning who makes the rules and who is the leader.
      My advice is to start training the bite inhibition right away. It can seemingly take forever, but when being consistent you will be successful. The mouth is a dog’s “hand”. So it’s only natural for them to use it a lot, not only for real biting, but also for grabbing or holding objects or people. At first, they follow their instincts. They need to learn “our ways” and that our skin, for example, is much more fragile than theirs and that their “natural” behavior can hurt us.
      Dogs among each other also tell when one gets too rough – sometimes this sounds really loud and scary, even though the dog is basically just “scolding”. So, don’t be afraid to use a strong and loud voice when you disapprove. On the other hand use lots of enthusiasm when praising. Over time this will not fail to show effect.
      Ignore behaviors you don’t want – if necessary give doggy a real time-out alone for some minutes. And don’t forget to praise and reward every behavior you like and desire. Because this will make it so much easier for your dog to figure out quickly what you like and what not.

  132. Amazing blog.Thank you so much for sharing very easy homemade raw dog food recipe. It is a smashing one of a kind guide for discovering healthy recipes for dog food minus a headache. Thanks again.

  133. I have a 5 year old german shepherd mix. She has been sucking on her blanket for the past 3 years. She has 2 blankets that she loves. I have watched the times at when she does it and had to come to my own conclusion. She sucks her blanket when shes bored, tired or to comfort her. I have seen her in all 3 situations and it seems to just give her peace. I always thought it was a bad/not normal behaviour until I came across posts like this and learned that there are TONS of dogs that do this! Unless its disturbing/hurting them, let em have at it!

    • Reading all of that feedback really does put things into a new perspective, doesn’t it! When I started this post I somehow assumed that this could be one of those Bull Terrier quirks. But no, it clearly is a dog thing. And I don’t think a bad one.
      I’m just so astonished by how many dogs are doing this.

  134. I got Marley about 4 weeks ago from my friends sister who had a litter of 10 puppies. This was the mothers 1st litter. They didn’t mean to even breed her, she got loose in their appartment complex and mated with a Labrador retriever. She is a red nose pitbull. Soon after having the 10 puppies, she stopped nursing, around 6 weeks, but I waited until 7 to get her so she wouldn’t be traumatized by leaving her family so early, but I had met them several times before she came home. Marley only suckles on one blanket I have on my bed and only before bedtime. Or early in the morning before it’s light out she will lay in my bed with me and suckles. It makes her sleep and relax! I don’t know why she does it, if it’s from being a dog from a 1st litter or from being weined away too soon, but she is an amazing dog. Housebroken, obedient and loving. I don’t discourage the suckles because it’s so cute and brings her joy, my husband is trying to break her of it but if not I’m not bothered, especially after reading all the previous posts, so many doggies do it all ages and breeds! Must not be a bad thing!

  135. I have pomeranian boy. I know that grain are mixed into the dog foods to make the production cost cheaper. But unlike humans, dogs don’t have the molar teeth necessary to grind up the grains. This may lead to unproper digestion. Your recipe is grain free. thank you for recipe.

  136. Hi,
    I recently rescued a 2yo Bull Terrier. We are having a hard time to get him to stop breaking things, we thought we had put everything that he could destroy away yet yesterday we came home to a destroyed hot water tank and a destroyed heat pump system (all stored outside of the house but attached to walls). As well as cloths coming off the line. Is there anyway that we can correct this destructive habit and how long does it usually take. We have been taking him to training classes as he doesnt know how to sit or stay or anything like that.

    Thanks Danika

    • This Bull Terrier needs A LOT of training and attention. My guess here is that results are expected way too soon. I also recommend to do research on the breed. You will learn that with lack of exercise and education they can become very destructive just out of boredom.
      They are also pretty wild puppies and youngsters and need owners who are willing to handle that. At about the age of three when they have received the proper attention and training in their early ages they will start to settle a bit and become very affectionate dogs.

  137. Hi Dorothea, I believe I have the answer to your question…I have a Pomeranian who suckles on soft toys while rhythmically kneading the toy with his paws as if he was kneading a ball of dough. He continues this bizarre ritual for up to an hour until he falls asleep with the toy still in his mouth. It seems to soothe him so I’ve never made any attempts to prevent the behaviour. However in an attempt to better understand it my initial search online only revealed similar information to yours, but it turns out I has looked at it completely from the wrong angle… Today I finally had a breakthrough when I came across an article about OCD in dogs. The correct terminology is: Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD) and it turns out that one of its listed symptoms is: suckling on soft toys or blankets. The following article confirms that:

    “Scientists identify genes linked with OCD…in dogs

    Scientists have identified genes involved in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in dogs. The results, published in the journal Genome Biology, identify four genes strongly linked with canine OCD, and suggests that using dogs as a simplified model of the human condition might open up new avenues for research into the more complex human OCD.

    OCD affects 1-3% of humans, but in dogs, particular breeds are more susceptible than others. Similarly to human OCD, the dog version of the condition involves repeating normal behaviours. While typically in humans, these might be hand washing or cleaning, checking or hoarding, canine symptoms include repeated grooming, constantly chasing their own tails or shadows and SUCKLING or BLANKET SUCKING”
    Source:
    biomedcentral(dot)com/about/press-centre/science-press-releases/20-mar-2014

    Another article on the topic states that:

    “Acral lick was the first canine OCD to be documented but was certainly not the last! The concept of canine OCDs has now expanded to include compulsive tail chasing, flank sucking/BLANKET SUCKING, light/shadow chasing, snapping at “imaginary flies”, running in geometric patterns, and many more repetitive behavior conditions.

    Susceptibility to canine OCD arises from genetic influences but chronic anxiety – sometimes as a result of thwarted biological agendas – appears to be instrumental in allowing the genie out of the bottle. A cycle of OCD can be thought of as anxiety leading to a recurring thought of how to address it (the obsession), compulsion leading to temporary relief, but then building anxiety causes the cycle to repeat itself. ”

    Source:
    psychologytoday(dot)com/au/blog/dog-days/201608/canine-obsessive-compulsive-disorder%3famp

    One of the interesting bits of information I found on the topic is that ““Dogs most prone to develop compulsive behavior problems are frequently high-strung and impulsive. Highly motivated and high-strung dogs who are intolerant of conflict and frustration seem to be particularly at risk for developing compulsive habits.” It would stand to reason that dog breeds whose propensity for intense motivation has been enhanced by selective breeding –”
    The same article contains:

    “A Menu of Obsessive Compulsive Canine Behaviors:
    …Flank sucking or object sucking: Dog sucks on his own flank or on toys, blankets, or other objects.”
    and
    “Breeds Predisposed to OCDs:
    Here are some of the dog breeds that are known to have genetic predispositions to specific OCDs:

    Doberman Pinscher: Flank sucking and licking
    Bull Terrier: Spinning, freezing
    German Shepherd: Tail chasing
    Miniature Schnauzer: Checking hind end
    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bernese Mountain Dog: Fly snapping
    Retrievers: Pica, licking at feet and legs
    Border Collie, Corgi, other herders: Spinning, tail chasing, light and shadow chasing
    Pomeranian: Licking, object sucking”

    Source:
    whole-dog-journal(dot)com/issues/13_9/features/Dogs-With-OCD_20062-1.html

    PS> I’ve had to replace a section of the website with the phrase (dot) as my attempts to post the links were blocked as spam. I’m unsure if it violates your posting rules but please edit or remove links as you see fit.

    • I have been reading all these comments and I’m positive my American Bullie is CCD. I’ve known this dig since a puppy , she now 5 yrs old , she was neglected, put in a kennel for long periods if time due to owner working ling hours, but she is crazy hyper at times ,hates fireworks, I always had her every 4th if July, during thunderstorm she tore , chewed through a wood fence , she does not like being alone but because of her burst of crazy behavior she was out in a kennel while the other dogs were not, I niw have her full time and noticed the she dreats like she’s having a nightmares , so I let her snuggle up with me and keep her close, she now has started suckling blankets right by me and we keep eye cintact it’s so cute ,

  138. My English Setter sucks on soft blankets. When ever I or my husband comes home he gets all excited, we give him love and I give a treat and then when we set down he starts sucking his blanket moving his paws on it as if nursing.

  139. I recently acquired a bull terrier and it keeps barking at 1am too the point where my neighbors started to throw rocks at him to keep him quiet what do I do hes 4 months. I have 2 other dogs who are quiet and obedient, new dog only barks at 1am for about 45 minutes straight

  140. I have a 1.5 year male bull terrier who is in consistent training. We are having issues with him trying to play with humans and it starting as licking and then he gets too excited and it can turn into nipping. If we yell no or try to pull/push him away, he becomes hyper focused on his target rather than leaving it alone which can turn into biting or lunging.

  141. We have 4 miniature dachshund: 13, 11 and 2 x 9 year olds (brother and sister). Have had them since they were pups and are called the “Brat Pack”. One of the 9 year olds will suck on a blanket if he is in the mind to. He only does this just before going to sleep and it has to be a very soft blanket. He will “fluff” the blanket between his paws, pile it up between his paws then bite down and suckle on it and fall asleep. None of the others will suckle a blanket and all of them are “spoiled rotten”. Our 11 year old just had disc surgery for his neck and now has taken to having a stuffed toy with him everywhere he goes. He never did this before until his neck surgery. This I would attribute to the stress/pain he experienced with his neck and having a little stuffed toy now is a stress relief for him. He is in the habit now and sleeps with it under his chin.

  142. Hi, I would like to ask if a dog will get pregnant in her late estrous cycle? I brought her to the vet last time and did a smear test, that’s when I learned that she was on her late estrous stage already. I wasn’t able to track the start of her cycle since I was waiting for a bloody discharge, but I wasn’t able to track a bloody discharge. Same goes on her 2nd heat cycle the difference was on the 2nd heat i bred her on her late pre-estrus and at the beginning of estrus. I was only able to know that she was on heat because of my male dog licking her private parts and trying to mount her. She is a 24mos old siberian husky.

    • Hello Peter,
      recognizing when the dog gets into heat for the average owner is a matter of finding out patterns (how many months apart does the dog usually come into heat) and getting to know their own dog and interpreting the signs.
      Other than that only LOTS of experience and specific tests (there are test kits available that breeders use) can help to determine time and length of a dog’s estrus cycle more accurately. Every dog is different. But according to my experience as your dog ages you will be more and more able to tell just from her behavior and tiny changes on her body during that period. I you don’t want your dog to become pregnant just give it some good extra time before and after you notice signs when it comes to playing with other non-spayed male dogs.

  143. Hi,
    I have a 7 month old male Bull terrier, we got him when he was 9weeks old. He has been neutered. We sent him to a 2 week board and train with a e collar when he was 6 month old because he won’t stop biting and has a mind of his own. . When he came back home he still had a lot of his (crazy behavior) and we have to keep the e collar on him except when he sleeps at night in the crate. He will not stop biting and chewing items, when he is out of the crate he roams the house and looks for any object to bite or chew. He has recently developed resource guarding when he eats his food and he will growl if you get near his bowl or try and pet him. We don’t know what to do, and are not sure if we can keep him. Please reply with any assitance

    • Hello,
      I am sorry to say that, but after reading what you have experienced so far and how you have been handling the situation I can’t help but wondering what brought you to get a Bull Terrier Puppy in the first place and how experienced you are with the breed and dog training in general?
      Bull Terriers are a very special breed. They can be awesome companions but they definitely need owners who know what they are doing.

      What did your own training look like so far – other that using a shock collar, which admittedly, I am not really a huge fan of.
      The thought of putting such a thing around my dog’s neck physically hurts me.
      I know a lot of people and even trainers recommend these gadgets. That’s ok. But hardly ever does anybody tell you that these collars (as well as prong collars for example) do not really educate or train a dog at all. They just suppress symptoms of existing and ongoing behavior just like a pain pill kills pain but often does nothing regarding the CAUSE of the pain.
      Sometimes such collars do not only cause pain but also health damage in the dog, which is very sad when looking at the fact that dog training (executed by the OWNER) creates a much stronger bond between owner and dog (just not happening with a shock collar), the effects of training are much longer lasting and all in all training is much more effective for enhanced communication with and a better understanding of the dog.

      If you like to give me some more details about your everyday life and how you have addressed the food aggression so far, I will be happy to give you some advice that I think may be helpful for you.
      Greetings
      Dorothea

      _______________________________________________________________________________

      Thanks for your response. I was hoping for a more informed response from a so called “expert” in Bull Terriers and not a lecture. You might want to consider how you respond to owners seeking your advice and assistance and not your admonishment. No need to reply any further.

      Jaymi Delcos

      • Hi we have a 7 month female our 2nd bull terrier but couldn’t be more different .She is a constant barker and is very territorial at home and on walks if anyone walks in front of us she will bark and has been known to chase people over the park..
        She especially doesn’t like small children have no idea why not as we have had her since she was 8 weeks…
        I dont know if its because they are small and move quickly she may have a high preying drive but she will particularly lunge and growl at children …which is obviously worrying

        • Usually, Bull Terriers are great with children. But not EVERY Bull Terrier or dog is. That’s just nature.
          Your advantage is that you know what you’re dealing with and can handle situations accordingly.
          I’d keep doggie on leash around kids, not leave her alone with small children at any time, not let kids pet her or kneel in front of her giving her a chance to go up on them. I just tell kids she’s not in the mood if the situation feels unsafe to me and I don’t want anyone to pet Mila. Kids usually understand and respect that.

          If you want to try and socialize the dog, I’d recommend starting with older kids and other dogs. Allow for a lot of social interaction but always use a controlled environment.
          Try to choose a setting you feel comfortable with yourself because if you get nervous your dog feels it and thinks something’s wrong. This will make her more alert and may lead to some undesired reactions. If you can’t manage to find such a setting or feel that your dog becomes hostile easily, maybe she just isn’t one for kids. At some point, we may have to accept that our dogs are their own personalities and that they have a right to dislike others. That doesn’t make them bad characters.
          The only important thing then is to always be alert in certain situations and create a safe environment for everyone.

          The territorial behavior and the barking in some situations may stick even when she gets older. Many Bull Terriers are pretty territorial because they are always ready to defend their home and their pack. As long as this does not turn into open proactive aggression it should be manageable. Usually, if you introduce people and your dog gets a chance to see that you are friendly with each other they will accept the other person, too. However, there can remain cases where doggie just doesn’t adjust.
          Our last Bull Terrier before Mila LOVED people, EVERYONE! Still, there was one man in our circle that she was afraid of for some unknown reason. He always wanted to be friends with her but she could never get herself to accept him. It was just wrong chemistry. Sometimes we just gotta leave it at that.

          The older she becomes the more territorial Mila gets. She is 8 yrs. now. I can stop her barking at some point. But I can’t prevent it entirely.
          If you want to try to handle your dog’s barking and make it a fun game at the same time, try some of the tips in this article:
          https://www.bullterrierfun.com/stop-barking-dogs/

          Good luck!

    • We have this same problem…….but our boy nipped and bruised our 7 year old daughters ankle today. I was in the room, she was sat quietly drawing at the table and he just went up and nipped her for no reason. We never leave our children alone with him – we have only had him for 5 months as a resue and i was thankful of this this today. We are trying to train him but with younger children its hard work. It feels horrible to have to remove him from the room every time the children are around but I’m not sure what else to do. He is so lovely the rest of the time. Any advice welcome

      • Hello Jaymi,
        you are absolutely doing the right thing being so careful. You can’t trust dogs around little kids. They are – and that is especially true for Bull Terriers – kids themselves (same mindset), the only difference being that they are much stronger and have sharper teeth.
        Also, they are animals, meaning they have instincts and we humans never know and notice all possible triggers.
        I have experienced seemingly unwarranted “attacks” myself with my girl. She sometimes likes to go after feet and she can also be a little moody. However, she has never seriously hurt us because she knows that she is not supposed to use intimidation when moody.
        Just walking over and nip someone can happen for several reasons. It could be meant in a playful manner to tease someone, it could have been the dog just having been triggered by the sight of “something” moving which revealed to be your kid’s foot under the table and the dog not realizing this in time. Bull Terriers have been bred to chase after small animals in their history. So small moving things on the floor can become triggers. It could have been a gesture of dominance towards the kid. It could even just have been to dog “grabbing” your kid seeking attention. You were on site and probably have the most reliable impression of what the incident and motivation felt like to you. But even if it was intended to just initiate fun or play – and even more so if it was dominance – the dog needs to unmistakably understand that use of the teeth will not be tolerated.
        The adults in the household need to make that absolutely clear. And the reaction, such as a stern scold and maybe even ignoring (=excluding) the dog for a moment, should come immediately and make an impression in order to help the dog understand WHAT exactly went wrong. Physical punishment is not necessary in my opinion, just saying to make sure nobody gets me wrong when I speak of a stern response. Once the Bull Terrier settles into the family and “its pack” is starting to become important to it they tend to be more compliant and even regret mistakes they made, trying to avoid them in the future (provided they get a chance to really understand what they did wrong). It may take a few times but they will come around. A great way to deepen the impact of the measures is to praise and reward the dog for GOOD behavior around the kids (for example praising it for being gentle and holding still). This way the dog gets a very clear picture of the difference between wanted and unwanted behavior. Also it goes without saying that the kids are also not allowed to tease or hurt the dog. But to me that does not seem to be an issue in your household.
        When it comes to nipping, of course, even once the dog is not using its teeth any longer on people it is always good to remain careful and never leave them alone with little kids. Because after all, they may be angels, but you just never know what can trigger instincts and when. When instincts kick in even the best trained dogs can lose their temper.
        Being aware of that helps to prevent tragedies.
        Good luck with your dog. After what I read from you I am convinced that you are on a good path. And your dog is a good soul, I am sure.
        It just needs to get its head a bit more wrapped around the rules.

  144. After reading your posts AND all the replies, there is one huge problem that CAN and DOES occur but which has not been addressed.
    Constant sucking on soft (artificial fur) toys can give your dog mouth ulcers.
    This happened to our 14 yr old Amstaff X Border Collie, “Zoe”.
    It resulted in a very expensive and prolonged treatment with the vet and now we have simply had to remove all her soft toys. Now she has taken to obsessively licking her plush blanket and I am at my wit’s end as to what to give her as replacement.
    She was found as a pup roaming along the highway and we presume she lost her way somehow or was abandoned.
    Any ideas ?

  145. My 14mth old pitbull does it also but he suckles on my older pitbull who’s a female, it calms him in return she licks him it’s almost like wen he suckles she knows he just looking for attention very cute to see , during these times he really looks and acts like a baby , he always ends up falling asleep ..just wanted to share that with you guys

  146. Good day, I would like to know if it is possible for normal bully parents to have a miniature puppy. Our puppy is 10 weeks old and weighs only 3,55kg and her shoulder hight is 6 inches. She is a very healthy, active puppy.

    • Miniature Bull Terriers are an independent breed with their own breed standard as far as I know. There are definitions for weight and height ranges for Standard Bull Terriers as well as for Miniature Bull Terriers. But that does not mean that there can’t be any exceptions in either breed.
      There are Miniature Bull Terriers that grow pretty big and beyond the defined limits. And there can be pretty tiny Standard Bull Terriers. Our last Standard was so tiny, everyone thought she was a Mini.
      That’s nature and after all tiny Standard Bull Terriers are probably how the breed of Miniature Bull Terriers started in the first place: Selecting tiny standards and mating them, repeating breeding with the resulting individuals aiming for certain heights and weights. And voila.

      At 10 weeks of age it is very hard to predict how large the grown individual will become. Look again at the age of 12 to 18 months.

      There are three factors that influence growth: genetics, health and nutrition. Puppies need a lot of calories for their growth. If your puppy is free of any health conditions but you have the impression that your puppy is always hungry, for example, then maybe increase the food intake a bit and see it that also puts on some pounds.
      I also strongly recommend the typical vaccinations and routine vet visits with the puppy. The vet can also tell you about abnormalities during those visits.
      If the pup seems normal, healthy and well nurtured, just tiny … well, then just wait the development out and see what’s to come. The result in any case will be a wonderful companion.

    • Shops sellig shoes for dogs usually provide tips on measuring the dog’s paws. The measurements are usually the basis of your order, not fixed shoe sizes by breed or so (it’s different from buying shoes for humans).
      If you are trying to buy shoes online from a shop, which does not provide instructions on how to measure for ordering the correct size my recommendation can only be: do not buy there.
      I love the Ruffwear products. Did you check those out already?
      They are at the upper end price-wise but they are worth it and their measurement instructions give you a good chance to order the correct size.
      Hope that helps.

  147. My Staffy ended her heat about 60 days ago but she started to present to the male dogs she is around. The dog we live with continually tries to mount her and wait s for her outside the door and she has no problem with him mounting her and she runs up to him and let’s him do it. I am concerned she could go back on heat with no visible signs because she is around an intact male. Is this true? I am wondering your opinion on what to do as he has inseminated her yesterday and it’s not a pregnancy we want. I will take her and get a prog test. I am not sure what else to do.

    • Hello,
      as stated in my essay I am not an expert on dog pregnancy and heat cycles. My article is intended to share the knowledge I was able to gather as a regular dog owner (I’m not a breeder) on the topic. It is not professional advice for the very reason that I am not a professional.
      Your issues are very specific, which is why I am not able to provide further advice except suggesting to discuss this asap with your vet if you are afraid that your female dog will become pregnant. Sorry that in this case I can’t be of more help.

    • Well, I am not going to make up excuses. I am in the same boat with many people: This is my hobby project and I always need to find time to write & publish more articles besides working my regular job and having a family. I still have some unpublished topics I want to talk about and I am trying to add more new content very soon.
      However, if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to write about, please just let me know. If I am able to say something relevant about the topic, I will make that one of my next stories.

    • Hi my baby white stud BT and I don’t seem to get it right over have control of his allergies. Yes I do get steroids pills and antibiotics, he definitely allergic to corn which has been around now 2yrs and rashes on his feet .. 2-3 home baths( topical Shea control lifesavers and GNC sephebarracous (relieve allergic reactions/ rash) I think spelled it wrong . He now on grain canned 1/2 canned per day mixed dry but I don’t fell like it’s enough. Pethonesty multivitamin senior duck. Please I’m open for suggestion

      • Every single individual is different. There are no blanket solutions and no miracles. You seem to know what you’re doing, avoiding triggers and secondary infection.
        One thing I strongly recommend is feeding some kind of supplement, provided the dog does not react to the ingredients!
        The choices I have tested myself are NuVet and NuPro. I am actually feeding NuPro to date. I also feed salmon oil.
        Boosting the immune system helps a lot when the dog is dealing with inflammation etc. Maybe look into that with your vet next time you visit.

  148. Yes my Shepadoodle does this…came to us at 9 weeks old…good reputable breeder …not the dams first litter. Mia has always sucked on a soft toy…her turtle…and kneads it with her paws…we usually see this behavior in the evening around 10 pm..so she then gets relaxed and falls asleep. We sometimes give the turtle to her at this time so she can settle down…it works like a pacifier…she is 9 months old now beautiful dog, healthy and very smart. She gets plenty of exercise on a daily basis. We do not see this as a problem.

  149. Our yellow Labrador Homer is nine years old. He still suckles our 10 year old male chocolate Humphrey. He has suckled on and off since we got him at nine weeks old. I wanted to mention. Homer has epilepsy. He also looks like he is swatting at flies. He tends to suckle to self soothe. I can tell when he is pre-seizure, by his suckling. He also will chomp his paws. Repetitive behavior can be a sign of a seizure coming. He does not suckle objects or blankets. He really gravitates towards the comfort of myself or my husband or his canine brother Humphrey. We have never corrected his behavior. It does not bother our other dog. They groom each other. I am thankful for this post. Just to know Homer is not the only pup who does this. Incidentally, our chocolate lab Humphrey’s mother struggled to feed her pups and they ended up being bottle fed.

    • So many different stories around the suckling. It’s really amazing! Thank you for sharing this one. Our last dog never suckled on things but she did have seizures. It broke my heart every time watching her. But it’s kind of comforting to know that besides this very nasty ailment these dogs can still have a happy life. Homer is lucky to have you!

  150. I have a bull terrier , hes a great doggo . His names chico , he was dropped off by a friend i have no clue how old he is n even due to the weird circumstances he has grown to trust me n behave n listen . He barks at people he knows around the house though , my little siblings , my uncle n aunts , n no he hasnt barked at me . They all show him the same affection , &’ we havent done anything to frighten him in anyway . Please tell me what triggers him to do this n how to resolve it ! <3

    • Barking is one way a dog communicates and by far does not have the same purpose and meaning in any given situation. Barking can have a number of reasons and is not always a display of aggression, as many people think. Dogs bark to indicate something they consider threatening, they bark to indicate the arrival of others, they bark to greet others or to engage them in interaction. Sometimes they even start barking just because they are bored.

      You are absolutely right to ask for triggers because that would be the first thing necessary to know in order to take the right measures to stop the barking.
      If the dog seems to be intimidated changing some parameters of the situation could help, such as the way people approach the dog. If the barking seems to be protective of you some training and showing the dog that the others are no threat could help. If it is an engaging bark to inspire interaction that would be a very different situation requiring a different path.

      I don’t know how long the dog has been in your household already. But one thought I want to throw in is that the barking could be part of settling in for the dog.
      If it has only been in your home for a few days or weeks, for example, the dog may still be in the process of sorting out who is who, who can be trusted and who it can follow (besides you). Often when a dog enters a new household it will stick to the person it has most interaction with as the one to follow in order to gain some initial stability and security. But there will still be a shorter or longer phase of distrust and insecurity before it really settles. The dog needs to take in a lot of new things and learn to trust. That does not come by nature.
      I am not saying that IS the reason for the barking, but it could be a contributing factor.

      The barking may well be connected to some experience of your dog in the past that you don’t know about.
      But that does not mean the riddle will be impossible to solve.
      However, to analyze your situation and give you some helpful advice I would have to know A LOT more detail about your entre situation at home and the barking situations in particular. The best thing to do in my opinion would be to have someone, ideally professional dog trainer who should especially be experienced with Bull Terriers, on site to evaluate the dog and also the entire situation in person.
      I know it is often not easy to find an experienced dog trainer in one’s area and it can be expensive. If that is the case here, alternatively a vet visit could bring at least some answers.
      Next time you are there for a routine visit you could bring the topic up and ask if the vet has some advice for you. Vets are usually not trainers but at least they see the dog and can assess if health and behavior are looking normal or if the dog seems to be overly intimidated, for example, or stressed, how it behaves around new people etc. and that might produce some input on your issue.

      Another way to gather more input – as the comment section here is not really the ideal place for an ongoing forum-like discussion – I want to recommend joining this forum:
      http://www.bulliesofnc.com/BTforum/discussions

      I am a member there myself. It is a place where you can meet lots of very nice and helpful Bull Terrier owners who love to share their experience and advice.
      You could lay out your story there. But, again, I encourage you to give more details about the situation and how the barking feels to you.
      I am pretty sure that it will not take long to get some answers and may be of great help to you.

  151. Hi I just see this and wanted to chat about my pug …,my pug has a ritual in the morning I get up and she will sit in the same place on my lap and at night she suckles her bed . Her bed is fluffy and furry and quite an expensive bed . We have a younger pug that is more active and I wondered if our 3 year old pug was irritated 😤 by the other pug at night and after a while of suckling she goes to sleep 💤. I wonder what info you may have explored in your finds
    Many thanks
    Sonia Dyne

    • Hello Sonia,
      my conclusion for now, judging by all the different stories, what the suckling dogs seem to have in common is that the habit works like a pacifier to them. However, there seems to exist a variety of reasons why they feel the need to do this.
      For some it seems to mean stress relief while for others it just seems to be like an evening ritual similar to things kids do before they fall asleep.
      If the suckling point towards a deeper issue that needs to be addressed therefore in my opinion needs to be assessed in every case individually and if necessary steps taken.
      In some cases no action is required at all.

  152. Hi Dorothea,
    We have a 2 year old Bull terrier since he was a puppy, he is absolutely beautiful, around us he is just a really big sook and goof ball when he wants to play. Our boy hasn’t had a whole heap of socialisation ( we did attempt to introduce him to my parents Rottweilers although the male was very territorial) and other dog owners just walk away in disgust / in terror due to his breed which breaks our heart, George has always been extremely excited when he sees other Dogs, Cats and Birds he loves EVERYTHING. We have 3 cats which he absolutely adores and soaks up all their attention even to the point they will eat his food out of his bowl at the same time and he does not care, he allows them to.

    We recently go a new female bull terrier puppy for his company, we saw some slight signs of depression from no dog interaction (i note, we have not ever had 2 bull terriers at once before so this part is new to us, i have grown up owning multiple rottweilers at once), which we thought it was important to get a puppy so then she will be able to grow and learn to adapt to our how boy, as well as out cats ( they are the true rulers in the house). Our boy was absolutely STOKED that he got a play friend and meanwhile i know and understand bullies play rough although my partner and i are concerned about how rough they do play. Our boy puts his mouth around her neck and bites ( some times pulls) her ears, tumbles on her, and she bites his facts / legs and feet and ears which some times leads to yelping from both ends but they always come back to playing again. I would “assume” that this would be something she is used to given her parents although we get concerned because everything we have taught our older boy goes out the windows ( basic commands) until we speak with authority.

    Can you PLEASE give me some advice in the best way to train both of our Bull Terriers and when is the best time to in-convene. Is it best to leave them both in the back yard for a couple of hours to get all of their energy out? We really want our older boy to become calm around her but given his age there is still signs of immaturity.

    Additionally – I’ve tried researching MANY bull terrier forums, do you have any pointers to stop bull terriers from biting their tails?

    Appreciate your help in advance

    • Hello Rachel,
      I would interrupt any fighting or misconduct immediately. The education of dogs – similar to kids – works two ways. Good habits can transfer but bad habits can transfer, too.
      The mischief of the younger dog could easily ruin your former training success with the older dog if you leave the situation unattended.
      Rough play is ok to a certain point bit you should also be ready to interfere if rough turns into serious, which can happen.
      I would at least be within earshot when the dogs are playing on their own and be ready to interrupt.

      As for the tail biting: If the dog is not chasing the tail but truly biting it there may be an underlying health issue. Some dogs start doing such things out of boredom when they don’t get enough exercise or entertainment. But that does not seem to be the case here. Your dog has lots of things going on during the day. So it may be something else. Too much input or tress is also sometimes a reason. But its hard to tell from here.
      Talking to a vet would be an option in this case.
      Also, I want to recommend a really great forum to you – I am a member there, too:
      http://www.bulliesofnc.com/BTforum

      The owner is a Bull Terrier breeder and the majority of the community there are Bull Terrier owners who know their breed really well. : -)
      If you register and post your questions there I am sure that you will quickly receive input from different directions and perspectives on the tail biting and also about how to handle two Bull Terriers in one household. I am sure that could be very helpful for you!
      If I can be of any more help, just let me know.

  153. My chihuahua loves to chew tennis balls. Now he has inhaled some of the fibers. I have not realized what the problem is until after lots of expensive tests. Now his lungs are filled with fluid and he may die from pneumonia unless I get an expensive operation that I cannot even come close to affording.

  154. Hi we have a ebt hes 3yrs old. And for the last two years hes been on aquopel for his allergies. We initially thought this would be seasonal but unfortunately hes on it all year round. He also developed folliculitis. He has been prescribed anti biotics which didn’t clear it up so it he was given steroids. We also give him piriton which helps with the itching. And now hes developed small lumps all over his body they seem to be scabbing and drying up. We wash his feet with a mild antiseptic when hes been exercising. We are managing his allergies I dont think hell ever be free of them poor dog. Hes an amazing dog and puts up with alot. Any advice would be great.

  155. I’m trying to determine whether scratching I’m seeing in my 12-week-old Bull Terrier puppy is the result of allergy, or neurosis. He has (healing) scabs on his front legs and particularly in the morning seems unable not to scratch. I’ve dremeled his nails so they are rounded, tight to the paw and smooth so he has his best chance for healing. I also redirect with games and toys to try to take the focus off his legs. Aside from the obviously healing injury (which I at first attributed to litter mates), his heart doesn’t really seem to be in it when he’s scratching…almost like “here we go again”. I’m going to the vet next week to get 2nd shots and have this looked at. He’s a terrific pup. I’m just worried for him.

    • Scabs on the front legs more likely originate from excessive licking.
      This can have different reasons, from boredom to allergies.
      It is a very good idea to bring this up at your next vet visit.
      Also, if you want to give your pup’s immune system a boost, check out NuPro or NuVet and think about a little good quality fish oil now and then for omegas.
      Both, NuPro and NuVet are great supplements to help your pup getting the nutrients it needs during growth.

  156. Hi there
    My staffy girl is 17months and has had 2 heat cycles so far (4months apart) i have spoken to a vet and she doesnt seem to concerned as long as the blood is normal in colour which it is. As shes quiet young our vet and breeder have both said she may regulate to every 6 months as she gets older.
    But can they go every 4months?

    • Hi Meegan,
      my girl seemed a little irregular during her first few heat cycles, too. But over time it really balanced and now I can almost predict to the day when she is becoming due every six months.
      Give it some more time. If after the next two to three cycles she is still on four months, I would talk to the vet again just to be sure this is nothing to worry about.

  157. I have a rescue beagle pup that was breed by a disreputable breeder. She was sold at 4 weeks old and ended up at Canines in Crisis. We adopted her at five months. I noted her sucking behavior shortly after adopting her and perceived that it was a comforting behavior. She continues to suck on a blanket at night when she is tired. She is well socialized as I have two other dogs. She is very gentle, sweet and outgoing. I do toss the blanket in the wash often.

  158. My 8 month old Border Collie began doing this when I bought a fuzzy king size bedspread for his bed. He falls asleep afterward. I purchased him from a responsible breeder who uses Puppy Culture and shared weekly pictures and videos of my pup and sibs.
    I didn’t pickup my pup until 9 weeks and he has been widely socialized since getting here. I think it’s just calming and part of the licking thing that helps dogs calm with the release of endorphins.

  159. I rescued a neighbors little yorkie mix chwawa 7yrs old they no longer wanted due to children born he was so thin tiny lite as a feather he is a n out 15 lbs. Now I noticed this young cple. Are never home this little dog barks so loud every morning when I open the cubbard to get dog food wont stop till you set his bowl on the floor as if he went without food you might not feed him till he sees his bowl on the floor he ran franticly whem I fist got him ate his phoop in my yd so I had to watch where he went pick it up immediately i have never seen nor knew of animals sucking on toys all day long I previously lived on a farm had tons of animals and took in strays. I believe this little dog was caged and left alone for days with out food he no longer runs frantically. Buts barks so bad at feeding time and sucks on his toys till he falls asleep at his naps in the day time only not at nite tme? And carries his toys every wher in the hse he goes my bed is where he sleeps at nite it to is loaded with toys but he doesnt suck at nite he snuggles up against me Ive never tried to discourage him from this sucking of his toys sees he always falls asleep after I think I learned something I never knew existed or saw Hes sort of cute when I watch must make him feel better theres no harm to him he family I love him dearly

  160. My girl, is 10 months old 39 days since possible breeding. Her teats and vulva are still swollen. Teats glands seem to be going down. Do you think this is possibly a false pregnancy or real?

    • Hi Genia,
      In my experience, the teats often start swelling even more AFTER the heat cycle is finished and they can stay enlarged for a long time (weeks to months). This happens due to the hormonal situation in the dog’s body with or without a present pregnancy.
      Enlarged teats are not a reliable indicator of present or absent pregnancy. If you are not sure if your dog is pregnant, only a pregnancy test can give you a reliable answer. Also the teats are no indicator of a false pregnancy. A very reliable indicator is the dog starting to carry around small toys like they were puppies, whimpering and emotional behavior.

  161. My German Shepherd puppy is 7 months and he does it. This is the first GSD we’ve had who did blanket sucking and cuddling. We met his litter of 12 and his mother, when he was 5 weeks and then at 6 and a half weeks and we picked him up at 8 weeks. This was the first litter for his mother and she was tired of feeding them and readily pushed them away each time as I remember. She was a nice dog, but probably exhausted. I have been curious about it and I think it’s so cute and it’s self soothing for him. Having read that it is probably OCD I do know that another of our shepherds repeatedly chews on and licks his leg on occasion.

  162. I’m so relieved after reading all the comments. My terrier mix just started doing this after we’ve had her for a year. I was concerned (and still am somewhat) that she was feeling anxiety so have been trying to figure out why. Nothings changed in our lives so I can’t find any reason for this. It’s nice to know I have a lot of company in this behavior with my beautiful girl.

  163. My female has been in heat four weeks and a one day. Visually there are no signs that she even should be, but my female is still VERY MUCH trying to breed her. Can anyone help us? Should be bathe her to remove any residual smells? What’s the longest anyone knows of a cycle?

    • All I can tell you is that “visual signs” are no reliable indicator of anything. If you have an intact male and female in the same household and the male keeps trying to mount her while you don’t want your female to become pregnant you should keep them completely apart until you are absolutely sure that your female’s cycle is over (either by giving it enough time or talking to your vet to make sure).
      Washing will not change anything. You can’t wash away hormones and other signals the body is sending when a female is ready to mate.

  164. I foster care bullies & applied medicated powder on skin rashes on bellies for overnight clearing next morning. Bought powder at Dollar Store.
    Good luck.

    • I just adopted a 3 year old bull terrier and i noticed he started obsessively licking his privates and his eyes became very red. Today the outer skin of his privates is red, raw and swollen. I am positive he obsessively was licking because he is having allergies.
      What is the name of the powder bought at dollar store

      • I am sorry, Jennifer, I can’t answer this question. I don’t know.

        If everything is raw, disinfecting is a good idea. You should use something formulated for dogs that does not sting. The dog will already be in pain.
        I also recommend having a vet check the dog. It sounds like allergies to me, which means there are two routes ahead of you now: The first one is immediate relief through medication that the vet can prescribe. But this should not be given long-term.
        The second route is the search for the trigger. I think the vet can also advise you regarding this.

        It is important to understand that – if you are really dealing with allergies – one round of medication will only bring temporary relief.
        Multiple rounds of medication could keep the symptoms in check, but this comes with a hefty price tag for the dog and for you: side effects and frequent vet visits.

        If it is allergies, you need to identify and avoid the trigger in order to leave this vicious cycle and achieve long-term relief.

  165. I Have a Shihtzu who will grab one of her toys and go lay down somewhere and lick the tag on her toy until it is ready to fall off…And she will do this with every toy she has that comes with a tag on it

    Not sure why??!!

    • Good question. All I know is that dogs do seem to have “a plan” with things. But as long as the “tag mania” is not causing any problems I would probably just let her so her thing.
      And one more thing I know for sure: If I could talk to my dog for just an hour or so and get answers from her in words I can understand I would have a LOT of questions. : – )

  166. Have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. I have a fox terrier x (father) with American bulldog and red nose pitbull (mother). He randomly will suck on a blanket, or hold it in his mouth and then move his paws like kneading his mum’s nipple. I’ve never known of this behaviour before even though I’ve lived with quite a few dogs of different breeds to this one. A different idea I’d like to contribute after reading someone saying it’s likened to a child sucking their thumb, in that this behaviour could be because the child/dog is wanting to reset a part of their anatomy in their head i.e. their spheno-basilar junction which can become dislodged during birth or the head having suffered a blow of some kind e.g. for a dog, lifting head up under a chair, table or open cupboard door. Also when making contact with another dog when play fighting.

    • First off (great read!) It’s very difficult to go on line sometimes and try to pin point a particular dog condition or someone going through what you are and really not having the answer that you can feel is the right one. I’ve recently lost my best friend Chloe a shih tzu mix thinking I was doing the right thing by removing a growth she had on her foot that she contentiously licked. It had gotten so big that I thought for sure it must be a bad thing, she also was a little over weight that i blame myself entirely for. How can anyone say no to puppy dog eyes? Anyway at her surgery her poor little body did not do well with the anesthesia and as a result cause her respiratory to fell and after two days in a oxygen room at the vet she passed away. The vet told me she stood up took one long last breath then fell over. The vet tried to revive her by doing cpr but could not bring her back. Chloe was at that time 11 or 12 im not sure exactly because I had rescued her when she was I guess you would call a teenager. Come to find out that the growth on her foot was not cancerous it was just a fatty tissue common with dogs of her breed. The thing is I would of never found out if the growth was cancerous for sure if I hadn’t had it removed and tested. To be honest with you I really thought it bothered her because she would lick it so much. if Im not mistaken dogs will lick there wounds. I miss Chloe each and everyday and made a silent promise to her that I would make it up to her so I adopted a senior shih tzu her name is Lexi she is 14 yrs + she is partially blind and a bit deaf she is a very sweet dog, funny and boy is she smart! I rescued her from a woman that had rescued her before at age 11. With Lexi I’ve noticed early signs dementia with pacing and crying because she wants the light on but the new thing is suckling and grooming her self so much on her tummy her hair is matted down to her skin. Im with her almost 24-7 so its not a separation thing because I really think dogs live in the here and now with no concept of time it just seems reasonable. With this corona virus breakout I have been home more so than not and that means all day every day and no visitors. Well my sister came to visit, haven’t seen her in 3 yrs so there was a lot of loud laughing and carrying on that I’m sure lexi didn’t understand and might have, to her, thought it was arguing. After my sister went home is when I noticed the suckling and she had been doing it almost everyday since not a lot but enough for me to notice. She doesn’t necessarily do this before going to sleep or for any specific reason. And with her being a senior dog I worry that it might be something. Anyway what I guess I’m trying to say is if this is just something they’ve done since you’ve had your dog then let them have it if its something new and a odd behavior in or dog then yes it is something that needs your attention. The way you handle is your choice alone, just remember that they depend on us for EVERYTHING so getting to know your dog has to be the most important thing. If I had researched more before having Chloe’s growth removed I’m sure I would have second thoughts about having it done. I thought I knew-knew my dog but you really don’t and just going to the vet alone might not always be the answer. If we didn’t have a way to reach out and find others to compare and discus the what’s and what-if’s we would always be in a state of worry, dogs feed off of our feeling so they are in the same state. I know that with Lexi a very long and rocky road lay in-front of us but she has given me such joy and happiness since Chloe passed it is the least I can do for her is to make her time with me as happy and care free as I can.

      • Hello Misty,
        what a story! I can SO feel your regrets. I had the same thing … sometimes still have … with our last Bull Terrier, Fancy. In hindsight I have made a lot of mistakes with her. But at the time I thought I was doing the right thing. I too have somehow tried to make it right with another dog. And it’s true, Mila benefits A LOT from the things Fancy taught me. Living with her for quite some years now my sad feelings about mistakes of the past have eased and I am able to forgive myself, because I realized I did not know better. I did my very best at that time. Had I known better, I would have acted differently. Sadly, in live our mistakes are what makes us who we are today and we can’t turn back time to correct things in the past.
        I am very happy to hear that you are taking such good care of an adopted older dog. Not everyone would take that pick. But to me, that is one story of it’s own. It’s your new dog story. A different one. It’s not making anything right, there’s no need to. It’s what you do and who you are: Taking care of a living being and making it happy.

        Chloe, I am sure, had the best life she could ever have wished for with you. And most of all she had a caring owner trying to do what’s best for her.
        Who knows what an alternative outcome could have been. Better? Sure, possible. Worse, because of prolonged suffering? Possible, as well.
        The bump could have been malignant and I do not think that you could have done a whole lot differently because after all when it comes to ulcers, of course we can guess. But we can only be sure, once there has been a REAL examination, which is always connected to other risks, such as anesthesia. Maybe it would have been even harder for you to make the decision to have this examined IF you would have known more about the risks. Of course, it likely bothered her. She did not lick it all the time for no reason. You would still not have known if doing nothing would be the better decision in this case.
        Sometimes, as sad as it is, the only thing we can learn from experience is, HOW HARD it is to make “the right decision”, and how hard it will be over and over again in similar situations. Experience does not necessarily give us perfect guidance for the next time we have to face similar things. What I am trying to say is: Some things are just not 100% in our hands. And the only thing we can decide and do is what we feel is right at that very moment.
        Looking at it from that perspective, you absolutely did the right thing, that’s my take. And I am sure that Chloe sends you love and hugs from doggie heaven. She knew how much you care about her.
        I wish you a lot of fun with Lexi. Just, don’t freak out should you reach a point that requires hard decisions again. That tends to happen when our furry pals reach a certain age. Don’t try to set things right. Don’t start beating yourself up about decisions in the past then. Just do exactly what you did before: Do what you feel it the BEST step at the very moment you have to make the decision. Your dog will feel that you only have its best interests in mind.

  167. My Brittney Spaniel does the suckling when he is ready to fall asleep or is at the relaxing stage. He has never had any trauma nor has he ever been separated from mom at an early age. I wonder all the time why he does it, but he not one of the breeds above mentioned.

    • Well, that statement is probably true and not true at the same time. As with many other things the dose is what makes the poison.
      Garlic consumed by a dog in high amounts – as well as plants containing the same problematic substance, such as onions, leeks, scallions, chives and shallots – can damage the red blood cells in a dog, which quite obviously can cause serious problems if that happens to a great extend.
      If your dog catches the net of onions or garlic you just brought home from the grocery store and consumes it all at once, YES, it IS time to worry and the best thing to do is have your dog seen by your vet immediately. Because as far as I know this kind of poisoning can be treated and severe consequences be prevented if discovered early.

      On the other hand, in small amounts many consider garlic beneficial in a dog’s nutrition and most dogs tolerate very small amounts well. You will actually find it in a lot of dog foods or supplements, often closer to the bottom of the list of ingredients because it’s only contained in tiny amounts for the above reasons.
      One reason many consider it so beneficial is that the sulfur in the garlic will be excreted through the dog’s skin, which is said to help keeping fleas away. Another reason are the antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties of garlic. It is even said to be usable as an anthelmintic (de-worming agent) and a natural antibiotic. Some say it can also support the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.

      But I do not see it as an essential ingredient in a dog’s nutrition. So, if you are worried there’s really nothing wrong with just skipping the garlic.
      Your dog will be just as happy without it. : – )

      • If it’s a natural antibiotic it would kill the natural gut biome. It can’t be antibiotic and improve gut bacteria at the same time.

        It’s poison to dogs. Just because they can tolerate small amounts does not mean you should feed it to them on a regular basis.

        It’s like when a human baby eats some cat poop from the sandbox. It’s nothing to freak out about but you certainly don’t want to encourage this.

  168. My Staffordshire bull terrier recently started barking while inside his cage. It started this weekend when my 5 yr old nephew came over, and he has been coming over for months. My nephew left last night we first suspected that it was jealousy but he is still barking. I don’t want to give him back to the shelter, but I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried exercising him, rewarding him when he stops barking, giving him attention when he stops barking, putting him outside, letting him sleep with me, and now vibrating collar. I don’t want to but I don’t know what else to do. what way can I stop him from barking?

    • Hello Destiny,
      I understand that this problem is likely causing you a great deal of stress. And I see that you have already tried a lot of the typical remedies recommended in such situations. Unfortunately, it is impossible to assess this situation to its full extend and give helpful advice over the internet just from a few sentences.
      One would have to see the circumstances in your home in order to do the most important thing first: Identify the trigger. This could be caused by anything from boredom over fear or pain to certain noises occurring frequently and triggering the barking. Your nephew’s visit may have something to do with it but it might as well be pure coincidence.
      Unfortunately you have not said a lot about when exactly the barking starts and how long it usually lasts. You mentioned that your dog even keeps barking when not in the cage but when in your bed. It would probably also be good to know how exactly this happens, suddenly or continuously ….?
      One thing is definitely clear: Something is setting off your dog. So, only finding out what it is can help to start working on it.

      I can only provide you with some more ideas to pound, because I did not find them in your description. But that does not mean that you have not already tried them. I can only guess here and hope that it brings your closer to finding the trigger:

      In order to exclude any kind of noise as the cause, have you tried to move your dog’s cage to a quiet and remote location AND/OR if it is not there already to your bedroom to give your dog the security that the pack is together during sleep?

      How is the construction of the cage? Is it open to all sides? Or does it have at least a part with closed sides and top where the dog can really retreat without constantly feeling exposed? Imagine that you would have to sleep on a mattress in the middle of the room and you don’t even have a blanket. That would probably make you feel uncomfortable and maybe even prevent you from falling asleep, because you don’t feel safe in this kind of bed. Dogs are very similar. Feeling too exposed in their cages could make them nervous and result in being overly alert (=barking at the flies on the wall). So, in case your dog’s cage is an all open metal grid construction this could contribute to your dog not being able to find rest.

      Another approach: Has anything else changed for your dog recently? Is it on a new diet aiming for weight loss, for example? Don’t laugh, even hunger can cause a dog to bark.

      Or, has anything changed in your neighborhood or at your home, such as a close neighbor or family member changing work shifts, returning home at unusual times now, for example? Or do you know of anyone having a newborn baby or a new pet in their home being close to you? Has anyone moved into your close neighborhood recently?

      Do you have Raccoons or other scavenging animals in your area that your dog may be hearing and alerting you about?

      Do you know anything about the history of your dog? Experiences that might cause anxiety or extreme awareness when triggered by certain noises, for example?

      How much exercise and interaction does your dog regularly have during the day? Bored dogs sometimes start barking when everything around them becomes quiet to attract attention.

      Could there be anything your dog can see from its position and wants to have when in its cage at night? That means the cage would be closed and the dog can’t leave it to get to the desired object.

      You see, the list of possible triggers could go on and on. And there are so many more possibilities even I am probably not even thinking about right now. It is just impossible to really guess what is going on without seeing the situation.
      Therefore, please don’t be disappointed in me suggesting to seek the help of a dog expert in your area and advising you to have your dog also checked healthwise as far as all of this is possible under the current circumstances. I would really love to help you for the sake of your nerves and to keep your dog out of a shelter.
      But there is sadly not really much more I can do from here. I wish you a quick solution for your problem, one that fits everyone, including your dog.

  169. My 4 year old bull terrier has been shedding a lot recently, but today as I was brushing his hair, chunks of it started to fall out and at the roots of the hair chunks was some sort of brown bacteria. I’m not too sure what it is.

    • Hello Sophia,
      sorry for answering so late. But I would only be able to speculate what this could be or could have been. Maybe it has resolved in the meantime.
      To me that sounds like it could be some kind of yeast issue.
      But there are a number of reasons why Bull Terriers loose hair or get bumps. And the brown specs could as well be something entirely different than yeast.
      Very often hair loss and bumps are related to allergy and environmental factors, nutrition or both.
      In these cases it is vital to look at every aspect of the animal’s live. Does it experience sudden stress, sudden changes that could cause stress? Has the nutrition changed? Does the dog show any other signs of discomfort or illness? Is the dog itchy?
      There is so much to consider that after making a list of these things I would always suggest to have the dog evaluated by a veterinarian, especially because a lot of ailments in this category and in particular if you ARE in fact dealing with yeast overgrowth, these issues do not resolve until the underlying factors change.
      Good luck! Very sorry for not being more helpful.
      But without seeing the dog and knowing a lot more about the issue, it is just impossible to give really helpful advice over the internet.

  170. Hi there! Just stumbled on your site while researching for a solution for my poor doggy. “Biggie” is a 4 year old male EBT. About 2 years ago he seemed to suddenly become allergic to EVERYTHING… all feathered things. .beef..grains..you name it .. I feel like I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried a raw diet (that’s how we figured out he is allergic to chicken and beef) and various dry food brands. We’re currently trying Zignature Kangaroo dry food, we’re going on month 3 and not seeing much change. We’ve tried apoquel and didn’t see improvement with that either. He isn’t a big self licker.. but his poor tummy is soooo red! And I can tell he’s itchy and frustrated. I’d so appreciate any ideas you might have. I hope you and your loved one are safe and healthy.

    • Hello Cuisette,
      so sorry to hear about your dog suffering so badly. Even though Bull Terriers are known for skin issues and allergies being very common among the breed, and even other breeds starting to more and more sensitive over time often from consuming a lot of very high processed food, this really sounds like an extra special case.
      Kudos for taking on the challenge and taking such great care of your little one! Your dog is just lucky to have you.
      Unfortunately besides the usual tips, such as keeping Biggie very clean, use only care products formulated for very sensitive dog skin, try coconut oil (if that does not get licked off!) to soothe the belly and try to add a vitamin supplement to the nutrition if tolerated to boost the dog’s immune system, I admittedly do not have a whole lot in my quiver for this case, which makes me sad.
      If you are at the point where Apoquel – a medication that should only be considered when all other options are exhausted – does not bring any visible relief, I can’t offer any more ideas.
      This will likely remain a day to day journey for all of you.
      The only thing that comes to my mind when I read your story is that I really feel like, if you can’t find any kind of nutrition that helps with the redness and itchiness, is this really food related? Because, honestly, this is a loooong list of allergies. I’ve heard of such cases in the past. I know they do exist.
      But if you have not done this so far – which I doubt – but just in case, you may want to look deeper into all the environmental factors around your dog. Maybe there IS something else at least contributing. I don’t know if this input is of any help. But I sincerely hope it is.

  171. Hi was wondering if you could help me my girl just turned a year on the 18th of March she started her season on the 10th of March she was really swollen then she started bleeding a few days after now that’s 4 weeks up and she’s still really swollen , really red and bleeding again , she won’t stop licking herself constantly she can’t sit still without licking am worried about her could you help ?

    • Hi Nicole,
      sorry for the wait. I was so busy during the last weeks that I did not get the chance to take a look into the comments.
      The heat cycle can vary a lot in appearance, lengths and intervals inbetween.
      There is no golden rule here.
      Often the first one or two cycles also go a little different, like the dog is adjusting. Over time, the mentioned factors, such as appearance, lengths and intervals inbetween should kind of balance and the dog should become regular.
      If that is not the case or if one cycle does develop significantly different from the last ones – which of course you can only know if your dog already went through some cycles over time – than it is time to have the dog checked by a vet.
      I hope that your case has resolved in the meantime and that your dog is well and healthy!

  172. I have a 1 1/2 year old(will be 2 in July) Pitbull Lab Mix. Ever since we got her a teddy bear at 5months, I have seen her suck on one of the ends of the bear and slowly fall asleep. I thought she’ll grow out of it because I didn’t think nothing of it knowing we got her super early ( 5weeks). Which I thought it was my fault because when she was a baby baby I gave her an exact baby bottle from Walmart with a nipple size I thought match her mother’s.. I also allow her to suck on a pacifier.
    Me and my husband is trying to find out until this day on why my Miss. LaylaBell is still sucking on a stuffed animal or one of her soft toys. We have 2 other dogs(3 year old Min Pin and a year old blue & red nose pitbull brindle BOYS) that don’t do that. We also thought it could be mother instincts but that couldn’t be it because like I said she’s been doing it since she was 5months. But I have heard that dogs are more mature at young age depending on breed and sex of the dog. (Who’s to save if that’s true or not)
    I would love to learn more about dogs behaviors and the meanings behind them.

  173. My Doberman did the same thing 2 days ago. I immediately called the vet who said do not make her throw up as it could cause damage. She said to feed her a lot of bread and dry dog food which I did. Now just waiting… and praying it passes without causing damage. She is drinking a LOT of water but doesn’t seem to have any pain. This is so stressful!!

  174. Hello I’m curious can I breed my bull Terrier girl with my miniature bull Terrier boy and if so what what it be consider ?

    • Hi George,
      if you have a male and a female nature says you could mate them.
      But, kidding aside, this is a very comprehensive topic. Therefore I would like to refer you to a Bull Terrier breeder with tons of knowledge regarding this.

      My own take on breeding, but that’s just me: First of all it is important to know that many modern dog breeds do have a lot of different genetic failures sitting deep in their DNA which are caused by crossbreeding and even inbreeding performed to create or promote certain physical features. Selective mating of certain individuals is how we came to over 400 different dog breeds today. Sadly not only features do reproduce and evolve, but so do genetic failures in many cases. The greater the extend of such genetic failures, the greater the risk for a number of ailments in the resulting dogs. These risks multiply when two individuals having such genetic failures and hereditary ailments – which sometimes the naked eye will not even notice – are being bred and so on.
      This is why it is important to prevent the reproduction at least of known failures or in other words to not breed such individuals, which is why breeding comes with large responsibility. When we play nature and mate animals we take on the responsibility of trying to produce offspring that will be able to lead a healthy life.
      Not to mention that every person who breeds dogs should be able to make sure that every puppy will land in responsible and loving hands, who are willing and able to handle the breed.
      But enough from me.

      I am very happy that you are trying to gather information on what to consider before making your decision.
      I encourage you to post your question in this forum: https://bulliesofnc.com/BTforum/categories or talk to the owner himself https://bulliesofnc.com/. His name is Steve, he is an experienced Bull Terrier breeder and I am very sure that he will have a lot of valuable information for you.
      Good luck in your endeavor.

  175. Hi, I’m just wondering if you can help, I have a bull terrier and she’s pregnant she’s got a load of scabs at the back end on her back above her tail she’s been itching them and it’s left a big sore and her hair falls out with the scabs I don’t know what is causing this how would I find out ?

    • Danielle,
      I am so sorry. I will probably not be an immediate help. In such cases there rarely is.
      The itch and hair loss could absolutely be related to the pregnancy. Just as humans, dogs go through hormonal changes during a pregnancy and that can have some undesired side’effects, so to speak.
      But it could as well be completely unrelated. Allergies, inflammation, hair loss and itch can be caused by an abundance of triggers. Environment, nutrition, general health, genetics, stress or lack of exercise – just to name some things.
      My experience is that in Bull Terriers allergies are very often related to their nutrition. Even if it’s not the trigger, a good nutrition supports the immune system which then helps the dog to cope better with allergies.
      What I would do in your case is, first, take a VERY close look into the time period since the hair loss and itch started and try to see if anything changed for your dog since then. Products you use it could come in contact with (detergent etc.), food, treats, seasons, stress or boredom.
      And then I would make an appointment with a vet you trust and discuss your findings with them.
      In the meantime you could use a disinfectant for animals and epsom salt rubs (it the spot is not raw and open, because epsom salt stings, dogs usually hate that) to prevent the spot from attracting secondary infection, because that will only make things worse and harder to handle.
      If you want, feel free to post the vet’s opinion and your own findings here. I will be happy to help keep digging through the information you are able to gather in order to maybe get closer to the causes.

  176. Hello everyone,

    I’m looking for help with determining and trying to find answers as to what my 6 month mini is allergic to. He’s on day 4 of antibiotics, I eliminated all treats and feeding now raw diet (salmon) with few grain free natural dry food in the mix. His belly rash and paws are only getting worse. I’m trying to pin point triggers but and wondering if it’s grass that he’s allergic to. I do add probiotics 2-3 times a week and wondering if I should stop giving him antibiotics as I read they may only worsen the problem by wearing his immune system. Will be scheduling a dermatologist appointment tomorrow as his regular Vet is at a loss and does not have experience with the MBT breed or allergies at such a young age. Any advice or suggestions please?

    Thank you,
    Rita

    • Hi Rita,
      I just told another owner about how hard it is to detect the causes of allergies. You are right that antibiotics are not great for the gut and can sometimes do more harm than good. But at this point I would probably not stop giving it, the reason being: Stopping now would mean having exposed the dog to the side effects without giving the medicine a chance to do its work. But that is only my opinion. I want to stress that I am NOT a doctor and this is NOT medical advice. I have not seen your dog and there may be circumstances I do not even know about that make you think about stopping the antibiotic and that may be very valid. Therefore, for the final decision the prescribing vet would be the best person to discuss this with.
      Adding probiotics definitely sounds like a good idea to me.
      Just as with young children in puppies it takes some time for the immune system to develop and they can experience allergies at a young age.
      Sometimes they literally grow out of it. But not in every case. Sometimes they grow up fine and allergies start breaking out at a later age. Allergies are not tied to any particular age in general.
      No matter if puppy or grown adult, the best chance to find allergy triggers is either testing, if available, or exclusion. Taking a look at everything that may have changed for the dog since the breakout started and limiting exposure to the things that have changed if that is possible.
      If it is seasonal you will probably need some time to watch it recurring or have an allergy test performed.
      One thing you can definitely do during breakouts it try to prevent secondary infection which usually is what requires the treatments with antibiotics.
      Disinfectant, mild shampoos, epsom salt baths, disinfecting wipes … there are several things that can be used.
      Avoiding secondary infection is one of the most important things besides finding the allergy’s trigger, because they are what usually puts a LOT of additional stress on the immune system of your dog and make it feel more miserable in general.

  177. On Thursday Morning 11:30 my Labradoodle Archie swallowed a 7.5cm wooden satay stick. I had foolishly held out the stick expecting to to take the chicken off, but he snatched the whole stick, I screamed at him no, no, but to know avail it was gone.
    I started feeding him on a lot of wet food to try and make him sick, that didn’t work.
    I then fed him with as much buttered bread as I could get him to eat.
    The next morning at 5am he had me up, wanting to do his business on the back garden, but walking round in circles as if distressed. He eventually did some pooing and I was expecting to find the stick but no I was disappointed.
    Archie was showing no unusual signs through the day so I continued my poop watch, but nothing Friday or Saturday and Archie still as lively as ever. My wife took him out Friday evening but failed to check his poop
    Today, Sunday, at around 10:00, fantastic news. On checking his poop! Which was a quite a solid effort about 20mm x 100mm there it was completely intact

    • Well, this is some lucky dog! You should let it pick the lottery numbers for you.
      Very happy for you about that outcome. This really is a nightmare situation for every owner.
      Thanks for sharing.

  178. Bravecto!!!!!!!!! I have a mini bull terrier that was having terrible skin issues. Scrabs everywhere blood blisters on his belly and all. It was so depressing for him and myself. I tried EVERYTHING from 3 different food all grain free. Tried all different types of protein from salmon to bison and nothing was working. Washed him every 2-3 days with oatmeal based shampoos and conditioners. Vet finally found the issue and prescribed bravecto. He was feeling better within a few days and he’s now 95 percent better after a month.

  179. My dog just ate a tooth pick, maybe a little over 2 inches big. Hes a cane corso, I luckily found this page(thank you so much for writing this). I gave him sauerkraut and two got dogs rolls. Now I just pray everything comes out alright.

    • Keeping my fingers crossed for your furry friend! Even during this challenging time: If there is a chance, I’d let the dog get checked by a vet. I would have done the same back then had we not been out in the middle of nowhere at the time. At least if the dog shows even the slightest signs of not being well, lethargy or pain I’d recommend to take him to the vet immediately.

  180. Hi, my bull terrier just turned 8 months & weighs 21.2kg & is approx 40cm in height. I was told that his mum is a standard & that his dad is a standard/mini mix. Can’t confirm this as i bought him of a backyard breeder, although his dna test states ebt on both sides all the way back to great granparents. I don’t know how accurate these tests are & wether they make any distinction between the standard & mini. My question is, can i expect him to reach the standard height of 51cm & what weight is he likely to reach once fully grown? Otherwise, he is healthy & has not the greatest or the worst of appetites. Would love to hear your thoughts, many thanks.

    • Hello Steve,
      predicting the size of your adult dog would be like looking into a crystal ball. There is hardly any reliable way to predict the final size of a puppy as far as I know.
      If you know the parents and they are both the same, either rather small or rather big, that might be an indication of how the puppy could turn out. Or if you look at former litters of the parents and how much these puppies grew. That might give you a hint.
      Maybe your vet has some ways of measuring certain features and then guess, similar to the way doctors assess the growth of human children. I do not know if such a thing also exists for dogs.
      Other than that I am afraid you will just have to wait it out.
      My girl had huge paws as a puppy, she still has. And a huge chest. And I thought she is going to grow pretty big. Turns out she didn’t.

  181. Our Chihuahua Pug mix (bigger than a pug) swallowed a 1 inch by 1/2 inch thin, wooden craft piece shaped like a turtle. She did this almost 48 hours ago. Still no evidence of it in her poop. She is acting fine but I’m on pins and needles ever hour! The vet said do not induce vomiting and just to wait and see if she expels it. It had two small turtle legs that curved out of it so I’m so afraid they will cause it to lodge. She has pooped 3 times since swallowing it.

    • Keeping my fingers crossed for your little one!
      When dogs swallow things its often not the same as with humans. Not everything passes through the body and then gets expelled if not digestible right away.
      Swallowed items can sit for a really long time in a dog’s stomach. It can cause vomiting several times without emerging until it eventually comes out one way or the other. That can take weeks!
      Its probably not really comforting at this point but I think it is still good to know.
      If the legs of that turtle are not really sharp or pointy I thing judging by the size of your dog blockage is the bigger threat compared to puncturing.
      But of course, I am not a doctor. Just hold on. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and everything that comes out. If you notice any changes in your dog’s wellbeing, see the vet again immediately.
      Good luck!

  182. I’m going to try the clicker method. I think my body and I can conquer this as well as my other two dogs faith and Jack! Thank you so much for your assistance. I will let you know how it goes! Thank you again and have a great day evening months a year etc. etc.

  183. Hello, fantastic website and source of information!

    Our 2 year old EBT dog Ruffus ( male ). We only have had him for 4 months now and the seller said he was great dog and he is 99% of the time, but when he is sleeping and you step near him he instantly awakes and snarls and barks very aggressively. My children and husband are now terrified, the thing is, this only happens if roused from sleep. So, the trigger is, if sleeping on his bed or on the sofa and someone affectionally strokes hime then he will go into a terrifying fit of rage that seems to lasts for a few seconds.

    The thing is Ruffus shows no aggression around food or toys. When we bought Ruffus from the seller, Ruffus had his tail docked. I’m now wondering that the seller was aware of this and my research leads me to think that Ruffus was possibly an OCD tail chaser and now is possibly showing signs of sudden onset aggression.
    Can you help

    • Hello,
      this is one very special topic I have been considering to write an essay about, just because I keep hearing these stories from Bull Terrier owners all over.
      Sadly, I am so packed with work right now that I will need to find some time first.
      I’ll try a short answer here today. First of all, my girl did it all. Pout, growl, act mischievously and she still does by the way. That’s just how they are.
      Everything you are describing is not unusual for a Bull Terrier and, yes looking at it that way your breeder should have known that. But I do not see any negligence in not warning you, because this is not abnormal aggression in my opinion. This is the Bull Terrier’s temperament.

      The following is my own experience and opinion. This is the only thing I can tell you. You will have to evaluate yourself if that makes sense for you and draw your conclusions for your future life with the dog.
      My last girl, Fancy, did have the very same thing for a while around the same age. She even jumped up and started chasing my feet while still half asleep. However, she never hurt me and it stopped at some point. Now, with Mila its different. She has been moody from the beginning and has never stopped. She is 6 years old now.
      For example, when she is sleeping and my husband or I shove our hand underneath her body or even only try to stroke her, she seems startled, growls like a monster and her whole body stiffens. She looks and sounds scary then. Every stranger would probably think we are only seconds away from being hurt really badly and call us crazy for staying near her and continuing to stroke her. She usually calms down once she realizes it’s us. She has never ever once hurt us (that she only does when she is happy and tries to knock out our teeth out with her head or butt :-))

      The way we see it, this aggression out of a sleep situation is actually a good sign.
      It shows that your dog obviously feels safe in its environment and is able to really let loose and sleep deeply when resting. Usually dogs don’t sleep very deep because they always have one ear “wandering” and eavesdropping for any dangers. Guarding is baked into a dog’s DNA, especially when it comes to these dogs and their families.
      Mila often runs in her sleep and seems to dream very vividly. She is a good sleeper.
      Many Bull Terriers, once they have committed to their home and family usually become pretty territorial, which could explain the harsh reaction after the dog gets startled in its dreams. But that also means that she is basically protecting us and our home when acting like this. The first few times I admit that I also was a little puzzled and afraid that this could become a problem. But it never did. I realized that never even once Mila has tried to really bite one of us. She is just “warning” really loud in her “voice from hell” 🙂

      Now, I don’t know how you experience the situation yourself with your dog. But I have a feeling it could be similar to ours.
      It feels scary, I give you that. But maybe try to observe very closely, how far this “aggression” towards you really goes and draw your own conclusions.
      Maybe it helps to look at your dog like we see ours: A grumpy old grandpa-toddler in diapers throwing a fit, tyrannizing the entire family and yelling at you at the top of his lungs while swinging his cane at everyone when you dare to wake him up. 🙂

      As for the topic of safety first, I highly recommend to put some rules for the family members and especially the kids in place, just in case the dog one time does not recognize in time that you are not a dangerous intruder to the home.
      To avoid the situation entirely, talking to the dog or call his name a few times and waking him up BEFORE touching him could be one very easy remedy.
      My husband sometimes fails to wake Mila up with his deep voice and sometimes even mine does not work. But when I use a high “baby voice” she is up promptly.
      That is also something in a female’s genes. High pitched noises such as the ones puppies make, wake them immediately while low noises don’t necessarily.
      I don’t know if this also works with male dogs. But you could just try it.
      The kids should never be alone with the dog and should be instructed not to interact with the dog when it’s sleeping.

      Bull Terrier are little wrecking balls and yes, they do stupid things, just as kids do.
      But sometimes to me it merely seems to be a question of how we as the owners manage a situation and not really about a sick or bad dog.

      On the other hand, aggression of course can also be a health condition, which would be much harder to deal with. But in my experience not very many dogs do suffer from this. In most cases these are behavioral issues or like described above just unlucky handling of a situation.
      If you want to rule out health issues, I recommend to see a vet, of course.

      Bull Terriers are such wonderful and special dogs, funny and affectionate and the best companions you could ever wish for, so committed to their family once broken in. It’s SO rewarding!

  184. My 7mos old Almost 100lb English mastiff puppy just nabbed 4 bacon wrapped shrimp With water soaked tooth picks off the counter so fast my neck hurts from trying to stop him. The ER said to try and induce vomiting but Everything I’m reading says not to induce vomiting. I’m trying the kraut. I’m absolutely panicked right now. 4 tablespoons kraut can of soft food half cup of kibble and I’m waiting. 😢

    • My fingers are crossed for your pup. With 100lbs this is a pretty large dog. Hopefully that means the larger intestines have a better chance of not getting punctured and just expelling the sticks. Be aware that it can take some days until something shows up.

  185. My 26 pond Maltipoo just ate a half of a chicken salad wrap with a tooth pick holding it together. My lunch is gone and now I just gave a 3 tablespoon “treat” , I set the timer for 20 minutes and will repeat all day?!
    Our BABY-BEAR-DOG IS BLIND FROM DIABETES AND GETS TWO SHOTS A DAY AND PRESCRIPTION WET FOOD. I ALSO GAVE HIM ABOUT 10 MINI MARSHMELLOWS… I THOUGHT ABOUT FIG NEWTONS. I ALSO HAVE CHICKEN RAYMON NOODLES TO COOK TO GIVE HIM. I WILL TRY THE BUTTERED BREAD. I AM SEEKING BOTH SUCCESS STORIES AND NOT-SUCCESSFUL STORIES.

    • I do not really understand everything you did. But my fingers are definitely crossed for a positive outcome here!
      Consider seeing a vet with your dog just to be sure. Feeding it all kinds of foods the dog normally should not eat, such as candy etc., does not really help the case and in the mentioned amounts could cause an upset stomach, which you don’t want because you want to avoid the dog vomiting.
      Good luck for your little one!

  186. I came across this to understand why my year old Pom does this. He didn’t start doing it until recently. He’ll be playing with our Min Pin stop and go into his crate and start kneading and sucking on his bed. It’s cute, he almost goes to sleep, but as soon as anyone moves he’s right up again wanting to play. He’s super hyper, but all Poms are when they’re little.
    He loves walks and going to the dog park and playing with Louie (minpin). So I guess it’s his way of calming or soothing himself. If it doesn’t hurt him, why not?
    He also likes to do this to his toys sometimes which are made of the same material as his bed cushion, except his squeak toys make the “squeak” noise and that gets a bit much, but I still let him do it. He was about 6 weeks when I got him, which was very young, and so maybe he was too young. He’s super happy though and doesn’t have bad habits like chewing up pillows or tennis shoes, which I’m thankful for.

    • Hey Mark, at this point I would not be overly concerned and just give it a little more time as long as your sweety seems to be happy and healthy. The heat cycle is a highly individual process in every female dog. Some hit their first time sooner, some later. If I remember it correctly, Mila hit her first one at the age of 9 months.
      Maybe talk to the breeder if you get a chance, see if he/she has any helpful info or advice.
      And of course, if you suspect anything to be wrong healthwise I’d recommend arranging a vet visit.

  187. my large Pitt bull terrier swallowed a tooth pick and I’m worried it will cause problems abt 30 min after the toothpick was invested he threw up the food but no toothpick he has not been acting great since this happened so I was wondering is it too late to try sauerkraut? Help!

    • “… he threw up the food but no toothpick he has not been acting great since this happened …”
      >>> My take on this: Don’t experiment, see a vet with your dog ASAP! If your dog does not seem to feel alright, don’t take any chances!
      Time is of the essence in these cases. My fingers are crossed for your furry friend!

  188. Hi I have a black lab she carries a blanket upstairs when she’s ready for bed”she also suckles and kneads the blanket ,To me the kneading is similar to what they do to mums belly when they latch on to feed I imagine this is the warmest memory or instinct a dog has so I would guess when faced with stress or tiredness the ones that remember go back to that place .They are just living there best life no harm done in my eyes I think it’s adorable.

  189. I recently got a bull terrier pit mix that had been rescued from multiple bad homes one I was told she was to be a fight dog her back leg had been broken at some point and she has had a litter at least once at a very young age.from what I was told she’s only about 1 1/2 she had some skin issues and lose of hair but with in a few days of bringing her home she got better then all a sudden it got worse I feel so bad for her gonna start her on grain free food to see if that helps but if any one can give me any advice on the steps I should take how to claim her itching h ow I should bath her anything would really be appreciated

    • Hello Barbara,
      first of all, thank you for having the heart to take care of this poor abused soul. I am sure she is going to thrive under your care!
      Ailments related to allergies often take time. That’s important to be aware of and keep up with measures over long periods. It would be important to find the trigger, which can be tried by allergy testing or if food is suspected an exclusion diet (excluding suspected single ingredients for a period of time and watch if the situation improves). Switching to grain-free food is a good first step. The grains may not necessarily be the trigger but dogs, in general, have a harder time digesting high amounts of grain which can put stress on their digestive system. Imbalances there can weaken the entire body and if the immune defense of the individual is not in the best shape either (which also usually is the result of malnutrition) that can suppress the entire natural response of the body to inflammation and other secondary effects that often accompany allergies.
      I am telling you this because there is quite a lot you can do. It is too much to put everything in one answer, which is why I will give you the most important information in my view so you can go and research from there or ask questions.

      NUTRITION
      First of all, I would consider switching to raw nutrition. In that case, you will need to gather more information first because this is not just throwing some meats together and done. But it’s also not rocket science. Depending on your budget a high quality processed food may be the more affordable option. I would recommend looking into brands such as Victor or Taste of the wild etc.
      There is a great website on which you can compare ingredients: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/
      I would try to find a meat-based food. Believe it or not, even many grain-free processed foods are still plant-based. Also, watch out what’s in her treats. Soemtimes it can be as easy as that.

      SUPPLEMENTS
      Especially for dogs that did not grow up on the best nutrition, have or had ailments but also basically for every dog I would recommend a supplement.
      Processed food is said to be balanced enough but my own experience tells me that can’t be entirely true. Choosing a supplement such as NuVET or Nupro and also feeding Salmon oil, in addition, will not only make your dog much more energetic. These additions will give the immune system the necessary boost to better fight infection and inflammation – both of with often occur in the wake of allergies.

      EXTERNAL CARE
      If your dog’s breakouts concentrate in certain areas such as the belly or paws you can use some iodine-based or chlorhexidine solution for frequent washes. Epsom salt also is a good disinfectant (for washes) but it can irritate wounds. If the spots are sore and raw I would recommend something that does not sting in order to avoid additional pain for the dog.
      If the breakouts more or less affect the entire body there are great medicated shampoos and conditioners available for baths. In every case, I would use a shampoo formulated for dogs because their skin has a different ph than human skin which is why products for humans can dry out and stress an already stressed dog skin even more. Bathing a dog too often can have the same effect even when a proper shampoo is being used. The frequency depends on the kind of problem. Therefore this would be something ideally discussed with your vet or at least used with caution (starting once every two weeks or so, see how it goes).
      The brand I use and love is Natural Specialties. They offer a variety of regular as well as medicated care products for dogs which can be found on different platforms. Here’s an overview of the medicated shampoos: https://www.naturesspecialties.com/collections/medicated-shampoos-for-dogs-cats
      There are also other brands offering good solutions and if you do not want to use a medicated but just a mild shampoo you can just choose an oatmeal shampoo for dogs (provided your dog is not allergic to oatmeal). However, if your dog shows infected spots I would recommend a medicated disinfecting shampoo.

      DAILY ROUTINES
      If you are setting out to find the trigger of your dog’s allergies a diary could be helpful. Writing down everything from treats over meals, toys, detergents used that doggie could come in contact with, where you go for playtime, etc., and then taking down if and where your dog may start licking itself excessively, times when rashes for example occur or worsen …. all of this information gathered in one journal may reveal a pattern that makes it easier to eventually identify the trigger/s.

      I hope these first tips help you to get started. Good luck! And if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
      Last but not least: There is also a very good forum for Bull Terrier owners: https://www.bulliesofnc.com/BTforum/
      The owner is an experienced Bull Terrier breeder. Here you can also ask questions and exchange thoughts with other Bull Terrier owners. Highly recommended!

  190. Hi Dorothea and readers

    My wife and I are new parents of an English Bull Terrier, took her in at 9 weeks and she’s coming up to 14 weeks now. In some aspects these last few weeks have been hard, taking their toll on us and adapting to the new person in our lives and home but in others and at times when Milo shows her affection or demonstrates what she’s learned, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
    I’d read up on their behavioural traits and having had and been around dogs most of my life, thought “what’s all the fuss about?”. Let me tell you, and one thing we had to and are still learning ourselves, is that owning your first English Bull Terrier is NOT the same as “just a puppy” from another breed. Yes they are challenging and show signs of a rebellious / stubborn nature but when their true self shines through they are simply amazing dogs. Do stick with it and have faith in what the real experts say, not just the “armchair experts” who know it all! It’s pretty much a 50 / 50 learning experience for us and building that bond now at an early stage, picking up tips and appreciating help and advice along the way IS working.
    Granted not every “tip” will work and probably most won’t initially, but I have definitely understood a couple of actions that DO work, try them and see;

    The puppy MUST have the right amount of sleep (a lot more than we initially were offering her). Milo is now almost 14 weeks and sleeps, not necessarily always by choice but when we feel is “her” time (might be different time for others and the lifestyles they lead) and this totals around 17 or 18 hours a day. Since offering her this extra couple of hours we’ve noticed a massive positive difference in her behaviour.

    Your puppy, well ours certainly, MUST get enough to eat. Like most people we offer training treats while interacting with her but have been following a fairly strict 4 meals a day routine starting at 0630hrs and then every 4 hours. We use the more expensive puppy food for her and followed the advice for English Bull Terriers regarding portion control. This did not work and she was still hungry and following other advice, increased her portions slightly and boy what a difference it’s made, again to her behaviour. Poor little girl was hungry and trying to tell us in her own way.

    Finally, from my point of view only, when they are awake and it’s either training or playtime, you MUST focus your time and energy into your puppy. We tried otherwise to juggle work and our mealtimes at the same time and it does NOT work. Invest the time in “your” puppy and it will pay off. Milo seems to respect us more and responds faster and makes the right choices more regularly since we’ve done this. Not all day and yes we do both have jobs and work pays the bills and all that, but what I’m saying, though albeit a few weeks of experience, is that this time forms the bond with your puppy and all three of these bits of advice flow into one another; if she’s had enough food, she’ll sleep, if she’s had enough sleep, she’ll play / interact nicely.

    Don’t get me wrong here, she is still a little madam at times and does nip and mouth and make the wrong choice sometimes, but she’s a puppy and still learning, just like we are, but since we’ve followed these three traits Milo seems to be happier and I know we are too.

    Good luck and don’t give up.

    • Hello James, thank you for sharing your experience. The last 5 weeks have been a first taste of what you’re going to be dealing with and you seem to be aware and willing. That’s a perfect premise. These dogs need tons of attention but also consistency. Lots of truth in your words.
      I wish you the best!

  191. Hi I tried everything with my female bull terrier and vets could not tell me something sure and she still have pustules all over the body. Hypoallergenic food only with a few ingredients she was well for a while and now in 2 days shes full of crusts
    What can I do ???

    • Hello Bianca,
      I am very sorry, but there is simply too few information in your post to provide any help that makes sense. As I do not know what you have already tried and discussed with your vet to begin with, I don’t know what to tell you.
      This much I can say: I would definitely try to keep the dog clean and if possible prevent excessive licking of the bumpy body parts (these are usually itchy and dogs tend to lick) to avoid secondary infection. That is for sure in any given situation related to bumps and allergies.
      Everything else, such as supplements and how to search for triggers, other remedies etc. also depends on what you already know about your dog’s allergies. I don’t know if the dog was well before because of some kind of medication. Because that’s what your short story kind of sounds like to me. And there are such meds that can make symptoms vanish, but only for as long as the meds are being taken. That’s the catch. As long as the trigger is not eliminated the allergies will always return.
      Food is not the only possible trigger. Sadly, there is so much more. If a food switch is supposed to end the allergy it must be known which ingredients the dog cannot tolerate. Hypoallergenic usually means less ingredients and none of the common triggers, such as preservatives, grains etc. But that’s no guarantee. Because theoretically the dog can still be allergic to ingredients of the hypoallergenic food. You need to know what the dog reacts to and eliminate it from the diet, provided that food really is the trigger. Allergies work the same way in dogs as they do in humans.
      If you have more questions, please provide more background on your dog’s age, how long you’ve been fighting this now and which measures and medications you have already tried.
      I will be happy to review your questions and try to help as good as I can.

  192. JUST NOW I noticed my pup chewing on something and got it out of his mouth, it was a sharded toothpick! I searched all around in his mouth for more of it, all around him…but i think the rest was swallowed, AGH! At least what I got out of him was softened by his chewing already. I thought to rush him to the vet but am thinking of the CONSTANT sharp twigs I am getting out of his mouth from outside even tho he has tons of safe chew toys…hard decision. Good to know vomiting is NOT advised, and that some vets laugh? about it, so I’m thinking to pray and try to get him to eat as much food and water as I can. And be SURE there is never a toothpic around! AGH! Please pray for my little guy Nov 30, 2020

    • Keeping my fingers crossed for your little one. Sincerely hope, everything goes right.
      Just make sure to see the vet quickly should your dog’s wellbeing seem to deteriorate. In situations like this, time is of the essence.

  193. Hello everyone so Lucky is my bt and he is 18 months old, have had him since he was 8 weeks young. He has recently started bitting, licking his legs and paws. Have also noticed a bunch of hair and flakes accumulating in his kennel. Almost looks like dandruff, not sure if dogs get that too? Also has developed a rash around his genitals and redness on his inner thigh. So I’m going to schedule a appointment with a dermatologist to have the proper tests done to hopefully find out what is triggering all of this. Hate to see my boy always scratching and biting himself. Have done a lot of research involving this symptoms and have learned that the best way to go about this is to take him to a dermatologist, but I figured I’d ask some fellow bull terrier owners on there personal experience with there awesome companions. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    • Hello Robert,
      first of all, you’re not alone in this. Especially Bull Terriers are really prone to allergy issues.
      The most important thing, in general, is that your dog gets good quality nutrition. There is a website called http://www.dogfoodavisor.com where you can compare pet foods.
      Also, I would recommend feeding a salmon oil product for dogs and a supplement, such as NuVet or NuPro. You can also feed small amounts of apple cider vinegar (1 tsp. a day with a meal). All of these are promoting your dog’s immune system. A strong and healthy immune system will help your dog when it has to deal with ailments.
      At the same time, I recommend a diary and taking down notes on food, treats, extras given such as human food leftovers, cleaners and body care products in use for the dog etc. Then try to remember when the itching and breakouts started and if anything and what changed at that time.
      If you can’t remember or this wy of research does not lead to any results, I would try exclusion. Leave out one thing at a time for a certain period of time and see if the symptoms start to vanish. Give it time!
      Exclusion can help find the trigger. So can allergy testing at your vet’s.
      At the same time, you will have to deal with the current symptoms. It is vital to try and avoid more secondary infections. You can use disinfecting wipes to wipe down your dog’s paws and other areas you find it licking frequently. Once the skin gets licked raw it is easy for bacteria to invade and cause inflammation. This is why it is important to keep the licked parts clean and disinfected.
      It will probably be impossible to discourage your dog from licking. If you can, please do.
      Then visiting the doctor is a great idea. During the visit, it is important that not only the current symptoms are being treated. There are medications that will work wonders on that. The problem however is that these only work as long as they are given and all symptoms will likely return once the medication is stopped. It is important to find out what triggers the allergy. Because as long as the trigger is still present, the symptoms will always return.
      And it is very important NOT to enter an endless cycle of on-off medication. This will not solve the problem for good and over time the meds will harm your dog’s body with their side effects. Most meds are only an emergency solution with allergies.
      That said, you will find out if you have a good vet if the doctor also starts to discuss the allergies in general and a strategy on how to find a trigger, and if he does not only give you meds and that’s it.
      This is probably going to be a longer journey for you and your dog.
      But it is possible to get a hand on this.
      Good luck!

  194. Good day,
    We have an 8month old Bull Terrier boy that keeps nipping our 6year old little girl (human, if this was not clear… LOL) my mother is pressuring me to rehome although I know in my heart that he (Rolo) is not aggressive. this happened now twice when I was not in the room / at home. we are having him spayed as well tomorrow as we do not want to breed with him.

    How will i get him to stop nipping my 6 year old, as I have 19month old twins as well. i am scared he will turn aggressive.

    • Hello Monique,
      the first thing you should do is NOT leave your kids alone with the dog AT ALL. If you have to leave the room, the dog comes with you.
      It is hard to tell if the Bull Terrier acted out of aggression or a different motive, because, obviously, I wasn’t there and did not see the situation. But judging by the age of the Bull Terrier and your descriptions it is very likely that this was normal playful Bull Terrier puppy behavior. Bull Terriers are rough players, that is definitely something to keep in mind with small kids and a Bull Terrier together in one household. These dogs are wild and do stupid things. They are like toddlers with superpowers and they act exactly like that. This is why they need training and proper handling. Once they understand how our human world works, that our skin breaks easier than theirs, that we feel pain more than they do, they can and will be incredibly gentle. And well-trained Bull Terriers are usually awesome with kids. Which still does not mean that it is safe to leave them alone with small kids, toddlers or babies. Because, after all, we never know for sure what can trigger animals’ instincts. Better safe than sorry, right? The movements and noises children make could trigger their hunting instincts, their urge to play roughly, or quite the other way their instinct to help and protect. Only a dog has no hands. So it uses its snout to grab someone or something as we would do with our hands in all kinds of situations. This, of course, can cause injury and is often flatly interpreted as aggression, without asking for the real intentions behind it.
      Also, nipping and biting aside, these dogs are strong and they do not really seem to be aware of what this could mean to other individuals. Knocking a small person over in an attempt to engage in some playful interaction alone can cause injury without ANY negative intentions on the horizon.

      It is a good thing to ask for training tips as spaying will do nothing to resolve this situation. All it will do is take away your dog’s ability to reproduce. If you’re lucky it may lead to your dog becoming a little lazier during the course of its life. But firstly there’s no guarantee that will happen and secondly even if it does, it will definitely be no immediate effect able to remedy the current circumstances. You are asking the right questions, looking for tips on how to train your Bull Terrier that nipping is unwanted. Such tips you will find in the exact article that you’ve commented on, for example.
      On the other hand, there need to be rules established in the house as well. Your dog is not the only individual, rules should be applied to. One rule should be that the kids don’t nag the dog, leave it alone when it takes a nap, and if possible don’t run and scream in front of the dog.
      If you feel safer, you could buy a light harness and a short loop to be able and better grab your dog in tricky situations. Just let your dog wear this until it knows more about what it is supposed to do and what not.

      Many people laugh about the tip to loudly yelp when the dog is nipping, just like a dog’s sibling would when game time gets too rough. But this is actually quite effective for different reasons. First of all, the loud noise often startles the dog and causes it to let go. It also tells the dog that something is not right. If this scenario is followed by a “silent treatment”, stopping all interaction immediately and ignoring the dog for a bit, the dog will eventually understand that nipping is not rewarding.
      And you can do more by actively praising and/or rewarding good and wanted behavior.
      The yelping is ONE of the different measures every person in your family can use to train the dog when things get too rough.

      But, don’t be fooled into thinking that seeing results will just be a matter of two weeks or so. Every dog has different learning speeds and needs the time to make some experience repeatedly in order to understand. This means that in the meantime you will have to manage the situation extra carefully as described above while consistently keep up your training efforts. There’s no way around that.
      If you feel like training your dog on your own is too much and you resort to finding a dog trainer, please make sure that this person is experienced with Bull Terriers or at least other Terrier breeds. The strength of the Bulldog combined with the whiz of the Terrier makes these dogs a very special combination, unlike many other dogs.
      These dogs need a lot of attention and a consistent, loving handler. They are bulldozers with the fragile soul of an elf. Keep that in mind … act accordingly … and things should go well.

      There is also a very great forum owned by a Bull Terrier breeder, where you can exchange questions and ideas with other Bull Terrier owners.
      I highly recommend taking a look. https://www.bulliesofnc.com/BTforum/discussions
      You will find out pretty fast that many of them do or have dealt with the same set of issues in very young Bull Terriers. It’s just how they are.
      Especially as your family seems to be contemplating rehoming, this forum might also be helpful. If it comes to this, at least the next home should be people who know the breed, know what they are getting into, and WANT that. So that the next home will also be the final home. In that forum, chances are good to find such people.

      Good luck! I hope I was able to help a little.

  195. I gave a 11 month old Siberia Husky that does this on a daily basis. We noticed her starting to do this when she had finished a round of playing with a stuffed animal. She still does this with a stuffed animal but it is more and more with a very soft blanket. I cannot tell if she is OCD but she is very high strung. Interesting subject to research out.

  196. Hi, thank you so much for this post, it’s great! I’m also trying to find out the trigger for my BT allergies: constant paw licking and biting. I’m having difficulties with “money-driven” vets, unfortunately, so I’m researching about the home tests sold online. Do you, or anyone here, have any experience with home tests? There are fur and saliva based tests available and they are not cheap so I was wondering if anyone could tell me if they are good/reliable.
    I’d appreciate your comments! Thanks!

  197. I have a problem with my Bull Terrier nipping at her feet that I couldn’t find on here. Anyway My Bull Terrier messes with her feet every so often resulting in it bleeding and honestly don’t know what to do about it any advice or help would be awesome

    • Hi Jess,
      if by “nipping” you mean that your Bull Terrier is grooming its paws a lot, such as licking, biting and suckling you are right, this is not normal behavior and there likely is something triggering it. But there is not just ONE possible cause. It can mean that your dog could be dealing with allergies. Even if the paws are the itching part and therefore the target of the dog’s attention this does not necessarily mean that it is something environmental. It may as well be something your dog eats.
      The first thing I would do is try to think back to when the paw biting started and think about any environmental or nutritional changes that happened around that time for your dog.
      Another possibility could be boredom. Bull Terriers are in general very prone to licking. You will find tons of videos on the internet of Bull Terriers grooming their owners or other pets in the household. When they get bored and don’t get the chance to vent their energy or the urge to lick on something/someone else they often turn to their own paws, which is not a good thing. Because sometimes they lick and bite so extensively that they cause little lesions which can then get infected.
      It your dog’s paws are inflamed already as a first remedy I would suggest to use disinfecting wipes for dogs frequently or a non-toxic, non-stinging disinfectant (NOT alcohol!) or rinse the paws with epsom salt baths (Warning: epsom salt also stings, so not a great idea on very raw paws).

      Whatever it is that triggers the biting it is important to find out what it is. Maybe your Bull Terrier just needs a little bit more exercise (physically or mentally) or diversion during the day or it is something health related.
      I hope this helps a little to start your search for the roots of this issue.

  198. Hi, with your raw food recipe, what is the amount you suggest on a daily basis? Once or twice a day? Is this all you feed or do you supplement with kibble at another meal? What do you mean by bottom flat? Thanks

    • Hi Carey,
      the recipe is formulated to work as an “only-food”. But it can also be combined with other foods.
      I can only tell you what I am doing at the time of your question, because I vary the way I feed my dog over time.
      What has not changed, however, is that I have always been using this recipe – for years now in some variations with tripe as well as different kinds of veggies and meats.
      These days I feed half&half. That means my girl gets half of her daily intake from my raw recipe and half of a good quality kibble.

      There is no standard recommendation for feeding amounts as this depends on the size of your dog, the amount of treats and other extras over the day, activity level and your feeding goals (weight loss, keep or gain weight). You will find more info on that on this page of the article https://www.bullterrierfun.com/low-starch-grain-free-raw-food-recipe-for-dogs/5/

      Also, the way you split the meals is very individual. Some people only feed once a day, others split the daily intake into several meals a day.
      I myself feed Mila four times a day. Last meal comes in the afternoon. The reason I am doing this is to structure her day. She knows her feeding times exactly and is “planning” her day around it. In between meals she finds time to rest or play. And over the course of the day there’s always something “to do” for her, even if it is just killing some time until the next meal is coming up.
      But no matter which way you decide to feed, my general recommendation is to stick to a relatively fixed schedule every day, if possible. Dogs work like clockwork and they will start to “demand” their food at specific times if you did the same thing three times in a row or so. They love fixed routines because it helps them organize their own lives in our human world.

      I feed Mila two times raw for the first meals an then the high quality kibble for the last two meals. I never mix raw and kibble because these two types of foods have very different digestion times. The reason I feed the kibble as the last meals is that it takes a lot longer to digest for the dog and therefore she hopefully feels full longer with the kibble until the next morning.

      “Bottom flat” was the description of the meat that I used at the time I posted this recipe. Or at least I thought so. However, when I tried to look up synonyms after receiving your question, I was not able to find this term anywhere on the internet. So, I changed my recommendation in the text now to just beef. Because that’s basically what I meant, some of the more affordable parts of the cow 🙂 because dogs don’t care if their meat is tenderloin or a more chewy version.

  199. Thank you for this. I have been letting my dog do her Steps in the house because of coyotes. She ate something crunchy in the dining room and only after she vomited an hour later did I realize she ingested a toothpick, one half of the actual size. She’s 16 years old… If the vet does an x-ray, I really cannot chance her going under anesthesia to remove. Just praying now.

    • OH my goodness! My thoughts are with you and doggie! I hope it’s not a tiny but a larger dog. So the chances are better that the half toothpick will just wander through the body without damaging anything on the way. Best of luck to the two of you!

  200. Hi I have a ebt that is almost thirteen within the last couple of months he has developed zit like sores all his body that pop and bleed. The vet has had him on antibiotics, steroids and now we have added thyroid meds due to bloodwork. We are also giving him probiotics because of him being on antibiotics. Has any one ever run into this before? He is a wonderful dog and dont want him to go thru this.

    • Our last girl experienced something similar. Back then it turned out to be a fungal infection. Only a vet can really diagnose this properly in such cases and prescribe the meds that help. I hope your dog is going to feel better soon.

    • I would only recommend using this medication as a last resort as it suppresses the immune reaction of the body, opening the door for other ailments. So, the relief this med provides comes at a cost. A vet should evaluate the entire history of the individual to determine if such medication really should be used.
      Before I’d give my dog Apoquel, I would exhaust every other route. And if I had to resort to this med I would want to be really informed about how it works and what side effects I have to expect. Sadly, especially when it comes to allergies there’s no miracle cure, except finding and excluding the trigger, which is not possible in every case. And then sometimes Apoquel may be the only option. But you really want to make sure.

  201. Think of your dog like a child. Children generally have some sort of thing they do to help them feel more comfortable and fall asleep at night like suck their thumb or on a blanket and those are to some extent all considered normal behavior just as it is normal behavior for your pup to do so also! So do not worry your pup is not sick or OCD or any thing negative. It is normal and it’s simply your dogs way of relaxing or sucking his “thumb” so to speak. Let them enjoy them selves! If they are sucking on something they shouldn’t be then perhaps try trading the nono object for something that belongs to them if they do t already have one try getting them their own little blanket to snuggle with.

  202. Hi. My tricolour bully has allergies. His feet break out so bad that he can’t walk. He is poorly at the moment. I have put him on a raw food diet but I think he has been stealing out of the bin. He is really miserable. He is now 6 but has suffered on and off since he was a puppy. The vets won’t do an allergy test because of the cost. Is there anything I am missing and is there anything I can give him to make him feel a bit better

    • I am so sad to hear about your dog’s suffering. Sadly as long as you have not identified the trigger it’s a guessing game. Every relief that can be provided will only be temporary and likely only last as long as you apply it. If the trigger is still there, there is no long-term cure, because the body still has to deal with what is making it sick. I wish I could tell you about some kind of miracle cure. But unfortunately, that’s not how allergies work. The trigger needs to be identified and eliminated if that is even possible.

  203. Thank you so much for your information. I have a bull terrier and he suddenly started itching again. When we first bought him he started breaking out in little hives all over his body our veterinarian put them on hills science diet prescription . This worked, I have tried to use some of the more expensive popular brands they say are better for dogs and his little bumps have come back. He exercises outside,This year this spring he has had itching and chewing on his paws. I bought a hypoallergenic shampoo. Our vet said I could give him a half a tablet a Benadryl do you know if he gets real itchy. If it continues he said to bring him in. Your article was very informative and I will look up the pet honesty website thank you. Our bull terrier it’s four years old.

  204. Hi my American staffie (15 weeks old) is learning lots of positive things fast. The one thing I am finding it hard to manage is her sometimes out of control behavior jumping up on me and biting sometimes drawing blood with her nipping. Usually she responds well to commands but in an excited tired state she can seem out of control. Can you suggest how to train her to ‘stop’ in this situation or should I just put her outside? Elroy

    • Hi Elroy,
      your baby is just a few months old. She needs to be allowed to enjoy her life and her youth and get some time to adjust. Please, don’t expect a puppy to learn everything at once.
      If learning does not happen at the speed you desire, no biggy, just try to manage for now.
      How?
      Stop play and interaction immediately when doggie gets too rough, ignore her for a few minutes. Give her a time-out and retreat. So should everyone interacting with her. You will have to do this on repeat, over and over and over … until doggie starts to connect the dots and realizes that roughhousing doesn’t get her anywhere. And, voila, by this you’re already doing some training.
      At the same time you can already start to introduce your training sessions as a kind of a game or diversion, trying to teach her basic commands, but for now without expecting immediate success and keeping it short.
      Give her lots of praise when she does something right. This helps her to distinguish the wanted from the unwanted behaviors. Even praise her in a slow and muted fashion now and then when she is just calm. Not only during training sessions. She needs active confirmation that this – calm behavior – is what you want from her. We often take the dog being quiet for granted and only give feedback when they do something we don’t want.
      But it helps them a LOT to also get the positive behaviors reinforced by praise and affection.
      Young dogs have tons of energy and a short attention span. Plus, learning is very exhausting for them and so is exploring their new life. Learning and training are good to keep them mentally exercised. But especially a young dog should also have a healthy mix of enough physical exercise to drain excessive energy and resting phases throughout the day for healthy growth and development. Some young dogs don’t know yet how to really rest because they are so curious and are constantly afraid to miss out on something interesting and exciting. If your dog does not nap during the day often, encourage her to calm down by providing her a remote resting place and leaving her alone when she tries to nap. Even try to actively put her to bed now and then if she does not nap a lot. At a young age dogs need lots of sleep.
      Helping her to come down may also contribute to resolving the nipping because this is often a sign of overexcitement. On the other hand, exploring things with their teeth is just the nature of a young dog. So, a little nipping will probably be involved for a while until you have managed to teach her the bite inhibition.

      There are several topics on this website you can read for more advice:
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/dog-bite-inhibition-training-how-do-i-stop-my-bull-terrier-puppy-from-nipping/
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/how-to-control-my-bull-terriers-rough-play/
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/help-english-bull-terrier-keeps-jumping-hurting/
      https://www.bullterrierfun.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2768&action=edit&lang=en

      Good luck!

  205. Need help… my sister passed away, my mom and I have her dog. He is an 8 year old Yorkie poo. He has severe separation anxiety, he lost his mom, his dad didn’t want him anymore, and he lost his home. I love him to pieces, he is my buddy. He does however, bit down on his bed or toy and doesn’t move, he can do this for hours. Reading previous posts, he does suckle on some of his toys which get destroyed. How do I help him with all of this? Do I let him continue biting his bed and suckling his toys? I will need to find more nondestructive toys and beds. He is high strung, when he was a puppy, they took him to a friends house, which also had a a puppy, the puppy jumped on him from behind and since he hates other dogs.

    • Hello Ree,
      first of all, I am very sorry for your loss.
      All of you are going through tough times, including the dog. And exactly as you and your mom do right now the dog will need time to adjust as well. I am not a grief expert and can only tell you how I would handle things from my very personal perspective.
      Maybe someone else is in a similar situation and can weigh in.
      I would probably not actively keep the dog from suckling altogether. I would still allow it to a healthy extend. But I would try to provide a lot of diversions if time allows for that in order to keep the dog from developing some kind of obsessive behavior with the biting and suckling. For my dog suckling seems to be a calming behavior.
      Diversion could be anything from hide and seek, fetching balls, tugging, brainteasers, and walks. You do not need another dog for any of this. If your dog does not like other dogs, that does not mean there’s no diversion around.

      But in unusual and stressful times like the one right now for you habits, such as the biting and suckling, can unwittingly develop into an unhealthy obsession and intensity.

      Another approach to try, which will also strengthen your bond, is to do some training with the dog and teach it not to actively destroy things. Of course, a dog’s teeth are sharp. And anything they play with, no matter how gently, will show some signs of wear at some point. That is not what I mean. If the dog is really willingly dismantling the toys, that would be an issue to target. For starters, some toys that don’t give up under the first few bites, may be a good idea but not the long-term solution.
      I would still try to teach the dog that destructive behavior is not beneficial. In this situation, more than in any other, positive reinforcement and lots of love and praise would be my choice. Only to give the dog the security that despite its loss it is in good hands and can trust you.

      To start the training I would train a “no”, “stop” or “leave it” command with the dog, preferably with something less attractive than a toy. Once you have established this line of communication and are able to tell your dog that you want to it to stop what it is doing, you can use this command to stop your dog when it gets too rough on its toys and praise it when it is gentle. I would work with a lot of rewards at first to encourage learning and then phase this out into an everyday situation.
      Until you have reached that point, it may also be helpful to provide something edible to chew instead of toys.
      As the dog is not a puppy and has probably lead a different life before, it is important not to expect too much too soon. It’s never too late for a change. But depending on the circumstances it can take a while.
      Good luck, I hope this helps a little.

    • I am not a great example because at the moment I feed my dog FOUR times a day. Of course, it’s the correct amount of calories divided by four. My dog is not as big as a bear. 🙂 She has a normal appetite. So she gets four small servings.

      How often you feed your dog every day really depends on different factors. There’s no rule of thumb for that. Some only feed once, others twice…

      I split her daily calories into four meals because it helps me and my dog to structure her day. And as I am working from home, I am around to meet her feeding schedule.
      By feeding her four times there’s something happening for her every few hours. She can nap in between because her inner clock will tell her when it’s time for the next meal. At the moment the first two servings of the day are raw, the second two are good quality kibble. Part of the kibble I use for a hide and seek game for her diversion.
      So, the feeding schedule and how the food is given does not only nourish her but also gives some form of structure and on the other hand is entertainment for my dog.

      I don’t know if any of this is applicable to your own situation. I am just answering your question.
      You can split the daily amount of this recipe or feed it all at once, there’s no rule regarding digestion or so. In general fresh food is digested faster than kibble, if that information helps in any way.

  206. My bitch has been out of season for about a week but I also have a male this was her first season since she’s come out it her nipples have gone big and teets swelled abit should I be worried she’s 8months old xl bully

    • Hello Jake, I am not quite sure what your exact concern is. Are you afraid that your dogs may have secretly hooked up and your girl may now be pregnant? Or are you worried that the swollen teats may indicate some kind of health issue?
      I have no experience with pregnant dogs. I was too young when my parents had a litter ages ago.
      All I know is that my girl (she is still intact) gets a swollen vulva during her heat, which is normal. And she gets swollen teats about 6 weeks AFTER being in heat, which is also normal, because in intact dogs the body often exercises the entire pregnancy thing through, no matter if real or not. If the dog is not actually pregnant this is called a false pregnancy. I have never heard of or experienced a noticeable enlargement of the teats during or RIGHT after the heat, however.
      So, if there is a really obvious teat swelling occurring right after the heat, would that make me nervous? Yes, it probably would and I would talk to my vet about it just to make sure.
      That’s all I can say. Hope it helps.

  207. Our 16 week Border Collie has just started doing it – we got her at 11 weeks following her mother dying during the birth. She was hand-reared so we thought it had something to so with that. Amazing dog, very highly strung and intelligent, but I have difficulty applying human psychology to dogs. The biting and massaging behaviour looks like suckling, and completely calms her down. I don’t see any harm in it at such a young age, but if it continues into adult hood I would be certainly be a little concerned. Sometimes giving her a small bowl of warm milk turns her attention back to other things and she usually falls asleep quite normally. Remember dogs, like people, are all different.

  208. I’m so glad I’m not the only one with a blanket sucker and reading all of these comments have honestly left me with more questions than answers lol! I am the only owner my dog has ever had, he was the result of an accidental pregnancy and the first and only litter of his mom. He was one of 11 pups! I feel like that is a lot for a first time mom. I’m not really sure how she treated the pups at weaning. He is just a mutt, his dad was a plott hound and his mom was a heeler/black mouth cur/??? mix. He has the most adorable naturally bobbed tail that he used to chase obsessively when he was younger.

    He gave up the tail chasing, but he has always chewed blankets since I got him at 8 weeks old. I would always scold him (not in a mean way, but I would tell him no very firmly) when I caught him chewing his blanket and would redirect him to a toy. That seemed to work and he stopped chewing up blankets and rarely would he suck on them. He will be 2 in a couple of months and in about the last month he has become very obsessed with sucking his blankets. He does a little kneading and licking but mostly he just balls a blanket up and holds it in his mouth and falls asleep. It went from being something he did every once in a while to an almost all day every day thing.

    He is an incredibly happy dog, though I will say he has a high level of stranger danger despite being exposed to strangers on a daily basis since I got him. But from what I’ve been told about his mom, he gets in naturally. He goes to work with me every day, we go to the feed store or pet store about once a week, and he gets tons of exercise. I road him with my four wheeler approx 4 miles a day, which is probably his favorite thing in the world. He gets beyond excited when he hears the key jangle. He even has some of those fluent pet buttons that he can press to let me know what his needs are.

    He really lacks for nothing, he gets tons of attention from both me, my son, and my coworkers, can communicate his needs with his buttons, plus he gets a lot of exercise, has tons of toys to play with and chew on, and plenty of interaction with both my two elderly dogs as well as my coworkers dogs and he’s just a very happy healthy and fit dog. His blanket sucking has left me perplexed.

    I kept feeling like perhaps he was missing something in his life or otherwise having anxiety. Everything I have read seems to paint blanket sucking in a negative light. But when he settles down to go to sleep, he always seems very happy and quite comforted by sucking his blanket. I’ve come to the conclusion that its just a habit that makes him feel good.

    Much like someone that likes to shake their leg when they sit down (I’m one of those people) its not because I’m nervous, upset, bored, or anything like that, and half the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Its just something that feels good to me and I do it and I don’t really know why. Doesn’t stop me from wondering why I do it though! Some questions just don’t have answers and that’s where I’m at with my dogs blanket sucking. I’ll probably never know why he truly does it, but it sure is adorable, and he’s not hurting anything by doing it. I guess I need to stop worrying about it, but I’ll never stop wondering why he does it or why he started doing it!

  209. I have a female bull terrier that turned 8 months on Christmas Eve. Her vulva is swollen and has been spotting since Wednesday. Everything else about her is normal. Could this be her first period?

    • Sounds pretty much like it could be the first heat to me. But that is nothing more than a guess because I can’t make a diagnosis (not a doctor, did not even see the dog). Please be aware that if it’s the heat seeing blood or discharge does not mean that your dog is or is not currently fertile. If you want to avoid accidental impregnation you may want to avoid contact with other intact male dogs for a few weeks.
      If you suspect anything else as the reason behind the described symptoms or are concerned in general about the health of your dog, I recommend to see a vet with her.

  210. Hello, nice blog, I have a question for you

    I have 1 male almost 5yr old and 1 female almost 2.. both white… males mother used to have a lot of allergies problem… we live in venezuela, i taste them both taste of the wild but it got so expensive 95$ 12kgs that I had to change to Nutranuggets.. it seems to be the best I can find after taste of the wild for a decent price… talco male skin started showing little grumps below the hair… it doesn’t look so bad but defiantly there is something going on because his skin used to be so smooth with taste of the wild.. I have also given another brand it is Italian but is not top quality… these both have grain… my dad also cooks a recipe similar to yours with cow heart and chicken and vegetables and I add a little dog food with grain and a scoop of this recipe… well both dogs look fairly excellent but the male has this little grumps

  211. Hello, nice forum…

    I have one male 5 yr old and 1 female almost 2 years old now… my dad makes a recipe very similar to yours with cow heart and chicken and vegetables… i used to feed first the male taste of the wild and then when we got our litlte girl also taste of the. wild.. until she was like 1… it got so expensive here in venezuela that i strted looking into other brands… i started feeding them Nutrranuggets and i belive it has grains… nothing to bad on the girl, it works good for her.. for the boy he is almost 5 his mom had a lot of skin alergies when she ate carbs i think… well nothing so horrible on him either but he defitnetly starting getting some new small bumps on his skin under his fair… nothign to bad, but if you look at his skin from a certain. angle you could defently see smoething goig on on his skin… which before he was not… nothing to worry about but well maybe I should go back to taste of the wild? i feed them 2 times a day. 50/50 with the. recipe and the. dogfood each time, they. love it…

  212. It’s good you’re addressing sunburn, especially for a breed that has so many almost-all-white members! BT owners do need to keep this in mind.
    However, I’ve never heard of using the standard capillary-refill-time (CRT) test for sunburn–neither for dogs or for people. In people it’s normally applied to the nail beds to get a rough idea of tissue perfusion in a patient who might be suffering from decreased perfusion, and usually the refill time is counted in seconds, and noted. If your dog’s sunburned skin is pressed briefly, the area should blanch like any skin, I would think, and then return to its burned appearance. You should be able to merely glance at your dog’s skin and tell it’s gotten some sunburn.
    (I am NOT a veterinarian. Just a registered nurse who sometimes throws her opinion around.)

    Keep up the good work. 😊