Dog owners frequently contact me with questions. An all-time hit are undesired behaviors in dogs of all ages. I have taken one of the recent request for advice as the basis of this essay, because the problem situation seems to apply to a lot of situations owners experience in one way or the other.
Dog owners often find themselves confronted with are undesired habits of their dogs, which can show in a variety of behaviors. Bull Terriers are little bull dozers even when they are happy and just want to make fun or show affection. And when young they come with a bunch of quirks in addition, such as nipping and roughhousing, which are all too typical. But that does not mean we have to accept them as the owners.
We all know that the best time to work on those undesired behaviors is as early as possible while the dog is still young and has not settled into routines and behaviors yet, in order to avoid bad habits from developing and establishing and our dogs from taking them as “normal behavior”.
This time I’ve taken this desperate cry for help from Ruby to write a few more articles about the “wild puppy days” of a Bull Terrier in order to help other owners who are experiencing exactly the same problems as well.
“Hello, I am having a hard time trying to train my 4 month old bull terrier, Pluto is his name. He is full of energy and I have a few questions to figure out how to make him stop acting up. He is always ripping the carpet in my house, He starts to get crazy (happy and excited) when he sees people, or other dogs, he doesn’t stop barking even if I speak to him in a calm voice, and in the car he will continue to bark at me or try to get on my lap. I really want to get some help on how to train him because I don’t want him to get out of control when he gets old or become aggressive. Please help me.”
A very typical behavior for puppies is using their mouth to explore the world around them.
Parents of a baby or toddler probably know the situation: Everything needs to be secured. Besides electricity, risk comes especially from small objects that can be swallowed.
Just as babies, puppies do explore the world around them mainly using their mouth. This is even more important to know, because despite babies, who at some point stop using their mouth and start using their hands instead, puppies will continue to use their mouth when exploring even when they mature.
We all know that dogs can’t learn how to use their paws to grab and hold things the same way humans use their hands for. But even some dog owners are not aware that this is the reason why the mouth remains the dog’s “hand” even through its entire adult life.
Many owners who start dog training sooner or later encounter their dog “offering” certain behaviors which they have learned in the past.
In clicker training this is part of the basics of this training technique. Dogs are either lured into desired behaviors or the trainer is waiting until the dog is OFFERING the desired behavior or a tiny part of it.
So, in general “offering” is appreciated.
It can, however turn into a hassle when the “offering” develops into “predicting” and leads the dog to take premature action.
Dogs are creatures of habit and one of the greatest experiences for them is to KNOW in advance what is going to happen.
Especially when it concerns things that mean a lot of fun or food, such as playtime or dinner.
This essay was inspired by many stories of owners feeling overwhelmed by their puppy’s behavior or exasperated in their attempts of correcting aggressive puppy behavior in their English Bull Terrier puppies and tired of their nipping/ biting and dominance issues.
First of all, please note that young dogs DO nip, chase feet, even growl and guard – these are all absolutely normal behaviors for a puppy. An aggressive puppy usually is not “bad” by nature. The puppy is behaving exactly the same way as before, when it was still member of the litter among its siblings.
Now in your household the puppy needs to learn which behaviors are acceptable, and which are unacceptable. Aggressive puppy behavior needs to be addressed and corrected by training through the owner.
Maybe you are currently thinking about becoming a puppy owner for the first time in your life. Maybe you already own a puppy or an adult dog and just want to double check, if you are already doing all the good stuff. Either way, this post is intended to provide you with information on the basics of a happy and healthy dog – Bull Terriers included, because apparently they are dogs as well, although sometimes they behave more like little clowns. 🙂
The basic principles of a balanced nutrition, proper care, hygiene and exercise apply to any dog, no matter the breed.
In addition, there are often also some breed specific aspects to consider. But for now I will mainly cover information that applies to dogs in general.
I have prepared a cartoon style chart for you that shows the essentials of the happy and healthy dog. I am giving away the printing file for this poster for free. Contact me, if you want to have the file.
Dog breeds are usually distinguished by different characteristics. One of those characteristics is their energy level.
While there are indeed some dog with low energy levels, I would say MOST dogs really need some exercise. Bull Terriers, for example, especially when young, often have pretty high energy levels and therefore need quite an amount of attention and exercise.
Not every kind of exercise is suited for any dog.
Some dogs will be completely happy with walks and should not be encouraged to perform certain exercises, such as excessive jumping, long-distance running etc. -because of their physiognomy. That does not mean these dogs just do not need exercise. It just means that other exercises may be more appropriate for them.
Dog training is not rocket science! Here are the five basic rules of dog training – really simple!
Hi all, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy lately. But there is still a lot I have to tell about the Bull Terrier breed.
Today I want to start filling this untouched section of dog training with some life, starting with some very basic, but useful – promised! 🙂 – training advice and five of my golden rules for dog training.
I was a training rookie before and I have never passed any kind of professional education for it. Yet, watch Mila’s videos and see what we have accomplished just by adhering to these five simple rules! She is not even two years old now.
Mila is working on the “high five” basic rules of dog training.
Today I’d like to have a quick talk about dog training:
Did you know that during trick and obedience training for us dogs it is a lot easier for us to learn spoken commands in combination with hand signals?
We don’t actually “speak” any human language. Actually there’s no such thing between dogs as a “language” either. We have our own way of communication. The barking you might consider our language is only a tiny part of it.
Because of our different ways of communication, we’re sometimes having a hard time handling the human way.
For example, it can be very hard for us to differentiate between a “Sit!” and a “Seek!” spoken by our humans. The two commands sound just so similar.
If they are used in connection to a very clear and distinct hand signal each – a different one for each command, of course – that makes things a lot easier for us. Continue reading →