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.
Training and education are the two things that start at day one your new household member enters your home
Not only speaking of potty training.
Dogs have an amazing ability to adapt. And sometimes it is really astonishing to watch how some dogs are able to integrate into a social group, such as a human family, and just be a good citizen, even without receiving ANY guidance.
However, if owners do not train their dogs, they basically leave the adaptation process to their dog and also leave it to the dog to interpret rules, rankings and authority in the household – risking unpredictable results.
That can be a slippery slope – especially with Bull Terriers.
Without any direction the dog – just as any individual – will likely just follow its instincts to get the most personal benefit out of every situation.
Honestly, without guidance what else is it supposed to follow???
In the dog’s mindset this could be using dominance or sneaking and stealing in order to get to the very interesting food of the owner. Or having fun – with other dogs, chewing items (belongings of the owner), procreating (adolescent) and in general all things dogs could consider fun or important.