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Thread: First time walking a bulldog

  1. #1

    Default First time walking a bulldog

    My cousin's brought me her 18 month old french bulldog x staffy x kelpie that she adopted from the pound and has been trying to rehome. She bit off more than she can chew, didn't realise what a handful an almost grown untrained bully could be especially for an inexperienced owner. To avoid taking him back to the pound she's been trying to find him a good home. His name is Loner and he's a very friendly boisterous stray that no one seems to want somewhat because he has no obedience training whatsoever but mostly because he's an ugly pug faced gremlin with creepy eyes, I thought this was really sad because he's just a big happy puppy that needs some help.

    This is his second day here yesterday was mostly spent introducing him to the other dogs and letting him settle a bit. Today it was time for a nice long walk and oh my God I'm so sore and tired, who needs a gym when you've got a bulldog. At first it felt like he was trying to rip my arms off, he settled after a bit and I managed to keep him from hauling me around but it'll be a little while before I can get him to fully heel.

    When I first told Cas to bring him down it was to try to help find a home for him but after meeting him and seeing how well he gets on with the rest of the pack I'm about 98% sure that he'll be staying here with us, the 2% doubt depends on his ability to get along with the cat and not chase her up trees, I have high hopes for him.

    So once again without looking for a new dog one's just kind of turned up needing a home, I guess I have a soft spot for unwanted mutts.

    If anyone has any helpful tips on how to train my gremlin I'm open to suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Well a harness will help take the stress off you a bit, others have ideas too I am sure. Good on you for your outlook. Love a photo

  3. #3
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    "ugly pug faced gremlin with creepy eyes"
    What a description, it made me laugh out loud, and wonder what on earth he actaully must look like !
    At 18 months youll be a in a world of pain for quite a long time training him, id probably book into some classes and get a trainers professional opion to start with. So hes pulling? Make sure you have a good halty type collar that fits over his nose not round his body as he will use this against you to drag you along. I favour the half choke collars so they give you a little choke chain without being to harsh but id prob start with the halty then move on the that once hes improved. I trained my rescue dog with this and he did pretty well i also practised the super frustating stop and go technique.
    So it goes, when he pulls , you stop, give the command ie heel, i use wait, then once hes stopped, waited, off you go again. Its slow going and something id not leave the driveway but now if he pulls me i just say wait and he stops dead so it does work, but took me 4 months to get to that point!
    if hes in to food, which mine are i hold a treat in my hand and they instantly know how to walk on a slack lead
    theres so many differnt things you can try, hope some of my suggestions help you out

  4. #4
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    Love the description of Loner
    I think he's one lucky boy to have landed at your place, even if it's only until he masters loose leash walking and finds a new home.
    Definitely need pics!!

    I tried a Halti on Misha at one stage. She hated it and spent the whole walk trying to rub her muzzle on the ground to get rid of the annoying bit over her nose. So I'd suggest they aren't suitable for all dogs.

  5. #5
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    I cant wait to see a photo of this pup, he sounds interesting and a challenge.
    Im sure the club training will be fun.

    I am not keen on halti's personally. But each to their own

  6. #6
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    Correction chain and someone to show you how to use one if you don't know already. Don't get the hulking fat one get a proper Herm Sprenger stainless steel one at a medium thickness. They pull because they can, and they're dogs on a mission.

  7. #7
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    I'm dying for a pic of the ugly pug faced gremlin with creepy eyes!!

  8. #8

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    Hels I used the stop start thing without even realising it I was just trying to get up the stairs without him dragging me up there. The funny thing was later on when he was following me around I walked up the front stairs and he actually stopped and waited for me to go ahead no lead required, seeing the leash seems to amp him up so I think my biggest hurdle with this guy will be keeping him calm enough so that he'll listen to me.

    I was using a choker/correction chain that's what I've always used to train my dogs, but I've never had a dog that was so determined and yep he's definitely on a mission. He improved as the walk went on and I think he was starting to understand what I wanted him to do, so I'll just take it one walk at a time. Banjo walks really well on a lead so I was going to see if he can help show Loner how to behave by walking them together, it's worked for me before but that was with a 12 week old puppy that fought the lead not a grown dog.

    Dinner time tonight was interesting I was expecting it to be more of a hassle but he was really respectful to the other dogs and left them to their food it was just as easy as when he's not there. It was great.

    I'll try to get some photos up tomorrow I've just got to find my camera.

  9. #9
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    If he gets excited by the lead, you could try desensitising him to it. Just get out the lead every so often, even put it on him and take a few steps or a lap around the living room and take it off again so that he learns that the lead doesn't always mean it's time for walkies. Might also be an idea to try and wear him out a bit before going on a walk, play a game in the yard before you go so you burn off some energy and you might find he's less eager to march off in front. You'll get there eventually though.

    I've been dealing with rescue dogs the last couple of weeks and they're mostly bully breeds or at least partly and I know what you mean, untrained and very pully! I'm seriously going to get some gloves 'cause I'm getting rope burn on my hands and sore arms/shoulders.

  10. #10
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    I don't think a French bulldog could pull anything. But a staffy can drag a big esky full of beer across an oval - I've seen one in action. And then you've got the combined excitability of staffy and kelpie. Yipes.

    Personally, I wouldn't use a choke chain. Took the joy out of going for a walk for my dog that lasted about three years. And I only used it for one year. After that I got a front attach harness - which attaches on my dog's chest. So if she pulls she gets rotated around that point and ends up facing me, and I have extra leverage power - like you can lift more with a wheelbarrow which pivots around the wheel.

    If you've got someone like Nekhbet to show you how to use a chain or limited slip chain (martingale) then maybe. I was entirely crap at it.

    Key things are to not reward any pulling - which means not moving in the direction of the pulling - stop or go the other way. Be consistent. And do reward the dog when it is where you want, by walking in the right direction, and praise, pats and games.

    consider practicing somewhere there aren't many distractions to start with and then gradually go places with gently increasing levels of distractions. Lots of dogs or moving things are highly distracting to staffies and kelpies.

    (Why does IE auto correct want to change Staffy to "Stiffy" argh).

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