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Thread: Learning to Come and then Not to Bite Us.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Learning to Come and then Not to Bite Us.

    We have a dominant staffy female, who is 5 months old, we are having problems getting her to come to us for a start, she seems to have discovered the big wide world around her. We live in the country with no fences/yards and have other animals and birds as distractions. And then when she has come, she bites us on the hand or ankle or wherever she can in puppy play.

    We have tried to ignore the biting when she has come to us, as we really want her to come when called and this is a hard enough feat! And we are trying to deal with the biting as a seperate issue. What we have done is tried the yelping and turning our back on her, this didn't work. Tried pinning her by her neck, this stopped working after a while. So now we say no and then if it continues she get's a smack on her rump. This is working, but it's only the adults that are able to do this as I feel we have to be consistant with this, and the children don't really get the timing right. So the children are at a loss for what to do when she is in a hyper mood, and biting. She bites hard and can draw blood at times.

    She is the only dog and has a family of 4 adults and 2 children. She gets walked, jogged every day for 20 to 30 mins, get's breaks off her chain during the day to go to the toilet and play ball, or an attempt at toothless cuddles or a training session with someone on a lead, and when she's calm shes allowed in the house. The goal would be to have her in the house not chasing around after shoes tea towels or whatever she decides she wants, and to have her toilet trained, which is hit and miss, but more down to human error I feel, (big house hard to confine puppy and she wanders befor you know it.) It would be lovely if she would stay on her bed when she comes inside, but I guess that will happen one day!

    Any ideas appreciated.
    Last edited by jinda; 02-01-2011 at 10:19 AM.

  2. #2

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    Can you build a run as chained dogs tend to be more hyper in general when let off. Consistancy & not getting emotional are your number 1 things to remember. When you say turning your back didn't work try removing yourself & any attention competly by walking away.
    I would start by getting a way to contain her to an area in the house & toliet training her so she can be inside more.
    Don't do any rough house playing untill you are in total control.
    Get her weight pulling to burn energy most staffies love it & it gets them focused on something other than play.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  3. #3
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    What makes you think she's dominant and not just taking advantage of what she can. My dog is an "omega dog", the opposite of "dominant" but she will take over if I let her.

    Have you ever scolded her when she comes to you?
    Have you ever put her on lead or chain when she comes to you?
    Have you ever locked her up and left her alone when she comes to you?

    There are a lot of distractions in her environment and you need to build recall first with no distractions and then introduce distractions slowly ie you need to "retrain" the recall in each new environment, ie start outside close to the house with the lead on and reward heaps when she comes. And make coming to you FUN. ALWAYS.

    There is a dvd by Lesley Nelson that shows you how to teach "really reliable recall". Letting an untrained dog off lead in a very distracting environment is not one of the techniques that works.

    What we have done is tried the yelping and turning our back on her
    It does work, the yelping has to be the same kind of yelp she makes if you accidentally step on her tail ie loud and shocking and the turn your back has to be for at least 10 seconds but 30 is better and you have to be really boring.

    Tried pinning her by her neck
    I hate Cesar Milan - he does say DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. DON'T DO THIS UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR FACE REARRANGED and your dog PTS.
    Living with and Curing dominance in your dog

    So now we say no and then if it continues she gets a smack on her rump
    See link above. "No" is rewarding her by giving her attention. Smacking her is also engaging her. The harder you smack, the harder she will bite. The gentler you handle your dog, the more gentle she will be with you. Never ever play rough with a dog unless you want it to play rough with you (and your children).

    I also push my hand gently further into dog mouth if she grabs hold. So she tries to spit me out, I hold another second or so and let her spit me out. This also takes the fun out of biting. Pulling your hand away just increases the fun and the chance that your hand will be damaged.

    I don't like chaining dogs up outside. There's too much chance they will strangle themselves. My brother had a staffy cross that hung itself trying to get away from a thunderstorm. Fortunately someone rescued that dog. My brother never chained a dog up again. You might consider crate training or a dog run instead.

    For inside toilet training. Use the "umbilical system" ie keep her on lead and the lead attached to you all the time so she can't "wander off". If you can't pay attention to her, either put her back outside or inside in a dog crate.

    If you want her to stay calmly on a mat, give her loads of treats for being on the mat. If she moves off the mat, just gently put her back or lure her back with a treat and feed her on the mat. Repeat lots. Use all her dinner piece by piece as rewards for staying on the mat.

    My dog knows that she will only get a treat (or her dinner) if she's on her mat, or in her crate. Or working. So if she wants a treat or dinner, she goes on the mat. She also knows she only gets to stay with me in the kitchen if she stays on the mat - out of the way. And from time to time, I give her a treat for staying on the mat.

  4. #4

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    I could be wrong this wrong but this sounds like your first Staff / Bully ?
    Welcome to the world of BullyHood

    The first thing I can say that a Staff on a chain unless stimulated and exercised for LARGE amounts of time everyday is going to be a problem .

    I will echo what Hya has said re the recall , have you scolded her etc when she does eventually come ?
    If so you need to reverse this straight away. As well only having her on a long lead until her recall is better . I know it can be frustrating trying to get a dog to come but if all you do is release that frustration onto the dog then to the dogs way of thinking its "well why on earth would I want to come to you?"

    There are quite a few issues in your post and I guess its best to deal with one at a time though with the biting. Is it play ? Is she serious?
    I use the grab by the snout and firm "No Teeth!" each and everytime a pup/dog attempts it.
    My dogs know 100 percent to never place teeth on humans
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  5. #5

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    Yes there is alot in your post & I was unsure what to answer first so agree with chopp, need to deal with 1 problem at a time & have more info on that problem.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  6. #6
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    I just lost my reply post, that took ages to type, here goes a quick effort.

    It's the biting we want to nip in the bud.

    The yelping - yes I sounded like a stuck pig, no effect, turning my back on her, she goes straight to the side or front and bites again, and again.

    I forgot I had tried closing the snout when she had biten, that worked for a bit and then stoped. The current method or the verbal warning and then the smack seems to be working, maybe I have bullied her into it I really don't know.

    Wondering if the going indoors away from her will work, do dog's have cognitive ability? Would she associated me walking inside away from her taking twenty metres to get there and then closing the door on her, with her biting me? Wouldn't the two things have to occur withing a couple of seconds for her to realise they are cause and effect?

    I say she's dominant because she is so determined to do things her way despite our best attempts at moulding her behaviours. she is no shrinking violet. She is a friendly pup but right there in the other dog's faces trying to hang off it, untill she is told otherwise by them.

    She's our third staffy/bully and full of energy, we are in farmland and wandering dogs get a bullet, so since she has shown signs of wandering, she will stay chained on a chain where she can't hurt herself or anything else. Would putting her in a crate/cage really make her happier than being on a chain? Just courious. We let her off to do various things with her during the day and she does come inside and goe's for a run/walk, but still has boundless energy. I tried the umbillical thing today and it seemed to work well, I felt like a goose though, but it made life a little easier inside!
    Last edited by jinda; 02-01-2011 at 08:44 PM.

  7. #7
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    The yelping - yes I sounded like a stuck pig, no effect, turning my back on her, she goes straight to the side or front and bites again, and again.
    You need to be more persistant than she is. Sometimes it takes persistance and repetition on your part for the dog to get the message. Especially SBT, can be a bit slow like that. They can learn and remember stuff but sometimes you have to tell them the same thing fifty million times before they get it.

    So I imagine it would go like bite - stand up turn your butt towards her, she runs around, you turn again, keep your butt towards her. If she bites your ankles or your butt, walk backwards at her, slowly. Try being quiet. Ie the talking is "attention". My dog sometimes sits up and "talks" for no apparent reason. Staffies can be big talkers too, so they like talking.

    As soon as she stops trying to bite you and takes a step back to think... tell her what a good dog she is and pat her. If she tries to bite you before you tell her, try repeating the process - stand up and butt to dog.

    google crate training. I think it could be better than chaining the dog because it's harder for a dog to hurt itself in a crate - though if you don't train them to be comfortable and happy inside the crate eg give her treats inside the crate for going in the crate, feed her in the crate etc... they can hurt themselves trying to eat their way out of the crate. Mine associates her crate with good things like promite on toast and chippies so she's quite happy in her crate and does not try to eat her way out of it, though she could. They come to view their crate as their own little cave-den safe space. I don't think they ever feel this way about their chain.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 02-01-2011 at 10:37 PM.

  8. #8

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    The crate should not be over used & thats why I asked about an outdoor run being made.
    You need to do both really even if she was a full time inside dog, you need a safe place to contain her for short periods whilst inside(crate) & you'd need a safe enclosured area outside for tolieting & just doing dog stuff. Chaining dogs up really isn't ideal but if you must you need to spend alot letting her off & spending real time with her.
    As for the biting I agree with Hyacinth it takes time, commitment & consistancy for anything to work.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  9. #9

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    Our puppy went through the biting stage and we found ignoring or growling didn't help much. Then read Cesar Millan's tips about grabing them with your hand a bit like their mother will with her jaw, on his neck or bum and kind of pinning him down a bit while saying "argh" at the same time. Has worked wonders.

    Being a hound cross his recall wasn't great so we only try and use his name when we want him to come, and always reward with a treat, and always praise him when he comes, even if it takes awhile and you're starting to get irritated (and husband in sitting in car waiting for your and rolling his eyes).

    Are you able to get some dog fence and make her a bit of a yard so she can be off the chain but still can't wander? We now have an acre dog proofed for our 2 but until we dig our hound cross was quite happy in her pen as long as she had lots of treats and toys to entertain her.

    Also, and this might sound like making the situation worse, but so many people have said to me 2 dogs are easier than 1, and since we took a greyhound on foster our 5 month old hound cross has been so much happier, calmer and better behaved. When we get home from work she used to jump all over us, hang off our clothes, run around the house in circles etc. but now she comes in side and settles almost immediately.

  10. #10

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    This should explain why the things you have tried stopped working after a bit... Also something that you should put into practice immediately.

    Nothing in Life is Free

    The behaviour will get worse before it gets better. If she hasn't been desexed then she's coming up to her first season and it also sounds like she's hit the 'teenage' phase early.

    I wish you luck. Hy has given you some great advice to follow as well. I don't have time to type a huge reply at the moment but will try to do so when I get home from work tonight.

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