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Thread: Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Training Advise

  1. #1

    Default Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Training Advise

    Sui my staffy is 3 years old and has been to a dogsNSW registered training club for 2 years now. It did wonders with some of her problems e.g. pulling on lead during walks, but some of her issues still haven't been addressed.

    Sui is great with small animals and cats, she's great with Maxie our rescue puppy and our elderly chihuahuas. Generally a very pleasing dog to have around, she's my little shadow.

    Take her down to the dog park or anywhere away from home and it's a different story. She's very excitable around other dogs, jumps up on people and is generally in your face so she doesn't get let off lead. At training she has her moments when she'll randomly lunge at another dog which is making me anxious about letting her off lead.
    She's no far off graduating to next level with off lead stays and recalls. She's very powerful it would only take one mistake in a split second .

    I've tried a behavouralist recommended by a rescue group on another forum but after $200 for a 2hr consult with absolutely nothing to show for it I'm not keen on giving it another go.
    Another rescue group suggested Lammarra training, I kind of doggie boot camp. They said it would cost approximately $500 for 2 weeks which sounds a lot better than the previous one, but I'm currently debating it with my OH because it's still quite a lot of money to give away for something that has no guarantees. People at dogs training have supported him saying I'm the handler I should be the one traininer her, I do understand their point unforutunately they don't understand the full story and it's given my OH ammo for our disagreements.

    Problem is to get results in my situation it would have to be very intense training, meaning time off work. I'd need assistance from lots of cooperative strangers who know about dog issues. I need non reactive dogs and their handlers. In other words it's impossible for me to do it on my own .

    What do you suggest is the best avenue?
    I want to be able to trust my dog. She's a great dog but just needs a bit of help .
    The COOLEST Rats and Mice are ICED

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Our local RSPCA does a course called "Recall clinic", but I don't know if other RSPCAs do it and I also don't know what they cover.

    So is your main fear that she will attack another dog?

    To me it does sound like she needs to get some more training at home and on walks. You could try taking her somewhere on a long lead to do recall training? I've become a fan of clicker training too which I find quite useful to calm my dog down when she gets overexcited when there's lots of people (and kids!) around. Your dog basically needs to learn that she will only get to interact with other dogs on your terms. So when her body language is non-aggressive and calm. That is something that you could enforce on the lead at first. But it's a bit too complex a problem to try and analyse it from your description, so I'm just throwing some ideas out there.

    I'm not sure that intense training over a couple of weeks would be the best way to go personally. I think just short sessions over a longer period of time might have more of an effect.

    It's a shame the behaviourist wasn't helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    iced mice

    I don't know which behaviourist you went to, but I would try Steve Courtney at - he at least offers warranty and followup help for the life time of the dog. But you do have to do what he says.

    He will probably start with NILIF - nothing in life is free

    and Triangle of Temptation - teaching your dog impulse control, great with the stays and eventually the recalls - ie in the end you can recall your hungry dog past her dinner bowl.

    Dog Behaviour Articles FREE! K9 Pro The K9 Professionals

    With the other dogs and being excited, you need to train her to be calm and that will mean not approaching other dogs while she's in an excited state - over the top not listening to anybody. You walk towards the exciting thing until your dog just starts to notice but way before she starts getting excited over the top. And then you walk away to where you were before she noticed. You might have to go a bit further - until she can be fully focussed on you, and run some training drills - sit, drop, hand touch etc with lots of praise and rewards and keep it easy for her to get right. Then take a few steps in the direction of distracting thing and try again. If it's still all good, take a few more steps... If she starts to notice the distracting thing - back off again. Vary how close you go and how far away you go by different distances - not always the same. Try a few sessions of this every day for a month and see how that goes. You can use dog club classes for this, just arrive early and work at a distance.

    If you're worried about your dog attacking anything - get a muzzle for her for when you're out in public until you're more confident she can be calm around other dogs. Even on lead - another dog can jump in her face - as most of the badly trained uber friendly ones tend to do, and then if your dog reacts - you're all in trouble. Best to prevent it. And a muzzle makes badly trained owners think twice about letting their friendly dog in your dog's face.

    k9pro has a nice selection of muzzles on their site too. A little bit more comfortable and less ugly than the petshop supplies ones.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    Going to see a Trainer and doing some one on one training is a great idea with some good trainere as Hya said. But if you are unable to do so financially.........Are there any trainers at your kennel Club, who will take some time-out with you and do some one on one training.......And use the other dogs to get your dog used going near and not being allowed to react. that is why I love using "dog passes dog" training and slalom through dogs and handlers. Where both the "posts" and the handler with dog get a lot of passing of dogs. It tends to steady dogs and they get used to dealing with other dogs in an environment
    The other thing is, if your dog pulls now, have you tried a front attaching harness.
    I find in training that many of the staffy like dogs pull like trains. I put the front attaching harness on the once in my class and most start to get the hang of it. And amazingly enough it becomes habit not to lunge. It controls the front end of the dog and spins them around if they really pull. It is quite funny when you put it on first, because some dogs will look at the owner in a "how did you do that" fashion.
    The kumalong is one brand, but there are several others. Just remember it has to attach to the front, not at the back, because back attaching encourages pulling, that is why we use it in tracking and pulling.......
    Pets are forever

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    perhaps you can ask your training place whether they are able to help, and if not who they would recommend. if they have neither answer .. perhaps start looking for another place to go
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Also just saw they have the "Click to calm" book at the RSPCA shop: Book, Click to Calm by Prestige - RSPCA

    I have the Click for Joy book by the same author and found it a good reference book. It's very basic, but it helped me to get my head round some of the principles and I found it fairly easy to move on from there.

    But I'm the kind of person who gets comfort out of reading up on stuff when I have a problem I cannot solve. It helps me calm myself and get my thoughts straight. Not everyone's thing.

    PS: If you do want to get the book (or others) but want it cheaper, buy it from here: Postage may take a bit longer - though it's usually only about a week to 10 days. I buy all my books overseas...
    Last edited by Beloz; 10-05-2011 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #7


    Darn....I did have a long reply...long story short

    Cheers for the advice guys.
    Aggression isn't an issue.
    I have tried a few suggestions mentioned.
    Will stick at it with training.
    The COOLEST Rats and Mice are ICED

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