Hi, I have a Staffordshire Bull terrier puppy that is almost 5 months old. Almost from the time I got him (8 weeks old) he was a 'biter', at the time I didn't think too much off it and put it down to him being so young however the biting has got worse, a lot worse! He's literally drawing blood sometimes and leaving marks and bruises I've tried distracting hI'm with a toy, calmly saying 'no bite',shouting 'ouch', ignoring him and putting him in 'time out' in his cage but nothing has worked. He also now very frequently stands direcly in front of me barking repeatedly (which is often followed by a bite) in what I think is an 'agressive' way. His fur is almost always up on his back when he's doing it and there's no tail wagging at all. It's got to the stage now where even those he's still so young I am finding him quite intimidating. Please could anyone offer me some advice as I really do want to sort this behaviour out but I am running out of options.
Hi ruby26 welcome to the forum. Sorry I can't offer any advice but hopefully someone will come along. To me thou this sounds very bad and as you say needs sorting , and quickly, sounds like he is trying to be leader and you are part of his pack. Do you have a muzzle on him when you take him out ?
Hi, thanks for your reply. No I don't muzzle him when he's out but I don't let him off the lead or let him near people.
It may be a good idea till you have got him sorted, I don't do off lead, but there's a lot of people out there that do and some have no recall, dogs often come charging towards us and I have to about turn and walk in opposite direction as I don't trust other peoples dogs. Last thing you want is for a dog to approach you from out of no where and make your puppy even more aggressive, just a thought.
My first thought was the same as alfiemummy, that talking to a trainer might be a good idea. My second though was talking to your vet to make sure that everything is ok, and maybe getting his castrated. And my last thought when you say you only do on lead walks is that you're not tiring him out enough, not just physically but mentally too.
Do you play games with him? there are some good games that you can get for him to make him use his brain and work for his food say, like with a Kong.
Hi, thank you all for your replies, I really appreciate everyone's advice. I take him on quite long walls to tire him out (which usually consist of me being bitten several times in the process!) I also play on the garden with him often. He has lots of toys including a Kong, he just sadly prefers to bite me than them! I've emailed a dog trainer today so I'm hoping they get back to me shortly. I'm going to get him a muzzle tomorrow as well. Does anyone think this behaviour can be rectified at all? My neighbour came round earlier today as I was in tears about the situation and she bitten several times by him and was pretty surprised at his level of aggression too
I would get the advice of a very good dog trainer, I am sure if when out walking you chat to other dog owners it will not take long to work out which dog trainers in the local area who are worth their mustard. As you have a specific issue may be worth considering one on one training.
It is worth having a health check with vet to make sure there is nothing obvious that is causing him to do this. They probably can also help with advice on a good dog behaviorist.
Total agree with Cazypops that dogs need physical and mental exercise. A frozen kong that takes time to destuff is an ideal example. If you feed dry food hiding food around the house is another good way to mentally exercise a dog. When my dogs were young could be knocked out with a good training session especially when learning something new. Off lead may be a bit difficult in your situation but could you go for a run with him or use a long line to help provide a little more vigorous exercise. Though he is young so you will have to watch how much physical exercise he gets for his growing body.
Know this will seem strange thing to put but also worth looking into what you feed him, some dog foods (one very colourful dry one comes to mind!) has chemicals in it (E numbers) and is high in sugar. From what I have read and heard from other people who know a lot more than I do it could be linked to causing hyperactivity in some dogs.
Thank you again for your replies. I was thinking one on one training would be a good idea to be honest. I've tried putting food into his Kong toy and freezing it too, sadly it didn't interest him at all. I'll also get him vet checked like advised. He actually had a trip to the vets about 4/5 weeks ago and showed some pretty aggressive behaviour there which the vet commented was a 'worry'. I should probably add that I have children too, the youngest being only 4 so that adds to the worry even more even though I never leave them alone together. I'm not sure whether this is relevant or not but although he was sold to me as a full staff many people have commented that he looks like a cross breed with the majority of people saying he appears to be either crossed with a dog de bordeux, a rhodesian ridgeback and a couple of people have even suggested a pit bull! Thank you again for all your replies I really do appreciate people taking the time out to offer me advice.
Post by Pawsforthought on Aug 17, 2016 22:15:11 GMT
It's difficult to give advice when you don't know the lifestyle of a dog, but I would suggest that, based on the assumption that he is a physically and mentally sound dog, he could be frustrated and nervous. I have a nervous, high energy dog and maintaining a successful relationship does take a lot of commitment and work. Milo was a Jekyll and Hyde puppy; although mostly Jekyll, when the Hyde came out he would tear around the room, jumping and nipping at people's clothes. He grew out of it, but he is still a very neurotic ball of nervous energy at times so there's something not quite 'right' about him in a way. I believe that just like with us humans, dogs can suffer with all kinds of mental issues/disorders, and although I can't put a name to it with Milo, he definitely has 'something.' He is overall a lovely dog now, but we do have to know his triggers, not put him under too much stress and try to make everything as positive as possible.
Don't pay any attention right now to the breed issue because I don't believe that is helpful.
Also, certainly don't neuter him at 5 months! That would be asking for more trouble. Neutering a dog before he or she has reached physical and mental maturity is thought to be responsible for a number of issues in dogs, including behavioural problems and joint disease. With a breed the size of a staffie I'd wait until at least the age of 18 months. (Just my opinion!)
I REALLY recommend you get in touch with this guy (you can email him:) www.pneville.com/
He really knows his stuff; if he can't help you, I don't know who can!
For now, even if it doesn't 'fix' things, quietly walk away or leave the room if you have to every time he starts biting. Don't shout at him or lose your temper, it's far better to stay quiet if you know you can't react calmly. No matter what he does, if he starts biting you ignore him, move away from him and do not react at all. If he stops biting you, praise or reward him. I think you need one to one help, but for now this is just the appropriate way to respond to a biting dog.
Does he like being put to work? I feel like the only way you may be able to tackle this is to get his brain working hard. Staffies are intelligent, energetic dogs who love doing a job.
Hi, thank you once again to everyone for taking the time out to offer me advice, it's much appreciated. Pawsforthought thank you very much for the recommendation, I will email him tomorrow. I have to admit that I have lost my temper with him on a couple of occasions, it's hard not to when his teeth are sunken into my hand/arm/leg or whatever I have overall tried to ignore the bad behaviour although it does actually seem to make him worse! I wish I knew what I was doing or have done wrong, I try to spend as much time with him as possible and I always praise his good behaviour (although that's quite few and far between!) it's almost like he hates me though and he's trying to intimidate me? I'd like to say that I'm not intimidated by him but the truth is I am, he's roughly about half the size of a staffy already and packs a pretty mean bite! Thank you once again for all your reply's
ruby26 I feel for you and hope someone can help you. Sadly thou its said our pets pick up on our anxiaty ? And he may well be doing this too, I was watching the Dog rescuers Tuesday night and they had a little Staffie called Stella who from memory was bitng and stuff, she was put to work hunting out things, in fact she was as good as a Springer and is now a Police Dog. Like others have said maybe he needs stimulation , you say you have a young son of 4 , how does ? React with him ? What is your dogs name ? Hate keep saying him LOL X
Let us know how you get on with the guy Paws has recommended xx
Hi Scallywag, thanks for your reply. It's a little girl I've got whose 4, she absolutely adores him and although he doesn't bite her anywhere near as much as he does me or her older brothers there's still an element of what I'd call 'bullying' from him towards her, i.e, he'll try to sit in the exact place she's sitting and will shove at her to move her. His name is Zeus by the way he was actually bought as a present for my 17 year old son but due to personal circumstances he now lives with his grandparents about 20 miles away. My 17 year old son was zeus's favourite 'target' by far and he's got the scars to prove it! He does appear to have moved his attention onto me now though