CLYDE, DEVON'S CHEEKIEST BULL TERRIER
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TRAINING AND BEHAVIOUR
This website is brilliant for anyone experiencing behaviour and training problems http://www.datahopa.co.uk/host/training-english-bull-terriers/
This is a very informative website regarding nuero problems such as tail spinning and aggression. http://www.btneuro.org/
Sadly some bull terriers are deaf and owners find it really frustrating to find training information here are some links
bull rs are deaf and often owners find it frustrating to find help with When we bought Clyde I was informed that bull terriers are thick and I was laughed at when I said I was going to do some obedience with him I have proved those people wrong! Clyde obtained his Kennel Club Bronze Good Citizens Award and we hope to try for the Silver award later this year. I will be honest when he was going through adolecence he was a nightmare at training and had an attitude problem, barking and lungeing at other dogs.
It took a lot of patience and consistency but it paid off, Clyde is now well adjusted and can go to training and do heel work off lead with other 10 other dogs in the hall, I have to say the two training clubs I attend were fanastic, Canine Ettiquette and Barnstaple & District Dog Training Club never made me feel bad when Clyde disgraced himself!!
Tina and I did go to one club where they certainly were not bullie fans I remember us taking Charlie and Eric when they were puppies whereupon Charlie barked and squeaked he thought it was great lots of other dogs to play with! The instructor came over to me and asked me if she could throw training discs on the ground because he was too noisey you can imagine the reply!! So finding a good training club is a must.
I find if I do just 10 minutes of obedience with Clyde when he is being a bit manic it settles him down its amazing he just goes to sleep, and it means I can get on with what I wanted to do, you have to make training fun I use both treats and toys.
Two things I would reccommend would be a Kong filled with something nice such as bannana or peanut butter, especially when you first go to a class its a good distraction when the other dogs are working, if you do have a barker it is a good distraction. I used to carry the air corrector from Company ofAnimals http://www.companyofanimals.co.uk/pet-corrector.php it interrupts any unwanted behaviour.
Another really simple thing is not let your dog eye ball another dog you are asking for trouble, learn your dogs body language it all makes for an easier life. Very often new dogs in the club come along and are a bit full of themselves the owners do often let their dog just face head on to another dog then wonder why an incident occurs. I used to take a kong filled with primula cheese to distract Clyde its also good to put a tube of Primula in your pocket its always good to have to hand especially with a young dog that might be easyily distracted.
So dont give up when you think your bullie is NEVER going to calm down or have some manners it does happen but you have to put the work in.
An excellent book I can reccomend is when Pigs Fly
Until we had Clyde I had never used a crate I wouldn't be without it, Clyde loves his and often goes in when he's tired and the house is a bit noisy it's his sanctuary. Some people think its cruel but if used responsibly a crate is an absolute must it gives the owner piece of mind and the dog a place of comfort and security.
A crate is a container large enough that your dog can comfortably stand and lie down in it when he’s fully grown, with a door you can shut to keep him in. Crate training can save your sanity and help you to set your dog up for other training successes by managing his environment when you are not there to reinforce desired behaviour. Unfortunately many dog owners rush the process and end up with a set of different problems.
Introducing the Crate:
The crate needs to be introduced as a place where good things happen. Forcing a dog in a crate is definitely not the way to create a good association.
Reward your dog for:
1. Looking at the crate.
2. Taking a step towards the crate.
3. Sniffing the crate.
4. Putting his head through the door.
5. Putting one foot in, then two.
6. Going in to explore the crate.
7. Staying quiet when you shut the door.
Reinforce this good experience by having other good things happen while your dog is in the crate. Give him his dinner there or give him a stuffed Kong toy or marrow bone to play with. When he’s ready for bed, wait till he is nearly asleep before putting him in and then sit with him, stroking him, for several minutes.
Teaching the Dog to Spend Time Alone:
It’s a fact of life that our dogs have to be alone sometimes. For working families, the dog is often alone for most of the day. Even if you work at home there are times you have to go out without your dog. Unfortunately being left alone is not natural to a dog. An abandoned pup would die and your pup instinctively understands that. He doesn’t know you are just going to bed. He doesn’t know you are going to work and will be back later. He doesn’t know you are going to the shop. He only knows he’s being left alone.
The best time to start teaching your dog to accept being alone in the crate is when he’s sleepy or when he is in the mood to be distracted by a meal, an appropriate bone or toy. The worst time is when the dog is overexcited, in the mood to play, or has just woken up from a long nap.
- Put the dog in the crate with something to occupy him and shut the door.
- Very matter-of-factly go about your business. For the first minute or so, stay in the room. If he looks for you, go over, open the door and pet him for a few seconds. Then close the door and go about your business again. Repeat until he gets interested in his toy or settles to nap. Go to him only when he is quiet. Do not reinforce whining, crying or barking with attention.
- When the dog is distracted, leave the room. After thirty seconds, return. If he is looking for you, go over, open the door and reassure him that you will always come back. Repeat until he takes little notice of you coming and going.
- Increase your time out of the room to one minute.
- If the dog drops off to sleep, leave him alone until he wakes then immediately take him out to toilet.
- If the dog finishes with his toy and doesn’t settle for a nap, end the session with a toilet break.
- In later sessions, you’ll be able to gradually increase your time away. Frequent trips back reassure your dog that you do come back.
Solving Crating Problems:
If your dog has a poor attitude towards the crate, go back to the beginning and progress through the steps, outlined above, at your dog’s pace.
Unfortunately, if your dog has formed a negative association towards the crate it may take quite a bit of time to undo the damage. If you can, find a temporary alternative to crating while you retrain the behaviour.
Using the Crate:
Once your dog is used to the crate, use it correctly to maintain the dog’s positive association.
- Make the crate a pleasant place to be. Find a treat that your dog particularly loves and give it to your dog as reinforcement for going into his crate on cue. Feed him in the crate.
- Encourage your dog to sleep in his crate. Carry sleepy puppies to their crates.
- Put a night-time crate in your bedroom, so your dog is close to the family at night instead of isolated.
- Put a daytime crate in your family room. Leave the door open when you are at home. If he goes in voluntarily, reward him.
- NEVER use the crate for punishment.
- An over-tired pup may benefit from a ‘time out’ in his crate. An over-excited, under-exercised pup will not. The crate is not a tool to contain puppy energy, this needs to be properly expended. Otherwise, puppies put energy into noisy, destructive behaviour.
- Crates are not substitute nannies. If you have a young or unreliable dog, watch him and train him. A crate doesn’t teach a dog to make good decisions; it simply prevents him from making poor ones.
- Dogs should never be crated for more that four hours at a time.