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Frightening new behavior NEED HELP!

Discussion in 'Bull Terrier Training' started by xchairity_casex, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Good Dog

    This past week Guinness has begun showing some frightening bahavior. im sorry this is a long post but im very worried hes going to have to be put down if it continues.

    let me start by telling you what the breeder told me about him when he was with his litter mates.
    He was the lowest in the bunch as in he had to fight in order to get anything to eat he was pushed around and picked on the most whatever he had another would take it, the breeder said (of which he did the first month he was home) he would whine and put his tail between his legs and scarf down his food when he ate to prevent it being stolen.

    This past week Guinness tried getting into the garbage i walked up while his front paws were on the rim and i looped one finger into his collar to pull him down while saying "NO!" when i did he snarled and snapped at me i bent down and grabbed his collar again he showed teeth and snapped for my arm ready to attack me while holding his collar i rolled him onto his back while he continued to growl and snap the air i took my thumb and finger and pressed under each jaw bone not very hard just hard enough for him to feel and he stopped so i stopped i kept him on his back while i put my fingers in his mouth,played with his feet,his ears, touched his stomach and near his genital area i picked his face up and put my face close to his and he wouldnt react ne more so i let him up. later he attempted to getinto the garbage again with the same results only this time i claimed space by blocking him and he attacked my pants and feet, i was bare foot and he never bite hard enough to break skin or leave bruises and i again flipped him over. when i do this i no longer say no or talk at all i dont make a sound when he attacks my legs or feet or even bites my arms i dont move or flinch i just stare at him and after a few minutes he will walk away if not i flip him over. he will now also react this was whenever i block him not just from food but from people if he is jumping up on my mom i showed her how to block by blocking him from her and he attacked. this has happend quite a few times in the past week . i have been blocking him showing dominace over him a ton more this week too. and ignoreing him not looking or talking to him at all and since ive been ignoreing him and showing more dominace then ever he has started biting so much more when i so much as put his harness on he flip flops around to bite me wherever he can and i never talk or pull back i just flip him over once hes on his back he will not react to nething i do unless i hold his collar he goes crazy if he is restrained by the collar even on a lead.
    so this is what i have been doing every day this past week
    blocking and giving direct eye contact when i want him to stop doing somthing like jump on people,steal things from the garbage,chew his id tags,jumps up to get on the beds,goes after the cats food or litter box,or when i wantim to stay out of a certian room.

    flipping him onto his back everytime he doesnt do what is asked of him/when he wont stop biting or growling or attacking

    ignoreing him when he becomes hyper and bites at us for attention or barks at us for attention.

    I dont know why this has started ive ner allowed him to get away with theese things and hes a perfect gentleman when i give him treats or feed him i can put my own face into his dog food while hes eatng and he will step back i can stick my fingers into his mouth while he is eating and he will stop eating he doesnt grab food or treats out of my hands and waits patiently if i ask him to. so why has this happend?
    i do not understand the breeder said they have never had problems like this with there dogs and they told me i have dont more for showing dominance they ever have. Guinness has always had the biting problem whch went away almost completly and now is 10 times worse unless he is on his back no one can touch him he wont allow it but i have been touching and petting him often without talking to him and when he bites i flip him over or just hold his collar so he cant reach me and continue touching him all over yesterday i did this for an hour before he ave up trying to bite and sat there but once i allowed to go he ran up to me and tried biting at my face then running away and coming back.

    i know what he is doing and why he is doing it what i cant understand is how he can think he is allowed to do theese things ive always been firm never allowing him to do this but hes just been so stubborn but so have i when we have this power struggle ive always made sure to win so why does he think this way? is he going to have to be put to sleep? ive been loseing sleep trying to figure out what happend how i went wrong and whats going to happen next.

  2. AmberABCg

    AmberABCg Puppy

    Frightening Behavior

    ...Please PM me off list with your location. Let's try to put you in touch with some other bull terrier people and/or certified behaviorists in your area who can observe his behavior.

    While I have had a bull terrier whom I lost at 2.5 yrs of age to a neurological disease, I've rescued or attempted to rescue many more with either behavioral or neuro disorders. Many of these incidents need to be seen by a professional, rather than described over the internet before diagnosis.

    I'm not going to diagnose, but many bull terriers can be overly-sensitive to overt dominance, resulting in the opposite of the desired effect. Some are comfortable in the submissive role, but excessive dominance by the rest of the pack can result in the dog becoming more dominant in an effort to survive. Let's get you in touch with someone who can help ASAP!

    Keep your chin up, and let's think positive thoughts for Guinness!

    Amber Gibson
    Bull Terrier Club of America - Regional Club Liaison
    Bull Terrier Club of Dallas - Member
    Texas Gulf Coast Bull Terrier Club - Founding Board Member
    Baytown Kennel Club - Secretary
    Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Professional Member
    Texas Animal Rescue & Placement Alliance - (Past) Vice President
    Most Importantly...Tater, Tot, York, Cosmo, & Heather's Mom!!! :D
  3. Alexandraandcompany

    Alexandraandcompany Little Dog

    I hope you find the right help, because what you've been doing so far is a really bad idea. Consider yourself lucky you haven't been bitten for doing something so ridiculous as flipping your dog on his back. C'mon! What is this, the 1970's????:mad:

    Put your dog to sleep? Because of your awful training? C'mon now!

  4. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Good Dog

    Ive been taught by others and told by people on here to flip the dog onto its back when its biteing i have also read this is new not old training books and i have done this before with previous dogs with good positive results. Im not really sure how my training is awful i donot hit or yell or choke or jerk him around i donot show him violence of any kind and after he is calm on his back or more like his side then i usually give him an all over massage to calm him. i really do not understand how this is considerd awful.
    i am not saying you are wrong alexandra but i am curious on your opinion of how its wrong? in your opinion what should i be doing?

    ---------- Post added at 05:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:18 PM ----------

    I have made several posts about his nipping and also asked if theese things would cause aggression and i was told no. all ive ever done since bring him home was do my best to be the best dog owner i could be for him and i am still trying to be. and im very sad and stressed that i obviously have been doing somthing wrong.
  5. AmberABCg

    AmberABCg Puppy

    I highly recommend some positive training books such as When Pigs Fly by Jane Killion, just about anything by Patricia McConnell, Pat Miller, Ian Dunbar and a plethora of others, but I'm at work right now and that's all I can think of on the fly. Go to www.Dogwise.com they have a large selection of training guides, including those that teach positive reinforcement techniques.

    ---------- Post added at 04:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:41 PM ----------

    Don't jump the gun thinking you've done anything wrong, as there are many different ways of training and each dog is different. It may or may not be training, let's get you in touch with someone who can observe and diagnose and get you and Guinness some peace! =)
  6. Alexandraandcompany

    Alexandraandcompany Little Dog

    Well, you were given bad, dangerous advice, is what you were given. Flipping a dog on his back is extremely confrontational, and although it may work with some dogs, don't ever ever assume all dogs will tolerate this ridiculous and aggressive application.

    Does your dog need to know who is in charge? Yes, of course, but you use your brain, not violence, because very often that will backfire. Is it the dog's fault if he revolts if treated this way. NO!

    You need to find a better way, and there surely absolutely is.

    Your post is a classic textbook example I've researched for well over 16 years now.

    Put yourself in your dog's position.

    And I didn't mean to make you feel bad but when someone uses violence on a dog, then threatens to put the dog to sleep because the dog won't tolerate such abuse, makes my blood boil! Boil!
  7. Hucklebutt

    Hucklebutt Banned Back Yard Breeder

    well I can safely say I use those same techniques with my dog with dominant behaviour as a pup, with great success. A dog is an animal before it is a dog, than it is breed before he is Guiness. He is not a human and should never be treated as such!! to say 'imagine how the dog feels is insanely ridiculous. It's a dog, dogs come from WOLVES that are animals, they live in a dominant world. This is unlikely to be a neuro problem!! It's more likely to be a training/genetic issue. No way in hell should he be put to sleep, he is just a baby!! If he can be shipped or driven to AZ, I would be happy to take him if you can't handle him. You need to find out if this is a training issue or a gentic issue. Ask the people where you got him from if they know if this is genetic, as in the parents have any problems like this. The best advice I have at this point is to get a professional trainer in the area and enroll in some training classes with some that is savvy with an agressive dog. Eventually you will want to think of neutering him if training does not work as he may not be genetically sound.

    ---------- Post added at 02:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:59 AM ----------

    if guiness still lived with his parents, without himan intervention he would not have these problems. only humans cause dogs to act this way. to me guiness is dominant/assertive/confident, and unltimately not happy, he just needs real work, and training. To say a dog is being tortured by having to be put on his back is absurd. If you ever go to a dog park, or watch dogs interact together, this is what they do. dogs are physical animals, they dont ask 'please dont do that.' DONT HUMANIZE A DOG!!' Placing a dog on its back gives the dog a chance to stop reacting and to calm down, and realize the human is in control and puts the dog in a submission position, allowing it to realize its place in the pack.

    ---------- Post added at 02:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:05 AM ----------

    alex i would like to hear how you think she should handle the situation since you are so training savvy.

    what your doing with guiness sounds about how i would handle the situation, however I would have him crated when Im not home, and on leash at all times in the house so that I could correct him immediantly if needed and to keep an eye on him.
  8. Alexandraandcompany

    Alexandraandcompany Little Dog

    Not too late!

  9. Turner

    Turner Good Dog

    What would most people do when a dog is trying to bite them?

    Let me guess what one should do in this situation. Let the dog attack you, ignoring the bad behavior. When it stops say GOOD BOY and give it a treat?!
  10. Alexandraandcompany

    Alexandraandcompany Little Dog

    Um...Nope, :rolleyes: If your only contribution to this thread is to offer equally ridiculous thoughts, then you really aren't contributing, are you?

    How about getting to the root of the issue as a starting point instead of reacting to the behaviors that only adds fuel to the fire.

    The root, and work from a solid foundation up.
  11. AmberABCg

    AmberABCg Puppy

  12. Hucklebutt

    Hucklebutt Banned Back Yard Breeder

    I agree with Amber on that, Yahoo has some very nice dog groups with very educated bull terrier owners that can help in the situation.

    First off, I NEVER offer a training schedule on the internet without having first met the dog and his owner, and never before having compiled a case history and evaluation of both of them. To offer how to deal with this behavior or that behavior, especially offering ridiculous, outdated, and proven wrong methods is extremely irresponsible and unprofessional.

    I have done these methods with my dogs and I have 4 dogs. I have helped many people work with there agressive dogs with success. I would like to know what you alex would have done in this situation? Because I DO NOT believe in tip toeing around the problems, i believe in dealing with them head on. I have 4 sound dogs that I can take anywhere off lead and can be around all others dogs and always respect people. If you dont like these training techniques, than that is an opinion not a fact!! Because It works wonderfully with my dogs and many people I know who use these techniques.

    To the OP, I can give you a general overview-outline of how I would approach this.I want to establish a proper relationship with the dog where the dog can respect my position as leader, and where he understands and is secure with his position in life. Humanizing, babying, and coddeling unfortunately sends an entirely different message, especially to a more assertive dog, and can create conflict between you and your dog. And if you are humanizing (putting your dog on equal footing, or putting him on a pedestal one minute) then aggressively trying to impose your leadership the next, that is what I call "crazy making." A complete contradiction, no sane or otherwise dog can understand. In other words, the way you relate to him may not be communicating your leader role, so why shouldn't he challenge? Then you attack him when he misbehaves? What do you think your dog is thinking? My owner is insane.

    Dogs don't think there owners are insane!! they dont rationalize they react.

    Have you ever tried NILIF? or do you know what that is. This requires a dog to work for and earn his privileges and your attention.I would take 2-3 months to establish a working relationship and further strengthen my leadership role through obedience training. 4-5 times a day.

    I agree, NILF is the way to go

    I'm not a purely positive trainer, but I do beleive as Plato says, let all early learning be a sort of amusement,' (ie, training should be a pleasant, positive experience. It opens a dog to learning and cooperating, and reduces the stress of new learning.'By challenging you he is telling you he does not recognize your authority. When you attack him with these ridiculous dominant methods, he will revolt. He is acting out of survival, and I don't blame him one bit.Get to the root of the issue.

    Revolt? My dogs dont revolt. I can control my dogs with on word, and dtop a behavior with the snap of my fingers. I can stop my male bull terrier in the middle of a fight with on word. The dog is not acting out of survival!!! he does not think he is dieng!! He is a stubborn puppy! I met a bull terrier puppy once that was 3 months old, i placed him on his back in my arms and he growled like he wanted to kill me while he threw his best puppy tantrum, you really think a dog is DIENG and fighting for his life because he is on his back?!!?:no2:

    ---------- Post added at 04:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:46 PM ----------

    oh ya you say you have never seen a dog put another dog on its back? my dogs do it to each other all the time while playing around, even in PLAY it has meaning. dogs often times DO NOT give humans there belly like they would another dog, because they do not see us as a dog!!!
  13. jillibean87

    jillibean87 Good Dog

    The dogs at the daycare I work at do this all the time to other dogs.

    If I were the OP, I would consult a behaviourist in your area. In the mean time, practice NILIF and do not give him access to the kitchen/garbage.
  14. Hucklebutt

    Hucklebutt Banned Back Yard Breeder

    I agree, dogs always place each other on the backs. Yup a professional behavioralist is the best way to go, they can see Guiness first hand and be able to help the OP more accurately. We don't live with Guiness, and I don;t think we can help Guiness anymore, he needs real professional help, the owner and the dog. since nothing is helping him, as far as the forum goes.
  15. Steen Jensen

    Steen Jensen Puppy

    We now and then see the same behavior on our 16 weeks male bull, Ozzy.
    The agression is most on my vife, even it's her there is most together with the dog and do the first puppy education. Our training is only based on positiv leadership.
    Ozzy is a very dominant puppy, and make these "attach" examble, if my vife stand in the kitchen and prepare food, and she move and tuch him, he bite and growl of her. We know, if you react aggresiv on him, you only train he's agression. He "think", yes you win today, but maybee tomorrow when I'm getting bigger, and I try again I will win. One day he will win, when he has got so much experience in konfrontation, know how to fight and last have a weight on 60 pounds. Therefor it's very important, that you use your brain instead of your muscles. The best you can do in the situation is to ignore, and immediately after do som leadership training. Go out in the garten, do some activity's, where you start, control and stop the activity. You can have some games with ball or food etc. It is very important you have a positiv behavior and you start, controle and stop the play. On this method you tell your dog: no you can't treahten me with your aggressiveness, I will not even had to be mad on you, but I take the initiative to show you som good things. In the games, you can have som "no" commands. Have some things planned where you know he will try to eat som food, give a short tuk in the line and a clear NO. Immediately when he stops, tell him he is a good boy and give a small biscuit.

    In our case I know it will after 2-3 month, give much more respect, instead of trying to fight with him. All dogs respect leader ship, aggesive dominans only give fear.
    When the respect is there, he will stop the attach, for sure!

    In a young dogs first years the first dominans come in 12 -16 weeks, again when they get the puperty sexualy mature 8-10 month and again the mental mature 22- 24 month. You need to have the leadership before the last period, oppesite you will have a big challenge.

    BR. Steen
  16. Hucklebutt

    Hucklebutt Banned Back Yard Breeder

    steen that is great advice, but may not be suitable for a dominate bull terrier. sounds to me you are avoiding the problem and not dealing with it head on. I dont believe in tip toeing around the issue, you can not redirect a stubborn bull terrier that has his mind set one way, it just wont work. Eventually your going to come across the problem again and you will never be fully be able to avoid forever!! Deal with the problem, and teach the dog the behavior is not going to fly!

    ---------- Post added at 06:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:53 PM ----------

    my best advice is if he is still persuing attack when you have him placed on his back make sure you are not feeling angry or sad, make sure you are feeling calm and sure of yourself. firmly tell him NO BITE and WAIT for him to stop fighting you. I dont care how long it takes, hold him so you cant get bit, with fingers out of the way and just wait, when you hear him sigh and give up the fight let him up and stand your ground and just make eye contact with him, so that he doesnt see you walk away from him. at this point, it would be good to redirect him, and show him you wont hold a grudge against him and we can move on quickly.
  17. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    You have some excellent advice in this post. The BTCA is a great support group for the Bull Terrier owner.

    The BT, or some BT, as to not categorize can be plagued with neurological and behavioral issues. You do need someone who can help you assess what issue you are dealing with.

    There are many Bull Terriers who can live in the home as happy well adjusted pets, but every once in awhile, along comes that one special needs guy, the exact one that Jane Killion wrote the book "When Pigs Fly" for.

    You need to adjust the way you think about your training methods, and you might need to break down your training into steps, sometimes offering an alternate behavior. In this case, an alternate behavior would be a good solution.

    Rather than grabbing his collar next time, offer an alternate behavior. Turn his attention away from the garbage can. Does he have a toy or game you can distract him with? And, can you make the garbage can less appealing to him by putting a lid on it, or moving it somewhere to where he has no access?
  18. Prophecy

    Prophecy Good Dog

    may I chime in? Though I do not own bull terriers,I have some possible insight here,wich may in fact prove useful.

    What you are doing,right now...may very well get you bitten. I would not advise,rolling your dog, pinning him or acting overly dominant.I am not saying you shouldnt 'correct him' but you shouldn't correct him the way you are doing it,thats for sure.your quite liable to get nailed.

    First off, let me ask a few questions....
    1 Is the dog neutered? This can help lessen dominance drive in some dogs,if he is intact...i reccomend neutering him,if he is not already.

    2 body language.What is his posture during the incidents leading to his outbursts? As much as you can tell me would be helpful.What is the ear set(upright/alert,pressed back), tail set(up/stiff,relaxed/level,curled under/pressed to belly, wagging slow/fast/just the tip/sweeping), stance(rigid/tall-or crouched/slinky),gaze(eye contact/locked, dialted pupils,glance/ looking away,avoiding) etc toward you?

    No matter what,I would not try to 'dominate' this dog.As for your methods...What works for one dog will not work for all dogs,and what you are doing surely isn't working for him and can get you both hurt.

    You may want to distance yourself from the correction,and do positive reinforcement training/redirection instead of corrective based training.This works well with northern breeds who also show dominance/heirarchal drives and are intellegent/independant/sensitive dogs who do poorly with ''man handling''. Sounds like your dog is simular.I would do positive reinforcement/obediance training often,many times a day in short sets,to get consistancy.NILIF may be a good option as well with him.Something to consider.

    Try this... Disrupt the behaviour with a squirt bottle or squeaky toy(this removes direct challenge but interupts the behaviour).Then try to make him 'sit' with a verbal command or call him over to you.Then reward him for obeying your command.Treat him or praise him. snap a leash on him,and remove him from the trash bin.Do not drag him by the collar.Praise him for walking with you.

    I would not allow him free run of the home when your gone,and limit him when you are home.Boundries are a 'good thing' and a good leader has them.Show strong leadership and this may lessen his issues.Feed him seporatly from other dogs. Give him plenty of mental and physical exersize.Tired dogs are happy dogs.Happy tired dogs get into less trouble.Less trouble is good for making happy owners.Start playtime and end it when YOU deside its time.Exersise him,run him out as much as he can tolerate.Exersise his MIND,bullies are smart and need mental exersize too.
    Try not to get frustrated, upset or angry when you encounter him.Do not 'dominate' him.And best of luck with him!
  19. Steen Jensen

    Steen Jensen Puppy

    Dear Hucklebutt, thanks for your feedback, but we are not at all agree.
    On your method, you only train he's dominans and aggression. He winn, because he's goal, in he's young age, is only to get a figtht with you, and it succed. No I'm not circles not around the problem, because the problem is leadership and it's the leadership I focus on. When the dog now what "NO" means 100%, and he try aggression, then I use that no. Is the leadership in right base, it will work. You must remember it's in that age, 12- 16 weeks, the first hormons confuse the puppy and he try to use it. If you use the dog psychologi right, you will never need to fight with him.

    Not to brag, but I have worked with sporting dogs German shepard sportsline and rotts in more than 25 years. The last 15 years, after I get education in dog psychologi, I have got the best results. Speciel male Rotts, can be very dominant, and these methods work. 1st. role is to try to avoid to stimulate the agression and get the leadership, by proactive behavier. Thats give the dog respect for you, and when he accept you as leader, he will never ever attach you. In these 3 periods, I wrote in my first letter, is the most important periods in the dogs live. Manage you the leadership here and follow the consistent line, you will not get more of these problems, not either with a dominant Bully. You will then have a dog resting in themselves and respect you as his leader.
    My experience is that it works better an alpha dominance.
    That is what I have achieved the best results and my results in the competitions are only become better after I have introduced this form of leadership.I've never had problems with the dominance of my dogs when they are adults.
    I respect you have a different attitude and that it works for you.
    That is what makes it so exciting to work with dogs that are not only one solution that's right. What works for me may not work for you. You have to believe in you own way, otherwise it does not work

  20. Mollie's Nana

    Mollie's Nana Krypto Super Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    Check into getting a behaviorist, and take it from there. You could PM one of the members here, Drgnrdr, she always has some great advice on how to help/train a dog. It would be worth a shot and couldn't hurt to get her advice. :)

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