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Totally stubborn!


Hi all,

I'm brand new to the forum. We got 'Magic Mike' (now known as Mikey!) a few weeks ago from a local rescue. They rescue dogs from shelters that are about to put them down. He's estimated to be 12-18 months old, although I think he's closer to the 12 month mark.

His little quirks are starting to come out! He's developed a taste for my shoes and bras! He's very smart and picks things up quickly. We started some behavior training classes to try and control the more puppy like behaviors (mouthing, jumping as I have 2 small children and his big excited happy butt knocks them flying!)

He LOVES to chase and bite the water out the hose in the garden. Sneak bark the cats, much to their disgust (and our amusement, they get their own back tho!)

We had a little trouble with accidents in the house to start, then he got something called a 'hotspot' between his shoulder blades, but I think the peeing was more change of environment and he's getting better, we are training him to use a bell by the back door so we know when he needs to pee.

One of his quirks coming out is his stubbornness!! He walks good on the leash for the most part, except for when he sees something he wants to either smell, or another dog!(He's quite dog reactive in the sense he wants to romp and play with them and gets excited)
First the concrete boots come on and his legs lock. Then if I keep encouraging him to come, he'll just lay down in the middle of the road and roll on his back and refuse to move! Now, although funny, it sometimes can be a bit dangerous. We have a few free roaming dogs around our neighborhood and a couple of them are quite territorial and will charge us in the road. One has already come up and tried to bite him .. Mikey did nothing back. If Mikey ever figured out he has teeth in his mouth along with that 2 foot tongue, there could be a nasty scuffle and when I have my 1 and 3 year old with me, they would be my first priority.

Have any of you dealt with the stubbornness? Is it typical of an American bulldog (they think he's mixed with a Staff) How do I get him to 'leave' a scent or a dog and come along? He's good with the clicker training, but again, when he's *that* interested its hard to use it.

Thank you for any insight!!

Here's a few pics of Mikey and the kids:


Being a pillow

Playing Doctors


Good Dog
I have dealt with the stubbornness (as have almost all AB owners). My boy just turned a year old, and he's still stubborn as ever! Potty training was a big issue with mine as well, I got him around 3 months old, he had absolutely no training, and it took him a good 3 months to learn where to go. Mine hasn't met a dog he doesn't like either, he just stands there and takes what is being dealt to him.

as far as how to leave something that he's locked on, I have no clue about clicker training. With mine I use treats to get him to focus on me, mine can be persuaded to do anything with a handful of cookies lol.

Mikey is a good lookin boy!


Big Dog
hey, yes, American Bulldogs are stubborn!!! as far as the leash training, sometimes you have to let him know who is in charge. Make him move. Give him a good pop of the collar, we use a prong collar on our A.B. when we walk. I rarely have to use it, but bc he is so big and can really dig in if he want to get to something, I need an additional aid to help him get the message.
some people on here dont agree with using corrections, but i feel that they are perfectly acceptable when used appropriately. I also correct my daughter when she does something wrong, afterall, thats how they learn.

cute pup!

Delilah's mom

Little Dog
I had the same issue with Delilah. She's a little over a year and weighs 50 pounds, but let me tell you, when she gets focused on something (usually a bird or a squirrel), the second she notices it, I either give her the "leave it" command (this is if we're already in motion). I say it sternly and give her collar a short, quick tug, but I never stop moving. teaching leave it can take a bit of time. Impulse control is, in my opinion, one of the more difficult things to train.

The "look" command works really well. I used treats to teach her this. Just take the treat (hidden in your hand), show it to him in front of your nose while saying "look" and then treat. Do that randomly and often (I would break up treats into tiny pieces (so I wasnt giving her much more than a taste each time), and use maybe 2 treats a day (I kept them in my pocket). Once he learns that he's going to get a treat every time you say that, increase the time he has to look at you (from maybe a second, to 3 seconds, to 6 seconds, to 30, etc.). Pretty soon you'll be able to phase out the treats, and every time you say look, his head will snap to you, effectively breaking his focus on whatever it is that he's honed in on, and you can give him a praise party :). This command has been amazing for my shoulders (Delilah does not really give warnings before she bolts to the end of the leash, no stiff legs, no change in breathing, the only way to tell with her is that her ears perk up, so I try to give the command at that exact moment)

I'm not too sure what to do about the laying in the road thing though :\