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6 month old staff aggression

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Sunil989, Oct 19, 2018.


  1. Sunil989

    Sunil989 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone

    I wanted some advice for my 6 month old Staffordshire bull terrier. I had got Leo at 2 months old, upon getting him he has acted as a usual pup would, very nippy and always excited, however just a few weeks after getting him he had started showing signs of 'aggression'. I haven't had the chance to speak to anyone else to see if they had experienced the same sort of thing with their pup.

    The 'aggression' he shows can be VERY bad at times. He will repeatedly try to bite you and is very consistent. The bites will vary but most of the time he will give his hardest bite. Along with this he will growl and snarl and bark as loud as possible. He then continues to lung and try to bite. It is hard to figure what drives him to do this as it can happen at the most random times. For example I was walking through the garden when I felt a snap on the back of my leg, for no apparent reason he started trying his hardest to bite while growling and lunging at me. Apart from the biting he is a good dog, walks well on the lead, knows a lot of commands and is very responsive. I would like to think this is not aggression however, I have been trying to stop this since he was 2 and a half months old. Not sure how much longer I can take this off him and he now seems to have a full set of adult teeth and a very strong jaw. In the past he has also drawn blood and his issues don't seem to be getting any better.

    I have tried methods such as ignoring him and walking away which leads to him biting my legs from behind. I have also tried making loud yelp noises which seems to hype him up more and I have also tried putting him into a sit however this does not stop him for long.

    He gets 2 daily walks and is currently fed Wainwrights puppy food. He was on James Wellbeloved before but I was advised to change this as it may help but it doesn't have seemed to do a thing!! Can I also add this is a daily thing, he will do it very frequently throughout the day.

    I have been trying to deal with this issue for over 3 months now! Please could I get some advice.

    Thank you
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    He isn't aggressive, this is just an extension of the boisterous play he had with his littermates but he needs to learn this is not how to play with humans. Some people do find a sharp 'ouch' works but it can just ramp up the excitement. Some people find putting a toy in the dog's mouth works, others find the puppy is still more interested in nipping hands and legs. My preferred method is to teach him that teeth on skin equals end of fun. So as soon as he makes contact, walk out of the room for a few moments. You said you walk away, but you need to remove yourself entirely. Or, put him out of contact - behind a baby gate, or in his crate if you use one. As long as the whole family is consistent - do it immediately and do it every time - he will learn. You could use a house line to draw him away, which keeps your hands both out of reach and also keeps hands for only good things.

    Another thing to mention is 'extinction burst'. This is when a behaviour that used to get your attention no longer works for the dog so he tries it all the harder. This is good, because it means that what you are doing is starting to work!
     
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  3. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

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    Was going to say much the same as Joanne above. My Lab was a sh*t for this during adolescence. He'd body slam me, grab me, rag my arms and just generally be vile. With him it was often triggered by being tired (think over tired toddler, dogs are much the same!) or frustration. Many times I tied him to a lamp post or tree while out and stepped just out of reach of him until he calmed. In the house I left the room and shut the door behind me as soon as he started. Every single time he started. Consistency is absolutely key to it. Where possible I also pre-empted the behaviour and would stuff a toy in his mouth or redirect him to something appropriate. Once he'd reached the point of grabbing and growling though it was too late for that, leaving was the only option.

    Bull breeds are generally very full on and rough in play I've found which won't help matters. You mention walks, how long are you walking him for and is it just a walk or is he running around, swimming, playing? Over stimulation was often Spens problem and we'd often get this sort of behaviour after a highly exciting walk, play with another dog etc. It hyped him up and he had no idea how to get back down again. Also, what sort of mental stimulation does he get? Physical exercise is necessary but so is working the brain. Mental work is less likely to hype them up too. Nose work is something my dog loves. I also teach him "silly" tricks just because it gets him thinking. 15 minutes of training tires him out as much as an hours walk does.
     
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  4. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    He sounds like a normal teenage staffy to me! They are very mouthy, but there are ways of reducing it (see excellent replies above).
    Also he's not biting you as hard as he can, that would very nearly break your arm and put you straight in A&E. He's biting hard to get you to react, whether that's a negative or positive reaction it doesn't matter to him, so don't react and walk away, preferably into another room for a minute, then come back out and either engage him in an appropriate interaction (tricks, games, training etc), or settle him down into a crate or pen with a nice chew or stuffed Kong to encourage calmness.
     
  5. Sunil989

    Sunil989 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the replies.

    I have tried putting him into his crate and waiting for him to calm down, this generally works until 10 minutes later in which he decides to do it again. It can be very difficult to deal with as he is so strong. I will definitely be trying the method on walking out of the room for a few minutes. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

    Regarding his exercise, he usually gets 2 walks a day of 25-30 minutes, sometimes with a 10 minute session of fetch in the garden during the day. I also try to train him generally throughout the day so he does receive mental stimulation aswell.

    Thank you again for the replies, all advice is much appreciated :)
     
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