Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

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Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by carkst on Wed Feb 21 2018, 13:35

My daughter has a 2 year old staffie girl whose behaviour is getting worse. I look after her weekdays when my daughter is at work. We have had staffies for over 20years and never had a problem. Most have been rescues and although this one wasn't as such, she did come from a very chaotic home and was rarely socialised. Over past 18 months she is becoming more and more reactive with dogs. We tried a course of weekly training sessions with little success and she has recently completed an intensive boarding training programme. She came back very subdued but we were hopeful of change. She is very responsive to men but my daughter and I seem to have little control. We are using all the training given to us but every walk is a stressful battle and I come home exhausted. My concern Is that she will only listen to men. My husband walks her occasionally when work allows and she doesn't even look at another dog. With us women she is constantly lunging at dogs. We have changed tone of our voice, tried numerous aids but when she is in the zone we cannot get her back. I feel we may have no option but to rehome her but this would break our hearts and I wouldn't know where to start to ensure she would be going to a genuine home. We know the issue is with us but we have followed every instruction and advice given and honestly don't know what else to do. We are now muzzling her which she hates but we cannot trust her not to bite if a loose dog came over to her.

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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by Mistys Mum on Wed Feb 21 2018, 14:52

So sorry to hear of this. Whereabouts are you based as we can look for positive trainers who could help.

It sounds as though maybe she didn't have a good experience in the boarding, were the trainers there force free and positive based?

You sound like great owners who are doing the best for her. In the mean time can you stick to on lead areas like streets or nature reserves whee you must be on lead so if you do see another dog you can practice avoidance and miss them.


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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by gillybrent on Wed Feb 21 2018, 15:07

Firstly, did you introduce the muzzle slowly, with treats & praise?

I don't think there are 'men only' dogs. But dogs will respond best to whoever trains them the most & prepares their food!

I, personally, wouldn't have sent her away to training - Staffords are actually very sensitive dogs & most of the boarding trainers can use quite harsh methods. Not necessarily cruel, but harsher than a Stafford needs.

If I were you, I'd take over her training, feeding & walking exclusively for a few weeks. Use positive training with treats & praise. Teach her the 'watch me' command (if you need help with any of it, just ask!).

Try to avoid other dogs for a while, just until she's more responsive to you. There's nothing wrong with avoidance, crossing the road, stepping out of the way. If you do that, your girl will start to trust that you're in control.

Once you feel that she's listening to you, you can try getting closer to other dogs with the 'watch me'. If at any time she reacts, increase the distance again & start again.

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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by carkst on Wed Feb 21 2018, 15:28

I will be honest and say the muzzle has been applied quickly but with treats. Felt we had no option as her behaviour was becoming so bad and there are so many where we live allow their dogs off lead. My daughter has always been the main trainer and it is only us who have ever fed her. Due to.work it would have to be either of us who do the walking. We have tried the look at me technique after our first set of training sessions but once she sees a dog she has no interest in food or us. She is very good orientated any other time but not if there is a dog about. We do try avoidance but she is really difficult to move from the spot. We have used various harnesses and some are better than others. If we stand in front of her to block her she will just pull around us to refocus on the dog. I thank you for all the advice and will continue with it but bit has been 18months now and despite everything she has gotten worse. The boarding was a last resort and recommended by a friend.

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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by Paris1990 on Wed Feb 21 2018, 17:36

Were the trainers in the boarding female? I really wouldn’t have sent her there knowing what Stafford’s are like, I’d have just kept trying and trying, I think if you’re saying it’s got worse it could be that sending her there has made it worse.
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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by carkst on Wed Feb 21 2018, 19:32

The trainer was male. Her behaviour was worsening before she went which is why we did it as nothing worked. Honestly we have tried for months and we have never we had a dog of any breed not show some improvement but she sees a dog and it is a full on battle to get her focus back. When we get her away from the situation she is up a height. We sent her to the boarding because everything else we tried wasn't working. We cried when we picked her up because she was walking past dogs without a fuss. A few days later and we are back to square one. My husband walked her tonight and she did everything asked of her. My daughter took over and the dog constantly looked at my husband. We do everything he does but with us a dog goes past and it's like we lose her. Feel like such a failure as know she can do it, just not with us.

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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by Nifty staffy on Wed Feb 21 2018, 20:26

Oh dear, what an awful situation to be in. So sorry you have arrived where you are.

I think it could help to take a step back and look at the whole set up around your daughter’s staffy.
She sounds like a very dominant female, what is she like at home ?
You conclude that the problem is the female human and not the dog.
Ok, but the thing that screams to me is that you’ve given up hope and so have no more confidence. Staffies are very sensitive and I’m guessing that your daughter’s dog has understood how to get the upper hand on you, knowing you’ll not “put up a fight”, so to speak.
I’m guessing your husband is not anticipating anything in particular so the dog remains calm. If you’re already tense on the lead, the dog already feels this so only needs to see another dog to catalyze the chain reaction.

I would recommend you trying to find a reputable positively based trainer who would come to your home and work from there on a one to one basis at first. In your own familiar environment, this professional could help you pinpoint the small factors that, once grouped together, give the behaviour you are experiencing.

Boot camps only mask the problems temporarily as they provide a plaster, they do not address the cause which is what you need to find.
You will be engaged on a long and slow road to improvement, requiring lots of your time and work. Only you can say if you are ready to make this personal commitment as if you are a contributing factor, only you can remedy it (with professional help, of course).

Good luck
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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by Mistys Mum on Wed Feb 21 2018, 20:28

No you are definetly not a failure! You just haven't found the right technique yet. A failure wouldn't have even tried to help their dog. Dont put yourself down. Where are you based?


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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by Jenc on Wed Feb 21 2018, 20:39

Katy is reactive with dogs, I have to cross roads, wide berth them in fields. If she is off lead & I haven't seen them she will either run away or bluster charge them, never attacked. On lead she will bark & lunge! On the very rare occasion my hubby takes her out she will show no signs of this Surprised I on advice from a trainer have her in harness with yellow nervous tags on it to keep other dogs at a distance, doesn't always work though. I use cocktail sausages to entice her attention away from approaching dogs before she goes into the Zone. So far certainly helps.


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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by carkst on Wed Feb 21 2018, 21:01

We are in Northumberland
Thanks for all the replies. She is a lovely dog in the home. Not dominant in any way. We have had staffs for years and after our first we always went for that breed. I agree we are losing confidence with her but do try everything we have been taught with relaxing lead, getting her to focus, walking away then walking past again. She was 6 months when my daughter got her, just over the age for puppy classes and we couldn't join older classes as she wasn't dog friendly. We took advice from here and watched numerous videos and read books. We used a trainer on a weekly basis on a 6 week course. Never got her near a dog. We were advised to continue at home but there are not many people willing to let us walk her past there dog because of her behaviour. We have pockets of treats but she just doesn't care when there is a dog in view.
Thanks Jenc, pleased ours is not the only one. We have seen those harnesses and may buy one. I really appreciate all the advice. Love this dog so much but never been in this situation before.

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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by Paris1990 on Thu Feb 22 2018, 09:47

you aren't the only one, my hank wants to run to other dogs and on lead wants to go see them not in an aggressive way he just gets really excited and doesn't listen to me and I'm learning around it, it isn't uncontrollable so once we are past the other dog he just goes back to sniffing the ground and if he is off lead I put him straight back on if I see another dog but like Jen said about Katy if she doesn't see the other dog first Hank bolts over too and he wont stop for anything but its just because he wants to play, but you never know what the other dog is like so he gets put straight on the lead if I do see the other dog first. I have a lot of patients and just accepting that, that's what he is like, so we are working with him.
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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by gillybrent on Thu Feb 22 2018, 19:34

Please remember that SOME Staffords are dog aggressive . It's in their genes. I know several people on here disagree with this, but I feel it's true.

IF your dog is inheritantly da then your choices are limited. Avoidance and limitation are your best way forward. I know it sounds awful having to avoid other dogs, but in the long run your dog will be calmer & happier without the confrontation. It's not easy.

But you should not stop trying to manage your dog's behaviour. Always have treats with you. Always try to distract if you can't avoid. Always try to control if you can't distract.

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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by lexii on Tue Mar 06 2018, 22:28

I agree with gilly, some are just dog aggressive. I would not think its a male/female thing, but probably more like the boarding facility made it worse for her to be DA than not to be. Did they possibly just throw her to the pack sort of thing? That is the sort of thing CM would do, and its not worked out in many cases.

I had a DA bitch, but it was on her terms. Sometimes she would be fine, others she would just take a dislike. Was like it literally until the day she died, and her siblings were also this way. Mother was not, but as i never met the father i cant tell you what he was like.
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Re: Is there such a thing as a man only dog?

Post by doiti on Tue Apr 03 2018, 23:14

I am beginning to believe that some dogs stand down from guard duty when there is a man around. Whenever my brother is here Bailey is far less reactive when walking along with me. But for the most part I am alone with my Staffy dog, Bailey and experience the reactive issues you describe. I have spent a great deal of money trying various trainers who thought they would be able to help but to no avail. Because I love him I now accept he is unlikely to change so now have certain tools to help me manage him.
1. When walking in busy dog areas I always put a muzzle on him. He now accepts the muzzle after one month of slowly introducing it for just a couple of minutes and then increasing the time period.
2. I try to walk in areas where there are few other dogs and in areas where it is possible for me to change direction and escape if necessary. Bailey my dog is mostly OK off lead if he has a ball to focus on, but I will only have him off lead in a large field like area where I can call him back if I see a dog in the distance.
3. When walking in busy places on short or extending leads I put a bandanna around his neck and when I see a big dog approaching I quickly pull the scarf over his eyes so he can't see the approaching dog. This sounds funny I know but it really is a good way to keep him calm and me sane!
4. On the same theme I have just purchased a pair of dog goggles/sun glasses that I plan to use in the same way which can be worn around his forehead then brought down quickly over his eyes when there is a big dog issue.
I hope this gives you some ideas. Please don't give up on her but rather try to accept her as she is. Best wishes.

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