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Post by Bradwalker on Wed Jul 25 2018, 21:04

Hi i would like to ask for some advice. I got a staffy on sunday that is the most lovable dog to everyone in my family but is the complete opposite with dogs, he is from a rescue centre but they didnt know much about his past other than that he is from the police kennels. On the website they said he is good with other dogs as long as they tolerate rough play. This has deffinatly not been the case, i tried to socialise him with my girlfriends dads dogs and he bit them. I belive he has been bread for fighting thats why the police seized him but am unsure. He follows me everywhere i go and its as if he is seeking my approval with everything hence why i believe he may have been involved with dog fighting, although he doesnt have any scars or cuts. Is there any training i can do or will i have to have him trained professionally to stop this behaviour? Will it even be possible to change his temperament at all? Any help is welcomed, thanks.

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Post by gillybrent on Thu Jul 26 2018, 10:04

Hi & welcome.

Firstly, well done on the rescue! Do you know how old he is, roughly?

I doubt that he was bred for fighting - there would be definite signs of scarring. I think it's more likely to be fear/anxiety reactiveness. He may not have been socialised properly, and/or he may see other dogs as a threat to you & your family (his new, loving family) or even to himself. Plus, of course, he's just been through a really uncertain & scary time!

What did you do to introduce him to your girlfriend's father's dogs? How did you go about it & what sort of temperament do they have? And has he met any other dogs?

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Post by Bradwalker on Thu Jul 26 2018, 15:42

He is 2 years old. His dogs all have good temperaments. We only tried with the eldest who is an 8 year old cockerpoo that wouldnt hurt a fly and straight away he bit her. We met on a neutral field and gradually brought each other closer together. As soon as he saw the dogs he was lunging towards them and was completely unresponsive to my commands until i left the field. We were out on a walk yesterday morning and a dog approached him and he jumped on that dog also but on his profile as stated above, it says he is good with dogs as long as they accept rough play but after the incident yesterday afternoon i know that isnt the case and he was just being violent.

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Post by gillybrent on Thu Jul 26 2018, 15:55

I would try walking side by side (not necessarily close, a few of yards apart to start with, both dogs on the outside) just until he settles a bit & realises nothing bad's going to happen; keep his attention from focusing on the other dog by offering a treat from time to time. Once he calms down, try a yard closer, and so on. Once they're walking happily you can try walking one of the dogs in the middle, probably the cockerpoo so your boy doesn't feel trapped in any way.

If at any time there's a problem, go back to the previous 'comfort zone'.

You could also introduce your boy gently to a muzzle - that way you know no harm will come if you misjudge the situation at any time - it will help to keep you calm as well; it's surprising how much a dog 'picks up' from its owner's feelings!

In the meantime, teach him the 'watch' command. Hold a treat up to your face, say 'watch' & as soon as he looks at the treat (therefore, you) treat him. Keep doing that until you think he's 'got it', then try missing the odd treat out & replace with praise. After a while, try using the command whilst you're outside, maybe when he's quietly walking with you.

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Post by Bradwalker on Thu Jul 26 2018, 17:40

Ok thanks for the help. I took some treats out with me yesterday but he showed no interest to the treats as soon as he saw the dogs from about 30-40 meters away he was just fixated on them.

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Post by gillybrent on Thu Jul 26 2018, 18:48

That's why you have to start at home. Is he good orientated or toy orientated?

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