My staffie and my girlfriend

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My staffie and my girlfriend

Post by AaronWood1990 on Sun Jul 23 2017, 16:14

3 weeks ago me and my girlfriend rescued a 3yo blue staffie male called biggie, he is a lovely dog, really excitable and playful young lad, however when I'm at work and my girlfriend is at home with him, she has had a few incident with him involving him snapping and growling her she is already quite nervous around dogs in particular the first incident involved food he tried take food off her plate when she pushed him down he growled at her quite hastily luckily her brother was there and pulled him away and put him outside, and today another incident has happened involving a toy he was happily playing fetch in the garden with her bringing her the ball back, when he dropped the ball she picked it up to throw it again and he growled at her this time her mum was there my girlfriend managed grab his collar which he got worse and tried to bite her mother took over and held him and put him on his lead after a fight of wriggling about he tired himself out and lay on the floor in a guilty state! He's only done this on me once where he peed on a bed and i told him he was naughty and told him go down stairs he began growing at me I took him by his collar and led him downstairs and put him in the kitchen and ignored him for a while till my girlfriend was comfortable around him again, has anyone experienced this before with a rescue male staffie, or any information would be appreciated as I don't want my girlfriend being scared of our new family member, please help. Thank you

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Re: My staffie and my girlfriend

Post by LizP on Sun Jul 23 2017, 17:49

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Re: My staffie and my girlfriend

Post by LizP on Sun Jul 23 2017, 18:24

Firstly, well done on giving Biggie a home. Can I ask where you got him from? If he's from a rescue organisation, my first port of call would be to contact them. They may be able to offer you some support and advice based on their knowledge of him and how he reacts to different things.

Failing that, what you're dealing with is called resource guarding. There are things you can do to work through this that don't involve dragging him away from something. As you've already seen, that can make it worse because you've got a dog who's saying 'I really want that and I'll challenge you for it', and by dragging him off you're taking him away from that thing he really wants. If you make that challenge into a physical confrontation (how he'd see being dragged away), you are actually setting him up to meet that challenge physically.

The solution depends on the severity of the problem and how good you all are at training. It's obviously something we can't see from here so, in the absence of any rescue backup, I would strongly suggest working with a behaviourist/behaviour trainer if you can. They are often not cheap but can be worth it.

In the meantime, I would suggest the first thing is for your girlfriend to avoid situations where she might have something he wants when he is there, so food and toys. If she's eating or preparing food, just pop him in another room, and for now maybe leave the toys until some basics are in place.

The next is for you to start working on a 'leave it' command (request, because you should always ask nicely!). Find a toy Biggie likes but not too much. Make sure he's in a quiet mood, so not just after play or anything exciting. Have a load of really yummy treats that you can reach but that he can't.

Now, give him the toy, encouraging him to take it if needed. Then, take a treat, show it to him and ask 'leave it'. If necessary, put the treat under his nose. He should drop the toy for the treat. Give him the treat straight away, together with lots of praise. Then give him the toy back and repeat, repeat, repeat. Very quickly, he should learn that 'leave it' means 'drop what's in your mouth and have a treat!'

Once he know what 'leave it' means, you can start practicing without showing him the treat first, and when you think he's ready you can ask him to leave things randomly. Never ask for leave it when he's got something high value unless you're some way down the line with his training and you think he won't challenge you. When he's left something, always give him a good treat and praise, and give him the object back unless there is a safety reason he can't have it.

Make this a fun game. Make this something that he'll enjoy doing. Training should always be fun, dogs and humans should never find it a chore, it's just a fun game you play with your dog that has a purpose as well.

When you feel he's pretty good with you, you can ask him to leave most things, and he'll happily do it, your girlfriend can start working with him too. Go right back to basics, to where you started with the easy toy, to minimise the risk of a challenge, then build up just the same way you did.

At the same time as this, I'd work on another useful word - 'wait'. This shows it well

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ3Kbf0iDss

If you think a whole bowl of food a mealtimes might be too much right now, use just a treat instead. Again, if you can repeat this a few times in each session, he'll learn faster.

If at any point you feel there is a serious challenge, so if you get a low growl, if his eyes go cold or if he lifts his lip, stop. I know there is the theory that you have 'given in' and that you've taught him that challenging you works, but that's better than being bitten.

If you've got any questions now or later, just ask. It's not easy sometimes advising from a distance but we can try!


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Re: My staffie and my girlfriend

Post by -Ian- on Sun Jul 23 2017, 20:26

Hi & Welcome to the Forum from Flo and me Big Grin

I can't really add to the excellent advice above but Staffies do learn quickly so you should see a change fairly quickly if everyone sticks to the same rules. Well done on giving Biggie that furever home thumbs up


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Re: My staffie and my girlfriend

Post by Mia05 on Wed Jul 26 2017, 00:04

Welcome perhaps as your other half is nervous and when he has some training your girlfriend could help with the dog this could also stop her being nervous. Dogs can pick up on mood very easily.

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