Crying and then jumping and attacking me

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Post by tabitha Fri Dec 25 2020, 08:35

Hi everyone!
First time Staffy owner here. My boyfriend and I recently got a beautiful blue am-staff x bull arab from a shelter. She is 10 months old and her name is Dior. We’ve had her for 3 days now and she’s been an absolute handful. Somehow (I think) she’s bonded to my boyfriend intensely and me a little bit. Every time she sees my boyfriend leave the house or closes the door to go to the bathroom, she will jump up and push against the door and cry and I keep telling her it’s okay but she turns around and will jump at me and show teeth (super scary considering I’m a small girl lol). It sounds like she’s under extreme distress but she gets like that even when I’m still in the room with her. We haven’t been able to start training her to be all by herself because we can’t get over this obstacle. She weighs 26kgs so having her jump on me and biting me when she’s upset is definitely not ideal. She’s still technically a puppy as well and it doesn’t sound like the previous owners trained her at all. I have to keep her distracted with bones she can chew on and get her to walk around with me or else she’ll get fired up again and come at me. She hasn’t bitten me yet and I don’t want her to considering Staffies tend to lock jaw. I don’t want her to keep this attitude/habit. Please give share any sort of advice you can. I love her already and don’t want to be scared everytime my boyfriend leaves

tabitha
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Post by gillybrent Fri Dec 25 2020, 10:38

Hi & welcome!

Firstly, Stafford's (and all bull breeds) do not lock their jaws - that's a myth because they have a strong jaw pressure. That doesn't help you much, just thought I'd point it out!

What you're describing is separation anxiety. I take it she wasn't treated very well before she came to you?

You will need to build up the time she can be left alone very gradually - starting with just a few seconds. When you or your boyfriend come back in to the room, ignore her until she's calm & then gentle, quiet fuss. It will almost certainly take a few weeks at least!

Do you feed her, or does your b/friend feed her? Do either of you do any training with her?

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Post by tabitha Fri Dec 25 2020, 10:51

Amazing to hear it’s a myth that’s actually reassuring thank you! From the stories we heard about her previous owners we know that her first owner would tie her up in the backyard and leave her all day or for long periods of time and her second owner said that she always had someone with her (she was never left alone + had no time to learn to be alone)

We’ll start practicing to gradually leave her alone etc. that should work. I’ve been putting the food in her bowl since getting her and we both feed her treats when she’s doing the right thing. My boyfriend takes her for a run first thing in the morning as well as at night and if she’s got extra energy he’ll take her during the day or we’ll let her run around in the backyard. We’re also getting a professional trainer in to our house in a few days to hopefully teach all of us how to get her on track

tabitha
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Post by gillybrent Fri Dec 25 2020, 14:47

Maybe you could get involved in the walks & training? Both are great for building trust & a close relationship. She'll start to see you both as her 'saviours' rather than just your boyfriend.

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