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Thread: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

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    Default I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    Hello, I'm new to this site and need some advice. Warning that this is a long post and to skip down to the bottom for the issues that I'm wanting advice on if you don't want to read my filler information.

    Here is some background information to start off with. I have grown up around different dog breeds from my parents owning dogs since I was born. I have never come across one like my bully as far as not having the behavior problem to begin with, out growing it, or didn't bother us enough to fix the problem. I always wanted a bully and I researched online and read about them being gentle, become lazy as they get older, snores, farts, and very good with young children which is a must for us. I convinced my husband to fork out the large amount of money for one. We picked the most suitable breeder we found and they even had pictures of the parents of their dogs, the parents, the litter mates, and pictures of the puppy we picked with the weight of her each week.

    At 7.5 weeks old we brought her (Diamond) home. The first problem we notice after getting her was she thought she was pack leader. We started walking out the door first, not let her walk pas us, and only allowing her to eat after we ate first. We pretended the toys were ours and only let her play with them when we allowed. My husband played tug of war when she was little but only let himself win.

    The next problem is her jumping up and down on people and other dogs. Other dogs hate her due to this problem. Sometimes dogs from other farms nearby will come over and they are the nicest dogs (golden retrievers) but she will keep jumping on them and causing them to try and bite after growling when taking her out to potty or a walk. She has hurt cats/kittens and my MIL's yorkie by trying to jump/play rough with them. If we go to the vets she makes some dogs nervous with her running in place trying to get to them while we hold her back.

    With people we can't get her to quit and even try ignoring her and telling everyone else to ignore her. If you ignore (look up with arms crossed and back turned) her she just keeps jumping and has caused permanent scratches on my husband's legs and other people. She has gotten some guys in the groin which isn't pleasant to see happen. One day some of my in-laws were over and they had a 2 year old and if she hadn't been on a leash she would of jumped all over him. No one was paying attention to her even the boy except for me on the other end of the leash and she was digging her nails into the ground trying to get near him to jump up. I'm afraid since we plan on trying for a baby soon that she will jump on the baby while trying to play or out of jealousy.

    If we try playing with her she gets overly excited and gets jumping more or play biting hard. We try ignoring her then to avoid adding excitement to it but doesn't help. My FIL was playing with her a couple weeks ago and she got biting to hard so he let out a very loud yelp sound like a puppy would. Instead of stopping like most dogs she got more hyper and continued biting harder even when he yelped and stopped play.

    The biggest issue is her chew/eating everything. My MIL is a hoarder but not as bad as the TLC show Hoarders but stuff does get knocked on the floor from being piled up and we can't clean cause my MIL goes nuts thinking someone is going to get rid of something. We usually keep her in our room to avoid her picking up something but she still manages to get stuff off of our dressers, chews on the dressers, or tries to chew on cords we have taped down.

    I've tried using deterant sprays, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice on stuff to try to keep her away from it but it doesn't work. Also used a can with coins to shake or spray bottle while saying a firm "No" which worked for a bit. We tried offering a toy or treat to distract her or in attempts to get her to drop something without chasing her. Her response was to try and run while trying to swallow the object. I've tried training her commands but had no luck after a month of 15 minute sessions throughout the day except to get her to sit for 10 seconds till she sees another dog or person. We do crate when we are gone or asleep so she doesn't eat/chew something. She has gotten now where she chews her nylabones so rough that her mouth bleeds till we have to remove the toy. She doesn't like kongs and peanut butter makes her sick. I'm starting to wonder if she has pica since as soon as she is downstairs she goes on a full out search for something even after a 40 minute walk. She seems to prefer inedible items over her dog food.

    I have looked at about trying classes but every time the class is going on I've either been on my once a year vacation to see my parents since I live 15 hours away or she is in heat. I don't really want to take her to a class while she is in heat and have people trying to control their males cause of my dog.

    This year we plan on trying for a baby and building a house. I'm hoping that with a fully cleaned house and fenced in yard that she will get out of the chewing phase due to more room to run around and nothing but her nylabones on the floor. I'm afraid of the opposite of her chewing apart our new furniture, cabinets, or walls. I need to get the jumping and chewing problem fixed.

    I thought by now that the chewing would stop with her being almost 2 but I think with the MIL hoarding that it is feeding her drive to chew more. My husband is attached to her more than me. I think it is cause he is the one that usually doesn't watch her when taking her downstairs and I'm the one that gets stuck cleaning up the mess. I did try a muzzle on her to keep her from picking up items cause of his lack of watching her downstairs but she is able to get it off. He also thinks she will be fine around a baby. His parents and everyone else doesn't trust her around one.

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    It sounds like you are trying some good things with her. I would imagine it will be difficult to get her chewing behaviors under control if you live in an environment with hoarding going on because there will always be something for her to pick up and chew. Try to get your husband on board with training her the exact way you want. If one person is consistent with her but she knows another will let her get away with things...she will be harder to train. Don't give up on her...2 is still a puppyish stage for some dogs.
    I'm sure some forum members with more experience on some of these issues will be along to post their thoughts too.

    Good luck with Diamond!!!

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    Thanks for the advice. I do know she acts different with my husband since she does get away with things around them. She ignores me more when he is around. He has been trying to keep her from jumping and to settle down before getting pet but he hasn't had any luck with that either.

    Usually if someone comes over we have to put her in the crate and then listen to her whine the whole time. If we even start to walk towards the crate when someone is here she starts to get hyper again and we have to turn away.

    You'd think after a 40 minute walk for a bully that it would wear them out to the point that they would just lay around which she will if she is upstairs but downstairs she goes looking for stuff.

    If I knew I would of had so many problems I would of held off till we moved out first before getting a dog but we never knew when we would be moving out. I also thought it would give my MIL's dogs more play company. It does make me jealous after watching and helping with their dogs and seeing them run around freely downstairs without worrying of them eating something and yet I can't do that with my dog. We only had slight problems with her dogs chewing and they grew out of it by 7 months.

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    It sounds like you're home all day with Diamond? How about getting a leash and attaching it to you so she's always with you? (like you do with puppies in the beginning) In this way, you can watch her and provide positive reinforcement for the good behaviors and keep her out of trouble with chewing. You cannot blame a chewy-prone dog for picking up something that's on the floor. Dogs need practice to learn how to play and the best teacher for them is other well socialized dogs. Practice really does make perfect in this case.

    Bo can get a bit rambunctious at times so I know what you mean. And over-excitement just makes things worse, doesn't it? If I fail to correct Bo effectively BEFORE he gets to KooKooVille, I know it's my fault. I know the signs. I didn't follow through long enough. (which takes patience and time) At that point, all I can do is stop the play and take him to "walk it off". I NEVER introduce Bo to a play situation until I've tired him out first on a walk. He does MUCH better after he's lost some of that puppy energy (he's only 14 months old). Also: remember, misbehaviors are an opportunity! You cannot correct her - so she can learn - until she makes a mistake.

    Keep at it. Patience. Calm. Assertive. Hang in there.

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    Thanks for the advice. I am home almost the whole day every day. I only do some secretary stuff for my husband.

    I use to have a leash hooked to me when she was smaller but with her size now I can't do that anymore. It got to dangerous cause if I looked away for a second and she seen a speck of dirt on our floor she would go full throttle and pull me over. I do have a trainer collar that I tried using the annoying tone on it while peeking through the door to catch her doing something she shouldn't be. The tone worked for a bit and then she just ignored it.

    I have tried putting items on the floor that she is suppose to chew on and others that she isn't. I planned on praising her for going to her toy and then do a loud clap while saying a firm "no" if she went to what she wasn't suppose to chew on. I never got to praise her during that training. The soda can was far more entertaining than her nylabone.

    What is weird is she use to have stuffed toys that she loved and played with for a month which kept her busy. Then one day she went into a ripping mode and tried eating the stuffing and fabric. She then started chewing a hole in her bed at night and I had to take it away cause she ate some of the stuffing. I don't know what caused it but she went a whole month without destroying them and then all of a sudden had them tore apart.

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    Sorry to hear about your headaches. I am in a similar situation, my 2 y.o female loves people, jumps, chokes herself, and will knock over a kid to lick their face. She does not have destructive behaviour but I understand your frustration.

    Daycare and going through a training course has helped tremendously. I keep her on a regimented schedule so she knows what is expected of her and that she gets enough exercise. People sometimes don't understand that although bullies are low energy, they still require mental stimulation to keep them from acting out. In the evenings when we want some alone time, they get Kongs and recreational raw bones. After the chewing session they are panting and exhausted. If you have a treadmill this will help as well.

    Once you have a more controlled dog, start doing supervised play sessions with calm dogs. Then move to supervised greetings with older children, borrow a 10 year old and teach him "no touch, no talk, no eye contact". SLOWLY introduce her to younger children (who aren't excited), being sure to supervise and correct.

    Stick with it and stay patient. It'll get better!! Poppy now sleeps in her bed when a visitor enters the house

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    I am not going to repeat all the great advice you rec'd... be consistent and hold to a schedule once it is set.
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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    @reveriereptile , by reading your post I get the sense that the house its crowded and there is a lot going on. Sometimes dogs can get stressed and start acting out, just as kids do. It sounds to me you are doing your very best trying to correct her behavior , but while you are trying ,is everyone in the house helping as well??
    Its hard having a puppy, I can imagine its even harder when you are not in your own home. My advice is to keep working with your dog and dont be too hard on her. Try to get your own space and all will fall into place. Good luck!
    LisaMarie

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    Thanks for the help from everyone.

    We are in a large farm house but it is crowded from all the stuff. (Can't wait till we get our house built.) My MIL doesn't really mess with her other than give her treats which she works with her trying to get her to sit before she gets the treat. My FIL will play with her and take her out for a walk once in a while. He doesn't like a dog jumping up so he tries to get her to quit. If she play bites to hard he will usually do an overly loud yelp sound like a puppy while immediately stopping play but it gets her hyped up more.

    As far as my husband goes he did help with showing he was top dog which did help get her mostly over some minor food/item aggression. Due to her scratching his legs up he has been stopping play and turning away from her if she gets to hyper. I hate to admit it but I use to find my husband's legs one of his attractive features and now all I see is permanent scars with new ones being added.

    We do have older 11-16 year old cousins that come out to the farm to spend the night. Most of them hate her due to the jumping and not leaving them alone. They know to keep their arms in, not look at her, and turn away from her. I told them to do that once she started having the jumping problem. They stick with it mainly to try to protect themselves but she keeps going at them to the point I have to remove her from the room. I have a large spot in the hallway that I can tie her to with toys around so she doesn't have to be crated. She will whine while trying to pull herself with her nails digging into the floor trying to get back in the room even if she can't see them and they stay quiet. I feel bad for them cause she does it mainly to the younger kids (the girls) that come out. They don't come out often and it might be cause of her. The older one comes out usually once to twice a month or more and she will get hyper around him but will settle down after a few minutes with him ignoring her so we usually don't have to take her out of the room with him. He actually likes her as long as she is calm.

    With us building a house this year do you guys think she might grow out at least the chewing behavior since there won't be much around other than her toys? She will have two stories to run around in plus a nice fenced in yard besides her walks. We don't have a treadmill at the moment but would like to get one once we move out mainly for her to have short walks on it during the winter. I was wondering if her walking on a treadmill for a short bit before we know people are coming over would calm her down.

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    Quote Originally Posted by reveriereptile View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I am home almost the whole day every day. I only do some secretary stuff for my husband.

    I use to have a leash hooked to me when she was smaller but with her size now I can't do that anymore. It got to dangerous cause if I looked away for a second and she seen a speck of dirt on our floor she would go full throttle and pull me over. I do have a trainer collar that I tried using the annoying tone on it while peeking through the door to catch her doing something she shouldn't be. The tone worked for a bit and then she just ignored it.

    I have tried putting items on the floor that she is suppose to chew on and others that she isn't. I planned on praising her for going to her toy and then do a loud clap while saying a firm "no" if she went to what she wasn't suppose to chew on. I never got to praise her during that training. The soda can was far more entertaining than her nylabone.

    What is weird is she use to have stuffed toys that she loved and played with for a month which kept her busy. Then one day she went into a ripping mode and tried eating the stuffing and fabric. She then started chewing a hole in her bed at night and I had to take it away cause she ate some of the stuffing. I don't know what caused it but she went a whole month without destroying them and then all of a sudden had them tore apart.

    My Jake is 14 months old. He was an angel until a few months ago. He eats everything! Numerous towels and crate pads along with tearing up dog beds..and eating the stuffing. The latest one of those is still "being processed"!!! He had a run in with an expensive cat scratcher...and the scratcher soooo lost! I have to take 10 minutes every time I leave the house, to make sure I've "Jake proofed" it. My sister is a dog trainer and has assured me he will outgrow this! Well....I hope so! They seem to go thru phases. Good Luck to both of us!

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    @reveriereptile I am sure once you are in a calm space ,like your own home, things will begin to improve. I think she is stressed by everything around her. Dogs need a schedule just as kids need, that is why being consistance works. In the meantime keep training her.
    My Mocha used to be a jumper also. It was so embarasing when people would walk through the door and Mocha would be all over them! I just kept telling my family to come in and ignore her and to not pet or talk to her. I dont know how many times I lost faith ,but She got it!!! No more jumping on people.
    LisaMarie

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    Default Re: I have a bully with behavior problems that I'm worried about.

    I feel a little bit better. I hope maybe she will be more calm by next year. Since we plan on trying to have a baby born around spring or summer next year (I know it doesn't always happen) we would of been living in our new house for a while. I'm going to have a big task but I want to train her not to go into the bedrooms. That training will start as soon as she is moved into the house. I want the bedrooms clean of fur and if I'm nursing the baby or I'm trying to get the baby to sleep so she doesn't run in and out in her hyper state or jump on me.

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