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Old 30-08-2009, 12:59 AM
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vonnie vonnie is offline
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Default Dog training advice

Well we've had Ninja for about a month now and although we've made some progress I feel quite dispirited when he has one of his bad days (like today!)

Taking him on as a stray at 6 months it was obvious he'd had no training whatsoever. No toilet training, no manners around other dogs or people, no understanding of basic commands.

We have made some progress. He had the basics of toilet training within a day, and only has the occassional accident now. He understands a few basic commands too.

But I have never come across such a headstrong and stubborn dog! I don't know if it's the staffie/collie mix, but I feel like it's a constant war of wills with him. Am I expecting too much of a 7 month old perhaps?

Issues so far not resolved ....

Recall - absolutely terrible. He understands 'come', but is absolutley obssessed with any dog or human in sight, however faraway, so cannot be let off the lead. Don't seem to be making any progress here at all.

Biting - from the moment he wakes till the moment he goes to bed he will pester our older bitch with constant nibbling/biting. I know it's playfulness, but she doesn't want to play and he just won't take no for an answer. So it escalates and becomes quite nasty.

Chewing - anything at hand. I've bought no end of bones and toys but he's chewed phone chargers, cushions, socks, clothes, and now the handle of the OH's v expensive walking pole he needed for the Pyrenees in a week's time!

Aggressiveness - This has improved. At first he would bark like mad and lunge at any dog he could either see or hear. Now he's much better in the open, on the beach, where he'll strain to get to other dogs but not bark. Still not too good on a shorter lead walked on the street.

Pulling - again, terrible especially if another dog/cat/person is in sight. We tried a halti type muzzle and although it worked wonders in terms of calming him down, he gets very distressed and has scratched at his nose until it bleeds trying to get it off. I do think we'll have to persevere with this though.

Behaviour with other animals - He is very giddy with the cats. Bouncing, barking, playfulness I hope. They're used to putting dogs in their place and there haven't been any problems. With the chickens he has taken little notice, even when they have been inches away from him. That changed today when he cornered one that had got out of the run. I'm still distressed about it now. The hen is fine but missing a lot of feathers, but that staffy bite was very scary. Impossible to prise his jaws open. Its made me worried about the safety of the cats too now.

Obviously we don't know his past, but he seems to have missed out on a lot of socialisation. All my experience is with older dogs so I don't know if this is just normal puppy behaviour, although I suspect it's more than that.

The OH is fond of saying that if he doesn't improve he's going back to the shelter. That will NOT hapen under any circumstances. He will leave before any of my animals do. But I really want to sort him out now while he's still learning.

And yes, he gets lots of exercise. Walks on the beach or in the woods morning and evening and in the fields here every couple of hours during the day.

I feel like I'm making him out to be a devil dog and he's not. He's adorable. I just don't feel I'm making the progress I should be at this point.

Any suggestions appreciated. I've read and read training guides, but experience of any of his issues would be really helpful.
Nika and Ninja the rescue hounds ~~~ Inca and Maya the rescue cats ~~~ 3:3 Skinny Pigs ~~~ 1:12 assorted rare breed poultry ~~~ Marine tank ~~~ 2 quarrelsome teenagers & 1 grumpy animal-hating OH !!]

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