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Hello Everyone,

My staffie is 2.5 months old, he lives with me for a week now. One can say that I am an experienced dog owner, I had the great German schnauzer and a Doberman Pinscher.

The first thing I do not want to do is to raise my dog to be aggressive- either towards people or animals.

My staffie is a usual puppy, still learning to pee/poop outside, biting hands when playing, eating regularly..

He is introduced to collar for a couple of days now to which he is accustomed. I tried putting a leash in the houce and tried to go with him to the exit door. He didn't wanna follow me. I tried to place rewards in front of him, so he can go forward. He did not want to do that. I said fine, too fast for the first day, I'll try something else tomorrow.

A bit later, he had urinated on a carpet, although I have a yard where he can do it and to which he is accustomed. I wanted us to go outside to try and praise him if he did it again the correct way. The puppy refused to follow me outside, I pulled him by the collar, nothing too hard, he resisted for a while and then began reacting very violently and aggressively. In addition to emitting aggressive sounds, he bit my hand. This was no puppy play, it was an aggressive bite. His bites are still soft of course because it is still a puppy, but I was very concerned about this behavior.

I reacted by placing the puppy on his back with my hands on his neck, loudly shouting NO at him, I did not hit him or beat him. He got scared by this and remained on his back for a few minutes.

I am very concerned whether the dog is showing early signs of much dangerous aggression. I do not want to raise a dog that is aggressive.

Does anyone have any advice based on the above?

Thank you!
 

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For starters, don't roll him on his back like that. It will increase the fearful behavior that he's already experiencing.

He felt insecure when you grabbed his collar. He tried to let you know (growling) but you pushed so he went to the next level to get his point across.

For now...

> Find a different way to get him outside. If he'll let you pick him up and carry him, do that for awhile.

> Let him drag the leash around (supervised) to get used to the idea. Go very slowly, and start picking it up once he seems comfortable with the leash's presence. Don't force him to go anywhere, just follow him to start. Let him get used to the feeling. Lots of treats for movement!

> Play some collar games with him. You touch the collar, he gets a treat. Keep going until he's fine with just a touch. Then, you grab the collar, he gets a treat. Again, keep going until he's totally comfortable with this. Graduate to pulling *very gently* on the collar, treat.

> It may be a good idea to enroll in a positive reinforcement puppy class as well.
 

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Sorry to hear you are having problems with your puppy.

For a start never put your puppy on his back and hold him there. As you saw, the result was not what you wanted.

By refusing to follow you out he was telling you he was not comfortable doing it. You then forced him and the only way he had to stop you, was to resist and bite. So he learnt that biting got him out of an uncomfortable situation he will most likely use aggression again.

You say you are an experienced dog owner but do you realise that what works for one dog, may not work for another? You will need to work harder to regain your puppy's trust. Are you attending puppy training classes? The type run by experienced dog trainer who only uses kind methods and who is able to advise on all aspects of puppyhood? You could also look into engaging a behaviourist to teach you to redirect your puppy's undesirable behaviours into desirable ones.
 

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biting hands when playing
That's a big no-no when it comes to pitties, don't let them lay teeth into anything living during play, be it person, dog, cat, whatever. I don't say that because it's a pit bull, the pit is just another dog - but it's a dog under a microscope. Any dog can bite, but pitties tend to make the news, people pull out their torches and pitchforks.

That sort of reactive aggression at such a young age is not good. Had that been a kid, there would be serious trouble right now. I'm not so forgiving, sounds like you have some undoing to do. Do you know anything about the history of this dog?

What's your exercise routine moving forward? Plans for mental stimulation?


Icemaiden, glad to hear someone else use the word "trust".
 

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Did you get your other dogs as teens or adults? Because your expectations seem really high for his age. LLW, especially to potty, can take a while. I carried my pup at that age. They don't have ong control. Success was more important then convenience. Right now, manners, potty work, engagement, some basic self control (sit, wait, LLW very gradually, etc) socialization, should be your focus. Do you have a flirt pole? That was great for my pup.
Puppy class is good too because with a pit bull, he'll get the chance to socialize and play in a controlled setting, therefore setting up good early associations.

Enjoy! It goes by so fast!
 

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My pittie pup is 4 months and I still have to carry her outside, not because she doesn't like her leash sometimes in the morning (when she's held in her pee all night) she can't hold it in any longer and will pee in the hallway lol sigh...but if you can carry him outside and if he does his business there and he gets lots of praise/treats, he should eventually be able to associate outside = treats/praise and hopefully be more inclined to walk on the leash.

When I first introduced the collar and leash to my pup, I would hold a small treat in one hand and let her nibble/lick it, and with my other hand I would fiddle with her collar and put on her leash. Once the leash was on, I would give her the treat. Same thing when I took off her leash. While the leash was on, again I would hold a treat in my hand and let her lick/nibble it while I would gently tug, swing the leash so she would associate that feeling/movement with something positive like a treat and lots of praise.

I also did a lot if sit, stay, come training. Three times a day when I fed her. I would make a big (happy) deal when she came to me, lots of praise and kibble (she is very food motivated). I found that this helped when she would refuse to move sometimes while on leash. I would ask her to come in a happy voice and then she would run to me.

I'm not telling you how to train your pup since you've mentioned that you have quite a bit of experience, but this is how I did it and it's worked. Granted it took some time, I mean they're only a couple of months old, I couldn't have very high expectations but I just kept at it, kept my cool, none of that dominance stuff and she's doing great on her leash.

Good luck and congrats on your new your pup! He will get it eventually! :)
 
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