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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just want start off by saying that I love my dogs more than anything else in the world. I would do anything for them, and I try really hard to be a good dog owner.

I have 4 American Bulldogs. 3-Year old Male. 1.5 Year-old Female.
and two 6-month old puppies. They are awesome dogs. I couldn't imagine life without them.

That being said sometimes they make me want to scream at the top of my lungs and jump off a cliff. Especially when I try to walk all 4 of them.

They have all done obedience training and know the basic commands. When I take them on individual walks they don't pull they walk very loose leash. They still pull at distractions but I can usually distract or correct them. I don't want to do 4 individual walks though. I rather take them all on a one hour walk than each a 15-minute walk. But when they I try walking multiple ones OH MY GOD there is pulling left and right. I feel stressed, I get anxiety, my hands hurt from leash burn, and I don't even think they are enjoying themselves too much. I've read tons and tons on training. Asked the trainer from class for tips.

Anytime they pull, I stop completely until the tension is gone, or ill make them sit and wait. I have tried the turning around when they. I do this every single walk. We don't get anywhere. Barely around the block, but I don't feel we are making any progress.

The 1.5 year old female pulls immensely when she sees another dog or person and I think she gets the rest of them going. However when it's just me and her she will behave better.

I am starting to hate the walks even though I want them to get plenty of exercise. They have all been in classes since they were pups, and we practice at parks and pet stores all the time. (one on one) I never take more than one to a pet store.

I am just getting fed up and I feel like I am being "mean" to them because I get so frustrated. I yell at them or pull them back too harsh. And Sometimes I really just wan to cry.

I am considering doing a board and train program even though it would be at the very minimum 4k to train them all. And I don't exactly have that sitting around.

I am super busy with work and finishing college and I don't want to say I don't have time to train them because I make the time. Where it be waking up early or staying up late. I leave work early once a week to make it to obedience class. and any free time I have I spend it with them. I follow one show on TV and even watching that, I do mini sessions during commercials. I just feel like its not enough. I see people with packs of dogs that have them SO WELL TRAINED. I mean their commands are full-proof. I cant say that about my dogs. I cant say they will sit or lay down or stay in any situation. Because sometimes they flat out ignore me.


Lastly, another problem, not as big of a deal as the leash walking.
When someone knocks on the door. ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. There is jumping, barking, chaos. I do not wan that anytime I have company over. It's okay for them to let me know there is someone at the door but when I say stop, I need all the barking to stop. And when I have someone over. I don't want my 4 big dogs overwhelming them, but rather just laying down somewhere being calm.

Oh god and I am not even going to go into how bad the two non puppies are at meeting other dogs. 3-year old male always wants to be dominate. He meets another male and its over. He's been to the park and 90% of the time does fine, but has NO RECALL WHATSOEVER so if he starts getting in trouble or making another dog uncomfortable I have to physically go get him. And sometimes he runs faster than me. Well all the time. The 1.5 female just barks at every one and lunges. But if I take her to the dog park and let her off leash she does totally fine and plays nice.

The puppies are social with everyone, they go to daycare often and have play dates so I hope that all helps avoid any problems in the future.

All dogs are fixed.

ANY ADVICE, TRICKS, SECERTS, MAGIC POTIONS, WITCHCRAFT that anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

I read training articles/forums/watch videos daily, and I try to implement everything I see. I just don't know what else I can do.
 

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I have an American Bulldog mix, and even with training, they like to tell you how they think their schedule should run. They're powerful dogs, and if you're trying to walk all 4 without them being ready for such distraction, you're setting them up to fail. Start with one, then two at a time and keep it at two at a time until they're behaving consistently.

I would suggest a front clip harness (Easy walk, freedom, etc) or a head collar (gentle leader). If you use a head collar, you NEED to take at least 1-2 weeks to condition them to it, so you may prefer the front clip harness option. When you're walking and they go out in front of you, stop and wait for eye contact. Mark eye contact with "yes" and offer a treat AT YOUR SIDE so the dog is treated for coming back to your side. If you have a target command for your hand (to get the dog to touch his nose to your hand) you can wean the treat lure away and use the hand target to get them to your side. Repeat this exercise until they are offering eye contact before the leash is tense. You can also teach them a "watch me" cue to prompt them to look at you.

As for the front door, again you'll have to work with them individually FIRST, then in pairs until they're ready to work all together. You want to teach a "wait" command. You teach this away from a door to begin with and just start by taking one step at a time and treating them for staying still. Then you work up to a couple more steps and finally turning your back on them. They're only to get up when you release them with "okay" or whatever your release word is. If they get up before released, simply put them back in place and repeat the exercise. IF they're continuously breaking, you've moved too quickly and need to go back a step.

Once the wait is learned, practice at a door. If the front door is too exciting, practice first at a bathroom or bedroom door. Make them sit, wait, then open and close the door before releasing and treating them. You can practice this at every doorway they go through. When they're good at a bathroom door, then practice at the front door without a person. Sit, wait, open front door, close front door, return to dog, treat and release! If you can get a helper to stand at the door, you can then practice with an actual person at the door. Make sure the helper has a yummy treat to give the dog. If you open the door and the dog breaks because the person is there, simply close the door on the helper and place the dog back into sit and wait. Repeat until you can successfully open the door, let the person in, and close the door without the dog breaking. When the person is inside fully and the door is closed, you say "okay" and the helper is to give the dog a treat. Practice all this with each individual dog before working two together.
 
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I don't want to do 4 individual walks though. I rather take them all on a one hour walk than each a 15-minute walk. But when they I try walking multiple ones OH MY GOD there is pulling left and right. I feel stressed, I get anxiety,
Start with them as individuals and train them. Then add one at a time.
I think the problem here is not them, but your life. It sounds like with college and work and four dogs, you have more on your plate that you can deal with.

But you say you are finishing college, so that is one less stress. AND you have the biggest positive going for you that there is, you want to do right by them.
Start with little successes, for both you, and them.

Congrats on the upcoming graduation!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Start with them as individuals and train them. Then add one at a time.
I think the problem here is not them, but your life. It sounds like with college and work and four dogs, you have more on your plate that you can deal with.

But you say you are finishing college, so that is one less stress. AND you have the biggest positive going for you that there is, you want to do right by them.
Start with little successes, for both you, and them.

Congrats on the upcoming graduation!
Yes I do keep busy, but I am very dedicated to them. I feel that if they were more well-mannered or better trained, they would enjoy themselves more and so would I. Weekends are all about them and me and my fiancé do lots of training on weekend. I only have 2 months left in school so I hope after I can dedicate even more time to them.
 
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