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Discussion Starter #1
I could use some English Bulldog ownership wisdom (and ANY puppy advice, really!)...

My girl is almost 4 months old now. Freybug is in classes and she's doing GREAT. Perfect little "angel". At home I'd have to say 90% of the time (80 on an off day) she listens and KNOWS I mean business when I need her to do something, treats or no treats. Still working on her manners when meeting new people and other dogs, that's fine. These past few days, however, she seems to have gotten it into her head that "potty time" = act like an unruly brat.... leash biting, growling, barking, biting my pant legs, shoe laces, jumping... just generally irking the hell out of me. She KNOWS "Leave it!", but seems to forget it, along with everything else she knows, in these moments. No amount of re-direction, getting her to sit, or ignoring works to get it out of her system and she ends up losing her play time privileges until she calms her tits back down in her crate. It's got me a bit on edge and wondering what I'm doing wrong. It's been a good 15 years or more since I last had a puppy to deal with, but I don't recall if I had a similar experience with our family's GSD (I did most of the training). So, I don't know.... is she just being a Bully puppy (or puppy in general)? Is she testing her limits with me (know some folks don't think dogs do this, but let's agree to disagree off the bat)? Is it ME? Is it just her personality? Please tell me she'll grow out of maniac mode at some point. LOL! She's extremely hard to like when going bonkers like this. I honestly can't say I "love" her yet... I'm still warming up to this bundle of oddness.

I'm going to be having a chat with her trainer at our next session tomorrow anyway, but if you have any nuggets of advice, bestow away!

Honestly, I adore this breed, but I've only had experience with adult Bullies (and never owning them until now. German Shepherds ONLY for 25 years, and she's my first dog on my own).

Puppies are just weird creatures to me at this point. :ponder:
 

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It does get better! :)


Sounds like normal puppy behaviour to me. It might be that she's just super excited to head outside and can't control her self. Do you act excited when it's time to go out for a potty break? If so that might be contributing to her excitement to go outside, try just calming grabbing her leash if she starts to bite and get excited once the leash is on unclip it and let her chill in her crate for 2-5mins, then try again. Will probably quite a few attempts before she settles.

Not sure if it will help, but you might also want to work on a 'wait' command as well as the leave it. I use these as 2 different things. Wait means be patient until I say it's ok then you'll get what you want, and his leave it is more of a don't touch that, He also has a drop and trade command, drop we use when playing - as in drop that and I'll throw it again. and trade is a give me what you've got and I'll give you something better, mostly used when he manages to find a rogue sock.
 

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It gets better though she still has to go through adolescence next!
Shes still very young and she has to learn self control .
One thing , you cant always be sure your pup does really know what you want her to do.
Pups and dogs do great at training classes but they also have to learn those commands at home too as they don't generalise well , being in a different place or using different body language can throw them.

Suppose you teach your dog to sit in your kitchen , you stand in a certain way he sits in front of you and you give him a treat . Suppose you want to him to sit at the kerb on a walk before you cross the road, everything is different , the scene is different , your not standing in front of him and he has to sit to the side of you . It can be very confusing , this happened with my dog , when I wanted him to sit at the kerb , He would move and try to sit in front of me , a bit dangerous as we were so close to the road!
 

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The brattiness does eventually end. Just keep strong and use what you're learning in classes. You just have to be more stubborn than her. My dog was a complete brat from 4 months to 8. Adolescents was also a little tough. We survived and are now the best of friends.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It does get better! :)


Sounds like normal puppy behaviour to me. It might be that she's just super excited to head outside and can't control her self. Do you act excited when it's time to go out for a potty break? If so that might be contributing to her excitement to go outside, try just calming grabbing her leash if she starts to bite and get excited once the leash is on unclip it and let her chill in her crate for 2-5mins, then try again. Will probably quite a few attempts before she settles.

Not sure if it will help, but you might also want to work on a 'wait' command as well as the leave it. I use these as 2 different things. Wait means be patient until I say it's ok then you'll get what you want, and his leave it is more of a don't touch that, He also has a drop and trade command, drop we use when playing - as in drop that and I'll throw it again. and trade is a give me what you've got and I'll give you something better, mostly used when he manages to find a rogue sock.
Hehe, I'm actually very calm about going outside for potty breaks. In fact, she REALLY likes her crate, so when she's still sleepy it takes coaxing with treats to get her going! Even after I have her out of her crate, she's calm when I put on her collar and leash, calm walking down our apartment hallway to the elevators, calm while waiting on the trip down.... Her hyper/bitey/growly spurts happen after she does her business. It's like she's saying, "OH MAN! I just had the best pee and poop and I FEEL GREAT! LET'S PLAY NOW!", but it's overkill. I can't get my hands near her when she's like that and a few of my favourite sweaters and track pants now have holes in them from her needle teeth. LOL!

I like your suggestion of teaching her to "wait". Gonna definitely give it a try ( I think we're covering that in our next training session). She's gotten pretty good at "leave it" and waiting for my cue to eat when I put her food down. Drop it is something I'm working on with her as well. A trade command is an interesting idea too! I'll try to work that in somehow too!

Anyway, I'm glad to hear this all sounds normal. Thanks for your suggestions too!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It gets better though she still has to go through adolescence next!
Shes still very young and she has to learn self control .
One thing , you cant always be sure your pup does really know what you want her to do.
Pups and dogs do great at training classes but they also have to learn those commands at home too as they don't generalise well , being in a different place or using different body language can throw them.

Suppose you teach your dog to sit in your kitchen , you stand in a certain way he sits in front of you and you give him a treat . Suppose you want to him to sit at the kerb on a walk before you cross the road, everything is different , the scene is different , your not standing in front of him and he has to sit to the side of you . It can be very confusing , this happened with my dog , when I wanted him to sit at the kerb , He would move and try to sit in front of me , a bit dangerous as we were so close to the road!
Heh, very true! I guess I just shouldn't let myself get so easily frustrated. I know it'll pass and... oh boy, looking forward to adolescence. LOL!

As for her training, yeah. She's not reliable yet, definitely. I'd say at BEST, she has a good "sit", but only when there isn't something shiny and new around her, at which point she gets a gentle bum push downward to reminder her that I just gave her a command. Pfff... puppies. I'm still learning her and she's still learning me, so I'll try to relax :)

Thanks so much for your comment!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The brattiness does eventually end. Just keep strong and use what you're learning in classes. You just have to be more stubborn than her. My dog was a complete brat from 4 months to 8. Adolescents was also a little tough. We survived and are now the best of friends.
Out-stubborn a Bulldog puppy... oh boy, LOL! Good thing I AM a very stubborn person ;D Nice to know I'm not alone in this. Your dog looks like such a sweety. I have the biggest soft spot for black dogs and cats, hehe. Thanks for you comment!
 
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