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rescued a staffie

(14 Posts)
alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 30-Aug-14 12:03:56

So we rescued a staffie just yesterday and I totally appreciate he is going to take some time settling down.

On another thread I have been advised not to use the dominance technique. I'd much rather use positive reinforcement but what's the best way to tell him to get down or drop the ball etc. I feel like treating him for it is too much and he will keep doing it so we tell him no and then he gets used to the treats. And certainly bopping him on the nose won't help either.

Any advice is greatly received. Just watched the channel 4 programme but will watch again with my partner later.

ClaimedByMe Sat 30-Aug-14 12:53:18

It is very early days, do you know any of his background?

Our rescue staffie didn't really know any commands other than sit and touch, you have to be consistent with commands, sit, stay, down (lie down), off (move off of what ever you are on and you shouldn't be) touch (paw) spend 10 mins a couple of times a day doing this and treat quickly, has he a favourite treat? If you think you are giving too much treats cut back a bit on his meals.

It took 6 months for our staffie to appear to relax and take us seriously but she had a pretty horrific start and was about 5 and it is pretty true about teaching an old dog new tricks!

LEMmingaround Sat 30-Aug-14 13:03:28

Give him some time to settle in before you start training. Most personality quirks wont manifest for a few weeks.

The only time you should touch your dog is to show affection and if he needs checked. If you don't want him on the furniture then get a house lead. Ive only seen them on sale in dogs trust. Short lightweight lead with no handle that you can use to encourage him off furniture. Do it with treats. So offer the treat. Gentle tug on lead and whatever command you want. One word better. So down or off.

With dropping things do swapsies. Offer the swap say leave. Do not keep taking things away -imagine how you would feel if so eone kept taking something away from you? You will feel protective and anxious.

Go with the flow and you'll work out what he responds best to. Staffies are boisterous mental so all training should be done with calm voices. Any high pitch ott voices will =funny five minutes and jolly good fun.

Bet hes lovely

LadyTurmoil Sat 30-Aug-14 13:07:20

Can you look for a training class in your area which teaches using positive reinforcement. If you have a bit of time/money it could be a good way of bonding with your new dog, meeting new people with dogs and getting consistency into any training you do. There's a group on FB called Dog Training Advice and Support which could be a useful resource for you.

It's usually considered best not to go over the top on "spoiling" a new rescue dog. So, if you want the dog to stay off your sofas, reinforce that from the beginning, reward calm behaviour (it's easy to react to unwanted behaviour, but easy to forget to treat calm behaviour) Be calm and consistent.

It's also worth think about the food you're going to give him. Some brands, like Bakers, are well known to be like giving Ecstasy and e-numbers to a dog. Worth investigating brands which have low grain % (many use grains as a filler to bulk up food) and high in meat %.

Good luck smile

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 30-Aug-14 14:32:04

It's a wee shame he this has been his third 're-home. He was mouthy with his first family and returned and the 2nd only had him a week - never gave him a chance. He's toilet trained and seems very playful. I have been on my own with him today and he has responded really well to my commands. He is getting used to not being allowed in the sofa and is really good with sit command and giving paws. He is also learning to stay when told.

Considering it's only been a day I think he is doing well.

We got a wee fright yesterday when he knocked over and jumped on my partners son. It could easily have been a viscious attack but he was just playing. But now hisson is a bit weary of the dog but hopefully he will be ok. The dogs still young and playful and given it was his first day we need to give him a chance. Although today seems to have slept quite a lot.

And he knows his bed now too. He's so cute and adorable. I just want him to be fun and friendly.


LadyTurmoil Sat 30-Aug-14 17:15:27

He is doing well and he will be fun and friendly!

But, with any dog, and more importantly perhaps with a dog who will grow up to be strong like a staffie, you want him to be well trained enough to respond to your commands, to stay down when required (not to knock small kids over).

A well-trained dog doesn't mean he won't be fun and friendly, it just means you have good control, confidence in what you're doing and he's a well-behaved, well-adjusted dog. Dogs like to know what's expected of them, so getting training in place is a good basis for his future.

Any training can be fun, should be done in short, interesting sessions and doesn't need to be a chore at all. Loads of stuff online to help, like Kikopup videos.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 30-Aug-14 18:08:09

I have to say he is really responsive. Like he jups up and we stand up tell him 'down' and he jumps off. When i was out walking we were chasing a ball on his long lead. Dont wanna let him off just yet. But he was loving a wee run about. Then he came home straight in his bed and slept for an hour or so.

Tganjs for the advice xx

Lovethesea Sun 31-Aug-14 09:39:46

I grew up with two staffies from when I was 7. They were fantastic dogs and utterly patient with us kids.

One was more terrier in personality, loved to chase cats and quite wary of other dogs. I think she could have had better training as my mum tended to be anxious and tighten the lead so she never got the message other dogs were ok. She loved people and playing football a lot. Very clever girl.

The other was a more bull headed thing, utterly daft but soft as butter. He tried to make friends with a cat which scratched him, so he was a bit wary of cats. He loved everyone, especially if they had food. He'd open doors by head butting them and pulled us on our sledge and bikes.

Both were bouncy but loved exploring and crashed for a while once home.

I'm sure you will work out how to motivate your dog to behave the way you need, ie not jumping up. As with children, all behaviour is communication and the dog gets something from a reaction even if negative. It's just making the reward for what you want a stronger pull than the reward they get from jumping up etc.

There are many good trainers and being a staffie I imagine food will be a great motivator for learning new sit or down behaviours when people come.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sun 31-Aug-14 09:53:20

In the 2 days i have seen sone of his wee quirks and treats are a definite motivator for him.

He doesnt jump up as much on the sofa as he did the day we got him. He still tries his luck. Im more worried about his playful behaviour. He can get quite mouthy quickly and i worry for the kids. My partner is good at playing rough bit we are not. When we play with his rope and he starts using his paws or mouthing i just drop the rope and walk away. Not sure if this will send the message or not that we dont like it. I think he knows as he stops and brings the rope back as if to play again.

Hes a wee menace. So happy we have him he is a great dog and i think very trainable.

Lovethesea Sun 31-Aug-14 10:29:08

How old is he? Mouthing is puppy like behaviour I think, so he will grow out of it, I think your idea of walking away is better than playing rough with him. That would probably confuse him as I doubt he will understand why it is ok to mouth and nip one human and not another.

Lilcamper Sun 31-Aug-14 10:32:30

Try this for the mouthing, geared towards puppies but works for older dogs too:

Biting is a normal puppy behaviour. Puppies investigate the world through their mouths. If it is within reach, it will probably be picked up and chewed! If it is exciting and moves fast it will definitely get bitten. Dogs play by using their mouths because they don’t have hands.

Puppies need to bite and they need to play. What he/she is doing is simply trying to elicit play. Play is by far the best way to bond with your pup and is a great way to reward him during training.

Use tug toys that he can bite. Old knotted towels or a favourite toy with string attached. Unwanted dressing gown cords are ideal. You need to encourage him to bite one end of the toy whilst you hold the other end. Then you can have a great game together without getting bitten.

Ensure your tug toys are long enough and soft enough for your puppy to happily bite. Your toy should touch the floor whilst you are holding the other end. This allows you to animate the toy and keep the game low to the ground and not encourage jumping up. It also puts distance between teeth and hands.

Keep these interactive toys out of your pups reach whilst they are not being played with. It will keep them more novel which means the pup is more likely to want to bite and play with them when given the opportunity. Plant toys around the house and garden (out of puppies reach) so you have them easily accessible and as much as possible, take the game outside.

Rotate chew items that you leave on the floor to also keep them interesting.

Do not play with your puppy unless you have a toy for him to grab. Don't let anyone in the house roughhouse with him or roll about on the floor with him.

Start by animating the toy on the floor and saying 'getit' every time your pup grabs the toy. You hold on to the toy and let him grab it and shake it. Let go of the toy sometimes so that puppy is encouraged to come back to you to get you to start the game again.

Also teach a word for letting go. To do this you simply stop the game by putting a finger in pup's collar and keeping hold of the toy, release the pressure on the toy so that it becomes boring. As soon as pup lets go say 'thank you' and immediately invite him to grab it again with a 'getit'. He will quickly learn to let go when you stop playing in order for the game to start again and eventually the word 'thankyou' (or your word of choice) will become his cue to let go.

Once your pup is getting the idea of the game then you can start to add in a 'sit' 'are you ready' before the 'getit' and before you know it you have a dog sitting and waiting patiently for the game to start.

LEMmingaround Sun 31-Aug-14 10:36:53

No no no no -playing rough is a big mistake. It is sending mixed messages. Mouthing and jumping up is not ok. So don't encourage it one minute and not the the next.

I used to have a rescue rottie and when i first hot him he was , well lets just say he had some issues. I used to play with him with his toys to try and discourage his possessiveness. It caused more problems than it solved.he was mouthy and mouthy with a ten stone rotweiller meant that one day he thought I was his raggy toy. I was on my own with him and scared is not the word. We were told not to play those sort of games with him (we could with our other rottie) but this boy had no off switch. He was still fun and friendly. Although rotties are lazy quiet dogs by nature.

Staffs are nutters and do not need encouraging in their nuttiness. I would tone down any play until he learns bite inhibition. If he mouths ignore ignore ignore. Walk away don't look at him. He only gets attention if hes calm.

He can still have fun but on your terms but no playing rough as that is an accident waiting to happen.

ffallada Sun 31-Aug-14 10:37:37

I really don't think you can treat a dog too much - it's really important at this stage you and your family take things slowly and show that you are all good people who won't hurt your dog. The easiest way to do this is through food. Make life easy on yourself and carry loads of high value treats around (I.e. Not your dogs normal kibble but something tasty and easily swallowed) for months I carried round little bags of chopped up aldi hotdog sausages (50p a tin). Gradually you can cut down until you hardly need any at all.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sun 31-Aug-14 16:39:08

The home reckon he is 2 or 3 but we met someone who thinks he is more likely to be 2. So still a bit of a puppy. Especially since hes not trained.

We bought him a cage today so he has his own we place and somewhere to go away from everyone. Not going to force its use but try and encourage him to use it.

He knows for treats he has to petform tricks ie sit , give paw and we are know trying lie down and stay and he is doing really good.

Obviously we only had him 2 days so its not gonna be over night.but he is defjnitely trainable. Xx

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