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staffordshire bull terrier: 5 months old..attacking..them nipping them…

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Hi, we have a staffordshire...
Hi, we have a staffordshire bullterrier female approx 5 months old. She keeps attacking the childrens feet to the point that she gets them on the ground and either takes their shoes or jumps all over them nipping them. The children are 6 and 3, previously the 6 year old could stop her but now he cant , Is there something we can do to remedy this or is it something she has to grow out of ? its getting out of control.

thank you...

Adrian
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 7 hours by:
6/9/2010
Dog Veterinarian: Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,115
Experience: More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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Hi Adrian,
This is definitely not something she will grow out of, and if she continues to get away with it, things will probably get worse.

I can't tell without being able to watch her whether this is just inappropriate play behavior, or something more aggressive. Either way, it is unacceptable, and she needs to be trained away from it.

You need to get basic obedience commands with her, starting with Sit, Stay, Down, and Off. This needs to be practiced every day. Every dog needs to get obedience training, and obey commands at the moment they are given. If you have not had her in a puppy class, you should consider doing so soon. Puppies need and want to know what is expected of them, and training them from the start is the only way to do this. Humans need to learn how to communicate these things, and an obedience class teaches humans the best way to communicate with and train puppies.

This is behavior that could escalate into something dangerous. If you can't call her off the kids, and get her to lie down on command, you need to learn how. A well behaved dog should even do a down for the kids if she is told to do so. Obedience commands need to be practiced for a few minutes, a couple of times a day.

Until then you might consider keeping her on leash in the house when the kids are there, so you have control over her. A head collar, like a Gentle Leader or Halti would be best. Never punish a dog for bad behavior, but teach her that if she comes or does a down or off on command, there is a reward for her doing so.

I know a bit more about dog training than the average dog owner, and I would never get a new puppy and not attend an obedience class with her. Obedience training can be a lot of fun, for the puppy as well as the human. Studies show that not going to an obedience class, and learning basic commands is the number one reason dogs are surrendered to shelters.

This problem can be easily corrected, if you get started now. Good luck with your puppy and your kids, Rebecca
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