• Michael D’Abruzzo

    May 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Few things here to troubleshoot.

    First thing is how are you doing with the relationship building exercises and pack structure exercises? Let me know if you are following ALL of them.

    I wouldn’t recommend starting any formal exercises unless you see a change in some of his relationship behavior with you.

    For instance, if you are in the home and your wife gives a simple invite for affection – does he pretty consistently jump on the chance? Or, is he the one calling the shots for interaction.

    Sounds like Kane has some serious restless spirit going on. Does he have an outlet? He is tugging on the leash, but does he have the opportunity to tug on something appropriate when you say it is OK.

    Do you think you can manage a game of tug with him. On the recommended site links there is a link for dog training equipment. There are 23 inch tugs like this: french-linen-bite-tug-dog-dog.jpg

    You can tie an old leash on the end to keep your hand out of the way and have a great time with him before the formal training or walks. Just dont let him get a chance to go to the ground and chew it up. You can use two to get his attention off one and back to the other to teach the “out” command. You can also hold something that “spueeks” to bring his attention to the other.

    If this is too dofficult you can also set up a spring pole by using a garage door spring, rope, and a tug like this that hangs high enough so that his front feet can’t touch the ground when he has it. This will also burn him out great before walks or obedience and can be used to HUGE advantage when doing further training where we can call him from and to it.

    With pitbulls it is good to recognize and appreciate their catch dog instinct so we can harness it in a way that keeps him balanced. If we dont give him something to tug he will always be looking for it – so we have to create an appropriate obsession. This is similar to hunting dogs that will “fetch” tennis balls all day long because they dont have the options of retrieving ducks.

    It is important to have the right relationship first though so we can stay in control of the game.

    Here is a trainer that we work with using a spring pole to harness the drive of his bandog. You would not want this dog playing tug with the leash:


    Next, I would recommend getting Kane used to a comfortable basket muzzle that you can feed treats through. Refer to the “Jack” muzzle video for the quick version of how to get him used to it, but it is best to do a slow process over a few days – week. Make it very positive so he associates it with positive training and extra treats. This will take ethe option away from him of biting the leash during difficult training sessions or walks while you teach him new habits.

    Also, I would recommend using an “easy walker” harness from premier pet products on his walks for now. Double hook the leash to the harness and a loose fitting slip collar (as a safety catch in case he slips out harness). This will give you a better physical advantage without having to “jerk” him.

    Avoid leash “jerks” at all costs as this is most likely to agitate him more and seem aggressive to him.

    It is OK at this point to use a prong collar for gentle wrist flicks to teach him the postion while practicing in the yard or low distraction environment paired up with a lot of treats – but don’t use that on the actual walks. I can teach you how to use the prong better on walks if you can master some of the things up to this point – or else it would be skipping steps which is never good.

    Keep in touch with us please.

    Good luck!