HELP!!! My husband is soo fed up with my 6 month old pit bull
by Katelyn P
Jarvis & Mommy
Help!!!! My husband is soo fed up with my 6 month old pit bull, Jarvis that he is threatening to get rid of him if he does not get better!
Jarvis is very stubborn, we live in Massachusetts and he hates the cold weather, especially the snow. He will NOT go to the bathroom outside, even if i take him out for an hour, he just begs to go inside.
I bought training pads and put them in my bathroom. I thought they were working for a while he would go pee and poop in the bathroom on the pads but recently he has gotten soo bad, doing his business all over the house.
He goes through the trash all the time even though he knows it is wrong and when my son is eating in his highchair Jarvis will jump up and eat off his tray! He knows he is bad because i scold him every time but as soon as i turn my head he goes up there again!
What's worse is that my fifteen month old son, Brady likes to tease Jarvis by taking his toys away from him and running. Jarvis will sometimes nip him while taking back his toys and when Brady has food he will do this as well.
This morning he was taking something out of his hand and my husband said he kind of bit Brady. Brady didn't mind and he didn't hurt him (thank God!) but we are very scared that he could cause severe harm one day, especially since my son thinks that he is playing with Jarvis when he runs down the hall with Jarvis' toys (He wants to be chased).
I read that toddlers are most often the victims of dog bites because they walk around with food and often tease the dogs, unknowingly.
This is very frightening to me because I love my dog but if he ever bit my son I would never be able to forgive myself! There has to be another option.
I would be completely heart broken if he had to go and Brady would just be devastated! He loves Jarvis even more than anyone! they are like two best pals!
I need another solution, any methods that have worked for your pit bull, regarding housebreaking and biting etc. Any tips that you may have for training these dogs in general would be very helpful and greatly appreciated!Gale's Reply:
I'm glad you wrote in because I would hate for Jarvis to lose his home seeing that he's really done nothing wrong. He's behaving like a typical puppy.
From the situation as you've described it, a couple of questions come to mind.
1. How much exercise is he getting? Exercise isn't taking him outside (even if it's for an hour) waiting for him to "do his business" and then taking him back inside. Exercise is doing something with him that will allow him to burn off some of that puppy energy each and every day.
2. To what extent has there been an effort to teach him a few beginning obedience commands like "sit", "leave it", "come", etc.? Scolding isn't training. And, believe it or not, your puppy doesn't necessarily know that getting into the trash is wrong just because you've scolded him for it.
3. Regarding house training, you have some remedial work to do. Ideally, you want to anticipate when your puppy needs to go out and take him out before an accident happens. Then you can praise him for getting it right which is much more effective than scolding for mistakes.
So consider that you are starting from square one. This article on puppy house training
should get you started on the right track.
4. About your son and your puppy--how closely are you supervising their interactions? While children are above pets in the pecking order, that doesn't mean that a child should be allowed to tease a dog or steal their toys.
Your son needs to be taught to be respectful of Jarvis and dogs in general. While he's probably too young to appreciate the coloring book
on his own, it's something you could use as a guide for beginning to teach him how to be safe around Jarvis and other dogs as well.
Puppies nip, scratch, jump and sometimes push little tykes down without meaning to be rough. At this age and stage, you need to supervise all interactions between your son and your puppy. Intervene before an accident occurs.
In addition to the house training article and the coloring book, I recommend that you start a program of positive reinforcement with Jarvis to teach him a few simple commands.
Find a class, read clicker training books or watch a program like Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog" to get grounded in the principles of positive obedience. One program I frequently recommend that is available online is Canis Clicker Training
Finally, make sure Jarvis is getting enough exercise every day. Leash him up and go for a long walk or a jog, play fetch, etc.
I know it's a lot to take in. But, if you are diligent, it will pay off. Good luck and feel free to post back here with any questions.
For more information on obedience training, visit our Pit Bull Training
For help with behavioral problems, check out our Dog Behavior Training