Aren’t they sweet? Such good dogs, aren’t they? So nice, the way they all get along and hang out. I bred two of them, so I’d like to think that I’m some kind of genius breeder that produces darling Bull Terriers who relax calmly inside and get along with their housemates, but it’s just not so. Left to their own devices, this crew would tear apart the house and probably get into a fight in the process. The truth is, this tranquil scene is the product of years of constant training and management. Constant shaping, and re-directing. All adults in the household constantly listening for that shuffle of feet that tells us that things are about to break loose. Constant praise and reward for calm behaviors, and lots of time sitting on the couch and training the girls to relax.
Everyone wants dogs that just hang out and get along, but almost no one realizes that it’s huge training accomplishment that requires a commitment to always be “on duty” and shaping dogs to be calm. So many of my clients are disappointed that their dogs can’t have all freedoms all the time and still behave. But that’s nothing to be disappointed about. With management, training, and limiting your dog’s freedoms until he’s reliable around the house, any dog can be shaped to be a great pet around the house.