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big problems with sophie help needed

Sophie has been doing really well up untill 4 days ago we went past some road works that caused her to flip out jumping around franticly trying to drag me back to wards home she was wearing a harness at the time which meant I had no control over her I hand to put her lead into s choke chain to regain some control the next day it happened again at the same place we then saw a horse which sent her in to a panic again this time she was trying to jump a wall to get away from it she has become scared off everytjing now cars buses even if we got past a garden and a dog barks sge wants to run I now cannot let her off the lead because bults if frightened she shakes pants tail between her legs and will put with all her might  I know not to fuss her when she in this state but do not know what to do x


  • Try walking her with Zeus. Is he calm around strange things??
    Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear your words.
  • I suggest using the choke chain at all times to condition her. Switching from choke to harness will let her know that when the choke is on she must follow your lead but then putting the harness she is free to roam.

    I'm not a fan of the harness. Well not when they are young. It allows them free roaming because it doesn't restrict them. Use the choke chain consistently then after a while move back to the harness.
  • Be careful using a choke while she is nervous o feaful-choking he is only going to create more of a panic response and cause her to fear walking all together.

    you need to use positive reinforcement to help her over-come the fear. it sounds as if she is going thru a fear stage.


    Though I cannot say for sure-it seems from many people I have talked to, as well as both of my bullies, that many seem to go thru a "paranoid" stage between the ages of 9 months to 2 years, where they will randomly panic or  be on the "alert"

    Cesar went thru this and he would bark at bushes, fence posts, paper on the ground etc till he hit 2. and every time he did I would give a short verbal correction and bring him (when possible) up to whatever had him worried or upset.

    Chimera is now going thru this same faze-a bit worse then he did, she suddenly became fearful of my trimming her nails, even though I have done it almost daily from the time she was 8 weeks old andh ave never cut to short. and then for a while she went thru a faze where she was nervous of children and would belly crawl when approaching them, and before that it was people walking past-positive reinfocment has cured her of all of those fears.

    I personally think its the homones kicking in and it exhibits itself in territorial (barking, growing, carrying on) or nervousness and fear.


    and a harness can be used just as well as a collar-I perfere a good harness because I can use it better then a collar and not worry about wearing the fur away on their necks which I have a big problem of with Cesar.


    So, what I would do is-find a road and stand near it-if she freaks out a lot, I would have her in both a harness AND a collar with 2 leads just to simply prevent her from escapeing.

    stand their and do nothing-let her flail when cars go by, when she relaxes and stops flailing, give her paise and reward her with treats (assuming she will accept them)

    or if you can find a road near an open grassy area, you can stand by the road, and after a car goes by and she has a chance to relax-take he running in the opposite direction telling her what a good girl she is and praise her a short distance from the road. after you praise her and shes calmed down some again-take her back to the road to do it again.


    in this way your teaching her "if you remain calm after a car goes thru-you will be rewarded by getting away from the area"

    the sprinting will also help relieve her of some of her pent up anxiety.

  • Thank u guys for your comments I was using a coller but had the same problem her neck wad getting very sore so changed to a harness which has been terrible I have no control and it gives her more strength to pull  so I got her a half choke which shes better on yesterday I went and sat on a field with her just letting her take in all tge sounds of cars etc she was alot better but today taking her to the area all this first happened was a night mare she has become very alert which I forgot to mention barking at things trees bushes but backing off at the same time i did wonder if its her hormones at nearly 6 and avhalf months no seasin yet x do I sear clear of the areas that are causes her distress or do I mske her face it x
  • When we were researching the breed before we got Stoeger I saw a lot on bull terriers going through two fear stages. I believe Stoeger is around the age when the first one should start. I may have to go back and research it more to see how to handle the situation.
  • edited September 2013

    I like to get control of my dogs in a harness by wrapping the lead around their chests like this photo I posted, the reason I do that is because its self correcting-without choking.

    when they pull-there chests hit the lead and it will feel like a barrier in font of them and they will stop.

    don't mind my poor "paint" skills


    harness walk.jpg
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  • BulliesofNCBulliesofNC Richlands, NC
    That's a real good photo Kim. How's he doing now?

    - Steve Gogulski
    "It's not just a Dog, it's a Bull Terrier!"
  • Bob Ross would be proud of your artistic ability
  • He is doing good Steve, ive been doing my best to keep him calm (hard to do!!)

    I am dog-sitting my sisters English bulldog and its 10X harder keeping him from wrestling and rough housing with her here as she is only 6 months old.


  • This is indeed a problem for you and your good furkid! I hate to see a dog in a panic! I l like walking a scared dog along with a very calm, easy going companion or sever other dogs if you have friend/neighbors  who will go with you.. Plus I use a head halter on these dogs. You can combine it with anything you like...harness, wide collar for comfort etc. But the halter will help you with control and won't rub hair off the dog. I also like approaching things that scare the furkid a bit at a time and condition them against being so frightened. I live on a private lumber road so this means big lumber trucks going by on a regular basis if there is logging going on to the south of me somewhere. It can be really scary for a dog not used to this stuff to be passed  closely by one of these trucks. I find a side road(or my long driveway) to first introduce the dog to this noise and I have lots of high value treats along. I want the dog to associate the noise with good things to eat. Then we get closer and closer to the source of all the noise a bit at a time wiht lots of treats involved.

     I also start dogs here with the WATCH ME  program, so they  are already used to looking right up at me at any disturbance or anything upsetting or new. Brooklyn is just learning this now and doing well with it.

    Good luck with this. I know you hate to see your girl scared. Sonja & The Furkids



  • I'm pretty excited to see this post. I'm not excited that poor Sophie is getting upset, but Apollo has been acting the same way and I also appreciate the comments. Took him to the dog park last week and he spent half the time scared and shaking between my legs. He was fine until a mighty might drove by. (It's a very small military vehicle. Think of a flat bed Prius, LOL) He tried to scale the fence, then when he realized the fence moved, tried crawling under it. The vehicle was at least 150 ft away. I'm also not a fan of the choke collars. I find they tend to freak out even more, then with harnesses. Xcharity, thank you for that photo. It's another great idea. When we walk, I can only use the harness because he can back put of the collar. (Actually, he managed to get out of the harness too. The electric company truck drove by.)
    Good luck bigbear! Keep us updated! I'm trying that wrap around tomorrow!
  • philsergeantphilsergeant Palm City, Florida, USA
    edited September 2013
    Wow, I feel for you guys.... I hope I never get to experience this "fear" stage.... Sometimes I wish (not really) that our kids were afraid of something... but they see golf carts... (many people drive golf carts around our community) and bicycles, and cars, as "people deliverers"... and they just love people so they can't stay away from them.
    In the beginning God created English Bull Terriers, in the image of EBT's, God created all other breeds.
  • Mine too!! Mine desided to go for a mile stroll and dump my husband and kid while on their walk tonight. Cleo is a runner on occasion and decided tonight was a good night and Brut never runs and he thought what cleo was up to was funner than the humans tonight. So I get a call that my dogs are one and a quarter miles down the road some lady found them and read their tags and called yhe number thank God!!!! I sprint to my truck and my kid and hubby come walking up with yup no dogs!!! We dive in the truck blast down the road and my four leggeds come barrling out of this ladys house glad their friendly but Bad dogs!!! If she wouldn't have put them inside tbough they may have made it to the nxt. County:( moral of the story my dogs are assholes and are to friendly for their own good. They luckily stumbled apon a nice lady and her daughter and were wearing I D tags. Fear ya non hear and never had this problem as Phil said but I have a overly friendly problem!!! I got my dogs back that's all that matters I guess they both have lost their freedom on tommorrws walk though!!!!!
    Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear your words.
  • Oohhh look here's the arseholes now tired and happy from their long frolic !!!! Dumb and Dumber, ass and hole....... @-)
    Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear your words.
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  • philsergeantphilsergeant Palm City, Florida, USA
    Yes.. Over-friendly is definitely a problem. Marco is just crazy nuts for other dogs.... Isabella is crazy nuts for people. It's hard to admonish them for being really friendly and just wanting to play so bad... even if other dogs are growly or yappy, Marco says, 'oh, just forgettaboutdit, let's play".... But they fear nothing... I swear they even want to play with the black runners in the garden.
    In the beginning God created English Bull Terriers, in the image of EBT's, God created all other breeds.
  • Stoeger is per friendly too! Even to the point of barking and play growling to get attention of people just to be petted! He gets so excited and goes kinda crazy and the. Doesn't understand that ny everyone wana to pet him! Poor guy :-/
  • I think the bad thing is it wasn't always so. It seemed like when he started teething his personality changed. I'm hoping it is something he will grow out of.
  • Hi everyone thank u all for your comments I not been on for a few days had a really scary incerdent which has really shook me up I followed the photo which kim put up thanks for tip we went out 3 days ago for our walk I took sophie into the area which all this first started but went there a different route the lead across the front of the chest is a fab idea and I was so proud of how effective it Was she was walking great and I had totall control but this only works if she is trying to pull to the side and infront as we approached the road she started backing and pulling behind me which meant the lead is not across her chest so we sat I waited for her to calm and then moved a few more paces she sat with her back to the machine this took 45 min and had moved 3 foot the men turned off the machine as they could see what was happening I then was able to take her to it so we carried on walking afew more feet to which she totally freeked and again pulling behind on her harness so no control so I grabbed her by the harness and went to clip the lead to her coller as it was doing this she went crazy and pulled megflying on the floor as I was clipping it to her collar she had become free from me ran straight across a busy main road I was screaming for her to come back but she was running frantically I was screaming to passers by to grab her she would not stop one man fell flat on his face trying to catch her then as I shouted again a lady jumped in front and caught her how she was not killed or hurt is unknown I was I such a state if has terrified me I dont know what to do ive not taken her near there since im so scared of what might happen next time and I fighten for her I dont want this to destroy her nerves xx
  • I am so sorry to hear this:( I'm just glad she wasn't hurt and you got her back. Has anything ever happened to her around a vehicle or equipment before at all??? :-?
    Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear your words.
  • What a scare! I'm glad you held your cool and others where able to help you. Have you tried walking her with some treats by cars? When I leash trained my dogs I had two secret weapons. One was a prong collar, the other was a bag of treats. I would walk a few steps and have cookie sit, and give her a treat. Or I would walk in random patterns and when ever I changed course abruptly and she didn't tug or I would have to give her a pop, she would get a treat. This helped her solely pay attention to me, after a couple months of this I was able to ween her off the treats and she heels perfectly. Last night when I took her for a walk, she didn't even notice the cat that was less then a foot away from us. Now I am able to have her on a harness without her pulling, but if I take her to new area, I still put the prong on her to make sure her attention is always on me.
  • Hi leslie no nothing has never happened at all this is just so random hows it all happened yes a terrible scare boyda I have been thinking for a long while about prong collar but I know how people will react to seeing this collar on her this is the only reason ive not purchased one yet ive done research into them and fill take this is a good opinion for her shes got a bit better but if someone thing spooks her she want out of there even on a half choke she does not care how tight it gets it just dosent faze her when she is in that state x I cant even redirect het to treats ect x
  • Oh no! glad everything turned out alright! i think  for your pup you should have 2 leads-one attached to her collar, one to the harness so you don't have to attempt unclipping and re-clipping.

    maybe do a prong + harness as i stated with 2 leads.

    when she begins getting very upset switch to controlling her with the prong, when she is calm and relaxe or simply pulling forward, use the harness lead (hold onto both of them of coarse, but take control of the one you need to take control off)

    also, make sure you get a proper fitting prong, too loose or to tight is both bad scenarios

  • They make prong collars with a cover on the outside of them so you would never know its a prong. I would get one I bet it helps.
    Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear your words.
  • @leslie where did you get the collar at? I can't find them anywhere, but I think my googling skills are not very good.
  • @Boyda this guy had one at the Bullie Olympics earlier this year I attended and he showed me his. I had Brutus on a prong that day, a regular one you could see and he commented the same as bigbear that sometimes people percive this bad. He then took his collar off his dog and showed me the prongs underneath the material. It was cool!! I don't believe he said where he got it as I am not one to care what people think of my dog being on a prong but I will look online as well. I'm sure it was bought. Will google and let you know. ;)
    Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear your words.
  • Thanks guys u can get them on Amazon boyda or just google it the hiden ones r more expensive but yes ivecread up on the fitting nice and snugg up behind the ears I think it will work for her maybe ill just order one choke chains can cause more damage to a dogs neck muscles than a prong collar hut people don't say anything about them x
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