Staffies are tenacious pooches that love to spend quality time with their human companions. Staffies are often attentive to their commands and are easily trained. Learn more about training a Staffordshire bull terrier with this handy guide.
What makes Staffordshire bull terriers easy to train?
Staffordshire bull terrier is a bundle of big personality packed in a strong body. Among all those, below are the characteristics that make it an easily trainable breed:
- Staffies are heavily devoted to their owners. As a result, they aim to please them. Since Staffies appreciates affectionate gestures from them, they are easily motivated when they are praised for accomplishment.
- In the study of canine intelligence, they ranked 49th out of 131 canine breeds. It means that they are well-balanced in terms of intelligence. Thus, they have the ability to swiftly learn, understand, and execute commands.
- Staffordshire bull terriers are energetic canines. They can keep up with you and are not easily burned out.
Start Training a Staffordshire Bull Terrier While It Is Still Young
It is best to begin training a Staffie while it is still a pup. During his early stage, your pooch is continuously learning new behaviours. You can start training him when he hits 7 to 8 weeks of age. Below are some helpful tips to guide you in training your Staffie pup.
- Do not lose your cool. If your Staffie puppy is having a hard time learning your command, avoid yelling and forcing him to it. Instead, take a break from your training session, continue your training the next day.
- Always be consistent. Staffies may show their stubborn streak even while they are still pups. Thus, you must exercise consistency and firmness to encourage them in participating. This will also prevent you from giving your pooch mixed signals which may confuse him.
- Encourage them through positive reinforcement. Remember to keep a treat or encouraging praise on hand. This will motivate them to focus on the training.
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1. The Importance of Training your Staffie puppy to Sit
Teaching your Staffie pup how to sit is a good groundwork in creating a common language between both of you. This is what makes it an ideal command where you can start your Staffie’s basic obedience training. Follow these steps in to successfully teach your pooch how to sit:
- Put a treat inside the palm of your hands and hold it towards his nose.
- Do not give it to him until he sits. He needs to be able to work out what he needs to do in order to get the treat. Your Staffie may try to paw, lick, or bite your hand at first. However, be patient and wait for him to sit without you coaching him.
- Once he does sit down, immediately give him the treat and praise.
- Continue doing step 1, 2, and 3 until your Staffie associates receiving a reward through sitting.
- Start saying the word ‘sit’ as you give him the treat so that he now has a verbal cue.
2. Lead Training for Staffordshire bull terrier
Since Staffies have large and bulky bodies, they might end up dragging you roughly after them on your walks. Therefore, it is important for your Staffie to undergo lead training to prevent any unwanted accidents from happening. Use these easy lead training steps the next time you take your pooch out for a walk:
- Let your Staffie don a front-attachment harness, then fasten the lead in the front ring. The front attachment will make them feel off balance when they are pulling on the lead.
- Walk around your yard with your pooch with a loose-lead.
- If he pulls ahead of you, stop walking.
- The moment he returns to your side, give him a treat and praise him. Make sure that he associates receiving rewards when he is in heel-position next to you while walking.
3. Why is socialisation training crucial for Staffordshire bull terrier puppies?
Through letting your Staffie undergo socialisation training, there will be a low probability for him to develop behavioural issues. Puppy socialisation should occur when your Staffie is between 8 to 16 weeks old. Once the vet allows you to take your puppy out on walks, you can start introducing him to various people and animals.
If your pooch does not have socialisation training, chances are he might react with aggression or fear when exposed to new things. The following are a few useful tips to assist you in letting your pooch meet new people:
Tip #1: Let your pooch do it at his own pace.
Avoid forcing him to socialise with anyone or he might end up getting scared of the things you want him to get used to. Instead, make him approach and discover new things in his own time. Once he successfully socialises with an individual or an animal, never forget to give him a treat or praise.
Tip #2: Stop other people particularly children from roughly handling your pooch.
Socialising your Staffie does not mean he has to put up with rough handling. If a child keeps on roughly petting him, chances are your Staffie would get irritated and might growl at the child. Therefore, always observe people’s behaviours that can negatively affect your pooch, educating people sometimes is just as important as training your pup when it’s about dog training.
Tip #3: Enrol your Staffie to puppy training classes.
It is an exceptional way to improve your puppy’s socialisation since it introduces him to fellow puppies and new people. Moreover, these classes address common concerns such as halting destructive behaviour and housetraining.
Tip #4: Let him meet your close friends and family.
If your Staffie has not received all his vaccinations yet, start his socialisation training with a small scope of people. You can invite some of your dearest friends and family to meet him. This way he will not be overwhelmed with the number of people. And also, since these people are close to you it will give him a secure feeling.
Be Patient and Always Stay Positive
Training your Staffie may not yield immediate results and it is understandable that it can be frustrating at times. However, never give up on your pooch and continue coaching him. The hardships you encounter are just part of the process. At the end of the day, the result will be worth it.