Is a bullmastiff right for me?

Discussion in 'The Bullmastiff' started by Doglover85, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    The sensitivity of Bullmastiffs is perhaps the biggest negative for me. I heard about it already but didn't appreciate how big an issue it was until I had to live with it. For such a large intimidating dog, they are real softies! I'm all for motivational training, but in the real world you do have to use corrections if you want a well behaved dog. My American Bulldog knew when I was disappointed, took it well, and moved on. My Bullmastiff sometimes acts like I'm abusing him. He's like a little baby sometimes, and no I'm not just talking about hitting him, it can just be a verbal correction. It's weird. If I'm training him and give him a mild/moderate physical correction in an angry voice he pouts and shuts down, but the other day I banged his head hard against the counter by accident and he didn't even flinch! They have a very high pain tolerance, so the emotion affects them more than the physical.
     
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  2. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    I don't mind a sensitive dog. But it sounds like you have a back of the pack dog or the "runt" they are very sensitive and don't like being around loud aggressive people. A quiet house with quiet people is their happy place, put them in a house full of new York Italians and they will shut down real quick lol. Just have to learn to talk calmly and not scream and yell and talk loud throughout the day and when you're correcting him. The only time I get loud is if my dogs try to eat my food or I'm calling them. And what are you doing for "physical corrections"?
     
  3. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    He's definitely not back of the pack. He actually exhibits dominant behavior like leaning into us when we are sitting on the couch, always trying to lead on walks and going out the door, and territorial marking wherever our other dog goes. My AB was far less dominant but at the same time never backed down from anything. In other words my AB was submissive to me but extremely headstrong in following my lead. My BM is a bit shy when it comes to people, but I don't think it's fear. At the dog park he approaches Mastiffs and Great Danes who are clearly bigger than him and even when they show aggression and I step in, he doesn't avoid them and is not bothered in the least. He doesn't avoid noise either. When he hears gunshot he barks at the back door to get out, and when I open it he runs outside to check it out. I was using normal physical training corrections like the prong collar to teach heeling like I did with my AB. He shuts down pretty quickly and stops walking. I don't call it omega behavior. It more like "You're not doing that to me! I had enough if this sh##!"

    I think labels like dominant, submissive, omega, alpha are misleading sometimes. Dogs have their own unique personalities that don't always fit a certain profile. I like my dog a lot. He's a very good watchdog, a nice pet, and stable and dependable with guests, but he doesn't show the working dog characteristics that my AB had. I'm sure if I put more time and effort into training I can get more done with him, but he's not motivated the way my AB was, and it's more of a chore to train him.
     
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  4. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    Leaning is not dominant behavior thats just how bully breeds show affection if he's facing his back towards you and leaning it's his way of showing he loves and trusts you. Leading on walks isn't a dominant trait either, he's protecting you and he probably wants to walk faster. Now if he's pulling you along like he's dragging a cart then that's a problem. And male dogs just piss everywhere especially mastiffs its only territorial if it's on the property line, otherwise it's a conversation between dogs and other animals. Going out the door first is just a myth, unless he starts blocking where you walk otherwise it's no big deal. Not all dogs respond the same to training. What a prong collar won't do, a piece of meat will. The whole leaning and sitting on your lap is dominant behavior is all bullshit. 9 times out of 10 they are just showing affection while giving you space, when they lay across or sit on you it's just because they still think they are small enough to do so, or they are trying to tell you something like they're in pain, hungry have to go out etc.
     
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  5. BattleDax

    BattleDax Well-Known Member

    This is very helpful information to me. It's uncanny, because that emotional (or what I've described as sensitive along with other terms) nature is what I'm dealing with with my current working Doberman. This is in stark contrast with my previous working Doberman and even with my Dobe before that which was from a hobby breeder.

    It seems I must have screwed something up when he was young, not knowing I had to be particularly gentle with him (verbally, emotionally – you know – I'm not talking about striking him). But our relationship is largely broken. We do fine together, but he is reluctant to obey me and perform for me. I mean, he is in most people's minds, extremely well-trained; but is a low-performer by my standards. An example: I've enjoyed training all my Dobes to lick their lips on command. Yeah, I like trick training. Well, with this guy, he did it in the early days, but will not do it anymore. He just stares at me. But for my wife (who does almost no training with him, and he doesn't listen to very well) he does it readily.

    Anyway, regarding the Bullmasatiff as my potential next dog: While I would certainly not expect anywhere near the trainability and performance out of it that I do out of Dobes, I would not do well with that overly sensitive nature. I need my dog to be kind of hard and like nothing really gets to him too much. I need to be able to tailor my training intensity to his level of toughness, issue appropriate correcrtions and we both move on. No sulking, no shutting down!

    This makes me shift over into the Boerboel camp once again. :D
     
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  6. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    I know what leaning is and most of all I know my dogs. I live with them every day, you don't. I put Schutzhund, Iron Dog, Weight Pull, and Hog Catching titles on my AB. My AB did all that and did it well. The fact he wasn't an alpha dog helped because he seldom challenged me, he just obeyed. My AB leaned on me also, and he did it to get close to me and show affection. The Dog Whisperer said in one of his shows a dog leans on you to claim his space. My BM is claiming his space. I know his patterns and I know there's a difference in how he does it and how my AB did it. My BM is more of an alpha just because he wants to lead and challenges my authority, but that doesn't mean he's as courageous as my AB was. He is not. BTW he does pull really hard on the leash, but that's NOT a problem simply because I want him to! He gets more exercise that way. It's like I'm training him to pull weights without having some ignorant nosy neighbor call the police because my dog is dragging a tire behind him. My AB was trained the same way. He pulled weights and when I walked him I let him pull on the harness. He also passed the Schutzhund obedience test where he had to heel off lease for a 50 yard pattern among other things. A good dog can definitely do both and I proved it!
     
  7. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    You may not have screwed anything up. Individual dogs are just different. I brought up both my AB and BM from 8 wk old puppies and they turned out as different as night and day. It's like kids. You don't know how they will turn out, but you have to accept them even if they did not come out the way you wanted. Personally, I might be looking at the Cane Corso as my next breed. I basically want a dog like my AB but bigger and more territorial.
     
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  8. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    Cool story bro
     
  9. BattleDax

    BattleDax Well-Known Member

    Totally.

    Here again, uncanny. Or maybe I should just be using the word coincidental :D But what you describe in terms of letting your dog pull on the lead in order let him get exercise. That's exactly what I 've done for years and years. At the same time, I train the heel and expect precision. One other factor at work here is that I believe in drawing a concise distinction for a dog between when it is on a heel and when it is not. So, when you're not on a heel, go for it dog! Pul me like a maniac!

    That said, I'm really disappointed that this system might be coming to an end because, and I don't know about anyone else here, but my Dobe almost always pulls off to an angle to the right – maybe 15 - 30° to the right. So I've got this chronic knee pain and I've traced it to the fact that with each step, I experience a slight twisting force that the knee absorbs.

    Anyway, yeah. Every once in a while I like blowing a mind when someone sees me getting pulled and jerked down the street and suddenly I issue an almost silent command and hold my hand out to my left and my Dobe snaps to heel and we continue walking.

    Cane Corso? Yes, that's at the top of my list too. I'm just trying to figure out which type, and which breeder. I think that if I can manage to choose the right breeder, I might be happiest with a Corso because of the trainability and performance I can expect, and the guarding instinct that is hopefully more than the whole "Your Mastiff will assess the situation and will step up in needed" business. I need my guard dog to really act like one.
     
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  10. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    Your Dobe definitely reminds me of my Bullmastiff. I haven't broken my relationship with him yet. I know not to go there with him. He already prefers my wife, but that's ok as long as he still obeys me. Now I see why no one trains Bullmastiffs in Protection. Being able to take strong negative corrections is essential for Protection because that's the only way to train a reliable Out command (the most important command). You're not going to be able to get a high drive dog in fight mode off the sleeve by offering him a treat!

    I'm thinking I will look for a Corso line that has done sport protection training. That probably means it will have Boxer influence, but I think I might prefer that to the one that's basically a Neo with less wrinkles. I'm afraid a Neo type might have that independent screw you attitude with strong corrections, and when he leans on me and I gently nudge him, the SOB pushes back to try to get me off the sofa!
     
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  11. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Just something that may be of interest. I see it said all the time that you must use corrections/punishment to compete in certain sports. Here's a list of people that don't and the link to the Facebook post with replies listing more. More and more police trainers are moving to positive methods as well. Not looking to start a debate or anything, just putting this out there for anyone interested in trainers using +R for sports.


    I didn't write this, it's a copy and paste from here - https://www.facebook.com/speakingdogwithshana/posts/1552140038242890

    "In case any one wants some fun Googling, here are some awesome +R trainers doing big things in the IPO/competitive dog sports/hobby sports world:
    [​IMG]Corinne Wrend (Has achieved IPO 3 with multiple Mals, and is the breeder of Nando Brown’s dog, Fizz)
    [​IMG]Denise Fenzi (AKC OTCH dogs and perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio Ringsport obedience, has titled dogs in obedience, tracking, schutzhund, mondioring, herding, conformation, and agility)
    [​IMG]Kamal Fernandez
    [​IMG]Susan Garrett (One of the most successful agility competitors of the last two decades; has won multiple Gold Medals at National or World Championship events with every dog she has ever owned over the past 20 years.)
    [​IMG]Chad Byerly (Mondioring, titled two dogs, trial decoy, recent MR2 at Nationals)
    [​IMG]Guy Penning
    [​IMG]Fanny Gott (Multiple dogs titled in OTCH, FCI, Agility, Tracking, Sheepdog Herding, etc: http://www.fannygott.com/about-me. Runs a dog training school focusing on clicker training and high level sports)
    [​IMG]Thomas Stokke (Spouse of Fanny Gott - specializes in specific breeds and gun dogs. Also runs dog training school for high level sports)
    [​IMG]Jo Hill (Competitive obedience and achieving titles in IPO, now teaches Crufts Obedience Championships winners, working trial champions, IPO and HWTM competitors.)
    [​IMG]Sara Brueske (Dock diving and Disc Dog Champion; 2016 UpDog International Finals Overall Champion, 2017 and 2016 UpDog International Finals Freestyle Champion)
    [​IMG]Alex Van der Borght
    [​IMG]Kay Laurence (HTM and OB titled dogs)
    [​IMG]Steve White (expert police dog handler and world renowned +R trainer for urban tracking program)
    [​IMG]Craig Ogilvie (Mondioring, works with extremely high drive dogs and the police)
    [​IMG]Nando Brown (Scent Detection, Search and Rescue, High Prey Drive seminars)
    [​IMG]Shade Whitesel (“Her retired dog, Reiki vom Aegis, IPO 3, FH 1, French Ring 1, CDX, was 5th at the 2010 AWDF Championships, 7th at the 2012 AWDF Championships, 1st at the 2011 Northwest Regionals, and 2nd at the 2012 Dutch Shepherd Nationals. Reiki is now almost 11, and Shade is currently competing with his son, Ones. Ones just earned his IPO 2 with scores of 99 in tracking, 95 in obedience and 96 in protection”)
    [​IMG]Geert De Bolster (the first man to train a champion IPO dog trained using +R and primarily a clicker)
    [​IMG]Robert Milner (Gun Dog Trainer, Builds Search and Rescue programs. Also was a heavy compulsion trainer, now a clicker trainer. Read more: https://www.nrafamily.org/.../dog-trainer-for-the-love.../)
     
  12. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    I was actually the only person in my Schutzhund Club to teach my dog, an unnatural retriever, to retrieve a dumbell using clicker training, so I'm really a fan of positive training when it can be practical. The Out command however is a different story.

    I once read a book by Sheila Booth on Totally Positive Training for Schutzhund, hoping I could get tips on making my AB's training more positive. Not only was I disappointed, I was also shocked to find that in one page she described how to make a sharpened prong collar by filing it down! So before I believe anyone who claims to do sport protection training at a high level with totally positive methods, I'll have to see it for myself. People get paid to write books and positive training is like clickbait for training books. I have yet to see this being done in person or even a video demonstrating it. You would think that someone brilliant enough to do this could at least put out a few snippets on YouTube or something to spread the message of good cheer that you don't need negative corrections at all for high level protection training. Sadly, all you get is empty words.
     
  13. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Sheila Booth is not a trainer that is well known in the +R world for, well for anything. That is also a very old book and there's much better information available. Purely positive and totally positive aren't really terms that are used by trainers that actually use reward based training, so that's a flag right there. I haven't gone through the list I posted above for some time, but I know that there were videos out there. Perhaps doing a direct search for some of the names? When I have more time I'll to see what I can find. The Fenzi Sports Academy sometimes has class offerings from Shade Whitesel.
     
  14. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    Just a minute ago, I looked at your Facebook link. In the comments section there was one guy saying that some trainer in Ft Worth is using force free methods to train his Malinois for Mondio Ring. Of course, I had to click on the link to this guy's site. I saw he had a video on his site, so I clicked on it in great anticipation. It was 30 seconds of showing 2 dogs walking together in their neighborhood! My gosh, I don't need to pay someone to teach me how to walk 2 dogs together! LOL
     
  15. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Did you search any of the people on the list that have titled their dogs? Shade Whitesel's website may be one to check out. As I recall her videos aren't on Youtube but rather on her website. Anyway - I was just sharing the information that there are force free trainers that title their dogs in protection and other sports.
     
  16. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    (Did this sound snippy? If so, that wasn't my intent at all but I realized that it may have seemed like that without voice inflection. Just wanted to clarify. Not snippy, lol.)
     
  17. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    Shade does have an interesting site. I watched her video of the Malinois learning the out using a chew toy and markers. I could see it working with some malleable dogs, like working line Malinois and Shepherds. Don't know if it works for all of them but probably worth a shot and trying it first. For myself, I'm basically out of the protection game right now until I get another dog. I doubt it could work on my BM. He doesn't have the kind of drive that her Malinois has to be focused on a toy so intensely for that long and go through those repetitive exercises.
     
  18. BattleDax

    BattleDax Well-Known Member

    Hm. Cool – Interesting to see Shade Whitesel's name on the list. I got to meet her and her black GSD Reiki Charger when he was a young dog, and I tinkered around just a bit with a Schutzhund group she was getting together.

    I wasn't aware she was into positive only, but then I don't recall seeing anything to the opposite. I do remember when I had my Dobe on a long down stay I said to her and the others around that I don't know if it's going to offend you but if he breaks the stay I am going to go make that an unpleasant choice for him.
     
  19. Loverboy Skyline

    Loverboy Skyline Well-Known Member

    What is "postive only" anyway? If your dog at home starts to chew on an expensive piece of furniture and you compulsively hit him in the nose or yank on his collar to get him off, is he no longer a "positive only" dog? What if he is going after a poisonous toad and you have to get physical right at that moment to save his life? So are you a liar if you say he is "positive only"? What if your dog has a crooked sit and you use physical corrections to get him straight just because you know it's going to take much much longer to do it positively, but you were positive in the rest of his training? Ultimately, you really don't know if any dog was all positive because you aren't monitoring the dog's training 24/7, right?
     
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  20. Doglover85

    Doglover85 Member

    Why would you hit your dog in the nose? If they are chewing on furnature it's boredom and or separatation anxiety. Just give them a bone or Kong to chew on everytime you catch him. Then just spray your furnature down with apple cider vinegar. If your dog lunges at anything for any reason you don't have control of him. Positive only is simply not using shock or prong collars, not hitting them for any reason, not rubbing their nose in mess spots(they have no idea wtf you're doing when you do that anyway) not doing the stupid ceaser Milan side kick to "distract them" all that shit does is make a dog aggressive. Since 90% of people don't know what they are doing and just want to be "dominant" and be "alpha" and just make an aggressive dog and look like a complete bafoon. Unless you're training a military level personal protection dog you don't need any of those things.

    Now if you need to nudge a dog or grab their collar to move them you can, as long as you're not hitting or hanging them to do so. I've trained all my dogs and had proper training, including when I was in the army. I never had to use anything like that. The only caviat to that is during a dog fight. I prefer a bite stick or just the wheelbarrow method(which I usually use) all that you have to do a dominance roll and show dominance and be the alpha you need to show them who's boss is so stupid it drives me crazy, let alone has been disproven tremendously.

    All dogs are like small children. Do you beat the shit out of them if do something they don't understand that's wrong until they obey out of paralyzing terror? Or do you teach them what you want and praise them when they finally get it? It's literally that simple.
     

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