VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center
Published: Jan 30, 2013

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When you adopt a "bully breed" such as a pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, bulldog, Boston terrier or other similar canine, you may already know that your precious puppy might have a negative reputation that precedes him. As an owner of a so-called bully breed, you may find yourself frequently defending your dog against negative stereotypes such as dog aggression and other bad behaviors.

It's important you train your canine companion to become what is known as a breed ambassador. This means that, with plenty of training, your dog can prove to the world what you already know - that he (and perhaps the rest of his breed) is a sociable, well-behaved canine who makes a perfect companion.

Here are some tricks for training your bully breed to show off his best behavior all the time.

Know what pleases your puppy
When training, you will need to have some type of motivation for your dog. For many canines, this means food or treats, but others may respond better to toys or praise. Once you figure out which reward appeals most to your pet, you'll have a much easier time training him.

Basic training
Basic puppy training commands like "sit," "stay" and "come" are crucial for your bully breed to learn. Fortunately, these breeds are quite intelligent and will be able to master these commands quickly with plenty of positive reinforcement. Other commands you may need to work on with a bully breed are "no," for a variety of behaviors like dog barking or chewing, and "off," since their eagerness to meet new people may cause them to jump. Teaching your bully breed not to jump is important because it can frighten people who have heard about the negative reputation of these dogs, and because once your dog is fully grown, his strength might be enough to knock someone over.

Focus on socialization
Socializing a puppy is as important as getting him his dog vaccinations and pet food. Why? Without proper socialization, your dog can become fearful of situations he has not experienced before and act unpredictably.

Animal Planet reports it's crucial you develop a strong bond with your bully breed before socializing him with other people. Once he fully trusts you, he will respond better when you introduce him to the many faces of the world - make sure you include men and women of all different ages and races, as well as men with facial hair, people bundled up in coats and scarves, and people with other features that make them look unique.

Bully breeds tend to prefer the company of people, and not all will get along with other dogs. Knowing this, use caution when introducing an adult bully breed to other dogs. When you are raising puppies, it is sometimes easier to socialize them with other dogs and animals. The sooner you begin introducing a pittie pup or other bully breed to other dogs, the more likely he is to accept them and get along with them when he is older.

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General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Emergency Care

EMERGENCY CARE

24/7/365, if your pet has a medical emergency, you can find us at the following address:

VCA SOUTHPAWS VETERINARY SPECIALISTS & EMERGENCY CENTER
8500 ARLNGTON BLVD., FAIRFAX, VA 22031
TEL: 703-752-9100

Click here for directions to our location.

VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center is a fully-equipped 24/7/365 emergency hospital serving pets and their people in Northern Virginia and the greater Washington DC metro area. If you suspect your pet is having a medical crisis, our experienced team of veterinarians, technicians and assistants are here to assist you.

Our Emergency and Critical Care units can assist in all of the following situations requiring immediate medical attention: Auto accidents, traumatic injuries (fractures, bites, burns, lacerations, wounds), respiratory emergencies (choking, difficulty breathing), vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty urinating/defecating, shock, loss of consciousness, dizziness, staggering, tremors, seizures, paralysis, toxic reactions, poison ingestion, labor and delivery problems, blood in urine or feces, swollen, hard, painful abdomen, heatstroke.

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