Training Questions

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Bella and- Bailey

Barked: Sun Jul 19, '09 3:33pm PST 
Hello there! I recently adopted two female bullmastiffs (sisters) who will be 4 in November. They are gentle and I love them. HOWEVER, there are a few issues I have that I believe are caused by the previous owners beingoverly permissive and also because they stopped socializing them over the years. So here it goes--I would love suggesstions:

1. One of the girls (Bailey--the Red) is a BIG time begger. She has even begun to go for the trash and steal food from the counter and table. When she does this, if I can catch her in time, I say "Bailey NO!" Then I make her sit it front of the foodand I say "Leave it!" Then she goes outside for a few minutes. Am I doing the right thing and it will just take time to work?

2. Bailey also has a habit of stealing her sisters food and coming between her sister and me when I am petting. She is trying to establish dominance andI am not sure how to approach it.

3. Bella is a stubborn girl. She is testing me because she will attempt to ignore a command and I have to physically cause her to follow through. Any ideas?

4. Bella has takento growling at the cats and even giving them a little chase. Once again I know she is trying to dominate. She did not do thisduing the 2 month transition nor the first few days she was here fulltime. Now I think that she is taking ownership of the house and is trying to let the cats know that. Right now I tell her "Bella NO!" and make her go outside for a bit.

5. Finally, Bella growls at strangers until she has been introduced. I know that socialization is important in puppy years; but, how can I address this with an adult? She even growled at my grandmother. I want her to learn to trust people that come in the house as long as they are accepted by me.

I would wecome IDeas.