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Thread: Sudden agression & snaps at people --HELP!!

  1. #1
    Newbie misskelliebrooke's Avatar
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    Exclamation Sudden agression & snaps at people --HELP!!

    My bulldog baby Pebbles has always been a well tempermented, loving puppy. But as of late she has gotten a bit aggresive.. my family thinks it could be her eye sight? because it happens at night usually.. but anyways. Latelly she has started just barking, at anything really usually a noise or a person walking in the door, and i wasnt too concerned until now becuase she has started to growl and snap at people. Most of the time it is to a new person who walks in the door but usually between barks she will let them pet her and even lick them.. its quite strange. But as of a few days ago late at night my father came down the stairs as she was snuggled up to me and she jumpped up and went at him growling and pownced on him! almost bitting him.. (scaring him half to death I may add) and even once she realized who it was still growling at him with her fur raised and all.... Everyone thinks its because she is being protective of me but it will occasionally happen when im not home, and during the day to people she knows and loves.... SO NEEDLESS to say I need some help.

    a little background into Pebbles past which I believe to have a hand in the weird behavior. When I got Pebbles she was a gift from a boyfriend and after a month or so even though my parents told him yes they decided they didnt want a puppy at our house.. (lovely i know!!) so she went to stay at "the boyfriends" house. Which was working out great people were always home with her she wasnt outside in the HOT Arizona heat and she would come over 3-4 times a week for slumberparties. But after a pluthera of events "the boyfriend" stopped staying at his house and other places. (without my knowlledge) and i still saw her as much. this is when the barking started... this went on for about 3months without my knowlledge because He would always bring her too me! (UGHHH !! I KNOW!) Anyways we have since broken up and one night i decided to just go get my puppy... NEEDLESS TO SAY I found out way more then i barggened for to keep it short she WAS NOT BEING TREATED well!!! And I immediatly took her from the house never to go back. But while removing her from the room she was locked in she heard a guys voice down the hallway and reacted the same way!! BARKING GROWLING AND POUNCING... VERY SCARY .... But anyways she is now safe and sound with her momma where she belongs.

    I am moving out very soon so I know that i will not be as worried about as many people/strangers coming in and out but I still want / need help as to what i can do for her because no matter what the snapping and attacking cant happen. I do scold her and make it known her behavior isnt ok... BUT IM STILL AT A LOSS HELP!!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sudden agression & snaps at people --HELP!!

    Ooh this is a tough one. Not sure the coins in a can would be a good idea mostly cuz she is already afraid. Poor baby, hard to be mad at such problems when she was being abused. Heartbreaking.

  3. #3
    Bulldog Vet in Training anatess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden agression & snaps at people --HELP!!

    Oh no! This is gonna be a toughie. What it looks like you have is a dog with fear agression stemming from some form of abuse. If this is the case, you can't use the correction route on this one. Okay, follow me on this and see if this goes with what your dog is displaying:

    Say, your dog's fear trigger is the sudden appearance of males (yes, it could be someone he already knows). Okay, I'm not saying this is the trigger - I'm just saying this as an example. So your dog will react aggressively to the sudden appearance of your father out of fear. This could possibly have been caused by a male person in her previous experience that broke her trust. So now, she associates males with bad causing the fear that leads to aggression.

    Okay, so, let's say you do the regular corrective reaction of saying No! This sudden loud reprimand would validate the dog's feeling of male = bad and would dig the instinct deeper into her psyche making her fear worse. So, you can't go this route.

    I say this is a toughie because really, in my experience, the only way you can change this behavior is to re-establish the broken trust. And this takes a lot of "therapy sessions". The first step is to try to figure out what triggers the fear. It may be multiple sources. But just try to find one consistent trigger. Once you find a trigger, then you can start to work on that trigger. The objective is for you to be able to replace her fear with positive experiences. So, say for instance you find that the sudden appearance of males consistently triggers the fear aggression. You would then re-create that scenario on purpose in a controlled environment. You kinda have to know your dog enough so that you can tell how close the male can get before she starts barking. So, say, your dog loves a certain dog treat, you would have a bag of those in hand and then have your dad walk into the room up to the point where you know she's going to start barking. You'll most likely see her start to tense up. Give the treats immediately - freely, let her have her fill - while your dad walks closer and closer. Watch your dog closely and if you feel like she's about to get aggressive, signal your dad to walk away while you continue to give her treats. Do this over several separate sessions until the dog starts to associate male = good feelings. Then you can work on a different trigger until she's happy again.

    Yeah, it sounds really hard work. It's not an easy thing for sure. But a happy dog is worth it, I think.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by anatess; 08-15-2012 at 02:15 AM.

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    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Sudden agression & snaps at people --HELP!!

    @anatess -- nailed it, you have to re-establish the trust. she is resource guarding you because you have some level of her trust. It iz a long hard road, but consistency and patience is key
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  5. #5
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    Great response @anatess.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  6. #6
    Newbie misskelliebrooke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden agression & snaps at people --HELP!!

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!
    This makes so much sence!! I will make sure to update you on how it goes.

  7. #7
    The Ultimate Sourmug Sherry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden agression & snaps at people --HELP!!

    Right on @anatess
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