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Thread: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

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    Default Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    I tried posting this message under the health forum, but will try my luck here, too.
    I've had Bucky, my bully, for about two years. I fostered him and got him from an owner who had no time for him. Bucky was never socialized and was pretty much locked in an apartment all day. After having him for a short period of time, my husband and I realized that he would be better off with us than with anyone else. When we first got him he was pretty anxious. As time has gone on he has become aggressive toward other dogs (although he's fine with my pug) and he is generally afraid and cautious of other people. Because he's unpredictable I am now afraid to take him out and put him in situations where he's around other people. I know that this is bad because he can pick up on my anxiety, but his nervousness has made me nervous! He's been on prozac and in basic obedience classes, but nothing has seemed to work. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to help the both of us get over his fear aggression? I don't have much money to enroll him into a fancy obedience class, but I am willing to do ANYTHING for him. Bucky means the world to me and I want the both of us to be happier and healthier! Help

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    Default Re: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    Perhaps taking him on walks around populated areas like a park. Is he good on a leash/walk?

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    Default Re: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    Unfortunately he knows u dont trust him. You have to learn to block your emotions. He is sacred and needs to know that you will keep him safe. I would do whta desertskybulldogs suggested and walk him in a populated area but make sure u have control of him and if needed u may need a mesh type muzzle. When he looks fearful you need to take his attention away from that with a noise or a quick pull. I know its crazy but what the dog whisperer he deals with dogs that have fear aggression alot and is such a great trainer.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    desertskybulldogs ,
    He is good on a leash when he's alone, but as soon as he gets near other dogs he 1)tries to avoid and then 2)growls and lunges. I know I need to walk him in populated areas but I'm horrified to because I know he'll lunge. I actually walk him with a harness and a gentle lead so that I feel like I have more control over him. My husband and I have tried taking him to Petsmart occassionally, but we're both so scared that he'll try to go after a dog or nip someone that we don't even do that anymore.

    I'm making him sound vicious, and I don't mean to. He's a good boy if he is comfortable with you. He just can't deal with basic things in his environment, and his reactions make me nervous. I know I'm making it worse. I don't know how to change it though.

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    Default Re: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    Poor guy, thats definitely no fun. I'm with the others, do take him into social situations, but do it SLOWLY. Also its essential that you associate being around others with something either very very fun, or super delicious. When you first go to a dogpark, or even just the busy parkinglot of a store, reward calm relaxed behavior when people approach. If he becomes anxious try to redirect his attention back to you with the treat or toy. You don't have to feed him treat after treat, but just let him nibble and lick on it to keep his attention focused. If he gets anxious make sure that you yourself are calm and relaxed. When your out on walks it might really help to have the treats with and if others approach be giving him treats and praise as long as he's relaxed and ok with the situation. The more it happens the more it won't be such a big deal to him. He'll learn that seeing other dogs and people brings positive treats and reinforcement instead of negatively earned attention.

    After he's alright with dogs at a distance you can try having friends and family walk up to him outside, on walks, visits etc and give treats to him. That will strongly reinforce visitors are good. When company comes over have him leashed and next to you at a heel and invite guests to give treats as well.

    There is also dog to dog socialization to try as well. Have a friend help you out and in an open area have each dog leashed with their person at each end. Start letting him nibble at the treat and as you keep his attention focused scoot slowly closer to the other dog and handler. When you reach the point that he becomes uncomfortable and begins to direct his eyes towards the other pair stop and back up just a bit. Keep his attention on the treat for a while longer to end the training on a positive note.

    I really hope some of the suggestions help!

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    Default Re: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    As gatorfan85 mentioned, the Dog Whisperer deals with this a lot... I would start watching his shows until you find a situation similiar to yours. I can't remember exactly what Cesar has done to solve this, but I know it involves having the dog face and conquer his fears, largely by diverting his focus away from the fear, as well as you not tensing up around potential situations which actually alerts and directs his attention to the fearful situation. It can be hard to imagine how to put this into action, but Cesar has a way of making it all make sense.

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    Default Re: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    I agree with both gatorfan and froggz. I hope it helps you but key would be to let the fear go because you are right your baby isnt feeling safe if you arent. (easier said than done I am sure) Let us know how these tips help. Maybe you will be the next success story.

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    Default Re: Advice on Fear-Aggression Bully?

    I agree with the above suggestions. How are things going?
    He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Anonymous

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