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Thread: Possession Aggression

  1. #1
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    Default Possession Aggression

    We took Muggsy in last Wednesday as his owner could not look after him, he was being left 10-12 hours a day and not being walked or socialized. He is a loving, cuddly two year old boy who has been fixed. We have 3 other dogs, including Henry our other rescue Bully. The integration process is all but complete and i am now able to feed all 4 dogs in the same room with no issues. However Muggsy has an issue with possession, not all the time but it is quite agressive when it comes out. It started with him picking up his bowl and running round with it. He growls and snaps if you go near him. Then we moved his cage and he got very upset. He attacked the cage, pushing, biting and dragging it back accross the room, we could not get near him and when he went inside it, we tried to shut him in till he calmed down but he want at us through the bars and the door. My husband tried to get hold of him and he bit him, not breaking the skin. Eventually we locked the door and tried to cover the cage till he calmed down. We have also tried squirting water in his face, but this makes him more aggressive. the only thing we found that works is if we make a loud noise somewhere else in the house and he is distracted. As of now his cage is in another room and he only goes in it at bed time and when we are out, he can not see it when we are home and he is out playing. This seems to be working, but he also gets aggressive over toys, he brings them to you to play then growls and snaps, but if you ignore him he keeps coming to you to play... We let him have about 2 - 5 minutes of play before he gets too excited then distract him and remove his toy. Can anyone help with this with other suggestions or ideas as to why he behaves in this way. The previous owner just told me "he's always done that we just let him get on with it"... thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    umm did you tell the previous owners thanks a lot! What is wrong with people?! Bad behavior of any kind is not ok and needs to be nipped. Now being that this pup is so new to you I am not sure what to say. With my Miila, we hand fed so she knew we were the boss and made her eat last out of the 3 pups. Oce she improved her personality we then moved her up inthe pack to her obvious spot of being #2 but not until she knocked off her resource guarding. Aside from being so new, that is what throws me a litt.e Otherwise I would say pin and remove whatever is making him guard. The bowl, toy etc. Remove and submit him until he is calm. When I submit, I make sure to act like the alpha dog would in a pack, Pin on their back/side and use my fingers as if they are teeth in the side of her neck. I usually kinda lay across the top of her too. Here is the link to my thread I started when we were having problems. It worked WONDERS for us, hope it does you too. Will tag @2BullyMama for more help. We have a lot of great people who can direct you more. @Davidh http://www.englishbulldognews.com/fo...ts-please.html

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    Since the previous owner let him get away with it he thinks this is normal behavior, so it is going to be hard to change, but can be done. Start with reading the post above that @cali~jenn has provided, it has a lot of good info and things to try, you need to find one that will work for you and be consistent. Plus I would feed him last and make him earn everything, even toys and he plays on your terms, if he gets too rough or excited the play stops and toys taken away. Please keep us posted.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
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    Bully hugs from - BeBe, Hazel, Lucy Lu, JLO, Hillary, Henri & Katie


  4. #4
    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    @Davidh said it best... he has to earn everything and start with him eat last. Read cali-jenn post and let us know if you have any questions from there and I have a story to share that I will PM to you
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    Update on Muggsy. We had a pretty good night, all had dinner together, we removed all the triggers we could find that would set him off, however he got excitable over a towel and would not let it go. Jon got the towel off him and pinned him down, scolding him untill he calmed down. then we talked calmly to him and put him in his cage for 10 minutes to settle down. we went back and he was calm and remained that way for a couple of hours then we had another incident over my slipper. this time i took control and he was calmed down and put in his cage for a while. we then went and got him and he was very well behaved the rest of the evening. He has a lot of energy that manifests itself when he gets like this, so we are trying to take him out for a walk after each event to burn some off. He went for a long walk with Henry and the walked very well side by side.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon N Tania View Post
    He has a lot of energy that manifests itself when he gets like this, so we are trying to take him out for a walk after each event to burn some off. He went for a long walk with Henry and the walked very well side by side.
    That's the only thing I have to add - more exercise with a structured walk. No stopping and sniffing every five minutes - he sniffs and poops when you say it's OK - and walking, walking, walking at a brisk pace until his tongue is hanging out. A TIRED pup is a GOOD PUP!!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    Update on Mugsy. Not a good night last night, he attacked his cage again, and was seriously aggressive when Jon tried to restrain him. It took a while for him to get over it and calm down to where we felt able to approach him and let him out. He was very good for an hour or so then went nuts at a blanket that we picked up. He was given time in his cage and after 10 minutes was able to come out and was much better after that. The funny thing is that he has no interest in Henrys cage, perhaps because it smells of Henry and he is very mindful or Henry haven been put in his place a few times. AFter that the evening went well, two long walks, a few short trips outside to play and then he slept on the floor next to Jon for about an hour while we watched TV, with the other three in their 'Usual" places. Breakfast this morning was uneventful and he was very calm. We are getting very frustrated and concerned for this behavoir. It does not appear to be unsettling or changing the other dogs, thankfully, but can anyone tell me how long we can expect this to continue and if there are any medical conditions that might be causing it other than just neglect and no training by the previous Person. We have noticed his cherry eye comes and goes and I am trying to see if there is any connection there. thanks.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    Hi @Jon and Tania...sorry you are dealing with this with Mugsy.

    We unfortunately had a dog before Penny with guarding issues (food, toy, and eventually spaces)...He lunged at my husband because he entered space he perceived as "his." I know how much anxiety & stress this can cause! We worked with a behaviorist & it made a world of difference for us. If you google "Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist" you might be able to find one in your area.

    I haven't read through the links that CaliJenn posted, so some of this might be a repeat, but here are some things we learned from the behaviorist that helped us tremendously!
    - Google "Nothing in Life is Free" & Implement this in your home. Everyone must do it. He sits before getting his leash on, coming through the door, waits for your to tell him ok to go out the door, sits before you throw a toy....whatever...you get the idea. The idea is that the consistency helps put a "dominant" dog in it's place while also making a more submissive dog feel comfortable.
    - I would highly recommend some basic obedience training. He needs to know "drop it".....when he gets a slipper, towel or whatever, hopefully he'd be able to follow through with that command
    - We also practiced dropping highly preferred things for treats so that they lost their value...if there is a certain toy...when he would come to us, we would give him a treat for putting the toy down (i.e., he was growling over sticks, so we practiced & practiced this)
    - I would never be comfortable trying to physically restrain a dog that might bite me....bullys are SO strong! Our vet showed us how to pin Penny and it's hard enough and she only weighs 45lbs and isn't aggressive
    -I would put the crate & toys away. Crate comes out at bedtime only...You could also practice calling him out of the crate & treating when he comes out. If he is in a good place and you feel like he can play with a toy, then you initiate playing with toys.
    - Holding his bowl, We put kibble in it (about a handful) & let a few pieces fall out keeping the rest covered with our hand in the bowl. He would eat a few pieces, then had to sit and wait before we would give him more. We advance with this with our behaviorist to eventually being able to pet/talk to him while he was eating....then walk by him and pet.

    edited to add: Some of our previous dog's aggression was over anxiety. He may not be as settled in as you think he is yet. Maybe over time you will see some changes as well!

    Best of luck. Be consistent & please defer to a behaviorist if you can. It made a world of difference for us.
    Last edited by MissPennyLue; 04-13-2012 at 10:49 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    We hopefully have turned a corner with Muggsy. We have had 3 days without any timeouts. We have kept the cage hidden when he is not in it. We also have let him have a couple of things that he thinks he stole.. such as an old hat. we made no effort to chase him or shout and get it back. after about 5 minutes he came looking for us and just let go of the hat. we carried on with that for the afternoon, and eventually switched the hat for a doggy toy which he now plays with happily if some what over zealously, it hurts when he shakes his head and you get a whack in the back of the leg, but its not a naughty thing just an accident when playing so we dont scold. He knows his place a dinner time and runs to his spot to wait for food. He gets close to the other dogs and they to him with no attitudes. the odd snipe over a toy, but it does not get out of hand. Here's hoping we keep it up. thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions.

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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    That's awesome that he's doing better. Good job on trying to help Muggsy through his problems

  11. #11
    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon N Tania View Post
    We hopefully have turned a corner with Muggsy. We have had 3 days without any timeouts. We have kept the cage hidden when he is not in it. We also have let him have a couple of things that he thinks he stole.. such as an old hat. we made no effort to chase him or shout and get it back. after about 5 minutes he came looking for us and just let go of the hat. we carried on with that for the afternoon, and eventually switched the hat for a doggy toy which he now plays with happily if some what over zealously, it hurts when he shakes his head and you get a whack in the back of the leg, but its not a naughty thing just an accident when playing so we dont scold. He knows his place a dinner time and runs to his spot to wait for food. He gets close to the other dogs and they to him with no attitudes. the odd snipe over a toy, but it does not get out of hand. Here's hoping we keep it up. thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions.

    Great news.... best of luck and stay consistent
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    There is a part of your heart not alive until a bulldog has entered your lif
    e.

    Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




  12. #12
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    Default Re: Possession Aggression

    I would say that what you are doing now is working!!! Just remember that he has been taught how to behave badly for a long time and it will take a while for you to completely erase that. YES .... some days it will feel as if you are taking two steps forward and one step back. There will be relapses!!!

    BUT I really think that if you are consistent and just work at it that you will get there. He sounds like a bully that just wants attention .... maybe in his previous family this is how he got it!!!

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