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Thread: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

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    Default Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    Greetings,

    I am a semi-new English Bulldog owner (we've had Jake since November 2011). My questions are on his behavior. During the day when he is with me (I work at home) he is for the most part a perfect bull dog. Eats, sleeps, plays and passes gas. There's little barking and the normal puppy stuff (ripping open furniture, playing, etc.,) but when my 8 year old comes home from school and my wife a bit later from work he is just nuts! Lots of biting at my son's shoes (while he's wearing them!) and barking. Sometimes the barking is just CONSTANT. He has food, water, attention, toys, etc., and still the barking. I even went so far as to buy one of those indoor sound things to try to stop the barking (junk btw). He also gets very bitey with my wife. Biting her toes, hands, face, etc., This was fine (but still corrected) when he was a month old, but now he's over 6 months old and it's starting to hurt. + we just need to stop it.

    Lastly I would like to know if this is normal- Sometimes he just FREAKS OUT! Growling, spinning around, running around the house at warp speed and slamming himself into the walls and furniture. It's like he loses his mind! We just stand back and try not to get in his way.

    We're starting to get a bit frustrated 'cause he's the cutest thing EVER and we love him, but half the time my son is afraid of him and the incessant barking in the evening is sort of maddening. Ha! We went with a bulldog not only because their cute, but because they're supposed to be pretty good with kids and just sort of lazy dogs. We do get him out walking about 20 minutes a day, but sometimes he just wants NONE of it. We thought he'd calm down after he was "fixed" but it's been over a month and NO calming down.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but for now any feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Pet Sitter Become a 4 Paw Member BrooklynStar's Avatar
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    Try a citronella anti bark collar it's like 40$ it did wonders for me.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    I'm sorry I can't help you but we have some very good behaviorists here. All I can say is to EBN. Hope we can help

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    Thanks for the tip on the collar, I looked for that in my pet store but they didn't have it. Also, thanks for the welcome.

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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    I'm by no means an expert but I see a number of things.

    I would have to question the alpha role You, your wife, and child play to the dog. I suspect it is in jeopardy as what you explain here shows he is not respectful of your self (IE biting at your feet etc). You mentioned he has all the toys etc but that truly is not a requirement to be a good dog. Obedience and obeying there master should be first on the list.

    The excess energy let's me know he is in a good playful state but frustrated and the only way is to burn around the house in the area that is aloud, not wanting to walk is a test for you to see who is the alpha and I suspect he is winning here as well.

    I would start the following :

    - Establish an alpha role for everyone where it is your family and then the dog in that order.
    - When going outside enforce that he sits and waits for you to go first then you invite him to come, open door doesn't mean exit
    - Make sure he is walked at a good pace to burn him out "before" his supper and or "dinner" if you can walk him twice a day... Make him WORK for his food instead of expect it.
    - When he nips / bites immediately walk in on his position showing him you are boss, be CALM and Assertive and do not back away until he submits and sits or lays down. It is equally important to complete the initial plan you have for him to submit. If he runs to the other room he will just find that as an escape when you try to correct, take it all the way and show him it is NOT ok and you will be there to correct it. Also use a quick Shttt and hand bite to his front leg or rear leg if that part of the body is immune to the touch.
    - I would follow the same corrective behavior on any issue as mentioned above and once you have alpha role and he is obeying you I think you will find that most of his issues can be addressed the same way.

    I've never really typed out what I do in this fashion before but your post seemed to want to know so potential ways to address it and that is what I would start with immediately.

    Remember Live in the now and don't try to give him crap for being a BAD dog, stay calm and assertive and reward good behavior and correct the unwanted behavior before it starts.

    If you can address the moment he goes to nip at the feet with a sht and touch to snap him out of it, then follow through to a submissive sit or lay down you will see dramatic results.

    Good Luck!
    Vince

    P.S. I think with what you are dealing with all can be addressed being a positive alpha status for everyone. I don't think the need for shock collars or spray bottles to the face etc is required if you have control over him and he respects you. Will be a true test where you can build on the key areas.
    Last edited by Vince00; 04-26-2012 at 03:29 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    we have a Jake too! Okay...the biting is very much a puppy thing. They honestly wil outgrow that..but you still must correct it as its happening and let him know it's unacceptable behavior. You must be consistent and not let even one time slide by. You can use a spray bottle of water and a very firm NO! I would use the same correction for the barking. If he is so wound up and that contributes to his barking, I would give him a time out..much like a 2 year old. A little quiet time in his crate or designated area will help. Also if you can preempt his excitement so you avoid his over the top excitement, that would be great. Don't remove him from the crate when his family comes home..until he is calm. They do have wild spurts of energy..although most of MY Jake's seem to be after he goes potty! It's outside so I let him run. They are very stubborn..and it will take a firm hand to correct this behavior..but so worth it. You want a happy behaved Bully and he is very young so you can certainly take back the control!

    So glad you found us..you will love it here!

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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    Wow, thanks for all that info. I think the biggest problem is getting my 8 year old to develop the alpha role with Jake. As soon as Jake gets aggressive with him, he cowers back. I try to tell him not to and to show him who's the owner, etc., but he just gets scared. I guess I'm around him so much he KNOWS that I am the boss. The hardest thing is for me to remain calm when correcting him (i.e. not yelling). Thanks again. A work in progress for sure.

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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    -jake-jpg

    I guess I should include a pic to show it's not ALL bad with Jake The Dog!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    One way to work with your 8 year old is to get him to feed the dog, if you have established a sit / wait for a keyword before he is allowed to eat you can have your 8 year old do that and he will immediatly gain the role of leader over the dog just in that step alone.

    Your right it will be a work in progress and staying calm without getting mad or upset is key, although easier said then done.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    no advice but ooooo, does he ever look mischievous with that handsome face! irresistible.
    "J'embrace mon chien sur la bouche!" (i kiss my dog on the mouth!)--unknown

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    That little spotted ear is a TREASURE! OMG. I love spots!

    Jake isn't aggressive - he's a puppy. Vince gave u some great advice. I might also suggest some reading for you. Google "Nothing In Life Is Free" for Dogs. If you've ever watched Cesar Millan, it's along those lines. Stay strong Pack Leader! Calm and Assertive!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Semi-New Bulldog Owner with Behavior Questions

    You've got some good advice here! Just wanted to say welcome to you and your handsome Jake.

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