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Thread: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

  1. #13
    mabel lou
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    If it were me, I would actually have him do this inside the house first just by simply placing the leash on the both of them and just standing there, now if one should show any kind of sign may it be posture or hair standing up or even a growl then I would place that one back in the cage for a few minutes and then do it yet again and repeat it over and over. As tiring as it may be or possibly frustrating it will be the whole point is that in order for him to learn how to be a pack leader he must take steps in a direction of showing them he is the pack leader and this is done merely by letting them know that bad behavior will not be accepted and they will go in their cage and this will continue until they understand that he is not playing. I think baby steps in the home is where it should begin because this is were he is and they are. I hope it all works out for you, I am interested to hear how it all works out.

  2. #14
    Kennel Cleaner mcardle3's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Our boys are not allowed on the furniture, that isn't an issue at our home.

    I've had bulldogs for years, and have NEVER had this problem. It is so frustrating and scary, actually.

    The boys walk well leashed and one person walking them. There is no fighting on walks, there is no fighting in the yard when they are out alone.

    The fights are only when they are in the house with Jim. I like the leash idea in the house and the idea about giving permission before each thing is given. For me they must wait at the door for permission to enter the house or exit it...dad opens the door and it is a free for all as they scramble in.

    They do not listen to him or to his commands as they are said in a loving voice. Now for myself, no one brooks anything I say. If I say STAY, they by golly stay. If I say wait, they wait. I think this is because they know I mean it. We'll use leashes tonight and the crate.

    We are to go away for Thanksgiving, leaving them with our 18 year old house sitter...because of this behavior, our older boy is going with us so she will not have to try to work out this behavior. My personal belief is that with Jim out of the house they will be angels for her, they are for me...but I can't risk that.

  3. #15
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidh View Post
    Well anytime you see one posture over another stop it immediately, before the fight starts. Sometimes you don't have the chance to stop it though, so you need to look for the signs or the look right before the fight starts and stop it. I would start with having your husband walk them together. You may need to help at first to see how it goes. You take one and Hubby takes the other. If they start to fight or get aggressive you can stop it immediately. If they get on the couch with you or your husband, I would start by making them stay off the couch until they start getting along again. The one starting the fight I will grab by the side and submit them, but if you are not careful and do not know how to do it, you can get bite, so be careful. I think the walks will help and once they walk well together with the both of you, let hubby take both of them together, until they start getting along. This takes time and you need to be consistent with it. Make them earn or work for everything. They sit before eating, they sit before going outside and you go out the door first, they sit before they get affection, this is just some of the things you can try to get started. good luck.

    Perfect advice ^^^^ and you can read up on NILF.. nothing in life is free - make the bullies work for everything
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  4. #16
    mabel lou
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Here is another thing that you should think about. If your husband is going to break all the routines that you have set in place for your dogs then to be able to spend time with him should be almost like a reward. Good behavior then quality time with him for a few minutes. Bad behavior around him then time out and that is being said very respectfully.
    I have a rescue girl who is 6yrs old and she came to my home recently and immediately began taking over the beds the toys and my girl who is still a puppy in my eyes (8mths) was getting the growls and snapped at when she merely wanted to lay in the bed that which I had initially bought her but Thelma came and decided she wanted it and so I had to buy two more beds to please them I thought which didn't work at all because the rescue girl still claimed the original bed so my only answer was to take out all beds and go buy a much bigger bed and they had no choice but to allow one another to lay in it. I realize this isn't fighting each other in a way that could harm them but I am the only alpha in this house and my rules are my rules and all will follow when it comes to these dogs, their is absolutely no confusion about what is what around here so maybe they need to go back to the basics of how you began training them from the start. Please do not think for one moment that I am saying this is your husbands fault, rather than saying it just sounds more like their a bit confused as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior anymore.

  5. #17
    mabel lou
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    While going to my sons home he even tells me that bodine which is my sons dog is being put in time out for bad behavior and I am not allowed to talk to him or do anything to him (like love on him) because he knows that this is like rewarding bodine for bad behavior and because bodine loves me dearly and gets so very excited to see me that when I can't say anything or do anything to or for bodine he begins to understand that his behavior is not acceptable in my sons eyes. To them he is like a reward so who wants to give up their favorite NEW TOY and so they will fight over it. Again this is just my personal opinion said respectfully again.

  6. #18
    Texas Carol....put the heart in EBN Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Quote Originally Posted by mcardle3 View Post
    Jim (daddy to the dogs, my fiance) and I are having a MAJOR issue at our home.

    This all began when Jim was laid off two weeks ago and is now home all the time with the boys.

    The boys. Sherman (4 years old...had been the alpha), Custer (almost 2), Stonewall (10 months old).

    All three rescues. All three neutered.

    All three got along very well. Cleaning and grooming each other, sleeping in a pile of bulldogs, and then dad got laid off. Their schedule changed. Dad is (3 weeks now) home all day. Custer (2 year old) loves Dad like nothing else on earth. HOWEVER...now that dad is home all day, Custer insists on being near him, and if Sherman goes near them the fight is on.

    At first it was posturing and growling. It is now puncture wounds and tears.

    We separate them, but as soon as they are together if Dad is in the room...its on. Sometimes for no apparent reason. When Dad is out of the house and it is just me and them...no fights. The puppy is never part of these fights.

    As Custer is now 2 years old (or nearly) I understand he is getting more mature and may want to vie for dominance? I've never had t his issue in all the years I've had dogs.

    We know Jim is the issue. We know Custer is claiming him or demonstrating dominant behavior in regard to Jim...but how do you stop this.

    I'd imagine Jim has to stop it. They do not behave like this with me.

    Jim has never been with dogs before, so this is a learning thing for him. They obey me, they think about obeying him. It just makes me sad.
    Of course you feel sad, so does Jim and so do the dogs...the family dynamic has broken down
    and nobody knows what to do, my sympathy is with you all
    Jim is grieving his job loss and
    is stressed, Custer may be picking up on this and protecting Daddy but irregardless, this can't be
    allowed to become entrenched behavior. The GREAT NEWS is...you have EBN and they do have the
    answers and you will get this solved...dry those tears! Jim probably isn't wanting to crack down on
    his babies right now as most as love on them and seek their comforting...who wouldn't? But he has
    to learn to be the Alpha, even as he's feeling down, depressed and vulnerable (due to job loss) so
    order can be restored and everyone gets back to one big loving family. He can do it.

    May I offer my condolences on his job loss and for a better one to quickly come his way, for order to
    be restored and for you & Jim to feel GOD's loving, protective and providing arms wrapped tightly
    around y'all. This is a scary & traumatic time...please be good to yourselves! Keeping y'all in prayer




    My 1st bully, Brutus
    RIP beloved boy.

  7. #19
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Quote Originally Posted by mcardle3 View Post
    I'd imagine Jim has to stop it. They do not behave like this with me. Jim has never been with dogs before, so this is a learning thing for him. They obey me, they think about obeying him. It just makes me sad.
    You've said it right there.

    Your pack doe not view your husband as a pack leader and they are vying for that position. The first thing I'd do is determine if your husband is genuinely interested in gaining control of his pack. (Yes, you AND him can be pack leader. The idea is that ALL the humans in the family -- kids, grandma, everyone -- are seen as a leader to the dogs in your pack. If he's not "into it", it will never work. And if he is, get him the latest Cesar Millan book. I'm not kidding. He can read up on what leadership means and, if he's like me, that information will impact other areas of his life too. Bonus!!!

    Next, he has to be able to stop these scraps that are going on BEFORE they escalate. And I mean LONG BEFORE the blood and tears part! This is just one slice in the big pie that will convince these dogs that he is in fact the pack leader there. Because dogs interpret their world in this order, "Nose, Eyes, Ears"; all the screaming in the world isn't going to get the reaction you want --- at first. Eventually, when leadership has been established, sound (A loud HEY or "TSST" or whatever you guys use) will work but ONLY if you've not let the scrap escalate. Stop it BEFORE IT STARTS and you'll never have to deal with the blood / tears part again -- but this takes genuine participation from the human. That means being keenly aware (without being anxious, nervous or fearful) of the energy in your pack! This is hugely important. If he misses these opportunities to "nip it in the bud" he will miss opportunities to exhibit his leadership -- and control --- over your pack. Watching for specific body languages or posturing between the dogs long before the growling starts. When this occurs, simply "disagree with the behavior". I used a squirt bottle with water in it --- SPARINGLY of course, as even that can "wear off" if you overuse the tool. The squirt bottle however, is not the magic bullet. It's just one thing in a giant tapestry of things we humans can do to build our relationships with our dogs. There are lots of ways for doing this and that book he's gonna read will help him a bunch.

    The good news? Your husband is embarking on a journey that can truly impact all areas of his life. Sounds magical doesn't it? It is. When your pups figure out he's "the boss" you've solved more problems than you realize you even have at this point.

    Keep us posted!
    There's nothing more gratifying -- to me --- than seeing a new pack leader emerge! Your dogs are CRAVING this leadership. Give it to them and watch them flourish as a pack!!!

  8. #20
    Kennel Cleaner mcardle3's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    update on 'the generals'.

    No fighting last night or this morning. I put a leash on Custer (the aggressor) and tried the Nothing is Free (or whatever you all called it) approach. He just refuses to sit and Jim and I just refuse to let him refuse. We gently help him sit, then give him a treat, or a pet, or a toy he wants. We are doing this with the other two as well (sherman is so easy, I swear he reads minds). The leash gives Jim some feeling of control. I'm helping Jim see the difference in tone. What a tone that brooks no argument sounds like vs cajoling. Jim just wants his family intact...and so he's willing to do whatever.

    Jim went out for pizza for dinner last night, leash came off Custer and peace reigned supreme. As soon as Jim came home the leash came on and he spent the evening learning WITH Custer.

    We had a great morning. No fighting, and in fact, custer was over cleaning Sherman's ears while daddy was getting ready to go help in a court case today. I know it isn't over, but we're working on it. WE DO NOT want this boy leaving our lives and Jim is more than willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen.

    Thanks for the advice!

  9. #21
    mabel lou
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    awe so happy to hear the good news, keep up the training and you will have peace I am sure of it!

  10. #22
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Are you making him sit because that's not an aggressive posture or ?

    I love that Jim is using assertive energy!

    When I first started devouring everything possible about "Dog Psychology", I had a real problem figuring out what the hell "Calm and Assertive" was! At first, I thought, "Oh I have to sound like a meanie to train my dog?" What helped me --- and still does --- (don't laugh) is this; when I am trying to channel my calm and assertive pack leader self, I think of myself as Queen Elizabeth. I really do! I'm a passionate, emotional person -- it's HARD HARD HARD for me to be calm and assertive together. It really helps me. Perhaps your husband can be Richard the 3rd or Henry the 8th?

  11. #23
    mabel lou
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    My family when having issues will bring their dog over here to what they call doggy boot camp and I work with their dog to find out what is going on. Eventually the behavior comes out in some form or fashion. After observing what is going on we then will go over to their house and see what happens their as well with my family member their. Now my sister gets sad when she sees that I am not going to give in to her precious dog lol who is wanting it his way and only his way. She sees sides of her dog that she never seen before because with me he knows I am the pack leader whether it be over here at my home or someone elses home.
    The point being that my sister has never known what being a pack leader is all about and why a dog would need one. She now is making progress with him and beginning to understand the importance of being the alpha not just to be in charge but to take the stress off of Meister that she was putting on him through what she considered "just loving my baby boy" Today Meister is a well behaved boy who knows who his pack leader is and wow did he change. My brother is going through the same thing right now with his puppy and she is wonderful and my brother loves her dearly and just listens to me talk and actually will follow through with what I am saying to help him out. He is doing great with her.

  12. #24
    Kennel Cleaner mcardle3's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    A friend who is a trainer suggested that we make the boys learn to sit and wait before given a treat instead of clamoring for the best position. That we have them sit before telling them they can eat instead of just digging in. Things like that. Jim never made them wait before coming in, he just opened the door and let them buster their way in. Now they wait politely (in just two days...we still have some slip ups with the puppy...lol) and then when invited in walk in politely. I think he (Jim) kinda liked the free for all he had with them. They make his heart light and they make him laugh. Now it is more regulated...and I think for a time we need it to be that way, because it is working.

    Custer? He's not all that happy about some of the changes and he is the one bucking the system the most, but he knows he has to obey and he knows when he pins his ears and lowers his head at Sherman, we see it and it isn't allowed. We grab his (armpit) firmly (not pinching) and say "behave" and he stops now. They were in bed together this a.m. YAY

    Vicaroo...Jim's Irish, so we don't want to give him an English role...he'll go all political and tell us they need to give the 6 counties back. LOL

    And thank you to those that sent me birthday greetings. How am I going to spend it? Helping Jim put in a new commode. Tomorrow is turkey and toilet day for us. Fun times

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