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Thread: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

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    I agree with you both on the crate being a safe place. With that said both of mine still consider their crates as a safe place. They will go into their crates to lay down without me knowing.
    It's depends on the dog. And also the approach I think.
    Maybe the spray bottle will work for her. Didn't for me. But has for others

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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    Okay, it sounds like Gretchen is scared of you and that's why she hides, and when you try to get her out she'll bite you. It's Gretchen trying to protect herself. How do you want her to acknowledge that she did something wrong? I'm lost on that one.

    I know you mentioned that you cannot afford a trainer but this is something that Gretchen and you can greatly benefit from. Please take a look at some group or private classes in your area...even a couple classes and feedback from a professional trainer can be helpful for Gretchen.




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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    I think lead training is what you need to do. Sure, it will be a huge pain for you and time consuming but I think it will help you with ALL of the behaviours you are discussing. The peeing in the house. Peeing on the patio. Hiding under the table. All of these can be done with lead correction.

    You may be thinking "walk around with a lead all day?" but sometimes this can all be corrected in just a matter of a few days. Well worth your time and energy. Basically it is YOUR effort that will pay off in the end. Getting angry, using anything, even something that does not hurt them but their FEELINGS are hurt, they are frightened, and you are doing more harm than good when you correct with this method. Bulldogs understand a rewarding relationship. They understand happiness. They do not and fear sadness, yelling and anger.

    I always tell everyone who takes a puppy home never do things if you are not up to doing it. Like if you are not happy about giving them a bath, trimming their nails, cleaning their wrinkles, don't do it until you DO. They feel your frustration, anger and it will turn all of these experiences into bad ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertskybulldogs View Post
    I think lead training is what you need to do. Sure, it will be a huge pain for you and time consuming but I think it will help you with ALL of the behaviours you are discussing. The peeing in the house. Peeing on the patio. Hiding under the table. All of these can be done with lead correction.

    You may be thinking "walk around with a lead all day?" but sometimes this can all be corrected in just a matter of a few days. Well worth your time and energy. Basically it is YOUR effort that will pay off in the end. Getting angry, using anything, even something that does not hurt them but their FEELINGS are hurt, they are frightened, and you are doing more harm than good when you correct with this method. Bulldogs understand a rewarding relationship. They understand happiness. They do not and fear sadness, yelling and anger.

    I always tell everyone who takes a puppy home never do things if you are not up to doing it. Like if you are not happy about giving them a bath, trimming their nails, cleaning their wrinkles, don't do it until you DO. They feel your frustration, anger and it will turn all of these experiences into bad ones.
    That is great advice. You are so right they do sense frustration and anger.

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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    I believe I suggested the lead training when you first posted about her. This is the best thing you can do. She will NEVER EVER EVER trust you if you strike her or at her in any way. She is terrified. Plain and simple. You don't know what her life before was truly like. Obviously she was abused. It's your job to bring her to a stable place. It takes time..much much more time than you've had her. Is she still around the children? She can't be expected to relax and start to heal unless you make the allowances she needs. Nothing will be quick. You can't housebreak her until she respects you. You won't just get that respect...you have to EARN it. And that's in HER eyes..not mine or anyone else's . Please go back to your first post here. Read through all the great advice. Start all over with tiny steps. And please..for lots of reasons, don't have her around a houseful of kids. She's not ready.

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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    Dogs are not kids and do not react the same to certain forms of punishments. If she hiding under a table the last thing she's going to want to do is come out is she's scared. It's going to take a lot of trust. You have some very good advice above. I would personally stop smacking her altogether, she needs to trust again. Her peeing on the deck is most likely due to her past and if she's being yelled at she's going to hide, I would.
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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    Quote Originally Posted by michelle23093 View Post
    thanks for your advice. Ill try it and keep everyone informed. What suggestions do you have if they pee in the house. same thing- crate for few minutes or should I put her outside for a bit. she knows you pee outside. plus she won't go off the deck half the time so she pees and poops on the deck. its a hassle cleaning it. anything I can do there?

    I'm sensing you are very confused. Exhale little mama. This is your dog and you want her to trust you. she has some issues but none that can't be improved upon. She seems to be very unsure of what you want from her. and she's liking the attention. I assume you have snuggle time with her. That's very important for the trust. Consistency is another form of trust, she'll know what she can expect from you. I believe if you back off on questioning yourself and control your reaction when she pees on the floor, just take her out immediately to the spot you want her to go at. take some time when no one is around and teach her to drop things . Make it a game. give her a toy of her's , sit with her , hold a treat and tell her to drop it. get the treat closer to her and when she drops the toy tell her good girl and really praise her. now give her the treat and a hug, do this about 4 times a day. it will only take a few minutes. but it will instill her the trust you share. do for her and yourself. let me know how you make out , it's worth a shot
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  8. #32
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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    Well I have read all this and you have some great advise, but it doesn't mean squat if you do not have the time and patience to follow through with this. A crate should be their happy place, a place they can go to relax and feel safe, not a place for punishment. She was a rescue and you do not know her past and how much abuse she had. In my option a daycare with a bunch of screaming kids is no place for a scared, unstable bully. One day a child will get bit and then she will be put down. During the day when the kids are there, I would keep her away from them, have her in a quiet place in the house. Sounds like you are very busy during the day and that's ok, but she may need more attention than you can give right now. I think she needs to be in a quiet home, where she can get plenty on attention and training. Nothing against you, but she just needs that type of environment. A scared dog is a dog on the defensive and will protect themselves. When she is hiding under the table, leave her there until she calms down and is not scared any longer. Get her to come out with a treat, and then some love. If she keeps getting worse then maybe it's time to find her a quiet home with no kids. I know I won't be Mr. Popular for saying that but sometime we just need to think what is best for the bully. Sorry if any of this offends you, it is not my intent to do that, just throwing out my opinion. I am a breeder and have been around dogs all my life.
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  9. #33
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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    I'm sorry but as I came back to check on how things are going, I'm concerned
    for everyone's sake and also feeling sad for you and for Gretchen. Please don't
    take this the wrong way, I'm not blaming or judging but if things continue the way
    it's going, someone is going to get hurt and Gretchen will pay with her life.

    Bullies aren't for every one, they are sensitive, stubborn, quirky & weird and a few
    are problematic & will always be.They have to be loved & accepted for who & what
    they are and if the person can't do it, then another home needs to be found. I've
    had a couple (not bullies) rescues that just did not FIT with me and vice versa, they
    did not care for me...it happens.

    Gretchen sounds high strung, fearful and non trusting, very challenging issues and
    your particular home (daycare) and your expectations of her behavior are not
    realistic given her background, she will take a LOT of time & patience to come
    around...are YOU willing to give her this? Can you give her this? If not, then do what
    is best for all concerned and rehome her to a quiet home, maybe with the person
    home a lot with her.

    I am very stressed, depressed & anxious in my life right now and when my Brutus
    died suddenly and after a few months, deciding to adopt another bully, I passed on
    some great bullies I WANTED badly but thought the match up was not right. It was
    difficult saying no but w/time, patience & help-thank you again, dear friend...
    @Davidh...I adopted the perfect bully for me and all that I have going on in my life.

    Cami has been with me, 4 weeks on Wednesday and we're settling in to our new
    reality now, just now getting her trust, her loyalty, her love...yes, we are still
    working on potty issues, following commands, etc but hey...it takes time and it's
    not a given...it's earned by us...it's a blessing not an entitlement that a dog bonds
    to us. Bullies even more so, no one will ever make them do anything if they don't
    want to do it, it's just the way they are, period. Some people can't handle that and
    that's okay...there are hundreds of other breeds to chose from that are better
    suited in that case.

    If you can't love & accept Gretchen right now, where she is in her head, at present
    then perhaps you need to let her go and move on...not saying she should STAY like
    she is but really, doesn't every relationship start with acceptance THEN working
    TOGETHER on issues? I believe you are expecting too much, too soon and poor
    Gretchen just isn't ready to be able to do what you ask of her...not yet.

    I say all this respectfully & hopefully, not to harm or hurt but to help. Much love, Carol



    My 1st bully, Brutus
    RIP beloved boy.

  10. #34
    Kennel Cleaner michelle23093's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    I fully intend to stick this out with her I just asked for advice. The kids don't bother her or the noise. Actually she's good with them. I just get mixed advice and I try everyone's to see what works for her. They are al different. I spoke with a local dog trainer who offered me advice.

  11. #35
    Kennel Cleaner michelle23093's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    Im confused here. I am new that this rescue thing and the last thing I want to do is stress her out to the point someone gets hurt. I see alot of differnt people on here with much different advice. I have tried it all. I don't want to be fussed out or judged cause I tried some ones advice. I am not professessional and I don't know if I wouldn't have asked. I have taken in many rescues but never a bull dog. I did my research before getting her but books don't protey the real life version or the way a resuce will respond. thats why I was glad I found this group. alot of small issues have been resolved by asking for advice from the members here so I am thankful for this group. However now that I have a problem have 3 pages of differnt approches. I don't want to be judged for trying them all. it never hurts to try anything. Gretchen gets plenty of love and one on one time during the day even if I am busy. she gets special attention at certain times.. she also is ackwoldged when Im busy. I am not negleting that. she gets some free range with the kids but but all day. she has to earn that trust. she doesn't harm them in anyway. she did have a spell with my kids on the swing set but that has stopped. she realizes that she can't go near them or she has to go inside. she learned very quickly. It just freaked me out at first. I thought it was gonna be a huge problem but that resolved quickly. As far as the crate situation. some of you say crate some say not. She has a crate and a exercise pen with door open in my kitchen side by side. she has fre range of either during the day. I only crate her as a time out like a child for a few minutes. she knows she has done wrong. I have to crate her versus just put her in the kitchen with the gate becasue she pees on the floor on purpose if I put her in the kitchen behind the gate. she doesn't pee in her crate. she loves her comfy bed. She sleeps with my beagle during the day in theexercise pen. she loves it. I never use that for punishment. she rarely has to go in her crate when we leave becasue 9 times out of 1o some one didn't go. She was crated all day every day for a long time. last thing I want to do is make her think thats how her life is gonna be. But she has to know that she is now loved and if she wants to keep that love and her freedom that she has to follow rules. same as a child. I don't like to smack her and its not something I do on a regular basis but sometimes I have to get her attntion. I have now stopped that becasue she is in fear of what I might do becasue I don't know her past. I don't know if she was beaten or mistreated. I get that from her actions. much like a child reactions to things- you can tell what they are afraid of. I have had alot of experience with that. some behavior she does can be corrected and some is gonna take time. I am willing to put in the effort. I have been trying to work on one thing at a time with her not to overwhelm her. some things have really improved and some have not. some days shes a angel and others she is not. I know she had a bad past but we can't tip toe around her bad past for the rest of our lives. she will rule us. she has been here a week or so shy of 2 months. she should know by now that we love her. For good ness sakes she has more stuff than my other dog that has been here for year. I cook her home made treat and food. She has her own spot on the bed and she has her own basket of toys. she knows she is loved and gets plenty. I contacted a trainer in my area for advice. Hopefully she will help me.

  12. #36
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    Default Re: Gretchen's behavior has gotten worse

    Awww Michelle. No one here means to sound judgmental. I think part of the problem is us NOT knowing exactly how you are dealing with her problems. We get different questions for what seems to be the same root problem. In my case, my biggest concern, is her being around the children. My thoughts remain the same...she should be removed from the hustle and bustle of a busy house full of kids during the day. Either in a crate or a small penned area. She won't mind. And with any dog, any form of punishment that involves swatting or hitting wont work..but in her case, you will destroy any progress you've made.

    I think a trainer/behaviorist is the right choice. We only wish the best for you and Gretchen. You are her chance for a stable life.

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