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Thread: Excitement/aggression with other dogs

  1. #1
    Drool Catcher Become a 4 Paw Member redhed's Avatar
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    Default Excitement/aggression with other dogs

    Hi All,

    Our EB, Sancho, is about 18 mos. old and still very much a puppy. He has tons of energy and excitement. He's not a "normal" bully in that he can and will play and roughhouse all. day. long. Don't get me wrong, he's definitely worn out at the end of the day, but he has the energy of a lab!

    Anyway, so both hubby and I work full time. My schedule rotates, so most of the time I can be home with him, but there are two weeks out of six that he is crated all day and one of us goes home at lunchtime to let him out and play with him. He is super hyper in these evenings, so we decided to take him to day care two or three days a week. We were a bit apprehensive about this, because we know when he gets over-excited he begins to play really rough. There is no aggression, he just gets too rough if that makes sense.

    Well, it went great for the first couple weeks and he would play with a lab and a boxer that were there, but on his 5th or 6th visit we got a call that he had bitten another dog (a Yorkie, I believe). Neither the dog's owners nor the daycare personnel thought it was serious, but the kennel did say that he would need to get training before he would be allowed back. The question is...what kind of training? When me or my husband are around, we can identify Sancho's excitement level and know when to settle him down so it doesn't get to the tipping point, but what about when we're not there (like when he's at the kennel)?

    Here's some other (probably) pertinent info:

    • He has gone through basic obedience training and knows basic commands, as well as a ton of tricks.
    • He is not possessive; you can take toys and food away from him for the most part (he won't growl or bite, but if it's already in his mouth there's no way he's opening his mouth to give it to you).
    • He does love to play keep away and tug, but we discourage both of these behaviors by walking away when he starts them. This works and he ceases the behavior. That said--there are no other dogs around. When there are, this usually starts a game with the other dog but eventually escalates on one or the other dog's part.


    Does anyone have any advice? As it stands, our only option for when we go out of town is kenneling him and if we don't get some sort of help we can't even do that!

    Thank you so much!
    Last edited by redhed; 10-14-2013 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Excitement/aggression with other dogs

    Hi @redhed, did the people at the daycare tell you the scenario that led up to Sancho "biting" the other dog? It would help to know the details of the incident. Like was the yorkie getting into Sancho's space, was the Yorkie provoking him in a way? I had a situation where Finn bit a human neighbor and after that incident, I took Finn and Tate to a trainer for some one on one training. You may want to speak with a qualified dog behaviorist in your area. In Finn's case the trainer thought he bit the person out of fear and insecurity rather than being an "aggressive" dog, which he isn't. Sorry i can't be of more help but i know there will be others here with more experience who may be able to give their input. At 18 mos old I'm not surprised that Sancho has the energy and playfulness of a lab. That's still a very young and playful age. Let me tag a few people who may be of more assistance @2BullyMama, @desertskybulldogs, @Davidh




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    Default Re: Excitement/aggression with other dogs

    Having worked at a daycare for four years I can honestly tell you most (not all) are not dog savy in behavior, they are people that love dogs, but does not necessarily mean they know how to control them. Where I worked, we hired anyone that fit the schedule and then SLOWLY worked them into the mix of the different packs. Some employees never made to the 'big area' or the 'separated' dogs (those that could not be in the pack got walked or were in for training)

    my first question would be, why was a Bulldog in the same area as a Yorkie? Do they not have separate play areas based on size or activity level? If Sancho is all you say, which I believe he is, what training are they referring to? Or, are they saying this because they just do not want to say they do not have the staff to control him? Some daycares do have restrictions on Bully breeds... Sad as it sounds, it is true because they think they are dangerous or more difficult to control.

    Sancho is a typical young Bulldog, if he listens as you say then the issue is with the staff and how the pups are controlled during the day.... Not Sancho. The other thing it could be is Sancho being a Bully, like my girl, once 'locked in/focused' if you do not know how to break that focus or catch before they get there.... As with once it is in his mouth there is no getting in it... Same thought process.

    maube look for another daycare or hire a person to come to your house for walks, play or pet sitting.

    hope that helps
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    Default Re: Excitement/aggression with other dogs

    Well he is being a bully pup and when they get tired they do play rougher. I don't like taking bullies to day care, as I don't think they watch them very well, and he could get too tired or overheated. Staying in his crate will not hurt him and he will be hyper when you get home as he is excited to see you and he is still a pup. I would take him for a walk id it's not too hot out to work off some of the energy. We keep all of ours crated all day when we are not home and they do fine.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
    Member of The Bulldog Club of America, The Bulldog Club of Texas and French Bulldog Club of America.
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  5. #5
    Drool Catcher Become a 4 Paw Member redhed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excitement/aggression with other dogs

    Hi guys -- I'm sorry for not responding! I posted this and went out of town for work the next day and spaced it!

    To answer questions:

    Did the people at the daycare tell you the scenario that led up to Sancho "biting" the other dog?
    Hubby got the call so got more details, but from what I understand they were playing normally (probably chase knowing Sancho) and he got a little mouthy and broke the skin on the Yorkie's ear.

    Why was a Bulldog in the same area as a Yorkie?
    That was my first question, too, especially since their requirement is "No Dogs Under 20lbs." I still have no idea how/why this happened. I kind of think it was an employee's dog?!?

    The other thing it could be is Sancho being a Bully, like my girl, once 'locked in/focused' if you do not know how to break that focus or catch before they get there.... As with once it is in his mouth there is no getting in it... Same thought process.
    THIS!!!
    This is totally Sancho. If you know when/how to break his thought process and redirect him, everything is fine. Otherwise, he has a one-track mind and that's exactly what I'm talking about. He plays rough and eventually he is so concentrated on that, that he doesn't recognize when the other dog has had enough.

    In the end, though, we've decided to just crate him during the day and wear him out when he's hyper in the evenings. We did end up having to go out of town on short notice last week and boarded him at a different place. This place was much better and after hearing his story, they opted to do 1x1 activities with him a few times/day and let him play outside separate from the "Pack," but just across a chain link fence so he could get used to the dogs more. He got excellent reviews that way, so hopefully with some work (this kind of stuff: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-behavior/wild-excitement-around-other-dogs) he can be boarded normally in the future.
    Last edited by redhed; 11-12-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Dog Park Attendant TonkaTruck28's Avatar
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    Default Excitement/aggression with other dogs

    Is he the only bully that goes there? And do they know how different bully breeds can be? Tonka is the only one at his daycare, fortunately they are fairly well educated about the breed and understand how he plays and what might lead to a bigger altercation. Them getting to know your dogs personality is huge. tonka has been at daycare since he was 4.5 mths and He has been on the Big Dog side of the fence since he was about 6 months due to how rough he plays. He was getting into fights with the smaller dogs just because he was so rough and he was always in their faces trying to play and they couldn't stop him and now his best friends are a Mastiff and a Wolfhound. For all breeds they carefully watch for what they call 3rd wheeling and especially with Tonka. If he and another dog are playing rough, they watch them and that's fine but if another dog tries to enter in on the action that's when Tonka play dates get out of hand so they always stop that immediately. Like kids though, accidents do happen. I've had 2 phone calls about small puncture wounds on Tonka but its to be expected with how he plays, it's happened on my watch too.

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