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Thread: Aggression/Snapping & cats

  1. #1
    Newbie BentleyMom's Avatar
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    Default Aggression/Snapping & cats

    We adopted Bentley (hes 2yrs old) last week and from the moment he came home it was apparent he had no prior training other than being housebroken.

    We noticed immediately that he felt he could "take over" the house. He made himself comfortable on our couch and though we keep telling him "off" & putting him back on the ground he still immediately tries to jump back up. I know this habit will take time to break. However, when we put him back on the ground he will turn and snap at us. We scold and redirect but as soon as we release him he will turn and try to snap again. When he does this I stand up and firmly tell him it is unacceptable and walk away. Sometimes he will stop, sometimes he follows with the same behavior. My boyfriend was sitting on the couch and Bent was half laying on him while my boyfriend was giviny him lovins, when he suddenly jumped up and snapped at my boyfriends face. My boyfriend told him to stop and pushed him away and Bentley came back and did it twice more, catching my bf on the him the final time, before my bf stood up, scolded and then ignored him. Then the other day my skin 2 yr old was sitting on the floor trying to pull her pants on and Bentley tried to take them from her. When she didn't release them he jumped at her, knocked her back, pinned her and snapped at her. Luckily i was sitting right next to her so i was able to pull him back, but he had caught her cheek and unfortunately broke the skin. My boyfriend immediately took him outside as I tended to my daughter. We were told before we adopted him that he was fine with kids, that his foster had a 4yr old & he did great with that child. I'm thinking this was not completely accurate. Im upset because i feel the rescue wasn't 100% honest about our boy and I don't like seeing my baby hurt when it could've been prevented had we known. I've made some inquiries to reccomended trainers in my area but until I can get him in with someone does anyone have ideas?

    My other question is, is there anything I can do to get him used to our cat? We've had our cat for a few years and he was the only animal until we brought Bentley home. The minute Bentley saw our cat her went nuts and chased him. Scared my poor cat and now he won't come downstairs. We've had to put a baby gate up on the stairs to keep Bentley from going up where the cat is. I feel absolutely horrible that my poor cat is "quarantined", so to speak, to the upstairs. They don't have to be best friends, but I want them to at least tolerate & get along to where they can be in the same room without Bentley hading after the cat. Both Bentley & our cat are neutered.

    Bentley is fully capable of being the sweetest dog ever, so I want to put every bit of effort into correcting this behavior. I've started going through the different posts but there is SO MUCH!! Any and all advice is appreciated!!

    ~Adopted by Bentley~
    ~Adopted by Bentley 4/26/14~

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Aggression/Snapping & cats

    Oh Andrea I'm so sorry you're going through this with Bentley. You haven't had him too long, did he start this behaviour right away? I don't have any experience with aggressive dogs, but his behaviour sounds to me like he's trying to show he's the boss, or he's trying to be dominate, since he's ignoring you when you give him a command, and he's snapping at you when you try to correct him. I would be very careful with your daughter and not leave her alone with Bentley until you know for sure he can be trusted. It seems you and your boyfriend are doing the right thing by disciplining him, and ignoring his behaviour. A professional trainer would be able to give you better advice and training as how to get him out of this behaviour. It's hard to know if he did this before as he is a rescue, and he's two years old. You may never know his complete past history, and there's always the chance that the people who owned him before aren't always 100% truthful about the behaviour, but I can't see a foster doing this, because they are just a temporary home and the goal is to find a new and permanent home and one that is appropriate for the temperament of the dog. They usually list the traits of the dog such as if they are aggressive, whether they tolerate other dogs, or just a male or a female, or if they should be an only dog, they usually say whether they like cats, or children, and if they have a bite history. I agree with you that he needs some professional training and hopefully they can give you some direction on how to correct these behaviours, because obviously snapping, biting and especially snapping at your daughter are not acceptable. I don't know about the cat either, maybe they just have to get used to each other, I'm not sure how you would stop Bentley from attacking your cat, hopefully another member with experience with this will come along soon and be able to give you some advice. I have my two guys and they do chase my cat which we had for a year before the dogs came along. They will chase her, but have never tried to attack or bite her, they want to play with Meeko, but she doesn't want to have anything to do with them, she runs away and heads for higher ground. Lol. She will wait until night time when they are crated, and then lay on top of the crates and sleep there, or she lays on the floor right beside their crates, and when they are getting fed, she will wait until they are done and then lick their bowls. They won't play together, but they do tolerate each other and don't hurt each other. I hope you are able to find a solution to Bentleys behaviour and his aggressiveness. Please keep us posted.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

  3. #3
    Newbie BentleyMom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aggression/Snapping & cats

    His behavior started the second day. He was very good the first night home other than coming in and immediately trying to mark places in the home. My guess is he wasn't neutered until the resuce got him, so he had already learned this habit. We want to give Bentley a good home and when I work with his manners he does good so I know he's capable.

    ~Adopted by Bentley~
    ~Adopted by Bentley 4/26/14~

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

    may take some time on the cat --- leave them separated and let them decided when they want to be friends, if at all.

    Bringing in a trainer will be a great way to determine what technique to use ... in the meantime, try using 'nothing in life is free' to help get him use to not being the boss.

    http://www.englishbulldognews.com/fo...ning-technique
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  5. #5
    Newbie BentleyMom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aggression/Snapping & cats

    I just read that this morning. I told my bf about it and said that's what we will implement at this point. Thank you for posting such an informative article. I've always used positive reinforcement, buy I'm curious to how he is going to react when he realizes he won't get lovins/food/toys etc with out obeying a command. No time like the present to find out!

    ~Adopted by Bentley~
    ~Adopted by Bentley 4/26/14~

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Aggression/Snapping & cats

    I would definitely make him earn everything, even feed him by hand, so he knows exactly where his food is coming from. He should not be nipping at a baby or his owners. That is not acceptable behavior and he needs to know that. Leash him in the house if you have to to make him walk a thin line, until he can learn to be a part of the family and not try to dominate you.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Aggression/Snapping & cats

    Quote Originally Posted by BentleyMom View Post
    I just read that this morning. I told my bf about it and said that's what we will implement at this point. Thank you for posting such an informative article. I've always used positive reinforcement, buy I'm curious to how he is going to react when he realizes he won't get lovins/food/toys etc with out obeying a command. No time like the present to find out!

    ~Adopted by Bentley~

    Great ---- good luck and keep us posted
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    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




  8. #8

    Default Re: Aggression/Snapping & cats

    The no free lunch club is a key attitude. He is a member of your pack. He needs to know that he is the omega in the house.

    As a 2 year old dog he has a lot of behavioral history already. Definitely get him into some obedience classes.

    Click training is very good for teaching expected behaviors. Basically the click identifies the desired behavior which you reward. Read the book "When pigs fly" as a good starting point.

    Do you have a crate for him? I think he needs a place of his own.

    Have a trainer show you how to do a "dominance down." This is a way to communicate you blew it buddy to your dog and to help him regain his composure.


    The exercise discipline (training) affection formula of Cesar Milan is also very helpful.
    Princess Lola and the Pea , ACGC, CGC, Registered Therapy Dog through Therapy Dogs Incorporated.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Aggression/Snapping & cats

    Definitely get the support of a skilled trainer.
    Princess Lola and the Pea , ACGC, CGC, Registered Therapy Dog through Therapy Dogs Incorporated.

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