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Thread: Protective Aggression?

  1. #1
    Baxter Tiberius
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    Default Alliance Aggression?

    Baxter has never, despite being attacked almost daily at the park, responded with even an ounce of aggression. At home in a thousand scenarios he has never been aggressive or expressed even a twinge of negative energy. Not ever. Not once. But today a little frenchie who is known for being quite the Alpha at the daycare came running up and literally jumped into my lap. The reaction from Baxter was crazy! He totally went after the frenchie and viciously growled and barked and lunged (no biting). Warning him to get away from his owner. I was shocked in a bad way, but the daycare girl said "See. He's starting to bond with you. That is so neat!". I guess I had to force myself to view it that way. Maybe Baxter thought I was being attacked and he was defending me. Gosh. I felt so close to him the rest of the day. Up until now Baxter really hasn't done anything to indicate he knows I exist, outside of "cohabitating" with me and accepting numerous belly rubs. In a twisted way, this felt really special to me.

    Is it something I should be concerned about?

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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    I think he was being protective. As long as he wasn't aggressive, I wouldn't worry about it.
    I would take it has him warning the other dog that you belong to him
    My sunshine doesn’t come from the skies,
    It comes from the love in my dog’s eyes.


    James Hond, My Sunshine



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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    For about a week after we got our rescue Aria Harlea would do the same thing when I would pet her or she would crawl in my lap. Over time Harlea adjusted and coupd really care less now unless it it time for my nightly face bath or her before bed nap between my legs. If this was the first time Baxter did this he was probably worried about the frenchie hurting daddy.

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    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    No concern, it was a warning to the Frenchie, that his behavior was not acceptable and to leave you alone. Be aware of it now, and be sure to avoid the Frenchie getting in your lap again to ensure there is no chance of it turning into anything more..
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




  5. #5
    Baxter Tiberius
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    Well I brought Baxter back again today.

    Try to picture this: A room - fairly small. Lots of little pink and furry pillows piled up in the corner. A bunch of tiny little dogs scattered around. Maybe about 10 of them. A shih tzu. A little poodle. I tiny Maltese. A pug. repeat. repeat.

    Then there's baxter, who isn't too big himself. But compared to them he looks like a beefcake of muscle. I set him down to drop him off. He trots over to the first tiny dog, sniffs its butt, and begins forcibly licking its penis. The dog snaps, bears its teeth, growls and nips at his face. So he looks annoyed, turns away ...

    Immediately trots up to the next one and gets an immediate snarl and snap and "YIP!!" right at him. Baxter tenses up, acts frustrated. Lifts his fat little paw in the air like a swipe at the little dog - almost like "Lighten up, whats wrong with you?!" attitude, and walks away ...

    Then he walks up to a slightly larger dog. Obviously this dog has mental issues. Wide eyed and not happy at all with Baxters bold approach. He growls and snaps. This time Baxters body language is strange. He's leaning towards the dog, obviously trying to egg him on a bit, but he's cautious. He shakes a bit, tilts forward, tilts back, head is turned to the side a bit, anticipating a snap from the dog. He kind of turns his right shoulder towards the dog and pushes in to him anyways.

    In other words, he's pissing everyone off. The dog gets angry and baxter gets the hint. He turns, walks away, and does a frustrated "Whine". its a whine of tension and dissatisfaction. He's frustrated and not at all happy with how everyone is reacting to him. I apprehensively leave. The owner assures me everything should be fine. He isn't showing any aggression at all. But I can see that he feels kooped up and nobody wants to let him HUMP them.

    Fast forward 5 hours.

    I come back, enter the room. The little ones come running up to me to greet me. Baxter does as well, but looks visibly irritated with dogs on each side of him. This is where it goes bad.

    One of the ill tempered dogs snaps at him and growls. And baxter loses it. I don't know what set him off. Maybe it was 6 hours of getting growled at by everyone? He's such a sweet dog, and the negativity was horrendous in there. But he's the new guy in the pack, and nobody wants to give up dominance I guess.

    But baxter turns and lunges at the little dog. Like goes nuts. Tackles him and starts batting at his head with both of his paws. He doesn't seem to bite, but I was totally freaked out. Baxter in the 11 months I have had him has never so much as growled. Not even once. He has been attacked routinely at the dog park by various dogs, and put up with so much abuse from them, but never once did his polite, sweet demeanor change. Now here he was absolutely letting loose on this tiny little thing.

    I yank baxter away, and he doesn't even know im there. He's in aggressive stance towards the other dog still. I twist him around so he's not facing the dog which is still freaking out growling and snapping in his direction. He spins back around, and goes for another dog standing nearby that happens to be growling at him.

    If I had to "humanize" this experience, I may be wrong about it. But it almost seemed like he was finally done with their bullsh*t. But that's a human reaction to hours of tension and sh*tty little behavior from people around you, taunting you. Eventually you snap. I don't know what was happening with baxter.

    The dogs were separated behind a glass door and baxter lunged at the glass door in full attack-dog mode. I have never heard such a gutteral growling from him. I have never seen him express any anger. Ever.

    I've seen other english bulldogs lose their cool many times, but Baxter always seemed to be the humble sweet one. To a fault. I didn't think he had a bone in his body like this. Maybe he's getting older? Maybe the testosterone? I can't believe its that. It has to be the environment. But I don't know what is wrong with the environment?

    Then the owner told me: "He hasn't done this all day. Not once. It wasn't until you got here."

    But none of the dogs were jumping on me, or jumping in my lap at all. They were just "in the room" and he was attacking them all. He wasn't even guarding me. He wasn't backed up into me, creating a perimeter around me by barking outwards. It was just going after every dog in the room for no apparent reason. I don't know if the owner told me that so I would continue bringing him there? After all, im sure they could use the income.

    But this was so unbelievably scary and depressing for me. Maybe I've lived a charmed life with Baxter thus far. maybe he's not the perfect little angel I thought he was. Maybe something in that environment set him off. But i was super depressed the rest of the day today. I dont want my dog to act like that.

    Its funny - we talk about dogs who act aggressive (like pitbulls) and everyone says "Its the owner not the dog". Well what am I doing wrong then?

    -B-

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    I think Baxter just had enough. Just because the owner told you everything was fine all day doesn' t mean it's true. I think Baxter is still a good boy, he's just fed up. Maybe you can sit in on a session?
    My smooshy face boy!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    Poor Baxter, I feel bad that those little dogs are so mean to him!!!
    My sunshine doesn’t come from the skies,
    It comes from the love in my dog’s eyes.


    James Hond, My Sunshine



  8. #8
    Pooper scooper
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldozersma View Post
    I think he was being protective. As long as he wasn't aggressive, I wouldn't worry about it.
    I would take it has him warning the other dog that you belong to him

    Completely agree

  9. #9
    Wrinkle Wiper Bullyproof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    I agree regarding the protectiveness vs aggression. i would take a good look at the day care as well, something doesn't seem right.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I agree regarding the protectiveness vs aggression. i would take a good look at the day care as well, something doesn't seem right.
    Everyday I see an improvement. Everyday she respects and trusts me even more. I'm honored that she chose me...


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullyproof View Post
    I agree regarding the protectiveness vs aggression. i would take a good look at the day care as well, something doesn't seem right.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I agree regarding the protectiveness vs aggression. i would take a good look at the day care as well, something doesn't seem right.
    This is what I thought. I would sit in on a session or two. Maybe a surprise visit is in order.
    My smooshy face boy!

  11. #11
    Baxter Tiberius
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    Okay. We figured out what is going on. This article explains it perfectly. It was really interesting to find:




  12. #12
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    Default Re: Protective Aggression?

    That does make sense. You give Baxter the courage to stand up to the other dogs in the pack
    My sunshine doesn’t come from the skies,
    It comes from the love in my dog’s eyes.


    James Hond, My Sunshine



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