Can't believe I'm writing this but I'm in need of some help.
I have a well trained bulldog (Kain) - so I thought - started clicker training from a baby and worked extensively with him. Things started to go south when we got our 2nd dog Maverick (Boxer / Mastif).
Both dogs listen well, sit before eating, fully kennel trained without issue, in the evening we simply say go to your kennel and they head to there bed etc. and items in that regard are good.
The bad parts - no sugar coat as I need a reality check... Maverick barks at everything / anybody and doesn't obey when we say no, this puts kain on defense and immediately red lines at the same time. It is to the point if a unknown person comes to the door <kain> WILL bite them. Family is scared to come over, My Dad, a friend, and my own daughter have been bit in this behavior. It's always just a small bite / nip but I have seen a pretty extensive bite on my dad's foot and my friends hand.
The scarey part, we now have a granddaughter!
95% of the time things are great, Kain can lay on the floor or couch and my granddaughter can play right in front of him without issue, but if someone knocked on our door and they both started barking it scares the crap out of me if she would be in the way.
Another scary part is when Kain is sleeping calmly and then someone comes up from upstairs (say my daughter had a friend over) and it's been 1 or 2 hrs etc, it's like he forgets and immediately red lines like a stranger is in the house.
I don't know what to do, we love Kain and feel getting our second dog was a mistake. I feel we slacked off on the training and it's got away on us thinking they were good with just the eating, kennel, and bed part. Sit, down etc... all listen to us. But the reality is a out of control, lack of obey, and no respect to listen over the door or unknown face.
I feel we have a couple of options.
1. Remove Maverick and work with Kain one last time before we are forced to relocate him, or worse (he has bit 4 or 5 times) so It may not be safe to pass him on to anyone.
2. Remove Kain and work with Maverick on his barking issue as he really is a gentle giant if you will and the only issue is obeying / barking problem.
3. Remove both Kain and Maverick as I simply will NOT take the risk of Kain reacting at the wrong time, or worse reacting towards my granddaughter.
My daughter was more less jumped on while leaving today when I simply asked my granddaughter for a kiss, so my daughter leaned over so I could kiss her and it set him off. Not a risk i'm willing to take.
I will admit, I almost feel I've given up and see removing them as the easiest option. If I had a forum friend that understood bulldogs I would easily be convinced to place him, I'm confident without the extra barking / issues I 'could' train and correct him if he was the only one.
Interested in your thoughts. Is it possible to save them both? remove to one?
- Immediate changes will be to be sure they sleep in there kennel every night, no special treatment sleeping with my daughter sometimes.
- No sitting on furniture (bed or floor only)
- Regular walk (not frequent enough at all and is maybe leaning towards the bad behavior)
- Obey as we always do for eating time but shift it up as we always do "Down" force them to Sit, change places, etc to be sure they are listening properly
I'll stop rambling and see what you guys have to add. Beyond frustrated and scared we have reached a point of giving up on our bulldog.
Your thread is absolutely heartbreaking... and we ALL know how much you love and care for your dogs. Not to mention how much time and effort you have put into training Kain and with Maverick I'm sure.
First of all have a vet do a thorough check on Kain... we have had some aggression issues w/Walter, and he ended up having severely infected anal gland (he also got neutered). It got to the point that because of the pain, it actually changed his behavior and he would lash out at my husband. Now we keep on top of him having his anals checked...
Next step have you brought in an outside trainer? Sometimes getting a different set of eyes on a problem can help identify a solution, I think that as bully parents we tend not to notice the obvious. IMO I would do this before I decided whether to remove the dog/dogs from your home... videotape them when things happen, this can really help an outside person to actually "see" what is going on because they act different w/strangers in the home. I had two trainers involved w/Wally and both of them had different solutions... we have tried both directions at times to see what works best w/Wally.
I have to say that honestly I think that some "pairs" just don't work... having Willow on the scene has definitely changed Wally's behavior. Sometimes good and sometimes NOT so good... Willow is a barker too, and she is HIGH maintenance. Since she is still young we consider her a work in progress... Lol
Believe me there is NO judgement here from whatever your final decision will be. Your grand baby comes first, and I completely get it... it's nerve wracking to have a dog in your home and not know how they are going to react. I wish you luck and please keep us posted...
"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie
I'm sorry you are dealing with this. So just a few questions first. Has Kain ever shown any of this type of behavior before you got maverick? I know that excitement will trigger aggression and especially if one of the dogs tend to have anxiety issues. For example, my Brutus is a very anxious dog. I know that if someone comes over, one of my dogs has to be outside and the other inside and the person entering the home gets greeted by one dog at a time. If I don't do this it is likely brutus will get anxious and will act out towards my other dog Frankie. He has never shown aggression to a human, but maybe the anxiety is manifesting towards humans for Kain. I would have a vet do a complete check up to make sure everything is ok health wise and you could discuss a prozac therapy for any anxiety. Brutus is on prozac and it has completely changed his life. Before he started prozac he would attack Frankie out of the blue, really for no reason at all. I could actually see his facial features change and he would just attack. I later discovered his anxiety was so out of control, it was leading to the aggression. You could also get Maverick a bark collar that will give him a signal each time he barks and in no time at all will teach him not to excessively bark. For now I would try to separate them when you know a high stress situation is coming and call the vet. the bark collars are cheaper on Amazon
My smooshy face boy!
Thanks ddene and Brutas.
I would say there was no prior issues to door aggression prior to Maverick that I can recall (To this degree for sure). With Maverick's quick respond to a bark / growl when he knows something is coming to the door Kain is engaged and it definatly is worse.
I would like to think and fully believe this is fixable and control able with proper training and taking charge of the situation. I will be first to admit I may have given up prior to today and let it escalate which ultimately comes down on the owners once again.
We do have a Vet checkup that just happens to be now so we will for sure have his anal gland checked as well as discuss prozac or anything that would assist on agressive behavior. There is no doubt the list of people that has been nipped is larger than we would like to admit. Thinking back over the years we keep recalling oh yeah there was that person too etc etc.
So what we are going to do immediatly.
- Walking (Morning / Evening) to keep there mind on other things / play them out
- No sitting on furniture (Dogs are not welcome and do not need that reward, especially with bad behavior in the mix) Maverick is already not allowed of course.
- Feeding (shift it up to a sit, down, etc different each day, different spot etc to see they are listening. Possibly split up there feeding one at a time to help initally shifting up who eats first although there is no aggression between them.
- "Most Importantly" get some treats and 'start' the curving of rewarding good behavior and correcting bad behavior with a calm, assertive manner and trigger the door, and people coming to the house over, and over, and over again... once the barking stops and they listen, reward and rinse and repeat.
As long as we see progress I would be content with plugging forward, If we can't see progress the one causing the roadblock would have to be re-considered. Example Maverick's barking leading to the escalation could be removed to work further with Kain.... Or removing Kain as the aggressive problem would give an option to fix Maverick and his barking.
I would love to see your "reality checklist" and or "correction list" to train and step up what we are doing as owners to address this problem immediately. If i'm overlooking something or missing something please let me know. It's an absolute shame I stopped training once Maverick was 'acceptable' and now have an issue like this.
I am sorry I can not help. I always had4/5 dogs at a time, but never had these kind of issues. We have an occasional fight over a toy. My smallest fr/pug jumps on another if someone comes-she is a nut,but I let one of the others put her in her place-though she never learns. That is a problem as it goes. I agree with @brutus77 before the other dog came-did Kain have any aggression? If not,then his world has been shattered and he can not handle it. I believe that some dogs need to be an only dog. Before you do anything,Have Kain a complete check by the vet,as Rosalie said.I am sorry that you have this situation.
“It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"
I would have to say "yes" he has had a response to the door just not an aggressive response prior to maverick. The day we really seen the door go backwards for him was when my Dad cam e to the door in the winter one day coverd in overhalls / hood etc and walked into the house and was also loud... He immediatly responded like there was a threat. Following that a few weeks later my sister did the same thing which was also loud and overdressed for winter and he did the same thing again.
I truely think he is 'protecting' the door now and does not see us as in control so he is taking the roll. Thoughts?
I immediate response is to take back the roll if that is the case, also brute force submission will curve his behavor and pull him out of the red zone. I can and do flip him on his back and pin him down when needed so i'm not afraid to show him who is the boss but I fully beleive I need another approach now as that is not enough.
This hurts my heart so much and I can hear your anguish, guilt & anxiety in your post.
Please, do not blame or shame yourself, Vince, sounds like there has been lots going on
at your place. Bulldogs do not handle change well (as a rule) and even the calmest of
them can develope issues out of nowhere. It's obvious too, how much you love them.
Will be praying for all of you, keep us updated...good luck!
My 1st bully, Brutus
RIP beloved boy.
Make sure all visitors to your home are known and announced
Make sure Maverick is in another part of the home or outside until the chaos of company is over
Make sure Kain is leashed and he understands that you are allowing whomever to come into your home
DO NOT LET ANYONE HAVE PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH KAIN UNTIL HE IS CALM AND ACCEPTING OF THEM
Have treats on hand to reward him when he is calmly sitting and not reacting negatively to the visitors
All vistitors must ignore all dogs until they are calm and obeying commands
Do not unleash Kain while company is over, but you can let it drag behind him if he is behaving. This is for safety, and you can pull him away quickly if needed.
I think doing this regiment repeatedly will make an immense difference. When we rescued Frankie he was 2 1/2 yrs old and a monster. He had no manners whatsoever and we had to teach him like he was a puppy. We did the leash therapy with him. As soon as the door was opened, he would try to run out knocking over anyone in his way, or if anyone tried to come in (my sons girlfriend) he would jump all over her and bite her feet. She hated frankie at first. Now he is trained to sit in a certain spot and stay when we open the front door and when people come over, he is not acknowledged at all until he is calm and respectful. Believe me, it was a long long road, but we did it and he is a cmpletely different dog then when we got him.
My smooshy face boy!
I agree with @brutus77 here. I don't feel that it has a lot to do with Maverick barking when someone arrives or it have to do with Maverick at all. If acceptance of Maverick was the issue, Kain would be attacking Maverick. I've unfortunately experienced that dog on dog issue with my multi-dog household.
How old is Kaine? If I had to guess he is probably around 2.5-4 years old and is becoming "socially mature" therefore trying to pull rank/ you getting Maverick made you associate his behavior change to Maverick rather than Kaine maturing.
You have some great advice as listed above and the only thing I would add is to have the family walk with you too when you take the boys out so they see the family as a part of the pack.
I use to have a really bad problem with my older dogs jumping whenever anyone came to the house (one is 55 lbs and the other is 20 lbs). Completely different than biting but I would think handling it would be the same. Whenever anyone came to the door (unexpected or expected), before answering the door I would kennel them until they calmed down (15-30 minutes). I would let them out but if there were any signs of them about to jump I would kennel them again. The kennel was NOT a punishment but a way for me to get them to a calmer energy level so they learned that if they wanted to be around me/people the acceptable energy level was a calm one. It took a long time - probably a year for them to understand but eventually they learned.
I wish you luck and a lot of patience.
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I should also add, it's a weird agression for sure (couple of examples).
- When I come home for lunch at 12 and they are in there kennel sleeping. (ZERO aggression, barking, or anything!) I can put my keys down, take off my coat, go to the washroom, and then go let them out of the kennel and take them outside. All this time they are not aware of who walked in or anything.
- Same behavior as above but NOT in there kennel, couple of times we have left them out, done the same entrance and no issues at all. (Flash forward to us being home and someone walk in... BOOM totally different behavior since they were not sleeping??
- Driving in the veichle (typically good) then the odd time (not every time) if there is someone on the street, or close enough to the truck window (ie sidewalk) BOOM wants to bark, attack etc through the window? no explanation as to all the other cars we drove by.
Also, i'm going to try capture a video tonight of a random knock setting them off (without) me doing any correction as a starting point for reference. Unfortunately no one volunteered to be a random walk in target <I know that's not funny but had to add it>.
Then I can capture another with my correction / method I will be using for any comments or suggestions.
Ok so from what ive read Kain had absolutely no issues before Maverick came along. Maverick is the barker and all. Kain was there before so he's the alpha from what im reading. Kain's reaction is because of Maverick's behavior. You mentioned quote:
Maverick barks at everything / anybody and doesn't obey when we say no, this puts kain on defense and immediately red lines at the same time.
You need to work om Maverick as he triggers Kain. Kain should not be anywhere near your granddaughter till you have fix both dog's issues. But if Maverick triggers Kain, that's the one you need to work on so he stops barking at anything and everything and as you said he doesn't listen. When Kain reacts, immediately put him on his side with your front chest above his face so hs sees YOUR the boss and hold him down so he doesn't move. Leave him there for a good 10 mins. Repeat each time till he gets it and add a few more minutes each time to the floor. Once you fix Maverick's problem, Kain will back off. Be alert at all time and leave them in there kennel when you leave. They have no right to be barking in windows etc. Its for their own safety.