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Thread: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

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    Default Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    I don't know what to do with my English bulldog Freddie.
    He is just over four and was neutered a week ago.
    His behavioural problems are getting worse and I feel I have tried everything but nothing seems to work.
    I'll try and give a rough outline of the problems.
    He steals food from my children - from their hands etc. I try to keep him away from them when they are eating but they are 3 and 10mths so not always possible.

    He steals anything that he can get - toys, remotes etc. Everything has to be out the way when he is awake and alert. This is far worse whenever anybody visits the house - he will continually steal even when he's being offered attention.

    When I try and remove certain toys he guards them and can get nasty with me (never the children)

    A new thing is that he has started barking at me for no reason (that I know of) -
    sometimes it seems aggressive. This has only been a recent thing but always seems to be after the children have gone to bed.

    People don't really visit me anymore as its too stressful. Apart from family that he knows really well, he is just awful when newish people come round. Stealing, jumping up, humping their legs etc.

    If I try and remove him from the room he snaps at me and just barks, growls and cries the whole time.

    There really are many other things but hoping this will give you an idea.

    So we got Freddie when he was 12 weeks ish. His mum had died soon after so he didn't learn anything from her. However his sisters don't seem to have these problems.

    We had our first baby when he was 8 months old.

    My husband works away for months at a time. He has currently been away for 3 months.

    We moved into a new house a month ago.

    He has never shown any of this behaviour towards my two children (although he has overpowered my friends children with his size )

    I hired a dog trainer to come to our home a year ago. She was a lovely lady but didn't have any understanding of the breed. I followed her advice for months and nothing changed.

    I know that they are stubborn breeds but I feel as though I'm being overpowered by him. It feels as though he is always challenging me.

    I am aware that there's a chance that these problems may be my doing and am open to the criticism.

    My friends don't understand why I haven't rehomed him, but they only see him at his worst. For all his faults I love him dearly and would never get rid of him, but this current life is no fun for any of us - including him.

    Any advice would be really appreciated. I have the details of another trainer, but was hoping to hear from some people who have dealt with this or at least have knowledge of the breed - as they are so unique.

    Many thanks, and so sorry for the long post.

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    Hi Gemma, So sorry to hear your having these problems. It sounds like Freddie is still young and has had a lot of changes to deal with. A new home, two babies etc. And with your hubby being gone I imagine you have your hands full with your children. It seems that Freddie is trying to get your attention; humping, barking, jumping, stealing. And he definitely gets attention when he is bad. So maybe in his mind these behaviors are the way he's learned to be heard above everything else that's going on. Having company over is good for socializing him, but perhaps you might limit guests for a while. Having moved to a new house so recently, I don't think he's had a chance to make it "his home" yet and that may add to his problem. Spend some time with him when it's quiet and you can give him your undivided attention. Welcome to EBN, I'm sure other members will have helpful advice. Hugs, Susan

    I just re-read your post and see that he's 4 years old. He may be hypothyroid, that sometimes causes aggression. You might talk to your vet about a blood test to rule that out.

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    What's his punishment when he steals food? And what's is punishment when he snips and growls at you?

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    Sounds like Freddie has not been trained too much as a pup. He is like a wild child,who just does what he wants. One thing you can do is watch some dog training videos on utube..Ceasar Milan has some,and there are others also. It sounds like you need to put him on a leash and start from the beginning. Having his thyroid checked is a good idea, @Jersey suggested-so you know that is not a problem. You need to be the Alpha and you have to teach Freddie to respect YOU. Try to find some time when you can work with him on a lead.
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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    Hi Gemma! Do you walk Freddie? We adopted our EB back in May, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake...I was very wrong. Sgt. had many behavioral issues that surfaced over time (that sound a lot like Freddie's) and I have found walking him to honestly be the best solution. He goes twice a day, sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for an hour...really weather dependent. I swear by it! Since we started walking Sgt. is much more obedient, relaxed and has stopped acting so aggressive. I've noticed on days where I've been sick and we haven't gotten out, that he reverts to his old ways and is a bit of a jerk.

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    Great adive by the gang so far.... he needs more exersice and to know you are alpha. With all the changes and hubby coming/going, the bulldog OCD is off the wall due to lack of routine. The walks will help tire him out and get him to settle down.

    look up 'nothing in life is free' it is a very easy traing tool to help him understand you are alpha.
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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    You said: "I know that they are stubborn breeds but I feel as though I'm being overpowered by him. It feels as though he is always challenging me." There you go, you know exactly what is the issue! Your hands are full for sure. This is what you need to do and stick to it, be patient and "breathe" before you do anything.

    1. Remember one thing, your home, your rules. You pay the bills and put food on the table. Would you let your children behave badly like so? I doubt it very much. Well same rule for Freddie. So put on you boot camp attitude just for Freddie.

    2. Freddie is taking over plain n simple. Does it to you n others but not your children. Question of time as your children eventually will be next. Make sure he has a coller on. EACH time Freddie show any aggressive behaviour, grab him immediately, lay him "on his side"on the floor by holding his collar down as they are powerful dogs. One hand on the collar, one hand on his back hind leg near hip. Make sure "your torso" is right over his FACE. Also your torso or upper body weight will help you keep him pin down on the floor. Pin him down for a good 5 minutes and not less! Some dogs will give in sooner and some longer. This is were YOU need to stand your ground. The "My way or the Highway" type of thinking.

    3. Keep doing this till Freddie gets it. He will make the link that his behaviour wont work anymore cause "mummy" is the boss. Remember one thing, do make sure you praise him when he does good things. But DONT and NEVER praise him after you pinning him down. Its going to give him a mixed message.

    4. Keep an eye out on your 3yr old she doesn't mimic you putting Freddie on his side. Children picks up everything we do.

    When you put a dog on their side and your torso over his face arms length, eventually they will surrender. Takes a lot of patience to raise any child. Same rule for a dog. Persistence is the key. I doubt it's a thyroid issue as Freddie is very selective on who he chooses to behave badly with. Try to walk him more if you can and make sure he walks to your left side and never allow him pass your left leg. He needs to understand "you're" walking him and you're in charge and never walk him so he's on the grass side where dogs starts smelling everything. Relax holding that leash so he doesn't feel the tense in your body or he will thrive on that. Put a choker on his walks only if you feel you're having issues walking him. Remove it in the house.

    Start with that and stick to it. You will see some progress for sure. Again, the key word...."Stick to it"

    BTW... Welcome to the site!!!! You can do this Gemma

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemma82 View Post
    I don't know what to do with my English bulldog Freddie.
    He is just over four and was neutered a week ago. Testosterone has been flowing for a long time, it will take a long time for the neuter to have any effect...if it ever does.
    His behavioural problems are getting worse and I feel I have tried everything but nothing seems to work. You have more options.
    I'll try and give a rough outline of the problems.
    He steals food from my children - from their hands etc. I try to keep him away from them when they are eating but they are 3 and 10mths so not always possible. Isolate him from the kids when they are eating. Our Lala, who is an absolute angel, would probably try to take food away from a baby/child/kid if it's where she could get to it. IMO, that is an easy thing to correct.

    He steals anything that he can get - toys, remotes etc. Everything has to be out the way when he is awake and alert. This is far worse whenever anybody visits the house - he will continually steal even when he's being offered attention. With the toys, remotes, etc. put away what else is there for him to steal? Do guests bring over stuff that is steal-worthy? I'm having trouble comprehending this situation.

    When I try and remove certain toys he guards them and can get nasty with me (never the children) . You need to correct that right away. Start with removing all toys from the equation. If he gets ahold of something he should not have you have to step up and be the ALPHA. Take it away and put him in his crate. I assume he has a crate. I hope he has a crate. He does have a crate, doesn't he? If not, he needs a crate.

    A new thing is that he has started barking at me for no reason (that I know of)
    sometimes it seems aggressive. This has only been a recent thing but always seems to be after the children have gone to bed. be the ALPHA and crate him when he gets the least bit out of your control...and consider getting some behavior management training. It is possible that he's beyond behavior training and that you are the one needing training at this point...training to manage his behavior. I hope this is not the case.

    People don't really visit me anymore as its too stressful. Apart from family that he knows really well, he is just awful when newish people come round. Stealing, jumping up, humping their legs etc. This behavior is not so uncommon in dogs. His excitement (testosterone and adrenalin will do that)may be a little bit more elevated than some dogs but this can be minimized/corrected. Bring in a person that he gets excited over. Give them some pieces of treat/kibble to reward. If he tries to jump up on them then have them turn around and face away from him...continue to face away from him. He will eventually settle and stop jumping up. That's when you drop the treat on the floor...right away. Do not hand it to him...that will come later once he begins to "get it." Anyone/Everyone that he jumps up on needs to do this with you. He will learn faster than you imagine possible. Stay with it...repeat, repeat, repeat.

    If I try and remove him from the room he snaps at me and just barks, growls and cries the whole time. Again, you must be in charge and right now he's in charge.

    There really are many other things but hoping this will give you an idea.

    So we got Freddie when he was 12 weeks ish. His mum had died soon after so he didn't learn anything from her. Anything he needed would have been learned in his first 8 weeks.

    However his sisters don't seem to have these problems.

    We had our first baby when he was 8 months old.

    My husband works away for months at a time. He has currently been away for 3 months.

    We moved into a new house a month ago.

    He has never shown any of this behaviour towards my two children (although he has overpowered my friends children with his size )

    I hired a dog trainer to come to our home a year ago. She was a lovely lady but didn't have any understanding of the breed. Are these your words or hers? If hers, the trainer should know that these issues are NOT breed specific so I'm not sure what she meant by she's not familiar with the breed...that was a cop out, IMO. Consider a different/better trainer. If your words, see the aforementioned.

    I followed her advice for months and nothing changed. Try again and don't stop.

    I know that they are stubborn breeds but I feel as though I'm being overpowered by him. It feels as though he is always challenging me.

    I am aware that there's a chance that these problems may be my doing and am open to the criticism.

    My friends don't understand why I haven't rehomed him, If this behavior continues/worsens he may not be re-homeable.

    ...but they only see him at his worst. For all his faults I love him dearly and would never get rid of him, but this current life is no fun for any of us - including him. Changing this scenario will take bigtime commitment from you and until he's lived the "nothing in life is free" it's going to continue to spiral in the wrong direction.

    Any advice would be really appreciated. I have the details of another trainer, but was hoping to hear from some people who have dealt with this or at least have knowledge of the breed - as they are so unique.

    Many thanks, and so sorry for the long post.
    I like the suggestions about regular walks. A tired dog is a good dog

    Cut an old lead off about half way and have it on him at all times when he's in the home. This may come in handy at some point.

    I hope this makes sense to you...I've not yet had my AM coffee and my articulation may be suspect...going to take care of that right now.

    saving as many as we can for the sake of Bullykind

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    WOW... ok you have a lot going on in your home. My first advice as always is talk to your vet, when was his last checkup? Any illnesses or issues that need to be addressed? My male Walter started having aggression issues, and we discovered that he had a severe anal gland infection that was causing him a lot of pain. We also had him neutered, and I understand that you already took care of that.

    Once that is cleared, I would advice you getting another trainer... preferably someone experienced w/bulldogs. I have had 2 trainers come to my home, and honestly it makes a HUGE difference when the trainer can see how your dog behaves in the house AND to see how the family interacts w/him. That way you can be trained along w/the dog... Lol

    I LOVE the idea about the daily walking... or my dog Wally LOVES his varsity ball. 15min w/that ball, and he is exhausted and he behaves like an angel in the house. Sounds like Freddie may be bored, and that is why he is acting out. Just like skin kids, I feel like my bullies do better on a schedule (as much as possible) and that way they know pretty much how the day is going to flow.

    Good 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
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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    Sounds like Freddie is trying to get attention. With 2 little ones he is probably feeling a little less than what he was used to.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    It boils down any dog that show aggression has no right period! If you put the dog in a different room or a crate for time out, not much he'll learn. But when you have your hands on him and put him on his side and hold him there till he surrender, he will feel your vibes that you mean business and it's not permitted. It takes about a few times and he'll get it. Im not a big fan of Cesar but he does have good techniques. One for sure he'll put any dog thats aggressive on it's side immediately. It's like putting a child in a room for time out. Pfffft as if that work.. But grab your child 's arm and escort him/her to a different room, trust they'll remember that one more. My mom use to just look at us. We sure knew what she was saying... ok that's another story. Lol

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    Default Re: Four year old bulldog with numerous behavioural problems.

    I see a lot of great advice so I hope you'll find the help you need - keep in mind to remain loving and kind to Freddy and to have patience. He's just like another baby so talk to him and love him he'll get it. Does he have a crate? Use it when the kids are eating to avoid him snatching food. Try to avoid putting him in situations that he'll fail at for sure. Don't give up on him he wants to be good and just be loved!


    Cheerio mates!

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