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Thread: behavioral question

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    Pooper scooper
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    Default behavioral question

    We lost our 9 year old bulldog a few weeks ago which left us heartbroken. (We had him from 10 weeks old and he was the 2nd bulldog I have had over the years..my first bulldog was also with us from pupp ystage until he was 12, when he passed away)
    We were researching rescues and stumbled upon a "re-home" situation that is very close to where we live. The male is neutered and 3 years old. The owners said they work long hours and travel and they think it is best for him to go to a home with people that are around. Here is the issue--we went to meet the dog and he was adorable, seemed well-cared for etc. He was sooooo excited to meet us. Jumping up etc (which doesn't bother me)...but when my husband was petting him and he stopped, the dog growled and nipped at him. Then came back to him and wanted just to keep being pet. He's obviously still on the younger side, but the nipping thing keeps nagging at me. My bulldogs were excitable at that age too but when they wanted guests to pay attention to them, they never nipped--they would nudge them or paw at our visitors. I would appreciate any thoughts about this. Has anyone else had this happen? Our children are teens, not really young but it still concerns me a little. I almost want to ask to have a "trial run" with the dog in our home to see how he acts when he is not as excited.

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    Default Re: behavioral question

    Yes, I think a "trial run" is the way to go. I had five dogs,and there was a girl who had a Frenchie,whom she couldn't keep. I told her I would take her,if she would agree to take her back,if for some reason it didn't work out. She agreed. Well for several hours,all was fine-my dogs accepted her right away. Well,the "new" dog started following me around,and then wouldn't let my dogs near me-she would attack them.After several hours of that,I called the owner,and said that I believed that she should place her in an "only dog" home. She agreed,and did find her a good home. @lbgoldy I am so sorry for the loss of your bullies. No matter how long they live,it is never enough time. I have been there many times,having always had multiple dogs.
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    “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"

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    Pooper scooper AdorabullHenry's Avatar
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    A trial run is always a good idea because you have no idea how a dog will react. Since you don't have other dogs or small children, your home would be ideal for a rescue situation, and I applaud you for going this route instead of purchasing a puppy, because believe me I know the temptation! To answer your question, I wouldn't be too consented with the "nip". If it was an aggressive snap, that's one thing, but it sounded more playful. That's definitely how my Henry lays. He growls and mouths and sometimes it can be off putting to new people, and we're trying to train it out of him, but it's just how bulldogs play. Henry growls like an attack dog but doesn't actually have a mean bone in his body. It's possible that this pup was just so excited to have the attention of so many people at once, since the current owners aren't around and don't give him as much time as he deserves, that he got over joyed and couldn't contain himself and ended up play biting your husband. Calmness is hard to train but is possible

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    Pooper scooper
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    Thank you so much for your condolences and advice. I agree--it is never enough time with our bullies. The pain was just unreal. We have always had one bulldog at a time so we wouldn't have the issue with this dog having to get along with others, so that is a plus. But I would worry having kids in and out of the house that if this dog is poorly trained (bc that's what I am thinking it is....) that he will make us concerned for people who visit us. The owner said that her 12 year old son wrestles with him a lot etc--so I wonder if when he nipped or was played with roughly, if no one ever properly work with him or redirected him when he nipped and growled at people. I think I may ask for the "trial run"--the owners seemed concerned that he goes to an experienced bulldog family so maybe they will be open to it and take him back if it doesn't work out. If they say no, then i guess it wasn't meant to be!

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    Pooper scooper
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    This dog did seem super sweet and just wanted to be loved! I assume he also doesn't have a mean bone in his body..as most bulldog do not! I am happy to hear that your dog does the growling and the nipping too....I guess I was more concerned bc he is 3 years old and not a true puppy. OK so I think we will ask for a trial run. I feel badly suffling the dog around from them to us to possbily them again but he seems so happy around people that he may just go with the flow without him being too confused or affected...I hope.

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    Default Re: behavioral question

    to EBN .... definitely ask for a trail run... like a weekend when you are all home. Also, he can be trained to stop that behavior, it is not too late. You can use 'nothing in life is free' easy to use and all members of the family must be part of it. Good luck with your journey and please keep us posted.


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    Pooper scooper
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    Thank you for your kind words--it has been a rough several weeks. The void in our family's life after losing our Samson has been tremendous.
    Thanks for the advice. I am going to ask the current owner for a trial weekend. I hope they are open to it!

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    Bulldog Vet in Training g8erjackie's Avatar
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    I agree with the trial run and wish you luck! My younger bully is still a little nippy/mouthy and it's always just play, but I'm still trying to break her of it. My older and larger bully was never a nipper (thankfully because he's sizeable). If the family never spent much time with the dog it might be that they just never bothered with good training measures. If the trial weekend works out, maybe enroll in obedience classes to help with social behaviors.


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    Pooper scooper
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    I was thinking the same about a trainer or obedience classes if the trial happens and we think it is good fit. I asked the current owner about taking him for the weekend so I am waiting to see how they feel about it. I would hope they think agree that it is a responsible way to ensure that their dog is in good hands! How old is your younger bully who nips?

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    Dog Groomer KimDe's Avatar
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    Mine has recently started mouthing my husband for attention with some light nips. He knows better than to do it to me. We are training him out of it by making him sit or give us kisses before pets. He will be two in April.

    It seems like the one you are looking at has probably used that in the past and gotten attention.

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    Bulldog Vet in Training g8erjackie's Avatar
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    Default behavioral question

    Quote Originally Posted by lbgoldy View Post
    I was thinking the same about a trainer or obedience classes if the trial happens and we think it is good fit. I asked the current owner about taking him for the weekend so I am waiting to see how they feel about it. I would hope they think agree that it is a responsible way to ensure that their dog is in good hands! How old is your younger bully who nips?
    The younger one is almost 2 years old. When she gets excited she wants to play bite and she never clamps down, she just kind of mouths you. She never does it with my younger nieces and nephews so I do think she realizes there are some limits to it, but she definitely thinks it's all in good fun or that she's baiting you into playing with her. It's getting better because I tell her no and try to redirect, but she still does it every now and then.


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    Founder of Bulldog Addicts Anonymous helsonwheels's Avatar
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    Default Re: behavioral question

    So sorry for your lost..... Great idea for a trail. Nyala when she plays she makes noises like a grunt and people thinks she's growling. She will nip and bite playfully, only when she plays with her pitbull cousins. For sure I would do a trail and ask for all vet paperwork for that dog. You can always give the vet a call or go see them with the paperwork and ask questions.

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