Reggies Parents

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Dec 30, 2016
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Bristol, UK
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Bulldog(s) Names
Reggie
Hi all,

We've only been on here for a few days, and I've been scouring the site looking for other bullys that show the same behaviour as our Reggie. I think its easier if I just start a new thread, as he has quite a few issues.

Info about Reggie -
Age - 19 weeks
Weight - Just over 14kg
Age we got him - 8 weeks
Food - Taste of the Wild High Prairie puppy (bison & venison)
Currently teething his adult teeth

1. Biting, growling and what seems like aggression
This is the worst of his behaviour issues. It comes from nowhere.
He will be playing happily by himself, or chewing his antler or horn, and then all of a sudden will run at one of us & bite whatever he can reach. This is not just mouthing, its full on teeth as hard as he can. He has drawn blood on both me & Kev more times than I can count.

2. Resource guarding
He's fine with his food, and will accept either of us approaching his bowl while eating. Its toys that are Reggies problem, BIG time.
Its getting to the point where we can hardly play with him, he's just so vicious if we have hold of one of his toys.
He always lunges at the toy, or if he cant get at it, he bites whoever is holding it. Occassionally we can jump up & very sternly say 'SIT' and he will restrain himself (its almost like you can see it in his face, that he wanted to bite but held back), then he has to give us paw before having the toy back. But most of the time its just bites.

He always gets time out's for these behavoiurs, immediately. He stays in there until he is calm and then has to sit and give us paw before he is allowed out again. 9 times out of 10 he immediately pee's on his bed when put into time out.

3. Nervousness/anxiety
Since being scared by a firework not long after we got him, he is a nightmare to walk outside. He will leave the house okay, mostly, but as soon as he hears a loud noise he gets terrified and bolts for the house. Sometimes I only get out for 10 seconds before having to go back.
At night its even worse and he won't walk at all if only one of us goes out with him.
If its both me & Kev on the walk he's like a different puppy. He walks like a superstar during the day, and at night is much more willing to overcome his fears, although he is still nervous of traffic and petrified by double decker buses.

He also hates the car. Whether in the front or back he hates it. Mostly he just lays on my lap and suckles my arm for the whole journey, so my coat is soaking through to the clothes beneath it. Occassionally he freaks out so badly he really growls and bites whatever part of me he can get, even snapping at my face.

4. Excitement
He just will not stop trying to get to people to say hello! We use the Julius K9 powerharness to try and hold him back but he pulls on it sooooo much he is basically laying flat but with front paws off the ground. We NEVER let him get anywhere when he does this, but after 11 weeks he is still showing no sign of improvement. When he does greet someone he always tries to jump.
Other people are probably our worst enemy when it comes to this because by the time we can say "please wait before saying hello, we are training him" they have already come over to enthusiastically greet the cute puppy.
Even when restrained his excitement level just doesn't abate, and he will start barking at the person he wants to say hello to.

5. Testicles
This may or may not be anything to do with the behaviour problems, but he has none!
When he arrived with us he had 1 testicle descended, although the breeder said he had both when her vet examined him. We have never seen that one, and 2 weeks ago (17 weeks old) the other one disappeared, not to be seen again!

We have tried positive reinforcement, and started NILIF although he hasn't been well (diarreah sp?) diagnosed as an irritated colon. So NILIF has been hard to follow as I have to make sure he drinks whenever he needs it.
We are now unsure what our options are regarding training, but kev is at the point where he is thinking of rehoming Reggie. It would not be a decision we took lightly, and would be the saddest day of my life, but kev has to think of his son who comes to stay with us and Reggie has, and does go for him too.
Sorry for the super long post but we need help, I feel like we are failing him somehow.
 
OP
R

Reggies Parents

New member
Dec 30, 2016
193
5
Bristol, UK
Country
United Kingdom
Bulldog(s) Names
Reggie
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Forgot to add some info -

He humps. A LOT! He has since we got him at 8 weeks old. He's a pretty aggressive lover too, and there is a lot of biting and really harsh growling. Kev's knees & thighs get bit, I'm short and he can actually reach up to bite my *** now.
 

2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
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I would have a good bulldog experienced vet do a full examination of Reggie and make sure he is not in any pain - just to rule it out.

Also, at 19 weeks he is in great place to fix all of this... I would hire a behaviorist/trainer to come into your home and work with all of you to get him in place. Resource guarding is very hard to break and you need to get that one under control before it can not be fixed. if it is toy he has issue with, take the toy, allow him to see it when you remove it, but he should not be able to reach it, if he jumps, keep him on leash so you can easily grab and control him.

If either of you are nervous or anxious about him or his behavior, he is feeding off of that which will add to his issue -- you have to be confident and firm, which is sometimes the harder part in all of the training.

PLEASE keep us posted and more members will chime in to help with their advice.
 
OP
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Reggies Parents

New member
Dec 30, 2016
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Bristol, UK
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United Kingdom
Bulldog(s) Names
Reggie
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Thanks for replying :)

He has been examined by 3 vets and 2 nurses. They all say health wise he is fine, although none has thought a blood test is in order. The only problem he has is his irritated colon, and a slight eye problem which they think is just from him running into things.

He is currently in pain teething his adult teeth, which seems much worse than the baby ones.

We have had a trainer come to our house. Reggie was the perfect puppy so he couldn't really advise us on problems he couldn't see.
Reggie did start barking at his hat on the chair, which the trainer said was a fear response. So he threw his hat on the floor and told us to ignore Reggie and let him figure it out by himself, which he did. He barked for a minute or 2, and then sniffed it and got over it really quick.

He has also completed puppy classes, with a rosette for best 'leave it' in class.

He also eats everything he shouldn't. We are constantly checking poo for stones etc. So far we have found 6 stones of varying sizes, a wooden shelf hinge, and he threw up a large bottle cap. We are SO vigilant when walking him, but somehow some of them sneak through and if he knows I'm going to try and get something out of his mouth he swallows it really quick.
 
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2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
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Bulldog(s) Names
Chelios (Frenchie), Cubby (Frenchie) Nitschke (2004-2011) Banks (2005-2014) and Lambeau (2014-2024)
Thanks for replying :)

He has been examined by 3 vets and 2 nurses. They all say health wise he is fine, although none has thought a blood test is in order. The only problem he has is his irritated colon, and a slight eye problem which they think is just from him running into things.

He is currently in pain teething his adult teeth, which seems much worse than the baby ones.

We have had a trainer come to our house. Reggie was the perfect puppy so he couldn't really advise us on problems he couldn't see.
Reggie did start barking at his hat on the chair, which the trainer said was a fear response. So he threw his hat on the floor and told us to ignore Reggie and let him figure it out by himself, which he did. He barked for a minute or 2, and then sniffed it and got over it really quick.

He has also completed puppy classes, with a rosette for best 'leave it' in class.

He also eats everything he shouldn't. We are constantly checking poo for stones etc. So far we have found 6 stones of varying sizes, a wooden shelf hinge, and he threw up a large bottle cap. We are SO vigilant when walking him, but somehow some of them sneak through and if he knows I'm going to try and get something out of his mouth he swallows it really quick.


Ok, then based on all you tell me here... Reggie might not be the issue... he sees a weakness somewhere in you and Kev. If he was perfect with the trainer and in classes, then it leads me to think he is sensing a lack of leadership and therefore acting out. Are you and Kev on the exact same page with training... always doing the same commands, rules and limitations? Are you confident when working with him? He senses some hesitation or nervousness and is feeding off it. Maybe have the trainer come back out and tell you what you can strength in your working with Reggie. Demonstrate exactly what he is doing when the trainer is not there... video if you can, especially the toy guarding, that is the one I would be most worried about.
 

oscarmayer

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Ok, then based on all you tell me here... Reggie might not be the issue... he sees a weakness somewhere in you and Kev. If he was perfect with the trainer and in classes, then it leads me to think he is sensing a lack of leadership and therefore acting out. Are you and Kev on the exact same page with training... always doing the same commands, rules and limitations? Are you confident when working with him? He senses some hesitation or nervousness and is feeding off it. Maybe have the trainer come back out and tell you what you can strength in your working with Reggie. Demonstrate exactly what he is doing when the trainer is not there... video if you can, especially the toy guarding, that is the one I would be most worried about.

↑↑↑↑↑THIS!↑↑↑↑↑

The trainer should have spent MOST of their time training you...not simply demonstrating their ability to control your pup.
 
OP
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Reggies Parents

New member
Dec 30, 2016
193
5
Bristol, UK
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United Kingdom
Bulldog(s) Names
Reggie
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↑↑↑↑↑THIS!↑↑↑↑↑

The trainer should have spent MOST of their time training you...not simply demonstrating their ability to control your pup.

He did spend time teaching us things after observing how Reggie interacted with certain things. Some of what he said has been helpful but his advice for certain situations where you just cannot ignore the bad behaviour was to use a shaker (stones in a bottle). We didn't think that wasa good idea for a puppy that is very fear reactive to noises. Has anyone else used a shaker or similar?
 
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Reggies Parents

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Bristol, UK
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Bulldog(s) Names
Reggie
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.... video if you can, especially the toy guarding, that is the one I would be most worried about.

We actually had some progress with this last night.
I kept him shut outside the baby gate while I went around and bagged up all his toys. Then they stayed up on the sofa behind us - so we are now the keepers of the toys, and he must work to get one.
I actually managed to play fetch with him (almost) happily. I had plenty of treats and kept the clicker in my hand cos when he see's that little orange thing he knows there is food to be had if he listens.
He only had to go into time out 3 times for snatching/biting, which is a small miracle :D

I think part of the problem is that he is 1 of a litter of 2. Mum was separated early as she is known for sitting on her pups, and he and his sister were kept separate as the breeder said they were always fighting. So he's never really learned bite inhibition or manners. Its been our job to teach him those things from 8 weeks onward, when he should have been having them instilled much earlier.
 
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oscarmayer

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Yes, it's very important for pups to learn manners from Mom. Separated too early can create a monster.

Try to establish a default behavior, a single default behavior. Something you can go to/back to at any time. A good/simple one is having him sit...either next to you of in front of you. Practice this default EVERY day...repeat, repeat, repeat. Once this behavior is followed on command EVERY time it's requested then start introducing other commands.

For example, no matter what our Pippy is doing, no matter how fired up she is or how tired she is, she does her default behavior on command. Hers is "TOUCH IT"! "Pippy, touch it". She will come and touch her nose to an outstretched hand and stand in front of me. She NEVER ignores this command. Your boy can learn something like this and build upon it.
Default behavior.

The rattle can is a distraction that brings the dog's focus back to you...it's not meant to frighten. If it's scaring your pup then try something else...something that grabs attention without scaring.
 
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Reggies Parents

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Bulldog(s) Names
Reggie
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The rattle can is a distraction that brings the dog's focus back to you...it's not meant to frighten. If it's scaring your pup then try something else...something that grabs attention without scaring.

Thanks for the info, for some reason I didn't see it as a distraction technique. We haven't used it as we were worried about scaring him, but I will definitely try different noises to distract and bring focus back. The trouble is he doesn't like noises at all - he is soooo barky!! The trainer at puppy class remarked on it several times "bulldogs aren't supposed to be barkers!".
Will try and find noises that distract but don't scare.

We weren't aware how early he was separated from mum until the day we picked him up. The trouble with our breeder is that she is more used to breeding German Shepherds, I think English Bulldogs are a relatively new thing for her - 2 litters maybe.

Thanks for the idea of a default behaviour too. Sit would be a good one, I'd say we have this 90% of the time. The only times he doesn't are when he's over excited, and a couple of times he has just looked at me with pure defiance and walked away to chew on my table!
 

oscarmayer

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Thanks for the info, for some reason I didn't see it as a distraction technique.
We've never used the rattle can as a training tool. That's not to say that it does not have a useful purpose. Once the distraction(from bad behavior) is made, it's important to redirect the trainee to favorable behavior and once favorable behavior is demonstrated, immediately reward. I cannot imagine a rattle can used for any other purpose. Consistent and regular training is VERY important. You can do this...common sense and a little guidance can achieve great things.
A favorite snack is a great motivator...use tiny pieces.
 

cefe13

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So sorry to hear little Reggie was separated so early - it seems as if you now have to train him what his mum should have taught him long before you got him. I cannot offer much advice but it does sound that you need to bring in a trainer to help you work with little Reggie. That he goes for your partner's son is a sign of worry.

Reggie is very young yet - how are your days spent? Is he on his own while you are at work or can you be with him and interact with him throughout the day? I would guess that a dog like Reggie probably needs a lot of socialization both with humans and with other dogs. Taking him regularly to a dog park might work but that depends on the other dogs there. Perhaps an older female dog who teaches him how to interact with other dogs might be a good start. You say he's afraid to go out. We live in the city centre and Castor has on and off been quite unwilling to walk among cars and buses. If you have a garden or nearby park, perhaps you could just go there to play. Walking is essential but playing in a smaller confined space needn't be bad as long as the dog gets his exercise and lots of positive input.

And regarding the testicles - I'm quite sure Castor had both down when a pup but one of them climbed back up ... we can feel it in his groin so it didn't disappear but unfortunately never descended properly. As far as I know, that has nothing to do with any behavioural issues.
 
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Reggies Parents

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Reggie
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Hi [MENTION=9875]cefe13[/MENTION]

Thanks for your advice.
Me & Kev own our own shop, so luckily we can pretty much have one of us with Reggie most of the time. Whoever is going to work will get him up & give the first walk and feed, then the other one takes over. We sometimes swap during the day, as our shop is 5 mins away from home. Sometimes we do leave him home alone (in his crate), but its never really longer than 2 hours.
At night he is crated in the living room, he has never been in the bedroom or allowed on the bed, although he is allowed on the sofa if he sits & gives paw (asks nicely lol), and is put straight back down the minute he behaves.

We are seeing small improvements, but bare feet or socks are still fair game - apparently he's got a foot fetish lol. Its just worrying as he is getting so big (around 15kgs) and everything we read says puppies should be out of biting behaviour by now.
Luckily Kev's son is 16 so he's not a small child, and we have been teaching him how to deal with it exactly the same as we do.

He gets plenty of interaction from humans, and loves to say hello to people. Its socialising him with other dogs that are the problem. Only 1 of the puppies in his puppy class would interect properly with him, the others seemed very wary. I thought it might have been because they were all nervous little pups, but since then no other dogs seem to want to interact with him!
He is very bold and will walk right up to them and try to have a sniff, but they all seem really nervous of him. All he wants to do is say hello & play!
We were wondering why, as it seems really sad that no other dogs want to be his friend, but I found the thread on here about other dogs not liking ebd's and it seems a really common problem.
I just wish we knew some other bully owners in our area so we could meet for play dates & walks.

I'm still hoping a lot of it is down to teething. I had heard that adult teeth were supposed to be easier than the baby ones, but Reggie is having a much harder time with the adult ones. And just like a human child, its worse at night. We were up until 6am last night/this morning :(
 
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cefe13

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Castor (2013-2021 RIP)
[MENTION=16691]Reggies Parents[/MENTION] You seem to be consistent which I think is essential, and great that the boy is 16! That you are being able to spend much time with Reggie is great too.

Apart from safety crates in the car, it is against the law to crate dogs here so we have never considered crating our furball. He sleeps in his bed or (now, as an adult) on our beds. If Reggie is high energy and perhaps very curious, you may want to consider using some other way of confining him to part of the house. Perhaps play pen or some kind of gate that would give him the possibility to move around freely? When Castor was a pup we closed bedroom doors when we left home and we blocked off the couch with a folded drying rack. Now, he didn't really bite much (the only piece of furniture he destroyed was the stereo rack and he chewed on a library book) and we didn't leave him alone until he was four months old, but I still hope you will consider whether crating is the best option. It may be - and I don't suggest you take any chances - but I would think a dog that might not rerally know how to behave would learn less in a crate than by roaming free. On the other hand he shouldn't be allowed to chew on your feet of course.

Castor is I believe the only English bulldog in our town and he received very much attention from humans when he was a pup. Most dogs, however, were not very interested in him, so I totally see what you are saying about noone wanting to interact with Reggie! We were lucky enough to have many dogs in the neighbourhood, however, and a neighbour's female dogs told Castor quite clearly what was ok and what was not ok so he learned very quickly. Now he is 3.5 and still loves attention but is not seeking attention, if you see what I mean. I hope you can find some trustworthy older dogs in your neighbourhood that can play with Reggie!

Please keep us updated and say hi to Reggie! I may have missed it, but have you posted any pictures of him?
 

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