Grumpy Old Man - Too Old To Train?


New member
Dec 22, 2012
Bulldog(s) Names
Herschel has bitten my wife and I both in the past 3 weeks. Her incident was pretty bad and I have grown concerned over what to do with Herschel and his increasingly aggressive behavior..

Herschel is 8
Herschel has had entropian surgery and his eyes are a constant battle even 6 years later.
Not surprising, Herschel is territorial.
Herschel does not like new things in the house. We have been remodeling the house.
Herschel gets along with all dogs as long as they are not in the house. We have 2 other dogs that are separated from him.
Herschel gets as much exercise as his 80 pound frame and the Florida heat will allow.
About 4 years ago Herschel started becoming uptight and nervous.
Herschel has had training and did well.

Herschel is well behaved and seems to understand who is pack leader is, until he isn't/doesn't. I wouldn't say he is unpredictable because he definitely has triggers but how he may react to the same trigger varies. When he bit my wife he was outside and she was carrying a large box through the door when he lunged and bit her arm. Him being upset was not surprising but the extent of his reaction is unacceptable and scary! When he bit me he was upset because I rolled a chair I was sitting in across the floor. He came over barking and I pointed, telling him no. He bit my hand pretty good.

When he was being trained before some of his stubborn behaviors lead to suggestions that some things be managed rather than forcing the issue. In other words if we knew that we were going to be moving furniture, for example, to remove him from the area instead of battling his insecurities.

Suggestions on our next steps with Herschel? TIA.


Have Bulldog Will Travel
Staff member
Jan 20, 2016
United States
Bulldog(s) Names
Lala, Chesty, Winky, Waggles, Moose, and rescue Peggy(soon to be placed)
This sounds like fear-biting AND adrenaline driven aggression. He's easily spooked and that gets his adrenaline going...he reacts. His bite inhibition is gone and will not be recovered. Re-homing is not an option. His behavior will likely get worse, not better. Since training helped before, maybe it can help again. I would never advise against training to help manage this situation but it seems as though you are at the point where the training is more for you than the dog. You will NEVER train him not to bite.
Unfortunately, more often than not, you'll have 2 choices:
1. Continue to manage his behavior as best you can until it gets completely out of hand and someone gets severely injured.
2. Put him down before he does severe damage to someone.
We have had to make this choice and it's VERY difficult.


I'm not who moved my bulldog?
Staff member
Community Veteran
Jul 28, 2011
Gilbertsville, PA
Bulldog(s) Names
Chelios (Frenchie), Nitschke (2004-2011) Banks (2005-2014) and Lambeau (2014-2024)
Unfortunately, I totally agree with Chip. Training is needed for you to manage his behavior —— know the triggers and remove him before it happens.

Wishing you all the best

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


Well-known member
Community Veteran
Aug 27, 2016
Bulldog(s) Names
This post sort of scares me as i always read how soft and sweet natured these guys are. I have a real sweetheart as well but.............. he is still a scardie cat and i have to watch how i "fuss" at him as when he gets scared, he just acts different than just a sweet dog. I dont like it and worry that some day, he may loose it. When he's scared he wants to attack the objects. I've never had a dog that i needed to watch *my* behavior. .. Objects such as im trying to measure something with a measuring tape, Hates them and the agression he shows toward them is something i havent seen in any of my other dogs. Anyway, i feel for ya.


Well-known member
Community Veteran
Nov 16, 2012
Venice, FL.
Bulldog(s) Names
Jackson, Bogey (granddog) Ruger (granddog)
Oh my, my heart breaks for you, and Herschel. I agree with both previous posts but have you tried CBD oil? I have a friend that fosters Goldens and he never knows what he will get. He had had great success with CBD oil with anxiety ridden dogs. Biting and aggression are definitely triggered by fear. Maybe trying this will calm him down. Just a suggestion. You can PM me if you want more info.

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