Help! my Bulldog won't walk with me!

Chelsie_Marie

New member
Sep 12, 2023
2
4
Country
England
Bulldog(s) Names
Vinnie
Hey everyone, i'm new to this forum and wondered if anyone could give me some advice.

I'm from England and have always had French Bulldogs, last year myself and my husband decided to adopt a Bulldog rescue called Vincent Van Gough (Vinnie for short!) He hasn't had the best start to life and we weren't given much about his background, he is called Vincent Van Gough because he only has one ear and when we collected him his skin was in a sorry state. We managed to resolve this quickly as I have previous knowledge about skin issues with my frenchies.

The first 6 months were great (we have had his just over a year now) however, he has recently started to develop issues with me walking him. For reference I'm the care giver in the house, I work from home so I'm with the dogs 24/7 , I clean, bath, feed them and up until recently I walked them all everyday. In the past 3 months Vinnie all of a sudden started to become aggressive towards me as soon as we stepped foot outside the front door , this would involve jumping , lunging and growing at me, nipping and biting at my legs and arms. Vinnie won't let me walk up the drive. As soon as I turn around and get him back in doors he is a different dog, no aggression stops and he is giving me kisses and sitting on my lap.

This would happen if I walked him alone or with my other frenchies. This is where the plot thickens, when my husband comes with us and walks Vinnie he doesn't react or become aggressive or play up in any way but I walk ahead with the frenchie and Vinnie is consantly looking for me and following my direction. My husband plays with Vinnie probley more than I do within the house but he doesn't feed or care for him as that's all done by me (just trying to paint a picture!)

We've had a few trainers out who said it's over excitement with me and that Vinnie thinks I'm a play mate instead of an authoritative figure, but I struggle to understand this as I'm the one who puts the boundaries in place within the household and to put it bluntly "tells him off" when he is naughty. He sits for his food and won't move until I tell him he can, I teach him all new tricks. The trainers have said to just use positive reinforcement but this will work for a week or 2 as Vinnie is driven by food but then he'll get bored of that and it's back to attack mummy.

Sorry it's a lengthy one but wanted to paint the full picture, has anyone experienced this before and have any advise? Vinnie getting walked every day as my husband is coming with us in the mornings but we go on a big holiday later this year and i'm worried about leaving Vinnie with my mum if he isn't ok with walking with females.

Final thing to add Vinnie is scared of everything, i'm assuming from his previous life with his old owner, even walking in the room with a cup of tea or bottle he cowers, the knives and forks on your plate he cowers, we always try and reassure him with petting and rewards that nothing bad with happen again to him so I wondered if the aggression outside of the house with me is because he doesn't feel "safe" with me.

Anyways, hopefully someone can advise on what else we can do!

thank you!

Chelsie
 

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helsonwheels

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2016
13,112
2,453
Alberta
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Canada
Bulldog(s) Names
Nyala, Jake (R.I.P. Duke)
Welcome to EBN Vinnie n mom……

Basically Vinnie knows you’re not the Alpha but your husband is. Your trainers should have known that. When Vinnie jumps, growls or basically attacks you, do you put him to his place? Like what do you do when he does that? Sounds like you’re having an alpha issue. Never accept “any” dog attacking you. Don’t matter if he was abused or not that’s dangerous for you n others around you. Have you tried walking Vinnie on his own? Does he do the same?

 
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Chelsie_Marie

Chelsie_Marie

New member
Sep 12, 2023
2
4
Country
England
Bulldog(s) Names
Vinnie
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Welcome to EBN Vinnie n mom……

Basically Vinnie knows you’re not the Alpha but your husband is. Your trainers should have known that. When Vinnie jumps, growls or basically attacks you, do you put him to his place? Like what do you do when he does that? Sounds like you’re having an alpha issue. Never accept “any” dog attacking you. Don’t matter if he was abused or not that’s dangerous for you n others around you. Have you tried walking Vinnie on his own? Does he do the same?

Thank you for the welcome!

Yes this is what I thought was the case. Both trainers have said its over excitement and he is overstimulating himself which is resulting in him acting up but I didn't believe this to be correct, they advised distraction and positive reinforcement but as mentioned previously he'll play up, nip at me, I'll district him and reward him then he'll do it again, in the end I felt like I was rewarding him for his bad behaviour.

When Vinnnie is playing up, I do put him in his place by commanding him to stop by bluntly lowering my voice and saying "enough" and I will grab him by his harness and try to hold him down to stop him from jumping at me however, he can sometimes be difficult to manage in these situations, i'm only 5'2 small women and he is 26kg bulldozer who can when lunging at me take me off my feet. But yes I absolutely do stand my ground. I feel like I've watched every youtube video on this behaviour and listened to the trainers but he just doesn't listen to me when he is in these states. However, he'll be in this state, I will step into our front porch with him, and into the house and its like a switch just changes in his head and he'll stop. He has never once been aggressive towards me inside the house.

I do think it's a Alpha issue but I'm stumped on how to correct this.

We have had weeks now of him being good as gold on our morning walks, but it's my husband walking him and i'm with the frenchies. This morning, I tried to walk him by myself without any other dog, just Vinnie, as my husband had to leave early for work and as soon as we stepped outside the door he reverted back to old behaviour, we didn't make it past the driveway.
 

helsonwheels

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2016
13,112
2,453
Alberta
Country
Canada
Bulldog(s) Names
Nyala, Jake (R.I.P. Duke)
I felt like I was rewarding him for his bad behaviour.


Yes totally stop rewarding him. You may also need a better trainer. I personally would go check out their classes n judge for yourself. A good trainer won’t mine you observing.
 

2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
Staff member
Community Veteran
Jul 28, 2011
48,625
3,726
Gilbertsville, PA
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Bulldog(s) Names
Chelios (Frenchie), Cubby (Frenchie) Nitschke (2004-2011) Banks (2005-2014) and Lambeau (2014-2024)
I totally agree with Helene! Even though you do all the care giving, he sees you as an equal and not a leader.

@oscarmayer - might have some suggestions as he has decades of experience with rescue pups
 

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