Targeted aggression towards certain individuals


New member
Feb 28, 2021
United States
Bulldog(s) Names
I've had my EB for nearing a year now. He came from a rescue as a breeder stud throwaway that was rehomed, developed epilepsy, went to the rescue, then to me. *edit* He is not quite 3 years old.

Initially, no aggression issues at all. People, dogs, cats, children, whatever. He was fine with everyone. Really didn't show much interest in any of them. Over time though, he has developed a sneaky aggression towards a few people. We have a large family that is close and thus in and out and he sees a lot of people. But with a few of them, initially he liked them and had no issue, but as time progressed he takes issue with them, but only sometimes and for no apparent reason.

He hates my mother. Looks at her out of the side of his eye like he doesn't trust her, but walks up to her, and then if she tries to engage with him, he snaps at her hand. No growling, barking, baring teeth, etc.

My aunt - 90% of the time, no problem. Just sometimes randomly snaps at her if she tries to pet him. Again, no warning.

My uncle - 50% of the time he likes him. Hangs out when he comes around, pets him, and then the other times tries to snap. Tonight he drew blood from a finger. He got his butt smacked and went to bed.

My cousin - 90% of the time no issues, but snaps just the same. Never any clear warning.

Family friend - she won't come around because he has randomly lunged at her a couple different times after being fine for hours.

And it's always just one lunge or snap with all of them. Not an attack, just like a warning or posturing.

He needs training in general, I am aware of that, and I'm concerned that I've let things be mediocre for as long as I have. He listens terribly. Basically not at all. He responds somewhat to treat training, that is how I worked out potty outside instead of inside. He will not come when called. He will sit if he thinks there is a treat involved. That is pretty much it.

I'm just curious if maybe you all know a reason why he might be angry at just these certain people? They aren't around all the time, and he doesn't act that way with anyone who is around every day or every couple days. So I thought maybe stranger in his space stressing him, but he can be fine with them for hours and then suddenly not. And I've got other family and friends that come around far less frequently that he has zero problem with at all, including obnoxious, loud, little children. I had thought previously maybe aggression due to smelling uncut males on other people - my mom and aunt both have uncut males, but he was cut nearly a year ago, so I would have thought that drive would have faded by now, plus the other ones don't have dogs at all. I don't think pain because its targeted to certain people, and before they touch him so not like they're poking a sore spot or something. I've thought maybe a side effect of the med for the seizures, but again the targeted bit doesn't make much sense.

Grasping for ideas here. Started reading the stickies and feeling guilty, so no need to beat me up there unless you really feel it is necessary. I'm sure this is a bit cart before the horse with training, but I can afford him not coming when I tell him to. I can't afford for him to bite people.


Well-known member
Dec 29, 2016
Bulldog(s) Names
King Ollie
this is going to sound really weird but… My boy Allie who is the sweetest most easy-going dog ever, loves all people especially adores children, he likes cats and other animals so on and so forth. He really is a paragon of English bulldog virtual.
Oli absolutely hates my ex-husband. I’ve been divorced since 1981 and have a new husband for the last 25 years. I try to encourage good relationships between my children and their father and my and their children my grandchildren. When Ally was just a puppy very first time he saw my ex-husband he started barking at him. That was four years ago. I just couldn’t understand it he just barks nonstop and he backs up away from him I have. I have my suspicions there’s something went down between the Manale was just a puppy, but the excellent cop to any of it.He’s one of these aggressive types who just stares at the dog. I refuse to lock the dog up when he is here so he is now only invited here for the big holidays so he can be with his children and grandchildren.
Our next-door neighbor looks like my ex-husband. They are both about the same age same height same weight same white hair seems somewhat arrogant disposition. A couple of years ago Ollie transferred his barking to the neighbor. Whenever the guy comes out of his house Ollie barks at him. Even though our yard is fenced I have to bring Ollie in. The neighbor was never around much before because he worked out of the country but he is retired now and he’s home all the time. I know that for some reason all he thinks the neighbor is my ex-husband or at least a member of the same tribe that my ex belongs to. It’s insane, the dogs are smart and they don’t forget anyone ever. Weird, eh?


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2016
Bulldog(s) Names
Nyala, Jake (R.I.P. Duke)
Usually around 3 is the age they want to take over. I always had males. That‘s my “put the foot down” age on all my males. Many yrs ago I used to train Dobermans but if you have never trained with dogs, I suggest you seek a reputable trainer. Buddy needs to come down a few notches. That being said, is he fixed and does he get a lot of epilepsy moments? Can be neurological Episode?


I'm not who moved my bulldog?
Staff member
Community Veteran
Jul 28, 2011
Gilbertsville, PA
Bulldog(s) Names
Chelios (Frenchie), Cubby (Frenchie) Nitschke (2004-2011) Banks (2005-2014) and Lambeau (2014-2024)

start with nothing in life is free…. He is looking for leadership and needs to have his mind and energy worked. No furniture, sleep in crate, work and respond to command for any treat. Age his age, he is testing the limits and pushing the envelope.

it will take time, but all humans on same page and be patient…. It can be fixed
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