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Possible Bulldog Behavioral Problem...long explanation...sorry!!

April 6th, 2007, 06:05 PM
Hi Guys!

I am new to this and new to being a pet-mommy.... I am looking for some information on my 9-month old bulldog Floyd...I just posted something else in another topic and I apologize for all of my questions...Floyd is an adorable and lovable lazy bullie who pretty much enjoys playing for a little while and sleeping a lot!! He has been socialized with all types of dogs...tried cats which didn't go over well...and lots of children...He is wonderful with children and has been with dogs until recently...

My husband and I noticed a change in his behavior towards big dogs...A few months ago was the first time we noticed when we went to see a famliy member that had 2 dogs (Rocco-Shep/Rott.mix and Cassie-Mix)...we brought Floyd and my sister brought Vito (her Boston Terrier) for a family play date...When we entered the house I still had Floyd on a leash and was trying to get it off but he was squirming a lot to run this point Rocco came over to sniff him and i don't know if it freaked Floyd out or what...but for the remainder of the day Floyd had it out for him..He would make these noises and lunge for him..He never bit but I never let him out of my sight....He did this same thing again with a friend's Boxer...but doesn't do it with Vito or dogs his we thought maybe it was a dominance thing..not dominance aggression but the need to be Alpha...if there is a difference?? But his last interaction was with a Basset Hound that he is familiar with and is very very submissive as she instantly lays on the ground..I see a complete change in Floyd's body language...tensing..and that noise again!

Now my question...phew! ha ha..I want to teach him the right way and not cause any more anxiety in this situation. I have watched the Dog Whisperer and I have seen what he does with Bulldogs by having them lay down in a submissive posture but I don't want to do this if it is wrong or will make it worse...Floyd does not 'mark' territory when we go for walks...He sees dogs at distances of all sizes and watches them but I am able to redirect him and continue the walk without incident..It's when they approach each other both on the leash...The only thing I started if I saw another pet owner approaching with their pet..I would have Floyd sit close by and as they neared I would give him the command to 'leave it' and 'let's go' which he understands....and praise him when we walk away without incident...SO...I want to train him the right way without escalating it..excusing any behaviors because he is a 'bully' (which people have said) and let his doggie friends see the sweetheart that he is!!!

Thanks guys and sorry this is so long! Those are my only 2 posts for now b.c those are my biggest questions!!! THANK YOU!! :pawprint: :dog: :pawprint:

April 6th, 2007, 07:44 PM
If he hasn't been neutered that might be a good place to start.


April 6th, 2007, 07:47 PM
Floyd is just reaching adolescence, when a lot of "testing" behavior starts. This is also when dog-aggression can show up in dogs that were formerly fine with other dogs. Basically, your baby has now become a teenager! Is Floyd neutered? If not, that could be contributing to the problem. There does seem to be some dog aggression inherent in the breed, at least in the bulldogs I have seen. Make sure you don't completely isolate him from other dogs, he needs to learn to behave appropriately around them. You might want to find a trainer to help you work with him. If he does ignore other dogs on leash when you tell him to "leave it", that is great. (good boy Floyd!) You also need to take into consideration whether the dogs Floyd was aggressing at were behaving rudely or not. Usually the dog that reacts gets called "aggressive" when it was the other dog that provoked a response by running right up to the reactive dog's face and not being "polite".
Jean Donaldson has a book on working with dog-aggressive dogs called "Fight! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression." You may want to check that out. And consider taking Floyd through a group obedience class with a good trainer where he can learn to behave around other dogs.

April 6th, 2007, 11:36 PM
Yes Floyd was neutered...We are newly married but plan on having kids and did not want to add any extra doggie-testosterone the mix..Thank you for your advice..He does respond to commands..I don't want to enhance his feelings at that time to increase any anxiety so it doesn't escalate...It's sad when people look at him like he is a meanie b/c he is such a sweetie...I found a name for a behavioralist in our area and I am going to check out that book!! Wow my baby is already a teenager??? :love:

April 10th, 2007, 06:26 PM
I am going to be honest matter how well you english bulldog is socialized..they can also be dominate as well. about 7 months or so the male reaches his sexual maturity and it is about domiance and pack leader and such.
I also have a boston terrier that is VERY dominate in the way she sees things. she was alpha dog until the bulldogs came and she gave that but boston are very territorial as well...and the bulldog just needs that look and you could have an issue.
My valley bulldog rescue has been here less then a week and already..all of the dogs have set up the high order of the pack and he AGREED..hehhehe

both of my bulldogs are show english bulldogs
the valley bulldog is about the same age
the boston is under 6
and the blind pug is 8 years

they all set up a pack.
as far as I know.


the best way to NIP the arguement in the butt with the to pull out the high legs when they start. that ensures you do not get caught in the middle. another thought is a spray bottle of water with you just in case or pennies in a jar..anything for distraction

April 10th, 2007, 06:57 PM
THANK YOU! Well that is also what I have heard...My parents had an english bully when I was young..and they said that she had Alpha issues...I just didn't want to excuse his behavior b/c he is a 'bully'..I guess ideally I would like to be the one in control...My sister has a Boston Terrier and he def. tries to dominate Floyd..whenever we walk in Vito (the Boston) blocks Floyd from coming up the stairs..Floyd needs to do some sort of a football move to get up the stairs and then Vito nibbles/mouths his neck...which I think is a dominant thing..My sister has the water bottle which is the ONLY thing that works with Vito b/c he is crazy!! (ARE ALL BOSTONS LIKE THIS?). Floyd does not like it at all so I will def. carry it with me....

On a good note...we were charged the other day by a loose pit bull that kept knocking into us (Floyd and I), however Floyd didn't do anything nasty...I think b/c he was caught off guard...What do you mean about his legs??? I want to do the right thing to teach him!! I basically don't want to make anything worse or create more anxiety than there already is in those instances...Thank you so much for your information!! Did you say you ran a bulldog rescue? That is wonderful!!!