Help With A Problem Bulldog

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Dice Smith, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Dice Smith Well-Known Member

    My aunt has been having a lot of problems with her bulldog Chops for awhile now and has been asking for my help in solving his behavior problems. The problem is that she lives in Kentucky so it's hard for me to describe exactly how she can fix his issues in facebook messages, since I'm not there to physically train him and help her. He's about three years old (I think) and hasn't been neutered but I was able to covince her to have him fixed and he has an appointment scheduled in March. He's a large, stubborn boy like the typical bulldog breed and my aunt is old and he is really starting to hurt her and my family is concerned that he is actually going to injure her. Chops is her world and she refuses to give him up, even though family members have told her she should and I really admire her for sticking by him.

    Some of his problems are:
    Jumping up on her and knocking her down
    Mounting and humping her
    Being "bossy" and bullying my aunt into giving him treats and her chair to sit in
    And today she messaged me saying he went after a child who sat by his food bowl while he was eating. He growled and then put his teeth on the child. She said he didn't break skin or actually bite him but she is terribly shook up and worried about what could happen next if she can't get him under control. She has gotten him a crate which he loves and has been using it for time outs but she says time outs aren't working. I have made a few youtube tutorials for her and advised her on how to teach him to lay down and stay but she says he isn't listening to her and just bullying the treats from her. If anyone could please give me some advice or methods to relay to her to help her and Chops out that would be so wonderful! If only I could physically be there to help train and walk him I know he'd be a better, obedient dog.

    She keeps saying that she knows she's made mistakes by not training him when he was younger and that his problems are her fault but she is adament that no matter what she won't get rid of him. I really need some help so that we can turn this strongwilled boy into a boy with manners. :)
    MaryK likes this.

  2. raymond upton Well-Known Member

    i would advise her to get the help of a professional trainer before the dog injures her
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  3. southerngirl Honored Member

    How much exercise does Chomp get? Does she do anything to mentally stimulate him?
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  4. curls139 Well-Known Member

    That sounds like a horrible situation, well done for you and your aunt trying to do something about the situation rather than giving up. We rescued a bull breed a year ago, with little prior knowledge about bull breeds. We've picked up a few things along the way which might be useful although you seem as though you're more than on the right track anyway:

    1st priority: Completely agree with the first post. Get someone who is qualified who can actually see what is going on and can work with your aunt and meet Chops.

    2nd priority: Use a clear, calm, commanding tone of voice (not angry). In our experience Russ won't do as he's told if there's an option not to (ie. if it sounds like you don't mean it). The phrase - give an inch and they'll take a mile really rings true - bull breeds are intelligent, independent thinkers as well as stubborn.

    3rd priority: Follow through on what you say you're going to do EVERY time ( means NO, or go to your bed or else I'll PUT you in your bed). If you can't reinforce it don't ask the dog to do it. It's easier said than done.

    There are others on here who also have lots of experience - bull breeds or not and will I'm sure have other useful suggestions. Well done again for not giving up on Chops :) good luck
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  5. LyneG Member

    I agree with the first post as well. What type of bulldog is he? Because there is different size of bulldog. The american bulldog is higher on legs and stronger than the English bulldog. If it's the american i understand that she gets theown on the floor. I thknk that she should start with long walks and exercise before asking and teaching Chop how to behave. It's the basic that count first. And for the food possession problem she has to teach him that it's ok if someone pass by the bowl. The food won't leave or get stolen. The best is to deed the dog by hand and holding the bowl in the hand. My staffordshire used to do that when i got her. She was a stray and i know nothing of her past. She was showing her teeth to my cats snd myself everytime i tried to take the bowl. Since my granson was 1 at that time, i was scared something happened. So i started to feed her by hand and holding her bowl whike she ate. And after a week or so she was ok. And i don't let jump in her biwl as soon as i give it to her. I give her food snd i make her wait a 2-5 min before i tell her to eat. This way she kearned that the food is therebsnd no one is going to take it. Not even my other dog that eats beside her and waits for the signal too to eat. Good luck to your aunt.
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  6. Dice Smith Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so very much for the advice. :) (y) I am definitely going to advise her to see a professional, positive trainer to work with. Chops is an english bulldog I'm pretty sure, though I might be wrong. I'll have to see. I will also pass on all of these wonderful tips to her as well. I don't think she exercises him very much which I think is a huge part of the problem so I'll advise her to take him on more walks too. :D
    MaryK likes this.
  7. LyneG Member

    If it's an English bulldog she has a serious problem. English bulldogs are low energy rype of dogs. They don't need a lot of exercise. Most of the one i see in clinic are peaceful, happy, go-along dog and since they're short on paws so they don't jump high. In the case of an american bulldog they're higher on paws and they're high energy dogs du to the breeds mix. So in both cases she should seek for a professional. Good luck.
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  8. Mutt Experienced Member

    I think it would be advicable to get a professional trainer.

    First of all make sure that the dog isn't bothered by anyone (not even your aunt) when he is eating. Often dogs show teeth because they were misunderstood and feel that if they don't the food will be taken.
    Second be consequent and set boundaries. Jumping up = ignoring. If he still does it take the dog by the collar and tie him to something (a pole for example). So he still has room to move but can't bother anyone.
    I also think it is advicable to learn impuls control. Waiting before he may take food/a treat. Waiting before he may go outside. Not because this is "dominant" but to control impulses.
    Exercise is also very important as the dog has a way to get rid of their energie.

    It's great that she (and you) isn't giving up on him! (y)(y)
  9. boatman442 Member

    I have some friends that Breed Bulldogs and do UKC Professional dog Shows in my area in Michigan. You might want to contact them and get their Professional advice. It is hope you have success.
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  10. threenorns Well-Known Member

    1. they might be low-energy dogs but bulldogs still need to be walked every day. walking isn't about exercise -let's face it, with the breeding that's gone into australian shepherds and border collies, even two one-hours walks a day is a joke, exercise speaking. what walking on the leash does is exercises her mastery over the dog. i'll put money down that she doesn't walk him because she can't control him. once she is consistent about walking him daily and once she's gotten him under control, the behaviour around the house will improve.

    2. about food possession: definitely, she wants to nip that in the bud. the idea that you don't disturb a dog while he's eating is ... what is the nice way to put it.... "not good advice". the dog should be ready, willing, and able to give up whatever's in his mouth any time you want it. what happens if you're outside and he gets into a bowl of random cat or dog food left lying around or a bowl of antifreeze? you shouldn't have to worry about getting nipped bec you're trying to save his fool life. the method outlined, about hand-feeding, not letting him dive headlong into the bowl, and about taking the bowl away, adding a nice surprise, then giving it back with a "wait" command is gold.

    3. about "bullying" the treats - let's face it, she gives in bec she wants to. nobody likes to be "mean" to their dog but the dog has to learn that sometimes the answer is "no" and she has to learn that part of having a dog is being cruel to be kind. just like with kids - it's not the parent's job to give the kids treats; it's the kids' job to make the parent feel like giving them treats (and just be really clear on what will trigger the parental largesse).

    4. get her into trick training. just simple commands - sit, paw, roll over, spin in a circle -will go far to improve the bond between her and her dog and it will engage the dog mentally.

    just so you know, sometimes the first step in dog training is knocking some sense into the owner.
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