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We have recently adopted an aggressive Bulldog. We have worked with him quite a bit and feel that a lot of his aggressive behaviors have decreased. We have lots of rules set up in our house, IE; He can't block entry ways, he sits for his food, he sits and waits to be let out, and lots of basic command work, (sitting, laying down, staying). We also work with him on a leah almost every day with attention. He has done great in all these ways and I definitely feel a lot of his original aggression was simply caused by not creating the right pack hierarchy with his previous owners. I am still having one problem that we are seeking advice with.

This is the scenario, (Regarding toys)

When we get home or he gets excited he will go straight for a toy and bring it to us. If we try to get it from him he gets very protective. I have tried to trade him for items but once I get the original toy from him he doesn't want to new item or even the original toy. I have tried to get him to trade me for a treat but he is not interested. Now mind you the only way to get him to drop it is to leave him alone and leave or use his pinch collar to forcibly get him to drop it. (we are using a half nylon collar with a 4 inch chain on it) All I have to do is lift him up a little and with seconds he gets the idea and drops it. Sometimes he will go after it again and I will repeat and soon he is done with it all together. I will give him a good drop command even if he is still aggravated. I put my body in front of him and try to hold him a bit so we get good eye contact and give him the good drop command. We usually keep his toys away unless I know he will repeat behavior so we can work with him. If we try to initiate playing or for him to grab a toy he generally isn't interested.

He emulates the same behavior when we feed him minus the aggression. If we are close by or he doesn't want to eat he will ignore his food and go sit down. We usually pick up his food wait for a while and then give it back to him. Sometimes he won't eat at all for a meal and by the next meal he scarfs it down. The correlation I want to make is when we arrive home or he gets excited. He goes straight for his food to eat wether there is food in there or not.

Let it be know he is a little bit of wimp. (Wind, load noises and boxes seem to scare him). My thoughts are he has some separation issues that aren't getting met. Or another thought is that especially when we are playing he doesn't know how to properly play. When I look back on the situations once the item is removed he is immediately submissive and doesn't give us any more problems. He wasn't socialized with other dogs and I wonder if he doesn't know the right kind of play. However he isn't aggressive towards other dogs, only humans and especially with toys.

It's seems like a hard situation to train him in because it's hard to get him engaged enough to react. My concern is obviously him hurting someone on accident. I feel like he is reacting like a normal dog would in a (play) mode. He does great with all of our other training and responds well when we tell him to move, etc.

Also, In his previous life he was allowed to o whatever he wanted. He did this and so much more and eventually bit his elderly owner bad enough that they had to get rid of him. We love this dog and he has great potential. However we need to work though this because if he can't be nice to humans are fear is that something will happen to us or someone else and they will put him down.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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