Aggression & Dominance of Female Over Male Bulldog

February 9, 2008

Hi there,

I was recently on your website reading all your knowledge on our adorable friends.

I have two British bulldogs one male and the other female, they are both only a day apart in age and are 10 months old.

I brought them from different breeders so they are not blood related, in the idea of breeding them one day.

All up until a month ago i have come into some problems that have concerned me extremely.

My Female has become very aggressive towards the male, she dominates him over food, toys and human affection. They are calm all up until i walk in the backyard to play with them she becomes very aggressive and attacks him. The male is very placid and does not want to fight with her but she does not stop.

I have tried stopping her with spraying her with water but she likes the water and thinks its a game, I have since separated them at feeding times and this i feel has caused more aggression with her.

Up until 2 days ago i never smacked her but she was attacking him so much i smacked her with a shoe and this has now caused her to be upset with me, she will no longer come to me for a play and he will not come near me for the fact that she will attack him.

I love my puppies and would hate to see one of them go, i have contacted my local vet and there answer was to get rid of one of them. I do not want to get rid of one as i love them both but on the other hand is it cruel to leave him feeling scared in his own enviroment??

With my male he is very loveable but he has an aggressive streak towards children which iam quiet scared of, i would never leave an animal with a child un attended, but it concerns me as he has been brought up with young children.

Kind regards for reading me problems

Ellen

———–

Hi Ellen,

I’m not an expert on training, but I suspect your problems are stemming from
the fact that there is no clear leader in the “pack”

You need to take control of your dogs so they look to you as the alpha dog.
Your female is stepping in because she thinks you are not doing the alpha
job.  Then the male looks to dominate other threats to the pack (the children).

Female dogs are usually more dominant than male dogs.  They want to
take control and male dogs tend to be more submissive and easy going.

Since both of your dogs are still puppies, they are just learning how to
behave, and they take their cues from you.

It is very important that you become the leader.  You cannot do this by
behavior that she thinks is a game (the squirt water) or punishment (hitting
her with the shoe).  She is very confused because she thinks she’s doing
her job.  When she gets punished for what she perceives as ‘good’ behavior
she will naturally avoid you.  She’s now afraid to come to you.

There was a very good episode of the Dog Whisperer about bulldogs with
the same behavior pattern.  I can’t remember the name of it, but it was on
my local cable.

My advice is you get a very good trainer immediately.  When I had an
aggression problem with Vivy I hired Barkbusters.  They are expensive,
but did a wonderful job in one day!  There are many competent trainers
out there, so you could contact your local bulldog group.  I think your
vet’s suggestion is just plain ignorant.

Part of the training process is to teach you how to be the leader.  In my
case, since Vivy was ten, it took a lot of leash training.

Do not delay because you will have an escalating problem that will become
more difficult the longer you wait.

I hope this helps.  Let me know how they’re doing.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: