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

hey jan

i have a 6 month old english bulldog and he whines only in the morning and when he get compfortable i was thinking it was just an attention thing, any ideas?

Matt

——-

Hi Matt,

That’s hard to tell from your description.

English Bulldogs are very ‘expressive’ and often make odd sounds.  If the whine is urgent
sounding or distressed, I’d be concerned.  If it’s more pleading or enticing, like he
wants you to come over, it’s probably attention-getting.

Since he’s just a puppy, he is forming his habits and finding out what will get him
the attention he craves.  And you don’t want to encourage negative behaviors.

If the whining stops when you give him attention, then I’d suppose that’s the case.
If he whines when you touch him in a specific area like his stomach or leg, then
I might think he had some sort of injury or problem and I’d suggest you have him
looked at by your vet.

Jan

Car Chasing Bulldog

January 6, 2008

How do you break one from chasing cars?

——

Hi Catherine,

This is really a training issue and I deal primarily with health issues, but I can
offer some advice.

Dog have an instinctual tendency to chase after moving things. This comes
from early days when they needed to chase down prey in order to eat. So
it is your dog’s natural behavior at work here.

Your bulldog needs some obedience training. I’m not sure of his age,
but the earlier this is done the easier it will be.

First of all, never let your bulldog off the leash or he will get run over
by a car.

Personally, I always hire a puppy trainer so I can get my dog (and me) on the
right track. The essentials are come, sit, stay, heel, and walking on leash.
If you have properly trained your dog, you can give him commands to
stop chasing and barking behavior.

You can also take your bulldog to obedience classes. I do think it’s
best to get professional help because you need to learn the best ways
to train your bulldog.

Once your dog knows you are the boss, you can more easily control his
behavior. Dogs are pack animals and always look to the “alpha” leader
for guidance.

Chances are your bulldog does not know you are the leader, so training
is essential to stop this car chasing behavior. You must spend time every
day training him to get the results you want. 40 minutes a day of walking
and training will be a good start. Do this in two 20 minute sessions.

Here’s a link to a site with more dog training resources:
http://www.caring-for-dogs.com/training.html

I hope this helps.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Dear Jan,

I just downloaded your book – I’ve been skimming through it a little
and I think it’s great! Can’t wait until I can sit down and really
dig in (i.e. when the baby is sleeping!).
We just put a deposit on a bulldog pup and he’ll most likely be ready
to come home around the first week of March. This is our first
bulldog – as we’ve always had labrador
retrievers in the past.

I was wondering – what is the best collar to use on a bulldog? I’ve
heard that bulldogs can be stubborn to train sometimes, but I do not
want to harm the dog by putting
a chain or collar on him that will choke him. I’ve heard good things
about harnesses, but are they effective in training the dog? I am not
looking for SUPER DOG here – just
the basics really. I’d love him to walk calmly next to me and sit and
stay and down. that’s about it for me!

Any advice on what I should get would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Nina

—-

Hi Nina,

Congratulations on your decision to get a bulldog! They are truly unique
and wonderful dogs. And I’m glad you are reading all about them to get
prepared for your new puppy.

There is some debate on the bulldog collar. Some say you must use a
harness because a collar or chain can harm the bulldog’s small trachea,
causing it to collapse. Others claim the bulldog has such a strong neck
that the muscles protect the trachea.

I tend to be in the latter group, especially in reference to training. A
bulldog can be quite independent when it comes to training. As my
trainer said, they can cooperate in a lesson for just so long and then
they have had enough and won’t cooperate anymore and can get
very stubborn at that point.

So keep your initial training sessions short (about 15-20 minutes). A
bulldog is about the opposite of a retriever in terms of readiness to please.
This isn’t to say they don’t want to please you, they do, but they prefer
smaller doses of training and repetition, repetition, repetition.

Back to the collar. I use a collar that is part fabric (about 1.5 inches)
and part chain. So it stays loose, and you can snap it to correct him.
I think these are available at most pet stores. The important thing
to remember is to snap back on the leash, not to pull which could
result in choking.

You also want to keep the collar high on the neck of your dog to
simulate pressure point the mother dog would use on a pup.

When my dogs were puppies I tried using a harness, but it is really
not as effective as a collar and I found I was not able to easily control
a 50 lb bulldog.

I hope this helps. Please write with any more questions.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Jan,

thanks so much for the email, and I look forward to your course reading.
Magnum is a good little pup; 3 months 25lbs; our only issue is potty
training, he still goes in the house and the kennel, but I think it’s
just youth.

Your thoughts?

Nate

—–answer—-

Hi Nate,

It is his youth, but there are some things you can do to help.
A puppy wants your praise and attention more than anything else.
He goes in the house because he thinks that’s the place to go.

What you need to do is take him outside often and when he
does his thing, praise him highly and use a word like “quick quick”
every time he goes.

Never get mad at him if he goes in the house. If you catch him
about to pee, pick him up and rush him outside and then praise
him when he goes.

Eventually he will learn that it feels good to go potty outside (remember
he loves lots of praise) and he’ll associate the words “quick quick”
with going potty and will be stimulated to do it when you say the
words.

If you are still having problems, perhaps with an bit older dog,
you can take him outside and then keep her moving around until
she pees – don’t let her back inside until he pees. When he does pee,
give him a treat and lots of praise. He’ll get the idea and be proud
to pee outside.

For more training information, take a look at this 7 day puppy potty
training course
.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

We are hoping to get a new bulldog puppy in October!! (I am SO excited-I CANNOT wait) Can you recommend any books on training?

———-answer————-

Congratulations on your new puppy – that’s very exciting news!!!
Training is a good idea as our bulldogs can be rather stubborn.

There’s lots of material out there on training, just doing a search on Google
will give you lots of free information.

I have found it best to hire a trainer. With Vivy I hired Barkbusters because
as she got older she developed some aggression problems. They had her
under control in a few hours! They are expensive but come with a life of
the dog guarantee.

With Archie I hired a local trainer when he was a puppy because I did not
want to have those same problems. We went through the basics, like
heel and sit, etc.

The thing about a trainer is that they help train you in the proper way to
handle a dog. As humans we make a lot of assumptions about our dog’s
behavior that the dog doesn’t understand.

Did you watch the Dog Behavior videos on the cd (included in my Bulldog
Health System
)? They have a lot of
information about instinctual behavior in dogs.

If you’re still looking for a training program, you could try either
of these two sites:
http://www.caring-for-dogs.com/sitstay.html
http://www.caring-for-dogs.com/videoTraining.html

You can also take puppy classes at a local pet store. It’s really
important to socialize the little guy or gal.