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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering about something that Mags has begun to do lately - she has always been VERY social - when we are on walks she always pulls and wants to say hi to everyone we meet, so I put her in a sit so shes not choking herself ---- I have seen her put her hackles up only three times in the 2 years I have had her, and they were all when I was out walking her alone at night and a male would approach me (just her being protective) ---- anyway --- the last two or three weeks, when we have gone on walks and run into neighbors, etc - she has started pulling AWAY from them - like she is scared. This happens with adults and children but only strangers, if it is a neighbor that she knows well she will go say hi like usual. When she is pulling away from them her hackles aren't up and she doesn't growl or anything. It is almost like she sees them walking towards her and wants to back away from them - if they stand still and let her approach THEM then she is fine --- even when she does the pulling away thing she will still let people pet her - she doesnt growl or anything - so I don't think she would bite - she has never bit ANYONE before under any circumstances and I have never been afraid that she would because she just loves everyone --- but this behaviour baffles me, esp since it just started kinda outta the blue - and I know she LOVES everyone (kids included) so I don't know why she would pull away -- any thoughts? how can I work on correcting the bahviour?
 

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I'm not sure why.... maybe shes still just coming into her personality or her confidence has gone down... but i have a way to fix it..

when you take mags for a walk... let that be her exercise time and time for you and her to do OB. People don't have to stop and pet her. Do OB with her by making her stay in the heel position and then just continue to walk with her keeping her attention on you. With lots of praise while you do this and that will help build her confidence up. Plus, bully breeds love doing OB work! All they want to do is please you so doing this will make her happy.

You can have some normal relaxed walks... but make sure you have exercise only walks too
 

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well okay then...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kate said:
well okay then...
LOL - I just meant that everyone always has some opinion on everytihng and I know there are people who have trained/bred dogs and such that may have experienced this - no personal dis intended!
 

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Jen, I'm moving this to the Training section, maybe you'll get more replies there.
 

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Just bumping this for Jen.
 

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Am I correct in remembering that you got Mags as a pup? And she's around 2 right now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kasco said:
Am I correct in remembering that you got Mags as a pup? And she's around 2 right now?
I got her at 8 weeks - and she is 2 and a half (she will be 3 on Halloween this year)
 

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I'm leaving work soon, I'll put in my 2 cents when I get home! :wink:
 

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OK, here goes, and keep in mind, I am not a professional and because I do not know Mags, I will give you only my experience with my dog, Jazzy, who acts exactly as you describe Mags to be acting.

Having said that....

When we got Jazz as a pup she was 6 weeks old. We socialized her til we were blue in the face. We took her everywhere with us. She loved kids, adults, men, women. As she got older, that changed. Now, she picks and chooses who she likes with no distinct pattern. Whe will pull away from strangers if we pass on the street. She has barked at some of my son's friends who he brought into the house. We attribute her reaction to weak nerves. I know it's been said before, maybe Lisa? But you cannot train away weak nerves. She's unstable and I cannot change that. What I can do is try to help her. We ask people on the street to not approach her. If she pulls away, I give her a correction just as I would any other undesirable behavior. I never, ever leave her alone with children or anyone she doesn't know. I try not to put her in stressful situations, like a crowded park. Avoiding people alltogether is not the answer. Telling her "shhh...it's ok" and petting to reassure her is not the answer either. That only reinforces her negative response. I give her a firm "No!" and put her in a sit or a heel until she settles. Then we continue on our merry way.

Not sure if that's any help or not, just my view of a similar situation. :D
 

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I'm not going to explain why she does the behavior in detail, but I noticed you said it's only with strangers. How do you react when strangers approach? Do you tighten the leash? Some people don't notice but there energy reflects the dogs behavior, every little bit of tension is passing through that leash and on to the dog. What I would say is first, start having Mags walk by your side. I see too many owners let the dog walk in front of them, who's walking who? By having Mags walk by your side, your letting her know your the leader and it's better, physcologically for the dog. Second, when someone approaches and she starts to back away, don't let her. Keep her by your side whatever it takes, but remember don't talk to her or try to soothe her, that just makes dogs more nervous and reinforces the behavior. Once she's done having her little "fit", wait for her to calm down and be in that calm-submissive state and then talk to the stranger or whoever. I would first do this with a friend your dog normally doesn't see a lot, and when she has the reaction, do that exercsie. Hoped I helped you.
 
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