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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if I am posting this in the right section, if it is in the wrong place, please move it.

Hi all, we are new to this forum and I know that we will need help and guidance when we are raising our new pup Bella. Here is her story.

We bought Bella from a young family who had 4 children. They bought her from a breeder when she was 8 weeks old. She has all her immunisations. They couldn't keep her because one of their children was ill and they spent alot of time at the hospital and away from home. When we brought her home, she the command to sit and if you said Bella "no" she would stop what she was doing. She wasn't house trained either. The previous owners told us that she was very attached to the "Mom" and didn't really like men.

Once we got her home we found out real quick that she wasn't house trained. She has been home for just over a week and she is doing much better. We have kennel trained her and she adjusted very well to the kennel. (she has one kennel in our dining room for when we are away and one in our bedroom for at night) When we tell her "kennel" she goes right in it. She doesn't whine at all.

She and our golden Zoey get along really well. They play together and sleep together and they share their toys. The only issue is that she likes to sit on Zoey. I'm not sure if this is a dominance thing?
We have trained her to shake a paw, lay down and roll over. We're working on "off" when she jumps up, on sit/stay. (this is a challenge with the 2 dogs), walking on the leash (lots of heal, sit, praise), we use "leave it" when we don't want her to touch something (she is doing great!), but then when I tell her "get it", she hesitates. We always make her wait to get her food until we say it's ok. We feed Zoey first then Bella. Bella isn't allowed to eat out of Zoey's dish and Zoey isn't aloud to eat out of Bella's. We feed both girls 2x a day. We are also working on "Quiet" because it gets pretty loud when both girls start barking.

She doesn't like men. The first time she met my father in law and my brother in law she growled at them. It wasn't a menacing growl, just a "I don't know you, I'm not sure" kind of growl". Once they came in our home she was fine with them. She doesn't listen really well to my husband; he will tell her to come and she will look at him and ignore him, when I call she comes right away. If he scolds her, she will growl and bark at him. She is very sassy. I'm hoping I can get some advice on how to deal with this. Bella was supposed to take puppy classes with my husband but the classes are full.

My biggest concern with Bella is my 9 year old son. She will go over to him and lay on his legs (on the floor since she isn't allowed on the furniture). He will be petting her gently "not holding or anything" and she will all of a sudden growl at him. I am sitting next to them watching so I know he isn't hurting her in any way. This has happened 3x's. Also, when Bella was playing with him, she jumped up and nipped his face. It was so fast. We scolded her immediately. She didn't brake the skin but she scared us and my son. He didn't have his face near her, he was just kinda jumping around. We called the previous owner and she said Bella had never done anything like that with her kids. One of her children used to try to ride her like a horse. We know she needs more training. My son isn't allowed to play with her right now. He has started taking care of her more. He is feeding her (by hand) and taking her for walks.

We didn't get her as a little pup but she is still young enough that we can get through any issues we have with patience and education. She is a part of our family and we already love her so much. We want what is best for her and our family and that means that we are in this together.
Thanks for taking the time to read about our family and any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Brashz
Aka Bella's new mom
 

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I would suggest that you start NILIF right away. I would also suggest a two week shut down. You can find this info in the Sticky Section.

As far as your son, if he was jumping around he probably excited Bella and that is why she jumped and nipped. I would suggest having your son stay calm and not go jumping/running around because bullies tend to have a higher prey drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How do you ignore them when they try to climb on you? Or she whines with her puppy dog eyes? LOL we are being strong. It's hard but it is what is best for her. One question though, what should I do for a 2 week shutdown?
 

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Sounds like you're doing a great job! Glad to hear your whole family is on board with this, consistency TRULY IS key! Good luck, and I'm excited to hear about your progress (more pictures as well, please!) :)
 

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If she tries to climb on you just turn your back on her and walk away and ignore her until she calms down.

There was a good thread about a two week shut down. Try using the search feature.
 

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It sounds like she found the right home with you all. Being that you all are so willing to try & make it work.
And I think your son will be the one to pick up on things quicker than you & your husband! ;) Kids tend to keep things nice & simple and dont read into things so much.
I'd let him take as much control over the training as possible -with your supervision of course - that way he is active in the progress of her training & can appreciate all the accomplishments she made with his efforts.
He will have a best friend for a long long time :D

Oh & tell your son it is up to him to teach his dad how to properly train her. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Things are going well, she is sitting right away and waiting to be put out and for her food. We are gonna try a gentle leader and have our son walk her. We are also considering getting a personal trainer in to do some one on one with her. We want to make sure we do everything right. She is such a good dog. We all love her very much. Well keep you updated on her progress.
 

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NILIF changed our lives. For the first two weeks of having our AB she got everything she wanted of course. She was being pretty good but still a little spazzy and pushy. I decided to try the NILIF right away and by goodness it worked like a charm. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
She is doing much better; however, my husband was scolding her for taking our other dogs bone away and she started growling at him. He went to pick up the bone and she tried to bite him. I don't know what to do?
 

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Continue with the NILIF training. Second, do not be afraid of your own dog.
She will sense it and use it. Third, she is going into her teenage puppy stage.
NOT FUN, so really concentrate on the NILIF training. If you are having issues
you and your husband cannot control, you need to seek a trainer's advice
and help. Good luck.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am going to sound really dumb here but can her aggression be caused by my underfeeding her? She gets 1.5 cups in the morning and 1.5 cups at supper time. This is what the vet told us to feed her? I'm not sure how much she weighs but she was only 30lbs when we got her and she was almost 5 months. The people who had her before were feeding her "a bowl" 3x a day. I'm going to increase her feedings to 2cups 2x a day.
 

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Her aggression is not coming from under-feeding her. Just continue using NILIF. I would not give her or other dogs a high value treats (bones) when they are all together... that is asking for trouble.

As far as feeding goes you want to look at the condition of your dog. A nice visible waist line from a top view of the dog and a nice visible tummy tuck from the side view of the dog is what you want to see. Even as pups and young dogs if a couple of ribs are noticeable it's not the end of the world. A thin pup (not super skinny) is a healthy pup in my opinion because you aren't putting extra pounds/weight on growing joints.
 

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First off, that is not aggression, that is resource guarding. The bone = resource, and she's guarding it. This is NOT caused by underfeeding or overfeeding, or anything TO DO with feeding. Your dog needs to start to realize that the food comes from YOU. The sole source provider for all things nummy and yummy is YOU. I believe that Lisa suggests hand feeding at this point...plus with the bones, ABSOLUTELY pick them up and take them away when she nips.
 

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Thanks for the replies. I don't want to be a pest but we just want to do what is best for her.
No worries! ;) Also, the search feature on here can be your best friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have used the search features. I have read so much in the last 3 weeks that my head is spinning. I have just picked up 2 books to read as well. Knowledge is power! I'm not giving up on my girl.
 
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