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Congrats on your new puppy. Lots of things going on here...

Sounds like you are on the right track with the housetraining..keep on using the crate.

Great job teaching those tricks...if you are able to communicate with your dog that well that she is able to pick up on what you are asking of her, obedience training should be a snap.

I would stop feeding from bowls and feed from your hand. Use the food to teach new commands and to reinforce commands she already knows. This will assist with building a good bond with her and will teach her the importance of focusing on you rather than the other dog in the house or any other person or dog for that matter..I am not a real fan of kids training dogs, especially dogs who have showed aggression or signs of unstable temperament. 5 months is extremely young to be showing aggression...especially a bulldog as this breed tends to genuinely love people especially when young! I would definitely be concerned about that. Also, most adults have a hard time being consistent and having good timing with their markers and rewards..how can we expect a kid to be able to do things properly? I would never rely on a child to train my dog and I certainly would not allow a child to walk any dog unsupervised.

I would not leave toys down to be played with whenever the dogs want to. Not only is this a trigger for fighting, but toys also lose their "value" when they can be had whenever a dog wants them. I like to use food and toys as a motivator to training so they need to hold value. Feeding puppies from bowls and allowing them access to toys whenever they want is counterproductive to that. The key to having a well trained dog is by first having your dogs focus and in order to have that you need to be interesting to your dog. You know you have focus when you let your dog or pup out of the crate and instead of them bolting off outside or somewhere else looking for fun, the dog stays with you, staring up at you, waiting for you to pull out something for them..be it food or a favorite toy. It's amazing how a dog with this outlook on life makes training so much easier. If a dog WANTS to be with you and eagerly awaits for you to start a game or training etc that is half the battle! Most people teach their dogs the opposite (everything else is more important to the dog than them) which is why so many people have training problems (I was one of those people at one time). Be careful how you "socialize". Don't socialize in a manner that will interfere with the bond you have with her or her willingness to want to be with you doing things. If you teach her that other dogs and people are more fun than you are then you will have problems.

Because of the growling and aggression I would not do meet and greets with her. I would bring her out in public around other dogs and people but I would not let people approach her for pets but would instead be sure the people remain neutral and ignore her while you work on attention and focus.

I absolutely would not let her play with other dogs and when at home would encourage her to ignore the other dog in your home. Crate her more if you have to. It will help keep your training black and white as well if she doesn't have so much freedom.. At my house dogs earn freedom and get very little of it as puppies. Too much freedom is bound to create gray area even in homes of the most experienced trainers. Confinement during the learning stage of a dogs life helps prevent all that. At my house puppies are only out of their crate or kennel when we are doing something and 100% of my attention is on them (feeding/training, playing, walking, pottying).

I do relax things quite a bit as the puppy matures and the lessons have been imprinted. I definitely do not maintain this type of structure throughout a dogs whole life. However, it's important to remember you imprint a puppy is what will stay with it it's entire life so this is a very important time for her.

Hope that helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Update on Bella

Hello everyone, I just wanted to update everyone on Bellas progress. We have followed everyones advice and what a difference it has made. She is no longer aggressive with my husband or my son. The puppy classes have really helped. I think she needed to realise that she wasn't the boss and didn't have to be in control all the time, once she did, her tail started wagging, she was more relaxed.

The only issue we have with her now is that we are still having house training accidents. She has 2 kennels. The kennel in our room is ok. She sleeps in it at night and doesn't mess in it. The other kennel is the one we put her in when we leave the house. She has no issue with going to the bathroom (pee and poop) in the kennel. She will actually lay in her pee and step in her poop. It is frustrating but we are still working at it. We don't leave her in the kennel for more than 2 hours at a time. We put her out often and we had her vet checked and she is in perfect health.
Thanks for the previous advice. Hopefully, I can get more direction with this issue as well. Bella is almost 7 months old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Oh my heart, we miss our Bella Rosalie. We had to love her enough to let her go in August 2021. She unfortunately got a cancerous tumour and she went to sleep forever surrounded by our family while laying in my arms. Our hearts broke the day we said goodbye and we miss her everyday.
Using NILIF was a game changer when we got Bella, she became the most loving and obedient companion. She never liked men and we made sure to not put her in a situation that put her or anyone in danger.
She lived a good life and now she is waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge with her sister Zoey.
 

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My heart goes out to you. We, too, had to put our Clara to sleep last year. It broke our hearts but we knew she would be at peace.
Thank you for sharing and for adding the beautiful pictures of her.
 
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