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I'm starting to get the feeling that my English Bulldog puppy is depressed or something weird. He only spends 3 hours a day at home by himself (plus night time), but he seems to even resent that, or maybe he's jealous of our young daughter?? Really, he is living the 'good life', but he just doesn't seem happy for some reason.

When we're at home he goes off by himself a lot, if he isn't getting 100% attention, and it almost looks like he's sulking/pouting. He likes to chase around after us outside, but refuses to even go for the smallest walks most of the time. He has gone before and had so much fun, but now he doesn't want to go anymore. We try to include him in everything, but most of the time he just wants to be by himself and sulk. Also at times if he isn't getting what he wants he will bark (kind of aggressively) at us. He really loves to sit on my lap and nap, but other than that he wants to be alone.

I think he might need more exercise, and that just playing around in the backyard isn't enough for him....but what can I do if he refuses to go for a walk? Also another form of exercise he likes is rough housing, and we are trying to teach him to only play with toys (we want to stop him from nipping at our daughter). We try to get him really excited over a toy, but he just isn't into toys for some reason. He just seems like he doesn't really like doing anything....he just seems almost depressed.

It seems if we give attention and correction to bad behavious he thrives off the negative attention and becomes worse, and if we ignore the bad behaviour he just sulks ALL day long, and becomes distant from us (which worries me). We typically use positive reinforcement, and yet if he isn't constantly being a "star" and the centre of the universe, he goes back to sulking.

I didn't really know where to put this thread?? I hope that someone can give me some feedback on what they think might be going on!!!! :)
 

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Vertes3 said:
I'm starting to get the feeling that my English Bulldog puppy is depressed or something weird. He only spends 3 hours a day at home by himself (plus night time), but he seems to even resent that, or maybe he's jealous of our young daughter?? Really, he is living the 'good life', but he just doesn't seem happy for some reason.

When we're at home he goes off by himself a lot, if he isn't getting 100% attention, and it almost looks like he's sulking/pouting. He likes to chase around after us outside, but refuses to even go for the smallest walks most of the time. He has gone before and had so much fun, but now he doesn't want to go anymore. We try to include him in everything, but most of the time he just wants to be by himself and sulk. Also at times if he isn't getting what he wants he will bark (kind of aggressively) at us. He really loves to sit on my lap and nap, but other than that he wants to be alone.

I think he might need more exercise, and that just playing around in the backyard isn't enough for him....but what can I do if he refuses to go for a walk? Also another form of exercise he likes is rough housing, and we are trying to teach him to only play with toys (we want to stop him from nipping at our daughter). We try to get him really excited over a toy, but he just isn't into toys for some reason. He just seems like he doesn't really like doing anything....he just seems almost depressed.

It seems if we give attention and correction to bad behavious he thrives off the negative attention and becomes worse, and if we ignore the bad behaviour he just sulks ALL day long, and becomes distant from us (which worries me). We typically use positive reinforcement, and yet if he isn't constantly being a "star" and the centre of the universe, he goes back to sulking.

I didn't really know where to put this thread?? I hope that someone can give me some feedback on what they think might be going on!!!! :)

Well he's not sulking or pouting - he's a dog. I would worry about his health actually. If you have an inactive puppy I'd think about talking to your vet about him Is his blood sugar stable, does he have parasites, etc. Think about those things instead of that he's off in a sulk.

Paula
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Paula....that's originally what I thought too. But the thing is he isn't really inactive.....he just sulks if he's not getting his way, he wants to do things his way, and if he's not he's resentful, and acts all depressed. He just doesn't seem to like the things most dogs like (other than rough housing, which isn't allowed). He has a totally clean bill of health, and is up to date on all his shots and wormings.

I'll give you some examples.....

This morning he wanted to bite on my daughters stroller....I said "no", and tried to give him his bone. He played with his bone for about 2 seconds, and then dropped it and took off to another room. I go in to see what he's doing and he's just sitting their sulking.

Last night he wanted my husband to get off the couch and rough house with him (like I said we don't do this). So the dog finally settles down, and then my husband goes "Good boy", and starts petting him, and then a minute later he starts barking at my husband. So we keep trying to get him interested in his toys, and he's just not.....so then he makes one last attempt to play fight, and then he goes off to another room and starts sulking again.

If we totally ignore him if he's being rowdy than he will go sulk all day long, and won't want a thing to do with us. He wants ALL the attention ALL day long, and if he's not getting it than he doesn't want a thing to do with anyone. If we just accept that he's sulking all day than he acts depressed. I have had many pupps, and dogs in my life, and I have never had one that acts like this if they don't get their way.....they usually go play by themselves for a while then come back, or would be annoyingly persistent......this pupp seems like if he doesn't get his way he could care less if he ever sees us again.

He CAN walk and run, and be happy, but if he isn't interested in it than he won't do it. He likes chasing the stroller on our walks, but now he's getting over that too and it's getting boring for him, so I think that's why he isn't really interested in going for walks anymore. I really do think that there is some kind of emotional issues going on with him....as weird and foreign as that might sound.

Maybe it seems like I'm reading too much into this, but if you could see the way that he sulks you would see what I mean.
 

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My instinct says you are reading things into this. IMO sulking is anthropomorphic. But your'e right, without seeing the behavior I have nothing to propose.

Do you guys have a trainer? That would be a good place to start.

IMO
Paula
 

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My first reaction to your post is that he is bored. He wants to do some kind of fun activity which would include chasing, jumping, tugging. Walking is not a fun activity, it is just an activity. I bet this dog would love agility.

One thing I have found with Clara is if she is corrected firmly, she will go lay down away from me because she does not want to be corrected again. She will not be herself until I have said that she is forgiven and give her a couple of pats and a kiss. Then she is all wiggly butt again.

I truly believe that your dog needs and wants to play vigorously and daily. How much backyard play does he get each day and what kind? How old is he?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ya you're right it most likely is boredom...you hit the nail on the head!!!!
He plays outside with us for about 2 hours.....it's still pretty hot out, and he's an EB so he doesn't do extremely well with the heat. He does like to play tug of war (but it usually ends with him trying to 'nip' at us)', and he does like to chase us around the yard through the cedar trees (probablly his ultimate favorite activity). The main problems is that we are trying to get some kind of middle ground where he knows it's okay to chase us, but not our daughter, or to play tug with us, but not with our daughter. So I guess we are having a problem with combining training and exercise. We are trying to teach him what behaviour is acceptable, and at the same time all the games he likes to play involve doing what is unacceptable, LOL.

He's only 3 months now....so he's still pretty young, but he really does have an older dog attitude! Do you have any suggestions on how I could get him the exercise he needs and to reinforce the training at the same time??

Thanks for your replies ladies!!! :)
 

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Maybe a dominance struggle? :? It might not be clear to him who
is alpha, who is in charge. By playing on his terms, he thinks he's in control...then when he trys initiating play again and you say "no", it might confuse him. Just a thought!
Tug of war is something they love, just teach him the command
"leave it" or "drop it", that way you can end the game before he gets
nippy.
Good luck...they dont call them "bullies" for nothing! :wink:
 

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Well, I think probaby structured activity would be better than random activity. This way he knows what he is to do and when plus it challanges his learning capabilities which reduces the boredom. I would set him up a little agility course and teach him to do the jumps and the crawls. A little spring pole or a basket ball on a rope hung over a tree limb for him to jump at. A childs swimming pool filled with water so that he can play and cool off at the same time. Teach him Frisbie, dogs love this. One thing I also would do is as much as you want the pup to respect your daughter, you must teach your daughter the same thing about your puppy. Your three month old puppy has to play and bless his heart, he sees your daughter as playmate size. Your daughter has to be taught that if she gets to close to the pup he will jump. It will take him a little time to learn not to do this. As a matter of fact, it seems that this is the last thing that they learn. They learn sit, lay down, stay, etc. much more quickly. But if you can work out some of this energy that he has, he will be more calm in the house. Good luck. :D

Here is a site that you could use to help make some of the agility items. Remember, you pup is a pup, and should not do any heavy course work - just play, so keep your items small.

http://www.mastamariner.com/activities_agility_course.html
 
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