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I work at a private college and every one knows I own bully breeds...I had a student come to me for help with her pitbull. She got her after she was already 1 1/2 years old from her cousin who necer properly took care of her. From what she is explaining she is very food aggressive. She stated that even walking over with the full bowl when she places it onthe ground she goes after her hand. I dont know what to tell her. I have never dealt with a food aggressive dog...mine where tought as pups not to do that and I have never had to deal with it. And to me this sounds like a pretty serious case of food aggression that I hope she can get a handle on...I just dont know what to do with a dog that has been allowed to do this for so long and how to teach an adult (shes between 2 1/2 and 3 yr) that this behavior is not acceptable!

Any advice please... I want to give her some advice...she feels like a total failure!
 

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Gosh I'm not sure. I think she needs the help of a professional trainer or she could get hurt :(
That being said, the only thing I'd know to do is feed the dog by hand, no bowl at all, until it got used to not being food aggressive. But again with this level of aggression I'd hate to give advice here and have it turn out wrong!
 

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Im w/ mevteet, also, maybe some good, firm obedience can come in handy too. Like making sure the dog sits and doesnt move(stay) until the bowl is put down.

Gosh, anyone else with HELPFUL advice??
 

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I hesitate to give people advice on line sight unseen about how to handle serious agression. I'm all for handfeeding too, but we have no idea what level of risk that would entail so how could we in fairness give advice other than "see a trainer"?

Paula
 

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I was all ready to jump right in with a sarcastic reply, but I think I'll leave that to family of 5. He's so good at it.

Seriously, I wish I had something helpful to add.
 

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DEPENDS ON THE DEGREE and the reasoning.

ask the owner this.
How is he otherwise? Is he submissive and compliant around other situation? How long has he/she had the dog. This is very crutial.

One can take this in two directions. The dog has learned this behavior (definite possibility) easy to fix. Or the dog is a true alpha. This sort of dog (very rare) is out of their league. This is a dog that wants to dominate you and tell you what to do and will try to do it, even if he has to die.

I take it that it is the former, since I really doubt you have the latter.

There are a few steps you can take to curb food aggression in ascending order of serverity. You have to teach the dog how to EARN his food. Right now, he thinks he is higher on the dog pack. he eats first. This action WILL manifest itself into other areas in the owner's/dog's social structure. ie more behavioral issues - mainly aggressive dominance.

1) ob ob ob ob ob ob - ob reinforces the owner's pack heirarchy. Dog is made to comply.....he learns to be submissive. Learns the pack heirarchy.
2) For now, if the dog allows, never feed off the bowl. Feed only from your hands, little by little. Make his sit. Down, stay. Do something for every little bite. If you want a quick solution........forget getting a dog. Make him EARN his meal by COMPLYing to your (not request) your demand! Remember. YOu are the hand of GOD. YOu give it love but you can also take his life away. That is ALPHA.
3) You eat first. Make your dog wait for his meal while he SEES you eating.
4) put him on a chock (fine german chock collar). Make him do things. If he complies.....give him the food. Now, take it away. If he so much as look at you funny........you lift him up calmly and slowly. tell him in a growl, "NOOOOO" CALM., while you stare (like you are going to literally kill him) into his eyes. THIS PART, IF YOU CANNOT DO IT, TAKE IT TO A TRAINER. It could get dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. But remember.......YOU the owner has to do it at the end!
If he does well..........be the hand of GOD..........love him like no other can! Give him a BIGGER treat.

5) remember your dog is a wolf. You being a decisive....black and white leader is EVERYTHING. Never ever allow him to do anything without your consent! The more dominant the nature of the dog.........the more stringent your control has to be.

4) if he is borderline dangerous and all the above did not work......then you have to set RANK. This probably is best to be left to a trainer that specializes in aggression. I repeat. This is not for most trainers since many will be scared and recommend the dog being destroyed. However, many just need the owner to step up to the plate and have a trainer that KNOWS how to deal with such dogs.
If you have a dominant dog.........guess what? YOU the alpha has to be even MORE dominant and clear headed. THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF AN ALPHA.

So, be the hand of GOD. Black and white. CALM work. Lots of love
 

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nanniesrock said:
I was all ready to jump right in with a sarcastic reply, but I think I'll leave that to family of 5. He's so good at it.

Seriously, I wish I had something helpful to add.

:lol: You do know how to add humor.

I agree with the others. The dog first has to recognize her as the one in control.
At no time should she let the dog see, hear or feel otherwse. My own instincts
tell me if it were to have happened to me, I would have immediately taken the dog's
collar and removed the bowl with a very harsh and firm no. He would not have
gotten his bowl back until he was trained to sit and stay on command. He has
to respect her authority and fear consequences if he does not. I would only hand feed
just enough to keep the dog from starving, but he has to learn that in order to feed
his hungry belly he has to obey and respect. This may seem tough to some, but he
has to learn or the outcome could be a thousand times worse.
 

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Re: DEPENDS ON THE DEGREE and the reasoning.

PeterC said:
ask the owner this.
How is he otherwise? Is he submissive and compliant around other situation? How long has he/she had the dog. This is very crutial.

One can take this in two directions. The dog has learned this behavior (definite possibility) easy to fix. Or the dog is a true alpha. This sort of dog (very rare) is out of their league. This is a dog that wants to dominate you and tell you what to do and will try to do it, even if he has to die.

I take it that it is the former, since I really doubt you have the latter.

There are a few steps you can take to curb food aggression in ascending order of serverity. You have to teach the dog how to EARN his food. Right now, he thinks he is higher on the dog pack. he eats first. This action WILL manifest itself into other areas in the owner's/dog's social structure. ie more behavioral issues - mainly aggressive dominance.



1) ob ob ob ob ob ob - ob reinforces the owner's pack heirarchy. Dog is made to comply.....he learns to be submissive. Learns the pack heirarchy.
2) For now, if the dog allows, never feed off the bowl. Feed only from your hands, little by little. Make his sit. Down, stay. Do something for every little bite. If you want a quick solution........forget getting a dog. Make him EARN his meal by COMPLYing to your (not request) your demand! Remember. YOu are the hand of GOD. YOu give it love but you can also take his life away. That is ALPHA.
3) You eat first. Make your dog wait for his meal while he SEES you eating.
4) put him on a chock (fine german chock collar). Make him do things. If he complies.....give him the food. Now, take it away. If he so much as look at you funny........you lift him up calmly and slowly. tell him in a growl, "NOOOOO" CALM., while you stare (like you are going to literally kill him) into his eyes. THIS PART, IF YOU CANNOT DO IT, TAKE IT TO A TRAINER. It could get dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. But remember.......YOU the owner has to do it at the end!
If he does well..........be the hand of GOD..........love him like no other can! Give him a BIGGER treat.

5) remember your dog is a wolf. You being a decisive....black and white leader is EVERYTHING. Never ever allow him to do anything without your consent! The more dominant the nature of the dog.........the more stringent your control has to be.

4) if he is borderline dangerous and all the above did not work......then you have to set RANK. This probably is best to be left to a trainer that specializes in aggression. I repeat. This is not for most trainers since many will be scared and recommend the dog being destroyed. However, many just need the owner to step up to the plate and have a trainer that KNOWS how to deal with such dogs.
If you have a dominant dog.........guess what? YOU the alpha has to be even MORE dominant and clear headed. THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF AN ALPHA.

So, be the hand of GOD. Black and white. CALM work. Lots of love

WOW, this is great information.Peter do you have video of your dogs training or pics other then the one in your post?
 

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PeterC said:
I don't have any videos. However, I do have some more pics on my hobby website, if you are interested.
http://wachhunde.tripod.com

I know I am going to regret it later.
Great looking dogs!!! I love hearing how stable and well rounded your dogs are, I really wish you would post more pictures of them. Everytime I see them, I wish I had the time to do the work.
Angie in Altanta jealous, :lol:
 

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just good ol' bulldogs.....

They teach me so much more than I can ever teach them.

YOU CAN never really get down when you see JOY, all the time, in their eyes. Who needs anti depressants? Get an AB!!!!!!!!!
 

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Thanks for the help guys!

To answer some questions ....

How is she otherwise...she seems pretty dominant. The dog is an outside dog (her cousin kept her chained 24/7 and now that she has gotten her she wont go inside). I know she said that she does not go up to the dog ever...she always calls the dog over to her. I think she is scared. She is not spayed which I told her she needs to go do esp since she is kept outside. Shes had the dog about 1 1/2 years. She says the dig seems to act better around her father (he comes over occasionally when she is having a problem and tries to help with the dog). He has experience with Rotti's and he acts more dominant around the dog and the dog catches on.

Thats one thing I noticed when she was talking to me...she seems to be submissive to the dog. She shows the dog shes in fear of it when feeding. She just throws it the bowl and walks away. She sais she is nervous when she feeds her and avoids contact. I told her that when she acts that way she is showing the dog that the dog is in control. The only advice that I gave to her was

1. gain confidance...you have to be confident arounf the dog or else the dog will compensate for you weekness by being dominant over you.

2. If the dog reacts negatively when you approach her with a bowl dont give her the food...tell her NOOO and walk away. Dont reward this behavior by allowing her to eat. Then I told her to come back in 30-45 min and try again...repeat if shes showing dominance....until she acts how you want.

3. I also told her to try just hand feeding but she doesnt feel comfortable doing that at this point.

4. Go see a TRAINER


I feel sorry for her because I do feel she jumped into this just to help this dog. And now she is in over her head. She does not know how to deal with aggressive behavior. I believe she doesnt know much about dog behavior period. I am going to talk to her today and see what she feel she is comfortable doing. I juist think this dog may be to much fer her to handle...I mean shes had her for 1 1/2 years and has not handled anything.
 

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Sounds like the classic case of too much dog for the owner.

Some people are just not cut out for owning a dominant dog. Sounds like this dog needs to be rehomed with someone better suited to handle it. Unless of course the owner i swilling to change her appraoch. From reading your posts I can't see that happening though. Tough to hide that obvious fear she has for the dog. Its obvious the dog is ALpha and knows it.
 

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cfhoftampa said:
Thanks for the help guys!

To answer some questions ....

How is she otherwise...she seems pretty dominant. The dog is an outside dog (her cousin kept her chained 24/7 and now that she has gotten her she wont go inside). I know she said that she does not go up to the dog ever...she always calls the dog over to her. I think she is scared. She is not spayed which I told her she needs to go do esp since she is kept outside. Shes had the dog about 1 1/2 years. She says the dig seems to act better around her father (he comes over occasionally when she is having a problem and tries to help with the dog). He has experience with Rotti's and he acts more dominant around the dog and the dog catches on.

Thats one thing I noticed when she was talking to me...she seems to be submissive to the dog. She shows the dog shes in fear of it when feeding. She just throws it the bowl and walks away. She sais she is nervous when she feeds her and avoids contact. I told her that when she acts that way she is showing the dog that the dog is in control. The only advice that I gave to her was

1. gain confidance...you have to be confident arounf the dog or else the dog will compensate for you weekness by being dominant over you.

2. If the dog reacts negatively when you approach her with a bowl dont give her the food...tell her NOOO and walk away. Dont reward this behavior by allowing her to eat. Then I told her to come back in 30-45 min and try again...repeat if shes showing dominance....until she acts how you want.

3. I also told her to try just hand feeding but she doesnt feel comfortable doing that at this point.

4. Go see a TRAINER


I feel sorry for her because I do feel she jumped into this just to help this dog. And now she is in over her head. She does not know how to deal with aggressive behavior. I believe she doesnt know much about dog behavior period. I am going to talk to her today and see what she feel she is comfortable doing. I juist think this dog may be to much fer her to handle...I mean shes had her for 1 1/2 years and has not handled anything.

Unfortunately, I think it is a relationship not meant to be. This dog needs a strong authoritative person in charge of him. It does not sound like she is able to be this person. If the dog knows she is afraid of him, he will use it to his advantage. This will only cause more problems down the road and she will eventually have him euthanized. Might as well recognize these issues now and find the dog a good home with someone who has the attributes that this dog needs. Best for her and best for the dog.
 

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A long term work to tackle.

Much of the advice given so far is great as far as im concerned. Always make her sit and stay while feeding, sometimes place the bowl and leave her sitting for a few minutes.
Feed her a perfect timed intervals so you always control the distribution of meals.

Other genral things help also. If she climbs up or comes to get affection, push her back, make her sit and ingnore her for a second. Then call her to you and give her the love. Reinforce the understanding of you being in control in a way she respects.

If she sleeps on the couch, make her get off everytime she climbs up by himself, and then when shes sat and stayed to your satisfaction, give her the up command (some trainers say dont let them get up because height and dominance as connected, however ive found it much more rewarding for the dog to realise that soft comfy couch is ok but I get to control the ups and downs. My dogs gerneally ask me to get up on things!). Again, help him understand its not what he does thats at stake here, just the fact that you are the one who says do it.

Its healthy with a dog to randomly request obedience throughout his or her day. This helps them to remeber whos the boos and respect you without agression.

The worst thing you can do with this dog is slap them, hit them or show aggression. The position they have is one of challenge, they respect you as dominant but in a dog way, meaning there are limits and they will lay down a challenge for things like food, bones and objects they prize. Not a healthy chain of command with a powerful dog.

ou have to work to turn that into a relationship of provision. SHe must understand that you provide for her, you feed her when you want, you let her up when you say so, you pet her when it pleases you. The more she understands this the more she will find pleasing you a good thing and respect your authority to boot.

Dont let her behave with ill manners to you, if you feel shes behaving obstinately, or rudely, let her know, make her sit make her stay, spoil her fun and then when you are satisfied shes listening, give her love again.
Its a day to day role, but with time if you always remeber not to accept rudeness or arrogance from her, she will start to learn from your position and be more respectful around you.

Its VERY normal, it likely means she views you as an Alpha dominant, as I said that may be useful with a toy dog, but with a Pit...well do you really want to reinforce alpha dominance on her when she decides to challenge for leadership? I wouldnt thats for sure!!

SHe must understand she NEEDS you, you provide for her, you care for her and you call the shots, also that she can never be the leader! Be firm, be fair and be kind and she will respect that.

I hope its helpful, im not a pro trainer but ive self studied dog training for many years and tired many different method out so the info I have is at least well informed, if its of any use then great, if not, well I can only offer what I have to give.

Good luck!
 

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Your descriptions is telling.
Sounds as if it has escalated.

The owner is obviously fearful. Dogs smell fear and stress. Many dogs feed off this and act accordingly.

The owner's loss of eye contact........wow. Do you know what we do when we WANT a dog to be a watch dog or a protection dog? We make the dog think we are a little punk by acting aggressive and then REMOVING EYE contact (and other things) to show the dog is MORE DOMINANT than the bad guy. Probably the worse thing she could have done! I would imagine the problem is getting worse.
You can actually get a dominant response from even the most mild mannered dog this way. ugggggg.

This is not the dog for her. She cannot control her fear. That is the root of the problem.

trainers are expensive and to be honest, I don't know your friend and how she can truely conquer her fears. Dog is great. Just a bad match.
A good trainer is VERY expensive, especially ones that KNOW how to deal with aggression issues. Most will give great advice but push come to shove (reality), they shy away from it. Why??????? These trainers are not fearful of getting bitten.
 

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I advise you to stay far away from Dominance training.

Its very old and is a technique goes back to a very old school way of thinking. Dominance used to be thought of as the best method, but these days its proven not to be especially with dominant dogs.

You are a human and a strong breed, a Pit for example, when adult is easily your better in strength, agility and attacking ability. The natural heirarchy of Alpha leadership exists to be challenged and setting yourself up as Alpha sets you on a collision course with a dominant dog who wants to be alpha himself.

The dog has to learn to understand you are NOT a dog, not a pack Alpha and you heirarchy is not flexible.

You have the full control of his environment and you CAN 100% effectively teach him this. You can stop his meals, stop his playtime, lock him down, and he knows it. His respect for you hinges on the fact that he is fully dependant upon you and grateful for your bevolence to him.

The fact that you are fair with him and provide for him love, sustinance in equal measures is what will teach him to heed you. Sitting for his dinner is not the end of his world, if thats what it takes to please, hell do it without question if he respects you.


If you want to tackle the behavior directly, feed him from hand one night. Feed him from hand closer to his bowl the next. Keep doing it until you are right beside the bowl.

You should ahcieve this without any growling. Now place in hand and feed him with hand IN bowl. If at any time he growls at you, give hima single direct "off", if he complies. make him sit, praise him and then give the command to eat again, keep your hand in the bowl. If he repeats i a second time, repeat the last steps. On the third attemot issue you "finished" command if you have one. he command that means, you blew it were done. Take away bowl and food and leave him hungry until the next day.

He can survive well enough without a days food believe me.

repeat next day from the same place he failed the day before.

Once you succeed in getting him to eat from hand inside the bowl without a problem. Move to the next step. Put the food in the bowl but do not retract the hand. If he even thinks about growling, do the same as you did before. OFF.

Always give him two chances because he needs to see that your are fair and that when he really does push thats when you take away his food.

Also praise him lavishly when he succeeds.

Once you get him eating from bowl with hand. You can start to test his limits. Leave the bowl, come back to it, place your hand down while hes eating and see what he does.

Also you can sometimes give him the "off" command while eating and make him wait while you change his water.

Basically you are trying to tell him, "look im not playing dominance games with you, you will do what i want when want it or you wont eat MY food in MY house. thats the end of it theres no negotiations!".

Id be shocked if your dog doesnt respond very well to this method. Generally the worst thing you can do with a dominant dog is respond with aggresive dominance because all you are saying to him is "You are right in how you are behaving but im stronger so I win"

Thats not healthy because a month later he might be felling brave and thinK "lets see whos stronger today then".

You need to rule because you rule and not need to be stronger or better than he is, rule because you can and make damn sure he knows it. When a dog is loved and cared for and all it has to do not to get priveledges removed or to ear extra reward is to be good, not behave badly, they arent stupid, they will respect you for it and do exactly that.
 

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???????

knomad quote, "The dog has to learn to understand you are NOT a dog, not a pack Alpha and you heirarchy is not flexible"

This is just plain WRONG. Where did you learn this garbage?

What I do is dominance training??????? LOL!!!!! What is that? There is good training and bad training. Black and white. When you are a good alpha, then the dog respects you, and is calmer, happier, and more obedient. It is NOT ABOUT PHYSICAL FORCE.

have you trained with dogs that would KILL you for their food? I have. many.

Question for you knomad.......what if you were trying your method of giving food from your hand and he growls so you take his whole bowl away and he says no way! He TAKES the food from you! Tell me your method. By your accounts, dogs are stronger, so how? It is not about physical force and it is not negotiation. it is about setting rank.
 

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Re: ???????

PeterC said:
knomad quote, "The dog has to learn to understand you are NOT a dog, not a pack Alpha and you heirarchy is not flexible"

This is just plain WRONG. Where did you learn this garbage?
Whats plain wrong is telling the average owner they can be the Alpha to an adult Pitbull Peter.

I wont ask where you got your information, im very familiar with the style. It began with aggresion training, police handlers and that sort of training and was carried into home training. It USED to be the mainstay for dealing with dominant dogs until people started to realise a Pitbull or a Mastiff or any other large breed can kill or badly wound its owner simply because its following its natural drive and challenging the Alpha leader.

You method requires physcial superiority to the dog and at any time that dog can challenge and would win. Its like keeping a timebomb around the house.

You objective should be to achieve leadership without ever having to resort to the physcial world. The dog should view you as lead without any reliance on its natural PHYSICALLY determined heirarchy.

A true alpha hold position through physical signals or strength, subdueing the lower males. Thats NOT what you want to achieve. What you want to achieve is the dog to understand you lead and he has NO EFFECT on your leadership what so ever.
You do what you want, sit where you want, eat what you want and the dog does not, he requests permission to do these things or he doesnt do them. You NEVER need to hit him, subdue him or physically dominate them to teach this. At the most you need physical methods to press a bum, to the ground, or assist with the training of commands like "down", these are teaching aides not dominance issues.

You rule a dog with your mind, not with testosterone.

Thats the point and its the only way to raise a dominant dog to understand rule without recourse to physical challenge.

If you teach a dog that your rule is enforced by the ability to pin him down, or over power him, your only teaching him what he already believes. The strongest leads and one day you might well see how strong he can be when he puts you down a peg in the chain with his teeth!!

The worst possible thing you can do to a dominant dog is use physcial methods because that is EXACTLY what you are trying to make it understand not to try!! The dog must learn no matter how big or strong it is, it will NEVER in its life be able to lead the pack, theres no route to top dog, end of story.
 

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If you don't know......don't give bizzare advice.

you know, your replies get more and more off topic and strange.

You have virtually no experience with handler aggression. That is very plain to see.

YOu keep saying it is physical confrontation with the dog. I have never said that. YOU THINK it is. There are various ways, depending on the severity of the problem or if there is a child involved.

Pinning a dog down? YOu think that is my method? Man.......where do you get these bizzare ideas? You make your own stuff up and say it is me. Don't assume.


Knomad.......go to some dog training classes. Then come back.

YOUR quote, "Whats plain wrong is telling the average owner they can be the Alpha to an adult Pitbull Peter. " That is perhaps the stupidest thing I have ever heard on this forum. Period.
 
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