Bulldog Breeds Forums banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lot of dogs I come across (labs, goldens, etc) will come up to greet me without hesitation. My dog (American Bulldog), on the other hand is the complete opposite. He's not quite 6 months old, and he doesn't like strangers at all. He loves other dogs, but seems to hate people. Should I be concerned?

When we have new guests over, he will bark at them for a few minutes before finally warming up to them. The other night, when my neighbors came over to pet him, he fought like crazy to escape (he was on leash). He finally accepted that he wasn't going anywhere, but his tail was tucked the entire time. No growling or biting. I've read that the breed can be aloof towards strangers, but is this normal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
Hmmmm, I would think you could have the potential for a problem on your hands, but then again I've never been around an American Bulldog. Hopefully your not petting him, or telling him "it's ok" when he's acting like that? Anyway to answer the question;

Ben - Never meets a stranger, if your outside he will bring you a toy and try to get you to play with him, if I don't tell him different or "enough" he will irritate the crap out of you trying all he can to make you laugh, or get your attention.

Maddie - will smell ya, but walk away. She's just not interested, though will greet you with a tail wag, and is still friendly. She doesn't care who you are or if you pet her, as long as you leave her alone,and she can be beside me.

Tucker (Mini Schnauz.) - depends on who you are. He greets everyone happily, but then just goes on about his business. However there are a few people, and I'm not sure why but he can't seem to get enough of them, and is QUITE happy to see them. He'll zoom around and show off, acting like a big goof.

You'd never know I have a cat though, she hates pretty much everyone and mostly hides with company over, or stares at you constantly from a far. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Well, it sounds like he is afraid. That is not a good thing. Maybe try having visitors walk outside with him for a bit, before entering your house. Don't have them pet him or even really pay attention to him. Then gradually move to the visitors coming inside. I'm not an expert, and I don't know FOR SURE that you're puppy is scared, but the backing away and tail between the legs as well as a lot of barking indicates that he is fearful.

I'm sure there are others on the forum that can give you more in-depth advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,036 Posts
Gosh, I wish my dogs were even a little tiny bit leery of strangers. They love em! It would be really easy for someone to steal them. Just as we were moving into our new house, the meter reader came by. I had the dogs out front with me (we only had a four foot fence there) and as the guy was walking up the dogs let out a couple barks then the guy put is hand over the fence and petted them then came into the yard! I couldn't believe it. Don't get me wrong I don't want them aggressive but maybe a little stand offish. Nope!!! Not my dogs. I crate them when I leave so nobody can just open the gate and take them!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
My dogs like whoever I like. If someone comes over and I invite them in, they are always happy and playful. If we're out in public and people approach, like at PetsMart -- they are all about giving kisses and love. But if they sense I am afraid (like I was with the stranger in the woods when I was hiking) they will bark and carry on like maniacs. And if anyone approaches "their" yard and I am not outside, they will bark. So pretty much, I think they behave appropriately.

Your dog just sounds like he's afraid. How much socialization did he have as a pup? You could try taking him out in public more, just exposing him to new people and new places, and see if that gets him to come out of his shell. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Chloe is the same age (almost 6 months) and absolutely loves people. When I have people over it is a treat for her and sometimes she will not leave them alone. :roll: She is also very friendly to just about any stranger that approaches her when we are out. I'm sure someone could steal her if they really wanted to aswell. We have a lock on our gate for that very reason. You may want to work with him because I don't think that's normal. It sounds like a fear issue to me aswell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
Oh I just noticed that he's only 6 mos old. There's plenty of time to get him used to strangers and expose him to new situations. I think it will just take some time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,660 Posts
I have read that aloofness is acceptable in the breed, too. Tora is an American Bulldog, too, but I have introduced her to many people becuase I don't want her be afraid of him. I need her to be a good judge of character. She is very welcoming to most everyone but there was a friend of mine that she growled at. My friend was very tense and she did not appreciate it...She ran up to greet him then I think that she got close enough to sense something wasn't right. She started to growl at him and one other guy that I did not know came walking up. He tried to pet her and I don't know what was going on with him but she growled at him, too. She does not seem to miind poeple that fear she just looks at him like "What" and wagges her tail. She like kids even when they are at their most spastic. Since your pup is young I would start slowly introduing him to other people like everyone else said. Start exposing him to people in very controlled ( by you) enviroments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Oh and to answer your question, my dog acts like a complete idiot around other people. He's a wiggle butt. And I swear he likes strangers just as much as he likes me. Greets them with the same enthusiasm he does with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
pretty obvious....

biggest problem with ABs. nerves.

ABs should be warey of strangers. However, this tentative posture should NOT EVER be one of hesitation. It should be indifference. Once introduced, the dog should be friendly, but not crazy for the new person.

Return it to the breeder. That is a lot of fear........trying to wiggle his way out of a leash.

Think with your brains..........not with your heart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
Re: pretty obvious....

PeterC said:
biggest problem with ABs. nerves.

ABs should be warey of strangers. However, this tentative posture should NOT EVER be one of hesitation. It should be indifference. Once introduced, the dog should be friendly, but not crazy for the new person.

Return it to the breeder. That is a lot of fear........trying to wiggle his way out of a leash.

Think with your brains..........not with your heart.
Peter, I think you have some really great posts, and I find you to be very informative. But I have to say, the answer is not always to give up the dog. People here love their pets, and we encourage them to do whatever possible to keep their dogs happy and healthy. I understand your concern, but I don't think that's an option here. Maybe if he had the pup for a few days, but we're talking several months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Re: pretty obvious....

PeterC said:
biggest problem with ABs. nerves.

ABs should be warey of strangers. However, this tentative posture should NOT EVER be one of hesitation. It should be indifference. Once introduced, the dog should be friendly, but not crazy for the new person.

Return it to the breeder. That is a lot of fear........trying to wiggle his way out of a leash.

Think with your brains..........not with your heart.
Peter, I'm sure you have a lot of experience with ABs, but what if giving the dog back is not an option? What if he'd like to work with the dog? I'm sure you can offer alternative solutions. There seems to be a lot of people out there who, unfortunately, have fearful dogs. A lot of those people work very hard to help the dog and are successful. And yes, some will never over come their fears...but a considerable amount do. Maybe you could offer some tips?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
Listen........

Why should I work with a dog that I feel has obvious GENETIC behavioral issues? This is not a bad habbit thing. This is genetic fear, the most difficult issue to overcome.........if at all, ever.

If I got to be PAID to deal with it, I would cover it up. But cover ups ALWAYS ALWAYS manifests itself in other ways and eventually come to surface. hmmmmmmm "accidental bites?"
One time. It takes ONE time for a fear monger to bite a kid. I just don't like them. I love kids. I don't like fear mongers.

I learned the hard way.

Two of the BEST trainers that I know (one a ring III judge - there is only one in North America) told me one thing that rings true in EVERY dog venue.........pet or work. YOU CANNOT TRAIN COURAGE.

Now, many of you said that you will work with it and fix it. hmmmmmmm. You guys must be better than these world class trainers.
You ask for solutions to a problem that has no solutions. Fear is fear. fear of humans means the dog SHOULD BE PUT DOWN. SIMPLE.

Sorry, I hate to be blunt. But how can I sugar coat for you? You can not.

Fearful dogs are the ones doing damage and is on the newspapers not working dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
sorry, you know what? Why bother.

Just work with the dog. be happy. keep on working with the dog. enjoy.

common sense seems not to rule here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
Re: Listen........

PeterC said:
Why should I work with a dog that I feel has obvious GENETIC behavioral issues? This is not a bad habbit thing. This is genetic fear, the most difficult issue to overcome.........if at all, ever.

If I got to be PAID to deal with it, I would cover it up. But cover ups ALWAYS ALWAYS manifests itself in other ways and eventually come to surface. hmmmmmmm "accidental bites?"
One time. It takes ONE time for a fear monger to bite a kid. I just don't like them. I love kids. I don't like fear mongers.

I learned the hard way.

Two of the BEST trainers that I know (one a ring III judge - there is only one in North America) told me one thing that rings true in EVERY dog venue.........pet or work. YOU CANNOT TRAIN COURAGE.

Now, many of you said that you will work with it and fix it. hmmmmmmm. You guys must be better than these world class trainers.
You ask for solutions to a problem that has no solutions. Fear is fear. fear of humans means the dog SHOULD BE PUT DOWN. SIMPLE.

Sorry, I hate to be blunt. But how can I sugar coat for you? You can not.

Fearful dogs are the ones doing damage and is on the newspapers not working dogs.
Alot of american bulldogs go through a stage where they become kind of fearful of strangers! This is not bad nerves and they should out grow it. This can take place anytime between 6 months to a little over a year on average 9 months but it should not last more then a month if it does then I would say yes weak dog bad nerves. Test the dog, drop something behind him like a steel trash can lid and 5 seconds later call the dog and see if it recovers from the noise its okay for it to jump but the dog should recover quick and investigate the lid and come to you when called, if it runs and hides under a car or something and wont come out that is a weak dog and Peter is right, it should be put down as it will grow into a fear biter and that is the worst dog you can own because they are so unpredictable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Gracie is excessively friendly to strangers. she has to stop, greet, and lick anyone that wants to pet her. She loves kids too, My little brother and my little cousin were playing with her today and she was loving it. Shes definitely not wary of strangers and perhaps too friendly, but id choose friendly personally over afraid/overly wary. I have no experience with ABs, so their temperment around strangers could be more standoffish, but being overly afraid doiesnt sound right either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
Odin seems fine around everyone, he wont just walk over to strangers, but if they come over and we talk....then he wants attention from them. When he is in the back yard he can see the road from the gate, he just sits and watched people walk by without a peep. If im out in the back yard with him though he will bark when people go by. Not sure why that is, maybe to tell me...hey look...people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,500 Posts
Moose will bark at them if he doesn't know who you are but then he is friendly. G_d help you if he does know you because he gets all happy and the lethal tail is at the other end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
My dogs are happy to go up to someone and greet them with kisses and leans, if I give them the okay to do so. They are cautious of new people, but never to the point of being aggressive, they just tend to keep a good distance between them and sorta watch over them for awhile. But I'm glad they are like that, not everyone is exactly dog friendly.

If they are in the yard and I'm not out there with them, they will bark and carry on like maniacs when people walk by. But if I'm out there with them they could care less about who comes by.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top