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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I was reading the board today and came across a post that made the hair on my neck stand up. Someone was voicing concern about their dog being, shy, scared of loud noises, etc. And Lisa suggested that she go to the site dogstuff.info and read an article on nerves.

Let me regress for a little bit. About 2 months again my husband and I took in a 15 month old English Bulldog as a rescue. She has won our hearts and is staying but I think a lot of her problems are now genetic and no amount of love and training are going to make them go away. She has made a great deal of progress as far as standard obidience goes, she will sit and stay for as long as we ask her too, takes her treats with an very gentle mouth, she is not food agressive at all, is finally totally housbroken. We are still working on coming when called, it is not a problem in the house or if she is on the leash she listens wonderfully, but if she is in the backyard it's like she is a kid out of school in one ear out the other, BUT she is getting better at it. I work with her everyday. We are fortunate enough that we own our own business and that it is only open four months a years Sept-Dec. So I have until Sept to work with her then she will go to work with us everyday. That is now my problem. After reading the article I sit here with knot in my stomach knowing that she can not mingle with our customers like our Lab use to. I can no longer let her hang out with our grandchildren on the couch while I'm in the kitchen. Our grandson is here today and I find myself calling Lucy over to me constantly just to see where she is.
This is some of the behaviour that now has me concerned, She barks very agressively at a big wooden cow that I have on the kitchen counter, If I place it on the floor she circles it and growls and barks then tries to bit it. I placed it on the floor because I thought I guess stupidly that if she saw it was no threat she wouldn't be afarid of it anymore. Not happening. Instead of being courious about somethings, not all things. she barks at them.
Two weeks after we got her she jumped up on our bed and when my husband tried to make her get down she took and aggressive stand and then bit him in the chin. I thought that just correcting the behaviour and letting her know that it was not accpetable i.e. she was banished to her crate until morning would teach her to behave accpetably. Guess not.
When she wants to play she constantly wants to grab your hands with her mouth, we have stopped this to a great degree by grabbing her cheeks and firmly saying no mouth, she is truly much better than when she first came to us. She runs with the you and tries to grab your shoes, again she is getting better not doing this, I finally have resorted to putting Bitter Apple on the toes of our shoes that seem to have had the best effect. She loves to play tug of war with a toy, we thought again maybe wrongly that If we could get her to learn that her tug toy was the only approperate thing to do that with she wouldn't grab at your shoes or hands. Now after reading that aritcle I wonder if all my work had done more harm that good. Is there a better or different way to work with a dog that has weak nerves. Please help me I love this little dog so much. I will NEVER get rid of her like her first family did.
Annette
 

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Agent Squint
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Sounds like a dominance issue, and you should never leave any dog with children unsupervised...leash your dog when u have guest around, you can get double ended clasp leashes, then u can attach one end to you and one to the dog..leaves you hands free.

Do a search on dominace on this forum.

Hope I helped
 

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Are you sure your dog is fearful and weak nerved? Is there other behaviour you left that makes you believe she is fearful?? Some of your problems sound more like dominance or training issues rather than nerves.
 

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Sounds too me like a dominance factor maybe the last home didnt enforce anything and now its quite far into it. Be stern but also rewarding fixing mistakes and problems can take time soemtimes years to fix...and somtimes never can be.This might be the dog as it is forever.
Keep trying :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi,

thank you all for you quick relies. Lisa asked for a little more info on why I think she is fearful so I will try to answer that. If I come into the house with groceries bags and she follows me to the kitchen and I drop one to the floor she puts her ears back and runs under the table, If something like a yard stick falls she runs. It seem "things" scare her not people. Maybe I'm reading more into her behaviour than is really there. I hope so. I have always felt that her first family gave her up not because"they didn't have enough time for her" but because they saw this aggressive behaviour starting to emerge and didn't want to or didn't know how to deal with it. In her past life she was crated approx. 19 hours every day, while everyone was either working or at school. Let out for a few hours in the eveing then back into her crate for the night. I firmly believe in crate training but I think that much crate time for a puppy couldn't be good. I have a hard time making her go into her crate , but she will go If I take her collar and push her in. Our last tow dogs LOVED their crates it was safe place for them If they had done something wrong and know it they would get into their crates and know that the only punishment would be the door shutting behind them I NEVER dragged them out of them to discipline them.
What is appropriate play for a english bulldog? She loves to chase a ball and brings it back but only the air balls with the squeekers in them she love to make them squeek! she love tug of war. Good or bad game? She also love to play with our sons male Lab(they don't live with us) She will stick to Jake like glue and when he has had enough he just grabs her and puts her to the ground. I never interfer when they play I think Jake does a good job of showing her hows boss. Yes No? I just want what is best for Lucy. RIght know she is sleeping and snoring like a steam train at my feet and when I look at her sweet little face I wonder why someone would spend a ton of money to buy a dog like lucy and then not spend the time or money to have her properly trained. To me a dog is like a child you have to start building a foundation of respect and trust when they are little, not wait until they are teenagers, then It's nearly impossible to get them to respect you. I think I will have a tough fight on my hands with Lucy but I will not give up.

Thank you all for you time.
Annette
 

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lucysmom said:
Hi,

thank you all for you quick relies. Lisa asked for a little more info on why I think she is fearful so I will try to answer that. If I come into the house with groceries bags and she follows me to the kitchen and I drop one to the floor she puts her ears back and runs under the table, If something like a yard stick falls she runs. It seem "things" scare her not people. Maybe I'm reading more into her behaviour than is really there. I hope so. I have always felt that her first family gave her up not because"they didn't have enough time for her" but because they saw this aggressive behaviour starting to emerge and didn't want to or didn't know how to deal with it. In her past life she was crated approx. 19 hours every day, while everyone was either working or at school. Let out for a few hours in the eveing then back into her crate for the night. I firmly believe in crate training but I think that much crate time for a puppy couldn't be good. I have a hard time making her go into her crate , but she will go If I take her collar and push her in. Our last tow dogs LOVED their crates it was safe place for them If they had done something wrong and know it they would get into their crates and know that the only punishment would be the door shutting behind them I NEVER dragged them out of them to discipline them.
What is appropriate play for a english bulldog? She loves to chase a ball and brings it back but only the air balls with the squeekers in them she love to make them squeek! she love tug of war. Good or bad game? She also love to play with our sons male Lab(they don't live with us) She will stick to Jake like glue and when he has had enough he just grabs her and puts her to the ground. I never interfer when they play I think Jake does a good job of showing her hows boss. Yes No? I just want what is best for Lucy. RIght know she is sleeping and snoring like a steam train at my feet and when I look at her sweet little face I wonder why someone would spend a ton of money to buy a dog like lucy and then not spend the time or money to have her properly trained. To me a dog is like a child you have to start building a foundation of respect and trust when they are little, not wait until they are teenagers, then It's nearly impossible to get them to respect you. I think I will have a tough fight on my hands with Lucy but I will not give up.

Thank you all for you time.
Annette
Thanks for giving us some more detail. It sounds like your girl has some object sensitvity. When Lucy gets frightened from something and goes and hides how long before she will come out again? Recovery time is very important in judging the severity of this problem.

About the dominance issues you mentioned in the first post. I would try handfeeding Lucy her every meal. I would do this for several months. Also no toys for her unless YOU or hubby initiate the play. Meaning you do not have toys laying around. About the feeding, make up her daily rations and split it into 2 meals each day. In the begining you will feed her when she looks at you. Once she has been doing this for a few days and gets it down then start introducing basic commands like sit, down, etc. If she doesn't already know these commands you can lure her into position using the food until she understands what you want. Your husband could probably do this too. By handfeeding and intiating play YOU and your husband will have more control and she *should* respect the two of you more. I also recommend a release command. Meaning if you are doing obedience she is not allowed to break her position until you or hubby give the release command. (I use the word "OK") This eliminates having to use a stay command as well and your dog learns it has to pay attention and wait for you to give another command or release before it can take off and do what it pleases. This is very helpful in training.

Back to the object sensitivity. Like I said recovery time is VERY important in determining the severity BUT the fact you mention that she is ok with people offers some hope. I beleive there are dogs out there that are stable around people (with the right training and leadership) but have weak nerves (noise and object sensitvity). Regarding the dominance isssues. I would put a training collar and short lead on Lucy and keep it on while she is in the house. Bannishing a dog to its crate as punishment for bad behaviour is NOT going to solve the problem. Dogs do not have that type of mentality. If she acts aggressvely to you or your husband you need a means of putting her in her place. That's where the leash and collar come in. She needs to get a correction that she will never forget if she pulls this crap with you guys. You need to let her know this is not acceptable behaviour! You need to leave an impression on her and make her realize that if she growls or bities you or hubby the result is not going to be pleasant! The correction must come IMMEDIATELY after the act, not 10 seconds or 10 minutes after but immediately! Timing is VERY important!

About the coming when called. DO NOT under any curcumstances call a dog that is not solidly trained to come to you with no leash or collar on to reinforce the command. Every time you call your dog and she doesn't listen to you what have you taught the dog? You taught it that it doesnt have to listen. You are better off physcially going and getting the dog or luring it back to you with food or toy using words other than your formal command. Never ever give a dog a formal command you can not enforce, you are teaching it very bad habits. You must be consistent and mean what you say! Beleive me I know from experience. I know what its like to live with a dog with a poor obedience foundations. I learned from my mistakes.

Good luck and keep us posted.

PS I would also ask Peter C for some advice on this. He could probably help you out as well.
 
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