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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sunday I had a softball game...I take Atticus to all of them. There was a young girl there that was obviously scared of dogs, and when she got the courage, she asked if she could pet Atticus. All of a sudden he started growling and barking at her. I didn't get it...he'd never done anything like that. Found out later from her mom that she had been attacked pretty badly by a dog, that's why she was scared. Figured maybe Atticus sensed something in her.

Earlier this morning I was walking him for a soda and a girl (early 20's) came up behind us...Atticus spun around, took a look at her....started growling and barking.

Any thoughts? He's NEVER EVER EVER done this before...I can only think the girl this morning was him being protective of someone coming up behind us. He's not making any aggressive movements, and it's pretty hard to discern if those are genuinely mean growls or what. I'm not going to take the chance and think they aren't, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
He just did it again. 3 children out front playing in my sprinklers. So, I took him out to show him it's ok. He starts growling and barking, tail wagging, but throwing his back feet out like a chicken scratches at the ground. Anyone have ANYTHING? Please?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wouldn't let him around strange kids (or leave them alone with him), but he's never exhibited anything like this before? I was hoping someone would have some guidance or experience with this? I'm thinking that since he's a teenager (9 months), and perhaps views them as a threat? This is realy upsetting to me.
 

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What was your reaction when he growled at the non threatening child? YOUR reaction, body movement, tone of voice, everything.

I have seen many owners actually encourage negative behavior by saying" there there calm down boy. be a good boy. that is not goooood" Not saying you did, but I would love to see YOUR bodylanguage.

PLEASE don't make excuses for your dog, saying that maybe he is only 8-10 months old. If anything, pups should be EVEN more friendly to kids, since territoriality and dominance has not heightened.

What bloodlines or kennel did you get your dog from?

Some will say see a behavioralist. LOL.

Bottom line is this. CAN YOU trust this dog around kids? The thing is, we live in the real world. You cannot avoid contact with every single kid on earth.
Remember this. One bite can change your life (financially) FOREVER and the child's.

My suggestion. If you do not want to euthanize this pup, bring it back to the breeder. This is a SERIOUS temperment fault in any dog, but an inexcusable one for an AB.

Good luck to you.
 

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Heaven went through a phase where she would bark at kids playing ball in the street, or kids in the playground when I'd pick my son up from school. It was all new to her, seeing all these strange little people running around everywhere. She's fine now, she just had to get used to being exposed to different places, people, and situations. I still don't let children come into my backyard, of course. But she seems to have outgrown her bad attitude.

Not sure what to think about your dog barking at the little girl though.. I would suggest a behaviorist just to play it safe! Best of luck, and please keep us posted.
 

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I agree with Peter on all fronts.

If you don't have the heart to euthanize, bring it back to the breeder and let them evaluate the dog and make the decision. Hopefully the breeder is reputable and willing to take the dog back and has enough knowledge to properly evaluate the dog.

I have a friend who has a boxer, and while I do agree the dogs temperament is not the best, I think the owner is often to blame for many of its "issues". One time I was over and went to move its toy (that he wasn't playing with) off the couch to sit down. The dog snapped and growled at me. The owner called the dog over to him in a loving voice and proceded to hug and pet the dog. I was so pissed! I still see him do things like this to this day and it drives me CRAZY. When I tell him what he is doing wrong or offer suggestions, he just tells me and the other people who stop by there that I am just being a know it all. I know I am no professional but his dog won't can't even hold a sit or down stay for 10 seconds and its 6 yrs old! He's one of these guys who doesn't believe in physical corrections/ This is the type of dog that I do think with proper training would have a chance (I think alotof his issues are dominance related) but unfortuantely this guy knows nothing about how to train dog, dog behaivour, nor does he have the ambition to do the right thing. Its sad really, because the dog will always be a liability. One careless mistake, and he could be financially ruined. He lives right next to his workplace, and every day has co workers stopping in during lunch time and after work. The dog has cornered a few people and even nipped and broke skin on a few. Keep in mind though, this is an adult dog, and like Peter says, Atticus is still a puppy, and AB puppies should NOT be acting this way to begin with. I would definitley say you have something to worry about and would NOT take this lightly. DO NOT make excuses for this dog!!! Good dogs do not need excuses made for them.

Who is the breeder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow. Well, my reaction to him was to pop him on the ass and tell him NO! in a stern voice. I did not coddle him, tell him he was a good boy, tell him "that's ok".

As far as the rest of the night...I'm wondering a few things.....1) He seems to be barking/growling at those who seem to be timid, instead of coming right up and petting him 2) Could he be too attached to me? A bit of a mama's boy, perhaps?

I'm not making excuses for my boy, just looking for good, solid answers/suggestions/thoughts...which you all seem to be providing, so thank you. PeterC, I'm just wondering if it's an age thing...you all have more experience, obviously.


Also, his bloodlines are from Jack Tatum out of Bybee's bulldogs.
 

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Well, Cinder. At eight months, the bybees dogs are usually cuddle monsters with kids. I have seen their dogs at a few shows. This is DEFINITELY not their typical dog from their lines. Again, this is a serious temperment flaw. I would return the dog.

ABs go through a fear phase at around 6 months to a year, and that is usual. But yours, from what you describe, seem to find kids threathening or simply do not like kids. Even worse, it MAY think it is FUN seeing kids as adversaries. (if it is this last scenario, many times, it is owner created). I will tell you this. I have had monsters. Dogs so dominant and territorial that I would never leave ANYONE with them in a strange room alone. EVEN these ABs were stupid goofy with kids. Old time bulldoggers used to say, "a bulldog should never see a kid as a threat. NEVER. Any dog that does is a cur". Cur means a dog that has low nerve threathhold. Low courage. Unpredictable.


I am not saying your dog is. Somehow, I think it is a little of both. YOu gave a little tap on the hind with a leash and told him no. HMMMMMMM. Can you see the problem? Maybe you don't think this is going to escalate. I see it already has because of YOUR reaction. This is what I mean by inexperience.
Ask yourself.........is this correction meaningful enough to modify this BAD BAD behavior? Obviously not.

Like in most cases, many of these aggression issues are owner enhanced. However, one cannot deny the genetic factor which I believe is usually undenyable. Cinder, child aggression to most bulldoggers is a death sentence.

I will tell you this. Most breeders (including me) would go APE NUTS if I heard my pup growled at a little child! I would MANDATE you bring this dog back so I can test it and SET IT UP. I don't even look for a growl. If it is not DYING to play with a kid, with all its being, I put it down, and I have.

Now, many times an INEXPERIENCED OWNER CREATES aggression by the mechanism described by LISA.

Tell me Cinder, if you socialize your dog (as many here say they do), can you tell me HOW you do this? If you choose to socialize it is a training process, as well. THOUGHT OUT BEFORE YOU DO IT. Did you have a piece of wiener ready for the kids to give your dog? DID YOU SET IT UP SO IT IS A VERY PLEASURALBE EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR PUP? THIS is socialization. Creating pleasure, SPECIFIC TO THE GOALS YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE. NOT LETTING IT LOOSE IN A BIG GANG!

With experience a person could easily have made this dog very kid friendly as a pup when it could do no damage. It is called socialization with a GOAL. Now, that it is bigger, it gets more dicey since the behavior is now somewhat set.

Good luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PeterC-

I thank you for your words, however I wonder if I'm reading too far into your posts as being harsh upon me and my decisions. I just got off the phone with Alison from Bybee's bulldogs, we had a very nice 50 minute conversation in regards to this issue.

Background on me, so that you don't have to question what I have and have not done with Atticus. My husband and I did quite a bit of extensive research on this breed prior to purchasing him. One of the first things we did upon getting him was take him out. Take him everywhere. Take him to parks, take him to ball fields, walk him around the neighborhood. Once he was completed with his shots, he got out more...to the beach, to more populated public parks. He's been around cats, birds, children, elderly, adults. He loves everyone. He loves children implicitly. He goes everywhere with me. I have not given him the "oh, it's ok" when he's scared of things...on the contrary, I have worked with him through treats to get over his fear. He's never been aggressive, and I don't think he will be, HOWEVER, I will never take that as a for granted kind of thing.

This instance with the growling/barking has started on Sunday, and will be nipped in the bud if it continues! Just after doing this yesterday afternoon, I brought the children from the back house up, and had them give him some treats. Just the day before that I had him at my niece's birthday party where he was loving it up with all the children. This is an isolated instance, but WILL NOT BE TREATED AS SUCH.

The "pop" on the butt was quite a bit more than that, BTW. I'm a rather strong individual, so my voice wasn't the typical "No" you would expect to come from a woman.

We (Alison and I) feel that he's becoming too much of a mama's boy and is doing his best to be protective of me. This will stop and he will learn his boundaries.
 

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I hope you don't feel I am harsh. I am just black and white. I just don't mix words when it comes to aggression issues with children.

Your own description of the incident does not jive with what you have just said in the last statement. Dogs just do not simply do things all of a sudden. Almost always there is an indication.

If you are saying there is no more problem, great. Enjoy. However, I cannot understand why the dog would act aggressively towards a timid child. I don't know. I just don't think being a momma's boy is an explanation.......for me.

Loves kids implicitly.............really? I thought your original post was about your dog NOT being loving towards kids. I don't get it.

Well, I am confused. I think the answer is ..........sometimes it is friendly and sometimes it is aggressive to kids because it is a momma's boy?

Cinder, good luck.

Hmmmmmmm bridle is the problem (mother), eh? So, why would you breed to it? STill don't make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PeterC said:
Your own description of the incident does not jive with what you have just said in the last statement. Dogs just do not simply do things all of a sudden. Almost always there is an indication.

My original statement was this: He's NEVER EVER EVER done this before.


And yes, this is something sudden, there has been no prior indication of anything such as this. We live across the street from a school...there are children outside almost 24/7 (damn hooligan kids).


If you are saying there is no more problem, great. Enjoy. However, I cannot understand why the dog would act aggressively towards a timid child. I don't know. I just don't think being a momma's boy is an explanation.......for me.

This was not and is not an explanation, and if you re-read, I'm looking for help and suggestions. Thank you. And I did not note that this is no longer a problem.

Loves kids implicitly.............really? I thought your original post was about your dog NOT being loving towards kids. I don't get it.

My original post was about these instances. Per past experiences, he loves children. This is why something like this is both puzzling and upsetting.


Hmmmmmmm bridle is the problem (mother), eh? So, why would you breed to it? STill don't make sense.

I did not breed Brindle, it is not my dog. I purchased.

I do not wish to engage in a war of words and/or defend my original post/statement. I have come on here looking for real life solutions (putting the dog down is NOT a solution), and not judgements made upon my/my dog's character of which you know little to nothing about.

I appreciate the suggestions made thus far, and am going to go out armed with his favorite treat (cheese), although after last night's softball game, I think I need to invest in a pack of hot dogs.



BTW, where in Vancouver are you located? I was there last year...beautiful place.
 

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your curious......

WHAT IF MY DOG GROWLED AT A CHILD?
That would be ICE and Chucky.
I will tell you that my dogs see kids as a reward. Giant wiener. Better than any food, second only to working.
They have been tested with kids. They have been POKED in the eye from strange kids.
If they acted aggressively, I would be VERY disappointed, but I would know what it was made of and I would put it down.
A lot of people with ABs know me and they know this to be true. I don't take chances with kids.

I have very simple, black and white rules. I stand by them. I have ZERO tolerance for child aggressive bulldogs. ZERO. Sorry, for the soft hearted people. However, I do what I say.

My pup testing was posted before. I put a high priority on good nerves. Testing with kids is a must BEFORE it leaves the breeder.

Now, aggression towards an adult, I have to ask the circumstances since my dogs are BRED for protection work and they LIKE to punk out adults.
However, they love women. I don't know why. They love women and kids. Genetics. You cannot deny it.

I can honestly say a 5 year old, if so desired, can come into my home and steal everything. THAT IS A FACT. They will get licked to death and get a tail wagging whipping. LOL!!!!

Now, you are an adult trying to break in, while my wife is at home, you simply will not leave. THAT IS A FACT.
 

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If my dog was outdoors and it all of a sudden, without provocation started to growl at a small kid, I would calmly go back home and calmly call the vet.



I am not being blunt. This is simply what I would do. You asked and I gave you an honest answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
PeterC said:
If my dog was outdoors and it all of a sudden, without provocation started to growl at a small kid, I would calmly go back home and calmly call the vet.



I am not being blunt. This is simply what I would do. You asked and I gave you an honest answer.

Thank you for the honest answer. Not going to happen, but thank you.
 

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hey peter got a question youv bee involed with tranning and or breeding for how long ?
and how manny dogs would you say youv keeed around and are still in homes pet/working out of how manny praduced ?...how manny bought and kept and how manny are gone do to temp problems or heath gesstimation ?
 

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Thank you for your honest answer.I myself having three kids would not tolerate any growling or barking and would also have the pup PTS . My dogs must be able to put up with my kids and not that I alllow it but as tots kids love to pull on the ears and tail and climb on the dogs and the dogs must tolerate it.Cant take any chances and with my mom who works for plastic surgons I have seen dog bites and let me tell you it isnt pretty at all infact she showed me a picture the other day of a hand that was torn in HALF by a dog bite and this image has stuck in my head since, horrible site to see.
 
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