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Okay, our trainer instructed us to go ahead and get our puppy (11 weeks old now) around other dogs and out and about as much as he can. We still stay away from public grass / public parks due to health risks - but we have other dog owners that we bring him around.

Yesterday we have a family bbq at my Dad's house. He owns a 5 or 6 year old Golden Lab, and my Grandma brought over her terrier who is maybe 3 years old or so.

I brought the dog in on a leash (he's an English Bulldog) and of course everybody freaks out about how cute he is, etc. etc. He was way hyper due to the attention. We go outside and proceed to introduce ourselves to the other dogs on leash. Everything seems okay....so I let him off the leash and stay close.

The lab was not happy. Angus (my dog) would walk up to her and try to introduce himself with some sniffing to her face and the lab would growl, show her teeth and walk away. This happened without fail every time, and it seemed to confuse my dog. The terrier would also do similar but not walk away. Instead, the terrier seemed more intent on standing ground and getting into a shouting match that would just about turn into a dog fight until we broke them up. None of the dogs get along.....

Also, my puppy is extremely good for his age. I am almost floored how much he learns and obeys (not to say he still can be a little devil). But whenever he would NIBBLE (believe me, he can BITE and that's when I discipline) someone they would SMACK him on the nose and yell "NO!". I didn't have the heart to say "we don't discipline with our hands EVER"....but in my heart I was sad and frustrated that some of the work I have done with him is being unlearned by other more aggresive humans. Actually, I use my hands to hold him, etc. but we never HIT him in the face especially since he is a short nosed dog.

So here's my thoughts/questions for some of you other owners.

First, how do you handle other people who feel the need to discipline your dog/puppy especially when they have a different philosophy? For me, I believe in taking the true pack leader position, which means I should never have to hit him in the face with my hands. Others seem to think he needs to be swatted. I dont' swat and he manages to obey....I do not want my dog to fear humans, and especially human hands. I take this extremely serious as I even feed my dog with my hand sometimes to show him that I am his provider.

Second, when socializing your puppy around other dogs when do you draw the line and step in when another dogs lack of social training is doing more harm then good to your dog? I think it's healthy for my puppy to be around both healthy and unhealthy animals, but then again he is just a puppy and one bite could cause serious mental and physical damage for him. I need to protect him but also allow him to realize he's not the biggest fish around - and needs to submit to his "elders".

Also, how do you care for your own dog while not offending other owners? Seriously, some owners never socialize their dog. When their dog begins to growl at my puppy they pick them up and console them saying "it's okay baby....no barking no!" and I can't help but think, "give me a break!". I know already that I have offended my own Grandmother by being a little bit to open with my feelings toward her dog (I don't think the terrier has the best mental health as it wasn't really socialized). So now, I am thinking that I will run into this more and more and in my mind I will be judging other owners and thinking "if you really cared for your dog you would have given him the things he needs so that he can be a sound mental dog"....but what a jerk I am for doing that!

So any thoughts on these issues? I can't be the only one that has had this happen.....this is the first puppy I have owned and cared for myself as an adult so these are all new thoughts and feelings to me.
 

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Agent Squint
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Your dog does NOT need socialization around other, unsociable dogs. It wont' do any good unless the other dogs are willing to be social. Also, TELL people if you dont' want them to smack your dog. I know I would. I do smack my dog's butts if they're getting in to something or doing something they shouldn't be. But, I still don't allow other people to discipline them. If they're not able to be around other people for that reason, then prevent it. Take the pup to training classes then allow him to be around other people and sociable dogs. You can't do anything about other people or other dogs, just you and your dogs.
 

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I sooo feel for you. As a matter of fact, I went through the same thing w/ my daughter. And I treat my dog the exact same way. If I am right there, & keeping my eye on the situation, and I always am, there is no need for anyone elso to discipline, b/c I will do it myself first.
As far as other dogs go, I have learned most people couldn't care less if their dog's are socialized. Then they make excuses for their dog's behavior. When this happens to you, I liken it to "bullies " being mean on the playground. Can you see to it that your child never has to deal with a bully? No. But you can teach them how to deal with it. If you set up something like this BBQ, and it isn't working out so well, I would re-direct your pup to someone who really likes him. (The Kids, or who-ever is all ga-ga over him)
When your're out for a walk, at the park, or whatever, you're bound to come across some less than friendly dogs. Teach your dog to walk away, and find something more interesting.
As far as trying to change someone's mind about their dog, I'd save my breath. I can't even convince my own sister Purina is crap dog food (and she read the label).
Hold your head high, parade your dog around everywhere you can, introduce him (or her, I forget) to as many people / situations as you can, and handle them with all the dignity and grace you can muster.
~Keep Posting, Andrea
 

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I would NEVER let someone outside my pack discipline my dog and I certainly wouldn't allow someone to put their hands on him. We (wife, 2 daughters and myself) are my dogs leader not some other family member or stranger. If my dog is being bad then we will handle it.

I don't know this for sure but I would bet that if someone hit Bubba he would bite them. He has never been touched by someone else and it certainly isn't going to start now. All I need is a scared AB that let's everyone in the neighborhood smack him up.

Ain't gonna happen and you shouldn't let it happen either.
 

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Puppy class. I wouldn't have, like you said, your dog around other unstable dogs, it just won't do any good physcologically. Socialization, socialization, socialization. Most older dogs will not attack a puppy, unless it has weak energy, they will teach the puppy to submit and most puppies will submit to a dominant dog, no matter what the age.

As for other people, don't let them discipline your dog with there hands. It does no good except creat a different, bad type of anxiety for the pup and human hands. He could then think the human hands equals bad, negative experience. Your also not getting anything through to the dog except making yourself feel better. Dogs respond better to CALM assertive leaders, not angry or unstable owners. Those are things I would mention to other people, if they don't agree to it, that's there problem, simply tell them to not touch your dog period if there not going to listen to your rules.
 

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i'm fostering a 6 month old and we're socializing him as well.
he's around our dogs and our neighbor's dog. we want him to be well behaved and he's a part of our dog's pack. socialization is good, but it wont work if the dogs you bring your puppy around arent socialized.

most terriers are bullies so to speak. they're strong-willed and stubborn. and most terriers i've known are the sole dog in the household. i would avoid the terriers...

if someone smacked my dog i'd be quite upset. we do give the pups a little swat on the tush if they're misbehaving. but never on the face, EVER.
we dont bring our dogs to the dog park because of the other dog owners and situations like what happened to your pup at the picnic. many would bring in studs, females in heat, dogs with worms, and people would discipline your dog. my one dog is a hound dog. when he plays he howls or barks until the other dog plays with him. we had one incident with one jerk who yelled at my dog and then got up and just punched him in the nose to get my dog to quit barking and howling at his dog. my dog was 60 lbs at the time, not a small dog at all. i cussed the guy out and half the people at the dog park were very ticked off. they demanded that the guy leave and not come back. plus our dogs are a tight pack. if they sense one of them is in trouble, they're all in. which is a really bad situation at a dog park. they're socialized, but protective of their own pack.
 
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