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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
nelson seems to be really scared of men, either that or he just doesn't like them. any time a man comes into the house he goes nuts at them, doesn't touch them but just barks at them as if wanting them to leave. i can't think why. i've done a search and it looks liek a lot of dogs who are afraid of men at some point or another may have been abused in their life.

but we've had nelson since he was a bubba and for some reason he just doesn't like men (except for his daddy). my partner treats nelson the same as i do and nelson loves him to death. we've never hit him or anything (except for a slap on the bum when he's been cheeky). so i don't understand why this is? anytime a girl approaches him, hes fine and when we go out he will always go up to girls for a pat but with men he's so stand-offish.

what do u think this is and how do u think i should work on him with this? i'd like him to make our guests feel welcome when they come over for a bbq or something and we all sit outside. coz now nelson will pick one guy out of a group and then bark at them and make them feel uncomfortable the whole stay. but he still won't just go upto any guy for a pat but girls, no worries! how should i remedy this? :?
 

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Dozer is like this as well. It isn't a good thing, I worry about him all the time. He isn't like that with just men, he is pretty much scared of everyone. I think its cause of his eyes cause its getting worse.

You REALLY have to protect your dog. Don't put him in a position where he feels he needs to bite. He could very well turn in to a fear biter. Other then that I don't really know what you can do to help him, maybe someone a little more experienced can help you.

Good Luck
 

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4NGI3 is he acting like he is scared, or do you think maybe he is trying to protect you? My Boxer does this, he will not bark at women or kids, but if a man he does not know comes to my house he will put on a show. He is not as bad if my husband is home. Guess he thinks he will help protect us, so he does not have to be as viscous. Is Nelson as bad when his daddy is home?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Whats wrong with Dozer's eyes?

well i know hes not scared because i know when hes scared he'll always have his tail between his legs if hes scared. but when he barks at these men his tail is up and he barks but he's such a sook because if this man steps toward him, nelson will flinch and step back and keep barking. so that makes me think hes scard when he steps back.

also on another note how do i make him stand his ground when hes doing this protecting bark? i mean if its someone whos not a friend it would be nice if he didn't flinch like a pussy! LOL oh no i feel terrible, he's not that bad he's actually the best dog i'm so happy he's got such an awesome personality.
 

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I'm new with the bully breeds but I've had male dogs in the past (cocker spaniel, lab) that were the same way. Is he like that with male dogs too? A lot of times it is the "alpha male" thing and they don't like having other males, whether it be human or dogs, in their territory.

The best way I helped my dogs with that problem was inviting male friends over all the time and letting them interact with him. It's just like anything else, the more exposure he has the more comfortable he'll be. :)
 

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Tell us more about his body languange when he sees a man. Tail postion, is he backing up, going forward, trying to hid behind you, are his hackles raised, stuff like that. Does it happen everywhere or just at home?
 

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I don't know much about protection training, but it seems like this might help. Maybe someone who does this with their dogs can chime in, but it seems like that kind of training might help him a little with his confidence level, and teach him to distinguish between friend and enemy. :?: :?:

My Sophie was completely neurotic when I got her, and afraid of men because of her past. T-Touch therapy helped her. She's still a nut-job, but at least she's not afraid of people anymore. :D
 

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If his dog has a nerve problem protection training is NOT the way to go. Besides, any reputable protection trainer would not touch a dog with nerve issues with a 10 foot pole. Dogs need to have a strong temperament to be a candidate for protection training and from the little info we have recieved so far that does not really seem to be the case! More info is definitely needed but if this dog is INDEED SCARED of men how is protection training going to make it better?
 

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Start small and slow, measured amounts, like switching dog food, this could take some time (and my reply here could be really long, thus it's a bit abridged).

I would start with Nelson outside and have the male friend situate himself inside, on the couch, with a handful of Nelson's absolute, favorite treats. Once friend is situated, tell him to ignore Nelson, but have treats in extended, cupped hands. Allow Nelson inside, when he comes over to smell the fellow ignoring him he should also smell his favorite treats. Feed Nelson as many as he'll eat. It will help if the male friend refrains from raising his voice--watching football, baseball, etc--even if it's not in anger or fear, until Nelson is comfortable with the chap.

Eventually, if you can, arrange to have men come over (with your partner's permission of course :D ) bearing a handful of Nelson's absolute, favorite treats. Prep yourself so that when the friend rings the doorbell, or knocks, you can call Nelson back to the kitchen and give him a treat so that he equates the visitor as a good thing. Then slowly introduce the friend to Nelson. Allow said friend to offer up the goodies.

You can do the same on the street; again, baby-steps. Whenever a man approaches, before Nelson even sees him, *you* give Nelson a treat, once again to reaffirm that men equate to good things. Then build up to approaching men giving treats while you're on your walks.

We had to do that with a friend whose Lab was afraid of me. We're best buddies now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey bogie, thats great advice, i will certainly try that. :D the only thing i'm afraid of is that i don't want him to think that jsut because soemone gives him treats, that makes them a friend. you know what i mean? i don't want someone to come to my gate, give nelson a treat and for nelson to go, 'yes friend, come on in.. this is my bed, and my toys.. " you know? do u think this could happen?

Lisa: as for more info on nelson's behaviour, well nelson's tail's normally up and pretty much the tip is pointing towards the person he's barking at (its so cute!). his hackles are up. and he's looking great. but as soon as the person steps towards him, he steps back himself. and everyone always calls him a chicken when he does that.

do u think that he would be a good candidate for protection training? he's got the first part right but its just the part about standing his ground that i think he has to learn. can this be taught by us or do we need the help of a trainer to assist with getting him to stand his ground?
 

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This sounds to me as a weak dog. This dog needs to be more confident. Backing up,hackles raised he is scared. Some dogs that are "weak nerved" with men is because when their master (man) is gone they dont know how to act and their protector is gone, therefore they act this way . Your dog needs to learn to hol dhis ground. He isnt here. I bet if the person jumped at him, hed pee on the floor and run behind you. DONT TRY THIS!!! this needs to be corrected (if it can be) My dogs plow over anyone who comes to the house. I tell them to come bac kin they do. If i dont want that person inside i tell them to leave. My dogs arent upset ,scared,intimiated by any of this. I can give my bitch one word command and she'll put them in a hold and bark i say another shes back with us. This is mastered with training. Obedience and confidence training not protection training. As for men feeling *intimated* when they come to your house, i would feel that way too, id be scared it would get too scared and turn and bite me if i moved the wrong way.
I hear alot of people say their dogs are scared of men , i dont always think it was a "abuse" problem (some are i know that) i think it is a temperament problem.
Does your dog step back but come back ahead? does it comeback confidently? its ok if a dog steps bck a bit ( i mean a little) as long as it come sbck to check it out
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tia said:
This sounds to me as a weak dog. This dog needs to be more confident. Backing up,hackles raised he is scared. Some dogs that are "weak nerved" with men is because when their master (man) is gone they dont know how to act and their protector is gone, therefore they act this way . Your dog needs to learn to hol dhis ground. He isnt here. I bet if the person jumped at him, hed pee on the floor and run behind you. DONT TRY THIS!!! this needs to be corrected (if it can be) My dogs plow over anyone who comes to the house. I tell them to come bac kin they do. If i dont want that person inside i tell them to leave. My dogs arent upset ,scared,intimiated by any of this. I can give my bitch one word command and she'll put them in a hold and bark i say another shes back with us. This is mastered with training. Obedience and confidence training not protection training. As for men feeling *intimated* when they come to your house, i would feel that way too, id be scared it would get too scared and turn and bite me if i moved the wrong way.
I hear alot of people say their dogs are scared of men , i dont always think it was a "abuse" problem (some are i know that) i think it is a temperament problem.
Does your dog step back but come back ahead? does it comeback confidently? its ok if a dog steps bck a bit ( i mean a little) as long as it come sbck to check it out
hmm all very interesting points. from what i recall i'm pretty sure he backs up and then comes back but to be honest i haven't really noticed his behaviour that in depth. but i'll check it out later tonight and get a neighbour to come over and see if he backs up and then comes back confidently, i definatly know he comes back but not sure if confidently is the way he comes back. i'll get back to you on this.

he's 10mths, does this make a difference or shoudl he just still not back down at this age? how old are your dogs? have your dogs always been confident? how do i make my dogs liek your dogs? teach me!! teeeach meeeee!!! :lol:
 

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I agree with Tia.

Hackles up is a VERY bad sign, confident dogs don't raise hackles.

Your dog sounds scared. Genetic temperament problem.

As far as trying to condition him by getting him used to men, I say no. Instead, when you think your dog is going to act up, or he is acting up because he is fearful, immediately give an obedience command and demand focus from your dog. How advanced is your dogs obedience? If he knows basic commands, when he acts up I would give him a command he knows and if he ignores you to bark or act in other fearful manner correct the dog for not obeying your command. Make sure your dog is equipped with a training collar and good leather leash so that this is possible. Never leave yourself unable to put yourself in control and demand compliance. I would not push the issue with men. Sometimes forcing dogs into situations they are not comfortable with will only make them worse. Teach your dog YOU are the one that matters in his life. Teach him to act in a nuetral way to men or any other situation he may be nervous with. Do not push your dog to be social with people he does not want to be social with but DO demand your dog listen to you even through times of stress. By doing this you remove conflict because any negative association will be with you for not obeying and not the person that is making him feel threatened.
 

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Lisa said:
I agree with Tia.

Hackles up is a VERY bad sign, confident dogs don't raise hackles.

Your dog sounds scared. Genetic temperament problem.

As far as trying to condition him by getting him used to men, I say no. Instead, when you think your dog is going to act up, or he is acting up because he is fearful, immediately give an obedience command and demand focus from your dog. How advanced is your dogs obedience? If he knows basic commands, when he acts up I would give him a command he knows and if he ignores you to bark or act in other fearful manner correct the dog for not obeying your command. Make sure your dog is equipped with a training collar and good leather leash so that this is possible. Never leave yourself unable to put yourself in control and demand compliance. I would not push the issue with men. Sometimes forcing dogs into situations they are not comfortable with will only make them worse. Teach your dog YOU are the one that matters in his life. Teach him to act in a nuetral way to men or any other situation he may be nervous with. Do not push your dog to be social with people he does not want to be social with but DO demand your dog listen to you even through times of stress. By doing this you remove conflict because any negative association will be with you for not obeying and not the person that is making him feel threatened.
I would say the same thing. If you haven't done obedience lessons, that can always help with a dog's confidence. You also need to show him that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. but i also agree with lisa that i wouldn't bombard him with men at this stage. Get some obedience going and slowly introduce men into it. If he starts to bark at someone tell him "no" and then give him a down command and make him stay. everytime you hear a growl, bark or he tries to get up, correct him and give the command again. I would also tell the men you have visiting to try to completely ignore the dog so they don't give him any "ammunition" to get up. Once he realizes that they don't care about him, he may not feel the need to bark at them. but i would really get into obedience. Just my opinion, and good luck.
 

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My boxer, Shelby, is the exact same way. ANY man, except for my husband & my father, she despises. She won't bite them, but boy will she let them know they're not wanted. Especially if they have a hat or hoodie on... Her hair will stand up on her back & she won't stop barking until they're out of her sight.
 

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The hat or hoodie thing used to really affect an old dog of mine. In my opinion it has something to do with them not being able to see your face properly, like you are hiding something. Makes you seem suspicious because dogs don't run into this kind of thing everyday. I have heard lots of people say their dog is racist. also because if your dog is always around white people, or black people or whatever, when they see an asian or east indian, something seems wrong to them. If people are passing your house, and the dog barks as they are walking down the street, the dog thinks it has won. Like "i'm so big and bad, they ran away", and since this happens every time, their confidence keeps rising. This is why obedience is very important when owning a dog so you can deal with this little (or sometimes big!) annoyances!
 

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peeblerelf said:
The hat or hoodie thing used to really affect an old dog of mine. In my opinion it has something to do with them not being able to see your face properly, like you are hiding something. Makes you seem suspicious because dogs don't run into this kind of thing everyday. I have heard lots of people say their dog is racist. also because if your dog is always around white people, or black people or whatever, when they see an asian or east indian, something seems wrong to them. If people are passing your house, and the dog barks as they are walking down the street, the dog thinks it has won. Like "i'm so big and bad, they ran away", and since this happens every time, their confidence keeps rising. This is why obedience is very important when owning a dog so you can deal with this little (or sometimes big!) annoyances!
Shelby definately thinks she's the boss, but she is also very obedient. Our house is the last one on the street before pulling out onto the main road, so we get a lot of traffic driving by. Of course everyone is slowing down due to the stop sign, and she thinks she has to let them know they better not be pulling into our drive - she barks at anyone that drives too slow or looks suspicious. She is very protective, but wouldn't hurt a fly (other than eat them...lol)
 

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I realize sometimes the best way to avoid a situation is to simply avoid the situation, but Nelson is afraid of men--FYI: That doesn't necessarily make him "weak," if he were weak (nerved), he'd be afraid of *everybody* and essentially *everything* that casts a shadow--and males account for 50% of the population! You can't avoid men forever, and the longer you try to evade the situation the harder it will be to fix. I know this is extreme, but suppose you hurt yourself at home and need a paramedic to enter your house, or you are in a car accident and a male approaches to lend a hand, or you break up with your present partner and Nelson is fearful of your new fellow? Suppose, 4NGIE has a baby someday, and Nelson becomes jealous, should she simply get rid of him because he is going to maul the baby someday?

FWIW, we don't want a guard dog, anybody and everybody, male or female, who comes to our house is considered a friend, considered welcomed. Our girl is happy when the doorbell rings, she's such a good little host! That doesn't mean she won't back-off when commanded, it means she's not fearful of who's entering the house.

Questions: Do you do obedience training with men around? Do you walk Nelson often? Is he exposed to different sights, sounds, situations, etc, everyday. When Vega was young and we were out on our walks, we would walk her over to the fightening, rustling bag blowing in the wind and tell her "it's all right." One day she was frightened by a man on crutches, mind you, she wasn't afraid of the man she was afraid of the crutches. We asked the gentleman if we could introduce Vega to him--and his crutches to show her that everything was "all right." I realize your situation is different from a dog being frightened by a bag blowing in the wind, but, nonetheless, it needs to be addressed. Remember, baby-steps, and that it might take awhile but it can be done.

4NGI3 said:
the only thing i'm afraid of is that i don't want him to think that jsut because soemone gives him treats, that makes them a friend. you know what i mean? i don't want someone to come to my gate, give nelson a treat and for nelson to go, 'yes friend, come on in.. this is my bed, and my toys.. " you know? do u think this could happen?
No offense, but sometimes you can't have it both ways. If you want Nelson to become comfortable around all men then you can't urge him to be watchful, cautious of some men. Does that make sense? As mentioned above, Vega is not a guard dog, we want her to embrace EVERYBODY, no matter their intentions; in a questionable situation that may even save her life. I'd rather Vega let somebody enter the house and steal our TV than to have somebody mace or stab our baby. Moreover, a Pit Bull attacking an intruder or perhaps a delivery guy mistaken for an intruder, could still be construed as a Pit Bull attack, it could still be a lose/lose situation. My fear would be somebody coming to the fence and giving her a tainted treat, but since we are always outside when she is outside, the threat of that happening is minimized.
 
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