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Old 03-07-2013, 12:25 PM
1 posts, read 2,902 times
Reputation: 10


Hi everyone,

I just moved back to my parents, who have been owning this female bull terrier for almost 3 years. She's just as clowny, jolly and playful as expected for her race and enjoys both my parents and my company. The problem is, she has become aggressive dual to food appetite, as well as extra-caring. I mean, she's not used to a alpha center in the house, she's very spoiled, excessively spoiled at times (mainly from my dad, who should represent to her a point of some strictness at times, being the owner), and she keeps ignoring everyone else in the house, when misbehaving: stealing food, etc.
Now I know that this particular dog needs some discipline because of their temperament along with their physical power, and since she started to growl at me for extra-attention and food (she got used to get some food from our lunch and dinner while we're sitting at the table), I now have some issues as to her temperament.
Any tips on how, not being the owner myself (once arrived this house for first time, she was already 2 years old) should handle this dog, in a positive way, not letting her 'cross the line' would be more than appreciated.

I understand the direct solution would have been for the owner to stop cuddling her and tolerating her aggressiveness towards people (and most recently towards our 5 year old cats), but that's way more than what I could expect from, so thanks for any responses,

Kind regards
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:36 PM
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Can you give 3 specific examples of what's going on? Describe 3 scenarios in which the dog's behavior was inappropriate and explain what response she's received from you or your parents in those situations. You mentioned stealing food. The solution there is to prevent it, not punish it after the fact. You mentioned growling as a demanding behavior. Dogs use vocalizations in different ways. A growl is not necessarily "aggressive", it can just be a form of communication the dog has learned typically works to achieve specific goals. If growling no longer works to obtain extra food or attention, the growling will first intensify (extinction burst) and then will stop for good (extinction). In the end, this is your parents' dog and if they are happy with her behavior I guess it might not be your place to intervene.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:36 PM
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I would clap my hands sharply and say No in a strong voice. I know this is your parents dog, but if my dog, crazy as I am about her was growling at my family I believe it should be stopped. People before dogs in my house. Good luck with this.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:34 AM
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I have two Bull Terriers. The growling may not necessarily be a growl. Both my dogs are very vocal- we say they're practicing the scales. My male is very needy and when he wants affection he "talks" to us. Sometimes it sounds like a growl but in fact it's not. It's him asking for attention.

As for stealing food, my female was notorious for this when we first adopted her. Our solution- she was crated while we ate and let out when we finished. After a few weeks she was allowed in the same room while crated. Eventually we allowed her loose and she always sits very nicely while we eat. At times she will still bark and beg. When that happens she is told no and sit.

BTs are a very stubborn breed and require a firm alpha owner. Honestly that's not me but my fiancée is. Training was difficult due to thei stubborn nature but its possible. It takes time, patience and most importantly consistency in redirecting certain behaviors.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:19 AM
16,019 posts, read 19,670,751 times
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Here are some links about dog aggression and dog training. Hopefully they help:
Dog Aggression : The Humane Society of the United States
Dog Owner's Guide: Canine Aggression
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