U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Dogs
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-25-2013, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Emmaus, PA
2,780 posts, read 2,789,527 times
Reputation: 4866

Advertisements

Hello all, I'll try to make this short but looking for a little advice if possible.

My wife and I have a 1 year old French Bull Dog (Baxter). We've had him for 9 months now and he's such a love and sometimes it's TOO much. A month after we got Baxter my wife gave birth to our first daughter and I take it around this time is when he really started with being a "bad boy" and i'm guessing it could be obvious jealousy since he's not getting the constant love and attention.

Believe me.. he still gets plenty of it even with our daughter who's now 8-months old. Thank goodness too that they are the best of friends and he's always gentle with her. However his behavioral issues have been getting worse and worse lately and this is topped with his terrible seperation anxiety has been leading him to become real nasty at times.

In the last few weeks he's all of a sudden got real nasty at certain times. Just last night he kept trying to dig in between the couch cushions for something and when I reached in to find out what it was (it was pieces of food accidently dropped from my lunch) he growled at me in such a nasty tone and even went after my hand to bite me.

Also too since he has terrible seperation anxiety we cannot leave him out while we're not home because he gets easily bored and would get into anything he possibly could (like the garbage). So for the last 3 months now we've been keeping him in a cage. All of a sudden the last week or so he gets extremely nasty and tries to attack us anytime one of us puts him in his cage. It's making us nervous... not just for our safety but our childs safety too.

Any "experts" out there that could possibly give some tips on what we can do? Maybe some training techniques on our end that could help with his temper at all or are we at the point where professional help should step in? We really don't have the extra money for training (day care sucks the money out already) but if that's the only thing we should really do then we'll look into that.

Thanks for any advice in advance....
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-25-2013, 10:59 AM
 
5,291 posts, read 17,588,101 times
Reputation: 3806
Granted you now have a two legged child... the question begs, how have you changed your Frenchie's life? Does he no longer get daily walks? Has play time been squelched? Adding any family member to an existing family, (be they 2 or 4 legged) calls for balancing time and attention.

When was the last time he had an evaluation at the vet? There are times when pain can cause these issues.

I'm looking forward to K9 Coach chiming in
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Emmaus, PA
2,780 posts, read 2,789,527 times
Reputation: 4866
There really is not much difference to the attention he gets... he's ALWAYS involved in activities at home with our baby. Even during times when we just want to focus our attention on her he'll just get in the middle, lol... which is fine. Many times we will "distract" him with a toy or a bone but that just leads him to wanting to play fetch!.. wjich again is also fine but we would hope that one day he'll understand that he's not the only one in the house who needs attention!

As for walks... we have certainly lacked in that area and so we're totally at fault there. We do have a back yard where he's around to run around since it's fenced in but during the cold months we're more reluctant to actually go on walks. We live in east PA and the extreme cold the last few days has made it REAL hard.. even for him to just go outside and pee!

When he does carry on with misbehaving we do give him "time outs" which is him going on a leash that's attached to his cage. This usually occurs when he gets carried away with his playing and gets way too excited (he finds our hands and feet to be toys and usually goes after them too). He's extremely energetic which obviously makes sense for his young age... but sometimes it's just too much.

I'd like to think we're doing our best to accomodate his needs and I sadly worry it's still not enough. To answer your question to his vet visit.. I think August was his last visit for his last puppy shot. Even then I did ask them what they suggested especially for his anti-anxiety and all tehy wanted to do was sell us some dog collar that's supposed to give off some sort of scent to help "calm" the dog... but we weren't having that... I thought they'd be more insightful.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 01:49 PM
 
1,696 posts, read 4,191,596 times
Reputation: 3924
Default Caution: loooong post!

First let's go over some help for separation anxiety:

- Never punish your dog for destructive behavior / house soiling that occurred in your absence. Punishment will add to anxiety, not decrease it.

- Make arrivals and departures as low-key as possible. There should be no emotion connected with your coming and going.

- Consider ignoring your dog completely for 2 minutes before leaving and after arriving home.

- Interact with your dog when he is calm. Don’t reward hyper or demanding behavior with attention.

- Practice the Stay exercise every day. Gradually increase degree of difficulty (distance & duration).

- Desensitize your dog to your ‘departure cues’ such as coat, keys, purse, garage door sound, blow dryer, etc. Your dog should get to the point where he is indifferent to those cues.

- Leave for short periods and gradually increase time away.

- If it can be done safely, leave your dog with an interactive toy or irresistible, long lasting treat to keep him occupied while you’re away.

- Be sure your dog is getting adequate exercise. A tired dog is more likely to relax and nap while you’re away than a dog with pent up energy.

- Until your dog has largely overcome separation anxiety, have someone stay with him when you need to be away for extended periods.

- Crate may be helpful in some cases, but is more often harmful in the rehabilitation process.

I recommend filming your dog in your absence in order to monitor how he's responding to the above training protocol. Filming will also give you a better idea of whether his destructive behavior is true anxiety or just boredom. You mentioned him getting into the garbage when you're away - move the garbage to a location where he can not reach it. That's the kind of mindset I want you to adopt with this dog: environmental management to prevent unwanted behavior.

I noticed you said that you are "putting" your dog in his crate. Please watch this video about the importance of CHOICE in animal training:



The Importance of Choice in Animal Training - YouTube


You want your dog to enter the crate willingly, even enthusiastically. Here's how crate training your dog should look:



How To Crate Train Your Puppy With Sharon Bolt From Good Dogs! - YouTube

And here is my guide for crate training:

About Crates:
· Dogs are ‘denning’ animals and most naturally enjoy being in den / cave-like environments (many dogs will curl up under or behind furniture in tight spaces)
· The crate should become a cozy, pleasant den in which your dog can relax (This means the temperature and bedding must be comfortable)
· The crate should NEVER be used as a punishment or “time-out” area
· The crate should be located in a main/used area of the house, but out of the way
· Some dogs prefer a more ‘open’ crate, such as a wire crate not covered with any blankets, while others prefer a more enclosed feeling, such as a plastic or canvas crate, or a wire crate with blankets used as ‘curtains’.

PHASE 1:
· During this training phase, tie the crate door OPEN so that it will not close behind the dog by accident and startle him.
· Place treats, toys, bones, and chews at the back of the crate while the dog is loose in the house. Let the dog discover these goodies on his own.

· Optional: Praise in a soothing tone when the dog enters the crate of his own accord.

PHASE 2:
· Guide the dog into the crate as you cheerfully say “Go in your crate” (this will become your permanent command) Lure him with a tasty treat to coax him inside and praise for any movement in the right direction.
· Once he is inside, gently close door, calmly PRAISE, and slip additional treats through vent hole to reward.
· Leave dog in the crate for 10 seconds, then open the door and allow him to exit if he wishes.
· GRADUALLY increase supervised time in crate using the above method – We want to convince the dog that he will never be abandoned in the crate and that he will always be let out.
· Once the dog is responding to this training, put him in his crate with a stuffed kong or other long lasting, edible chew and leave for very short periods.
· Gradually increase time dog is left in the crate while you are away.

REMEMBER
· Do not reward barking, whining and fussing by letting the dog out when he is doing so. Wait for quiet, or get the dog to hush for a moment by making a kissy noise or a strange sound, then let him out.
· Always praise the dog for going into his crate.
· Always provide the dog with a safe, irresistible chew item when he is in the crate.
· It is helpful to go back to Phase 1 occasionally to ensure the positive association with the crate continues.
· Some owners may wish to feed meals in the crate as an additional means to build a positive association.
· Excessive time spent in a crate will cause any dog to resist being crated.


Now let's talk about your dog sometimes getting nasty with you. There are 2 approaches to fixing this
issue that should be implemented simultaneously. The first is to build a better relationship (this means
more than just sharing affection) and the second is to prevent the rehearsal of this nasty behavior by
managing the environment in a smarter way.

To build a better relationship I recommend short, daily training sessions. Watch clicker training videos on
Youtube and teach your dog a new trick each week. (You don't need to use the clicker, but choosing the
clicker training videos will give you a much better chance of viewing humane training as opposed to the
other misguided, abusive methods out there.)

If you have established that your dog did not react well to you sticking your hand into the space in the
couch while he was trying to get the food in there, apply that knowledge going forward and take a
different approach: be more mindful of keeping food scraps out of his reach, and in the example of the
couch, I would have moved the cushion away instead of reaching my hand in there. We now know he
does not appreciate competition for food in tight spaces. Make note of his triggers and simply avoid them. What you'll find is that if you can prevent the rehearsal of nasty behaviors by simply never setting your dog up to display them, these nasty behaviors will not become a habit. In fact it will become quite foreign and unnatural for your dog to interact with you in that way.

As you've discovered first hand, a new dog and a new baby at the same time is never ideal. This has
nothing to do with jealousy. It has to do with needs. It would be nearly impossible for a couple to
successfully integrate a new dog into the household in the last month of pregnancy and through baby's
first months at home! It's an insane endeavor. I'm very glad to hear that your Frenchie has done so well
with baby! That's wonderful.

My final thought is that your dog would benefit from increased mental stimulation. Look into puzzle games,
Bustercube, and start doing short, fun training sessions with him every day. Accompany him out in the
yard and play fetch or something. Give him more of a life.


Last edited by k9coach; 11-25-2013 at 01:59 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Emmaus, PA
2,780 posts, read 2,789,527 times
Reputation: 4866
Thanks so very much.. below I put some remarks so you can see what we are doing already and what we'll start to try doing based on your advice!

Thanks so much for doing this...


Quote:
Originally Posted by k9coach View Post
First let's go over some help for separation anxiety:

- Never punish your dog for destructive behavior / house soiling that occurred in your absence. Punishment will add to anxiety, not decrease it. **we never did or do... and he actually does extremely well with not going inside and will stand by sliding door to yard to acknowledge that he does want/need to go out so he can do his business**

- Make arrivals and departures as low-key as possible. There should be no emotion connected with your coming and going. I've already been doing this... much harder for my wife as he actually runs and jumps all over her and goes crazier with her than me.. so she'll have to do her best to ignore and see if it helps**

- Consider ignoring your dog completely for 2 minutes before leaving and after arriving home. **see above, same comment really**

- Interact with your dog when he is calm. Don’t reward hyper or demanding behavior with attention. ** we try to do this but he makes it hard.. the second you try to pet him or give attention he starts to get over stimulated and then it never ends.. there's only one speed right now for him and it's mach speed.. we do reward him when he actually is "normal" and not going crazy when we can**

- Practice the Stay exercise every day. Gradually increase degree of difficulty (distance & duration). **we've done this but sporadically... we know we need to put better effort in this and we will**

- Desensitize your dog to your ‘departure cues’ such as coat, keys, purse, garage door sound, blow dryer, etc. Your dog should get to the point where he is indifferent to those cues. **this one is tough to gauge.. he doesn't seem to react in any different way when we're getting ready to go but it's when we need to get him in his cage when he starts to sense things.. we'll have to try and do a better job with the crate training**

- Leave for short periods and gradually increase time away. **when he's in his cage he's actually ok... he's used to being in there when we're away so it's been surprising for us that he's really been nasty lately when being put inside.. but like you said, us putting him in there may be starting to become very resentful and his reaction is showing that he doesn't appreciate it**

- If it can be done safely, leave your dog with an interactive toy or irresistible, long lasting treat to keep him occupied while you’re away. **we've tried this with a "long lasting treat/bone" but he scares us with it as he'll literally chew and gnaw at these so-called long lasting treats and he'll literally try to shove these down his throat which causes him to throw it up.. not sure how to control this.. it leads us to always having to take it away which we know he doesn't like but we don't want him choking or getting sick**

- Be sure your dog is getting adequate exercise. A tired dog is more likely to relax and nap while you’re away than a dog with pent up energy. **a must do for us.. we've neglected him in long stretches so that's our fault and has obviously been a big part of his behavioral problems im sure**

- Until your dog has largely overcome separation anxiety, have someone stay with him when you need to be away for extended periods. **tough to do since many we know work full-time jobs.. although my mother-in-law does not, and they have dogs at her house so we sometimes have her take Baxter so he gets to be around other pets. He does well when he's there with them but it's just hard to have her or someone keep him company all the time**

- Crate may be helpful in some cases, but is more often harmful in the rehabilitation process. **we don't want to constantly crate him.. and we always do what we can do put anything and everything away that we can so he can't get to it. if there's no garbage or anything to eat then sometimes he chews and we don't want that.. so the idea of getting an interactive toy could be good to distract him or researching another treat/bone that he can have to keep him occupied that he can't potentially choke on**

I recommend filming your dog in your absence in order to monitor how he's responding to the above training protocol. Filming will also give you a better idea of whether his destructive behavior is true anxiety or just boredom. You mentioned him getting into the garbage when you're away - move the garbage to a location where he can not reach it. That's the kind of mindset I want you to adopt with this dog: environmental management to prevent unwanted behavior. **I already touched on the garbage situation above... we've been putting anything away when we leave him out of cage. We do have one of those web cams that we can download an app for... we'll have to hook it up and get it connected to internet so we can actually view him in real-time everyday even if we're at work to see what he could possibly be doing... sometimes it amazes us what he does when we're not home and we always wondered how**

I noticed you said that you are "putting" your dog in his crate. Please watch this video about the importance of CHOICE in animal training:



The Importance of Choice in Animal Training - YouTube


You want your dog to enter the crate willingly, even enthusiastically. Here's how crate training your dog should look:



How To Crate Train Your Puppy With Sharon Bolt From Good Dogs! - YouTube

And here is my guide for crate training:

About Crates:
· Dogs are ‘denning’ animals and most naturally enjoy being in den / cave-like environments (many dogs will curl up under or behind furniture in tight spaces)
· The crate should become a cozy, pleasant den in which your dog can relax (This means the temperature and bedding must be comfortable)
· The crate should NEVER be used as a punishment or “time-out” area
· The crate should be located in a main/used area of the house, but out of the way
· Some dogs prefer a more ‘open’ crate, such as a wire crate not covered with any blankets, while others prefer a more enclosed feeling, such as a plastic or canvas crate, or a wire crate with blankets used as ‘curtains’.

PHASE 1:
· During this training phase, tie the crate door OPEN so that it will not close behind the dog by accident and startle him.
· Place treats, toys, bones, and chews at the back of the crate while the dog is loose in the house. Let the dog discover these goodies on his own.

· Optional: Praise in a soothing tone when the dog enters the crate of his own accord.

PHASE 2:
· Guide the dog into the crate as you cheerfully say “Go in your crate” (this will become your permanent command) Lure him with a tasty treat to coax him inside and praise for any movement in the right direction.
· Once he is inside, gently close door, calmly PRAISE, and slip additional treats through vent hole to reward.
· Leave dog in the crate for 10 seconds, then open the door and allow him to exit if he wishes.
· GRADUALLY increase supervised time in crate using the above method – We want to convince the dog that he will never be abandoned in the crate and that he will always be let out.
· Once the dog is responding to this training, put him in his crate with a stuffed kong or other long lasting, edible chew and leave for very short periods.
· Gradually increase time dog is left in the crate while you are away.

REMEMBER
· Do not reward barking, whining and fussing by letting the dog out when he is doing so. Wait for quiet, or get the dog to hush for a moment by making a kissy noise or a strange sound, then let him out.
· Always praise the dog for going into his crate.
· Always provide the dog with a safe, irresistible chew item when he is in the crate.
· It is helpful to go back to Phase 1 occasionally to ensure the positive association with the crate continues.
· Some owners may wish to feed meals in the crate as an additional means to build a positive association.
· Excessive time spent in a crate will cause any dog to resist being crated.


Now let's talk about your dog sometimes getting nasty with you. There are 2 approaches to fixing this
issue that should be implemented simultaneously. The first is to build a better relationship (this means
more than just sharing affection) and the second is to prevent the rehearsal of this nasty behavior by
managing the environment in a smarter way.

To build a better relationship I recommend short, daily training sessions. Watch clicker training videos on
Youtube and teach your dog a new trick each week. (You don't need to use the clicker, but choosing the
clicker training videos will give you a much better chance of viewing humane training as opposed to the
other misguided, abusive methods out there.)

If you have established that your dog did not react well to you sticking your hand into the space in the
couch while he was trying to get the food in there, apply that knowledge going forward and take a
different approach: be more mindful of keeping food scraps out of his reach**good point.. we tend to eat on our couch so we can watch tv, that's bad in general already so we need to start eating our meals at the dinner table going forward (WHAT A CONCEPT RIGHT? lol), and in the example of the
couch, I would have moved the cushion away instead of reaching my hand in there. **Good point** We now know he
does not appreciate competition for food in tight spaces. Make note of his triggers and simply avoid them. What you'll find is that if you can prevent the rehearsal of nasty behaviors by simply never setting your dog up to display them, these nasty behaviors will not become a habit.**should be easy enough since i've only noticed the 2 triggers... the food and the crate situation** In fact it will become quite foreign and unnatural for your dog to interact with you in that way.

As you've discovered first hand, a new dog and a new baby at the same time is never ideal. This has
nothing to do with jealousy. It has to do with needs. It would be nearly impossible for a couple to
successfully integrate a new dog into the household in the last month of pregnancy and through baby's
first months at home! It's an insane endeavor.**my wife has bugged me for years getting a dog and i refused, mainly because we lived in an apartment where you had to pay more money and i wasn't willing to risk not only paying more per month but any damanges (god forbid) one we left our lease... i know now the timing was poor, it was me freaking out about the baby nearly being here that for some reason I thought getting the dog then was good timing, lol. I'm very glad to hear that your Frenchie has done so well
with baby! That's wonderful.

My final thought is that your dog would benefit from increased mental stimulation. Look into puzzle games,
Bustercube, and start doing short, fun training sessions with him every day.**easy.. especially with Xmas coming, we'll get him some new things to help occupy his time** Accompany him out in the
yard and play fetch or something. **we alwas did this in the summer/spring.. but we have to increase our walk times so i'll have to start doing that ASAP** Give him more of a life.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
13,764 posts, read 37,516,817 times
Reputation: 9993
I add 1 more to your list! BUY HIM a COAT! Now LadyBug has her coat she dont mind going outside in winter! Make sure you try several styles. Ladybug hate the ones you stick her head thru & shove her feet in! Hates hoods! Some one sent me a bunch of coats & sweaters last yr. In it as 1 that is put on like a horse blanket No hood SHE Loves it! So figure out what your dog likes & use it!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 04:03 PM
 
Location: FL
1,125 posts, read 2,126,168 times
Reputation: 1477
Also, be sure to have your dog checked by the vet for any underlying medical issue. We often look at behavior as just that when the individual (human or otherwise) has a medical problem. It may also be a combination of both.

It wasn't until I began working on an inpatient psych unit that I learned the value of looking for physical basis for behavior. A urinary tract infection can cause severe psychotic behavior in humans.

My cat has been whining a bit and has been irritable the past few days. I thought he was anxious because one of our dogs died recently and we got a puppy. Then last night he stood on his back legs, put his front paws on my chair and cried at me. I knew something was wrong because he's only done that once before in his 11 years and that time he had an abscessed tooth. When I looked it seemed his lip was a little swollen. Today the vet found he has a couple of abscesses where he's had extractions.

If there are no medical issues and its purely behavioral consistency, kindness and patience will help and if you learn to behave in that manner with your dog you'll find it helps you to be a better human parent as well. People sometimes are angered when I say rearing young children is much the same as training dogs but it's true, you must, must be consistent, firm, kind and patient.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 05:32 PM
 
5,291 posts, read 17,588,101 times
Reputation: 3806
Glad to see K9Coach chimed in and impressed me as usual

As for a coat, that matter not with brachycephalic breeds (Pugs, Bulldogs, Frenchies, Shih Tzus to name a few) the bitter cold air could totally impact their being able to get proper respirations and do more harm than good. Especially with the more humid climate that the East receives.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-25-2013, 10:48 PM
ZSP
 
Location: Paradise
1,738 posts, read 4,893,597 times
Reputation: 2791
I have a five year old French Bulldog and they can be very head strong. They need a strong and benevolent leader. I highly recommend Patricia McConnell's "The Other End of the Leash." It's a terrific read and you'll learn so much about being a strong and benevolent leader.

I have five grandchildren and Wolfgang loves and respects them all...as they do him. He's never exhibited any bad behaviors around them. Having said that...lots of great advice has already been given and I don't want to repeat anything...but having a great fenced yard does not make up for nor is a good substitute for a brisk walk. Even a short one will stimulate his senses and broaden his world and his life.

Frenchie's are strictly companion pets and are very committed to their humans and will act out if they feel they're being slighted. I have five dogs and Wolfgang is the baby. So, sometimes he doesn't like waiting his turn when one of the other dogs needs my attention...but he's learned a bit of patience. LOL Frenchie's are also very sensitive and don't want to be the last thing on anyone's list. They thrive with human companionship and too much time alone or without attention...bad behavior can follow. I could write a book about the breed...Wolfgang's not my first...but this forum isn't the place to do that. Just remember he's sensitive and needs your love and attention...just like your human child does.

Best of luck to you. Frenchie's are so much fun...they're the proverbial clown and always ready for fun. I hope everything works out for all concerned.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2013, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Emmaus, PA
2,780 posts, read 2,789,527 times
Reputation: 4866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
I add 1 more to your list! BUY HIM a COAT! Now LadyBug has her coat she dont mind going outside in winter! Make sure you try several styles. Ladybug hate the ones you stick her head thru & shove her feet in! Hates hoods! Some one sent me a bunch of coats & sweaters last yr. In it as 1 that is put on like a horse blanket No hood SHE Loves it! So figure out what your dog likes & use it!

LOL... yes we did have one last winter when he was a puppy and we'll get him another one that now fits his adult 20 LB musculer body, LOL! He did well with the sweater last year so we hope he'd be ok with it again... but we'll definitely get one so we can take him out this winter!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Dogs
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top