Behavior advice Questions

Discussion in 'Bull Terrier' started by Christel Howard, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Christel Howard

    Christel Howard New Member

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    Behavior advice

    My two kids (2.5 yo and 3 mo old) were outside with my mom.

    I walked inside to get water, my dog Max was laying down (stretched out style) and he looked up at me when I walked in. He had my daughters little stuffed bear toy (plays music- but the sound was off). It looked like he was chewing it. So I said “maxxxxx”, and I picked up the toy, looked at it. It wasn’t chewed or wet so I think he was just laying on it. Then I tossed it in the toy bin behind him. He didn’t do anything, just continued to lay down. Then as I went to rub his head and say “good boy” he started barking very aggressively and snarling at me. He jumped up on my leg one time. I told him to go to his bed (his crate, a term we use all the time) and he did not listen, continued to bark and basically follow me as I backed away from him. He wouldn’t stop to the point I had to get on top of the table bc I was scared. He did not go to his bed, instead stopped and went to the basement (which he never does, but I’m assuming he went down there to disobey my command of going to his bed?)


    Unfortunately I am a little nervous around him which I never have been before, he’s always been the sweetest and playful dog. An incident like this has never happened which is why I am nervous bc I don’t know what provoked it and if it’ll randomly happen again.

    Some background info: like I said we have a 2.5 yo old who he always plays well with, and a newborn 3 mo old now. We also moved to a bigger house with a yard, 2 months ago. So a lot of changes have happened and with the newborn I haven’t personally been able to walk him. My husband still does, but I also used to and I also haven’t given as much attention to him since the baby has been here.


    Also I know he can sense my anxiety/fear right now so I’m not sure what to do. We are taking him to the vet and then going to start working w a trainer in a few weeks (he has to get his updated shots before we can start).

    Ex: he used to sleep in our bed with us, but since this incident I don’t want him to, so he’s been in the crate at night. He does Well in his crate, it’s always been a positive thing - he goes to lay in it all throughout the day. But having his sleep there at night- for example, would that make him more angry with me or whatever he’s feeling.

    Any advice of how to be with him right now would be great until I get some advice from a trainer. I am being very cautious, and have him in the crate when the kids are up/in the room until my husband gets home. I also walked him yesterday as I read walking will help me gain dominance back.


    Thank you in advance for any guidance :)
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  3. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    I'm sorry but I really don't feel qualified to deal with this situation, so will just give my thoughts. My instinct is to say that you should have a home appointment a behaviourist who will be able to visit your home and assess the dog's relationship with you and the other members of your family.
    For example, in this instance was Max stealing the child's bear, or did he want it because he wanted to feel close to her? Perhaps it might have been better to have exchanged it for something that he was allowed to have, rather than to have snatched it away. We always think of these things in retrospect.
    Any sudden change in behaviour is a worry, has the weather been very hot, as it has been here, or is it possible that he might have/had some condition that is causing him pain? A vet check is a good idea.
    Dogs live in the moment, and I don't think that he will be able to understand why your attitude towards him might have changed. Whenever we have had a misunderstanding with one of our dogs, once the initial response is over, we have tended to let things return to normal - though keeping a watch in case the behaviour recurs. However, we do not have the presence of children to consider.
    Personally, I am not a fan of dogs in human beds for a variety of reasons, and I do think it is a good idea for him to have his own place to sleep. Exercise is almost always good, for health and as a bonding experience - make it a fun time for you both. Best wishes.
  4. Christel Howard

    Christel Howard New Member

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    Thank you so much for your input! I had not heard of replacing a toy with what they can have, I will definitely keep that in mind.
  5. Malka

    Malka Member

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    When my dog was a very young puppy she hated me taking her food bowl away after she had eaten, so I used to ask her if she wanted to do "swapsies" - her empty bowl for a tiny treat. She still knows what "wanna swapsie" means.

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