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american bulldog advise needed

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by howel, Jan 22, 2012.


  1. howel

    howel PetForums Newbie

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    american bulldog advice needed please
    Have just taken on a 14 month old american bulldog yesterday as the previous owners needed him rehomed. They had found someone else to home bruce but he was not in any way suitable to look after him.
    He's a really nice dog, quite big and he does seems to have a placid temperament but is very wary of new people at the moment. we were looking to just have him till a nice home was found but if he stays this good then we may be able to have him permanently.

    We'd just like to know any tips people may have on this breed, if there any things we need to watch out for and how long until we see his true colours as he is a bit nervous still and he's being quite reserved.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks.
     
  2. pogo

    pogo PetForums VIP

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    I have a 2 year old rescue ambull and one thing i would say is they can be VERY wary and suspicious of new people especially in their own home, and as they are natural guard dogs they may need introducing to new people slowly, i know ours does.

    Also they are known for being dog aggressive, not all of them mine gets on brilliantly with my other dog. They are also full of energy and need plenty of exercise.

    They are amazing dogs if brought up with proper training otherwise they would be a massive handful!
     
  3. howel

    howel PetForums Newbie

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    thanks pogo I've been looking at different sites but wanted some first hand owner feedback too.
    The only thing I have any concern about is the way they are with other male dogs in their territory because I help my friend with his dog which visits a lot and I walk frequently.
    Took him for his first big walk with us today and he was like a big puppy. he just wanted to play with any dog he saw and without any aggression in the slightest but I am aware that they don't like dogs in their space.

    Other than that I reckon we should be ok together. I've started what i think to be positive training since the first second we met and I've already fallen in love with him.

    Hope I can keep him he's been a lovely boy so far.
     
    #3 howel, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  4. pogo

    pogo PetForums VIP

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    As I said they can be dog aggressive however my two dogs are both male and are truly the best of friends however chance will not let another dog in our house apart from Harvey, he is however really good with dogs at the park and loves to play as they are really just huge pups :)
     
  5. howel

    howel PetForums Newbie

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    heres a pic he's got a head like a bucket :)
     

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  6. Hertsgirl

    Hertsgirl PetForums Senior

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    He is gorgeous :)
    The breeders we got our puppy Cookie from had both parents and the dad was the American Bulldog and he was lovely, not wary of us at all when we went in his house but he was a massive handfull and the owner said she regrets not training him properly when he was a pup because now he won't go on a lead at all when out walking & just runs about in the woods like a mad puppy, sleeps on their bed and takes up most of it! :D But he is very friendly and lovely. She advised us when we got Cookie to get her fully trained before she gets big or she'd end up like her dad, a handfull! :eek:
    Thankfully though we have Cookie trained well already and she's still learning :)
     
  7. Jugsmalone

    Jugsmalone PetForums VIP

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    I have an AB. I took him on at 1 yrs of age. He had had no training whatsoever with the exception that he was well socialised with dogs and some people.

    I have had Buster now 2 years and I have trained him well. He is a well behaved dog. However, the only thing I would say about him is he goes on high alert if your walk him when it is dark. He can be very suspicious of some people when walking him in the dark. He is great with other dogs and children. He has been attacked by small dogs and will retaliate.

    When in the house he will let us know if there is someone outside and if anyone is in the yard etc. Obviously this comes from his guarding instincts.

    Buster is a gentle giant who lives with another dog and a cat.

    I hope it all works out with Bruce and please keep us updated. :)
     
  8. howel

    howel PetForums Newbie

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    Turns out the previous owners lied about the reasons why he had to be re-homed. The family he lived with had two young girls and never had any problems but we have found out he has bitten a few of their friends whilst out at the park.
    We have been in contact with a behaviourist to see if they could advise as we haven't seen any aggression from him (apart from him growling at me cos if I catch him on the sofa I make him get down immediately) and she said what we were thinking and the kids probably were rough or didn't read his nervousness.

    On the plus side We have a friend who lives in a nice house in a nice rural area who really want's him and has had a problem dog before so is prepared for the challenge.

    I'm gutted though I really want to keep him but unfortunately its not a decision I can make on my own as there's 5 other ppl in our house. :(
     
  9. pogo

    pogo PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't give up just yet, my Chance not so much growls but is very stand offish with everyone and has to be introduced to anyone VERY slowly otherwise he will growl and 'stand up to the them'.
     
  10. leashedForLife

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    a self-anointed 'behaviorist', or someone with real academic credentials?

    an ordinary trainer won't call themselves a 'behaviorist', & here in the USA in many states, it's illegal
    to label oneself as such without the PhD or BSci to back it up.
    Jeez-louise! :eek:

    just teach him UP & OFF - 2 cues, use a leash the first few times till he gets the hand signal,
    it will take a bit longer to learn the verbal-label, but he gets REWARDED for both getting Up & getting Off.
    no more confrontation, no growling! :eek: Why provoke a growl, which is defensive & worried,
    when he's just got here, from all accounts? Teach him what he needs to know - don't intimidate or confront.
    "WHAT WERE U THINKING"...?! Quick, find someone else!
    this woman is not, judging by that judgmental tidbit, a qualified behaviorist.
    she's also not tolerant, let alone fond, of bully-breeds in general, from that one biased comment.

    2nd opinion, stat, is my suggestion. :wink:
    that's only a plus for YOU - not the dog, for whom it means more upheaval.
    what tools or techniques did the friend use with their previous 'problem dog'?
    corrections AKA punish after the fact, or reward-based / manage to prevent unwanted behaviors,
    & reward wanted behaviors?

    i'd want to know how his B-Mod would be conducted, before i let him go. :yesnod:
    & that means U have 20% of the vote - but 100% of the responsibility for this dog.
    don't just take the chance to chuck him into someone else's arms & call it done, please.
    :wink:
     
  11. howel

    howel PetForums Newbie

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    We contacted an ambull rescue centre and they referred us to the behaviourist that they use and trust so we thought it would be a good lead so to speak.




    we were thinking the kids had not been too good with him as we have seen him around children in the park before we found out his history and he was fine with them and the trainer seemed both like and know a great deal about the breed and described most of his behaviour we were having problems with before we had a chance to tell her.



    Its not a plus to me I wish we didn't know anyone who could take him as I really want to keep him but like I said it's not a decision I can make on my own and as there are so many ppl ,strangers included, coming in and out of the house unannounced I don't want to risk him kicking off guard dog style if I'm not there.
    My friend had taken his dog to training classes as soon as the problematic behaviour was noticed so they are prepared to spend time and money on him to make him happier.



    don't insult me! this is difficult enough decision to be making after 3days of owning him. I'm doing it for the dog and I wouldnt have taken him off the ******* who was supposed to look after him if I didn't car about his welfare.
     
  12. Bruces mate

    Bruces mate PetForums Newbie

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    Leashed for life you have got completely the wrong end of the stick here and have clearly not read this thread properly.

    I am the person who rescued this dog at the weekend. I got him from someone who was completely twated at a party and had just been sold him. He was in no fit state to take on a dog with needs such as this. It was not my intention to keep Bruce as I am not in the best situation to have him. However since getting him I have considered it as I have fallen in love with him and the dog clearly thinks that I can protect him.

    Now, keeping him would be entirely selfish on my part as I dont have a full time job and I dont have the money to give this dog the life he deserves. This wont be my situation forever but at the moment it is.

    The behaviourist I have been in touch with is completely on the dogs side. She believes that the reason he has lashed out before is because he felt threatened, which I believe is the 100% truth. She believes that this dog in the right home will be a loyal and good dog. Again 100% truth from what I have seen of him so far.

    Rehoming - I have just given my friends the go ahead to rehome him from me. This breaks my heart but they are fully prepared to deal with any issues that he is likely to have. Already, they have signed up to take him onto a behaviour course. They have the dedication to his rehabilitation. I would NEVER just pass a dog on because I couldn't be bothered. I am also aware of the upheaval he has been through in the last week and I have asked advice from an american bulldog rescue. So he is not going to be immediatley taken from my home. They are going to visit him tomorrow and I am going to let them take him out. They are then going to come back and see him again and take him out. Then when he is wagging his tail at them when they come in, then they will take him. I am aware about how moving a dog, especially of this breed, can ruin them.

    Please read the thread properly before you accuse about situations which you have no idea about. Thanks :)
     
  13. howel

    howel PetForums Newbie

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    @leashedforlife don't know why my reply and the reply of my housemate have not been posted but I'm not going to go through answering ALL the things you've assumed to be right about and as far as judgemental go's maybe you should look in a mirror eh?
    you mis read a few of the things i put and you are very wrong and a bit insulting with some of your comments.

    anyway bruce is going to be slowly introduced to our friends and they have already registered for a training/obedience class.

    Its for the best in the long term
     
  14. troublestrouble

    troublestrouble PetForums Senior

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    the only experience i have of one is a cross but they think he's mostly AB. Trouble loves him and they play really well but like any dog he can get a bit carried away and doesn't necessarily realise. When he plays he also focuses on biting the legs to get the other dog on their back to win the 'fight', the owner said he had read this was an AB trait but he has had to be careful around his children because he has tried doing it to them. to try to help Benji see where he is in the family all the children take it in turns to feed and train him so he sees them as valued family members and providers of food.

    He has also calmed down a lot since being castrated but that is a tender subject s it's all i say on that :)

    he is a lovely dog just very excitable, give him some time and see how your family take to him and him to your family

    hope this is some help, like i said i don't own one but the one we know is lovely but hard work-but it think his daddy thinks its all worth it :)
     
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