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Bullmastiff

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by stevo, Jul 6, 2009.


  1. stevo

    stevo PetForums Newbie

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    We've had our 2 year old (we think!!) Bullmastiff bitch for 3 months now, she's a rescue dog and a delight to have around our home, she's obedient, friendly and loving. However, when we take her out, she is so aggresive towards other dogs, she's full of bite marks and seems to have had a broken jaw, so we suspect has been mistreated and possibly fought.
    We've taken her to "boot camp" and have subscribed to 12 sessions, at the moment, we are using the pet deterrent spray and using it whenever she displays aggression, it seems to be working but it's quite worrying as when she's after another dog, she sems to loose al she's learnt so far....any ideas?:
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    I assume you are keeping her on the lead at all times?

    I havent any suggestions myself, its not something ive ever dealt with, and its hard to give advice over the internet.

    The "boot camp" sounds a great idea. She may never been fantastic with other dogs, but you may be able to help her tolerate them a bit better.

    How long have you been taking her to the training? What sorts of methods have they shown you so far?
     
  3. borderer

    borderer Guest

    if she has been used for fighting the danger will allways be there no matter what you do but she will love you to bits:)
     
  4. Patterdale_lover

    Patterdale_lover PetForums VIP

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    As nonnie said it is hard to give information over the internet, as we haven't seen how she reacts.
    These are simple suggestions
    Walk her where rarely/none other dogs walk
    Buy her a muzzle
    ex-fighters are quite hard to cure, from what i understand, hopefully boot camp should help her.
     
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi. Well done for taking on a rescue!

    Which centre did you get her from? If she is a fighting dog, then I would be surprised if a reputable rehoming centre would place her.

    You may find this is fear aggression. What ever it is, you are absolutely right to address it.

    As you are getting advice, I won't bother giving my usual long replies on dog aggression. Except to say, by using the pet corrector you are just treating the sympton. If her problem is that she see's other dogs as a threat or is scared of them, then this will not work, in the long run. You may see immediate results but she is psychologically damaged and this needs to be treated.

    I see it like this...... It is the same as a human having a violent psychotic episode. Do you punish the person for being violent, or do you threat the illness with therapy or drugs?

    You must ensure that the behaviourist you are going to use, does not use physical techniques like pet correctors/alpah roles/shaking of tins. In my opinion (I have had aggressive rescue's), it is not beneficial.

    For now I would cease any walks where there are other dogs. By her seeing other dogs and you not knowing how to control it, the frustration is building and the reactions will get worse.

    Good luck x
     
  6. Dundee

    Dundee Banned

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    I agree with goodvic - where did you get her from? Rehoming a fighting dog to a family home seems a step too far.

    I wouldn't use a pet corrector - it may 'appear' to work but you are not getting to the cause of the problem and it is likely to come out in without warning when you are not expecting it.

    I do think you need experience behaviourist advice - I would go to your vet and ask for a referral. Far too many trainers/people call themselves behaviourists when they are nothing of the sort.

    In addition, no proper behaviourist will see you without being referred by a vet first. If they will, then they are not a behaviourist but a trainer.
     
  7. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    I totally agree with goodvic2 and dundee. It is fear aggression. With my rescue I found it's all about redirecting the aggression, you can provide a distraction and a different outlet to satisfy her preydrive. That will, in time, make her more confident and boost her self estime.

    By all means the results will not be immediate as with a spray! It takes work, and every day, but if you took on a dog like her, her age and bite marks you obviously are the best chance she has as you know the challenge.

    See what she likes to play with most, with my dog I taught him to search for things in the undergrowth, so when a dog was on his way over and I caught him looking and freezing I would regain his attention and show him his fav ball and throw it far in the bushes, it took a few attempts, but then he started snapping out of the freeze mode and get excitment going, once out of the bushes with his reward he would not even look at the other dog..

    Also make her feel good about herself, tag of war is a good game which lets out her frustration and let her win despite what the trainer say. It gives her an alternative to winning over a dog.
    If she was raised a fighter that is what she knows, try to deviate that instinct towards something else.

    i hope it makes sense..
     
  8. Varkhond

    Varkhond PetForums Member

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    Even the most broken fighting dog love their owner, its nature. Be careful though as it might be very hard to make her "trustful" in lack of better vocabulary. But it might not be that, just because it got some marks. Could be inresponsible owners like this one YouTube - kangal and pitbull playing tagging I "rescued" a dashhound from a bad home, they had 2 rottweilers who was constantly bullying the small pup. (yes a big strong mastiff can be bullied to!)

    " Because petball had an heaviy bashing from kangal king balak before the dog is trying to survive,thats an conditional reflex"

    Yeah right, stupid idiots. :eek:ut:

    Anyway I got nothing constructive to add, but the normal be careful and supervise the newcomer closely. And ofc all good in the future! :)
     
    #8 Varkhond, Jul 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  9. stevo

    stevo PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice, we'll just keep making her feel secure at home and as recommended, only walk her when it's quiet, I hope she grows out of it, we so want to enjoy walking her!!
     
  10. davehyde

    davehyde Banned

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    pro advice definitely.
    if a mastiff went crazy i expect it would be impossible to stop it.

    they will probably work on it gently and begin very controlled exposure to other dogs.

    submissive non threatening dogs at first calm and very organised.

    if it has been fighting it needs it's faith restored in both dog and man.

    best of luck
     
  11. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    She will definitely not grow out of it. If you do not begin to treat her problem then it is likely to get worse.

    You have two choices:

    * Accept her problems and keep her away from other dogs. Do not think that because you can physically restrain her then it is ok.
    * Get to the root of the problem and begin socialisation.

    To be honest, you talk about wanting to enjoy walking her. This is not going to happen unless you get proper help.

    I have personal experience with my dogs. I have 2 greek rescue dogs who have had bad dog aggression issues. I have now managed to deal with their problems (not 100% and prob won;t be), but to the point where they can be off the lead and I don't have to worry (not together).

    It has taken me a year and a half, but I have worked closely with a behaviourst and done a lot of socialisation with them.

    x
     
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