I need advise please

I recently got an English Bulldog to add to my family. It's something we discussed at length. We wanted to rescue and we let family know we were looking. Well, a dog was located and we were told he was raised with family and around other dogs and that he was very calm. Which he was. And then he started attacking my boxer mix. It doesn't seem to be about anything. Food toys etc. He will just be laying there and his ears go up and his body tenses and he attacks. My boxer is very timid and submissive and is now afraid. Now, it's only been 5 days and I talked to a trainer at our petstore that said to walk them together all the time and keep an eye on them while he adjusts. I just want to do the right thing right away and not have anything escalate further. I'm looking for any advise from those who had similar issues.Both dogs are fixed. Bulldog is 3 and boxer is 4.They are fed and walked on a schedule and working on training with the bulldog. Help?

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Was this a BCA Rescue Group

I would also talk to the rescue group.

Until you have help from a licensed behavorist I would keep them separate, and/or on leash, so an attack can't happen. My experience, which was only with one bitch is that once this starts it is very difficult to remedy, without a lot of work, patience and consistency.

Certainly is not fair to your boxer.

Did the resuce group say he was fine with other dogs?

Keep him off the couch, does he attack when he is next to you? He could be resource guarding you.

When you notice the signals, try to distract him, loud low voice...or a loud noise, like bang something.

More info

What ended up happening is that my sister heard from a friend that a family was looking to get rid of two of their dogs. That they could not care for them anymore. She was told both were family dogs and had been around other dogs. When they went to go see rocky, he was very dirty and nails were so long they turned outward. Bless his heart. But he was very sweet and docile and quiet. My sister had him a day while we drove to meet and pick him up. They bathed him that morning. I cut his nails and wash his wrinkles each morning after I got him. He is easy going and has no issues with any of that. Strange people taking him places and grooming him.

I've been walking them for long walks together and working on training.He seems to do it when my boxer seems uncertain and nervous. There isn't food involved or toys. Sometimes the boxer may be with me. Sometimes not. It seems to be improving some, though. I do wonder if the only dogs he knew were dogs he grew up with so he maybe has never met a strange dog he doesn't know. He is fine with my cat, though.

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Poor Guy

Probably a complete lack of socialization. I think he is resource guarding you and likley very confused. Find a licensed trainer...not at the pet store to come to your house and do an evaluation. I think this can most definitely be resolved with time and patience. I would suggest keeping them separated with a baby gate if you can do that...and when they are together keep a leash on the bulldog so you can keep him from getting to your boxer.

I hope Lynn (our resident licensed trainer) sees this post, she can help you.

Thanks for giving him a loving home, bulldogs deserve much better then what he was getting. Makes me sad.

Some good news

There is a lot less aggression today. So we are seeing progress. Thanks for the advice and help. Rocky is such cute boy. I was a little behind on getting to the morning walk and he stood at the door as if to say "come on, ma. let's go!"

I was going to suggest you hit the restart button

allowing physical contact immediately when bringing in a new dog to a household can be dangerous, for everyone. Here, the new dog is kept separated by baby gates, the dogs can see/watch/sniff each other but cannot make contact. Allows the dogs to observe each others behaviors and body language. It also gives us time to convince the dogs that having a newbie is a good thing by rewarding everyone for nice, calm interactions while standing close to the baby gate. Sounds like the Bulldog is misreading your Boxers anxiety/stress behaviors.

For your Boxers sake, I hope things continue to improve. Remember, you brought a roommate in that he didn't ask for, so his safety and sanity are #1.

As Deb suggested, you may want to have a trainer do a few one on one sessions with you, to help all of you better understand each other.

Good luck and glad to see ya here.


Lynn King CPDT-KA