New Bulldog Owner - Aggression HELP!

Hello all! My name is Jessica, and I recently rescued a female English named Georgia (I know, cliché...but she was already named). I'm having some trouble with interdog relations, and I was hoping this might be the place to come for advice. I am a first time bulldog owner, and this is my first "rescue" ever. I have a teacup Chihuahua (6) and a pug (5) already, and I have read up on integrating a new dog into the family, but I've probably done it all wrong. She seems to be becoming increasingly aggressive toward other dogs, and I'm unsure of my next step.

 I'll begin with her story and all we know of her history. I found her at a yard sale in my hometown. It was a hot early summer day (about 3 months ago) and she was roaming the yard panting. I love bulldogs, so I immediately asked if I could pet her. The owner told me she was very friendly, and to go ahead. I noticed her face was cut up, her ears were bloody, and her whole body looked swollen and irritated. It broke my heart, so I forgot about the sale and sat with her for a few minutes. The owner eventually came over and told me to take her if I wanted her and would give her a good home. She said she couldn't take care of her anymore, and her husband hated the dog because she couldn't get along with her pit-bull. There were other small dogs and a tiny piglet playing with her, so she seemed ok with other animals. I asked a bunch of questions about her history and the answers were very vague. She wasn't sure of her age and said she got her from a puppy mill because she wasn't good at having puppies. My heart was begging me to rescue her, so I put her in the car and took her straight to my vet before bringing her home to our pups. The vet checked her over. She had various worms, mites, and infections, but nothing too serious. She was also in heat. Her age was estimated to be 4. I caught her up on her shots, got her lots of meds, and brought her home. She was immediately good with my pups, and was just a bit timid. We had a planned trip to partner's parents' house the next day, so we took her there. There were 4 other dogs there and all was well. She slept most of the time and we returned home. 

Since then, she is becoming very protective (toward other dogs) over us, her food, her toys, and attention (super jealous). The first fight came when I threw a toy for her and my pug, and they both ran to grab it. Georgia's eyes turned into "animal eyes," and she lunged open-mouthed at the pug. They just growled around and made a lot of noise, and we separated them (I know, not the best option. But it was scary). We placed them in separate rooms for a time-out. That has happened about 4 or 5 times since then, all handled the same way. Georgia always wants more, and we have to hold her down or she will continue running around in a rage. We read up on aggression and tried to find the issues/triggers. We eliminated common toys and food, tried to practice/teach "sit" commands, reinforced positive interactions, and took her on walks. The scary part came 2 days ago at my partner's parents' house. They have a standard poodle and labradoodle. We were all walking and my partner threw a tennis ball. The 2 large dogs ran to get it and Georgia stayed back. When they came back to give her the ball, Georgia lunged at the poodle and they all became a huge ball of growling dogs. All I could see was that Georgia had her mouth clamped down onto the poodle's leg and was NOT budging. The poodle rolled over on her back to give up and began screaming, but Georgia WOULD NOT let go. My partner finally pulled her mouth open and got her off. We both held her down outside because she wanted more. The poodle now has a huge hole in her leg and required veterinary care.

We are at a loss. We both love this dog. But I'm so scared she will really injure my puppies or someone else. I know the best option is a behaviorist, but I just don't have the money right now. I may in the near future, but not immediately. I am spending more than I expected on her meds, vet bills, and special weight food. I also need to have her spayed this summer. Any ideas guys? Sorry this was so long!!




Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

That's a tough one...

the first thing I would do is avoid toys when she is around, they seem to be a trigger.  It might come down to keeping her separated from the others or even finding her a home where she is the only dog.  She hasn't shown aggresstion to you, right?  It sounds like you are doing good things for her.  Make her sit before getting food or treats, let you enter a room first, no furniture, etc so she will see that you are the pack leader.  Obedience training might also help.  Good luck, I hope things turn out well for you and her.  It sounds like her life has improved substantially.

Have things gotten any better?