captainy avatar image

Training help

Okay, I completely get it that we caused this problem.  I just need to know what I can do to fix it    We have always allowed Chef D on the furniture.   NBD to us.  Well DH got a new job and we had to move.  We spent 2 weeks on the road and have been living with my parents for 4 weeks now.  We have one week left.

He was very good everywhere we stayed.  Would try and get on the sofa, but after 1 or 2 times of no, he stopped.  Great.  Well here at my parent's he insists on getting up on my mom's chair.  Everyday for the last 4 weeks, 6-9 times a day he jumps up on her.  There is not another chair just like mom's but he doesn't try.  There is a sofa, where he tried a couple of times, then just stopped.  But everyday he trys to sit with my mom.  It's almost comical.

We tell him "NO", pull him off.  Tried a spray bottle (now the little baster just tries to drink the water).   I don't know what to do.


Chef D's Mug Shot

omegabulldogs's picture


This suggestion may not be approved by everyone and someone else certainly might have a better suggestion but this has worked for me. It is great he seems to love your Mom and wants to share space with her. Most people agree positive training works better than negative but I would use a combination of both. I would take a LOOSELY rolled newspaper and whack him on the top of his head with a firm command (OFF or NO JUMP) when he starts to jump. (LOOSELY rolled--you don't want to club him or hurt him. It is more for a negative startle affect.) Then for the positive: ONCE ALL 4 FEET ARE ON THE FLOOR i WOULD REACH DOWN AND GIVE HIM A PAT OR SCRATCH ON HIS HEAD AND A LITTLE TREAT WITH A VERBAL gOOD BOY, GOOD OFF (and I am sorry about the all caps but didn't ralize I had cap lock on and don't want to retype--LOL) 

Céline and Angel Stella's picture

I say just let him snuggle with Grandma!

You're only going to be there for a little while and she's going to miss having the big guy on her lap!

I know, very helpful :)

captainy's picture

I would love to let him snuggle with her, (mom would too)

Unfortunately, mom has a severe case of RA.  He thinks he is a lap dog and its just too much for my mom.

I tried getting him down and then giving him treats and pats on the head when he did.  That only made him want to do it more.   He is such a little stinker.  Even for a bulldog, he normally "get it" afer a few times.  This however, he will not give up on trying.  As I said it's comical, but frustrating at the same time.


Chef D's Mug Shot

Céline and Angel Stella's picture

More "useful" advice

Could mom sit on the sofa and let Chef join her there for a snuggle? Or does she have to sit on that chair because of her arthritis.

I have a feeling that Chef is sensing your mom's pain and wants to "help". Bulldogs (and other dogs too) are extremely intuitive when people are not well and often try to comfort them by their presence. I'll bet that's what he's trying to do since he seems to "get" not going on the furniture when mom's not on it. Hard to get him not to react to his instincts... My Stella was always extra snuggly when we were sick, and she stuck to my hubby like glue when he broke his foot.

The only thing I can think of is to get one of those thermal blankets and put that over the chair, and your mom if she's in it. They look like tin foil and crackle when you touch them. My sis has these on her "good" sofas to keep her lab off them. The lab inisit in jumping up there and sheds like crazy. But she doesn't like those crinkly blankets.

Or maybe put another chair right beside your mom's that Chef is allowed on. That way, she could touch him and him her without being on top of her.

Otherwise, we'll have to start calling him Doc instead of Chef!

tmichaud's picture

Pls don't whack him with anything - loosely rolled or otherwise!

I'm sorry, but training a dog (especially a bulldog) takes patience and whacking him on the head isn't going to teach him anything.

My suggestion is that when you see him starting to try and get up on her chair you use a very FIRM "UH OH" or NO CHAIR command with him. I'm telling you I have the most stubborn bully on the planet but when he hears me say "UH OH" he knows he needs to immediately stop what he's doing. If he makes it onto the chair, then you should calmly remove him and tell him NO CHAIR. Believe me it will take time and patience - just like with children. But I assure you that you will have a much better adjusted dog if you NEVER raise a hand (or anything else for that matter) to him.

The last thing I would ever want is for my bully to wince or shy away from me when I went to touch him and in my opinion that is exactly what can develop with any form of negative "training" technique.

Just my two cents... take it or leave it. But whatever you do - remember patience is your best friend when training a bully.

mrhig2004's picture

hitting/wacking is abuse

The more a positive behaviour is rewarded, the more it will occurr. Ignore the negative behaviour and the less it will occur. Make it a huge big deal when he does not jump on the chair. Use very high value treats (real chicken pieces)and praise galore. You can even dedicate some time when your mom is sitting on the chair for training sessions. Try giving him a high food drive by cutting back on his meal. Bulldogs are not hard to train using a positive reward system. Any punishment will cause fear and could create worse problems.It is so nice to see them learn and eventually you will see mutual respect. Set him up for success by having him on his lead when you cannot pay attention to him.
Work hard at it. The payoff for your bully and yourself is huge.


mrhig2004's picture

So sorry

It is not you who wacks his bully. I read your post wrong. Best of luck with this issue.


captainy's picture

Chef has been easy to train for the most part

He learned to sit in a half day at 8 weeks.  Walks on a leash great.   Is good at the come command.  Sits as soon as he gets into the elevator.  I make him sit for meals.  The other day he sat and then I gave the "ok" command and walked out the door.  I went to the kitchen, poured a glass of milk, drank the milk then I happen to walk by and he was still sitting there.  Poor guy didn't here me say "ok".  

I think that is why this is just so strange.   We have been giving him praise when he comes down, use treats.   He is just so determined to sit with my mom.  He does't try to sit with anyone else or the empty chair.


Chef D's Mug Shot

Just wondering if it is

because of your moms RA that he wants to be close to her like that? Once when I had some dental work done and a sore jaw, Kofi was right on top os me and up in my face. It was not her normal behavior. 

Sweet little guy, he can come snuggle with Kofi and me.


Kofi and Carol


AmyandSophia's picture

Yes, Sophia is that way with me as well.

If I am sick, or like this week wehn Kora passed away, Sophia was right there. She slept almost on top of me for three nights. Hopefully tonight she will be more willing to let me sleep all by myself:-)

Hi Carol:-) Many hugs to you and sweet Kofi. You doing ok?


Amy and Sophia

Stephanie and David's picture

Physical punishment

Even mild physical punishment doesn't work with bulldogs. It just makes them more stubborn. Positive reeinforcment works as does reward for goo behavior. They want to do the right thing, Youjust have to let them know what that 'good' is.

Something we use with Phoebe and really works...

with her is a plastic bottle with a few pennies in it. If she does not respond to the Uh Uh after a couple of times and continues the unwanted behaviour we give the bottle a shake and she just absolutely stops what she is doing immediately. She does not need it much any more but on those rare occasions all we have to do is get the bottle out and she stops. For some reason she hates the sound and stops what she is doing wrong. One more idea to perhaps try.

You only have 1 week left

doesn't sound like you are going to be successful. But for the short term, you can try keeping an 8 to 10 ft leash on him for better control. When you see him "thinking" about jumping up on the chair, a calm "uh oh" and slight tension on the leash might help.

My guess is, your dog senses or realizes there is something weakened about your Mom and has decided that it is his job to keep an eye on her. I've had dogs that were very sensitive to people and other dogs that were sick/weak/old/scared etc., They made great therapy dogs.


Lynn King CPDT-KA

AmyandSophia's picture

I completely agree Lynn, he senses "mom" has special issues.

He wants to be her comforter and protector. Good boy:-) But too much for mom. Maybe a nice blanket or bed at mom's feet would help him stay on the floor and be content with that rather than getting on her lap?


Amy and Sophia

I would bet it's because of the RA...

I had major surgery in December, while Farley is a regular love bug...he was super attentive when I got home from the hosptial.  He sat right next to me with a paw or head on my lap at all times, if I got up to use the bathroom...he followed me and laid down next to me, showering he stayed outside the glass door, when I had to walk the house he shuffled along with me at my pace.  He always had a worried look on his face and he did try to smell my incision a few times.

I think they know we are in pain they want to be there to comfort us.  I agree with the poster that said to put the other chair next to her and let him sit in that one and she can pet him.  

Pegsy's picture

my mom had same type of prob

my mom had same type of prob w/her leg archie wouldn't try to jump on her,but he always seemed sensitive to her pain...he would always go rest his chin on her knee or lap when she was on the couch...ofcourse she always had treats for him...,they definitely ARE a stubborn breed and patience is what is required most...the chef sounds like he's a fast learner...he's still learning as he is still young-good luck sweetie,let us know how it works out!
smoochies the scrunchy face

captainy's picture

Pennies in the plastic bottle seems to be working

Thank you for the suggestion.  We just have to move our hand in that direction and he stops dead in his tracks.


Chef D's Mug Shot

Glad to hear...

you are having some success with the penny bottle. Initally we had a bottle in pretty much every room just so they were available but now we rarely even have to get it out of the cupboard. Hope it continues to work for you.