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BEHAVIOUR: Frequently Asked Questions by Vicky Collins-Natrass

My bulldog spooks is this normal behaviour ?

Very common, unexplainable but move a black bag, change around your furniture and you will think an alien has landed in your home, put your hand out onto his head and he will duck away like you have thrashed him! He’s a creature of habit if you lock yourself out don’t expect him to be happy to see you climb through the window. He won’t let you do things out of synch because  he’s planning what comes next bulldogs must be the elephant of the dog world they never forget ,seem to know the time and pick up on your mood if you’re sad they follow you around , if your angry they look worried for you .

Peeing or pooping at night time

Also very common, crating can help but I’m afraid some bulldogs just don’t like a clean un smelly beds, people get quite desperate with this problem, crating can help but often after trying everything accept it. Back to Basic Housetraining, change the feed times so there is time for him to open his bowels before bedtime. We do not restrict water at night because we feed dry food, lots of praise when clean. [Its actually  against the Law in the UK to withhold water]

Play nipping

On puppies before about 16 weeks old ,this is a behaviour driven by teething ,so it should lessen as they reach this age ,discourage biting skin , don’t play wrestling bite games or tug of war with your bulldog because they don’t forget and accidents happen if he thinks someone’s play fighting !

He should have learnt from his mum and siblings and your training biting is unacceptable , giving him a chew Nylabone as a distraction ,making a loud noise to interrupt the habit , and if he goes into an excitable race around state, nipping ,time out should be the answer as quickly as possible as any form of discipline has to be while he remembers what he’s done to deserve the cold shoulder isolation or stern telling off .It’s not normal for dogs to bite people although is a very bad trait, dog aggression should not be muddled up with the  nipping of people. Bulldogs temperament is usually second to none but there are odd dogs who do overstep the line.

Loving your Bulldog too much?

Although this seems to be impossible a lot of problems are caused by not giving your dog the place in the household he should have which is the bottom of the pack , everyone children and adult should be above the dog , if you give him privileges of being a substitute child you may find he quickly learns to exploit that and you have trouble in how he does as he is told bulldogs are stubborn , and can be dominant  some would never be like this but some are early recognition and strict ground rules should start from being young.

What If I have this problem already?

I’m afraid the best way to live with a bulldog who has got this attitude is not to be confrontational not putting the dog in situations where you go head to head ,giving his stubborn  streak no chance to say NO, if you allowed him on your old sofa he will take possession of your new one for sure .Keeping a collar on a dog who doesn’t like doing as he’s told is wise , easy to clip the lead on and go to take him out .Try reading books by Jan Fennel to help you break these habits.

Finally don’t make excuses for him, if he’s a rescue don’t assume all rescues have been ill-treated , they haven’t they rarely have issues that need you to overcompensate behaviours but quickly learn to take advantage

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