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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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Need answers please...i have an american dog that we have

Customer Question

Need answers please...i have an american bull dog that we have had for 4 years and and lab. We also now have twin 6 month old boys and the american bull dog is attacking the lad and is going to hurt him. what do i do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think my alpha male dog is getting protective over our 6 month old twins and is attacking the other male dog. Is this behavior something i can stop?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer, My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient. What breed is the other male dog?How old is that dog? What breed is the other dog what obedience training have the dogs had?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer, My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient. What breed is the other male dog?How old is that dog? What breed is the other dog what obedience training have the dogs had?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
5 year old American Bull dog and a 4 year old yellow lab. Both been with us from birth. No obedience training. they are walked daily. We hired a live in nanny and both times the dogs leashed out was when she was pulling in the driveway. The american bull dog also growls and lunges at the lab every once in a while if the lab gets too close to the twins.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
outside of that they are best freinds
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. I tend to think this is a different situation, but the steps to correct it would be much the same. Let me explain. Dogs are pack animals and they usually have one that is the "boss". There can be a male and female boss but usually one is still over the other. The dog who is the boss expects to be fed first, get treats first, affection first, etc. In the dog world it is their right as the leader. It is even their right to go in and out first. Basically they get to do what they want and the other dogs have to respect them and not do things they disapprove of. Now the lab should have been submissive to the bull dog if the bull dog was older when the lab was introduced. However, some medical conditions can affect a dogs behavior such as hypothyroidism. It can cause a dog to have sudden aggression. Now it could apply to the bull dog or the lab. If the lab did not let the bulldog have his way, the bulldog would reprimand the lab with a growl, nip and fight if the lab didn't immediately submit. Now the bulldog might also be influenced by the behavior of the humans. People often don't even think about how their interactions with one dog might affect the behavior of the dogs toward each other. For instance, if the nanny tends to welcome the lab and give him lots of attention before the bulldog, the bulldog would reprimand the lab because the lab is not supposed to rush to get that attention. The lab is supposed to wait until the leader gets all the attention he wants before moving to get attention. Thus the bulldog would possibly fight the lab. If the lab pushed past the bulldog for attention from the children or the nanny then you might expect the same results. Additionally the lab may start thinking he is a better choice of boss and fights might occur as the lab stops listening to the bulldog and asserts himself more and more. In any case, it can be corrected. First thing is obedience training. Even if they have training, it is best to do so again and you need the daily practice. It isnt' for them to learn the commands as it is for them to see that you are the ultimate boss and it is your place to do the reprimands and not the dogs. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htmhttp://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html Additional training can also help. Both dogs should be leashed and if one dog even looks at the other dog, a correction should be done. Any sign of aggression including a prolonged look, hair raised on the shoulders, a growl or even a stiff legged walk, should be corrected. A correction is a quick tug of the leash and a firm low toned "NO". Once you have done this couple of times, you should notice the dogs ignoring each other. When that happens, you will want to reward them for the desired behavior. Again, use tasty treats like the hot dog slices. This teaches the dogs that you WILL not tolerate fighting in YOUR pack. Learn body language so you can interpret what is being transmitted by the dogs to each other. You can tell if one is trying to be dominant or aggressive and when it starts. https://apdt.com/pet-owners/dog-park/body-language/http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.htmlhttp://www.petprofessionalguild.com/dogbodylanguage If you know that, you can hopefully stop the behavior before it starts. Be sure and get a health check up done on the dogs and ask the vet if there is any other signs of a possible thyroid issue that might be contributing. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
A quick follow up to see how things are going with your dogs? Have you started with training? Did you find my suggestions helpful?

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