After a very long search we picked what we felt was a great little english bulldog pup. He is 12 weeks and we just got him the night before last. We have 2 small children so temperment is a major concern for us and it was when selecting our puppy.
Almost all day yesterday he had been GREAT, he played very well with our toddler (16 months old)...our toddler never pulled on him or went after him or anything. Late in the afternoon I noticed that the puppy was really going after my son, more or less nipping at his feet, clothes, ears, etc. I figured this was just puppy play and kept making sure he had a chew toy to distract him from this behavior and also giving him crate time to rest.
Well after that we had a very bad episode. The puppy was out of his crate for some playtime and decides to again go up to my son and starts nipping, I said no, and he would not let up..he became more determind and nipping more each time. My son was crying, I held on to the puppy by his collar and he was putting up quite a fight to keep going after my son and started to growl and bark. It really freaked me out. When I finally was able to get my son off the floor and let go of the Dog he jumped up to get my son's foot. I went to get my husband from outside...he I think thought I was crazy and that the puppy was just playing...not even 5 minutes later he did the same thing again and my husband grabbed him that time and he growled at him.
This is very concerning to us. We had no idea a 12 week old puppy even growled much less agressive. I am not sure if he just does not understand what a toddler is since he has not been around one before, but even so, I do not really want to take the risk.
Does this sound unsual? We did a lot of research and English bulldogs were listed as being great w/ kids...the breeder was very nice. This was their first litter. We contacted them about this and they are waiting for us to let them know how tomorrow goes, etc.
I would love to hear any feedback on this issue. I know agression therapy or something like tha may be an option I just do not know how I feel about that. I would rather have a dog that was just not agressive period. We have had already had an agressive dog years ago and that is why we waited so long to get another one.
Hi... sorry to hear that you're having some issues with your new puppy.
I'll start by telling you that it isn't all that unusual for a puppy to growl. Bijou (our mini schnauzer) started growling at us around 12 weeks as well, and it freaked us right out! We just made sure to never let her get away with it and she doesn't do it anymore at 6 months.
The important thing is that when he growls, he never gets what he wants. If he's growling to be put down, do NOT put him down until he submits.
I think every puppy goes through stages of trying to be dominant. It's only natural. And right now, he's trying to be dominant over your toddler. After all, he's the smallest and he's right there down at the puppy's level.
He needs to learn that he's lower on the totem pole than your toddler. Try to keep your toddler at a higher level than the puppy when theyre in the same room - up on furniture, maybe. Make sure your dog knows that your son always gets to eat first, receive attention from you first, things like that.
This is the only advice I've got and all dogs are different, so it may or may not work. Keep us posted though! Good luck!
It's not unusual. Breeders always tout the english bulldog breed as being a passive type of dog. It's not true at all. I can give you countless examples of aggressive english bulldogs, one of them being my own 8 month old female that I had to rehome. One of them being a young male that a bulldog rescue org tried to rehabilitate, even taking it to Cesar Millan for help but it didn't work. Daisy Fuentes has one. The foster family that took my female have a female english bully and her own male offspring that need to be constantly separated because she tries to kill her own puppy. They originate from a bull-fighting breed. They are prone to all the same kinds of personality traits that every other breed is prone to. Also, they are "chewers". They want to bite onto everything they can get at. My female will chew up every piece of furniture in my house. My coworker has one that also has ruined several of her posessions. These dogs are just sooooo stubborn. My best advice is to nip this problem in the bud NOW. Get with a good trainer and really invest yourselves in teaching your puppy what is appropriate behavior. It takes a lot of time but you guys can do it and he'll be fine.
Thanks for all of the great feedback. Unfortunately our little Rocco is on his way back to the breeder and we are down $500. He was $1500. My husband had to go ten rounds just to get us to that point. They initially said they would take him back when we called w/in 24 hours, but changed their tune the next day. Since they are not a big breeder and they are not breeding any time soon, they had no other puppy to give us. I thought I was making a good choice not picking a big breeder and that the puppy would have been give more attention and be more affectionate.
The day after this all happened he seemed to be doing pretty good but I sensed he was either jealous of my toddler or just could not figure him out. I was going to take him to a Dog trainer this morning to be evaluated and see about training, etc...but I did not get the chance because we had another episode with the puppy and that was all I could take. He growled and lunged at my toddler, but he got stuck underneath a chair, thankfully. I have no idea what the puppy was thinkging, but it seems like he may have thought he was a Dog too? I don't know. He was loving to me, my husband, and my 4 year old. He just really really had issues with my toddler and that really scared me. We have playgroups at our home all the time and I cannot risk these little ones getting hurt.
The worst thing is that my 4 yo was already timid around animals so I hope this does not turn into a phobia for him. And now my husband says no more dogs. It is just bad all around.
Anyway, thanks again for all your advice. It really helped while I was trying to work this all out.
mollyandsteve-if you ever talk your husband into getting another dog, I would really suggest getting an adult dog. ALL puppies are going to nip and bite and be aggressive at times. They take a LOT of attention and a LOT of training. You would be better off finding an adult dog that is calmer and trained and has been around children.
That seems REALLY strange to me that you do not even get all your money back. I think I would be putting up a bigger fight for my money back. I am sorry the puppy didn't work out, I think you should probably try an adult dog from the shelter or a rescue.
I actually don't find it strange at all. Several of the breeders that I talked to take a deposit for their puppies that is non refundable after a certain point of time. They will take the puppy back, yes, but the deposit is still nonrefundable. That's one reason you should read contracts carefully and not sign anything you don't agree with.
I know alot of times the deposit is non refundable but for a temperment issue, and after only 3 days and with this being their first litter....They are not seemingly getting a good word out for themselves in my book.
Well, possibly, if it's truly a temperment issue. But seriously, I think it was just a puppy issue! I could be wrong. But I just don't think puppies and 16 month old toddlers go together! What I have usually found is, the buyer will get their money back if and only if they have a written statement from a vet stating the puppy is in ill health, or whatever the problem might be. Why should the breeder give the money back if it is just a case of "buyers remorse"?
Well, they got the dog back and are probably going to sell it again for $1500...... I am wondering why a breeder sold a puppy to a person with a 16 month old and a 4 year old that was scared of dogs? Did they see if the puppy got along with the kids, etc. Or was this breeder just trying to make some money? I agree it sounds like just a puppy thing. What is up with all these "aggressive" puppies lately? Do ya'll live close to each other or what? With my chow puppy I am getting I had to send vet references and also the phone number of the shelters where I worked and I had to explain in great detail how many animals my kids have been around. It was like an interigation(sp?). But I understand why.
We defintely did not have buyers remorse. We were completely committed to having a puppy. If it would have just happened the one time I would have said ok, this puppy was nervous on his first day. I had every intention of taking him to a trainer to be evaluated and see what he said about agression therapy, etc. But this happened THREE times. He was not playing. He growled at me, my husband, and my todder. He growled AND lunged at him this morning, there was nothing playful about it. It was not the nipping, I know puppies nip.
We talked to people that had enlish bulldogs and we were told that this did not seem normal for a pup. There was CLEARLY something wrong with the way he was with my toddler. My husband is driving 3 hours each way to take him back when he has to drive another 5 hours for work tomorrow. This is not something we just did on a whim. I feel I owe to my children that if I supsect that this puppy has problems that I need to protect them.
It is not an issue for money for us, it came down to my children.
I understand it was concern for your children and I do respect that. However bulldog pups as well as most breeds are rough players with their littermates. They will carry this on to the next "playmate" until taught otherwise. I do not criticize you for returing it, though alot of this is puppy behavior and you should have invested more than a couple days to correct it. Sending it back so soon without trying more to train may indicate you are not ready to own a puppy. Maybe an older dog would be better for you. As for the breeders, it depends on what terms the pup was purchased, many times any deposits involved are not refundable. I am not convinced this was a "bad temperament puppy" just owners that were not prepared or patient enough for the things involved with puppies.
Have you ever had a puppy or dog before? A 12 week old puppy being brought into the home is very similar to bringing a new baby home. I read everyone's comments and think the issue is that you were not ready for a puppy. They have many needs and each one has it's own temperment. English Bulldogs , in general, make fantastic family pets. And most puppies have aggressive and other temperment phases until they realize they are ok in their new family. At this time in their life it is part of their fear period, they are just as scared as you are.
I would have to say that I agree with lpn169 - you can't blame the breeder for everything - especially since several of you on here are breeders yourself. It sounds like you have your hands full with human kids . . . maybe try a puppy when they are a little older and you have lots of time to train the puppy.
Our bully baby is 9 months old on the 7th and we are still in the chewing stage - more than any of the other bulldogs I have had before. Every pup is different but it sounds like it was pretty much normal behavior. I agree with the fact that they play rough with their littermates and your little one was small and more like the original mates.
We have owned puppies before, but we have not had a puppy in the house with a toddler. Our previous dog was already well beyond his puppy stage when my first son came along. I did not come across in anything that I had read that this was normal puppy behavior and I sought out advice from friends who had bulldogs, breeders, etc. and several people told us that this behavior did not seem normal for an engligh bulldog. Seeing that I am far from an expert in this area I only had this to go on and my own instinct from what I was saw happening.
We did want to give it more time with the puppy but we did not know what we would do if things continued the way they did and the breeder would no longer take him back. We figured that this way he could still be found a home with a family w/o small children.
anyway, i am sure that we made mistakes and maybe we were not completely prepared. we thought we were.
we did look into adopting an adult dog but most of the dogs I inquired about they did not know a history of the dog to say how they would be with children. And we do not have a fenced in back yard...a lot of the rescue dogs we saw were large dogs. I think we will just need to stick to fish for awhile.