My 3 year old, adopted American Bulldog (he's been with us for just 6 months) is suddenly acting aggressive to people he knows at the door. My mother was at the house and lingered at the door, chatting with my husband when suddenly, Virgil charged at her, teeth bared and all. If she hadn't shut the door quickly, I'm sure that she would have been attacked! It really frightened her and angered my husband. We have been working with him on socialization and he has gotten so much better and now this. Is this normal or should we be worried that he can never be trusted?
This is most definitely not normal and totaly unacceptable behavior. A dog should not act aggressive toward anyone who poses no threat. I suggest you not allow this dog to interact with anyone other than your immediate household until you are able to consult with a qualified trainer or behaviorist. If you have others come over, put the dog in a crate or room to avoid any incidents... it was a miss this last time, but next time he could really do some damage.
Without seeing the behavior or knowing no other circumstances, it is impossible to give an evaluation online. It would be imperative to meet with a qualified trainer who specializes in larger dominant breeds to properly evaluate what is going with him and where this aggression stems from.
American Bulldogs should never act this way. They tend to be a bit aloof to strangers, but should be social or at least indifferent to people they know, and especially to people whom pose zero threat. A dog with the above posted reaction is a liability.
yup, it can't be allowed. Many dogs like this end up PTS because they cannot be trusted. If you can't find a trainer (I won't work with a dog like this) you just may end up sending him back to where you adopted him from and letting them PTS. :(