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Question
Posted by: Bee | 2011/03/23

Malicious bulldog

Hi all

We have a female 3 yr old bulldog en a 1 yr old x breed male. Every day we take them to a rugby field where they run around etc. We throw the x breed a tennisball to fetch but the bully gets tired easily, so she doesn''t really participate.

The last few months her behaviour has changed. She strats " attacking"  the x breed the minute she realises that they are going for a walk and when we get to the field, she literally chases him around aggresively until she''s tired.

Also, the last few weeks: when I get home, the x breed goes and fetches his ball immediately and then she also starts ''attacking'' him.

Is she jealous and how do we sort this out without asking an animal behavourist for help - money tight as we are expecting a bay soon.

Please advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Answer
Yes I think this is a case of jealousy and you might find that the Bully has now made this connection that your x breed is actually getting more attention while playing fetch. It’s important to praise good behavior and try and have some sort of a negative experience when the Bully is showing “bad “behavior. A water pistol (maybe with a bit of citronella oil) is a useful safe tool to inflict a negative experience. I would also try and take them for walks without playing fetch for a few times and see how this goes and then praise the hopefully good behavior, after this start playing again and use your water pistol should it be necessary. It is very important not to make a huge fuss when the Bully is showing aggression especially in front of the other dog as this will encourage bad behavior.

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4
Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2011/03/24

I reckon she regards it as a bit horrible when she does go to the park and then feels left out of all the fun. If you can have some of HER kind of fun with her at home, she''s bound to enjoy that more. Obviously it would be helpful if the others could sneak off without too much fanfare...

I also think she shouldn''t stop going to the park altogether, because getting out a bit is good for all dogs. How about if you and your husband take both dogs there, and you walk around a bit and give attention to the bulldog while your husband plays with the other one? You could keep her on a lead and let her go and sniff for moles, or whatever floats her boat... to make it extra fun, take some tiny bits of droewors or something, and play the ''find'' game - throw a bit down in the grass and let her find it. Throw it down where she can see it, just until she gets the idea - which will not take long, I guarantee.

[Get the human kind of droewors - 500g for around R70 or so - keeps for AGES in the fridge, provided the family keeps its dibs off it, and it''s far, far cheaper than those Husky meat bites they sell for dogs...]

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Bee | 2011/03/24

Thanks Chill &  Cybervet
Just another quick question: is it not horrible to leave her at home while my hubby goes to the park with the other dog? I understand that when hubby takes the x breed, that I can spend that time and play with her, but won''t she still feel left out, knowing that hubby and other dog left to go to the park?

Thanks so much!

Reply to Bee
Posted by: Chill | 2011/03/23

The bulldog feels left out because the other dog is the centre of attention every time you go to the field. She may well be the dominant dog, which will make her resent the status enjoyed by the other dog even more. She is not ''malicious''.

I''m sure with a bit of effort you can give her the attention she would like as well. Take her to the field on her own for a bit, and play with her there in a way that she enjoys and can handle, health-wise. Or think of some other way to amuse her - this may even mean leaving her at home with a special treat, while the other dog gets his exercise as before. This may be boring for you, as it is, in a sense, boring for anyone with for example an old dog, who is no longer much ''fun'', but who is nevertheless also entitled to an appropriate bit of quality of life.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Cybervet | 2011/03/23

Answer
Yes I think this is a case of jealousy and you might find that the Bully has now made this connection that your x breed is actually getting more attention while playing fetch. It’s important to praise good behavior and try and have some sort of a negative experience when the Bully is showing “bad “behavior. A water pistol (maybe with a bit of citronella oil) is a useful safe tool to inflict a negative experience. I would also try and take them for walks without playing fetch for a few times and see how this goes and then praise the hopefully good behavior, after this start playing again and use your water pistol should it be necessary. It is very important not to make a huge fuss when the Bully is showing aggression especially in front of the other dog as this will encourage bad behavior.

Reply to Cybervet

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