WE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING EMAIL ASKING FOR OUR ADVICE IN REGARDS TO AN AGGRESSIVE AND DOMINANT FRENCH BULLDOG:
We adopted our Frenchie (ex-breeder Mom) almost 5 years ago. She was originally intended to be a gift for my daughter but that didn’t pan out so she was a welcome addition to our little family of 3 dogs, 2 females and one male (who won’t tolerate another male dog within 2 feet). My question/concern stems from the chaos that sometimes results in our house since we adopted Dixie. For example: Before Dixie, our two females rarely fought. And my pug would at least occasionally let me hold her. Now she tries to jump down immediately or else my bully will attempt to jump up on whoever holds her and attack her. Before Dixie, all three dogs would get along, happy pack/siblings but now Dixie seems to have become the alpha and insists on being first out the door, growls at the others when she wants something first, like water.
Dixie also often growls when being pet and loved on, whereas any other dog would eat up the attention. And she seems to hate feet. Whenever we sit together on the couch/bed if we move or wiggle our toes at all, she lunges and growls at our feet, making it impossible to snuggle for very long. Just wondered if you had any tips or suggestions at all. We’ve owned different breeds all of our lives from chows to pugs, bulldogs (2 currently) to labs, Rottweilers and Elkhounds. When we picked Dixie up from rescue she was sweet and timid, compliant and cuddly. While some of the unique frenchie characteristics (as described in your “deaf” article) are similar, she has changed over the past three years and her behaviors affect the overall cohesiveness of our “fur clan” so any tips or suggestions would be welcomed!!
From reading your question there are a few key points you already know and are pointing out in your question which I would like to re-affirm: Dixie wants to be the alpha and the boss, wants to control the environment and the situation. Whoever is not in line with how she wants them to behave she will show aggression.
First and foremost I would like you to ensure there is nothing medically or physically wrong with Dixie that will make her hostile or change her in anyways. The following tips will be given on the assumption that there is nothing wrong medically and her behavior changed over time due to her taking a certain role in the household that she feels is lacking.
It is important to go back to the beginning and ask in what way you introduced her to the pack. It seems like the introduction was immediate and without much adjustment time. You say that she was originally going to be your daughter's dog and that didn't work out. This fact alone gives me an insight into the situation. Since things didn't work out the way they were planned I'm sure you were a bit puzzled and that rubbed off on Dixie.
It seems that when she was added to the rest of the dogs in your household that created imbalance. From Dixie point of view she has taken the role of the mom and leader in the household and whoever is out of line she "disciplines" them by putting them in their place. It also seems like you are scared of her reaction and avoid doing certain things that will upset Dixie which is not helping the problem.
We have a few recommendations to help this situation and they will all start and end with the one concept of you becoming the alpha and leader of the pack.
It would also be helpful to work with a trainer specializing in French Bulldogs to build a stronger leadership with your Frenchie. When working with a trainer he/she can see what is triggering Dixie and making her become aggressive at times. You also have to identify what she is doing prior to the episodes in order to address the issue and correct it. We hope the above suggestions make a positive impact in your life, please let us know if you have any more questions. If you are a reader and have dealt with the above issues please share what you have done to correct your French Bulldog's behavior.
Sunny @ Frenchiestore
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