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Canine Behavior/16 mo. old bulldog aggressive towards MOST other dogs


My 16 month old bulldog absolutely loves people and has never been aggressive towards anyone he has met. I also have a two year old mastador that he gets along well with. There has never been a serious fight between the two of them (only some rough playing). He also recognizes our mastador as the alpha male and has never challenged him. He was often around other dogs as a young puppy and although he was always clearly the alpha, had never attacked or been overly aggressive to another dog. However, as he continues to get older, he has made it clear he does not like other dogs. He will not charge but as soon as he senses another dog expressing dominance, he will act on his impulses (usually biting the other dogs neck/scruff). It makes me sad because our mastador is extremely friendly to any other living thing and because of the bulldog has often had to miss out on socializing with other dogs; which is something he used to do all the time. I am planning on taking the bulldog to some sort of obedience training specialized to his needs but wanted to know what actions I could take to improve the situation. We walk and run our dogs several times a day so I am sure his aggression does not stem from lack of exercise. Both of our dogs also receive plenty of love and attention. They are truly part of my family. I want my bulldog to be equally as loving to dogs as he is to people. Any insight you could provide would be much appreciated. Thank you!!!

You must be QUITE CAREFUL about where you "take" your dog for "training".  He needs a growl class.  This is a specialized environment for dogs with issues toward other dogs or on leash in general.  It must be conducted by a highly trained and experienced PROFESSIONAL, not just a dog trainer.  I suggest you call the veterinary hospital in your geographical area and ask for referral to a certified applied animal behaviorist.  Or you can check the sites below.  I would like to see this dog be evaluated by a professional who might then know of a specialized training venue.  Taking him to any ordinary "obedience" class could be disastrous.

Meanwhile: any SUCCESSFUL "statement" of dog to dog communication (not necessarily dominance related, either) has to be avoided.  The dog will learn more and more about how to "do" it if it succeeds, and this means YOUR reaction also.  It is normal to become alarmed, agitated, anxious when one's dog behaves "badly" on leash.  However, such reaction is counter productive.  I suggest that each time the dog BEGINS to demonstrate unwanted behavior toward an approaching dog, you stop, circle the dog (as if following a large hoola hoop) until you have his attention (left, right, etc.), then stop, ask for "sit" (PROVIDING his attention is now on YOU), praise and go forward.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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