English Bulldog: Food and stranger aggression

Posted by josam68
May 17, 2012
Stubby is a gorgeous white and brindle, purebred English Bulldog. Her age is estmated at approximately 5 years old and she weighs 47 lbs. She is as sweet as apple pie once she gets to know you and her crazy underbite accents her personality and good looks. This little tank was abandoned in the park by her owners. They left her tied up to a trash can and drove away. Abandoned! Lost! confused...to say the least. Stubby was rescued by a good samaritan who took her to the vet and had her treated for a nasty skin and ear infection that was neglected by her prior owner. Now, she lives with me and currently under the care of a vet dermatologist (for her skin condition) and generalist.

Although this dog is a sweatheart to people she knows, she is not a stranger and children's dog and does not care for them. She prefers to be the only dog in the home (most do) as she wants all the attention. She is an attention seeker, loves to be pet and loved on and is a total house dog. She is housebroken and has great house manners. She is excellent on her walks, will sit for treats and will play with toys. She has been through a lot. She has aggression (bark and tendency to bite) toward food, space (if she is on her bed you cannot touch her), hate strangers (especially men). Please help me.
Posted by KOPCaroline
May 24, 2012
Hi josam,

Congrats on the new addition! Far as I can tell there are 2 main problems: resource guarding (bed, food) and stranger aggression.

Have you looked through the ebooks' section on aggression - and if so, was it at all helpful? You might see about enrolling in a socialization class in your area (maybe better to start off with a muzzle, unfortunately). Otherwise, have friends come over and work with her as much as possible. When you're out, and someone new approaches, you may want to give them a heads up about her aggression, then focus on her. Get her to sit, then keep saying "good girl" and snapping fingers, saying her name - just keep her attention on you. The goal is for her to ignore the stranger until you release her. This sort of training works well for a lot of problem dogs, so I hope you see results.

As far as resource guarding, we advise owners to start hand feeding their dogs little by little, so that there isn't a bowl to stand over, and they must recognize that all food comes directly from you. If she growls or anything, tell her no, then take a break from feeding. Try again after she's calmed down.

For bed guarding - remove her bed for a while (a few days to a week). If she growls while on furniture, stop letting her on the furniture. You have to block access to what she's guarding, then only allow her access with your permission and when she's behaving. As soon as she misbehaves, try pulling the bed out from under her, or pushing her off. She should get the idea quickly.

I hope this makes sense, please let us know how you get on