Aggression Biting and Chewing in English Bulldog Puppies
Despite their cute appearance, English bulldog puppies can sometimes be aggressive, and this needs to be nipped in the bud as early as possible, preferably before those big jaws and teeth do any real damage. English bulldogs act aggressive out of fear or because of their perceived dominance in your family. Bulldogs who fear strangers or your handling of them will bite out of fear. Those who perceive themselves as top dog can bite if you come near their food, toys, or objects that they are not supposed to have.
An English bulldog that has not been socialized will tend to fear strangers, so puppy training. should include socialization. Taking your puppy walking through the neighborhood or to a dog park or shopping center that allows dogs will help him or her see that strangers are not threatening. Try to expose your puppy to as great a variety of people as possible so that he or she will get used to people of various ages and ethnic groups. Classes in puppy training, in which puppies are taught basic commands such as sit, stay and leave it, can give your English Bulldog puppy a good chance to be around other people and dogs.
A dog who is fearful of you will also bite out of fear, so train your English bulldog using rewards rather than punishments. Instead of punishing your puppy for making a mess on the carpet, praise him or her for doing the right thing in the right place.
In nature young dogs jockey for positions as pack leader, second in command, and so on. It is natural for your English bulldog to try to become pack leader in your home, and if he or she feels like the alpha dog, it can lead to biting if you approach too close to your dog’s food dish or toy, or try to take your sock out of your puppy’s mouth. Good puppy training involves teaching your English bulldog that you are the pack leader. Eating your dinner before feeding your dog will show that you have dominance, because in nature the alpha wolf eats before the rest of the pack. Sleeping in your bed and having your English bulldog sleep in a smaller bed next to it also will demonstrate to your pup that you are the dominant member of the family. Training your English bulldog commands and giving rewards for good behavior will put you in the position of boss. Teach your English bulldog commands such as sit and down, and have the puppy sit or lie down before he or she is fed. If your puppy refuses to obey the command, withhold food until he or she obeys. Be sure your dog gets plenty of water during the time he or she is not eating.
Grooming can be a problem with an aggressive dog. Be sure to give your puppy lots of affection early in his or her life, so that touching will not be seen as aggression. When you groom your English bulldog, speak to him or her in a gentle, reassuring tone of voice so that your pup will not be fearful. If aggression during grooming continues to be a problem, a professional groomer might be the solution. Be sure to warn the groomer about your dog’s behavior.
Puppies go through a teething phase in which they will chew your socks, paper, furniture, and even you. Chew toys are available from your local pet supply store, and should be given to your English bulldog to satisfy his or her craving. When your puppy starts to chew the wrong thing, say, “leave it,” and offer the chew toy instead. Praise your pup when he or she chews the chew toy.
If your dog is still acting aggressive, biting and chewing the wrong things, then see a veterinarian or dog trainer for more advice. English bulldogs can be good pets with the right training and handling.