| ARE BULLDOGS AGGRESSIVE?
This is a question that people ask me all of the time and the answer is, “they can be”.
The best thing to do is raise a dog or puppy that is not aggressive and you are often in
control of the outcome. What people forget is that a dog is a pack animal. Much of a dog’s
behavior dependson family dynamics, training, socialization and bred in temperament.
The most important thing that you can do as a new pet owner is socialize your pet. Spend
the extra money and take your puppy out to training classes. You will often learn simple
techniquesthat can help ensure your puppy will grown in to a happy and secure member of
A dog will normally bite out of fear. That is why it is important to expose your puppy to every
situation. Invite people to your home. Expose them to other dogs (once they are protected
by vaccinations), cats, birds, traffic, horses, your mail man, dog parks, car rides.
Always supervise children and dogs. Children are unpredictable and can hurt your puppy.
The puppy can also chew on your child and injure them purely by accident. **Never leave an
infant within a dog or puppies reach no matter how good the dog or puppy seem to be with the
child.*** If you go for a shower or are on the phone make sure the child is safe in their crib or
somewhere the dog/puppy can not reach them.
Bulldogs can have problems with dominance aggression. This means they can be
possessive over their food, toys, the couch, the front door, your bed or even their owners.
Make sure that you put your hand in your puppies bowl when they are eating; play with their
food, interrupt their meal by taking the food away and giving it back. Do the same with their
toys or blanket.
Do not let them bark at the front door, the mailman or your visitors. Do not let them sleep on
your couch or your bed. If you want to cuddle with them get down on the floor and enjoy. Get
them a blanket of their own and that is where they sleep. Remember, it is easier to prevent
bad behaviour than to correct it.
Bulldogs can be dog aggressive at times. It is important that you socialize them with other
dogs and watch for signs of aggression from your dog or someone else’s dog that you come
in contact with.
A dog will often emit signals before they strike. Raised hackles, staring at each other or
fixating on the other dog. They will often curl their lip, growl, stiffen their legs and sometimes
they will have their ears pointed forward. Immediately react and get your dogs attention.
Sometimes you will not be so lucky and the war will be on before you have time to do
anything. Do not put your dog in situations that could be potentially harmful. If aggression
appears and becomes a problem, seek professional help.
A wonderful idea is to take the test for the Canine Good Neighbour. This is an evaluation
program that is recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club and they reward your dog with a title
and certificate. It is a great idea for every dog. All dogs are welcome in the program whether
they are purebreds, mixes, show dogs or family pets. They must be over six months of age to
According to Naomi Kane, who wrote an article for the Dogs In Canada, the test consists of
twelve exercises meant to reflect real-life situations.
1. Accepting a friendly stranger
2. Politely accepts petting
3. Appearance and Grooming
4. Out for a walk
5. Walking through a crowd
6. Sit/Down on command and stay in place
7. Come when called
9. Reaction to a passing dog
10. Reaction to distraction
11. Supervised isolation
12. Walking through a door/gate
For more information about this program or from programs available in your area visit www.
Also you could receive the Dogs in Canada monthly magazine that has many helpful articles
becoming a member of the CKC. You will be quickly updated with new information that may
affect your pet. Visit www.ckc.ca for more information.