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I have a two year old bully mix who spends a lot of time with me. And I always try to devote some snuggle time to him in the evening. We go on runs and play fetch about three times a week. But recently I've noticed a really severe and almost scary change in him. I've been dating someone new and they, my dog and my boyfriend, get along really well. And then I got a promotion at work and Shiro, my dog, and I don't get to spend as much time together as usual. But to the point of this post. In the last three months my dog has started to steal things of mine, typically underwear or socks, sometimes shirts, a couple times my cell phone. And when I try to take it away and reprimand him, usually with a very firm, "No!" he growls at me and in the past three weeks he's even started to lunge at me and just today he bit my wrist. I just need some help about how to deal with this 'new' dog in my home.
 

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OCD Bullyologist
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If it were my dog I'd have him taking a looooooooooong nap. I don't tolerate that kind of behavior as it is not acceptable in my home or breed type of APBTs, Am Staffs, Staffy Bulls, or Am Bullies. You can always take him to see a behaviorist but the fact he has been lunging and then bit your wrist would be enough for me to say my last good-bye.
 

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OCD Bullyologist
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It sounds like he thinks he is the one in charge and is dominant, which needs major correction; however, the whole biting thing is unacceptable in my opinion. I've owned 8 pit bull type dogs in the last 12 years and I have never once been bitten by any of them, especially while reprimanding them.
 

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Are you sure he isnt sick or hurt? Have you taken him to the vet? I would hate to think just instantly thinking PTS without having him checked out for possible causes for the change. Its not normal for these dogs to react that way and since you have not been able to spend much time with him maybe you have not been able to see other changes.
 
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it could be any number of reasons. by bully do u mean american bully? or bulldog?? cuz bulldogs can be a bit standoffish to owners especially novice owners.

i would not try to correct the behavior on my own if i were you. it can end up damadging your relationship between the dog even more. if you want to fix agression in any breed it is best to see someone who works specifically with reactive dogs and someone who has the right tools and knows the proper way to use them. seems like your dog is in charge. and if you can't properly train a dog to lose those habbits you may accidentaly turn the dog even more agressive. i have seen it happen. especially when people raise their voices and go torward the dog in a confrontational way.

i would get rid of a dog that could possibly injure me or ne1 else if i did not have the proper resources and depending on the level of agression. i say the best thing would b is to find a superb trainer that has helped people with reactive dogs. if not then i would think about putting it to sleep..more so if the agression gets worse. i HATE when dogs get put to sleep over behavioral issues that can possibly be solved. until you figure out what to do exactly. i would make it so that problem is avoidable as possible so the behavior is not practiced anymore...such as hiding your laundry or putting it in places where the dog has no acess to. it can't be that hard to keep all your dirty or clean laundry in a closed room where the dog has no acess to.

it would also help 2 do simple things to establish dominance. such as no free food for your dog,the dog never enters or leaves a room before you,dog isnt allowed to walk ahead of u during walks,dog has to sit and wait for u to cross a hallway before he is allowed to. even make boundarys in the house where the dog is not ablke to go. if any of these simple things triggers agression then i would def get rid of the dog. also maybe the dog takes your reprimands as weakness instead of confidence and leadership. the dog shouldnt have to fear you but it should get a vibe off of you that you are not meant to be messed with. you don't even have to yell or act off of angry impulse for that point to get across.

hope this helps. but my biggest suggestion would be to look up a trainer with an outstanding reputation that has plenty of backround with reactive dogs.
 
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it could be any number of reasons. by bully do u mean american bully? or bulldog?? cuz bulldogs can be a bit standoffish to owners especially novice owners.

i would not try to correct the behavior on my own if i were you. it can end up damadging your relationship between the dog even more. if you want to fix agression in any breed it is best to see someone who works specifically with reactive dogs and someone who has the right tools and knows the proper way to use them. seems like your dog is in charge. and if you can't properly train a dog to lose those habbits you may accidentaly turn the dog even more agressive. i have seen it happen. especially when people raise their voices and go torward the dog in a confrontational way.

i would get rid of a dog that could possibly injure me or ne1 else if i did not have the proper resources and depending on the level of agression. i say the best thing would b is to find a superb trainer that has helped people with reactive dogs. if not then i would think about putting it to sleep..more so if the agression gets worse. i HATE when dogs get put to sleep over behavioral issues that can possibly be solved. until you figure out what to do exactly. i would make it so that problem is avoidable as possible so the behavior is not practiced anymore...such as hiding your laundry or putting it in places where the dog has no acess to. it can't be that hard to keep all your dirty or clean laundry in a closed room where the dog has no acess to.

it would also help 2 do simple things to establish dominance. such as no free food for your dog,the dog never enters or leaves a room before you,dog isnt allowed to walk ahead of u during walks,dog has to sit and wait for u to cross a hallway before he is allowed to. even make boundarys in the house where the dog is not ablke to go. if any of these simple things triggers agression then i would def get rid of the dog. also maybe the dog takes your reprimands as weakness instead of confidence and leadership. the dog shouldnt have to fear you but it should get a vibe off of you that you are not meant to be messed with. you don't even have to yell or act off of angry impulse for that point to get across.

hope this helps. but my biggest suggestion would be to look up a trainer with an outstanding reputation that has plenty of backround with reactive dogs.
:goodpost:

And I can refer you to a qualified trainer near you, a friend of mine has tons of connections to well educated, experienced trainers.

Here's a nice video you could translate to the objects as well.
Food Aggression | Videos | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

Here's something a friend of mine wrote.

Resource guarding is not abnormal behavior, it is adaptive and it does not necessarily make a dog an overly dangerous animal.Posturing, growling, staring, freezing/stiffening, and other ritualized behaviors are the appropriate way for dogs to say "this is mine and I want it, or I want to be by it/on it... you need to back off". In most case, dogs limit their behavior to warnings through vocalization and body language, but if the warnings are not heard they can move to snapping (also a warning) and escalate in a bite if the dog continue to be pushed.

Resource guarding is not limited to food , but I am going to use food guarding, which is very common, as the main example.Food guarding is displayed by an increase in distance (dogs takes bone and runs away), increase speed in the "chewing time" (frantic chewing, swallowing food before it is chewed) , threatening/warning behaviors (growling, freezing, head held low, staring , snarling etc) when the owner or present person is moving closer to the guarded food or into the dog's space.That type of food must have significant value to the dog.It is possible that a dog is not displaying these behaviors when the owner reaches into the bowl of kibble, but the same animal might not be willing to have the owner approaching a marrow bone,kong filled with goodies, raw meat etc.

The worse way to approach this problem, and also unsafe, is to get into some kind of competition with the dog because we want to make it clear that we "own the food" and "Cesar Millan said this is the way he rolls". Chasing, cornering, punishing, forcefully removing food from the dog's mouth, yelling and whatever else ignorant owners do only increase the value of the food. Something to absolutely keep in mind is that punishment is going to create a faster protective response, which means that the a bite can happen earlier in the sequence of threats that we would normally see.

In order to start some behavior modification we need to find a hierarchy of value (high to low value).This means that we are looking for foods that are not going to evoke a certain type of behavior, while making a list of those that do. If the dog is guarding a rawhide but not his/her bowl of food that is what we start with. The idea is to change emotional responses and condition responses in which the dog anticipates something positive when the owners is stepping into the guarded item. Instead of the dog thinking in terms of loss when the owner approaches, we are looking for the dog to want the owner to approach, because there is a specific consequence when those antecedents are in the picture (owner moving closer to the guarded items). We would be using differential reinforcement procedures, with incremental graded exposure, so that the animal is helped to succeed. Here is an example of the beginning work:

1-dog is eating bowl of kibble (dog does not guard kibble).
2-owner walks closer to the bowl (can be close, dog is not guarding).
3-owner drops treats in the bowl (can be same value food, dog is not guarding).
-4- owner walks away.

Using the same value food, raise in criteria:

1-dog is eating bowl of kibble (dog does not guard kibble).
2-owner walks closer and reach for the bowl of food (no need to break it into smaller steps, from the owner's part, dog is not guarding)
3-owners drops more food into the bowl as he reaches for it.
4-owner walks away.

Same value food, raise in criteria:

1-dog is eating bowl of kibble (dog does not guard kibble).
2-owner walks closer and pick up bowl.When he touches the bowl and before picking it up, owner deliver several treats by hand.
3-owner returns bowl to the dog, with more treats in it.
4-owner walks away.

This is beginning work, nothing must happen so fast when a dog is actually guarding the food. This was an example to help understand the process from the beginning, which has to start with low value food (or items), then move to medium value foods, and finally high value foods. When food is guarded, the "exchange game" food needs to be of higher value , or at least of equal value of what the dog is guarding.

With guarded food that had been a problem before we need to lower the criteria, which means that we won't be so close. For some dogs, entering the room they are eating in, is enough to create a situation in which warnings happen. In that case, we would enter the room and throw special food before the dog starts a negative chain of reactions. If there is not time to work on this, at the moment, the dog needs to be left alone. If there are children in the pictures...dog MUST be confined. Children, toddlers especially, have no idea of dog behavior and it is unfair to them and the dog in question to allow both to be in the same area where resource guarding is a problem.

I gave a very brief and "user friendly" introduction to the type of work everyone should be doing, but for a more detailed explanation please buy the book "Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs, by Jean Donaldson. It is very simple and yet breaks things down to where they are helpful.Let's keep in mind...no book is a substitute for someone with experience so if you own a dog who deliver serious bites, please contact a professional.That professional has an education and does not use quick fixes.
 

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Dare to dance the tide
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Alot has changed in this dogs life. I would try to make more time for him. I dont tolerate being bite either but it sounds like your life has changed and the dog is left behind cause you dont have the time you once did. Plus he is full mutureing at 2yrs of age. Take him to the vet have him checked out and then make time for him just the two of you and see if that helps if it doesnt you may have to put the dog down. HA is not acceptable in this breed well it shouldnt be acceptable in any breed.
 

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English Dogge Yard
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Well the stealing and chewing on things can be "normal" due to boredom or stress, now that you are working and out of the house more i would say boredom would be a good start as to what it could be in terms of that. Is he crate trained? If he is do you use the crate while you are away? If you don't you need to start using it, not only for his protection but for your things protection as well. If you already do use a crate, try upping his exercise as much as you can and start training him.. With training you can do simple things like sit, stay, heal, down, leave it, etc or go more "involved" but either way this can help. If he is already trained keep going further, it will give you guys something new to do together and if done properly it will strengthen the respect he will have for you the handler. As for the chewing and such you also want to always be able to keep an eye on him, correcting him after its already done will do absolutely nothing to fix the issue. You have to correct him in the act, if you are having to correct him x amount of times a day (or very frequently) you are not actually getting through that what hes doing is wrong, you are only temp - fixing as you may fix it on any given situation but then he goes straight back later and does it again with something else.

As for the lunging and biting, this could be due to several reasons. Is there a way to give a specific example and as much information as possible? This could be due to excitement, dominance or about a hundred other things especially if we go into genetics or possible health issues. Do you know how he was bred by chance? Or was he adopted?

I think sound advice for you would be to get with someone experienced in high drive or high energy dogs (not one of the same though), specifically one that has the experience with these type of dogs (bull and terrier) and go from there.

Anyone can give you advice or pinpoint what may be the issue online and don't get me wrong we as a community are more than willing to help but in the end we are not there to see whats going on where as a trainer or behavior specialist would be.
 

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I tend to agree with KM here... Take him to the vet and consult an experienced trainer... However I will say this before I started my own businesses my dogs did not get a lot of my time due to constrictions on working for someone else... In my 30 years with these breeds and hundreds of dogs later I have only been bit once and that was my fault for breaking up a fight and putting my hands in the wrong place... A dog that bites any breed but especially this breed and for no reason would be put down in my home... I have children and will not take the risk of a second time also there are too many ill breed dogs out there as it is... A man biter is not tolerated by me... Sorry to be so blunt but its the truth and situations just like these are some of the reason people want to destroy these dogs all together.
 

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I think growling and snarking is one thing to work through , straight out lunging at you to bite you im sorry regardless of what has changed that dog wouldnt be in my home. That sounds like some messed up temperment and not trustworthy at all. I can sit here and say 100% my dogs would never do that if they ever put a doubt in my mind like that with my kids around they would be at the vet ASAP and going to sleep.
If your really busy do you really have the time its going to take to work through this? Id get a temperment test done and go from there. And this isnt a dog to be rehomed if he doesnt work with you the only other option should be to PTS, Hope this all works out for you.
 

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English Dogge Yard
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I think growling and snarking is one thing to work through , straight out lunging at you to bite you im sorry regardless of what has changed that dog wouldnt be in my home. That sounds like some messed up temperment and not trustworthy at all. I can sit here and say 100% my dogs would never do that if they ever put a doubt in my mind like that with my kids around they would be at the vet ASAP and going to sleep.
If your really busy do you really have the time its going to take to work through this? Id get a temperment test done and go from there. And this isnt a dog to be rehomed if he doesnt work with you the only other option should be to PTS, Hope this all works out for you.
:goodpost: I agree to a large extent, though if we sit aside illnesses i have found that dogs that have both high rank and high drive are typically the ones with these issues. If you have a dog with medium to high rank, relative high prey with also the excite bite... You have yourself one heck of a dog to train and handle and by no means should these type of dogs be trusted around kids at all.. Zero tolerance. By anyones standard these type of dogs are best suited in an environment without kids. Both of mine (more so Myles) i wouldn't own if i had kids. Manageable yes but add a family based situation it will only end bad eventually.. One mistake is all it takes.

With that said, i am NOT implying this to the OP's dog especially if properly bred there should be zero reason for this type of behavior... On the flip side, if this dog is a mixed depending on genetic make up and traits passed along its possible these traits i've mentioned are a factor.. In my opinion based on the OP i highly doubt it but i wouldn't rule it out if he is in fact of unknown heritage.

A sound dog, a confident dog will not act the way the OP has mentioned if in fact exercise and all else has gone unchanged and only the relationship and job is different.. At least when it comes to lunging and biting.. It sounds like something went wrong some where either its the handler, the girlfriend or lack of training or some unknown factor is coming into play. The chewing, being a "bad" dog i believe as my OP stated boredom.. Fairly normal and some adjustments will fix that issue.

Who knows though, in the end we aren't there to see whats going on and because of that there is a broad amount of reasons and explanations. Need to get someone to test temperament, examine whats going on to be able to get to the core.
 
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