New kid on the block

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Joined:Thu May 24, 2007 7:30 am
New kid on the block

Post by Ocelot0411 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:22 pm

Hi all

Its been ages since I have been on here so a quick bit of background / context.

I rescued a six month old American Bulldog (Bella) about two and a half years ago and she's awesome. Three weeks ago I rescued a 3 month old American Bulldog male called Berkeley. Bella has always been extremely playful / keen on other dogs or I wouldn't have done it, also I now have a job where I am permanently home based so, yes lucky me.

They are fabulous together, play really well, he will sleep in her bed, couldn't be better (and he's a bright little star). However, as with all things in life nothing is 100% plain sailing.

I have done my best to avoid issues, so feed separately, high value treats (bones) separately and I am walking them separately once a day (together once a day too), Berkeley is in puppy class learning to socialise on his own terms etc. Bella has on occasions told him off, but quite rightly so in my opinion, he is a puppy and has no manners and when he is obnoxious she checks him; I don't have an issue with that.

However, on about three occasions she has been really snotty with him, for no apparent reason (no food or toys involved, not his fault that I can see). i had assumed it was a kind or resource guarding, i.e. high value treats had been given separately before her being snotty, but the other day something dawned on me. I may be mad but hear me out.

On each occasion this has happened I have been clicker training directly before hand. So, I will start with Bella (Berkeley in the kitchen behind a baby gate), then swap, Bella goes into her crate and then its Berkeley's turn, but Bella can see everything that I am doing with Berkeley from where her crate is (I have an open plan house so moving the crate is difficult). All food is well out of the way before she comes out, I may even have taken an opportunity to vacum before they are together again, but nonetheless she then acts as though she HATES him and will be really horrible to him. No physical contact but it looks and sounds bad and I don't want it to escalate. As an aside, I can give them treats when they are sat side by side, no more than three feet away in the house or out on a walk with no issue whatsoever.

So I guess my question is, is this a bit of jealousy at the clicker training / one to one attention he is getting from me? If so do I remove it for now (i.e. do it out of her sight) but also on a long term basis can I eventually resolve this and if so how?

By the way an hour or so after she hates him, its all forgotten and they are sleeping in the same bed again.

Any constructive comments / suggestions / people who have experienced something similar are very welcome. And sorry I should add quite importantly that I have only ever owned own dog at a time before so I fully accept I could be over reacting to this.

Thanks in advance!

Donna, Bella and (especially) Berkeley! xx

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Joined:Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: New kid on the block

Post by Nettle » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:22 am

You are doing everything right, and it has only been 3 weeks.

Attention is a resource too. Bella has had you all to herself until 3 weeks ago and is probably sill hoping Berkeley will be going soon.

How about you train in reverse order - Berkeley first, then Bella? With Bella having an awesome puzzle toy or stuffed kong while you work with Berkeley.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


Joined:Thu May 24, 2007 7:30 am

Re: New kid on the block

Post by Ocelot0411 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:19 am

Hi nettle

Thanks so much for that. I did my research before bringing him in and have tried to do everything by the book so to speak but it's nice to hear that what I'm doing is right.

I have tried it the other way around but MIT with the high value treats as you suggest so I will give that a whirl in a couple of weeks or so. For the time being I thing I'll train him upstairs whilst she has a bone downstairs.

And yes of course it's only been three weeks. I accept fully that I'm over reacting/ expecting too much too soon but from a human point of view there is a lot riding on this for me as I would never intentionally do anything to the detriment of Bella but I love him too.

I think so far I've been extremely lucky and this is a minor glitch, which if I manage correctly we will get past.

Thanks again for your sound advice.


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