Nipping, jumping and rough play in adult Bull Terriers

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Dog owners frequently contact me with questions. An all-time hit are undesired behaviors in dogs of all ages. I have taken one of the recent request for advice as the basis of this essay, because the problem situation seems to apply to a lot of situations owners experience in one way or the other.

Dog owners often find themselves confronted with are undesired habits of their dogs, which can show in a variety of behaviors. Bull Terriers are little bull dozers even when they are happy and just want to make fun or show affection. And when young they come with a bunch of quirks in addition, such as nipping and roughhousing, which are all too typical. But that does not mean we have to accept them as the owners.
We all know that the best time to work on those undesired behaviors is as early as possible while the dog is still young and has not settled into routines and behaviors yet, in order to avoid bad habits from developing and establishing and our dogs from taking them as “normal behavior”.


Of course, we also know that this is the ideal situation and that reality is often different.
Dogs can come into our home being adopted at a certain age with their background and history unknown.
Dogs go through different stages in life and some bad habits can flare up surprisingly at some point when we thought we had already left that behind us.
Or, sometimes owners do not really understand the possible range of consequences bad habits can cause if remaining uncorrected and wait to intervene until they can no longer bear the behavior or the risks that come with it.
My biggest focus is always on the dog because I know the dog is the one who will ultimately pay the price when things go wrong. I will, however, spare those owners the educational monolog about the thousand chances that have been passing by unused during those first few years of their dog’s life. Instead, I will move on straight to the point.

Bull Terriers and their “Certain” way Of play

Bull Terriers are a very special breed. Rough play is not unusual for them, especially going for the neck of other dogs, biting upwards when on the ground, jumping over and ON other dogs etc.
Many other breeds, especially smaller and more delicate ones react alienated to this behavior and often even entirely avoid to play with Bull Terriers. With other, bigger dogs the Bull Terrier behavior can result in fights. One reason is that Bull Terriers are known for being pretty patient before they snap, but once that happens they are not famous for leaving a fight without making their point. Most of them are courageous and once they have reached “the point” they are not afraid of confrontation.
This is something owners should always be very aware of.

This is also why it usually is a good idea to make selective choices in terms of play pals for a Bull Terrier. The best choice, obviously, would be another Bull Terrier. Because they are “crazy equals”. 🙂
Other robust breeds, such as Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers etc. share that foolish attitude and usually get along with the actions of a Bull Terrier during play.
So, when owning a Bull Terrier it can actually make a lot of sense for the owner to selectively choose the dogs he will be allowed play with and to not leave this choice to the dog alone.
Or at least, once the owners notice that their dog is pestering another one and that other dog obviously feels uncomfortable with it to interrupt the situation right away and take the pestering dog out of the equation. Sometimes leaving the play pit may be the best decision for that day. This way the dog can learn that such behavior is not “standard” and may cost the dog its playtime, once it gets too rough.
Also, owners who actively watch theirs dogs’ actions and intervene do not only have the better chances to avoid incidents. They also present themselves as very responsible owners in the dog park or other public places by not leaving things to chance and actively trying to establish rules.


Dogs, such as Bull Terriers, are often publicly perceived as “dangerous dogs” and their reputation can benefit a lot from such responsible owners. Because being alert and taking action shows that the situation is under control and not unpredictable. Very often in dog parks, I watch owners releasing their dogs and then joining other dog owners for a chat, completely oblivious of their own dog’s doings in the park.
Even in a fenced area, such as the dog park, owners should never leave their dogs unsupervised. And when they notice play getting a little more intense between another and their own dog, they should make sure that the owner of the other dog is also aware of the developing situation and ready to intervene in case things threaten to escalate.
Besides: It is just considerate to intervene when your dog is pestering others in the dog park.

What if the dog is used to playing rough and the owner finally wants to do something about it?

The solution even with an older dog is training. Of course, it can be harder to work on already established undesired behaviors. But in most cases, it is still possible.
If the dog has a play pal it frequently meets in the neighborhood and the other owner agrees to participate in training sessions, that could be a start for the training. In this case, the two owners could meet for periodic training sessions and work on better control of the problem behavior and better impulse control of the dog in a remote and controlled environment where other dogs and lots of distractions are absent.
This way owners could move forward from only being able to avoid harm by managing the behavior to actually changing the dog’s behavior through training.


But again, until the training really shows results, the part of MANAGING and not leaving things to chance or decisions to the dog is vital to avoid harm.

Nipping when greeting people or in other situations of excitement

Bull Terriers love to use their mouths – not only for eating. As it also functions as their “hand” and they are very grabby they like to use it to grab things or people – or ear lobes. 🙂
They often get carried away in the process and grabbing can turn into nipping and bloody results.
When a dog is very young, that is completely normal. But even then it does not mean that it is also acceptable.
When young, dogs are often not aware of the difference between their own and human skin. They do not know that our skin breaks or bruises much more easily. All the dog usually knows is how it was able to play with its siblings in the litter, which at times can actually get quite rough, but does not cause real harm in the puppies.
In adult dogs, this is an unacceptable behavior, at least when it comes to strangers.
If the owner does not mind his dog chewing his ear lobe off, that is between owner and dog. But when it comes to strangers, especially kids, nipping is a NO-GO. Period.
Just as jumping up on people, it is disaster waiting to happen.
Kids can tip over or the nip could end up in a bleeding bite wound.
And people tend to look at such behavior as an act of aggression, no matter what the original intention of the dog may have been. In the worst case, the dog will pay with its life for such a mistake.
All of that possibly just because it did not know better.

Sadly, Bull Terriers don’t have an off-switch and often the first thing we can and MUST do, is – I know I have said it before – MANAGE.
But there’s even more we can do, even if we have missed the chance in a long time and have just NOW decided to do something to correct the behavior after our dog has grown up.
Training can take much longer with Bull Terriers than with other breeds because they are such independent thinkers. It requires a lot of patience and at the same time consistency and stamina to achieve the desired results, but it is still absolutely worth the effort.

We have been able to stop Mila’s puppy nipping already when she was little. But she had that bad habit of going up on people for the longest time as a puppy. We have been working on that to no end.
My first step was managing: I just did not LET her greet strangers or made sure I had a safe grip on her to prevent her from jumping up until I was sure that she at least understood and was able to follow my command to stay off of people.
Over the entire time and even today – although she is hardly ever going up any longer unless she is really, really super excited –  I always have and still do warn people, who want to pet her:
“She’s friendly, BUT, please don’t bend over her, she’s a jumper!” in order to avoid people losing their teeth and to save a lot of money myself for other people’s lawyers and dentists. 🙂

So, first step: Managing and warning people!

TIPP: A very simple and effective trick if you just can’t avoid meeting people with your dog and need to keep it from going up in that particular moment is to step on the leash close to the dog’s body. That limits the dog’s movements and physically keeps it from going up. This is most effective if the dog is wearing a collar but also works with a harness. 
However, this does not have much of a learning or training effect on the dog, which is why I would suggest such measures only to bridge critical situations until the real TRAINING takes effect.
Also, I would not suggest to do it unless your stand is firm enough to withstand the dog’s strength because otherwise an attempt to go up could, of course, shake your own balance and take you off your feet.

Kids

Most importantly, when it comes to nipping and jumping: As long as the dog practices this habit, I would just not take the chance and let the dog be around little kids. If the dog loves kids a lot – which by the way is also very typical for Bull Terriers – maybe that could be an additional incentive for the owner to start with a real training strategy really quick. 🙂
IF it is for some reasons just not possible to avoid kids greeting the dog, I would ask them – and also EVERYONE, who wants to greet the dog – to immediately react to nipping or even the attempt in a way that makes it VERY clear to the dog that this behavior is undesired by everyone, not only the owner.
Yelp, scold, shout “NO!”.
Also, the face should show that the person is unhappy with the displayed behavior.
Bull Terriers are jokers and love to spread fun – in their own way. And sometimes they get carried away during the action and overdo it. If everyone involved makes it crystal clear that this overly excited behavior does not make him or her happy, sooner or later the dog will understand that overdoing it will only result in the exact opposite of what the dog originally intended: the fun ending instead of happy laughter.
Bull Terriers are very susceptive to our human moods. They just need to understand and sometimes we need to make it a little more clear by voice, facial expressions or gestures.
To really work on such a behavior by training, one way could be set up a controlled training situation with people the owner knows – and who agree to potentially get nipped once or twice. 🙂
The training should be given enough time and space for repetition. If nobody is around wanting to be the training partner, maybe seeking the help of a competent trainer could help.

BUT, I would make sure that the trainer is familiar with the Bull Terrier breed. Because believe it or not, even many so-called professionals are overwhelmed by the temperament of a Bull Terrier when not familiar with it. And such a trainer would be as helpful as a bag of beans for owners in this situation.

Until the training takes effect and the dog does stop nipping or jumping up as a result, warning adults who could then greet the dog at their own risk could be a solution. But I will tell you: Be careful with this strategy. In everyday life, we often do not have the time to explain that our dog is in training and on its way to learn good manners and that it would be very helpful if the strangers cooperated in this or that certain way. At that point, those people probably have already moved on.
But if the dog still experiences those situations in everyday life, not being sanctioned for nipping or with no obvious negative emotional reaction on the side of the nipped person, that implies that the nipping is accepted. You probably see the very mixed message for the dog behind that.
This would likely prolong the way to success in training. Because in training the dog will receive the message that nipping is not beneficial for it, while in everyday life it will still experience opposite: people who let nipping “slide”.
Therefore, for the sake of my training, I would try to drastically limit such situations in the first place in order to support my training success even in everyday life situations.

Conclusion

Yes, dogs do have bad habits, and Bull Terriers have plenty of them. But that does not mean that we have to accept this situation. It also does not mean that the dog needs to suffer.
Training can be a fun situation for everyone involved with lots of positive experiences and enough time for the dog to comprehend and learn what is desired and what is not. It also strengthens the bond and enhances communication between dog and owner.
Being assertive and consistent will sooner or later lead to success. In the meantime, owners should make sure that nobody – animal or human – gets hurt. If that means to completely avoid or take the dog out of certain everyday situations as a precaution – do it.

Here you will find a lot more related information:

I am afraid that my Bull Terrier will become an aggressive dog

Roughhousing in dogs – How to control my Bull Terrier

Dog bite inhibition training – How do I stop my Bull Terrier puppy from nipping

The “stop command” – remotely control your Bull Terrier

2 thoughts on “Nipping, jumping and rough play in adult Bull Terriers

  1. I need an advice from someone who is rooted deeply in bullies nature . From what I understand , you would be the right person. I am still working with our bullie on leash walking and destruction aspects, she is lovely and mastered all basic commands, but hates to be left alone even for 2 hours, she is a chewer, giving her toys does not necessarily work as she bites through them in seconds. Majority of the time someone is always home with her, but I feel like she has become so attached to us that even a grocery trip is a race with time for us….will we make it home quick enough to make sure she has not destroyed anything? She pulls when we walk and I have tried any possible harness and collar that is out there on the market. I believe that the trainer we had gave up on her as she was so stubborn. Little by little I implemented my own training (being consistent) and I see some results. Maybe it is separation anxiety in her? Would this possibly go away if we get her another bullie to keep her company?

    She has been showing some ( I would say very little) aggression and becoming very territorial) when I pet other dogs in the park too, her jealous side shows at times. What is the best way to approach it and train her not to do that?

    I feel like the training we invested in was a waste of time as the trainer had hard time working with her or maybe was not persistent enough, I mastered all commands with her on my own at home without his help . She is a sweet lovely lady and I want to make sure she is well behaved and controlled. She obeys the commands but outside she gets so excited that she just seems not want to listen.

    • Dominika,
      I don’t know if I am telling you anything new. Or if you have heard this a thousand times already: The fact is, you are dealing with some of the most common Bull Terrier issues, as those just lie within the breed. This breed takes tons of patience, a good sense of humor and at the same time consistency and the ability to assert oneself. That much is for sure.
      Many first-time owners feel overwhelmed by the temperament of a Bull Terrier and even people who call themselves “dog trainers” but do not have any experience with this breed can become exasperated with those little furry energy shots.

      The good news is that all of those little chaotic destroyers and disobeyers at some point become the most loving and devoted family dogs provided the owners have been consistent and assertive. But it’s a way. And it’s longer than with many other breeds.

      Many of the things you have tried so far were probably a step in the right direction already … and the biggest problem right now may be to expect too much success too soon. If you stick to the things that have shown tiny effect so far they will likely show even more success in the future.
      A well-trained Bull Terrier takes around three years until the bond with the owner is completed and devotion kicks in. Everything before is usually a real piece of work – and MANAGING!
      This breed does not just line up somewhere in the family. It wants to be involved.
      Maybe the above is one of the most interesting and important realizations to have: These dogs have really huge personalities
      and they need to be managed.
      Many of them will never just trot calmly right beside you off leash, just as many herding dogs will do easily.
      Bull Terriers seek the fun in life … something they hardly ever lose even when growing older. They do settle a little over time, some of them even become lazy. But the larger number will still keep their funky attitude.
      Once we understand the intention and minds of our Bull Terrier, things become a lot easier and strategies reveal.

      Leash walking and pulling

      A problem in many young dogs. It is more severe with Bull Terriers because their body composition is very compact which makes them heavy and strong compared with other dogs the same size. Therefore handling a pulling Bull Terrier is usually more stressful and can even end up in injury.
      Many owners feel like a collar (prong, martingale or just a really sturdy leather collar …) gives them more control over their Bull Terrier. The problem is that the feeling around the neck and the choking does not stop the Bull Terrier’s curiosity and it will keep pulling – with a certain potential for injury to your dog’s neck.
      I personally rarely use any collars anymore. I use a sturdy harness – one I actually produced myself. But there are also good options available on the market. For a Bull Terrier a sturdy harness obviously is a good choice. Some have a handle on the top which can come in handy.

      Active training is necessary to relieve the problem of pulling – no matter if harness or collars are used. And it will take time. My girl still pulls in different situations, especially when getting excited. But she is responsive to commands and we are able to walk in an orderly fashion if I use my corrections and commands. For me that’s enough to be ok with the situation. Others would possibly want more. So, first of all, you have to know what you want to end up with. And secondly, you then will have to invest time and patience into your goal.

      One thing many owners miss when starting their training is to understand that excitement comes in different levels for the dog. And every excitement is a distraction. In general, everything new is super exciting.
      Once a puppy got used to the situation in a new home, it is usually pretty easy to start the first training steps there in a calm environment. But it will start to feel incredibly hard to just transfer this to the outside world were there are tons of new and exciting things and distractions that make it extremely hard for the dog to focus.
      Focusing is something the dog needs to learn. And focusing with many distractions around is one of the hardest things you can expect from your dog. So, getting there will only work if trained in different steps, gradually raising the bar.
      First at home, then in a calm and familiar place outside, then under controlled circumstances in a less familiar place with few distractions. Then unfamiliar and more distractions and finally practicing in everyday life in all kinds of places.
      If we try to skip working on impulse control, focus, and very important the dog’s trust in us and just place the dog in the distracting situation the result will likely be that none of our training success at home will work in real life on the street. That is just like trying to write an exam in the middle of a street fair.
      Our dog is simply NOT ABLE to make such a huge step and translate what it learned at home to the street.
      This is why training is hard and continuous work, a long process and most importantly should be divided into reasonable steps.

      There are different approaches to leash training.
      Here’s what I did:
      I trained under controlled circumstances, meaning I did not expect her to learn in everyday life. During training sessions I used changing direction and “the tree” to get her attention. Every time she started pulling I stopped or changed direction. It is exhausting and it takes lots of sessions. But it works eventually. Still, today if she gets too excited on leash I will just stop and stand still until she remembers that she is not supposed to drag me after her.
      During training the key is not to wait until the leash is completely tight. Once close to that point I just used a quick yank (and my command “slow”) to remind my dog that she started running again. Once the leash is under constant tension it is harder for the dog to realize what we want when WE ourselves start pulling on the leash in order to stop the dog from pulling.
      So, once we’ve reached that point – tightened leash – the tree (just stopping until the dog releases tension) is the more self-explaining option for the dog to understand or changing direction.
      In separate sessions, I first practiced the “heel” command at the same time and did a lot of exercises close to my legs and involving my legs (weaving around legs etc.). Some of them are just cute tricks but they teach the dog to stay close to you. Then I combined the heel command with my leash walking training.
      I used different spots on the harness to hook the leash in for “leisure walking” and the training and different leashes (telescope and short leash). This is a great way to let the dog feel the two different situations. I have not kept up with this differentiation. But theoretically it is possible and it will likely help you to separate the leisure walking situations from the orderly walking ones also in the future. Because after all, that’s what our dog needs to understand: WHEN do we want THIS OR THAT from it. Everything that enhances communication and gives the dog clues to make the situation more clear will enhance chances of compliance.
      My husband sometimes used a toy to get her attention for heeling which also worked great for the both of them. I myself liked other ways better. So, you see you will have to find the way that suits yourself.
      This training took place completely without treats in our case because outside they are no option (not interesting to her).
      Especially outside close to busy streets, sometimes a stern voice in our case was key. Bull Terriers are very responsive to voice once they have figured out your different moods and have started to care about, which is not the case right from the start. 🙂
      Btw. I also use a very long training leash (50 feet or so) still today when I let my dog play in unfenced environments. I started using it when training the callback in open field. This way she can run freely and I never completely lose control of her. Especially close to busy streets for me, this is very relieving.

      Chewing

      When the Bull Terrier is young, chewing often occurs during teething to relieve pain and itch and in general chewing is just a good way to keep themselves busy. Also never to forget dogs are prey animals. So, it should not be too surprising that any of them still have a quite strong urge to dismember things or just “take a look inside”.
      The puppy can get chew treats – I used rawhide. But no matter what we give, I always advise supervising (also with toys), because you will want to be ready to intervene if things get eaten or stuck. It is just as with human babies, only this baby has stronger and therefore more destructive teeth.
      But in dogs exploring, in general, takes place through the mouth. The mouth, in addition, to our dogs is their “hand”. They hold things in them and use them to eat. That explains their extensive mouth use.
      If possible, things that pose a risk, such as small objects (shoes, household items, electronics etc.) should just be out of the dog’s reach in general and especially when still a puppy.
      Many owners think they can give their dogs toys and leave them alone playing with them. That’s when most toys get shredded within minutes.
      Engaging in play (fetch, chasing or searching things, tug etc.) is usually much more fun for the dog and far less destructive.
      That is true especially for new toys which are most enticing and most interesting to the dog.
      At the same time training “leave it” and “let go” actively in training sessions will help a lot. I did that with clicker training. But that is not necessarily the only possible way. With clicker training, the dog actively learns in a very positive way that there are things it is supposed to take and things it should leave alone. And it will get responsive to the commands. This is also a great exercise to train giving things away in dangerous situations of choking etc.
      Clicker training – or positive reinforcement in general – also gives you great options to train your dog HOW to play with its toys. Reward gently play and interrupt rough play.
      Again, all of this takes time does not replace supervision.
      My girl today knows that she is not supposed to rip or chew her stuff apart – that’s the result of our training. That does not mean the toys are not breaking over time and need to be replaced. But they last a fair time (some of them for years now). But I never leave stuff with her in her crate or when she is alone – neither hers not ours.
      Which brings me to another point: For short periods of absence we have familiarized her with a huge box, which she looks at as her own room, taking naps in there etc.
      This box keeps her and our stuff safe when we have to leave for one or two hours and can’t take her with us. Bull Terriers love boxes and if familiarized slowly and in a positive way they do not feel like confinement is something negative.
      Another option could be a room prepared for the dog with none of your personal stuff in it the dog could destroy.
      However, confinement needs to be strictly limited, because otherwise Bull Terriers can quickly develop obsessive behaviors (licking, biting their feet, for example) and get mentally ill. A few hours a day are tolerable. If you are out of the house for let’s say an 8-hour shift, a box will NOT be a great choice!
      In that case options such as a dog walker, doggie day-care or such are necessary. This is not only necessary to let the dog go potty in the meantime, but also because during such a long time frame, boredom/ curiosity will kick in and make destructive behavior more likely. The dog does not look at it as destructive, it is exploring. But the result is often destruction.
      A second dog could help to bring diversion. BUT it can also have quite the opposite effect, resulting in both dogs being bored, causing twice the destruction.
      Some owners are lucky that a very well behaved dog transfers good manners to the other dog. But this is not something that’s true in general. It just happens – or not. Therefore getting a second dog just for this reason is not a solution and can cause even more trouble in some cases.
      Especially two Bull Terriers in one home will certainly provide each other with company and play together. But Bull Terriers are so into humans that no other dog will ever be able to ever completely substitute this relationship.
      As some Bull Terriers tend to be loners, even within the same breed, it can also be tricky to get them to like and accept each other in the same household.
      If you did not get the two dogs at the same time, a lot of consideration and preparedness may be necessary when adding another dog to the household.
      I have also writen an essay abouy chewing:
      http://www.bullterrierfun.com/how-to-stop-excessive-chewing-in-bull-terriers/

      The trainer called my dog untrainable
      This is something that can be answered really quickly: If you encounter a trainer calling your dog untrainable – run! And try to find someone familiar with the breed.

      Aggression/ Territorial behavior/ Jealousy
      Aggression comes in many stages and can show towards humans as well as other dogs.
      Some owners ore mistaking the typical puppy nipping as aggression. I have written about that in several essays also about adult Bull Terriers:

      http://www.bullterrierfun.com/nipping-jumping-rough-play-adult-bull-terriers/
      http://www.bullterrierfun.com/afraid-bull-terrier-will-become-aggressive-dog/

      Especially in Bull Terriers it is not rare to see them being incompatible with other dogs and just more drawn to people.
      This often starts to show when the dog gets a little older. Also, it is usually a good idea when looking for play pals to seek dogs of the same physiology, such as American Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bulls or other Bull Terriers. Bull Terriers have their very own way of playing which can easily be mistaken by other dogs who will react irritated or worse.
      In exchange, Bull Terriers can also feel bothered by the way other dogs play. I have experienced this with my girl. They usually show a lot of patience. But once they get “beyond” the point it can be hard to stop their rage.
      My motto is: My girl is not obliged to like every other dog because I also do not like every other human. I have started socializing her as early as possible and try to expose her to as many different situations as I can. But I still try to avoid risks.
      I am very careful every time we encounter other dogs. I always take toys off the table to avoid fights over them. And if I feel uneasy in a situation or notice my girl feeling uneasy, I leave.
      I never let her play with dogs of inattentive owners because I know once something happens I will be on my own to separate the dogs.
      The situation is a little different with humans.
      My last Bull Terrier obviously felt uneasy around men for quite some time. It faded a little over the years after numerous encounters with men, but never vanished completely. She never reacted with open aggression. But you could tell from her pose that she felt cornered in that situations.
      Bull Terriers are also known to be very territorial. That can result in a lot of barking or not letting strangers enter the home.
      These are all situations that need lots of time and training. The goal would be to expose the dog to as many of those situations as possible under CONTROLLED circumstances – not train in everyday life – and reward every positive behavior during the process.
      Open aggression towards other people – can never be tolerated and should result in intervention in every case. Causes can be manifold, such as food aggression, jealousy or fear.
      With aggression, in my opinion, it is always important to get to the roots of it and find causes and triggers, because the emotions causing aggression can be so different – ranging from pure dominance to plain fear.
      In every case, a different strategy is likely applicable.
      For example, I would just show my dog who’s boss by voice, posture, and actions that I am boss if I noticed aggression caused by dominance. But I would choose a completely different strategy if my dog growled at me because it feels pain or fear when I handle her.
      Jealousy is a hard topic. Also, in this case, aggression should not be accepted as a solution. But I would also try to analyze the triggering situations and environments and see if there are little things I could change with huge effect.
      Just really watching our dogs and paying attention, just as they are watching us all the time, can give us a lot of understanding already.

      I hope my answer can help a little. It’s not a textbook with easy steps to cross off. But, actually my main intention every time I discuss issues with people is to make them understand that they have to find their own way because for many issues there are no standard solutions.
      Every dog is different and so is every handler.
      But most of the time, once we get to the point we start to notice the “person” in our dog – not in that slightly weird way of putting pink dresses on them or so :), but by recognizing their intentions and being able to look at behavior we don’t like in a different way than just perceiving it as defiant, strategies start to fall into place on their own and all of a sudden it even becomes easier to be more patient.

      Also one of the most underestimated things I experience with owners, again and again, is MANAGING.
      That should be my last point therefore: EVERYTHING can be managed until training kicks in. It is just a matter of acting forward-looking and NOT leaving any decisions to an untrained dog.
      Example: As long as my dog does not reliably respond to a recall, I just don’t let her run completely off leash. I can use a long training leash to allow my dog the feeling and at the same time still, have the last bit of control. As long as I am not sure that my dog will be friendly with another dog, I only carefully introduce the two if they seem interested in each other, anytime ready to interfere and leave the scene, in the best case warning the other owner that my dog can be bitchy with other dogs. And I don’t expect my dog to be friendly with every other creature. If I have experienced my dog showing aggression towards humans, I handpick the encounters and use people I know to familiarize my dog gradually with being handled by other people than me. Not everybody has to touch my dog anyway. I could make up hundreds of examples. But I think the message is already clear.

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