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Aggressive Bulldog and Cats

I have a 4-year-old female Olde English Bulldog. My question is about her aggressive behavior.

I have had Xena since she was 7 weeks old and she has been raised with cats and small dogs. Since she has reach 2 she has turned on them, you don’t know when it will happen.

She can go for a couple of months, and there is no problem then out of the blue she will intensify on them and want to kill them.

I’m very dominant with her and make her obey on commands, and she listens, but this change in her has baffled me.

I have owned large dogs my whole life and never had this kind of thing happen.

Is there any way to change this behavior and get along with the entire pack?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Hi Karen,

I would need to learn much more before I could say with any level of certainty but the age this began isn’t unusual with a dog with her genetics when you end up with one that throws back more to what its grandparents were like rather than the distortion that now more often than not passes for an Olde English Bulldog.

However, genetics aside this sort of problem is almost always negatively influenced by the approach used to train and live with the misbehaving dog.

I understand you believe that you are dominant and ‘make her obey,’ but I’m betting it’s not in the manner that actually connects with dogs.

Not your fault. Dog training advice offered to companion dog owners has become bizarre and isn’t particularly helpful. The traditional ‘Might Is Right,’ and ‘All Positive/Purely Positive/Force-Free’ offerings aren’t really all that effective when looked at across the board.

‘Might Is Right’ can cause as many problems as it solves and ‘All Positive/Purely Positive/Force-Free’ is not a method at all but is an ideology pushed by people that cannot differentiate between results in a controlled lab or an aquarium and the day to day realities of a companion dog and dog owner.

I’d suggest finding someone to show you how to connect with Xena a little more completely as I’m betting she sees you as more of a roommate when it really counts. No worries though, unless she has a screw loose, she can be massaged into a teacher-student relationship. Done correctly, this turns what passes for obedience from what is really nothing more than tricks into actual compliance. Perhaps more importantly in cases such as this, it conveys to the dog that she is living in your home and there’s less need in the dog’s own mind to control the cats, etc.

Again, I don’t have much to go on here so it may be something else. I’d need you to book a Skype consult to properly advise you. Let me know if you want to do that.

Have a great day!


John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
Embracing Science and Common Sense
London’s #1 Referred Puppy and Dog Trainer


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