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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a two year old desexed bull terrier x Staffordshire bull terrier who we got as a 9 week old puppy. Ever since we brought him home he's been lovely toward my family and I, and he has never bitten or growled (he does happily grumble when we first get home however) at any of us.


He has issues with these three things

Neighbours
If he sees one of them (on their balcony, not through fences) he will growl and grumble deeply, while struggling to get out of his harness if he's in one, then bark deeply and constantly (its like they're all stringed together).
He puffs himself up, barks, walks around grumbling (not really growling) and then turns back toward them barks and walks around again - repeat, until he can no longer see them. If this neighbour goes in their yard (only this neighbour) he will run up and down the fence barking.

Visitors
He lives outside (most of the time) so he will run to the back door and bark, growl and try to get in. Generally he will act like he does toward the neighbour without the turning his back, he won't lose eye contact if he can help it.

However I have properly introduced one of my friends to him before while he was in his harness, he happily accepted them after that and even rolled onto his back to let them scratch his belly. He never tried to bite, just barked and growled at first. My parents won't even try with their friends and usually the visitors are scared of him anyway - so he never gets the chance.

Walks
When we go on walks he is well behaved, sits when we stop, doesn't pull in his harness, if we are walking and he sees another dog on the other side of the road he pulls and pricks his ears and I have to pull him and call him but he doesn't bark or grumble or anything. He whines a bit and pulls to get away when we get passed them.
If he hears a dog bark at him while we walk down the street he will look in it's direction and then whine and pull to get away.

If we are sitting with him somewhere or stopped however and someone (especially with dogs and with runners) he will puff himself up, growl, struggle to get free of his harness and bark. After they have gone he will whine and sulk until we leave the area.
He also acts like that with moving cars, bikes and prams (generally anything bigger than him).


My parents and brother believe that he is aggressive, however I feel like he is not so much aggressive as territorial and trying to protect us or he's stressed about something since he's never bitten anyone, he is ready to accept new people if given the chance and he tries to get away from aggressive situations (except with cars ect.).

As a puppy he suffered separation anxiety (though doesn't any more), he does tend to get jealous when our other dog an English Staffordshire Bull Terrier a few years older, seems to be getting more attention, he will try to push her out of the way so he can get the scratches or attention.

**This other dog however doesn't display any of this bad behaviour apart from occasionally 'stealing' a peg while we put out the washing, so we play with her.

** I feel like I should also mention he has only ever bared his teeth once, late at night when a very big man either on drugs or drunk walked out of a dark area of trees in our direction. Other than that he has never bared his teeth when he growls, its more from inside him/his chest if that makes sense.

** His behaviour mostly declined after he was de-sexed and had to stay over night at the vet, and when the neighbour-he-doesn't-like's family was over for a few weeks, so I don't know if they did something to him when we weren't around like squirt him with the hose or something (he also hated hoses out of nowhere).



Sorry that was so long, does anyone here know if his behaviour really is aggressive or otherwise? Or if there is anything I can do until I can get him to a behaviourist.
(There are no veterinary behaviourists in my local area and the nearest (reputable one that I actually trust) is nearly 3 hours away, I'm going to try and get him there next uni break but he hates being in the car and it makes him ill even lying down, so I want to be sure if that's what is best for him.)
 

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To me, he sounds fearful and very stressed.

Is there any way he can move indoors? Being exposed to his fears so constantly is likely a source of stress for him. Additionally, if he's constantly in that state it will be very hard to control his interactions and will make rehabilitation nearly impossible.

Sometimes behaviorist swill work with you long distance, so that's something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had considered that, though when I asked my vet, he said he doesn't seem to be fearful, since he seems energetic and has a good appetite, isn't cowering or hiding ect.

Unfortunately the house we currently live in he isn't able to come in during the day (because its a very small house), but he does come in at night and sleeps by my bed. However we are moving in a few weeks, and in the new place he will be able to come inside much more often - nearly full time apart from when nobody is at home (so at most 5ish hours)

In the new house he isn't able to see neighbours so easily through gardens and there is a garden shed which we are using a big kennel sort of thing for them (its missing the bottom of the door so he can come and go as he pleases), so he can still go there if he were upset, so I'm hoping that might help while nobody is there. I'm just hoping he isn't too upset by the changes, I intend to take him there a few times before we move there for good.

As for the behaviourist I will look into that. Thanks :)
 

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I agree that at least some of the behaviors sound fear based. Many fearful dogs act aggressively, barking and lunging towards what scares them. Trying to make it go away. Some of it sounds like frustration and also lack of training. Like barking at guest. He sounds frustrated that he can't great them, but also he hasn't been taught how to properly greet guest.
 
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