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American/English Bulldog and toddlers/other dogs

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  • American/English Bulldog and toddlers/other dogs

    I am not looking for a flat out guard dog, but want something that looks a little scary and will bark if someone comes in during the middle of the night (just happened, my Jacks didn't leave the bed...not even when the police came and went through the house shouting "POLICE DEPARTMENT!). My husband is gone a lot and I am pretty terrified even walking around the block with a stroller now. The new dog is going to be a family pet - I have a 17 month old and another newly on the way- and that is the first priority. Originally we were going with a Newfoundland - the size alone is the "scary" part and the temperment is what we wanted. However, I think it might just be literally too much dog now that I am in baby mode and have playdates at the house,etc. I don't mind hair and drool and tails in the baby's face, but other people might.

    So I was thinking of the Bulldog. The only part that worries is me is the bred to fight bit and that strong jaw. I don't have a lot of experience with them. My last dogs have been a Border Collie and the two Jacks I have now. I also am not sure whether to go for the English or American type. I know the American is not AKC recognized. I don't want a Pit Bull and some of the AB really look like Pit Bulls - are they part of the genetic makeup?

    Any opinions on them for my situation? Or other breed recommendations? My other thought is a Mastiff or German Shepherd.

    Obviously I am going to do a lot more research. I am just a bit burned out after getting a bit obsessive about the Newfoundland research and thought I would get a general feel for them here.
    Thank you!

  • #2
    I have a pit/American Bulldog-type (who knows what she REALLY is... the genetic test that we did for fun said lhasa apso and staffordshire), and what would concern me about her around small children is she jumps. A lot. Her way of playing involves leaping and body slams, and she is very high energy. For a dog that weighs around 55lb, she is VERY dense and strong, and could easily knock a kid or small adult over.

    That being said, every individual dog is different, and one thing I know about her is that she has no aggression towards people, just over-exuberance.

    Had we got her as a puppy (she was about a year old when we adopted), the jumping thing would have been easier to nip in the bud, but as of now it's still a work-in-progress.

    I wouldn't rule the "bully" breeds out entirely, but just make sure you really test out that personality to see if it fits, and if you get a puppy lay down the rules about jumping/rough play right away.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I know multiple new/young families with boxers that are great with the kids, although quite active and silly. So maybe that would be a similar option?
      Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

      Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

      Comment


      • #4
        First, how are your Jacks with other dogs in their home? Will they accept another, much larger dog? IMO, you must be careful in choosing a breed/dog who won't get all riled up when they do their terrier stuff. If things get ugly between one or both JRTs and the new dog, will you be prepared for it? Do you have a training plan in place? I have had JRTs and Labs for almost 20 yrs and the mix is great-as long as your Jacks aren't...well...too Jack Russell-ey , and you have rules.

        Both breeds you mention are gladiators. Fighting dogs. The EB bred for snatching full-grown bulls by the nose

        English bulldogs have a plethora of health problems, don't tolerate heat and humidity at all well, are often stubborn as heck, really dont scare people IMO, aren't bred as guard dogs (you'd likely find the bulldog on the bed with you and the Jacks ), and they are often questionable with other dogs.

        The American Bulldog? I don't know enough of them to judge general temperament, but I've known both good and bad, and the bad was very bad

        How about a Dobie? Standard Poodle in BLACK? BLACK Lab? All are generally good with kids and other dogs, IMO.

        BOXER? I LOOVE Boxers, and they are usually great with kids and dogs, properly socialized and trained. They have been used in law enforcement, and can be extremely intimidating with scary barks Often have devastating health problems, so choose a breeder wisely.

        The big question for me is, how are your 2 JRTs going to be with a new dog? Will they allow a new dog into the family without major bloodshed?

        Again, all just my opinion.

        Comment


        • #5
          How about an alarm system instead? Protective dogs and young kids =/= a good mix.

          Comment


          • #6
            Have owned and loved boxers, English bulls, Dobes and German shepherds. I would not recommend the EB; too many health problems and not intimidating. Dobes and GSD look very intimidating looking, highly intelligent, easy to train. Boxers are intimidating looking, not as smart or as trainable, heart and cancer problems so definitely buy from a breeder that does health testing. One note about boxers based on my personal experience: they are adorable puppies, at about 6-9 months old the high energy gene kicks in and they are very high energy, however the brain cells do not start functioning until they hit 18 months old. During that time they need patience, socialization and training (don't get frustrated and banish them to the backyard). On the upside, boxers are devoted to kids like no other breed I know.
            Another thought: the military is adopting out retired military dogs. Well trained, health checked, and deserving dogs, most were nose work dogs.

            Comment


            • #7
              Alarm systems are great but you can't take them with you on a walk or in the car. Never saw an alarm system in the family Christmas photo.
              As I said, I've owned, loved and trained several breeds, even owned Schutzhund and personal protection trained dogs and they have all been great around children.

              Comment


              • #8
                It is so uncharacteristic of JRT's to not bark, my first question is why aren't they your alarm dogs? Did you train them not to bark/alert?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agree with Standard Poodles, labs, etc. With teeny humans in the house and play dates there with strange adults and strange teeny humans that aren't used to your dogs you really have to be careful on not just breed but on the right individual too. I'd also agree with a properly bred GSD. But your best bet would be for researching and visiting well respected breeders. I love many bully breeds, but terrier types aren't known for being good with strange children. They may bond with their own, but lots of visiting toddlers might not be the best idea to avoid annoyance nipping. Plus it's tough to properly train and socialize a large breed pup/dog with a wee one and a baby on the way. It will be like adding a third child that's really rambunctious and has ADD. A security system might be the easiest and most effective and least time consuming option. That had to be scary for you!
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!
                  ...Belefonte

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Black Lab/black lab mix.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                      How about an alarm system instead? Protective dogs and young kids =/= a good mix.
                      I got one the next day. I am not looking for a true guard dog type. Just a nice dog that looks scary and maybe has a bit more protective vibe to strangers in the house in the middle of the night.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wouldn't look to an English Bulldog to bark, or in any way actively guard my home. The English Bulldogs I know kind of have their own agenda, which doesn't seem to really have much to do with human concerns.

                        My son has an American Bulldog and you couldn't hope to find a sweeter, more gentle dog than Roy. He is not very good with some other dogs, but if they are submissive enough he does okay. He is good with cats and exceptionally good with people. He will bark if someone knocks on their door and nobody is home. He will not bark while they are out and about in the community, and he rarely barks if someone knocks on the door and they are home.

                        I totally understand the desire to have a dog that is able to warn off intruders from their very presence. Especially with the vulnerability of being home alone with young children. I have lived with German Shepherd Dogs for many, many years now, and I appreciate the sense of security they give me. Nothing is going to stop someone hell bent on doing bad things, but having a German Shepherd Dog in the house surely makes them think twice about doing bad things to anyone in my home.

                        But I don't think I would be doing my duty as a dog lover if I didn't stress that it takes a lot of time and effort to train a dog. Looking at my breed, the German Shepherd, as an example, they take to training easily. They love to learn. But just because they are easy to train doesn't mean that they don't need a huge amount of consistent work and effort, or that they don't get bored easily. They can be a challenge, especially when they are younger. And some of the qualities that make them such wonderful guard dogs also make them difficult to manage in homes with frequent visitors and lots of in and out foot traffic. And the breed has been practically demolished from crappy breeding. Between the major temperament problems and the various, serious health problems it is hard to find a good dog. And when you do they cost.

                        Having raised two children, and having lived and worked with a variety of dog breeds (and mixes), I can't imagine raising a toddler, having a newborn AND raising a puppy. Add in having a spouse who travels a lot, making me the only adult in the house? I know I couldn't do it.

                        OP, I wish you luck with whatever choice you make. It must have been terrifying to wake up to police in your home. Maybe it is a good think your Jacks didn't wake up and cause problems for the police. They can, and sometimes do, shoot dogs that cause them problems as they respond to calls, search properties, etc.
                        Sheilah

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by lovey1121 View Post
                          First, how are your Jacks with other dogs in their home? Will they accept another, much larger dog? IMO, you must be careful in choosing a breed/dog who won't get all riled up when they do their terrier stuff. If things get ugly between one or both JRTs and the new dog, will you be prepared for it? Do you have a training plan in place? I have had JRTs and Labs for almost 20 yrs and the mix is great-as long as your Jacks aren't...well...too Jack Russell-ey , and you have rules.

                          Both breeds you mention are gladiators. Fighting dogs. The EB bred for snatching full-grown bulls by the nose

                          English bulldogs have a plethora of health problems, don't tolerate heat and humidity at all well, are often stubborn as heck, really dont scare people IMO, aren't bred as guard dogs (you'd likely find the bulldog on the bed with you and the Jacks ), and they are often questionable with other dogs.

                          The American Bulldog? I don't know enough of them to judge general temperament, but I've known both good and bad, and the bad was very bad

                          How about a Dobie? Standard Poodle in BLACK? BLACK Lab? All are generally good with kids and other dogs, IMO.

                          BOXER? I LOOVE Boxers, and they are usually great with kids and dogs, properly socialized and trained. They have been used in law enforcement, and can be extremely intimidating with scary barks Often have devastating health problems, so choose a breeder wisely.

                          The big question for me is, how are your 2 JRTs going to be with a new dog? Will they allow a new dog into the family without major bloodshed?

                          Again, all just my opinion.
                          The Jacks are good. I have fostered a lot of dogs for a local humane society and they never had an issue. My male has a special affinity/respect for big dogs and does a lot of submissive behavior like liking their mouth and rolling on his belly. The female is just a fat bag of love that tried to nurse foster puppies. They are nice dogs and I more worried about the next dog being aggressive to them.

                          I will look into Boxers and Dobermans. In my mind, Dobermans are very protective....maybe too protective for my needs?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            getting a new dog when you have a 17 month old and a baby on the way is a really bad idea. I think you might find yourself a tad overwhelmed. Buy an alarm system. Hire a bodyguard. Don't get a dog. Training a new dog, regardless of whether it's a puppy or an older dog, takes a LOT of work and you don't have the time to do it. It'll be a disaster. Not to mention that no reputable breeder or rescue will place a dog into that kind of situation.

                            Why not just train your current dogs to "be protective"? all you need is a quiet cue like a hand signal to trigger them to bark loudly whenever you feel threatened. That should be a snap to train. Far easier than getting a different dog. I assure you most sane people are terrified of Jack russells. They are the breed I most distrust, having been bitten by numerous ones and having had them launch kamikaze attacks on much larger dogs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm agreeing with Wendy here. I have ALWAYS gotten sound advice from her.

                              I agree from experience. My husband brought home a hound puppy right around x-mas. Trying to juggle a toddler, a hound puppy (he's black and tan x GSD), our JRTxBlue heeler, and the household was (and still is) really hard. The puppy knocks DD over a lot when he gets excited, chews a lot, and I really didn't have the time or energy to get after him like I did our JRT. He is the BEST natured guy in the world, and it wouldn't have worked if we didn't have the JRT and a fenced in yard so I could boot them out when they got the zoomies. I was stressed out a LOT the first few months. Once everybody got with the routine life is a bit easier, but if I could have a do over...no way.

                              My DH is gone a lot too, and I know the insecurity that comes with a break in (happened to me... but our JRT sent the guy away with stitches. ). Unless you have lots of help from nearby family with the kids or somehow manage to luck into one that is already a solid citizen...I'm agreeing with Wendy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'll second the black standard poodle vote. Mine is quite the alarm barker. No one comes on the property without her (and the two miniature poodles) LOUDLY announcing it. She's great with kids. Lazy in the house. Easily trained to be a polite citizen. I have no doubt she'd put herself between me and an intruder and likely send them to the hospital.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My collie is the best watch dog and great with kids. Easy peasy to train. She's more observant than the shepherd. I have a "Beware of the Collie, She'll Wake Up the Shepherd" sign on the gate, and it's true.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Sadly I would vote NO on the English Bulldog. Ours is only fully awake about 2 hours a day He loves everyone and everything but is more likely to trip an intruder then bark and scare them. Also his rare bark sounds more like someone is strangling a wet cat. If awoken he might lick them to death...slowly. The scariest thing he does is snore like an old 300lb man. He's SUPERB at holding down dog beds from floating away, watching TV, and being ridiculous.

                                    BUT my female Great Dane is exactly what you may want. She has a bark that sounds like a demon dog from hell but is VERY laid back otherwise. Great with kids, sleeps a lot, but always barks when someone or something comes into the yard. Gets along well with other dogs. Weighs 130lbs but folds up into the size of a big lab when sleeping. Check out www.magdrl.org for whatever resecue organization is near you to look for an adult dog that may already be leash and house trained.
                                    Last edited by shoutten; May. 20, 2013, 03:00 PM. Reason: Add Great Dane info

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Boxers are wonderful, but I would hesitate to get a puppy/very young one if you're going to have small children about. They're boisterous clowns and I'd be afraid of little people being knocked over in play.
                                      It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by shoutten View Post
                                        Sadly I would vote NO on the English Bulldog. Ours is only fully awake about 2 hours a day He loves everyone and everything but is more likely to trip an intruder then bark and scare them. Also his rare bark sounds more like someone is strangling a wet cat. If awoken he might lick them to death...slowly. The scariest thing he does is snore like an old 300lb man. He's SUPERB at holding down dog beds from floating away, watching TV, and being ridiculous.
                                        Sounds like the bulldogs I know! Not to mention you'll have to buy a stroller for it also, since some of them are fat and can't breathe well. Don't see it being a good guard dog away from home either.

                                        My vote is not another dog until after your kids are a little older; but if you needed one I'd go with a black lab/lab mix or back to the original Newfy idea if you think they can tolerate the heat where you live.

                                        I simply can't imagine trying to train a puppy to be protective while also training it to not nip, bite, and knock down children....I think you'll be extremely lucky to find one that can do both, with the little time you are likely to be able to spend on dog training with a newborn and a toddler.

                                        Alternatively, I also can't imagine adopting an older dog with a toddler, newborn, and other existing dogs. The chances of things going wrong in one way or another are very great - either to the kids or to the JRTs, or to your sanity. You would have to trust a rescue or breeder very, very much to go that route, in my opinion.

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