Aggressive Boston Terrier

by na
(ohio)

Just wandering if anybidy has ever heard of a boston terrier being VERY aggressive to other dogs... we have had our bt for almost 3 yrs and she hasbeen house mates with our other bt's for 2yrs now and she has turned agrressive towards them.. she is of course an inside dog only goes out to potty never out of site... never has shown any signs of aggression towards any humans but she tried to ripped the front legs off of my spayed female bt and bit my male several times....please someone tell me what happened to my sweet innocent dog...

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Feb 27, 2014
Otto mans and smunch
by: Adam

Otto is going on 10 years old and Smunch is going on 7. Smunch loves everyone and other dogs too, hates Otto. Well at least when were home! Smunch tries to rip his ear off and Otto goes for the throat! Well to get to my point we lived on a farm for a while, most of their lives! Otto has been blind and a runt for most of his life due to inbreeding! So he is naturally aggressive! He has killed the following:
One full grown goat
One hawk ( that was one hell of a vet bill)
2 or 3 cats
Snakes
Mice
And a pet duck
The bulk of these murders were encouraged by other dogs but where does a 15# dog get the strength , being blind, and almost deaf? He hasn't used meth or pcp or any drugs?! And he doesn't seem to be super man just simple loving Otto mans! It is very odd smu loves people and other dogs and and Otto hates other dogs, oh I forgot to mention that he, Otto has two cats he loves and sleeps with! Don't trust him with them as far as I can throw him but he loves those damn cats!

Jan 21, 2014
Agressive Female Boston
by: Karen

I have 3 Bostons (2 female sisters 7 yrs. old & 11 yr. old male). My male & the 2 females killed a Rat Terrier male 2 yrs. ago, so now we don't let them run with our other dogs (we have 13 dogs). The Bostons love people but are dog aggressive. Tonight one of the females attacked a female Rat Terrier for no reason & broke her jaw. I am going to have to find a good home for my female Bostons--a home with NO other dogs. It is so sad as we love these dogs but we can't let them continue to attack innocent dogs

Jan 12, 2014
Male neutered boston
by: Anonymous

My parents got a male neutered boston 7 months old, one previous owner. Took him home to another male neutered boston and spayed female boston. The new pup constantly attacked the other male. My parents gave him to me because they couldn't get along. I have a bichon frise female spayed and a shitzu female spayed. He has attacked the bichon a few times, once out of the blue, once because bichon got her tail stuck in a blind cord and was yelping, and once over a chew stick. He is very aggressive to any other dogs that he doesn't know. If we pass by one on walks I have to pick him up and hold him tight because he will try to get out of my arms and attack. He is so loving toward people, I wish he was friendly toward dogs too!

Dec 19, 2013
new boston hates my other dogs
by: Rich in AV

well my son just got a 2 year old female from a local Animal Control Shelter, and brought it home the other night. I carefully went into the backyard carrying the new BT, and once it saw my other 3 dogs it started growling pretty badly. I have another Boston who is 12 yrs old and thought she would be perfect to introduce first to the new boston. Well, not so much. The new boston grabbed my 12 year old dog by the side of the face and I could hardly get the dog off of her. My other 2 dogs are even smaller and they stayed in the house luckily. Strange thing is, the new 2 yr boston acts like a big baby around people, follows me around the yard everywhere, doesn't bark, goes right into her bed to sleep, etc. I'm hoping that this is a temporary adjustment thing with adding a new dog to a new environment with existing dogs already there. We even bought a muzzle for the adjustment process, so we'll see how that works out. I have the feeling this new dog would kill all 3 of my others if I didn't separate her from them... sad!

Oct 13, 2013
5 year old boston
by: Anonymous

We have a 5 year old Boston Terrier and it is by far the worst dog I have ever owned. This is the most aggressive small dog I have ever seen. He listens very well in the house when we are around him, but the second the doorbell rings, all hats are off. It is embarrassing to answer our door. We either have to hold him back or lock him in a kennel just to answer the door. And if he is locked up, constant whining and barking to get out. The BT is horrible with children. They want to play, but don't realize how strong they are. He knocks down the kids constantly by running and jumping on them. Taking this dog to the dog park or on a walk? Forget about it. The dog cannot control himself when he sees another person or animal. It is constant yanks on the leash and it is just miserable for us trying to take a walk. We have multiple friends with Boston's and I have to say, they all act the same way. These dogs need constant attention and someone by them 24/7, as we experience ours has separation anxiety and will tear everything apart as soon as we leave the house.
We own another dog, 7 year old Chinese Crested, that has no problems at all, and has been a perfect dog. I suggest to anyone thinking about owning a boston, only own it if you like the aggression, and don't consider if you have children.
The only thing that has worked for us is showing dominance over the dog and scaring him. We have to flip him over on his back and hold him down and tell him no.

Sep 18, 2013
Aggressive Boston
by: Anonymous

This is so hard to deal with. Three yrs. ago our male Boston killed our male Rat Terrier. I know our 2 smaller female Bostons were involved. It broke my heart. We still have Bubba (Boston) and I had to forgive him, but we are careful to watch him at all times with any of our other smaller dogs. I have a 50 lb. male & Bubba tries to kill him everyday--grabs his throat. But the big dog just brushes him off and goes on his way. We have had Bostons in past with NO aggression. This new breed must have different genes.
So sorry for your loss. Karen

Sep 15, 2013
My female boston killed
by: Anonymous

My poodle was 4lbs on july 4th 2012 i was taking a resure puppy to a new home and told Tyson it was too hot to ride along i was going to stop at a store. So the boston manu and a chi. oscar was left. I was gone 4 hrs i hav a huge fenced in yard. So manu came out to greet me and oscar was looking out window so when i went in there was tyson dead and blood everywhere i yelled
saw that manu had Blood on her.Any way the vet said she didnt think the boston did it cause i live out in country it must of been a hawk or eagie so i let it go then nov. i was watchins a friends chi pumkin oscar was gone i was gone 1 hr and couldnt find her and when i did she was dead same markings . So just three weeks ago i got my oscar bac he was here 2 weeks it was fine came home from work did my chickhens and didnt see oscar went looking 4 him and found him dead ripped and bit like others and manu is always the 1 with blood. Also lost 2 chickhens and a pet bird same way. My friends had given me a bosto puppy after i lost tyson she is 25lbs and manu is 14 lbs so reba and manu got along reba never has MANU BAC had any blood on her. So anyway gave manu bac to the person i got her from and told her the dog couldnt be with any dog smaller then her. She found her a home that they hav no dog and they know the story. I just could not look at her any more i had her over 4 yrs she is lucky i did not put her to sleep. So am watching reba so hoping she did not learn bad habits. I knew it the 1st time should of went with my gut feeling cause there never was any blood outside i could of saved lives.

Apr 21, 2013
my boston terrier molly
by: Raven

my bt molly attacks ANY other dog and never stops, shes fine with puppys for some reason, when she met a tiny pitbull named freckles she played with her til she had to move away, molly misses freckles, but she wont trust another dog..

Mar 28, 2013
Neutered Petite Boston Attacking 120 lb Lab
by: Bob

This is a response to Jim who wrote about his neutered petite Boston Terrier attacking a 120 lb. Lab. You have not described the "attack". It could be that he wants to play, and she does not respond. Dogs that want to play with an older dog may have too much energy. Have you tried giving your Boston Terrier much more exercise (taking him on a long walk or run) before putting them together? After you put them together, you must make it clear to him that you expect him to behave. When you say attack, can you be more specific? Best wishes.
Bob

Mar 25, 2013
Neutered petite Boston Attacking 120lb Lab
by: Jim

My Boston is very sweet to people and my other 2 small dogs, but out of the blue he's started attacking my 12 year old female lab. She will be sleeping with her back to him and he attacks. Anyone have an idea how to get him to stop? Or must I just keep them apart?

Mar 14, 2013
Cuddle Bug
by: Anonymous

I am a firm believer that an animal is mostly a reflection of his/her human. When adopting my seven year old Boston, I was told he had aggressive tendencies, and had even bitten his previous owner. When the adoption coordinator was done, I almost wanted to ask, which owner. This baby had been in at least 4 homes just in the last year. Who knows what kind of life he had. With that knowledge, I still wanted him as a companion. This is the LEAST aggressive dog I have EVER encountered. While I am the Alpha, I am not his owner. We are companions, and I treat him as such.
Before you invite a canine to live in your home, and be a part of your family, KNOW YOUR BREED and all the quirks.
Don't blame the dog because you didn't do your homework.

Mar 03, 2013
my 3 year old Boston is a killer
by: Anonymous

I was looking for a family pet that my children could enjoy and I came across a 3 year old Boston terrier named slim. He has been a great addition to our family.He is great with my children and follows commands inside but once her gets loose outside and realizes that I have no control he doesn't listen to me at all. He is a great dog but continues to terrorize the neighborhood. He has attacked the neighbors dog and tried to rip it's leg off. Today he got loose and ripped a cat apart and killed it. He has cost me over 400 dollars in vet bills and damages. He is a killing machine. I don't think anything will change his behavior. He is such a good dog but has so many problems with other animals. He will attack any animal in sight. He is apart of family and we have decided we are not going to give up on him. We love our Boston.

Jul 09, 2012
Boston "Terror" - Cujo outside of house
by: Bob

I am only guessing at possible solutions to your problem Boston Terror, but I do have a few suggestions. I think she needs much more exercise than she is getting. I would walk her alone, and make sure she follows BEHIND you or stays at your side. She should never be in front of you. She should be made to sit before leaving on the walk and never rush out the door in front of you. She needs to wait until you invite her outside. I would also try playing ball with her to get more exercise. Try using a soccer ball or a basketball if a smaller one does not keep her attention. As to why she seems aggressive toward other dogs on the outside of the house, I think she is protecting you. She thinks she is the alpha in the family, and that it is her job. I would also take her to a dog park where other dogs are not aggressive. I would put a muzzle on her until she gets the hang of being more sociable. Hope this helps. Best wishes

Jul 06, 2012
Boston "Terror" my experience..(I also have a male Boxer..a SAINT)
by: Anonymous

I have read all your blogs because I am pretty frustrated with my BT (7 years old female) and sometimes reading that other people have issues with them make me feel less of a failure as a dow owner. I grew up with all kind of dogs (mix breed and pure breed) and this BT is by far the worst (as in aggressive) I have ever had! I have her since she was 2 (rescued her from shelter) and initially she was OK kind of quiet actually and perfect in the house (still perfect in the house). When we rescued her we had a pit-bull/boxer mix a true angel (rescue from fights and never had an issue with him) since we went to pick her up with the other dog and she went to him and kissed him and was happy with him, we never suspected she had aggressivity issues and we adopted her. Sure enough our boy got very sick not long afterwards and died about 4 months later..what a tragedy! The BT at first did not seem to mind at all (very surprising to me) but we soon realized that she changed as a consequence and became extremely aggressive towards all dogs (no matter what size, including other BT actually she hates BT). She actually accepts dogs in the house when we have friends coming over to visit us but not outside. So, in brief, she transforms into "cujo" once she is outside. We tried different techniques but the only way to make her stop attacking other dogs is to pick her up and most of the times she bites whatever comes between her and the target (sometimes our arm, hands, feet, legs..it's bad really bad). She is just lucky that she is a little dog or somebody would have reported her and we would have been forced to put her down..sad but true. Since 3 years now we have a male Boxer (had to get him as a little puppy for the BT to accept him.. because we tried to foster some boxers and she never accepted them or she was triggering the aggressivity in them). With the Boxer she is tolerating him but mostly she ignores him (while he loves her dearly). I love our BT immensely but she is a true challenge on our 4 times a day walk because our Boxer is extremely social and she prevents him from having a normal dog-life..very sad. Our feeling about the BT is that she was spoiled rotten before we got her and never socialized nor walked outside (apartment/house princess) wghich is something I truly despise since I believe it is somewhat an abuse towards dogs DOGS are social animals and they should behave as such..

Feb 05, 2012
Defence of the BT
by: Rachel

I also have a BT who does not like dogs outside the family. I adopted an adult FB who was to be euthanised and I can not leave them alone yet, however I have found that a citronella bark collar on my BT stops her initiating a fight. Obviously she is constantly surprised when together and I enter her area and "Cesar Milan bite" her and say NO when she gives the other the evil eye. BTs are often "babied" too much because of their size and nature and we forget that they are dogs, and think and reason differently to humans. I know that my BTs behaviour is entirely my fault. I have to defend the comments on human aggressiveness. My BTs would NEVER hurt a human especially children. They have a very sweet nature and I have bottle fed kittens, pups and sheep and they have NEVER hurt any. They may suffer from same sex aggression, male dominance over humans which are found in ALL dog breeds. Most aggression will resolve when neutered, the younger the better! I do not neuter as mine are breeding queens.

Feb 02, 2012
What We Did
by: CLEVELAND NICK

We have a BT that's very aggressive towards other dogs - size and sex do not matter. He bit our neighbor's dog and he bit our new puppy. Not small bites, but foaming at the mouth (literally) "i want to kill you" bites. As one may expect, the aggression shoots up 10 fold when the encounter occurs anywhere near our property. We fixed our dog's aggression, at least as to the puppy. Here's what we did:
(1) we separated the house and yard by baby gates and a folding fence and shuffled the dogs between the two areas. We played with both at the same time and fed both treats at the same time. We showed the older dog that we treated the puppy like family. HUGE pain in the behind. Once our older aggressive dog got used to interacting with the puppy through baby gates and used to her smell, we made another introduction, and now they play together like crazy now.
(2) At the same time we were separating the dogs and doing the foregoing, we started a campaign of de-alpha training, for lack of a better term, on all fronts supervised by a dog behavior specialist. You don't let the dog on the furniture or beds, you don't tolerate growling or failing to get out of your way. When the dog resists, this is the hard part that a lot of people don't like and/or cannot do, you physically dominate the dog until it submits and stops struggling. Easy to do, NOT easy to do without risking injury to yourself or to your dog. I would not recommend this if you have other options you'd like to try or if you are not confident that you can do this without hurting your dog or getting bit. The little guys/girls are strong with sharp teeth - be careful. Any aggression toward the puppy would result in a swift and loud, and sometimes violent, rebuke.
(3) All in all, I would say step #1 above was the likely reason for the eventual favorable outcome. Time and familiarity and proximity and seeing the puppy treated by us as family for a good 2+ weeks are most likely what turned him around.
- - - -
If I had it to do all over again, I would not have been lazy during our older dog's puppy years, and would have SOCIALIZED THE DOG. socialized dogs (dog parks, doggie day care, etc.) are not afraid of dogs and are far less likely to attack another one. Also, I would have used the de-alpha dog walking techniques (not the submission) - this is probably the best way to establish who is in control with no negativity or violence. this would have prevented the entire campaign of "tough love" we did later, which I really did not like to do - my older dog hated me and was scared of me for several days after we wound things up.

Oct 18, 2011
N A's Aggressive Boston Terrier in Ohio
by: Bob

I have owned perhaps 20 dogs and never had an aggressive one. Almost every day for more than 9 years I take my dog to a dog park, and my Boston Terrier has never been in a fight or even had a problem. Here is a list of questions to help pinpoint the problem:

1.) Describe the aggressive behavior(s). Has any dog actually been injured? Has any dog required stitches? Does it happen at mealtime (food aggression) or is it about possessiveness of a toy or place to relax? Also, sometimes when dogs play or when they have a "conversation" to disagree with another dog's behavior, we might misinterpret their behavior as aggression.

2.) Have all of your dogs been neutered or spayed? Does the female Boston Terrier not want to be mounted? If they are all intact there may be issues several times a year when they may want to mate. This can be frustrating for intact dogs and bitches.

3.) How do you (and your family members) respond when a dog is aggressive? Do you separate them or move them toward each other and make them behave? Do they read in your energy that you are calm and assertive or do they read in your energy frustration, anger, fear, or uncertainty? Do you pet or otherwise show affection toward a dog when it has misbehaved? Do you wait for the dog to be calm and submissive before showing affection or giving a treat? Do you correct unwanted behavior right away, so that the dog associates the correction with the misbehavior? How do you correct the misbehavior/aggression?

4.) You mentioned that she only goes outside to potty. Do you ever take your dogs on long walks? Lack of adequate exercise is one of the biggest reasons for unwanted dog behaviors, including aggression. A dog should be walked every day. A 3-year old Boston Terrier should be walked multiple times a day. With proper training all of your dogs can be walked together.

If you are calm and assertive, quickly correct your animals (a touch or a sound will usually do the trick), you can quickly make progress in unwanted behaviors. Make sure your dogs are getting their needs met by seeing to it they get enough exercise, appropriate discipline (not punishment), and then affection (including food or treats) in that order. This approach is used by Cesar Millan in his television program and books.

I hope I can help and look forward to your response. Good luck

Bob

Oct 18, 2011
Aggressive BT
by: Anonymous

My mother has had 4 BT throughout her life without a problem, and yesterday it turned ugly. Her 8 year female BT killed her 12 year old female rat terrier. They had been together since the BT was 8 weeks old. The BT was very social and liked all kinds of people, she even stayed at my house with my dogs when mom went out of town. I don't understand it.

Aug 30, 2011
Freak dog
by: Pissed off boxer owner

I own a three year old female boxer. There are several different breeds living in my building and encounter them frequently on my daily walks with my boxer without incident. There are three BTs in my building and all of them are freaks. Upon meeting any dog, they instantly turn into crazed tasmanian devils who will try and attack anything in its path. My boxer and I hate these dogs. In each incident that I have experienced, and also witnessed interactions with other dogs, the owners have just stood there, with there dogs hanging off their leash, with absolutely no reprimand of any kind or an atttempt at corrective behaviour. Of course, my boxer, who is much larger, and doesn't take crap from these little freaks is at fault. I understand that these dogs are inherently aggressive, but it is our responsibility as owners, to educate ourselves as to the type of breed we own and how to carry out the necessary behavioral instruction so that our dogs are disciplined enough to interact with other dogs and people in a civil manner. Seriously, don't buy a dog because it's the cutest and latest fashion statement, or that it's just the right size for your apartment or lifestyle without committing to the work it takes to raise a dog properly and responsibly.

Aug 19, 2011
halti is a miracle
by: Anonymous

we have a boston terrier. she is 2 years old and she attacks other dogs, we also have an american staffordshire terrier but she looks to her like a mom. whenever she sees another dog, its instant hysteria. she barks like crazy and screaches and nips at our feet. we thought this was because we might have taken her from the breeder to early. but we have no idea how to get her to stop. taking our other dog for walks is so relaxing. but i get stressed out when i have to walk her. shes insane. the only way to stop her barking is to pick her up and run from the other dogs as quickly as possible. the only thing that has helped so far is her halti. fitted for puppies because shes small. but it actually helped. she feels secure like your holding her or something, but it worked

Aug 16, 2011
Not a Fan of Boston Terriers
by: Anonymous

I'm going to have to say of this breed I'm not a fan. Anyone I have ever come in contact with ,which is quite a few, they are popular around here has major aggression issues and not good with kids. My boyfriend has one and it has attacked and drawn blood from me many times. I have permanent scars on my hand and wrists from the little devil. He is the most defiant and unwilling to learn mongrel I have ever come across and I think dogs like that need to be muzzled, not the pitbull up the street who wouldn't bat an eye at you. All in all, do your research on these dogs. Everyone I know is temperamental at best and I would never put one in a family for fear of what they would do to a baby.

Jul 26, 2011
Do your research - Owners Error
by: Anonymous

Boston Terriers are extremely intelligant, loyal, loving, stubborn animals. It is in there blood to be some what aggressive thats how they were bred back in the day. They were bred as fighting dogs, just like pit bulls today. Not to mention all of the over breeding in the 70's. We rely on Animal Cops and the SPCA to avoid the agression in these animals because PEOPLE create that life for them. You must do your research on any dog prior to purchasing or adopting. It's important to know their temperment and behaivior charactoristics. For those of you who are 'surprised' by the agression would have known there is a possiblity they come with this behavior characteristic if you had done enough research. More times its the owner's error for not taking the time to research, train and socialize. You must take proper actions to avoid these kinds of accidents and incidents for the safety of your family, your other pets and other people. The important thing is to be knoweledgable, get help and make sure you are training the dog properly, to enjoy them not be afraid or troubled. We dont want to learn lessons at someone elses expense do we?!

Jul 26, 2011
Tenacious hostile dog
by: Anonymous

My poodle was attacked in a dog park by a Boston. What surprised me was how tenaciously the Boston kept fighting even when I separated them. And the owner was equally rude, not rushing over to help and then when he finally sauntered over not asking if I was hurt. If you are going to unleash your Boston please do not let them rush other people or their dogs.

Jul 04, 2011
BT nearly bit off my dog's nose
by: Anonymous

I'M not at all surprised to read of BT aggression. It's interesting though that Encyclopedia on Breeds-type of books-say nothing of this aggression. Walking my german shorthaired pointer on a leash, I foolishly approached another dog owner, who I had never seen in the area, with his two BTs on choke collars. The owner gave me no warning so I continued my approach to say hello as our dogs were within nose contact of eachother. The BTs didn't make a single sound or sign of aggression. My dog has never as much as growled at another dog. Moments later one BT literally had his jaws locked on my dogs sizable nose and wouldn't let go. The owner, though upset and yelling at his dogs, was powerless. Initially, I just figured the BT had nipped my dog good on the nose but then realized the dog was not letting go, all the while not making a single sound of aggression. My dog was screaming like a seal with blood gushing. By the grace of God and good foresight on my part, I always carry dog HALT! with me to protect against just such a moment though I had never needed to draw it in the previous 5 years of owning my dog. Thanks to the dog HALT! being sprayed in the both BTs faces, the attack and blood shed ended. If you're wondering why I sprayed both, it is because the other BT approached my dog's genitals while my dog was in the jaws of the other. So, I sprayed that one first to avoid another bite and then turned my attention to Jaws. Yes I learned a lesson at my dog's expense--you don't have to be sociable to dog owners you don't know. On the bright side the scars on his muzzle healed well and are becoming less noticeable. Also I'm grateful that I carry the HALT! and that my dog didn't have his nose literally torn off. Surprisingly, the other dog owner expressed relief that I had "that stuff."

Jun 15, 2011
Calm and Assertive Energy
by: Bob

I have a ten and a half year old male Boston Terrier that I raised from a puppy. I call him the world's friendliest dog. We have visited a dog park almost every day for about 10 years. He gets along well with all of the dogs and has never been in a fight. He loves everyone: children, adults, other dogs large and small, cats, birds, and even a chinchilla. He is very confident and loves to play ball, especially with a basketball which he can ride like a circus animal and use his nose to challenge people in a game of soccer. Many people at the dog park refer to him as "the mayor". I have owned about 15 dogs in my life and never had an aggressive dog, and I knew that the key to raising a sociable dog was to put him as many different situations as possible. He is very good off leash, and obeys me about staying on the sidewalk or grass and takes my cues as to which path to take in the woods. He does not bark unless it is definitely his turn for the ball (and no fair hiding it under the covers), and he will chase away the largest dogs when they interfere with his soccer game in park. He is unafraid of thunder, lightening, and firecrackers because I have exposed him to these and demonstrated to him that there was nothing to fear. I have never really tried to train him on the simplest of commands. I joke that 6 out of 10 times he will correctly respond to the command "don't sit". He gets enough exercise and has been exposed to so many different kinds of things, he has become confident and balanced. If his behavior is ever a problem, I immediately and calmly correct it and move on. The best advice I can give you is to become aware of the energy you have around your dog and try to become a calm and assertive pack leader as Caesar Millan demonstrates in his television show and books.

May 05, 2011
I hate Boston Terriers
by: Anonymous

I have a micro pig and a Boston Terrier attacked her and left four bite marks on her, scared her half to death and more than anything I hate the BT's owners who acted like it was no big deal. This dogs face will forever be engrained in my mind and will forever hold a grudge. How can you owners continue to keep a dog who murdered another dog of yours. That would be the end for me!!!

May 01, 2011
Aggressive BT history
by: jen

I have come to learn that BTs can be VERY aggressive. I raised one male from a puppy and he seems to get along well with other dogs, but I've gone through two rescued male BTs that have been very aggressive. I had to get rid of the first rescue because he was not only attacking my original dog, but had a very bad habit of biting people. The latest dog is a very dominant young male. The two dogs got along fine for the first 8 months, but recently have been at each other's throats. It has gotten to the point were they can't even look at each other through a baby gate or cage without flying into a hysterical rage. I am completely baffled as to what to do except for find a new home for the rescue.. which is very frustrating because it is the second time this has happened. I learned my lesson - no more male BTs together.

Feb 27, 2011
Pt 2: It takes effort on both your parts
by: Anonymous

(...continued)

*LOTS of Exercise!: We know better than anyone--Bostons need more than the standard 20 minutes of good, clean fun and if you can't provide that, it may be time to start looking up foster homes... Bowser and I started off with a 20 minute run and then "free-walked" ten minutes to the park. (*By free-walk I mean letting him take the lead to sniff and pee on whatever suits his fancy for however long he feels necessary. I used to be real strict about the "heel" command, and although it's still a part of our morning walks, this bit of freedom is a big stress reliever and makes a difference in our next interactions)

*Baby Steps: I planned our walks around other dogs and kept Bowser on a tight leash--The second he would blitz for a dog, I'd say "lets go" and spin the opposite direction. This lasted a while but eventually he began to ignore the passerbys and treats graciously fell from my pockets!
One tactic that helped a ton was asking friends or neighbors if they would walk along side us just to help socialize. No contact; just walking and talking to get comfortable around another dog.
For the first few weeks at the parks I would only let Bowz watch from the sidelines. We would hang out and watch the other pups romp and have fun. When someone came to the fence for a greeting I watched and waited. Remember: Stay calm and hope for the best. If they sniff for a few seconds and it gets tense--"lets go" and move to a new spot. Be sure to reward him for being so good! When Bowser would chomp at the first nose-to-nose contact he got a splash of cold water in the eyes and we moved on.
Eventually Bowser seemed to get along well enough on the other side of the fence, I figured we were ready to try making friends in the park--Still on the leash. It is important to be honest about your situation before exposing anyone's dog to potential harm. Most people were confident that their dog would be fine so with a squirt bottle in one hand and treats in the other, we slowly made enough progress to go off the leash. (Be safe if a fight does break out and grab them up by their hips to avoid getting bit!)


Today Bowser and I can get out to the dog beach and play frisbee without any problems. He still prefers to play with his own toys, and rarely considers sharing, but I feel like a big weight has been lifted from my shoulders! Once in a while he'll get into a tiff at a park, but he's learning the fascination of dog-crotch smells, being chased, and sharing water bowls and I'm once again proud to own a Boston Terrier!

Feb 27, 2011
Pt 1: It takes a lot of effort on both your parts
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry to see that there are so many cases of these aggressive little monsters. I know it's an absolutely heartbreaking problem to deal with and I'm sure you've probably heard it before: The aggressive dog isn't the one to blame; it's the owner. That was a hard one for me to digest because I love Bowser more than anything on this crazy little planet.

I started noticing the problem on our walks. He would charge anything in sight; strangling himself with his own leash to get a chomp at another animal's neck or ankles... Trainers helped me narrow it down to poor socialization and my own overprotectiveness. I used to yank Bowser's leash to pull him "out of harms way" when an unfamiliar dog would approach. This is a HUGE mistake because jerking them away or forcing them back only reinforces the idea that they need to be fearful or protective in this situation. Then, to add insult to injury I would actually punish and scold him when he started biting dogs (I know; I'm not proud). This makes it even worse because eventually aggression is all they learn! Although it is absolutely frustrating, it's important to be patient and find a way to make these interactions fun otherwise you'll both be miserable... Aggressive behavior is certainly not an easy obstacle, but if you and your little pig-tailed furball can pull through, I guarantee you'll be proud of both your efforts!


What worked for us...

*Find a Trainer:
Some cases can be worse than others and really need professional help. A trainer is a good place to start because they can help you see things you might miss while trying to tackle the problem solo. Your aggressive roots could be anything from fear-based defense to an over-assertive alpha male.
The most beneficial thing I gained from my trainer was to use a squirt-gun or water bottle. We started off with a vinegar/water solution. (I tested it on myself first and it definitely sucks!) After some progress I hastily switched to water-only and it seemed just as successful. The trick is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. They say a dog can feel your tension and I think there's some validity in that. If you have a "situation" pull that harness back and aim for those bulging eyes! It can seem like a cruel treatment but we know the other possible fates...


(I didn't mean to write a novel here. I'll post the other half on here...)

Jan 27, 2011
boston starts fights.
by: Anonymous

I have two Boston Terrier 3 & 4 and a rescue pug pitbull mix female. I have had problems with dog and animal agression with both my bostons. My Male Boston killed my cat and kills squirals. He doesn't like small fluffy dogs either. Otherwise he get along well with other breeds. My female starts fights with my resue dog and will go after my male boston when he has a seizure (he's epileptic). She tries to kill him and has no limits. I have them separated when I'm not around but most seizures occur at night. My Bostons love people and have never showed a sign of aggression towards a human. They love to cuddle and give kisses. I've had many dogs throughout my life but no dog has so many emotions like my bostons. I think they have strong hunter and chase instincts. Plus they require an enormous amount of attention and get jeolous easily. I think bad breeding practices also play apart. I found it's best to keep them away from other dogs and give them long walks to tire them out. I also have lots of toys, balls, and chews.

Jan 25, 2011
Lover and a Fighter
by: Anonymous

Boston Terriers were originally bred for fighting. They were later bred down to be companions. However, I have definitley heard numerous stories of that latent aggression gene coming back to "bite". I have a very sweet 10 pound Boston who accidently bit my finger, sending me to the hospital for about 11 stitches. She was in a situation that was not her normal environment and had some food aggression with another part Boston mix. They started going at it and she wouldn't back down. Not thinking, I went to break it up because she is usually so sweet and passive and she bit me. She was very upset afterwards. But that's when I started researching the breed for aggression and learned about their bred to fight beginnings. Sweet, loving dogs...you just have to remember that they are animals and unfortunatly were originally selected to breed based on an aggressive component in their ancestors.

Nov 22, 2010
Aggressive female spayed Boston
by: Anonymous

I have to admit I find some relief in seeing that I am not the only one who has an aggressive BT.... But is not relief at all in reality..if you know what I mean. We rescued her when she was approx. 2 and we already had our 10 years old male boxer/pitbull mix who was (unfortunately he is now dead...) the sweetest and more ZEN animal I have ever had in my life (he was also a rescued dog from a very abusive situation...scars and numerous foster homes..so that goes to prove that abused dogs can be rehabilitated). When we adopted the female BT for her it was love a first sight with our boxer/pit constantly licking his face and ears and wanting to be next to him. For him it was more acceptance and calm behavior (we later found out that at the point he was already terminally ill unfortunately and he never showed us any sign of his problem...How brave and strong was my boy..) Anyway, when he died at first she did not show any apparent sadness (another very brave and strong dog, she never cries, she never whines, she never complains even when she is very sick) when he died, but only later on, when she started looking for him around the house,which was even more heartbreaking than his death at that point. With passing time she became increasingly aggressive towards other dogs (all size and breeds, but particularly towards fluffy white dogs small and large and towards female boxers that resemble our beloved boxer/pit). We tried many techniques (some suggested by Cesar Milan, like turning her around and let the other dogs smell her) but nothing has worked and the only solution is to keep her away from other dogs on out walks and picking her up when "bumping" into some dogs suddenly otherwise she attacks and bites the other dog. The crazy part of all this ordeal that after 2 years from the death of our boxer/pit (in the meantime we grieved and tried to foster some boxers with no success because she was not accepting them...) we adopted a boxer puppy and she accepted him and loves him dearly, although she is very aggressive towards any dog coming close to him and guards him with her life...(she is 17 lbs and he is 85 lbs...LOL) What can you say? I love her with my life and I just think that she was spoiled and never socialized with other dogs and the loss of our other dog just made things worse in her little mind..We are doing our best to avoid problems and keep loving her....

Sep 07, 2010
Help
by: Jamie

I have a 3 yr. old male BT who viciously attacks the other male BT in the house. They have lived together for 8 months and the vicious attacks have taken a turn for the worse. I think he wants to kill the other dog. He gets lock jawed and will not stop. He nearly tore my other dog's leg off. I have spent countless hours and money trying to change him. He is currently medicated on clomocalm and xanax. I think I am going to put him down and it breaks my heart.

Jul 25, 2010
Shocked at Boston
by: Anonymous

Two days ago my 8-year-old female Boston killed my 9-year-old chihuahua. In the past she had gone after him, but overall the two genuinely adored one another. Needless to say I'm horrified, stunned and sad. Most of all I'm completely befuddled as to why and how she could do this.

Jul 11, 2010
Male neutered Boston killed neutered Rat Terrier
by: Karen

My male neutered 7 yr. old Boston & 2 female tiny Bostons killed my neutered 7 ry. old Rat Terrier. We are devastated trying to understand what triggered this attack. They were in backyard w/ backdoor open to come in. WHY? We are broken hearted at our loss and to know our 3 dogs are killers.

Apr 25, 2010
heartbroken after vicious attack
by: So sad.

Just trying to get some help understanding why my 2 yr. old female boston killed my small chihauhua. I have 2 bostons, one is 10 and the other is 2. I came home, to find them both drenched in blood and my beloved crippled(female) chihauhau torn to shreds in my livingroom. extremely horrifying. I am devastated! I don't understand, why ? I am having a hard time even looking at my 2 bostons. Please let me know how to get over this.

Apr 20, 2010
BT aggressive
by: Anonymous

I have a 4 yr old male BT, he used play well with other dogs and now he aggressive towards male/female dogs, I have ideas what to do but i don't know which one is the best one for him, he is great wonderful dog wouldn't trade him for the world, but i have another concern to does BT get a lock jaw when biting other animals

Mar 29, 2010
My boston terrier
by: Anonymous

I have had my boston terrier for almost two years. He is the most sweetest thing on this planet. But one thing that eats at him is when you play with him with your hands. He acts like he is scared of them and he paws at them and barks. I don't know whats wrong with him. Because my uncle got one to and he doesn't do that. So I don't know whats wrong with him. If any one has a answer. Please tell me!!!

Jul 29, 2009
Our little BT has turned aggresive towards our other dog.
by: Anonymous

We have a BT that just turned a year old and a rat terrier that will be three very soon. The BT has just recently started violently attacking the other dog. We are at a loss as what to do. We had the BT nuetered and my son, ( who is the actual owner of the dogs) has been doing behavioral training with him with the help of muzzles so they don't rip each other apart! The rat terrier never starts the fights but he will defend himself when the BT comes after him. I don't think it is going to help. Does anyone out there have any knowledge of a situation similar to ours that has been resolved? We love these two dogs like a family member and couldn't stand to have to get rid of our BT. But on the other hand, it's not far to our rat terrier who has the most gentle soul not to mention having to make sure we keep the dogs apart at all times except when my son is trying to rehabilitate the BT. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Jul 29, 2009
Mine too
by: Anonymous

My 10 year old male Boston Terrier became aggressive with other dogs at around 6 years old. He has dug his way out of a fenced in yard to attack a Labrador, and when he is on a leash he growls when other dogs pass by and has wiggled out of his collar and attacked a different Labrador. We dog sit for two shih tzus and he gets along with them fine, however, seems annoyed by them. My mother has a Dachshund that he spends Mon-Fri with every week and they get along like best friends (and the Dachshund is the boss). I can take him into the groomer's and get his nails done, and he doesn't even seem to notice the other five or so dogs in the same room as him. It is definitely territorial, so since I love this otherwise extremely submissive dog I go to great lengths to ensure he is not pried out of my cold dead hands by animal control.

May 25, 2009
Aggressive Boston Terrier
by: Bernice

I had written earlier about 3 ways to deal with an aggressive Boston Terrier. I would like to add that these dogs do need exercise. I suggest that you either walk your dog or get a human treadmill & train her to walk on it.

Get her used to it by putting treats on it when it's not on. After she gets used to it, put her leash on her & turn it on to the lowest setting & give treats. Slowly increase the speed, over a period of time, that she is comfortable with. Cesar suggests a 20 minute jog, twice a day will keep your dog happy. See his site, that I mentioned before, to see how to go about it. I only gave you brief directions on it.

REMEMBER: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE ON THE TREADMILL!!! AND DO NOT LET YOUR BOSTON OVER EXERT HERSELF!!!

May 22, 2009
Response to Aggressive Boston Terrier
by: Bernice

I've been a Pit Bull owner for 34 years & have dealt with dog aggression for many years. You may be wondering why I'm on this site, well, I just got my first Boston. I have 2 Pits. One accepts her & the other is aggressive towards her.

You have to understand that the Bostons & the Pits do have some common ancestors, which means that you can see characteristics of each breed in the other. I?ve seen Pit Bulls born with a Boston tail; but I?ve also seen Pit Bulls that weren?t dog aggressive.

Now to get to your problem, some dogs will show dog aggression around the age of your dog. You also didn?t mention whether or not she is spayed. If she isn?t & you don?t plan to breed her, get her spayed.

There are several options that you can do to help with this problem:

#1. Talk to an obedience trainer & see if they can help with the problem. Make sure that they use positive re-enforcement. It may do well if the others get the same obedience. You may also find out just exactly how the dynamics of your ?pack? is working & work through it. I always recommend spending good money for obedience for any dog whether you?re having a problem or not.

I also recommend that you check out Cesar Millan?s website: http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/. He?s worked with aggressive dogs & has many books, DVDS & columns dealing with dog problems. I?ve gotten many tips from him & I think that he?s contributed quite a bit of training to & understanding dog behavior.

#2. You can do what we call the ?Pit Bull shuffle?. That?s where you keep the dogs separated with baby gates or crates & switch them around to spend time with you, etc. Unfortunately, it creates more stress in the house & any mistake & you have a dog fight on your hands. Also, it?s not fair to the dogs.

#3. This is the hardest, is to find another home for her, one where she is the only dog. I know that it can be heart wrenching, but in the long run but it would be for the best. Luckily, the breed is popular that you would be able to find a good home for her.

I do recommend that you try #1 along with #2 & see if you can get a handle on things. #3 should only be a last resort.

Good Luck & post updates on how things are going.

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