My husband has a 10 year old pug named Ralph with serious aggression issues. Prior to our relationship, whenever he would come and go out the front door, Ralph would charge snarling, barking and attempting to bite. My husband's solution was to throw food at the dog so he would run the other way and he could escape out the door. After we got married about a year ago, I instilled some discipline with the dog he no longer charges at the door, except once in a while he slips up.
But he is still very aggressive, especially regarding toys or food. He has bitten my husband and I multiple times. We have two other dogs and I have to keep Ralph locked up while I feed the other dogs. If I don't he inhales his food, and then bites the other dogs until they run away and then he can devour their food as well.
My frustration is that although I exert disciple towards the pug, my husband won't. Last night he bit my husband again when he was trying to to look at his paw and finally he scolded the dog. But he has no problem disciplining the other two dogs. I think because he has had the pug for so many years and he failed to institute training so he feels like the pug is a lost cause that needs to be managed.
Anytime we walk by children or strangers, he growls and charges. When I'm walking him now, he won't do it as much, but if my husband is walking him all bets are off.
My concern is we are going to be having children in the near future, and I can just see a toddler walking around with a cracker in hand and Ralph knocking the kid over, biting him and stealing the cracker.
I am a huge animal lover (have two other dogs and a horse), but I'm at my wits end with this dog. I've never had a dog that intentionally charges and bites at humans. I've talked to dog trainers, but because of his age they told me that his behaviors are sort of set in stone.
Admittedly a lot of the fault lies with my husband, not the dog, for never training him or socializing him until the age of ten. I warned him that if he bites one our children, he has to go. I won't stand for it.
I've thought of giving him to another home, preferably a childless one, but with his age it might be difficult to rehome him. Or we have to manage him by keeping him separated from the other dogs and kids. But I'm constantly afraid of being bitten in my own home.
I hope you won't be offended but surely if the dog attacks people it should be put to sleep. To have to toss a dog food to get past the front door is crazy!!
There is NO way you could have a dog like this have children.......it's a news story waiting to happen. Sorry
The sad part is that it's probably not the dogs fault.
Unfortunately these kind of problems can become deal breakers in a relationship. We are currently going through this with a former foster of mine who was adopted out 4 years ago. The dog is now 11 years old and has severe arthritis, making him cranky. the fellow who adopted him adores the pug and in truth has spoiled him rotten. He recently moved in with a lady and her young children and the pug bit one of the children on the lip bad enough to require internal and external stitches. She insisted the dog be put down immediately. He insisted not. he claims the child was not respectful of the dog and she says if a dog bites my kid, he has to go.
it evidently got to the point that the woman let the dog out when he was gone at work, he was furious, they got into a huge fight and broke up and now have mutual restraining orders against one another. Thankfully the pug was picked up and the man reclaimed him.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
- Mohandas Gandhi
Wow. I think first and foremost everyone has to be on the same page. Pugs, or any dog, are like kids. If you are inconsistent in the training and discipline, it only confuses them and they learn nothing. I would not, and could not, just put a dog to sleep for what you are describing here. I had to deal with my Mom's Shih Zsu who was one agressive little SOB when I got him. He bit me one time so badly he broke several veins in my hand. I certainly thought about putting him to sleep that time. But I didn't and eventually I learned ways to ease his fears and phobias and he learned that I would have my way on the things that mattered most to me. I lived alone so it was a consistent process. First I would tell your husband how you feel. If he is not willing to do what you do with the dog so that he learns he can't get away with anything when your husband is in charge any more than he can get by with it when you are, I think that is going to be your biggest problem. I would tell your husband if he really loves the dog, he needs to do this so the dog can have many more years in your family. You are right, it would really be bad to try to rehome him now. Some rescues might not want to place him given his aggressive behavior. I don't buy for a minute either that the dog is too set in his ways to change. Baloney. Instead of a regular trainer, is there any chance of talking to a behavorlist (sp)? Also I would check out anything that you can find that Victoria Stillwell might have about aggressive behavior. I think she has some wonderful ideas. Or just google it and see what you can come up with to change the dogs behavior problems. But the most important thing is that your husband and you both have to do the same thing when it comes to any techniques to change the problem. Sorry this got so long. Good luck and keep us posted on what happens.
Tough situation. When a dog behaves that way, very often pain is at the bottom of the problem. Pugs are not prone to agression at all. It's very atypical for a pug to be a biter. Normal pug behaviour is to love everything and everybody. They are typically very tolerant. I have two and neither of them would ever bite me. I could swing them around by the tail (not that I ever would, of course), but they would never retaliate. So, the way your husband's pug is behaving is not normal. Has the dog been checked out by a vet? If he's in some sort of pain, that might be alleviated. That has been known to create amazing changes in dogs.
Also, with a 10 year old pug, I wonder if you really need to worry that much about the dog biting your future children. Even though some live to be 15 or 16 that is not the norm. He's not likely to have more than a couple of years left to live. Why not cross that bridge when you get to it.
Right now, I'd focus on making sure that he's not in pain. After that, I'd continue with training him in a positive manner. Even old dogs can be trained. Positive methods work the best with pugs.
Last edited by Hellas; 04-04-2012 at 03:08 PM.
Proud mama to puggies Winston and Ozzie, Slatan the Cat and Zino the horse.
Let me tell you what the pug has learned. The pug has learned that when your husband leaves, it is time to snarl and bark and then you get a treat thrown to you.
Here, at my house, Holmes despises Moriarty, Moriarty despises Holmes. Col Sebastian Moran tolerates Moriarty but despises Holmes and Holmes despises Col Sebastian Moran.
Start with a sensible vet visit----UTI, eye sight, hearing, and hidden dental problems.
The next time your husband leaves to go shopping, crate the dog. Ignore the commotion, no treats. Just ignore. The pug has found it is profitable to be rotten, and food is the behavior drive all pugs thrive from.
Feed Pugzilla seperately----sequester him in a different room or in his crate with the food available. Let him take his time, don't be in a hurry and don't give extra treats.
Never ask the dogs to share treats, or toys, ain't gonna happen.
Does Pugzilla sleep in your bed. Crate Pugzilla at night. Yes, it is a pug, but a pug is still an animal and biting ain't gonna work.
Fit a harness on problem child, giving you a handle on him during melt downs. Take him for car rides to see the world. It does not resolve around the pug anymore than the sun revolves around the earth.
Discuss taking the beast to obedience, if he learns nothing, he will learn there are other animals.
I don't believe in drugging a dog into good behavior anymore than I believe in drugging ADHD---but there are medical applications.
I can't think of any rescue that knowingly takes a biter, (well, Lisa in California or myself in the Midwest, will) and placing a biter without warning the new owner begs a lawsuit.
Sadly, in many cases, an animal is looking at euthanasia for this behavior. So start with the basics---no pug should be fed in front of other animals, they will do anything to gain the next guy's food bowl. Oh, and never free feed. Feel free to pm me and let me know how this is going.
I'm sorry, I missed seeing if Pugzilla is neutered. If not, give him the two ounce diet plan as soon as possible, being careful to find a vet who can handle the anesthetic and monitor his heart and lungs carefully. It probably won't change his behavior, but neutering does statistically reduce the chance of prostate cancer in dogs. Worthwhile.
Last edited by tall grass pugs; 04-04-2012 at 03:46 PM.
Welcome to the village. I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a problem.You have been given very good advice already. Know you can vent here anytime and keep us posted.
Jackie,Mom to Robbie & Stacy my human children and Tinker my furkid.
I agree with tall grass pug's about everything, except neutering at that age (if not neutered already). In some cases, neutering can cause insecurity in dogs and I think that's about the last thing you need.
Totally true what has been said about the food and treats. Pugs are the most loving things on the planet, but they will do anything for food. Mine are fed together, but I watch them like a hawk until every scrap is finished.
I also agree with letting him see the world. Does he get taken on walks? Even though he's old, he may have excess energy pent up. That can also contribute to bad behaviour.
Proud mama to puggies Winston and Ozzie, Slatan the Cat and Zino the horse.
Hi! Thank you all for your responses. I have been working very diligently with him for the past six months and for the most part when I am home he is fine. He views me as the pack leader.
It is the strangest thing because my ex boyfriend had a pug and he was the sweetest thing. Now Ralph is a puppy mill dog so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. I think the main problem is my husband is in investment banking and so the dog was alone most of the time before we got married. He had a dog sitter but she was a con artist who never took out the dog when she was supposed to. He just was never socialized around people or other dogs.
When I walk him he no longer lunges and tries to bite each stranger that walks by. But yesterday my husband was walking him and he lunged after our neighbor's six year old son and bit the kid's skateboard (thankfully not the child). I saw the whole scene from my yard. My husband didn't even punish Ralph. He just said very lightly, "Oh don't do that Ralph." I am never abusive physically, but I am very firm with him and reprimand Ralph when he tries to bite. The thing is, my husband is very strict with our other two dogs who do not have behavioral issues and our younger. His explanation for the disparity in the discipline between Ralph and the other dogs, is that he feels Ralph is a lost cause and I think he feels guilty about it. He thinks Ralph is his "baby."
Then when we were sitting on the couch, my husband picked up Ralph to try to put him on the couch and he bit him. Ralph's response to anything he doesn't like is to bite. My husband then just said gently, "oh don't do that." I don't feel like he understands the gravity of the situation.
For the most part it is fine when my husband is not home because I keep Ralph separated from the other dogs and Ralph respect my authority. But when my husband is home it is like any respect for his pack leaders is gone.
We live in Southern California so the climate is moderate. We are buying a bigger house with two dog runs, I know pugs are not supposed to be outside but I feel it might be the best option for Ralph so he doesn't bite the workman. I'm just afraid he will bite someone and then he will have to be put down and we will be sued.
Also, he just had a full vet exam and he got an excellent bill of health. My vet said he is the only pug she has ever seen that is not overweight. I keep him in great shape. He has struggled with interdigital cysts. But he has had aggression according to my damn husband since he was young. This is nothing new.....
I read the post about letting the dog out the door.....I hate to admit it has crossed my mind.....
But I wouldn't want him to bite some stranger and I just couldn't bring myself to that....it is not fair to my dog or husband.