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Thread: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Hello, I’m new to the forum and also new to the frenchie and bully breed dogs. I adopted a Frenchie who was slated to be put down by a man who imports Frenchies from the Ukrain. While my question is behavioral, I’m going to give you a little background Incase any of it has clues that may help.

    Bruno came to the states with double ear infections, pneumonia, eye infections, a bad case of demodex, and he has focused tremors. I’m not sure if he was born with the tremors or if they are due to the importer kicking him in the face, which fractured his skull. The vet that received him has been very generous in treating Bruno under their in-house insurance plan, costing me very little ($6.50/week) With the help of antibiotics, ear and eye drops, and breathing treatments, his infections are all cleared up. We are currently on week four of the demodex treatments, which consists of a mitaban dip, ivermectin vaccine, and 14 days of antibiotics for skin infections. The vet we have him at is worried about using bravecto to treat the demodex because of the tremors and apparently he had a dog go blind from it? I’m tempted to take Bruno elsewhere but if I stop the mitaban treatments and the bravecto doesn’t work, I’ll be left paying $70-$150/week if I go back. The mitaban makes Bruno very agitated and his fur is falling out and his skin gets very red at night. Where the fur has fallen out, his skin has started to become chapped.

    Also because of the demodex, we are not able to get Bruno’s puppy shots. We believe (from the importer) that Bruno had all but his 12-week shots before he was shipped overseas but we don’t have any official documentation proving this. Because of this, we are not able to socialize Bruno outside of our home. He is currently 18 weeks old, he’ll be 30 weeks by the time he can have his vaccinations if the demodex treatment winds up going the full 16 weeks... then we decide if we do all the puppy shots or just the final ones that he should have had at 12 weeks. So it’s going to be awhile until he can leave the house.

    So on to the behavioral issues: Bruno seems to have become very attached to me, if my husband touches Bruno while He is on my lap or near me, Bruno growls and sometimes go on the attack to whoever is nearby, including my husband. That being said, we vegged out yesterday with me, my husband, and Bruno all on the sofa and Bruno was fine all day long, even snuggling up with husband most the day. Then this morning, he is back on the attack! If I am not near Bruno, he is fine with my husband and sister, although he is pretty nasty with anyone who comes through the door.

    Whenever Bruno has an attitude with anyone, which includes the smallest growl, I have been throwing him off me, tell him “Naughty!” (I’m not using “No” as it’s in his name and sounds confusing), and then I ignore him for 20-30 minutes.

    If he is nasty towards people while not near me, we shake a can that has coins in it and tell him “Naughty!” That seems to grab his attention and it works... for a few minutes and then he is back at it.

    I’ve tried putting him in his crate but I’m not sure about this because I don’t like using the crate as a punishment and he barks the whole time he is in there, which also punished me.

    What should I actually be doing to stop this behavior? How long will it take? Might it stop when the mitaban treatments are done? I do plan to neuter him soon as I can but I don’t know when that will be because of his weak immune system... not sure if that will help?

    Thanks for any help! I am desperate as I can’t have a dog trying to attack everyone, if I can’t fix this I will have to rehome him

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frenchie Grrrl's Avatar
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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    I don't have any immediate advice for the behavioral stuff, but I'm sure others will. Sounds like he's had an extremely tramatic life, so it's not surprising. Plus, like you said, it could be the medications making him feel more agitated.

    As far as the vaccines go, i'd have your vet run titers. It may be that he's already immune between his puppy shots and any natural exposure. I would not recommend vaccinating or neutering a sick animal.

    You could try a Bach flower remedy, like Rescue Remedy, for the agitation and agression. They make one specifically for pets.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Frenchie Fanatic's Avatar
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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    I cannot offer much advice. Bruno has certainly gone through some terrible trauma.
    I just wanted to say you're awesome and must have a heart the size of Texas
    to take on a little fellow with so many health issues like this. Thank you for trying to help Bruno.
    I certainly wish you and Bruno much success.
    Many wonderful, knowledgeable folks here.
    Hopefully all will work out well.
    Best regards,


  4. #4
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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Thanks guys! I'm doing the best I can and I love this little guy, hoping I can get this fixed so I can keep him. He does play really well with my other two dogs, a Brittany and a Deutch Drahthaar so that's a relief. I just need him to be nice to humans.

    Frenchie Grrrl, thank you for the tip about the titers test, I hadn't heard of that before and the vet hasn't mentioned it as an option either. I'll see if I can get Bruno tested when I take him in this Thursday I'll also order some Rescue Remedy to see if that works, I'll try anything at this point!

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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    to FBN! It sounds like you are doing all you can for sweet Bruno both physically and emotionally. Do you feed him? If so have your husband feed him. He may have a fear of men because the man that imported him abused him. Bless you for taking on this baby! Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Kable View Post
    to FBN! It sounds like you are doing all you can for sweet Bruno both physically and emotionally. Do you feed him? If so have your husband feed him. He may have a fear of men because the man that imported him abused him. Bless you for taking on this baby! Good luck!
    Thanks Alice I feed him and my husband feeds him as well, I don't know if it's fear of men because like I said, Bruno will be fine with my husband for several hours and then all of a sudden he flips out... I have no idea what's going on, it would probably be easier to figure out if he was consistently mean to my husband or anyone else.

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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    I'd try to make sure your dog knows you are alpha. Practice "nothing in life is free" where dog has to earn their rewards. Dog Training: Nothing in Life is Free : The Humane Society of the United States You may find it helpful getting a trainer.

  8. #8
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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Thanks! I did read that earlier today and am definitely going to use that, because it also looks like a way of rewarding a dog other than giving them treats for doing something, which I like. I do have to get him trained on what things are/mean first though. If doing this helps then that would be amazing! I was also looking at clicker training and behavior training with something like the "Doggie Don't Device" or I saw another one called "Stop that!"...

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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Welcome!! So wonderful for you to rescue Bruno! I would look into clicker training to help establishing yourself as alpha. He's had a rough start to his life so maybe hiring a personal trainer will be the way to go to get him to be kinder to humans. Good luck!!!
    Follow my clown dogs on IG: @squishywalnuts

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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Welcome to you and Bruno! God bless you for rescuing this baby and healing him inside and out.

    My husband and I tend to just veg with our dogs - watch tv and pet them, etc. Maybe to stop aggressive behaviors, how about if your husband and sister established frequent play sessions with him? Nothing that reinforces territoriality or aggression like rope pulling or rough housing, etc., but maybe like fetch or three-way fetch where he has a task and it is all positive. I think this can establish that the human "owns" the ball and has the power and there is only fun and kindness. If he brings the ball to the human(s), he is a "good boy" and play continues. If he guards it or keeps the ball, then play stops until he relinquishes. Also, maybe you can teach him tricks and reward him with treats or praise. I think keeping his mind stimulated is good. They love to please and love to be fussed over. Maybe your husband can walk him?

    Good luck; please keep us posted.

  11. #11
    Junior Member dermich's Avatar
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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Second the titers, more vaccinations will not help his demeanor or skin issues.
    After all the drugs and treatments this dog needs liver detox and good food.
    Likely a lot of attitude could tame down after good health is established.

    The other advise is time and the dog learning to trust you and see you as the leader.

    FYI, Most vets won't bring up Titers or will over charge for them.

    I would stay away from ALL Vaccines including Rabies.
    And especially any "optional" vaccines - Lepto, Bordetella, Lyme, etc...

  12. #12
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    Re: Frenchie pup with big attitude problems!

    Thanks guys! Here is where I am at:

    Like dermich said, several of the vets I called do not offer titer testing, the ones that did, charged ~$250 for them. I was able to find a vaccination clinic that offers titer testing, which I went and had done this last Sunday, it was only $65. I have to wait for the results which should be in 3-5 days. I have him on FirstMate puppy food, I just went with that because I feed my other dogs FirstMate Senior Weightloss because well, they are seniors and also one has a whole list of food allergies so I don't have a lot of options. The food has been better than others I have tried.... fewer firmer stools, nice coat, etc. I don't plan to vaccinate Bruno until well after his demodex has cleared up, and that's if he even needs it after the titer results.

    Regarding the demodex, his skin seems to be doing a lot better! his fur is coming back in the spots that it fell out and is less red overall. I did his mitaban 2 days late (I usually do them every Saturday but got busy and did it Monday) and his attitude had really improved in those two days. Sunday he didn't growl at my husband even once! I dipped Bruno yesterday and then this morning there was some slight growling. Also today he wants me to hold him constantly... he's in my lap as I type. This all really makes me feel a lot better, I'm confident that once he is off the mitaband and ivermectin that he will be a happy and friendly dog!

    We had a veg out day with my husband and Bruno on Sunday as well, watched a whole season of the great British baking show and taught Bruno "sit". He's definitely food motivated so I think training will be easy-ish. I just need him to focus on me and not the treats so much lol!

    Thank you all for your support and the information, especially about he titers, I'm really hoping that they come back positive!

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