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Thread: Bull Arab aggression

  1. #1

    Default Bull Arab aggression

    Hi the misses and i recently adopted a roughly 8 month old bull Arab x. A mate found him in a rather heartbreaking shape whilst checking his pig traps in the bush around town. He couldn't keep him as he all ready owns 2 dogs and lives in town. I have seen him around other dogs and seems fine.

    But in taking him home to my 14 year old kelpie cattle x the older dog has tried to mount him.

    The first day he snapped at him I uped both dogs. Both fell into line.

    I know this is just a dominance thing. But not knowing the new dogs history I am worried that he could really hurt the older dog.

    Since the passing of another dog some years back I havnt really let the kelpie cattle x near other dogs besides my sisters cattle sharpa x.

    So I'm not sure if he understands the social order.

    Can anyone give me info about bull Arabs
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 02-28-2015 at 03:49 PM. Reason: fixed the subject, and put some spaces into the paras

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    I am not really up with bull arabs, but have some recent unsuccessful experience in trying to get two males, to keep the pecking order constant. They were both equally matched in dominance. they were fine with me guiding their behaviour, and interrupting the "stare down". But left to their own devices, at 8pm tumble timb, we had a few spats. That got as serious as a nip once. In thousands of play fights.

    I used a crate till i could trust my 6 month mastiff. It helped the new dog have somewhere totally safe to relax in.

    The need to say Uped to the dogs became less.

    A friend of mine sort of owns one. Its a wild dog that lives on her property. It hunts and kills its own food for gods sakes! But loves my friend, and visits often.
    rabbit cull went down gradually since they had this dog.
    He's huge, and has the shape of the bull Arab. Magnificent dog. Peak fitness. Healthy.

    It took my 2 dogs a year to sort it out between them. Up till then, they had a few spats. Mainly mouth n noise stuff thankfully. No bite contact. It took some work on my part though.
    The bitch ruled the roost. Took him a while to figure out, that every bone, spot in the sun, stuffed toy, was HERS. But get there in the end he did.
    Its a lot of hard work to make this situation work. Only you can know if you have the time and leadership skills i guess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Timmy1902

    Welcome to the forum.

    I don't know a lot about bull arabs - being in South Australia - we occasionally meet something that looks a bit like a bull arab... but we don't have much wild pig hunting around here...

    As best I can tell they're a mix between sight hounds like greyhounds and hunting dogs like great danes and dogs with strong jaws like amstaff, staffies, cattle dogs. So their personality and motivations can be any mix of the character of their various ancesters.

    Cattle dogs have quite the reputation for guarding their human, and being grumpy and crap about sharing. My dog is a cattle dog something and shows signs of this. She's completely horrible to any dog that comes into territory she regards as hers - eg my back yard. If I bring a lost dog home - I can't let her be in the yard with it at all. But she's mostly fine with other dogs on neutral territory. She's not great with puppy farm dogs with no manners but she usually only sends them off in a hurry.

    So your cattle dog x kelpie herding mix owns you and your home and it's going to take a while of careful supervision for your cattle dog to get used to the idea of sharing with the new dog. Make sure your cattle dog gets plenty of attention and praise for being good around the new dog. Make sure the new dog cannot bully the old dog - at all. Sometimes - this can lead to fights to the death and it's usually the older smaller dog that dies. Not something you want to come home to.

    I would keep them separate when you're out for at least a month, maybe three - and supervise any time they're together, stop or interrupt any behaviour you don't want including humping. Pay attention to stares, lip curls, growls, being stiff... means one dog is not comfortable. Time to do something to prevent escalation. There are various ways to do this. One would be to put the naughty or pushy dog outside for a while... Another would be to have two separate spaces, crates or beds far apart in your space and send both dogs to their own space. A crate is very defendable and it's a very stupid dog that will try to take crate space from another dog that isn't willing. But you can shut a dog in their crate if you need to.

    Crates - dogs should be trained to love being in them (a bit like some dogs love jumping in the car) before you shut the gate... food usually helps with this.

    I uped both dogs
    I have no idea what you mean by this. I do know that if you yell at or hit a dog for being naughty (or worse - hours after the naughty event happened) - you're likely to escalate the violence between dogs and humans. But you can (and should) collar grab (this should be trained too) the humping dog and interrupt the behaviour and thought that lead to humping.

    I don't see the point in punishing the dog that snapped at the rude behaviour of the other dog. Humping can hurt quite a bit, and the dog should feel ok about defending itself - a snap is quite a step back from latching on, shaking to death... which is what you might get if you punish and suppress the snap (or growl or stiff stare).

    Focus on what you want both dogs to be doing, and reward them with praise, pats and treats or toys for doing what you want them to do. Interuppt any behaviours you don't want.

    And don't expect too much of the new dog for the first few months. Just keep setting boundaries - gently and in a calm way and do what you can to prevent accidents or bad behaviours.

  4. #4


    Since my post the boys have sorted stuff out. Not much of a peeking order. That get feed apart but at the same time. We give them treats they sit next to each other and both receive treats at the same time. As for toys the older dog gets them. They sleep next to each other. Follow eachother around. But I have noticed they older dog dosnt like anyone's face next to his even mine. He won't look anyone directly in the eye. He dosnt even lick faces. Which I find odd. Well he's never licked my face. But that's a good thing I guess.
    So things are going good. Just trying to get the new dog to stop going up the the neighbours dog. Once he spots or hears any other dog he makes a bee line to them. He dosnt growl or barks at them but makes a playful stance.

  5. #5


    Hi Timmy,

    I had a bull arab x german shepherd who was the most amazing, friendly, social man I have ever had the pleasure of owning. In saying that, he was extremely dog focussed and no amount of prefessional training helped us when he saw or was playing with others! It all went happily out the window lol I have nothing to add to the aggression though as mine never once hinted at anything remotely aggressive even when bailed up by others, and I'm glad your guys have since worked it out! In saying that, he also didn't pay much attention to the body language of other dogs and was determined to play with them whether they wanted to or not. Every other arab I have met appears to be the same unfortunately.

    Good luck with your new boy, I have a super soft spot for arabs. They are beautiful happy souls in the right hands

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Just trying to get the new dog to stop going up the the neighbours dog.
    I use the collar grab game to help my dog make better choices about chasing the neighbour's cat on the other side of the fence. She runs at the fence and jumps on it and sort of bounces off it like those street acrobats.

    So I go up, put the collar on her, hold her until she calms down, let go the collar and see what she does. If she charges the fence again, I just grab the collar again and repeat.

    Usually she gets the message after the second grab. Sometimes she gets it when I go marching up to her. I don't say anything at all. I just tell her good dog when she's calm before I let her go.

    Collar grab foundation game - while you're watching the telly, have about five pieces of something the dog likes (or 10 if there are two dogs). Say the dog's name, grab the collar, stuff a treat in their mouth. Then give the other dog a treat. repeat until no treats left. Try to have a session of that once a week or more often if the dog is new.

    If the dog is a bit shy you have to use really good treats and build up from reaching for the collar to touching it to putting a finger in the collar etc until the dog is happy that collar grabs mean good things.

    Eventually the dog will throw their neck into your hand when you reach out. Then you know you've got it right. And you don't always need to use treats, a good pat, and ear or butt rub works too after the basics are established (you've had about three sessions depending on the dog).

  7. #7


    Just an update. So we have had a lot of good progress between both dogs in the last 2 weeks. The older dog is now doing things he has never done before. Like he would never sit in the tray or even attempt to jump in back seat. I've always picked him up seeing his age. He is sort of starting to at with the new dog even thou he has never really showed interest in playing with other dogs.
    The new dog is really coming out of his shell. Even thou some people mite see it as noughty but he has started to jump up and grab our arms. He dosnt bite down just sort of just puts its mouth on our arm. Training is going well he now sits and waits for his food. Slowly starting to fetch. Walking on the lead is still a bit of a challenge every dog he hears barking he must go and play with it. But I jerk on the lead to bring him line.
    I don't know what happened to him before we got him. But he seems to be terrified of males especially large males. My mate is well over 6ft and yesterday at the river he ran to catch up the dog watched him and tried to run. Safe to say he almost tore my arm off. I use a rack to scratch the older dogs back. Odd I know but he seems to love it. But the new dog ( charle) will bolt. But after showing him he has nothing to worry about he flintches but not bolts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    hi Timmy1902

    I do love an update, I'm glad to read that the new dog is settling in ok.

    My dog - freaks out at anything new or different. Usually she scolds it thoroughly. So things like beach umbrellas, horses (on the beach), boys in hoodies, fallen trees in places that there wasn't one yesterday... all these cop the treatment - and I don't think she had a bad experience with these before she met me, or even after (apart from one horse who failed to read "back off" from the dog and just wanted to say hello... to the same dog that was using the same horse's tail as a swing only ten minutes before. Pretty sure that horse thought it was human and my dog disagreed.

    My dog was only 10 weeks old when I got her so not much time to acquire life long traumas. I think some of the things she hates are more instinctive or overwhelming than bad experience eg crows and big black birds or sillouettes flying over (I swear she has dingo), and traffic (roads with more than two cars) tho she's getting better at this.

    So anything your dog is freaking out about - it may or may not have been a bad experience. The way you deal with it is pretty much the same - start far enough away from it that he can still pay attention to you then go close enough he notices the scary thing and then wait or feed him treats - you know you're too close if he won't take the treats - so get some more distance. Do not offer treats unless he's being completely calm and focussed on you when you ask. If he won't take treats - then long slow pats or strokes of the ears or along the sides and round the chest may help him calm down.

    Scolding him at this point - will give him good reason to be freaked out - ie there is a good chance he will blame the scary thing for his scolding...

    Same sort of thing with jerking on the lead when he wants to play - he may blame the other dog and switch to "I'll get them before they get me (jerk)" ie you make the problem worse. Again you treat it similar to the scary thing- as a distraction but you don't use treats for reward. If he can pay attention to you - you can use praise or you can even give him permission to play (with the other owner's agreement up front) ie any time he wants to play - make it come from you - make him do something like a nice calm sit and attention on you before you let him go play.

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