Bull Terrier - reactive, fearful in and around my apartment. Even more-so at night.

Baxter is fairly well adjusted. He's 2 years old and I've had him since he was 8 weeks old. I've used the NILF method and basic obedience to keep him in check but lately he's been having problems.

When he was younger I noticed he was afraid of children (at times) so I socialized him with kids. He was fine, and as he grew we had to move from South America to NYC. In our new home he once started growling at my friends coming in and I noticed he was becoming more defensive.

Then I moved again to the west coast, and in my new apartment he seems to be worse. At night he growls at all strangers. A neighbor's dog nipped him or ticked him off once and he has become EXTREMELY reactive to the other dog. When he sees their dog he is uncontrollable and if he broke the leash I fear for what could happen.

He also went to nip someone who stooped to pet him face-to-face. Thankfully I had him in a nylon muzzle.. but how can I readjust him?

Night time and our parking lot are real trouble areas..

Asked by Baxter on Nov 13th 2012 Tagged fearaggression, night, defensive in Behavior & Training
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Kali earned her wings 10/21/14

You said it happens mostly at night. Are you sure he sees ok? The light at night is dimmer than during the day.

Kali earned her wings 10/21/14 answered on 11/13/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You are pretty much describing a mature bull terrier's nature. Did you do any breed research prior to purchasing him? They are not the friendly neighborhood Labrador and were not bred with that in mind.
I would find a good behaviorist to help you learn to handle him safely. Try contacting his breeder...a good breeder should help you with living with a bull terrier.
Good luck!

Member 641257 answered on 11/13/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Bull Terriers are dog aggressive so it's common for them to be reactive towards other dogs. If he's nipping and biting people, that's a very bad sign. Bull Terriers aren't human aggressive and shouldn't be human aggressive. Take him to the vet and have the vet check him out to see if a serious health problem is causing his behavior. If nothing is wrong with his health, take him to a professional trainer who's experienced with bully breeds, if this does not work, you'll have to decide whether or not to put him to sleep. Like I said, bully breeds should never be human aggressive and if they are, they are always usually put to sleep (if they're in the right hands, of course).

Member 930032 answered on 11/15/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer