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Discussion Starter #1
I have this problem with one of my dogs, a whippet x kelpie. She is additionally a shelter dog with many other issues.

If my son whines in a high pitched voice or screams in a similar voice, our dog with rush over and supervise while growling quietly. This enormously unnerves my son, who often starts to cry. In other circumstances they are close buddies, cuddling up together on the floor.

How can I redirect my dogs actions or do I desensitize her?
 

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It could be that your dog is trying to correct your son for exhibiting unstable behavior. I can imagine that this is stressful for you guys. Maybe if the dog saw your son as a leader in the family it might stop trying to correct him. I'd try working their bond, having your son do some simple training with the dog and having him hold the leash when walking. HERE's a website my kids like that teaches some simple tricks. You could also support this by correcting the dog when he growls.

How old is your son? If he is not a toddler, you could also try to stop him from whining and screaming. This is a behavior that is not tolerated in our house. If you want to whine or scream here you can do it in your own room with the door shut. Just like we don't give affection to excited dogs we don't negotiate with whiny children. Obviously if this is a baby or toddler this would not apply. :)
 

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It's entirely possible the dog thinks you're hurting him and that's why he's making that awful noise. My old dog used to get between me and my niece when she would cry. "I like you and all, but I can't let you harm the younguns, ma'am." is what he seemed to be saying.

Do you have someone who could help you train with this? It seems you could go one of two ways. Either desensitize and counter condition the dog to the noise, or train a "go to mat" command. That way the dog won't react and if she does, you can have her go to a specific spot away from the child. Or both, actually. A "go to mat" command is quite useful overall, anyway, so yeah, train that.

This is about desensitizing to other dogs, but the theory is the same.

This is kikopup explaining the go to mat command:
 

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It's entirely possible the dog thinks you're hurting him and that's why he's making that awful noise. My old dog used to get between me and my niece when she would cry. "I like you and all, but I can't let you harm the younguns, ma'am." is what he seemed to be saying.

Do you have someone who could help you train with this? It seems you could go one of two ways. Either desensitize and counter condition the dog to the noise, or train a "go to mat" command. That way the dog won't react and if she does, you can have her go to a specific spot away from the child. Or both, actually. A "go to mat" command is quite useful overall, anyway, so yeah, train that.

This is about desensitizing to other dogs, but the theory is the same.

This is kikopup explaining the go to mat command:
Buddy does something similar, when one of the horses I'm around gets excited (they're yearlings so it happens a lot lol) he will rush to the stall door with this look like "hey, you ok, you need help?" I'm sure it's something like that, also kelpies are like the ultimate herding dog, a screaming child is like unruly livestock, & it plays on their instinct to control the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
At this point I am thinking that getting my 7 year old son involved in the training is going to be the best path. Either desensitizing our dog or getting her to "go to mat" is going to be hard to implement as fast as she gets excited.
 

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Screaming can trigger dog's prey drive, because it can sound like an injured animal. Do not let your dog be around your kid if he starts screaming.
Personally a whining, screaming kid would set me on edge too, and I'd want to growl and shut it up as well...
 

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At seven if your son doesn't have any underlying issues, he should be able to go to his room to whine and fuss. I know it's not always easy, but figure out the triggers (my son is almost seven and when he's tired he'll have tantrums, if we rush him to get things done he'll have them as well) and make the rule he goes to his room to whine.

With the dog, be prepared and redirect her from stepping in to correct him. Get her attention and work on her ignoring his whining while you deal with getting him to go to his room.
 
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