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We have a puppy - 5 months old - we've had him for two months and he just tried to bite my 6 year old! He left tooth scratches on his neck - I am so upset!

I was sitting right there, and all my son did was go to hug him - he didn't even get to hug him before he turned, growling and bit him.

Last night, he did the same thing towards my 11 year old - all he was trying to do was get him into the family room!

I can not have this - I have 3 kids and a dog that bites is unacceptable.

Pleas be honest with me, can this behavior be fixed? I love my puppy, but I love my kids more, so if there is anything I can do to fix this aggression I am willing to try it.
 

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Sometimes it can be fixed, but you may need professional help who can observe the pup/child interactions. From what you've written it is hard to say why the pup did what ever he did to the 11 year old. Could be resource guarding, could be inappropriate play. I will say that hugging a dog makes many dogs uncomfortable to the point that if the human ignores his lesser protests, a bite may occur
 

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What have you been doing since you got rid of the last trainer? Did you find a better one to help you? Have you been managing your dog's discomfort with closeness or resource issues?

All of this can be better, but since you know your pup has a few issues, why are your kids still hugging him or moving him?

You pup may still be a little "rocked" by your prong collar trainer.

Are you able to work with the pup and give him some space from your kids until he's made some progress? Are your kids willing to assist in training by not hugging or pushing on him?

Problems like this can certainly be worked out, but it's going to take a household effort. Your kids won't be training, but they need to back off or handle the puppy differently. If they can't do that, you might be better served re-homing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have not brought him to a new trainer yet... in all honesty after our last experience I am little gun shy. I believe that Braxton feels he is higher in the "pack" than the kids. I don't have much experience with dogs, so I am not sure how to address this. As for his growling at my 11 year old, the dog wanted to be where I was, and since he couldn't I asked my son to bring him to the family room and I guess Braxton didn't like that idea.

Braxton pulls no crap with my husband or I, it's just the kids. We can carry him, hug him to pieces, take toys from him, anything we want and he does nothing. If the kids were to do any of this, he growls and now the first bite :(

I want to keep him, but I need to know that this behavior can be fixed.
 

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I remember reading in a book that dogs that "hug" each other, paws going over the front part of the body is a signal for dominance. Your dog might've been thinking your kids were dominating him. I took it slow when I first got Luke; I would talk to him as I put my arms a bit around his neck. Then I just furthered the process as I slowly talked quietly. He's fine with me hugging him now.

Maybe your kids can help with Braxton's training. Give them treats and teach them how you and your husband do it. Maybe your dog will see how they're leaders and he's not. Your dog could also be jealous of your kids getting the attention and he's not, either way don't reward that. The behavior sounds like it can be corrected; just ask a trainer or take it very slowly when you go to hug your dog. Good luck.
 

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I agree with Pawzk it might be best to seek professional help. It's really hard to tell from your description what triggered the behavior. Your pup is around the age of going through a flight period and maybe the start of his second fear imprint period so that could be playing a part.

http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/DevelopmentalStages.html
http://www.doglistener.co.uk/puppies/criticalperiods.shtml

ETA: Your kids should not be physically moving the dog. Either teach your pup to respond to a come/here command that your kids can perform or put him on a leash so they don't have to physically manipulate him or grab his collar.
 

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Please, whatever you do, go to a trainer that promotes positive methods and not another prong collar toting trainer. I have no doubt that the prong collar has exacerbated the situation with your puppy.
 

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:(

I want to keep him, but I need to know that this behavior can be fixed.
I don't think anyone can tell you with 100% certainty that yes, this behavior can be fixed on an email forum. You need to do your homeword re: dog trainers. Interview them re their philosophy, the equipment they regularly use and ask to sit in on a session or class.
 

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Stop having your kids hug your dog. You are asking for them to get bitten. Many dogs do not like hugs. It is considered to be an aggressive act to them. Your dog is not feeling that he is higher in the pack. Kids in general can make dogs uncomfortable, because they have higher pitched voices, are noisy, have rapid jerky movements, and don't read their body language when they are uncomfortable.

You need to supervise all interactions with your kids and dog. You may have told the kid to get the dog, and he walked up and tried to grab him, which can scare them and make them fearful. If you were watching the kids try to hug him, you should have stopped your kid from doing that.

Dogs need to learn to like and trust kids. The only way they can do that is to have all positive interactions with them, which means you supervise all actions. As the adult, you need to learn to read dog body language and if the dog starts to look at all uncomfortable, remove kids from the situation. Dogs can show their discomfort by a stiffened posture, wide eyes, tail down, looking away, yawning, sneering, etc. Your dog doesn't trust your kids right now, so supervise them, at all times with him. they should be giving him treats when they approach. Calling him, and giving him a treat when he comes, playing fetch, etc. Not hugging him or trying to pick him up or move him.
 

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Spotted Nikes, I agree completely. I've seen so many dogs relinquished to the shelter for biting a child when the child was hugging, climbing on the dog, pulling the dog's ears, pulling the tail, etc. All things that could have been avoided if the children were properly supervised and also taught that they are not to do such things to a dog.
 

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he is just five mos old! give him a bit of a break, he might have started teething & is moody because of that. just like human babies, pups begin teething at this age & it also can make them unconfortable, i would take him to the vet for a check up to make sure there isnt a reason for his sudden aggression. where did you get him from? is he from a breeder? if so what kind, was the breeder reputable? or is he shelter/ rescue? info like that will help us since we casnt see the dog or see what /how hes acting. Not judging either way.

i would instruct your kids NOT under any circumstances to hug, grab, pick up, pull him, push him or anything else that he could precieve as threatening right now until this behavior is curbed or he could develop such a distrust of them that he will never get over it. pups also tend to develop a 2nd fear stage around this time so it could also be this. have the kids walk by him & toss a yummy treat to him asw they keep walking. if they do interact (i would exclude the young ones from this) make sure it is closely supervised & interviene at any sign of calmiung signals (google this & you'll findd a wealth of info) such as a wide frightened eye known as a 'whale eye' , stiff body lingo, freezing or stiffening posture & such or growling; that is doggish for "im not comfortable with this". also at NO point should growling should be punished, growling is not a bad thing BC it is the dogs way if saying "please stop, [unsert behavior] is making me unfomfortable"
 
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