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I know that she is not trying to hurt any of us. But, she is jumping and scratching leaving bleeding scratches on our four kids. My poor 5 year old son is fearful of her because of this. I feel so bad, for them and her. In addition she is nipping and ripping the girls' clothing. Ahhhh... Help?

If it helps, we have been working on "come", "off" and "sit" with her. She does really well with them all until she is fixated and then it all seems to fly out the window and she just wants to play... but not in a fun way for the family.

HELP! Please forgive me but we are a novice dog-owning family and really want to do right by our sweet girl.
 

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That's an aussie in the picture, right? Running after and nipping children is perfectly normal for herding breeds. Basically, the dog sees a running child as a sheep that needs to be herded and acts accordingly.

For all of this, the jumping, the chasing, the nipping, you need to use the same basic technique: ignore bad behavior, praise good behavior. When she jumps on you, stop and ignore her. Look away from her deliberately and do not look back until she has all four paws on the floor. She will figure out that jumping gets her nothing, while sitting gets her attention.

When she chases the children, they need to stop and ignore her. By running away, they trigger her herding instincts and make things worse. When she nips, they need to yelp loudly and then ignore her.

Really, your children and your dog should never be unsupervised together. If you can't actively watch them interact, she needs to be in a pen or crate or another room. Put a short leash on her while they play so you can grab the leash and redirect any unwanted behavior. Don't wait for her to jump or bite, grab her before she does so and have her do what you'd like instead, sit, for example.

So really practice sit. Really, really practice hardcore everywhere in every situation. It takes a long time to get commands completely down, but it will be helpful in these situations.

You have to be consistent, keep in mind. If she only has to sit or stop sometimes, she'll keep jumping, chasing and nipping.
 

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Great feedback and advice in Amaryllis' post.

There's also a sticky 'The Bite Stops Here' that will probably help a lot.

I don't trust dogs and kids together! One reason- my 8yo son, after being told repeatedly and for months not to pet Sacha on the head coming over the top from the front, walked up to her when he was leaving for school and did just that.

I've de-sensitized her to this, but in the past she would growl. (She didn't today) But I know she really hates this, which is why I have warned him repeatedly.

So I only write all of that to say that I always supervise their interactions, and the dogs need a place to get away from the kids and vice-versa.



That's an aussie in the picture, right? Running after and nipping children is perfectly normal for herding breeds. Basically, the dog sees a running child as a sheep that needs to be herded and acts accordingly.

For all of this, the jumping, the chasing, the nipping, you need to use the same basic technique: ignore bad behavior, praise good behavior. When she jumps on you, stop and ignore her. Look away from her deliberately and do not look back until she has all four paws on the floor. She will figure out that jumping gets her nothing, while sitting gets her attention.

When she chases the children, they need to stop and ignore her. By running away, they trigger her herding instincts and make things worse. When she nips, they need to yelp loudly and then ignore her.

Really, your children and your dog should never be unsupervised together. If you can't actively watch them interact, she needs to be in a pen or crate or another room. Put a short leash on her while they play so you can grab the leash and redirect any unwanted behavior. Don't wait for her to jump or bite, grab her before she does so and have her do what you'd like instead, sit, for example.

So really practice sit. Really, really practice hardcore everywhere in every situation. It takes a long time to get commands completely down, but it will be helpful in these situations.

You have to be consistent, keep in mind. If she only has to sit or stop sometimes, she'll keep jumping, chasing and nipping.
 

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Any jumping should be ignored look up the sticky 'be a tree' this works for dogs of all types, when she bites & nips you redirect her biting to a fav toy this can also be done when she starts her herding, if you see her chasing the kids, have the kids stop, then kick a ball to her (also google 'triebbal') so she can redirect her herding instinct on that.

HOS much exercise is she getting? If its a 30min walk once a day that is t going to cut it, I would try getting her into herding (not sure how old they have to be).
 
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