Dealing with children

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Postby mnp13 » November 21st, 2006, 2:53 pm

Ok, I'm going out on a limb here and posting something I would normally NEVER post because I'm not interested in the normal "do the right thing" crap. Don't bother posting it because it will be a waste of your typing and it may be one of the very very few times I edit posts. Unlike most "popular" opinion, I see a VERY clear line between taught behaviors and temperament based behaviors.

Due to circumstances beyond his control, Riggs has a fear of children. I don't have kids, nor do I have friends with kids so have been unable to work on the problem. His fear of kids has manifested in him growling/ grumbling at my neices as a defensive measure - no hackles, no teeth. If I am right there, he does not do it as often. I hear it as a "please don't get near me" noise, but others don't hear it the same way because they don't know him.

He is not allowed around the kids (or my mom for that matter!) unsupervised, but sometimes mistakes happen and of course holidays are prime chances for those mistakes.

I can not do the "hotdog machine" thing because he has less-than-perfect manners taking things from hands. He is fine if he is fed properly, but often gets skin if you feed him directly using your fingers. It's not aggression or anything like that, it's just rudeness. He has mostly stopped it with me, but sometimes gets other people's fingers. It's not "biting" or I would be missing body parts. ;)

If my middle neice sits next to him on the floor and pets him quietly, he looks to me for direction but doesn't move or show any uncomfortable behaviors. He doesn't wany my younger neice near him and the oldest doesn't really want to be around him anyway.

I'd like some ideas on how to deal with this. I'm sure others have been in the same situation at some point.
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Postby SisMorphine » November 21st, 2006, 3:20 pm

Crate the kids.
:D


Seriously, Mike has a similar problem. He's not great with little kids, he's very uncomfortable around them, and he is especially terrified of little girls with dark hair. I also don't have friends who live near me with kids, so far I've been just intermittently having Noel's Gremlin feeding him through the bars of his crate and talking to him nicely, telling him he's a good dog. The last time we were down there he didn't growl once at her. But being unable to do this on a regular basis is going to hold us back.

Are you doing holidays at your place or at a relative's? Can you bring a crate and put it in a seperate room? Maybe do that and have the middle niece feeding him in there, and even maybe try the younger one through the bars, and only if he is comfortable with the middle one.

To prevent finger nippings, give longer treats and have the girls hold one end and make sure they don't put fingers through the bars, only the treat. Also you can take a smaller tupperware container and fill it with cream cheese (or cheese wiz or whatever) and freeze it. Then have your nieces hold that in a closed fist so that the lip of the tupperware container is protecting their fist. Then he will have to lick lick lick to get what he wants in the container. I've never done this but have had it suggested to me. Probably try it at home first a few times until he understands what the tupperware container means he's supposed to do.
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Postby mnp13 » November 21st, 2006, 3:30 pm

Holidays are at my parents house. He has a crate there but barks his fool head off and makes my mom crazy. When he is out of the crate he runs all over the place and annoys her. lol It's a total catch-22.

The kids are absolutely forbidden to go near any of the crates for any reason. Ever. I don't think any of our dogs would actually do anything but it's a rule that they must respect. Connor barks his fool head off in his crate when people get near it (he loves to ambush people!) We know someone who had their dog stolen right out of his crate, so we have encouraged Connor's defensiveness while in there. Riggs, not so much. Ruby doesn't care who gets near her, she just wants out.

Overall it's not a bad idea though, so maybe we'll break the rules. It can't hurt to try. Maybe we can make it a don't go near without me or Demo next to them.

The tupperware is an EXCELLENT idea!! Little kids = junk food in dishes. I'll definately give that a try!
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Postby Hoyden » November 21st, 2006, 3:34 pm

I was going to say ask Alyssa because she's been working through Mike's fears with the Gremlin. :D (The Gremlin has plans to move in with Alyssa when she's older to learn more about training dogs.)

Would it help if I came up for a visit for a few days? I've been thinking about it and have plans drafted for that harness we chatted about, I'd have to talk to Mark and make sure I'm okay to drive that far.

Or you could come here.

The Gremlin loves working with dogs, so she'd be all for it.


Something I remember doing in Japan when I was little was feeding a dog that was leary of kids with a LONG spoon, like an ice cream dessert spoon, soft dog food with kibble mixed in through the door of the kennel.

The only meal he got was from me, so he had to come to me to eat. I was given VERY strict instructions about putting my fingers or handsthrough the grate and I was supervised by his handler at all times.

Later I fed him bones with my hand inside another handlers hand and eventually he was fine around kids. He just had to be shown that little loud, fast moving, annoying humans were okay.
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Postby Hoyden » November 21st, 2006, 3:37 pm

On November 21 2006, 2:30 PM, mnp13 wrote:Holidays are at my parents house. He has a crate there but barks his fool head off and makes my mom crazy. When he is out of the crate he runs all over the place and annoys her. lol It's a total catch-22.

The kids are absolutely forbidden to go near any of the crates for any reason. Ever. I don't think any of our dogs would actually do anything but it's a rule that they must respect. Connor barks his fool head off in his crate when people get near it (he loves to ambush people!) We know someone who had their dog stolen right out of his crate, so we have encouraged Connor's defensiveness while in there. Riggs, not so much. Ruby doesn't care who gets near her, she just wants out.

Overall it's not a bad idea though, so maybe we'll break the rules. It can't hurt to try. Maybe we can make it a don't go near without me or Demo next to them.

The tupperware is an EXCELLENT idea!! Little kids = junk food in dishes. I'll definately give that a try!


Don't let him run around like a jack-ass! Clip him to your belt or keep him on a leash and make him respect her house rules.

Birdie attempted to do the same thing at my parent's house and I clipped her to me and made her mind her manners. A few visits and she got the message, now she behaves and asks permission to hop up on furniture for loves.
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Postby Jenn » November 21st, 2006, 3:54 pm

Are you wanting Riggs to be better with the children, or wanting suggestions on how to deal with his behavior, or how to keep the children away? (sorry I'm a little confused)

I think the spoon is an excellent idea, if your wanting to help him realize children = good. Otherwise, I especially agree with Sis ~ just crate the kids!! :devilWink:
Nothing towards you, anyone for that matter, but I wouldn't want my child around your dog. I don't even like my daughter hanging out with my father's Basset Hounds, it is especially forbidden for her to be outside alone with them. It's not that I think they are going to maul her, it's the simple fact that she's not at all afraid. She seems to think that all dogs are created equal, horses, and everything else for that matter. I TRY my best to teach her proper dog petting, not to hover over dogs, not to stare in their face etc, ask before touching, but she normally ends up with her heart broken, because I got on to her. That or everyone looks at me like I'm a weirdo. Things happen so fast, especially when children are involved. They get away so quickly, or do things anyway, even though they know they aren't supposed to.
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Postby Big_Ant » November 21st, 2006, 4:06 pm

Do the right thing Michelle :chopper:

:D

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Postby Hoyden » November 21st, 2006, 4:19 pm

On November 21 2006, 2:54 PM, Jenn wrote:Are you wanting Riggs to be better with the children, or wanting suggestions on how to deal with his behavior, or how to keep the children away? (sorry I'm a little confused)

I think the spoon is an excellent idea, if your wanting to help him realize children = good. Otherwise, I especially agree with Sis ~ just crate the kids!! :devilWink:
Nothing towards you, anyone for that matter, but I wouldn't want my child around your dog. I don't even like my daughter hanging out with my father's Basset Hounds, it is especially forbidden for her to be outside alone with them. It's not that I think they are going to maul her, it's the simple fact that she's not at all afraid. She seems to think that all dogs are created equal, horses, and everything else for that matter. I TRY my best to teach her proper dog petting, not to hover over dogs, not to stare in their face etc, ask before touching, but she normally ends up with her heart broken, because I got on to her. That or everyone looks at me like I'm a weirdo. Things happen so fast, especially when children are involved. They get away so quickly, or do things anyway, even though they know they aren't supposed to.


My rule about dogs and kids;

I don't trust my kids around other people's dogs &
I don't trust my dogs around other people's kids.


There are a few exceptions to this rule, but even then, it's my kid's around dogs we know well.

I won't risk my dog lives by letting them alone with other people's kids because kids are just stupid sometimes.
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Postby mnp13 » November 21st, 2006, 4:19 pm

I'm looking for ideas on how to deal with the problem - not necessarily a solution or a quick fix, but ideas on dealing with it and makeing it better.

Noel - you are welcome any time.

I don't take offense about someone not wanting their kids around my dogs - I usually don't want people's kids around my dogs! My parent's friends wouldn't let thier daughter around Ruby and I assured them that it was ok, she was safe. They explained to me that their daughter likes to stick her finger in thier dog's butthole and they were worried that Ruby would take exception to that. I agreed and had Ruby sit. lol

Anthony, I have a ban button, want to see me use it? :D

I'm ALLLLL about crating kids. I have offered my sister my e-collar as well.

When Kathleen was 2 she met Cleo. I turned my head for 2 seconds and then looked down to find Kathleen poking Cleo in the eye repeatedly. charming. I had to save my dog from the kid, not the other way around!!

I tried attaching him to my waist. My mom complained about that as well. Like I said, it's a total Catch-22. At my house they respect my rules about their dogs. At their house they have their own rules. If I don't want to follow them, I'm welcome to not bring my dogs. I think most of her complaining is to just hear herself complain.
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Postby Malli » November 21st, 2006, 4:28 pm

Its best that ALL children are taught never to be alone with strange dogs or dogs that are not their own immediate family.

If you think one of them has the calmness to sit there and feed him and move slowly and speak quietly over and over, go for it. Definately not without your supervision. Maybe have them practice with Ruby first, to see if they follow your directions well? It could also be good practice for the kids on meeting new dogs and how to pet them and behave around them.

I'm lucky, I never socialized Oscar with kids, but he is an absolute gem (other then a little overenthusiasm and some occaisional knocking over). He is especially gentle with little babies, and he immediately makes his actions very small (now he is learning to be less of a klutz) and is all kisses and sniffs. Plus, the best way to get Os not to jump up (he used to, and do you know how hard it is to get a stranger to train your 80 lb pit bull not to jump??) is to walk right up to him, bend over him -like you were dominant-and start petting. Its freaky how tolerant he is of it all, even the squealing and screaming, probably a credit to my picking and poking at him his entire life :|

Back to Riggs, I think the most important thing is to have kids to this that are NOT afraid, respectful of animals, and can at least behave quietly while in a dog's presence. The "normal" behavior can come later when he seems a child and flips out looking for treats.

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Postby Big_Ant » November 21st, 2006, 4:31 pm

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Postby mnp13 » November 21st, 2006, 4:33 pm

On November 21 2006, 15:28, Malli wrote:If you think one of them has the calmness to sit there and feed him and move slowly and speak quietly over and over, go for it. Definately not without your supervision. Maybe have them practice with Ruby first, to see if they follow your directions well? It could also be good practice for the kids on meeting new dogs and how to pet them and behave around them.

That is why it would be Julia, she is quiet and follows directions to the letter. She's the sweetest little kid you could ever meet.


Back to Riggs, I think the most important thing is to have kids to this that are NOT afraid, respectful of animals, and can at least behave quietly while in a dog's presence. The "normal" behavior can come later when he seems a child and flips out looking for treats.

I agree.
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Postby mnp13 » November 21st, 2006, 4:35 pm

lol

I just read my signature again...
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Postby Hoyden » November 21st, 2006, 4:48 pm

On November 21 2006, 3:28 PM, Malli wrote:Its best that ALL children are taught never to be alone with strange dogs or dogs that are not their own immediate family.

If you think one of them has the calmness to sit there and feed him and move slowly and speak quietly over and over, go for it. Definately not without your supervision. Maybe have them practice with Ruby first, to see if they follow your directions well? It could also be good practice for the kids on meeting new dogs and how to pet them and behave around them.

Back to Riggs, I think the most important thing is to have kids to this that are NOT afraid, respectful of animals, and can at least behave quietly while in a dog's presence. The "normal" behavior can come later when he seems a child and flips out looking for treats.

Malli



:fastRoll:

Sorry, can't help but laugh. For some reason, my normally off the wall little hellion, does this really well. Alyssa has had her work with several different dogs and she's been quite happy to follow her instructions and do exactly what Alyssa tells her to do.

Michelle, I'll talk to Mark tonight and figure out a good time for the Gremlin and I to make a road trip. I have to bring Birdie too because I don't travel more than a hour away from home with out her, especially when driving.

I wonder if sitting outside of a fenced play area at a park with Rigg's leashed would help to de-sensatize him to kids??? Combine that with having Julia feed him with a long spoon or feed him long treats like Beggin strips or Pupperoni's.

Do you have neighbors with kids who like dogs? Are there people with kids at any of Rigg's classes? There may be a kid or two there that could help out, parents willing.
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Postby greenkozi » November 21st, 2006, 4:53 pm

On Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:35 pm, mnp13 wrote:lol

I just read my signature again...


that was what i was thinking throughout this thread. :|
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Postby mnp13 » November 21st, 2006, 5:00 pm

On November 21 2006, 15:53, greenkozi wrote:
On Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:35 pm, mnp13 wrote:lol

I just read my signature again...


that was what i was thinking throughout this thread. :|

It originally said "dog"; referring to Ruby.

I wonder if sitting outside of a fenced play area at a park with Rigg's leashed would help to de-sensatize him to kids??? Combine that with having Julia feed him with a long spoon or feed him long treats like Beggin strips or Pupperoni's.

Good thought, but no way. the likely hood of another dog being around and/or showing up would be a recipe for disaster especially because so many idiots around here let their dogs run loose in the park with no control. I also live in not-the-best-area and people cross the street to get away from my dogs. Last summer one lady SCREAMED and ran back to her car and locked the doors. :rolleyes2:

Do you have neighbors with kids who like dogs? Are there people with kids at any of Rigg's classes? There may be a kid or two there that could help out, parents willing.

Nope, but I will ask around.
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Postby SisMorphine » November 21st, 2006, 5:21 pm

I definitely suggest The Gremlin as a training tool :) She follows directions perfectly and is more than eager to help with any dog training. :D
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Postby concreterose » November 21st, 2006, 5:54 pm

Are you taking him to your family gathering this year?
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Postby luvmyangels » November 21st, 2006, 8:59 pm

My oldest dog Teddy who was here before the kids and really wants no part of them will at times growl at them if they get too close. He has never bit them but I am always there when they are in his presence. I normally give him a nasty look and give him a firm knock it off and he just puts his head down and looks away. If they do get too close he normally picks himself up and leaves the room. Needless to say I have to do constant training with him since he is a very strong personality.

My mother has a rescue greyhound who is absolutely petrified of my kids. In fact, when we were there last time my daughter walked in a straight line about 6 inches from her but not at all in her direction because I was watching both her and the dog. The greyhound lunged forward to snap at her. Since I was standing there I yelled at her and she just looked at me like oh s**t. After that the dog did not come within 2 feet of my daughter.
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Postby mnp13 » November 22nd, 2006, 11:22 am

On November 21 2006, 16:54, concreterose wrote:Are you taking him to your family gathering this year?


Yup, both are with me. He's actually going to be at my parent's house and we're having dinner at my sister's. But the rest of the weekend will have kids and people in a relatively steady stream in and out.
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