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Old 04-28-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
36,973 posts, read 45,404,903 times
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My granddog is a Dogo Argentino, although I don't think her breed is important.. She is about 1 1/2 years old. Her parents have carefully socialized her, and she is friendly with other dogs, cats and adults, and has no aggressive issues.
However, she snaps at small children. It is as though she's trying to taste them, since she doesn't know what they are.
How to fix this? It is not as if we can line up a bunch of sacrificial children.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
My granddog is a Dogo Argentino, although I don't think her breed is important.. She is about 1 1/2 years old. Her parents have carefully socialized her, and she is friendly with other dogs, cats and adults, and has no aggressive issues.
However, she snaps at small children. It is as though she's trying to taste them, since she doesn't know what they are.
How to fix this? It is not as if we can line up a bunch of sacrificial children.
Wow - thats one of the most difficult questions I've seen on here. The big issue is that if she has a "lapse" in any training she undergos, it could be serious to fatal. The best advise I could give is to discuss it with a good behavourist and have them assess the situation. I don't think its something you should try to accomplish on your own without a professional right there to read the dog's signals. For all the obvious reasons I wouldn't subject the dog to situations that include children until this has been addressed. Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:28 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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take her to places children frequent, Parks are great, and WALK Her, do not allow chiclredn to come up and pet her (this means lots of attention being paid on 60 million thigns as kids will run right up and parents either arnt paynig attention or feel their kids have some kind of right to pet every dog they see) but keep her moving...you want her to get used to kids from a distance first, slowly (over time) being her closer to the kids, again keep her moving keep her focus on you, once in a while stop make her sit and look at you (you being her owners obviously) then move on...generlaly keeping that focus onthe handler rahter than the kids.

kids are nerv wraking to dogs, their generally "head height" so tend to stare dogs directly in the face, with a mollosser breed expecially like a dogo, this is a challenge, there also loud, obnoixious not good with personal space ect. so kids can be realy fightening even for big powerfull dogs.
shes nipping at them because shes nervous and thats a realy good way to get them to back off in her mind..and it works...

once shes ignoring the kids fairly close up you can pic and choose to invite QUIET children to meet her. only 1 child at a time, make sure they have a few treats, the can toss to her from a distance at first...eventually shell associate these calm small humans with treats...and eventually youll be able to have a child aproach casually and offer her a treat directly. once shes comfortable taking a treat you can start introducing petting...
youll pretty much have to intervewi kids, you want kids with a calm energy who dont think because thye can hug their dog they can hug other peoples dogs and kids who can be patient and follow instruction.
they need to take directio well because if they rush she could feel threthend...slow and steady will win this race...
dogos as a generality can be quite standoffish with strangers, the fact shes good with human adults is an excelent sign and indicates a simple lack of socilization with actual kids rather than a "mean streak"

but definatly start slow...start with kids in the far distance so she can hear them and see them from a distance but isnt confronted by them...the rest is just little by little.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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Both of you have good suggestions. Va-Cat, her parents are considering a professional trainer. I wonder how a pro would train for this issue?
Foxywench, they have always taken her to downtown here, which has tons of people of all ages all the time, and is where she became socialized, but this is where the issue with children became apparent. She is a striking big dog, and children gravitate towards her. When a child sticks her hand out she nips it..never enough to be called a bite, but enough that her owners don't want to take a chance of harming a kid, so they have stopped taking her out in public like before.
I think your plan could work. The DS and DIL have friends with children, so they could serve as the sacrifial children, but they tend to be afraid of her because she is so big and could knock them over. I feel this has something to do with why the dog is fearful of children..because they are a little scared of her.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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See here for one opinion on the Dogo and children:

Argentine Dogos: What's Good About 'Em? What's Bad About 'Em?

"If you have children, I do not recommend an Argentine Dogo. Young Dogos (up to about two years old) can be bulls in a china shop. When they romp and jump, they do so with great vigor, and things can go flying, including people. In addition, Dogos may try to protect their own children from other children, which could lead to tragedy if kids are simply roughhousing and your Dogo decides to stop it. With such a massive dog, I wouldn't take the risk."

I think someone needs to reassess why the breed was chosen and whether it is suitable for this family.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
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Is there an elementary school or even a pre-school nearby where the kids would be outside on a fenced in playground? Or a park where kids are playing some sort of organized sports - little league or soccer? Walking her past it, perhaps even starting on the other side of the street so that she could safely get to see kids running and playing and making noise but the kids would not be able to come up to her.

Frequent use of the "watch me" command reinforced by lots of high value treats such as hot dogs or chicken as she learns to turn away from the kids and focus on her person.

Maybe use of a Gentle Leader or Halti type lead since kids are more likely to think it is some sort of muzzle and be a bit more cautious about approaching her and perhaps ask first before getting too close.

Patient repetition again and again will be required for her to learn that kids are OK and often the source of yummy treats if you can find a few to work with.

Since she is good with other dogs and even cats it sounds like she can learn that kids are nice to be around too.

I hope that all goes well and who knows, maybe you'll be back posting that she's become one of those "Read to Me" dogs that are being used with kids who need to gain reading proficiency.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:03 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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gentlehearts i do belive that could be key, it sounds liek shes been in situations where shes become overwhelemd and "nipped" its worked and now, as dogos do, shes feeding off the enrgy around her.

if their freinds kids can be told to IGNORE her completly then id say youve found your golden ticket there.

suzy_q i dont understand why youd say this family needs to rethink the breed, the Op hasnt stated the dogs owneres have children to worry about right now and it seems to me theyve done an exception job with a breed that can be hard to handle in the first place and are the PERFECT type of owner for a Dogo, sounds to me that they simply want to break her of her nipping habbit around children...
i see NO reason for this couple to "rethink" their choice of breed, a dogo in the right hands is a magnificent animal, you have to know a molosser and put all the media out of mind...they are impossibly loyal to thier family...
odly enough this dog whos "snappy" with strange kids would probbaly greet a new baby in the house as itf it were fine china and lord help anyone NOT that babies parents that tried to get neer it...yet it may never like kids outside of its own family no matter how heavily socilizd...there a very unique group of dogs.

i do thing gentle exposure is going to be the way to go, and if they see her getting even remotly uncomfortable with the situation, move on IMEDIATLy redirect the focus and move away from the problem, take a little while to gather themsleves back together, refocus and then try again.

It definatly sounds like thy have done a fabulous job so far so id just keep it up.

i have a similar problem, i have no kids...i dont know anyone with kids...so im limited to the number of "kid" experiences my dogs are exposed to...it makes it tough.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:13 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,390 posts, read 31,357,488 times
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I would start by taking her around Teens! And work down in age. High School ... then Middle then Elementry then pre school. She young I betting she adapt. Its great they are Socolizing [sp ] her young!

BTW dont matter what the breed this is how I did it for decades.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:52 PM
 
16,025 posts, read 19,580,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
My granddog is a Dogo Argentino, although I don't think her breed is important.. She is about 1 1/2 years old. Her parents have carefully socialized her, and she is friendly with other dogs, cats and adults, and has no aggressive issues.
However, she snaps at small children. It is as though she's trying to taste them, since she doesn't know what they are.
How to fix this? It is not as if we can line up a bunch of sacrificial children.
I saw that breed featured today on an Animal Planet segment. They are very large, impressive. I wouldn't risk small children around a dog that nips them....you will need professional advice w/ this. Too risky...what child are you going to experiment with...seriously.....this dog doesn't like children obviously. a yr and 1/2 is plenty old enough for this dog to know nipping anyone is off limits, your dog has lost that inhibition...that is dangerous. imo
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
23,290 posts, read 28,093,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
suzy_q i dont understand why youd say this family needs to rethink the breed, the Op hasnt stated the dogs owneres have children to worry about right now and it seems to me theyve done an exception job with a breed that can be hard to handle in the first place and are the PERFECT type of owner for a Dogo, sounds to me that they simply want to break her of her nipping habbit around children...
i see NO reason for this couple to "rethink" their choice of breed, a dogo in the right hands is a magnificent animal, you have to know a molosser and put all the media out of mind...they are impossibly loyal to thier family...
odly enough this dog whos "snappy" with strange kids would probbaly greet a new baby in the house as itf it were fine china and lord help anyone NOT that babies parents that tried to get neer it...yet it may never like kids outside of its own family no matter how heavily socilizd...there a very unique group of dogs.
I am not sure this dog is in the right hands.

My concern is that this seems to be someone who has bought a protection breed who does not understand the breed he has chosen. It should not be necessary to ask how to train the dog. That knowledge should have been in place before the dog came into the home.

DH and I have had a series of protection oriented breeds, including our current Presa Canario and three Fila Brasieiros before her. We would never have gotten them if DH had not known how to train them.

A short story about our first Fila. Ranger was escaping from the chain link fenced yard. DH assumed he was digging under it, but none of the measures he took to keep the dog in the yard worked. We would come home and he would be waiting on the front steps. Our house is on over nine acres, and he never went very far it seems.

One day I came home from my office for lunch. A guy drove up who was selling meat out of a refrigerated truck. The driver opened the door, got one foot on the ground, and Ranger came out of the woods, walked calmly up to me, and sat down, watching the truck. The guy got back in, I told him I was not interested, and he drove off.

Ranger did not have to act aggressive. There was no barking or lunging. It was as if he just said, "If you want to get to her, you have to get through me first."

And Ranger was going over the fence, not under it. DH finally saw him do it. It took an electric fence to keep him in the yard.

I wonder if OP could tell us why the Dogo was chosen. I am still not sure that someone who does not know how to train one should have one. I would have concerns about exposing other people's children to the dog if you do not understand precisely how to go about doing it. A trained adult rescue might have been a better choice. Now, paying a professional trainer might be the best course.
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