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Old 01-02-2013, 02:37 PM
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Yes, dogs can get quite spooked by the way rambunctious youngsters move, sound, etc. They are almost like a new and different species for the dog! Classical Conditioning, the power of ASSOCIATION is really helpful. Every time the rowdy child is around, doggie gets a reward. Now we've created a scenario where the dog loooves to have the child around because the child is a predictor of rewarding experiences.

Teaching youngsters to move a little slower, speak a little softer, and make a little less eye contact are very important too

EDIT: A note about rewards.. timing is everything. They should be given when the dog is behaving in a neutral or desired way. So in the case of the rowdy kid being around, the dog would be rewarded for ignoring, or looking politely at the child, or wagging his tail, or giving the child space, anything other than tense or snarky behaviors. Catch a moment of acceptable behavior and reward it. That is the way to ensure the dog will offer that behavior again and again. And remember "reward" is defined by your dog, not you. If the dog loves it, it is a reward. Rewarding teaches new habits, and once those habits are ingrained, constant rewards are no longer necessary. A new habit of good behavior has formed.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Seekingcreativity View Post
Keep a close watch on the dog and your daughter. Do NOT allow the dog to be around your daughter if you or your husband is not around.
I totally agree with the above, cause when a dog starts growling at a child, it could easily turn into something worse..protect your daughter above all else.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:58 PM
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K9Coach is right. Don't take food away from a resource guarder. Don't do it. People are crazy to say to do it. That's much further down the line in the future after you resolve the issue the proper way. Now is not the time to take food or anything away from a resource guarder. Right now, you need to do the opposite. Food needs to be given in a specific way.

My dog started to become possessive via grabbing, running away and hiding with a rawhide whenever my son entered a room. He may have growled, I don't recall, but it didn't escalate to biting. My son was older than your child, but I IMMEDIATELY called a animal behaviorist.

The cause of this was that my son took something away from the dog as a punishment. A smaller child could take something away simply for the fun of it. The behaviorist said that the dog needed to see my son be the giver of a good things. As a result, she instructed that my son be the only person who fed the dog his meals (until this resolved). This also helped the dog understand my son was above him on the pecking order.

Rawhides, chews, bones or whatever prized treats you give your dog need to be removed permanently----because these are things that the dog takes forever to eat and can cause remission even if reprogrammed.

For us, it solved the problem right away. After a few weeks of feeding the dog and the dog's behavior being improved, THEN son worked on taking and giving back. Your child is probably WAY TOO YOUNG to do this part. It won't help if you do it instead because it's the child who the dog is being aggressive towards your child, not you. (yes, mere growling or running and hiding food is aggressive behavior).

As a result, it's best that you simply continue to allow the child to give the dog food and treats. Instruct the child to NEVER NEVER NEVER take anything away from the dog. Until your child is old enough to fully understand all of this, it's very important that you do not leave your child and dog alone together unsupervised.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:29 AM
Location: US
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Originally Posted by SuzyQ123 View Post
We have had Charlie(mix chihuahua and dachshund) for about 5 weeks. He is a 2 yr old pound puppy. He is very sweet and playful. We all love him. In the past week he as started to growl and bark at our daughter. It has always been food related. I was at the kitchen counter making lunch and he was standing at my feet. I called my daughter in to eat and he growled when she came to the counter. Then he was laying on the floor chewing on a bone and he barked when she walked past him. He only does this with her. He hasn't done this with my 14 yr old or my husband and I. I have read I should let my 4yr old always be the one to feed him. Any other ideas? I love the little dog but I can not live with a dog that I am afraid to let my daughter around. 98% of the time he is really nice to my 4 yr old. Thanks.
I think the dog has a case of "small dog syndrome" which is easily fixable. You should train him by giving him a fav chew treat and have your daughter walk by and when he growls, IMMEDIATELY correct him by raising your voice "NO!" If he stops, continue this training until he respects your daughter as a pack leader too. If he doesn't respond when you say "NO!" I would try slapping the table and saying "NO!" and if that doesn't work, you should say "NO!" while giving him a light smack (you don't want to hurt him, but this will definitely let him know he needs to be submissive). You can THEN have your daughter do the same thing too (minus the light smack), so he begins to respect her even when you aren't there. I had similar problems before, but it was between other dogs and it worked.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:34 PM
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He is doing what a dog does, trying to be above your daughter in his "pack" which is your family. Personally...I would have trouble messing w/ a 2 year old dog that was growling at my small child. But, if you're determined, wak w/ your Daughter and give her the lead...do not let the dog walk in front of her, make him sit at the door...she walks out, and tells him to come. That is every door, in and out. Give her the bowl of food, have her eat a cookie or cracker while holding his bowl....pretending she is eating out of the bowl...Have her put him in a sit....Then have her place the bowl on the floor. I wouldn't allow bones while he is showing aggression. You should have a kennel. The dog should be kenneled for some time periods during the day...Let your daughter be the one to take him out and put him in, you are standing behind her. The point is, the dog needs to be shown that your daughter is above him in the pecking order....Dog obedience classes..usually free at places like petco
Here is a link Understanding Dog Aggression, Aggressive Dog Training Tips

Last edited by JanND; 01-04-2013 at 03:34 PM.. Reason: edit text
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