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The dog is growling at my daughter

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  • #61
    Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
    if they can. Sometimes they can't get away or there is no place to go.
    If a dog is laying on a carpet with a chew I'm pretty sure they can get away. Besides, unless your intention is to pin the dog in a corner and beat the cr@p out of it, there's no reason for the situation to escalate.

    I'm sorry Beowulf, but you don't sound rational to me. Or all that polite yourself.

    Back to the OP's dog -- since the child is so young I wouldn't give the dog anything it felt the need to guard. Perhaps the dog is "afraid" of having its chew taken away but it's not afraid of the child. Thus the growling. Otherwise it would run off with the chew in its mouth. I doubt that the child had the dog so firmly cornered that there was no possibility of escape. (insert eye roll here)

    Comment


    • #62
      People that don't want to have to think through a "dog prism" should definitely have the traditionally easy pet breeds, for sure. If you don't want to have to think about your dog's behavior and how to fix it beyond a simple "hey knock it off" you should definitely not have a dog like that.

      Not every dog or breed are "easy" that way. I don't think there is some sort of new-fangled dog mollycoddling, I think there are people that want to "rescue" a pound dog that turns out to be not all that easy, I think people pick a breed based on color and appearance and totally miss the difficulty level, I think people are vastly removed from the FUNCTION of dogs (all animals) and think of them as pets when much of the dog's breeding is still based on the FUNCTION. I guarantee that young kids didn't used to sleep on the couch with their dad's hunting dogs, or play fetch with them, or be allowed to play with a working dog. But we have so few working dogs any more in reality that people expect Golden Retrievers from every dog and stop thinking beyond that. IMO.

      I have two difficult dogs-this Blackmouth Cur I've mentioned and I have a 2 year old Great Pyrenees. I have to give credit where it is due-if I hadn't opened my mind to the "mollycoddlers" (wendy, threedogs, jetsmom, others) on here I wouldn't have made it with either Able or Shoni. And now I guess I have my chi puppy that is bringing in a whole other facet.

      I wanted to be a good dog person, still strive to be. I didn't want to just have good dogs sitting blandly on the floor, I wanted to be good with dogs that aren't always easy. That's not for everyone but I think people don't think about that aspect until it's too late.

      I have to say too, if I hear my dog growl I used to punish immediately but now I go look. I have found that the old Aussie is scared she's going to be stepped on when the other dogs rough-house so she growls at them to tell her to leave her out of it. The BMC growls when she thinks she's found a food prize and doesn't want to share or when she thinks she sees something that she needs to guard against or if a man she doesn't know gets too much in her space. The Chi growls whenever anything threatens her space-which is my lap. NONE of them have ever bitten another creature other than gophers. They will growl and sometimes will even schnarf on the other dog but never an injury, never a grudge. I've learned to trust their negative communication.

      Of course you keep the kid safe and figure out what you're dealing with but it's not black and white if you really want to be good with dogs. If you just want easy dogs, they can be black and white.
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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      • #63
        Hmm, I'm having trouble with the analogy of a growling dog and a bucking horse. When a dog growls, he or she is prepared to bite if something doesn't change. Whether brought on by fear or not, it is still aggression.

        Maybe a better analogy would be a horse actually taking a threatening stance when you get near him or her. Pinned ears, bared teeth, and clearly saying, 'back off'. I might euthanize a horse like that (remember the monster horse in "Buck"? That was one that deserved it). There are too many factors to consider. I think many adults can work through resource guarding with professional assistance. However, the point is that such a dog wouldn't be suitable in a home with young children. A single adult working one-on-one would be best, in my opinion.
        “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

        St. Padre Pio

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        • #64
          Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
          If a dog is laying on a carpet with a chew I'm pretty sure they can get away.
          what about an older dog who might have trouble getting up? Or a dog with neuro defects that can't move quickly or in a straight line (got one of them at my house). She often has to get up and stand for a moment to get her bearings.

          Besides, unless your intention is to pin the dog in a corner and beat the cr@p out of it, there's no reason for the situation to escalate.
          unfortunately, sometimes it does excalate tho. Insecure dogs, and a lot of that can be genetic, will often worry if they have something they don't get often and/or if it's high value.

          Back to the OP's dog -- since the child is so young I wouldn't give the dog anything it felt the need to guard. Perhaps the dog is "afraid" of having its chew taken away but it's not afraid of the child. Thus the growling. Otherwise it would run off with the chew in its mouth. I doubt that the child had the dog so firmly cornered that there was no possibility of escape. (insert eye roll here)
          or you could teach the dog to be nice about it and give it up w/o worry.

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          • #65
            micro, I do think that is a fair comparison. I've always been taught that a bucking horse is a scared horse. I also believe that a growling dog is at least part of the time, a scared dog. I do think horses and dogs can use their methods (bucking/growling) as an aggressive but ALSO as a defensive.

            I just can't say enough how my dog is not aggressive... and yet, she growls and postures and acts like a dog that most people would consider aggressive.

            She's actually the sweetest kindest dog I have. Maybe if I didn't get that and pushed her she would do something bad.. but we're not doing that.

            Our GP blew in the door a few weeks ago-he was unexpectedly loose and ran to the front door and when he jumped on it it blew open. Felt like a home invasion to us, we weren't expecting it in the slightest but my freaky dog didn't hesitate and boiled up and stood in front of my daughter and bayed, charged the goofy GP before we had it all sorted out. Bless her worried heart, when push came to shove she protected my daughter.

            I just don't see how anyone can have a dog and a young child and not understand the dog's situation. You're taking away a prize-any toddler will try to protect and preserve the prize by screaming and yelling and crying... and probably get the trade-up situation... but if the dog speaks up... they're outta there.
            Last edited by cowboymom; Feb. 11, 2013, 12:43 PM.
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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            • #66
              Coth hiccup
              Last edited by cowboymom; Feb. 9, 2013, 10:28 PM.
              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

              Comment


              • #67
                Bucking horses may be scared but IME they are more often pissed off or in pain. Sometime both!

                As far as dogs go there is NO GROWLING AT OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, 2 OR 4 LEGGED. At all. Growling is aggression and will lead to a bite. Of course there is also NO TEASING of animals or bothering animals that are eating, etc. etc. If you expect them to behave then you must also train the rest of the family members to not trigger reactions on purpose.
                Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                Comment


                • #68
                  wow, summerhorse, I disagree with you entirely except for the part where you don't tease the animals.

                  Bucking horses can and should be scared b/c they are in pain and maybe it makes them mad to be in pain.. umm...?
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    To the OP: in threads like this you will get answers from all over the spectrum. Not everyone on a BB is an expert, quite a lot are self-styled experts though, and there are always those who will rush off to suggest you put a animal to sleep .... just weigh the information and advice carefully.
                    There are always the voices of reason here, too.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      But summerhorse, how else does a dog communicate with you?

                      Foxtrot, good point. (:
                      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                      • Original Poster

                        #71
                        I just want to say thank you to everyone taking the time to post. I really appreciate it. I have carefully considered everyone's opinions and am doing my own research and seeking outside opinions too.

                        In the meantime, my first concern is removing the offending objects and keeping everyone safe. My child first and foremost and then the dog as well. I've been paying special attention to the dog, and making every activity a training opportunity.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by spacytracy View Post
                          In the meantime, my first concern is removing the offending objects and keeping everyone safe. My child first and foremost and then the dog as well. I've been paying special attention to the dog, and making every activity a training opportunity.
                          *stands and claps*, excellent ST! There was never any doubt that the safety of your daughter comes first, but it's always good to see it in print.

                          Suggestions for reading, Trisha McConnell (she has a blog), Trish King, Karen Overall, Deb Jones, Denise Fenzi (she has an excellent blog), Sue Ailsby (Training Levels has a free group on yahoo groups), Shirley Chong, Clicker Solutions, Bob/Marian Bailey, Victoria Farrington, Corally Burmaster. For paper or audio material I would suggest browsing Dogwise.

                          Here is a vid of Michael Ellis, who is very well known in the protection sports. He explains what he does, when he does it, and how it works clearly.

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe0-oqqoXvw

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Here's the thing. Dogs and small children must be supervised. This is why many rescues won't adopt to families with small children.

                            I'd trust my collie but not the lab because he's just too big and frisky. Even my old collie, who was my Dr. Doolittle, couldn't be trusted when she got older and her arthritis was bothering her. She would growl and snap.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              I own a cattle dog puppy. At 8 weeks old, he was resource guarding from ME. He found a chewy I didn't even know I had in the house, and when I went to see what he had, he snapped at me. I wasn't paying attention to his body language at the time, and he snapped. He did not catch me, no blood was drawn. According to several on this board, this 8 week old puppy should have immediatly been put down.

                              Needless to say, that didn't happen. What happened is that I went, "oh, you resource guard, ok then, lets start playing trade games, and food bowl games".

                              He is five months old now, and he will let you mess with his food while he's eating. He will call off his bowl. He drops high value things when asked. I do NOT take things away from him unless I think it's dangerous for him to have, but I do call him over and trade him for yummy cookies or better toys.

                              At five months, Loki is highly intelligent, has a vocabulary of 50 words or so, and is now in training to be a search and rescue dog. He shows GREAT aptitude for cadavar work. It would have been a shame to euthanize him just because he does what NORMAL DOGS DO!

                              Normal dogs resource guard. Yes, not all dogs do, but it's a completely normal dog behavior. It does not make it acceptable, and I have indeed seen dogs that we had to euthanize because of the resource guarding. However, it seems premature to say "euthanize" simply because no one has taken the time to explain to the dog that it is not necessary-or acceptable- to protect his things.

                              If I were the OP, I would just not let the dog have high value chewies with the children around, and reiterate food bowl/trade me training at a basic level. Growling does not always escalate to a bite.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                                what about an older dog who might have trouble getting up? Or a dog with neuro defects that can't move quickly or in a straight line (got one of them at my house). She often has to get up and stand for a moment to get her bearing.
                                That has nothing to do with the OP's young healthy dog. Although a dog shouldn't be allowed to growl at a family member ever over a friggin rawhide chew anyway.

                                If a dog accepts you as a boss and caretaker, there's no issue in taking something away from it, genetics or no. The OP's daughter is not seen as either by the dog, but that can be changed.
                                There is such a thing as training, after all, and managing the situation, and I'm sure the OP will do both.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  I don't think anyone here would not give a puppy a grace period to learn what acceptable behavior is.

                                  The OP has a full grown dog, who is nervous by nature, growling at her child.

                                  I believe rehoming, which is what I did in a similar scenario, was suggested first by most people. Some dogs simply do not do well living with children, for whatever reason (in my dog's case, he was surrendered to the pound by a family with kids. Lemme guess why). Of course, I didn't know until several years later when hubby and I had our own child. He is living with my dad and step-mom now. No full-time kids in the house and he's fine.

                                  Having a dog PTS isn't the ONLY solution. The trick is finding a knowledgeable home prepared to take on the training challenge. In my family, not a problem. Unless they are completely beyond our collective capabilities, they will find a home with someone in our family. Everyone loves animals and not a single pet has ever been sent to the pound.
                                  “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                  St. Padre Pio

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