Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Bloomfield, MI
Child Aggression Success Stories?
Recently a neighbor kid showed up at our front door unannounced. When he knocked, we went into our usual routine which is:
1. Leash the dog to our island counter, approximately 15 feet from our front door, but a straight line of sight.
2. Put him in a sit/stay and stand by him while my wife opens the door.
3. Command quiet if he barks, and correct with his remote collar (at an appropriate level) if he doesn't comply, and reward if he does.
So, the kid is at the door, my wife calls my son over to talk to him, the kid steps inside and starts to take his shoes off as my wife is telling him now is not a good time, because we have guests over. All seemed good. As the kid goes to leave, my 16 month old GSD goes bat$%&# crazy lunging to the end of the leash, hackles up, and barking aggressively. He didn't respond to our quiet command, and got a correction, didn't respond again, and got a bigger correction. The kids left, dog was put in a down/stay and stayed there for about an hour before I released him.
I know, I should have done things different. I should have tried to gain his focus and distracted him. I should have realized his intense focus on the child. I was just taken by surprise at the kid's arrival.. it was the first time he's just come to our front door. I'm sure I was nervous. I should have recognized that and asked my wife to step out and talk to the child.
The dog hasn't been socialized much with other kids, besides my two boys. My fault of course. He has been in obedience classes since we've got him, and I'm currently working with a trainer.
The reason I'm posting is I need some encouragement. Events like these totally deflate and discourage me. I'd like to hear from other owners that had GSDs that learned to tolerate strangers/kids in their house, when once that was very much not the case.