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Old 06-05-2014, 01:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Socialization issues? 1 yr old lunged at child...

My Kaiser just turned one recently and has never shown any signs of aggression at all. Not towards anyone he knows nor strangers. He is still very mouthy, but only when we're playing. He never intentionally tries to hurt anyone. Just puts everything in his mouth lol. Today, I took him to Petsmart. Normally he's pretty skittish and shy around new people and will sometimes bark but only out of fear, and has never tried to snap at anyone. The hair on his back will stand up when he meets someone new and he is just very standoff ish. While at Petsmart, I was speaking with some employees right next to the cashier and a little girl approached him, did not ask if it was okay, and I heard him growl for the first time. Then he lunged at her. I have never seen him act this way, nor did I know how to correct him. Everyone has been telling me it's normal, he was startled, it was instinct, lots of dogs don't like kids, etc. But if he would have bitten that little girl.... It doesn't matter if it was instinct, he would have to be put down, no questions asked. Does anyone know what I can do to prevent this from ever happening again? He's in intermediate training classes now and he's very well mannered, I guess she just spooked him. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 06-05-2014 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The dog barks out of fear and that usually makes people keep their distance. In this instance he didn't have time to bark and she was too close for his comfort so he took it a step further.

He's clearly uncomfortable with people invading his space. Easy (and responsible) solution is keep him away from people. If you for some reason have to bring your dog into a crowd of people then muzzle him.


Btw if this was my dog that did this I would correct him so hard people would think it's animal abuse
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My Kaiser just turned one recently and has never shown any signs of aggression at all. Not towards anyone he knows nor strangers. He is still very mouthy, but only when we're playing. He never intentionally tries to hurt anyone. Just puts everything in his mouth lol. Today, I took him to Petsmart. Normally he's pretty skittish and shy around new people and will sometimes bark but only out of fear, and has never tried to snap at anyone. The hair on his back will stand up when he meets someone new and he is just very standoff ish. While at Petsmart, I was speaking with some employees right next to the cashier and a little girl approached him, did not ask if it was okay, and I heard him growl for the first time. Then he lunged at her. I have never seen him act this way, nor did I know how to correct him. Everyone has been telling me it's normal, he was startled, it was instinct, lots of dogs don't like kids, etc. But if he would have bitten that little girl.... It doesn't matter if it was instinct, he would have to be put down, no questions asked. Does anyone know what I can do to prevent this from ever happening again? He's in intermediate training classes now and he's very well mannered, I guess she just spooked him. Thanks in advance!
You would put a normally well mannered dog with no previous issues to sleep because some kid came out of nowhere and spooked him and you weren't paying close enough attention to him? You never take your eyes off your dog in a public place, it is your job to protect him and the idiots that are everywhere around you. Talk to your trainer, explain the situation and work on it. Two important things, never take your eye off your dog , it's up to you to control your dog and don't let your dog focus on anything but you, because generally speaking when they are focused on something else they are looking for trouble.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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OP said " Normally he's pretty skittish and shy around new people and will sometimes bark but only out of fear, and has never tried to snap at anyone. The hair on his back will stand up when he meets someone new and he is just very standoff ish."

The dog is shy, fearful , not stable . He is TELLING you . You need to be aware and take pre-cautions .

"Everyone has been telling me it's normal, he was startled, it was instinct"

It is not normal . You said his normal was to be fear arousal . That is a dog that will bite .

this "He's in intermediate training classes now and he's very well mannered"
I've seen this . The dog likely is walking on egg shells .

Don't molly coddle the dog or baby him . That will only reward him and nurture this state.

I would have dropped my items at the cashiers in mid transaction , don't care, would have said excuse me but I'll be right back , and that dog would have had my immediate pro-active attention. He would have been put into motion to focus on me so fast . If you can't handle the world then you focus on the small part of it that you can. I wouldn't let this dog's attention drift .

You can't be embarrassed -- the cashier can always void the sale , and complete the sale later.

Dogs are supported in their discomfort . See how fast you will be abandoned by the group that thinks it is normal , if the dog did bite .
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jones127x View Post
My Kaiser just turned one recently and has never shown any signs of aggression at all. Not towards anyone he knows nor strangers. He is still very mouthy, but only when we're playing. He never intentionally tries to hurt anyone. Just puts everything in his mouth lol. Today, I took him to Petsmart. Normally he's pretty skittish and shy around new people and will sometimes bark but only out of fear, and has never tried to snap at anyone. The hair on his back will stand up when he meets someone new and he is just very standoff ish. While at Petsmart, I was speaking with some employees right next to the cashier and a little girl approached him, did not ask if it was okay, and I heard him growl for the first time. Then he lunged at her. I have never seen him act this way, nor did I know how to correct him. Everyone has been telling me it's normal, he was startled, it was instinct, lots of dogs don't like kids, etc. But if he would have bitten that little girl.... It doesn't matter if it was instinct, he would have to be put down, no questions asked. Does anyone know what I can do to prevent this from ever happening again? He's in intermediate training classes now and he's very well mannered, I guess she just spooked him. Thanks in advance!
Fear is a COMMON reason that our dogs bite. That's why WE have to be so proactive to SOCIALIZE our pups to remove the fear element. It's great you are in dog classes, keep those up.

But you need to SOCIALIZE in an appropriate manner to show your pup the world is a good place and YOU will take charge to guide him thru it!

Have you looked at and read thru ---> Why bother to 'socialize' and I want photos/videos of puppies/dogs.....

I am currently raising my puppy and it's part of my weekly 'training' that after puppy classes I take Osin out and about into town to help her learn to expect the unexpected and that the world is a wonderful place not to be afraid of.


And events ARE around to help with this! Here's my Glory B

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Old 06-05-2014, 12:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I always love Glory B video's...can't help but keep clicking on more youtube videos! She is so sweet! I also took our boy to such places when he was little...dog shows rodeo, festivals, camping, my girls' school at pick up. Makes a huge difference! Now at 6 months and 75 lbs, he doesn't get a ton of people wanting to approach him to pet, but I am glad he had that in the beginning so he is not afraid now
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I always love Glory B video's...can't help but keep clicking on more youtube videos! She is so sweet! ................
Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd say at your dog's age this is normal, but not something you want to ignore. At that age until my dog was about 2.5-3 yrs old I was hyper-vigilent looking out for approaching kids. I still will not let children pet or get too close to her, although she does not react anymore, I can still tell by her body language she is not comfortable if they want to walk up to her.

I would work on exercises that will have your dog looking at you when you walk by children, get your dog's attention with a treat or toy, make eye contact as you approach and pass by, then give lots of praise for a non-reaction after you walk by the child.

This is a good, quick read, "On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals" by Turid Rugaas. She used to have her own website too if you want to google the name.
The child may have approached your dog in a way that was too direct or rude to a dog. This is a nice guide to canine body language.

You said your dog is is training which is good, but often dogs do really well in their training environment, but do not perform as well in the real world. We did a lot of socialization like MaggieRoseLee does and suggested. It helps a lot but during the adolescent stage, I felt like I had to re-train our dog, the perfect puppy was gone, but don't give up really work through it now so when your dog gets to be around 3 and it matures, all of this will come together and you will have an excellent companion.
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