Dog being rude towards my son - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Dog being rude towards my son

So for some time now, my wife and I have noticed a less than ideal attitude our dog has towards our son. When our son (3 years old) wants to go outside and play with our dog, Onyx generally tends to ignore him. He might play with him for a while but it seems Onyx is more interested in me. He waits by the door for me to come out and as I stand by the door and watch my son run out into the yard yelling in excitement, Onyx just stands in front of me wagging his tail and ignoring my son. I tell him to go play with him but he just turns around and expects me to go out and play. Once I close the door, Onyx might play with him for a few minutes but soon loses interest and sits by the door watching our son but apparently waiting for me.

Now I am the one who does most with Onyx. I take him and my son on long walks, I feed him, comb him, play with him, pet him, do tricks with him and give him more attention than anyone else in our house does. But we originally got him so our son will have a companion as they both grow up. So far, this is not quite the case. My son LOVES Onyx and is never rough or annoying towards him and never does anything that we see would make him like our son any less.

Now, I don't want to start being mean to Onyx or give him the cold shoulder so he will like me less and my son more, but I do want him to be more attached to my son. Any advice as to how I can accomplish this or what more can be done is very welcome. Thanks!!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:05 PM
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As your son, who is a toddler and should NEVER be left alone with a large dog, grows the dog will be more interested in him because he's more fun.

Your dog is not being rude towards your toddler. He's just not interested because you are his person and you are fun.




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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:29 PM
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Michelle, I'm glad you got to this thread first!

Do not force a awkward relationship between your son & dog. Allow it to happen naturally. You have a unrealistic expectation of what they should look like together & this has led to disappointment on your part. Your dog is not being rude...at all. I echo the toddler & dog are always supervised, not left alone.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:29 PM
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Teach your son to train the dog to do simple tricks with treats (if you have taught the dog and trust the dog to be gentle with taking treats).

He looks big as a three year old with that leash on the dog, the dog could pull him right down. But it seems like he knows better?

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Last edited by selzer; 03-29-2014 at 06:32 PM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:34 PM
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My twins were 3 when Otto was a pup. There's nothing really rude about it, the dog just finds you more entertaining. Teach your son to throw a ball.

I agree you do not want to leave a 3 year old child outside alone with a young GSD. Especially one who's trying to get his attention. Not saying your son will do anything *wrong* but I have 2 boys. Little boys don't always think through the long game...

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:42 PM
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Like others have said.. you are just more fun. Sounds like your dog's relationship with your son is like Titan's with other dogs.. he wants nothing to with them after a minute figuring out that mom is the one with thumbs and can throw things. Other's say Titan is "rude" to their dog, and that it just wants to play, but Titan doesn't play with other dogs. He plays fetch with mom because that's much more fun!

The relationship will grow when your boy is older probably and can start doing things with the dog alone.. which as other pointed out is not now. lol.

v/r,

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Ya it is never unsupervised. I'm not exactly out there watching but they are always within plain sight through our windows. Onyx is very gentle with our son and I trust him. He knows better than to be rough with the little guy.

My son does help feed him from time to time, mimics the tricks that I do with Onyx (although Onyx looks at me right after to get the final OK) and throws the ball around with Onyx but I think Onyx gets bored with it since my son can't throw the ball too far nor can he wrestle the ball out of his mouth.

I guess it will take some time I just feel bad that my son loves his dog so much but in turn, Onyx is just like, "Well, I guess since the big guy is not playing with me, the little one will do for a few minutes."
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 08:35 PM
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Do not trust them. The dog is young the kid is young. Bad things can happen!

Would you leave your 3 year old alone in the bathtub?

Watching thru the window is not enough.

Last edited by shepherdmom; 03-29-2014 at 08:40 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 08:54 PM
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I think the dog is smart. He is smart not to let him get too riled up with the baby human. Because that can go way bad. At the same time, I would not trust my baby human to a canine's intelligence and restraint.

I know all the Carl books makes that look so cool, but some things you can't take back.

But I would include the child in the training. I will never forget when my oldest niece who is in college now was 2. And she would tell Pip, Kennel! and he would go into his crate and sit so she could shut the door.

As the training proceeds, and you are there to back up the child's commands, he will learn to listen to the child too and the relationship will develop.

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Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
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Last edited by selzer; 03-29-2014 at 08:56 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 09:20 PM
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Was the OP serious?
"But we originally got him so our son will have a companion as they both grow up"
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