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Thread: Dog Bites within family Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-30-2013 06:14 PM
Amurphy26 I'm probably too late with advice for this but i just wanted to back the advice on using a crate. You're going through an incredibly tough time and the dog will pick up on it. Add to that a change in his daily routine and home environment and I think that goes a long way to explain some of the behaviour changes. I rehomed a 3yr old dog once who had spent the first 3 years of her life in a crate or kennel and run. I brought her straight into my house, gave her a lovely bed and then watched her destroy furniture and whine constantly. At the time I was anti crating but as a last resort decided to give it a go. Problem solved! She just needed a space that was hers and where she felt safe. Sounds like your boy would benefit from a space he can get away from the kids and call his own like he used to have outside.
As for the nipping, our old dog nipped me loads when I was a child. She was stressed, I wound her up and I came off worse. It was a nip, I survived.
Good luck.x

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12-26-2013 09:07 PM
LoveSea A GSD needs lots of attention. My GSD bit someone (out of the home) when we were going through major stress in our home - all is better now & things are fine - but they do pick up stress. Mine was a fearful dog in the first place, add the stress & oh boy!

There is nothing wrong with rehoming him - you have your hands full. My GSD is a lot of work & I have a 12 & 14 year old & I am exhausted at times, I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you. Good luck.
12-20-2013 06:37 PM
sarah1366 Gsds are really sensitive to there owners emotions and going through divorce is emotional turmoil your dog will pick up on this and in turn will also be emotional you need really try keep his normal routine in the 2 half years you've had him cause change of routine will also cause him to act out he will do things that are out of character too cause he will be picking up not only on your stress but also upset children too so maybe letting g have more time in yard like you did will help him cause he's not around everyone been emotional still have him in house too just let him have some me time it may help

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12-05-2013 05:16 PM
Baillif You know, I actually can't believe I forgot this but a few weeks ago my brothers Jack Russell and his 2 daughter had a run in with each other not long after my brother got deployed. She really debated sending the dog away to her parents till he got back, but decided to fix it basically the same way a few of us are suggesting, with the management.

You'll notice everyone acting up a little bit because of the recent changes. It's a normal thing. Anytime there is a change in environment you have to back track on training a bit and give em some additional rules, constraints, and structure.
12-05-2013 04:19 PM
David Taggart
Unless he is sent to my moms, who he loves.
Probably is the best thing to do, at least for a while, because you are trying to fix too many things at once. Don't panic about this bite, nothing terrible had happened, your dog had reacted like this because it was sudden. Good lesson for your baby as well.
If a family dog bites a member of the family - it means that there's something wrong within the family. Everything would be OK only the things come to some new order.
12-05-2013 03:33 PM
Lilie Big hugs to you during this new chapter in your life. It's gotta be tough, I wish you all the best.

Changes are happening to your entire family. You are stressed. Your babies are stressed. Your dog is stressed. Just as you can see the stress in your babies, your dog can sense / see the stress in the rest of his family. Then add that part of his pack is now missing. It doesn't matter what the relationship your children's father had with the dog.

Your dog's behavior now is a result of it's inability to cope with the stress. Destructive behavior and getting snappy with the kids (NEVER allowed!!).

I would first suggest finding a behaviorist/trainer to help with your dog. But I'll step out on a ledge here and assume due to your new situation that money is a little tight.

I'd suggest 100% NILIF. He has to earn every right you allow. I'd suggest crating while he's eating until you get this behavior under control. I'd suggest you really getting serious about his exercise needs. He HAS to burn off that stress. I'd suggest you really taking control of everything he does. When you want to play, you play. When you want to stop, you stop. Show your dog you are in control of the situation. Show leadership 24/7. Get tough, get strong.

Help your dog help your family through this transition. The same good dog is in there, you just have to help him through this.
12-05-2013 03:20 PM
selzer The dog only used to come in when the husband was home, and now there is a divorce/separation. The dog is destroying stuff in the house.

And the accident where your child got snapped at he caught her lip. A dog raised with children shouldn't be snapping at them. It sounds like he is very unsettled right now, and I would give him his yard time like he had before, so he can get used to the new regime -- one thing at a time so to speak.

Normally I would suggest upping the training with the dog, so it will increase your leadership position with the dog. But you have your hands full. I think everyone here would understand if you gave this dog to the family members that he does well with and are willing to take him. Because of the, uhm, accident, he probably would not be welcome in rescues and his fate in a shelter is probably sealed, so if you rehome, you need to choose someone who has the experience and time to manage him properly, and is not afraid of him.

If you want to try to keep the dog. You will need to find ways to up the training, exercise, and management. You might want to read through stuff on line about NILIF. It might help. I would try to go back to how it was when your husband was around for a few weeks, until he is more settled without him being there, than increase his inside time.

If you can find some ways to exercise him while spending time with the kids, I know, there is little time and probably less money. I mean, on walks you need to be holding the leash, six year olds won't be able to control him if he sees something too tempting. So even a walk with all the kids, for one would be rather slow with little ones, and it would probably be like a major event trying to get everyone out the door and on the road before someone needs to go to the potty again. If the older ones are in school, and you have a running stroller, that might work. If money was no problem getting him a cart, and putting the kids in the cart might be a great way to exercise everyone -- and exercise for you is probably just as important to keep up your strength and spirits. Another possibility is a back pack to increase the amount of work the dog is doing, for the time/energy you are spending.

More exercise, and incorporating some management techniques, and some time to get over the changes going on, might be enough to get everyone where they need to be.
12-05-2013 02:49 PM
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Four children under 6 yrs, and a divorce. Who has time for a dog, let alone a GSD?
I think you should rehome your dog. I would not want to be in your household and would probably act out too. Sorry for your situation, but I think simplifying your life will help you focus on your children and uncertain future.
I totally agree. I have three kids. If I were to go through a divorce Id probably give my dogs to my dad just because I know that with working, three young kids, and two dogs would be a disservice to everyone because SOMEONE is going to need time from me all the time. Whether its kid #1, #2, #3, dog, court, work... Something is going to suffer. Good luck. I'm so sorry for your situation. Could your (ex)husband take him instead of your mom? He'd probably have more time to train the dog.

12-05-2013 01:59 PM
Saphire This can be done but wow its alot of work and commitment and you must get some help. Dog walker and or friends that could help to exercise dog or watch kids so you can have some quality time with your dog. This could be win/win for both you and the dog. Some time away from kids getting fresh air and exercise for the both of you.

If no help is possible you have a tough decision to make.
12-05-2013 01:48 PM
Gretchen Four children under 6 yrs, and a divorce. Who has time for a dog, let alone a GSD?
I think you should rehome your dog. I would not want to be in your household and would probably act out too. Sorry for your situation, but I think simplifying your life will help you focus on your children and uncertain future.
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