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Thread: Child Aggression Success Stories? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-07-2014 04:28 PM
Peter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunCzarina View Post
Let me see if I'm understanding this right.

You already had guests. The dog was with you entertaining the guests.

A knock comes to the door (or doorbell), the dog is tethered in the kitchen.

This kid comes in, takes off his shoes. Why's he taking off his shoes? Is this a child who's come over before to visit the dog?

Little kids don't really get dog training. They get dog playing. Especially boys, I have 3 kids, 9s and 10 1/2. Only my daughter gets yet all 3 of them are top students.

You tell the kid it's not a good time, he puts on his shoes to leave and your dog goes nuts.

Dog's tied (barrier aggression) and you're telling someone to leave your house. GSDs get tone of voice, body language and overall 'vibe' of the situation.

You're making entirely too much of it. The dog is young and needs to learn how to handle guests. I have an almost 15 month old who wants to give everyone a love mugging so I get it really I do.

Time and patience, he'll get it. It's not like he went after the kid. He just put on a show.
Yes, him just sort of walking in and taking his shoe off was awkward. I think he was confused, but I was focused on the dog, and so had my back turned to him and the door. My wife wasn't being mean or anything about telling the kid now wasn't a good time, but he probably did sense me being caught off guard, and somewhat nervous. The boy may have looked him in the eye or something who knows.

The event just rattled me, and I want to have a plan going forward.. and also plan on having kids over to work on it.
04-07-2014 04:21 PM
SunCzarina Let me see if I'm understanding this right.

You already had guests. The dog was with you entertaining the guests.

A knock comes to the door (or doorbell), the dog is tethered in the kitchen.

This kid comes in, takes off his shoes. Why's he taking off his shoes? Is this a child who's come over before to visit the dog?

Little kids don't really get dog training. They get dog playing. Especially boys, I have 3 kids, 9s and 10 1/2. Only my daughter gets yet all 3 of them are top students.

You tell the kid it's not a good time, he puts on his shoes to leave and your dog goes nuts.

Dog's tied (barrier aggression) and you're telling someone to leave your house. GSDs get tone of voice, body language and overall 'vibe' of the situation.

You're making entirely too much of it. The dog is young and needs to learn how to handle guests. I have an almost 15 month old who wants to give everyone a love mugging so I get it really I do.

Time and patience, he'll get it. It's not like he went after the kid. He just put on a show.
04-07-2014 03:45 PM
Sri I dont have a success story for you, we have a 14 month old unneutered male as well. But I wanted to give you some tools that are helping me deal with his adolescent hormones. When there are kids around, or people, or other dogs, I use these skills to keep him occupied with me.

I have found with ours, and the few other dogs I know, that just walks are not enough. Dogs do need excitement. The energy and instincts that they would have used for survival and status still need outlets in terms of play, games, mental stimulation, sport training and other activities(tracking, nosework etc) If they don't get it, especially at adolescent stages they get into bad behaviors .


3 vidoes that have helped me in various ways are:

Micheal Ellis' the power of training dogs with food

the power of playing tug with your dog (you can play ball, frisbee agility whatever gets your dog to focus and work with you)

and Crate Games. - a good way to teach your dog to relax in his crate, bed, playpen etc when you have guests over.

Things are not perfect and I have not gotten 100% there with my dog, but I know these have helped me immensely in all situations. I just did not want to use the prong around people and especially around children.

For example if there are a bunch of kids in the park and I am walking by, I start using food in an interactive way. Its a game, so the dog is focused on me and ofcourse is hungry and wants the food as well. I make him catch it, chase it, find it in the grass, etc. ofcourse you will start at a distance where he sees them and stays calm.

Same if someone comes home, I work with him this way on a leash till he has calmed down completely and is not focused on the guest(one guest in particular, since she is expecting, he loves her, but I dont want to take a chance in case he umps on her in excitement. But I aso do this with all service men and people he has not met before). Depending on your level of comfort, you can then let him meet the guest or not. If its a child, I would ask him to sit at a distance, and have the child throw treats for him to catch. or find.

Ofcourse, all of this advice is no substitute for a trainer or behaviorist. And definitely people on here are much more experienced and wiser than me. Bear in mind also that the process is very gradual, you won't get there in a few days or weeks.
04-07-2014 03:34 PM
Twyla
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter. View Post
Hi all,

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.

crate him, another room, then when guests have settled, bring him out on leash. put him in a down, not in a face to face direction

2. Put him in a sit/stay and stand by him while my wife opens the door.

to much excitement and movement, someone new coming in, can easily spill over into aggression

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.

excitement level to high, he isn't going to connect the correction with noncompliance of command- his focus is already in the newcomer

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.

He didn't follow command because he was already in crazy mode. Once he reaches that point, he is NOT going to hear commands. Again, the correction was associated with the kid.

The kids left, dog was put in a down/stay and stayed there for about an hour before I released him.

What point did an hour in a down make? It kept him in an amped up state with adrenaline pumping thru his system and not dissipating.

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.
Woolf is HA. He is now at the point where I can introduce him to strangers in the home with the proper introduction. That means he is crated in another room, guests have settled, all excitement of entry is over, then I bring him out on leash to meet and greet - on his terms. Guests are instructed to ignore, not reach for and all the other crazy things that some will do. Once he has done his sniff test and his body language observed, I may drop his leash, I may put him in a down for a bit or I may put him away - all depending on what I see.

After making progress with that, our next biggest hurdle was movement. Especially if it was quick or unsteady movement. It was handled the same way, Woolf under my control.

As far as kids go, the movement, unpredictability creates to high of a level of excitement/aggression to risk a kid to work with my dog. He is put away.

In your case - and this is only my opinion. Instead of leashing him to the counter, I would have crated him in another room. Especially with the surprise and nervousness on your part. Your dog read that in you and it only escalated his reaction.

Ecollars have their place, an excellent tool but in circumstances like this, unless you are absolutely sure the dog is clear headed enough to understand what the correction is for, it isn't appropriate to use.

Also, keep in mind that after events such as this, it can take a couple/few days for your dog to settle and not be so quick to react.
04-07-2014 02:47 PM
Peter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
Anyway, I would personally not be using a shock collar when the dog is fixating on people. I'd be doing the opposite and using Look At That training to build a positive association and have people become a cue to look back to you for leadership. My border collie is terrified of children and used to be very reactive. Thankfully, Look At That training made a huge difference and he is safe within the same room as kids now, so long as they aren't chasing him. If I had used a shock collar the way you are, he would have bitten one by now for sure.
This is my plan. I panicked, fortunately this hasn't been a regular occurrence.

He recently has had issues with lunging at cars on walks as well. So, we've totally stopped the walks, and are working the treat distract look at me method with cars at a controlled distance. And exercising him on the treadmill, instead on the walk, until he is ready.

Problem is, kids aren't as readily available as cars coming down the street.
04-07-2014 02:43 PM
Peter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sri View Post
Does he act this way only when kids visit your home? Is he okay when he sees them on walks, in the park, etc? (sorry if I missed this in your posts)

Also, how old is he?
He's around 16 months. We haven't had a ton of kid interaction at parks/playgorunds, but whenever we go, he's fine at a distance. The few times kids have come up to him when outside, he was fine.

I plan to work on this extensively this spring/summer.
04-07-2014 02:34 PM
Sri Does he act this way only when kids visit your home? Is he okay when he sees them on walks, in the park, etc? (sorry if I missed this in your posts)

Also, how old is he?
04-07-2014 02:34 PM
DJEtzel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter. View Post
Ok, this IS what I do.. but was taught you have a 1-2 second window where if the dog is starting to comply, he doesn't receive the collar correction. In my case that marker word is "Ah, Ah"

So, "Ah, Ah" only results in a correction IF he doesn't immediately comply, which he's normally very good at.
I guess I would think it wouldn't be very clear if it isn't the same process each time.

Kind of like if you were clicker training, and you clicked, but didn't give the reward. It would start to lose value and the dog wouldn't understand what it meant as clearly.

Anyway, I would personally not be using a shock collar when the dog is fixating on people. I'd be doing the opposite and using Look At That training to build a positive association and have people become a cue to look back to you for leadership. My border collie is terrified of children and used to be very reactive. Thankfully, Look At That training made a huge difference and he is safe within the same room as kids now, so long as they aren't chasing him. If I had used a shock collar the way you are, he would have bitten one by now for sure.
04-07-2014 02:32 PM
wyoung2153 Just curious on the OP.. I may have missed it, but my question is this.. Is this only with children? or are you concerned just because it was a child? Is he this way with every guest or ok with all guests but children? Have you had children come over before with no issue? Could the child have inadvertantly dones something to trigger it?
04-07-2014 02:26 PM
Peter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
Yes. I did a day-long training interview at an organization, they used corrections on the dogs. They used collar corrections. I was advised the proper way to administer these would be, "Dolly, Sit." *Dolly doesn't sit* "No." *correction*

Seemed pretty clear to me for the dogs. These dogs needed to be reliable for service dog tasks in public.
Ok, this IS what I do.. but was taught you have a 1-2 second window where if the dog is starting to comply, he doesn't receive the collar correction. In my case that marker word is "Ah, Ah"

So, "Ah, Ah" only results in a correction IF he doesn't immediately comply, which he's normally very good at.
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