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SirLancelot 06-04-2014 08:12 AM

Help curbing somewhat aggressive behavior
Our 8 month old Lucy has gone through the typical puppy phases and is generally still turning out to be a wonderful family dog. With one exception...

She sometimes seems to think that dangling or jumping objects - or more specifically - KIDS, are toys to nip at. Case in point is our backyard trampoline. When our kids jump on it, it drives Lucy bonkers. She jumps and barks and won't let up until this kids are off. Just a couple of days ago a close friend's son was playing and was bouncing close to the net. Lucy jumped up and bit his leg through the net. Apparently it drew a little bit of blood and freaked out his mom and my wife. A couple of months ago my 10 year old was carrying my 3 year old nephew when Lucy followed and bit his leg. I don't think he even knew what happened because I reacted so fast and nearly tossed Lucy across the deck. Those two incidents are more/less rare, but in my opinion they're 2 incidents too many! What should I be doing to help curb this behavior and build her trust with our family and friends? She's a great dog almost all the time and I truly hate thinking I should've gotten another Lab... We're MORE than willing to put in the work necessary for her, but need some direction.

Tratkins 06-04-2014 10:23 AM

she is young and sounds like he is trying to play, but playing with her teeth on a child is unacceptable. I would recommend working on her sit/stay and leave it command without distractions first. Allowing her near trampoline would be a big distraction that you would have to work up to. It sounds like she is overstimulated when then the kids are jumping on trampoline so I wouldn't allowed her there until she could handle it without acting like that. Let her watch from the inside and treat when she is being good and work your way up. We had to do this when our kids were in the pool. As soon as our dog started running and barking while kids were splashing, dog was brought to the house and put in a down (he could still see them, but wasn't so close that he was bananas) Then, overtime I let him get closer and closer as long as he didn't bark. Now he is able to go out with them and he will hang out by the edge without losing his mind. I still let him walk/run around it, but if he barks...he comes back in. With consistency, she will get the idea of what you expect. It took about a week for this training to be effective for our 6 month old.

As for leave it, we have a 10 year old daughter and she knows now if she is walking with her stuff animal, and Samson focuses on it, she says "leave it" and the dog walks off. That is because I have been training since we got him at 8 weeks on the leave it command. I think it is so important! Tons of videos you can find if you don't have a trainer. In the meantime, control the amount of freedom she has by always keeping her on a lead. Our 6 month old has a long drag lead on him all day long even in the house. I can control easily what he is allowed to touch, nip, play with etc.

You'll get there, but give her rules so she learns her boundaries. Good luck!

SirLancelot 06-04-2014 06:17 PM

Thank you!!

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