What do you expect when a child runs at your dog? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 07:59 PM
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I missed the jumping and play bowing. Me bad. I've been trying to sit and read enjoyable things for me at a clip with a household of kids and a new puppy lol Sorry I didn't read it better.

I guess my point is, keep an eye on the growling see if it keeps happening or looks like it might escalate. She nipped the kids jacket. Reason is kids are out of control, even more so these days in higher numbers it seems. It will be seen as your fault bringing a dog that would bite a kid to public places where you are likely to encounter them. It's not at all fair, but most society will say kids will be kids.

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post #22 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:39 PM
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You reprimand the child? Sorry...I couldn't help myself. It's the first thing that came to mind in response to the title of your post. :-)
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post #23 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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You reprimand the child? Sorry...I couldn't help myself. It's the first thing that came to mind in response to the title of your post. :-)


Hahaha I donít blame you. They were around the ages of 5-7. Somewhere between there. Young enough to not really know any better and to not quite have that learned impulse control.

Today at club our club member had her one child there who is 4. He was running around with his Spider-Man hoodie up, and even had his HotWheels bike that made the engine revving sounds. He ran by and close to Ryka multiple times when she was in her long down, and Ryka didnít care. She watched him of course, but she never broke her down because of him. No aggressive or worried behaviour, either. He even ran along behind the fence within inches to where she was on the other side, and she was fine with it. I had her tied to the fence post just in case, but I was far away and she was fine.

I think the trigger was the fact that someone ran up towards me, both my SIL and I gave off ďdonít approach us/we donít like thisĒ vibes, and Ryka acted on it. Because thatís two different extremes to me. I would definitely prefer that Ryka looks to me before doing those behaviours next time, rather than thinks and acts on her own. So itís something weíll work on.

As for suggestions with the muzzle, I muzzle trained her from when she was a puppy just in case I ever needed it. I donít think sheís the kind of dog that does at this time. Her dam is known to consistently produce dogs that are successfully placed in LE, so itís something for me to reflect on how that might impact her decision making process. However, if things ever escalate from here, I will have her professionally assessed by a behaviourist and see what management and changes we might need to make. I donít believe it will come to it, but Iím not narrow minded enough to think my dog is above others who need that type of help.
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post #24 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 10:21 PM
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You have a large, formidable dog, and she won't get a pass if she makes even a reasonable mistake. Therefore, you have to protect your dog. So you need to be on the lookout for children. No, you cannot expect parents to teach their children proper doggie etiquette. In some places if your dog bites a child, anyone really, severely, the court can choose to put your dog down. And even if you can convince the court not to put the dog down, the dog can be labeled dangerous, and you will have to jump through hoops, like keeping an liability policy on the dog, a six-foot kennel, and a muzzle when the dog is off the property.

So it can be a big deal. And even if you are able to keep your dog, you might find that impossible when your home-owner's insurance drops you and you cannot get another policy without getting rid of the dog. If you have a loan on your house, you might not be able to keep your dog. So, it's a big deal.

If we try to hold the dog back with the leash, that can increase the tension of the situation and make the dog more likely to bite. When you see children running toward you, put your dog on a SIT STAY, and step in front of your dog. Practice SIT and STAY and DOWN and STAY regularly.

When in front of your dog, tell the child to STOP. Do not raise your voice or act frantically or your dog's tension will increase. Instead use a low commanding voice. Kids like dogs are more likely to listen to controlled, low, stern no-nonsense command of a voice than a loud voice or a high voice, a voice filled with anxiety, or a shriek or a questioning voice. Practice if you must. Use a voice that expects obedience.

If a child runs up to you with dogs, or tries to pet your dog without asking first, say no. It is good to use it as a teaching moment. Have it handy in your brain a short, simple phrase or sentence that explains what they should not have done. Kid running up CAN I PET YOUR DOG. You have the dog seated, standing in front of the dog, "STOP, No. You should never run up to a dog you do not know." Kid comes up and tries to pet the dog with out asking. The dog is seated behind you, "STOP, You need to ask the owner if you want to pet the dog." Do not allow it.

If a child approaches without running and asks if they may pet your dog, The dog is seated by your side. You have to make a decision. If the child has a bicycle, or is with a bunch of kids, or even if your pup has had enough encounters today, you can say something like, "I'm sorry, he is in training and he's had too much excitement already today." If you are ok with it, then you can tell the child to offer their hand showing them how, tell them to let the dog come to them and to scratch the dog under the chin. I often tell my dogs to "SAY HELLO." Some dogs want to be petted, others are happy to get a whiff and a little scratch under the chin and that's enough. I bring it to a close by saying, "Thank you for helping me socialize him properly."

Don't worry about irritating parents. It is your dog, and while we want our dogs bomb-proof around children, we also want to give them the opportunity to become bomb-proof around children, and that means setting the dog up to succeed. That could mean ensuring the socialization experiences are positive.

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post #25 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 07:21 AM
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If the dog takes cues from you as they a perceptive breed and should - it is important to remain calm especially in young dogs learning. Instructions to the dog also dissipate worry from the dog as you are telling them how you want them to behave in a given situation if things get murky and unclear to the dog. I would just make sure when out in a unfamiliar and not engaged setting how well the correction worked and see how comfortable she is in a a similar scenario if occurs and have a plan regardless. I look at the dog in front of me regardless of where they are from and never make those assumptions. It’s a jungle out there it’s where all the the real life tests take place lol!

Also playful mouthiness , jumping can be easily happen with rambunctious energy and be misinterpreted by the parent.

When I stopped having kids pet my dogs lol! a young kid was all over Luna at pet co the child was around 4 and the father asked is she can let her and I said yes. She was all over Luna and then I said okay bye and we walked away the kid followed us all over the store and the dad just walked away. If I remember right I had to hunt the father down and tell him no more. At the park young two kids ran up and one wrapped there neck around Max’s neck and the other around his hips. They were so fast I did not even see the second kid. I told them in calm way not to go up to strange dogs as the parent was about 6 feet away and said not a word. I did not get angry and I did not yell. Max was fine he wanted to play Max got lots of praise from me. At a play ground one can expect that but now I am more watchful. For the most part parents watch their kids but it takes seconds for the kid to do their own thing. I had a young kid run after us as we walked through the park and parents scream and yell for them to stop and chase their young kids in a fury. We just kept walking. I learned from loose dogs that would charge us on walks that if I yell or scream stop and get heated my dogs will follow suit if not told otherwise when they were learning the rules of life.
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post #26 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 10:39 AM
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She was all over Luna and then I said okay bye and we walked away the kid followed us all over the store and the dad just walked away. If I remember right I had to hunt the father down and tell him no more. At the park young two kids ran up and one wrapped there neck around Maxís neck and the other around his hips. They were so fast I did not even see the second kid. I told them in calm way not to go up to strange dogs as the parent was about 6 feet away and said not a word. I did not get angry and I did not yell. Max was fine he wanted to play Max got lots of praise from me. At a play ground one can expect that but now I am more watchful. For the most part parents watch their kids but it takes seconds for the kid to do their own thing. I had a young kid run after us as we walked through the park and parents scream and yell for them to stop and chase their young kids in a fury. We just kept walking. I learned from loose dogs that would charge us on walks that if I yell or scream stop and get heated my dogs will follow suit if not told otherwise when they were learning the rules of life.
Good job Luna and you! I have stopped letting kids pet Deja. She needs to ignore them, which goes really well. Whenever I have a young pup I 'idiot-proof' it by gentle pulling on ears, tighter than normal hugs etc. That paid off big time when I took my big adult mutt to a garden nursery and an employee squealed in over-drive, "Oh, a puppyyyyyy!" and hugged him without my permission. The dog was calm and almost oblivious due to idiot proofing when he was tiny. I don't get it when people do this; he looked like a blond Rottweiler! I think it is crucial for any pup to learn this as they can always encounter someone without dog-sense.
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post #27 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 12:14 PM
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I had posted a few months ago...a group of middler schoolers came charging at my dog screaming AWWWWWWWWW! with their arms outstretched. About 4 girls. I was walking past the grammar school which didn't let out for another half hour.

I put this post in our town parents page on FB. This is a cut and paste:

"Hey parents, just a heads up. It seems people teach the little ones to ask before petting strange dogs..but it is worth reinforcing even at the Middle School level.

I was walking up to Jefferson to meet my Middle School kid with my dog. About 4 MS kids, girls, starting yelling awwwwww and rushed him with open arms. I yelled at them to stop and told them it was dangerous to do that to dogs (also rude too..a lot of dogs are afraid of getting rushed)

He is a 92 lb German Shepherd wearing a prong training collar. Nothing about this dog screams "rush me love me even if I dont know you"

Fortunately he is extremely well trained and is very neutral/aloof to people he does not know, and he does like little kids...had that been an adult he would have become protective as many dogs would. Or frightened. Some dogs are very frightened of strangers. He is well trained, but many are not.

Plus, regardless, it just isn't great etiquette, it is in fact very rude and intrusive.

ALSO OF NOTE I specifically know of another large German Shepherd often walked around town who would bite if rushed.

I think it is just something that bears friendly mentioning.

If someone's kid mentioned getting yelled at by a lady for trying to say hi to a dog, this is what they rushed at like they just made a world cup soccer goal, arms out and all lol

(insert picture of Valor)"

The responses I received were mostly in agreement, but plenty were of the mentality of "if your dog is a basket case that would bite a child keep him in your yard and out of the public" Which REALLY chaps my you know what. I can see putting those restrictions on a dog that lunges at people for merely walking by. But a dog that does not like to be touched by strangers but is otherwise safe SHOULD have all the same rights as an uber friendly dog.

It is also no small coincidence that the people who felt my dog should be bombproof or stay home have the KIDS in town that should really be kept in the yard only. Sorry, not sorry lol

Small town, people know everything about you and your kids.

There genuinely is a guy with a large similar looking GSD in town that is nasty. The guy had to stop and be a tree in order to let people pass with his dog barking on the end of a lead. And he waits until you are close too...stays perfectly still until he thinks you are within close distance even when you do not have a dog with you. They better not rush and surprise that dog.

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post #28 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:44 PM
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Um, okay but neither of my Goldens would have bit any kid who ran at them in any manner. They wouldn't have bit the kids, it would have been fine. I think that is how the general public (including kids) thinks dogs act.

I am starting to realize that Jupiter has a completely different temperament. He is just naturally more bitey and less accepting of people and dogs than the Goldens were. He's been through puppy obedience, obedience 1, and now is in obedience 2, has been extensively socialized with adults, kids, and dogs, but he's still pretty unpredictable. Of course he is only 7 months or so and has been cooped up because of an injury, but he's obviously just wired different than the calm and accepting kind of dogs. Perhaps with training and maturation he'll become much more tractable, but we didn't do anything with the Goldens to make them that way.

When he was just a few months old, I used to take him to the park with my daughter. At first, he accepted kids petting him, but after a month or two, he would sometimes nip at them and I realized he couldn't be trusted around him. And of course the kids think he's a big stuffie and is cute, and they want to hug him or kiss him. Experience shows that they don't obey me when I tell them how I act. Therefore it's on me to keep him away from kids.

I always wondered how GSDs could be #2 in AKC registrations when I never see them walking around. Is this why I never see them, because they're hard to control?

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post #29 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 07:07 PM
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People should raise their kids in a way that they listen and can be calm in an environment where there are dogs. Too many excuses for kids' behaviors lately. Teachers retire because many kids are out of control in classrooms. But we have to realize that our dogs, esp. the GSDs, will always get the blame.
So whenever there is a child 'on the loose' I have to assume he/she will not listen to the parent so I will protect Deja.
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post #30 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 07:46 PM
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En general, no GSD's are not hard to control, but they have higher defense and offense drives then a golden or lab, and that is ok. That is what they are bred for.. Unfortunately, stupidity and the lack of self restraint and common sense is gone in the younger generations and a strong self entitlement is in place. They feel it is their right to do what they please and your fault if they are hurt.. This makes owning a more powerful breed a dangerous place... But it can be thwarted
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I do believe that the I initial reaction triggered the dogs instinctive protection reaction. Good judgment kept from going further and getting worse. Still, it does fall on us to be less politically correct and more strenuously adamant that people abide by a common sense code of conduct and approach upon request and permission..

My dogs are SAR dogs and exposed to the public and extreme circumstances as common place... Still, I have to be on top of things as one never knows what the 'trigger' is for any given dog until it happens...
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