Bulldozing the kids - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Bulldozing the kids

How do you train a dog not to plow through kids/adults? I've worked with Nyxie on "easy" but unless I am right there holding her collar she will run right into the kids. Today was especially bad since my MIL came over to watch the kids and Nyxie was at the front door greeting her along with Connor (my 18 mo old son). MIL started to come down stairs holding Connor's hand when Nyxie just came flying down the stairs behind Connor which caused him to fall down the flight of stairs because she hit him hard enough to make my MIL lose her grip on Connor's hand. I was at the bottom of the staircase so there wasn't much I could do but catch him when he landed. She had room to run down the stairs next to Connor, but she chose to go through Connor as she usually does. Luckily he was not hurt, just scared. She just has no concept that he is a small person and that she needs to be gentler with him. So any tips on making her realize that he is a small person and can't be run over? I had been tethering her to me but I kept tripping over her so stopped the tethering because it was leading to more problems - she was getting the leash caught around the kids or the leash itself was knocking Connor over if I was walking by him or near him. So that didn't work so well. She just keeps bowling him over or knocking him into things. She does the same to Bianca but she's 4 and better able to keep her balance - but she still gets trampled enough to make her not want to be around Nyxie as much as she used to. So is there a way to train this or do I just have to let them all grow up more?

Michelle


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 11:25 PM
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Just heavily discourage her rowdy behavior in the house. Apply consequences for her actions like baby gated away from the family or put in her crate for a time out. Sorry the tethering didnt work. One thing i've learned in my training to be a dog trainer is do a tour of the house with her on leash. If she gets excited or pushy about something, she gets put outside. wait 5 minutes and try again. Also you do have to just wait til everyone grows up a bit.

Shasta was a bulldozer today. No idea what got into her but she acted like a kid who'd gotten into the red bull. I had to leash her and after a particulary hard leash correction, she finally realized she needed to settle down and control herself, especially her rear end. She's been crashed on her rug since. She was still crazy after a walk and some free running at the tennis court. I havent had to be that tough on her with her behavior in the house since she was about 7 months old.

Hope you figure out something that works. I would suggest not allowing her to greet at the door as it sounds like you have stairs leading to and from your door. Probably best if she takes the stairs before the people do just for safety.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah it's a bi-level house so you walk in and there are stairs up and stairs down. We have baby gates up to keep access to the stairs limited, but of course it was open to let Connor go up to greet - Nyxie followed since she wanted to see who was there. She is super attached me to so when she knocked him down the stairs I got her and told her no shoving and then baby gated her in an area where she could see me but could not get to me - which I know upset her. My version of a time out for her. I didn't want to park her in a down-stay as I don't want her to start to associate down-stays with punishment. So I figured taking me away from her was a decent punishment - she could see us all having fun but wasn't able to join in. But I don't know if she will make that connection: knock down kids = time out away from me. Time will tell I suppose, but I hate to rely on punishing her after the fact, would rather find a way to get it through to her that it is not acceptable behavior to knock the kids down.

Michelle


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IntCH Blackthorn's Onyx RN RA BN CGC TDI ~ Nyxie (LC GSD)
Int JuA Spirited Glory of Brick Chapel ~ Glory (Shiloh Shepherd)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 11:48 PM
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Two things spring to mind...my mom tells all the time about a Lab at a logging camp I was in as a toddler, apparently this Lab felt it great fun to knock me down, into the snow, or mud, whichever was there, and to stomp on me as he went by. I know, amazing I even own dogs now, considering...! LOL

But another thing comes to mind, Shepherds sometimes actually knock their charges down to stop them from running. I saw our GSD do it the 1st time, our neighbors were there visiting and the toddler went kind of running towards the road, and Hunter just reached out his paw and whap, hit the child on the back with his paw, and the child went down flat.
When I was younger, I had an Aussie type dog and she would knock my daughter flying if she could. She'd go running by and manage to bump her as she went by and knocked poor Julie down.

So...in my limited experience scope, I'd guess your dog either thinks it's great fun (may interpret your baby's screams as glee) or else is practicing herding instincts, or a bit of both. Sometimes our suppressed herders just do the next best thing they can figure out and it looks really bad or strange to us because the kids aren't sheep, and it's not a grassy field.

But. It sounds like gates, for now, are your friend And if leashing her to you, keep the leash 6' or less.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 12:39 AM
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Yeah it's a bi-level house so you walk in and there are stairs up and stairs down. We have baby gates up to keep access to the stairs limited, but of course it was open to let Connor go up to greet - Nyxie followed since she wanted to see who was there. She is super attached me to so when she knocked him down the stairs I got her and told her no shoving and then baby gated her in an area where she could see me but could not get to me - which I know upset her. My version of a time out for her. I didn't want to park her in a down-stay as I don't want her to start to associate down-stays with punishment. So I figured taking me away from her was a decent punishment - she could see us all having fun but wasn't able to join in. But I don't know if she will make that connection: knock down kids = time out away from me. Time will tell I suppose, but I hate to rely on punishing her after the fact, would rather find a way to get it through to her that it is not acceptable behavior to knock the kids down.

ok yeah. Better mental image in my mind there. My inlaws have a bi-level. Stipulation when geramy and I buy our house when we reach that point... NO BI-LEVEL!!! I cant stand having to decide right in the door whether i wanna go up or down before someone else can come in. Drives me crazy.

As long as you're able to seperate her in a timely manner so she associates it with her actions, i imagine you'll be seeing her rethinking her bulldozer mode. Shasta has gotten better but still has her moments. I'm hoping that next magic calm moment comes when she turns 2.

Shasta GSD 5/5/10 CGC, ITD, TC
"Dax" Thor z vom Weberhaus BCAT CAX2 CGCA ETD HCT NCO-1 PKD-T RATI RATN RA TC TKA 3/18/2013
"Hades" Guilty vom Blutfeuer 10/26/2018
Zena GSD 6/1/03-2/16/2016
Riley GSD/BC 1/10/05-2/1/2013
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 12:49 AM
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You may want to keep a "tab" on her, to get ahold of her quickly when the behavior starts
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 12:50 AM
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How about teaching her a sit/stay at the top and bottom of the stairs? She can only proceed up or down them once invited. We live in a bi-level house as well and with three dogs, the landing gets crowded fast and if they all decided to come screaming down the stairs, it was over for us. The best solution so far in our house is teaching them that stairs are like furniture or cars, and that they're something to be controlled by humans. When we're there, they look to us before proceeding to make sure its ok.

This has saved our knees as well as made it possible to open the door when we need to And I think that they actually enjoy this new trick!! Anything to keep their minds busy!!

And i know this would only help with the stair issue but at least it's a start and I know in our tiny house with three bigs dogs, the stairs have been the most dangerous place to get bowled over.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 12:53 AM
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If you can teach her "stay" or "wait", whatever you prefer, make her stay at the top of the stairs until everyone goes down them, and same with going up the stairs. I do that with my GSD. I live in an apartment and she loves to plow me over when we go for a walk every time I walk down the stairs without holding her leash. She's been to obedience school and knows "stay" now so that's what I do as I walk up and down the stairs.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Good idea - she knows "wait" for when I am going out the door and getting her in and out of the car so I'm sure it will be easy to apply it at the stairs as well. I've put tabs on her before and she always chews them. She chews on her name tags too so I am always replacing those - need to buy the pocket thing that goes on the collar to hold their tags. Even soaking the nylon or leather tabs in bitter apple did not prevent her from chewing them up when she was a puppy so I'm sure she will do the same still - she is a chewer of many things!

Michelle


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 04:42 PM
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Good idea - she knows "wait" for when I am going out the door and getting her in and out of the car so I'm sure it will be easy to apply it at the stairs as well.
Hope this worked out! Patience and practice is the key!
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