How to teach my GSD to respect my toddler - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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How to teach my GSD to respect my toddler

Hi, I cannot get my german shepherd to stop licking my 20 months old face. My GSD is 7 shes not aggressive in any way but shes extremely boisterois has no concept of personal space. Shes not really a licker she doesnt lick me and never has but shes obsessed with licking my little girl and its driving me mad. Shes tried to do it from when my LO was a newborn but i could always stop her and keep them fairly apart however, once my LO has been walking im having a harder time trying to stop her. She knows shes not allowed as ive seen her look at me to see if im watching before she does it. I tell her off and move her to a different room she knows the leave command and does listen to it but shes just relentless with this. My LO is not really fussed on it she just pushes her away but sometimes its must be forceful she either makes her cry or pushes her off her feet.

Im always teach my LO to respect the dog and not push or pull her as to be honest even though shes very friendly dog shes over friendly. There never left alone together and id love to be one of them people that says my dog would never hurt anyone but i cant shes always been a little bit whappy and could not trust her 100%

Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 01:25 PM
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Time to put up baby gates if you can. Child in one room and dog in the other. I know that can be tough to do with so many homes now being built "open concept".
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 01:55 PM
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Once our little guy started pulling ears, flopping on her, and putting fingers up our pup's nostrils (all of which we actively discourage), her fascination with being around him disappeared. She doesn't dislike him, but she sure pays attention to where he is and actively "avoids" him when he's being obnoxious. He has to actively seek "kisses" now.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 02:03 PM
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I have a 2.5 year old, a 9-month-old, and two GSDs. I am thankful that so far, they all have gotten along really well. I don't know what to suggest about this particular problem, when I tell my dogs to back off, they do it. But here's what I might try if I were you (and I'm no trainer, just a pet owner, far from an expert). I'm not sure if you mentioned in your post what training you have done with your dog, but I might do some refreshers on the basics--sit, stay, and down. That might help her to respect and listen to you more since she seems to be brushing you off. (Perhaps only when it comes to the toddler?) In addition, I might buy a short lead (2-3 ft) and have her wear it around the house. I'd try to catch her just before she went into licking mode, take hold of the leash, and redirect her with a command, like sit, then give her a treat when she complies. Though, I haven't bothered to teach it to my dogs, the place command might be helpful in your situation. A short google search should give you directions on how to teach it. In addition, baby gates, crates, and fences are your friends. I've dismantled all our crates recently. But when I need space, I put the dogs outside for a little while or upstairs. I would not rule out hiring a trainer for help. This doesn't sound like an insurmountable problem at all. I'm sure that a trainer could come to the house and offer you a lot of help in a few sessions.

Last edited by sebrench; 02-20-2018 at 02:06 PM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Hi thanks for the replies.
I have baby gates up already and the dog goes in the kitchen where her bed is if im in another room. however i dont want her to be banished there all the time. For example, now the baby happily playing around the room and the dog sat near her no bother but i know if she gets up to walk past her she will go in for the lick.
She knows all the basic commands so will see if any of them work and have a google of the one you mentioned.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 07:15 AM
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I would not let the dog and baby get that close,I only ever let my dogs near the children under close supervision and the dogs know they aren't allowed to lick,jump up at or even approach the kids.

Like how they aren't allowed to approach stock,if the child wants to walk over and stroke them that's fine.
Kids and dogs don't mix imo and should only be allowed together when you can 100% control the situation.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 06:49 PM
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I have a 3 year old child and a 1 year old GSD. For the first 8 months or so, we kept them apart - the puppy was simply too rambunctious for the child. Now the tables are reversed, but the dog will usually remove himself from the situation if my son is getting too obnoxious. Still, even though he adores my son and will tirelessly endure endless lectures on garbage trucks and how K is for Krieger-dog, I would not leave my child unsupervised with him. We have to be parents first and foremost and dogs and children have different ways of communicating that need to be respected.

We have a rule that when greeting, licks are allowed IF my son is ok with it. This is part of teaching respect. If he is not, he says, "Off!" We taught Krieger the "off" command during the puppy biting phase, and use "Licks" to tell him it's ok to lick.

Since your dog is older, maybe just try using an off command and a distraction (like a favorite toy) when she gets to licking your baby and then reward/good girl/show her lots of attention when she complies. Moving her to another room just changes the view, not necessarily the understanding of what she did wrong. The goal is to teach her that really awesome things happen when she respects the space of your child. Also, you probably need to practice/train this behavior specifically, not just worry about it when you're in the middle of dinner and distracted.

Take 5 minutes out and let the two of them be together. The minute your dog approaches your child, tell her off and then offer the reward for turning her attention away to you. You could also try giving her a kong or other stimulating toy to keep her attention focused on that instead of your child. Make sure that anytime you and your child and dog are together, you are supervising (ie, not distracted with dinner or some other activity while everyone plays a few feet away.) Your dog needs to see that you're going to stop her every single time, not just some of the time.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 06:55 PM
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Licking is not always friendly. It can be very pushy and possibly a red flag. You could hire a trainer to come out to the house and give you an objective take on this. You need to up your leadership because she doesn't respect personal space, which is rude, and is too boisterous. She might need more exercise as well, both mental and physical.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 07:52 PM
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The dog is probably sneakaly licking because a toddler is covered with delicious food smells. Everybody raising children cannot afford "hiring a trainer". I would keep the dog on a drag leash in the house with a good solid leash pop correction for licking the toddler. And separate them otherwise.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 11:04 PM
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Baby gates, drag leash, place command and leave it will come in handy. We have lots of little nephews raging from 2 , 6 and up so all these come in handy. Max and luna will always will try to sneak a kiss in when they can and their mom is right there with the wipes!

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