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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2 yo neutered male. When the kids get rowdy, he likes to get in on it, nipping and barking and basically attacking them. Is this some sort of sign that he would make a good guard dog, and needs specific training? Or is this just some sort of bad dominant canine behavior that needs to be corrected?
 

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I think he's just trying to play with the rest of the "pack". Or, he may be trying to break up what he perceives as a "fight" between pack members (probably not, though). The kids are excited, he's excited, that's normal.

It's not bad behavior unless it gets out of hand, like if he's really after one of the kids.

The behavior says nothing about how he'd be as a "protection" dog at all. He's going to be sort of a guard dog anyway since you all are his family.

Nipping and barking is what I'd associate with play behavior, not an attack. An attack is really serious stuff. Are your kids screaming at the dog to get off and quit biting? If so, you need to train yourself and the kids how to control the excitement level and redirect the dog to more appropriate activities.

How long ago was the dog neutered?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess attack is a strong word. He really gets into it though. Even when the children are just chasing one another, he begins to bark and get excited and nip at them. Or if the children are riding on riding toys in the house. He did nip my 10 year old last night in his excitement and left a mark. She says he was nipping at both herself and her dad (who were being loud crazy goofballs) We usually have to put him on the back porch when things get rowdy because he has to get in on it.

Breaking up a "fight" between pack members, this is exactly what I thought he might be doing last night.

He was neutered early spring of this year.
 

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Yeah, I bet he just wants to be in on the fun with you guys. Who wouldn't? Problem is, he has scratchy nails and no hands to use so he has to grab with his mouth and that's no fun on thin human skin.

These dogs love playing and they love being around us, and figuring out how to accommodate that very natural, very nice inclination would be worthwhile. That being said, the dog doesn't know his strength, and he isn't all that pressure sensitive, so you have to be careful. Rowdy family time is nice too and you guys should be able to enjoy that. Does the dog get enough play time with you all, like fetch or something, where he can get good and worn out AND feel like he's a member of the family that can play in all the reindeer games? He needs that.

I was wondering about the neutering because some people do it really early and in my opinion it messes a dog up. Imagine castrating a 14 yr old boy and them imagine the effect it might have on his mental/emotional/physical development. (shudder) I don't think that's an issue w your dog. Your dog is acting like a normal dog in a house with humans he likes who are playing.
 

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He is playing but he needs to be told/showed what is ok and what is not. He doesn't understand his size.
What would be a good way in your opinion to demonstrate good behavior? My girl does the same thing in that if kids are over she gets very excited and runs around nipping at them. Exactly the same thing, she doesn't understand she's so big when she plays with them.
 

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What would be a good way in your opinion to demonstrate good behavior? My girl does the same thing in that if kids are over she gets very excited and runs around nipping at them. Exactly the same thing, she doesn't understand she's so big when she plays with them.
It's hard for a dog to understand that the miniature shrieking humans that like to run around all crazy are smaller than he is. They act like prey animals and that's very attractive to dogs. Also, the big dog doesn't know he's big and the small dog doesn't know he's small.

I think the kids need training on how to behave around dogs, what's a safe way to play with dogs, and the dogs have to be trained with bite inhibition. But it's always iffy.

You know who'd probably have good answers about this is the folks who do Service dog training, and I bet a lot of their job is made easier by selecting breeds with a temperament best suited to being calm and gentle around people. GSDs can do it but it's natural for them to want to play with kids, and for dogs, play involves rough-housing and nips.
 
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