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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not happy with Kira's behavior around my 3 year old granddaughter.
She's fine with her 4 year brother.

I'll do my best to describe.

From time to time, I bring Kira with me to visit my grandchildren. I keep her leashed, as long as the kids are running free. I do this because Kira's body language tells me she's not totally comfortable with my 4 year old autistic grandson. She's never snapped or attempted to bite, but her "calming signals" tell me she's not too comfortable. With this, I create a very controlled greeting, and "allow" my grandkids to pet her. Kira will lay on the floor, and allow them to pet and do anything they want to her.

THEN, Kira will contradict her behavior, by attempting to nibble at my granddaughter's clothing, albeit sleeve, pants, whatever. It's done in a gentle way, but her actions are similar to what she would do if my Maltese would go to grab her bone. (A quick grab, and a walk away).

I get the impression that my granddaughter poses a threat in some way. Kira does tense up. I know her, and can see her subtle signs.
My granddaughter does nothing harsh to Kira. Doesn't pull, tug at her, etc... Only pets her, and smiles.

Last night, I sensed the tension, and gave her a quick snap correction. Part of me felt it was the right thing, and part of me felt that I shouldn't associate aggression with aggression.

Would like your thoughts.
 

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I would most likely have done the same exact thing, a snap correction and good "YOU LEAVE IT"..

My dogs have always sensed my displeasure at "whatever" just by the tone of my voice and the nasty look I give them when they do something I am not in favor of. The majority of time IF something crops up, just doing that without even a physical correction, to them, know I mean business and they better knock off whatever it is..

Is Kira like "flea biting/nibbling" on your granddaughter? don't know how else to explain it, but just curious..
 

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I would most likely have done the same exact thing, a snap correction and good "YOU LEAVE IT"..

My dogs have always sensed my displeasure at "whatever" just by the tone of my voice and the nasty look I give them when they do something I am not in favor of. The majority of time IF something crops up, just doing that without even a physical correction, to them, know I mean business and they better knock off whatever it is..

Is Kira like "flea biting/nibbling" on your granddaughter? don't know how else to explain it, but just curious..[/QUOTE]

YES! That's exactly what it is. She's not mouthing. Not opening her mouth or snapping. She's attempting to flea bite her sleeves, pants.

NOTE:

When I corrected her, she put her ears back, looked at me, went into a down, put her head on the floor, and <sighed>. At that point, my granddaughter was sitting on the floor next to her.
 

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I think a lot of people are going to freak out about the correction....

I think you did the right thing, dog's need a clear black and white world. She needs to know that is completely unacceptable. Check out Bart Bellon on google. He has a philosophy called NePoPo...It means negative, positive, positive. It's basically for ever negative correction follow it with two positive reinforcements (I am JUST reading his stuff so this is an extremely over-simplified general summary). I think you should correct that behavior, quick pop-pop on her collar/pinch, but then immediately reward for calm, acceptable, behavior(treat, toy, etc....)

I have read your posts on your girl, she sounds like she needs very clear instructions and has a history of nerviness, and fear aggression. I would just always keep that in mind and think, "am I being extremely clear in what I am telling this dog is acceptable and what isn't."

With that, her genetics are what they are. Don't put her in situations she's uncomfortable with. Having her in a submissive down, with kids she isn't very comfortable with, is like saying, "you are going to listen to me and deal with this...you're on your own." And, I personally, think she could snap out of fear.

I commented on another thread yesterday about owners having extremely high expectations for their dogs and don't objectively look at what they have. So they put their dogs in situations they can't handle. I don't think you are that person, I think you really want what's best for your dog. But, I think you need to constantly, honestly, ask yourself, "is this too much for my dog?"

Bart Bellon

"The NePoPo system is a system where correction of a dog does not lead to submission. The negative reinforcer followed by positive reinforcement creates a behavior. Due to that, an unpleasant feeling announces a nice event (Pavlov). Later you can use that same negative stimulation in correction mode which will immediately bring the dog from unwanted behavior into wanted behavior. Using the NePoPo system, the dog is prepared for the day when he will receive a conflict, he will do the wrong thing, he will will receive a correction, but that correction will immediately push him from unwanted behavior into wanted behavior with understanding and confidence and speed. Trainers cannot deny that training must come with consequences. There must be a consequence for both doing and not doing the exercise. That is why strictly positive training does not work when there are distractions or conflicts present which are stronger than the reward. For all training, one must ask the following questions: what do I do when the dog does? What do I do when the dog does not, but he cannot? What to I do when the dog does not do in spite of the fact that he knows very well what to do? This applies to every aspect of dog training: for pet dogs, police dogs, military dogs, and sport dogs."
 

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Since you mentioned calming signals - here are some:
http://www.mishamayfoundation.org/calming.pdf

After reading on this website, maybe Kira felt trapped. Generally speaking, I think many dogs, especially dogs not raised around small children think that they are prey or aliens. They are unpredictable and can have quick jerky movements. I don't know how "sensitive" dogs are, they can pick up on very subtle things. Since the toddler brain is not fully developed, I sometimes think a dog cannot "read" them or gets a disorganized message from young ones. Maybe they smell weird. So dogs may feel uncomfortable around them.

If you could have a do-over, I would have changed the snap correction to a verbal calm, "no". I would not want Kira having a negative association with your grandchildren. Or you could have removed Kira from the room for a moment.
 

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If you could have a do-over, I would have changed the snap correction to a verbal calm, "no". I would not want Kira having a negative association with your grandchildren. Or you could have removed Kira from the room for a moment.
I really think it depends on the dog. My GSD would have listened immediately to a verbal correction. My corgi would have needed the pop-pop. My corgi is harder and my GSD is pretty soft, especially when it comes to me correcting him.

I think, from what I've read about Kira from Anthony's past posts, that she is a little more like my corgi. I littler harder, more stubborn, and needs more than a verbal. Just imo, :)
 

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IF they are those "flea bites" and well some may shoot me for this, to me it'skind of a sign of affection..ever see dogs do this to each other, kind of like 'grooming'?..

Sure it can hurt even, dogs don't realize it hurts, and obviously I am not 'into' Kira's head, so honestly can't say "that" is what she's doing or her reason, don't think I'd allow it like you didn't on a young child. But I see something like that IF it's what I'm thinking of as a form of affection/grooming.

Did your granddaughter have fleas? LMBO I'm just kidding:) thought I'd throw some humor in there before this gets over analyzed to death:)
 

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IF they are those "flea bites" and well some may shoot me for this, to me it'skind of a sign of affection..ever see dogs do this to each other, kind of like 'grooming'?..

Sure it can hurt even, dogs don't realize it hurts, and obviously I am not 'into' Kira's head, so honestly can't say "that" is what she's doing or her reason, don't think I'd allow it like you didn't on a young child. But I see something like that IF it's what I'm thinking of as a form of affection/grooming.

Did your granddaughter have fleas? LMBO I'm just kidding:) thought I'd throw some humor in there before this gets over analyzed to death:)
Our previous dog used to do the flea biting thing to us when we got her all excited when we were playing. I never knew if she was grooming/cleaning us or just nervous excitement.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To clarify further.

I wouldn't call Kira stubborn at this point. She's a "one command" dog, and is always ready to respond.
After her correction, when she "downed herself", I did give her a good girl. At that point, she never moved away from her position. She's been very well behaved, and her past behavior of lacking nerve hasn't been an issue.
I work her obedience every day. I keep her away from whatever might rattle her. I do acknowledge prior nerve issues, so I make it my business to keep her in her comfort zone.
Being around my grandchildren is a way of life for me. crating her or removing her is always the option. I've dealt with her uneasiness in my home, by creating an outdoor run for her, and making sure she's crated or outside when I have company over my house.
That system's been working nicely. She's been calm. allows guests to go outside to pet her if they chose to. She'll even play a game of fetch with them. So, I can say that I'm very happy with her behavior. She'll be 2 years old in June, and I'm seeing signs of her maturing. She's been very calm.

I'm comfortable with her around my grandchildren, but do feel the need to keep an eye on her... It's the flea biting that concerns me. She may not mean any harm, but never the less, a GSD "pinch" would her a 3 year old.
 

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I agree with the affection part I don't think it is aggressive. My pup would grooming bites/nibble us, still does sometimes, but more so when he was younger especially when we hit the "spot" and his leg would start kicking. He would reach his mouth over on anything he could get our sleeve, corner of his bed, furniture, our hands ect. we didn't want to encourage it so we just stuck a toy in his mouth and he could nibble on that. He will still do it sometimes but we just say "bring" he grabs a toy brings it to us and we continue on with the petting session :)
 

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Flea biting. What a good term for it. Wonder if there is a 'proper' term for it.
All I know is that it HURTS. My dog does it to her stuffed animals when she is not making them squeak. She did it to me as a pup until I told her to stop.
My last dog would do it on occasion and I think it was a sign of anxiety. They only seem to do it to clothing, not directly to skin.
 

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Havoc and Tempest flea bite each other when playing but also when cuddling. They also gently flea bite me when being affectionate. None of my other dogs ever did this. I think that Tempest learned it from Havoc.
 

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The nibbling is a sign of affection...a grooming that would take place in the pack. Its clear when our puppy does it, that shes in a calm state and very sweet. I don't correct because its not uncomfortable, but I would correct if it was uncomfortable for someone, just like biting.


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i think you can read your dog pretty well anthony. you did mention her being tense around your grandchildren, im sure in her mind she probably doesnt know what to expect. i know when company is comming over (that i know about) i make sure to excercise lexie a lot. it makes for a much calmer dog.
 

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If the nibbling was all she was doing then, yes, you could probably see it as affection but IMO you need to look at the whole picture and her history.
I would exercise caution with her around the little ones given that shen is also a bit uneasy around them......of course you already are but the nibbling in this case may not be just a sign of affection.......it could be a sign of nervousness.:)
 

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I'm more inclined to believe she was nervous. Even though she's been fine of late, she does have a history of being uneasy around younger children.
There was a time when my daughter's teenage friends used to freak her. She's since gotten past that, but the tendency could still be there.

My gut tells me she simply didn't want my granddaughter too close.
Whatever vive she gets from her. ... I don't know. ...
But at this point, I've put do much time and energy into dealing with her moods, I'd might as well add this one to the mix.
The best approach would probably be to make sure she's leashed and Kira has her space.

One thing my granddaughter hasn't done yet, is have the opportunity to play with her in the park. Not as confined, playful atmosphere.
I'll let them spend some time walking together.


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you keep putting your dog in situations that's bad for her
because you don't believe she's going to bite. Kira barked
and growled at your adult guests, she put her mouth on your
grandson's shoulder when he was in your backyard, she charged
a little girl that was in your house, you have a video of her
lounging at a little girl while she was leashed, she had problems
with other dogs. you and your wife should stop endangering Kira
under the pretense "i don't why she's doing this". why take Kira
visiting if she has to be leashed because you don't know how she's going to act.
protect your dog. don't put her in bad situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There once was dog that wouldn't heel.
There once was a dog that wouldn't recall.
There once was a dog that would lunge at other dogs.

My point is NOT to live in the past, but to continue to work towards my goals with her. ..
And if that means continuing to teach her manners, and desensitize her so be it.

99 out of 100 will tell you not to go to dog parks, but you go. ..Don't you?

What she did as a young female is so far removed, it's just a blur.

She's been wonderful. She's maturing and very receptive.
This is more about working my dog to be comfortable around my 3 yr old granddaughter.
Btw....She's now wonderful with my 4 year old autistic grandson. She used to be nervous around him too. He throws her ball and she retrieves it.




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i have a pet/companion/go everywhere dog on or off leash.
you can't compare my dog to your dog or any other dog.
i understand you want to teach your dog manners but it doesn't
seem to be working. maybe you should seek the help of a professional
trainer/behaviourist.

There once was dog that wouldn't heel.
There once was a dog that wouldn't recall.
There once was a dog that would lunge at other dogs.

My point is NOT to live in the past, but to continue to work towards my goals with her. ..
And if that means continuing to teach her manners, and desensitize her so be it.

>>>>> 99 out of 100 will tell you not to go to dog parks, but you go. ..Don't you? <<<<<

What she did as a young female is so far removed, it's just a blur.

She's been wonderful. She's maturing and very receptive.
This is more about working my dog to be comfortable around my 3 yr old granddaughter.
Btw....She's now wonderful with my 4 year old autistic grandson. She used to be nervous around him too. He throws her ball and she retrieves it.




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What I would do, Anthony, is change the type of interaction.
Instead of petting, have your granddaughter throw a toy for Kira to fetch.
Supervised, of course.
 
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