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Hi everyone,

Our almost 4 month old is now showing possessiveness towards me and my husband, he very obviously does not like the children being physically close to me, especially if we are sitting down.

Two days ago he started pushing his way in, jumping on the kids, nipping, biting and biting or jumping on me when I wouldn't let him get to them.

I've done different things, making him sit in front of us while the kids sat next to me and then treating it. Somtimes he would lie down, most times he would walk away and lie down at a distance and turn away. But it is obvious that this is not acceptance, he is actually jealous in a very human way. If he is in playpen and one of my children comes and hugs me, he turns his head away and pointedly look elsewhere.

I've also tried having the kids do short obedience sessions with him, but whereas he used to listen before, he does not now. If the treat is tempting enough he will obey the command but he bites them while he takes the treat.

He also brushes past them as he walks. Every time I catch a behavior I do say no and put him in the play pen.

But now I notice there is some sneakiness in the puppy, he tries to aggress them when he thinks I am occupied elsewhere. For example, yesterday I was making dinner and my back was to them, I turned around to see the puppy following my son who had gone into another room to get a book. He was lying quietly till then. While following my son, he turned around to look back at me, it seemed like he was looking back to see if I was watching. So I quickly followed and he was up against my son pushing against his legs and nipping, his teeth were bared. There was no provocation. My son was pushing him away as well.


So please someone tell me what else can I do?
 

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He's entering a butthead stage...maturing, testing you, figuring out who he can and can't listen to.

I would start playing mind games...make sure the kids eat before he does. Make the kids give him his food. If you want to...feed him during obedience...so all 2-3 cups he's getting is given during a training session. Really make sure he understands that the kids are also his leaders and that he will get from them exactly what he gets from you...given that he listens to them.

He's not jealous...he's actually submitting to YOU telling him what to do. What you need to do is make the KIDS do that.

I'm the dog trainer in the family...so my boy listens to me more than anyone. When he was younger, if my GF told him to do something, and he didn't...SHE would correct him and I would ignore him...not look at him for conformation, not tell him to do what she told him to just do (cause he would listen to me), just act like I wasn't there and SHE was in charge at that point. He grew to understand that he has to listen to both of us...and although to this day he'll listen to me much faster (we train together and I trial), he will still follow her commands.
 

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He's entering a butthead stage...maturing, testing you, figuring out who he can and can't listen to.

I would start playing mind games...make sure the kids eat before he does. Make the kids give him his food. If you want to...feed him during obedience...so all 2-3 cups he's getting is given during a training session. Really make sure he understands that the kids are also his leaders and that he will get from them exactly what he gets from you...given that he listens to them.

He's not jealous...he's actually submitting to YOU telling him what to do. What you need to do is make the KIDS do that.

I'm the dog trainer in the family...so my boy listens to me more than anyone. When he was younger, if my GF told him to do something, and he didn't...SHE would correct him and I would ignore him...not look at him for conformation, not tell him to do what she told him to just do (cause he would listen to me), just act like I wasn't there and SHE was in charge at that point. He grew to understand that he has to listen to both of us...and although to this day he'll listen to me much faster (we train together and I trial), he will still follow her commands.

Thanks. I actually do make sure he sees the kids eat before he eats. But I will do what you said - let the kids take charge. How would they deal with his growling and nipping though? IS pushing him away when he pushes into them or jumps up on them enough?

Btw, how long does a butthead stage last ?
 

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I think the suggestion of the kids feeding him is good, also continue to work with obedience with them. You can stand beside them, but the command comes from them and you follow through if they don't listen. You're asserting to the dog that he NEEDS to listen to them as well, if they say "sit" it's the same as you saying it.

Put him in a sit, have the child fill the bowl with food and put it down without the dog moving, then the child gives the release command (take it, ok, etc) and then he eats.

Have him leashed and the child walks through the door first, if he moves before being released he gets a correction and put back in the original position. Keep doing this until he gets the idea that he doesn't bowl them over. It also works for stairs, put him in a sit at the bottom of the stairs and the child goes up first before the dog.

Also if the children are big enough, have him on a leash and have them walk him around the house for a few minutes. Make him heel beside them and not pull, if he walks nicely he gets treats. If not, back to the starting point and start over again.

All these things will teach respect for the kids in a non-comfrontational manner. Give them toys and treats to give to him when he behaves well and step in if he doesn't. He is still a puppy and will push boundaries, be firm but fair in your expectations
 

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I have to say that Yes, we have been doing all of the above for weeks now. The kids do spend a few minutes a day doing obedience with him. They have been feeding him out of hand as well as give him his meals once in a while. He has to sit and stay till we have all passed through a door, have gotten in or out of the car, etc. He is not allowed on the furniture. They do walk him on a leash in the house, take him out when he needs to go.

It is just recently that he is being particularly disobedient as well as domineering towards them. With my son it is a bit more confrontational. With my daughters, he still tries but he is not as pushy.

And as for jealousy, I can't say for sure, but his behavior is quite distinctly sulky.. He will thump more, plop down with more emphasis, pretend to not hear or see me, and sometimes will just keep his eyes closed no matter how much I call him or tug on his leash, even though I know he is not sleeping. He will even refuse treats and turn away. His display can at times be really comical :D
 

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I wouldn't trust that dog with children at all.

Children are not capable of disciplining a dog acting aggressively towards them. If your children make a bad move they may be bitten. Your dog has given all the warning signs of what it is capable of. It would be a shame for the dog and your children if it does bite.

How would they deal with his growling and nipping though? IS pushing him away when he pushes into them or jumps up on them enough?
What I would do is make the dog avoid contact with the children. If he went near them I would verbally discipline him and with body language guide him away from the child say 5 feet. Any time the dog entered the childs space I would usher him back until he stopped trying to get into the childs space.

I would totally school the child on how to act when the dog is around and crate the dog for certain times when you don't want to supervise the dog and the kids.

I would ask why do you think the dog is sulky and ignoring you? Would a submissive dog be acting that way. I don't think so. The reason why the dog finds this hard is because he sees himself higher than the children and even possibly higher than you the adults.

To me the children are more important so I would let the dog know it would be facing serious consequences for taking a dominant role when the children were present. Any aggression towards humans is unnecessary and dangerous in my opinion from a house dog unless it is clearly protecting family members or property.

You have to break the patterns of the past and start again with a dog getting aggressive towards your family. What you have now is a product of your training and acceptance of dominance in your home so you need to reassess and see what mistakes you are making.
 

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I wouldn't trust that dog with children at all.

Children are not capable of disciplining a dog acting aggressively towards them. If your children make a bad move they may be bitten. Your dog has given all the warning signs of what it is capable of. It would be a shame for the dog and your children if it does bite.



What I would do is make the dog avoid contact with the children. If he went near them I would verbally discipline him and with body language guide him away from the child say 5 feet. Any time the dog entered the childs space I would usher him back until he stopped trying to get into the childs space.

I would totally school the child on how to act when the dog is around and crate the dog for certain times when you don't want to supervise the dog and the kids.

I would ask why do you think the dog is sulky and ignoring you? Would a submissive dog be acting that way. I don't think so. The reason why the dog finds this hard is because he sees himself higher than the children and even possibly higher than you the adults.

To me the children are more important so I would let the dog know it would be facing serious consequences for taking a dominant role when the children were present. Any aggression towards humans is unnecessary and dangerous in my opinion from a house dog unless it is clearly protecting family members or property.

You have to break the patterns of the past and start again with a dog getting aggressive towards your family. What you have now is a product of your training and acceptance of dominance in your home so you need to reassess and see what mistakes you are making.
What I really wanted to know is how do I deal with the new behavior and you have helped me with that. Use body language to move it 5 feet away from the children. Thank you.

And that said, I think you have not read my post or understood my question at all.

1. He is almost 4 months old. I doubt any puppy is perfectly behaved ALLL THE TIME and never tests us. If they are, then Heaven help me.

2. I said since the past two days.

3. I will never allow that a child or any human being be hurt by my dog. That is why the Title field of the post says : "HOW TO PREVENT..."

4. My reply about the sulky part was to another response who said my dog is not jealous. I don't know if dogs get jealous or not, but I see a change in his demeanor. It could be acceptance of his place as the response said.


5. If I have set a pattern for wrong behaviour, I would have seen the behavior even earlier. And I would have a badly misbehaving puppy. AS it is, it seems to have good manners, stays off furniture, doesn't counter surf, doesn't chew up shoes or slippers even though we leave them in plain sight, 'leaves it' when I tell it to. And does this even on walks when it sees a squirrel and wants to chase it. And pretty much listens to commands atleast 70% of the time.

It gets sulky about going into its kennel at night when we are all still together in the family room. But will do it anyway in a couple of minutes when I insist. And now when I put it in its playpen for being dominant over the kids.

And prior to these 2 days it had been getting gentler and better with the kids and their friends(no more jumping up on them, nipping or chasing them, or mouthing them)


I would rather the kids interact with the puppy while it is this young and I can teach it to accept their behavior and teach it to be a good family pet. It is important ot me that our puppy grow up to be calm and gentle with everyone.
 

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Maybe try ignoring him altogether (just supervise ) and have the kids feed, water, and talk to him, throwing the toys, training etc.
What helped me alot was reading up about NILIF, which was posted by some of the members here.


I think it really helps when people here offer suggestions instead of just telling the OP to rethink what they are doing wrong or how they missed all the signs with no suggestions at all on how to put those into effect. As a new GDS owner I come here to get some help because im new at this too and im sure the OP is doing her best and thats why shes here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok. I;m happy to report that the puppy is back to his normal self. For now.
 

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Maybe try ignoring him altogether (just supervise ) and have the kids feed, water, and talk to him, throwing the toys, training etc.
What helped me alot was reading up about NILIF, which was posted by some of the members here.


I think it really helps when people here offer suggestions instead of just telling the OP to rethink what they are doing wrong or how they missed all the signs with no suggestions at all on how to put those into effect. As a new GDS owner I come here to get some help because im new at this too and im sure the OP is doing her best and thats why shes here.

Yes, I will do that. Thank you! I also had a serious talk with the kids about stepping up their involvement in training it.
 
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