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my dog is extremely gentle with our 3 children. when thier friends are over and they all run around the backyard yelling, my gsd will chase the friends and bite at them. if i seperate her in an enclosed run, she paces back and forth barking her head off at them. when the kids friends leave, she is calm and gentle as can be with my kids. at times she will circle around my 3 yo son if someone not in our family comes around him. how do i break her from this so she will be nice to all kids? its as though she bullies the other kids around. please help.
 

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Sounds like a lack of socialization to me, and if I were in your shoes I'd consult a good trainer before somebody gets hurt and you get sued or have to put your dog down.
 

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Personally I would keep her seperated from kids that don't belong to you. Why not crate her in the house while the kids are playing so that she can't see them?

IMO it is WAY too risky to allow her to be around "strange" kids when they are "being kids". (By strange I mean those that do NOT live in the household.)

Even if you can get her to stop "protecting" HER kids constantly, what happens if they are rough housing and one of yours gets hurt and yells or cries? If she then bites the kid that caused yours to cry out, while she is just doing her job(protecting her "pack" from harm".), it could cause you to loose her, or at the least a lawsuit.
 

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It could be many things, I'll have to look at the overall posturing of the dog before jump to conclusions. Lack of socialization can be a cause, but if the dog is mainly confident with kids in a different environment than her territory I'd look for something else.

It can be 3 things:

- Protectiveness of "Her" childs if she feels their are engangered by the rough play. If your kids are too young then she should be always supervised with them, then you are the leader and the only one who takes decision on who is a threat and who is not, if they are old enough they should overrank her and again do not let her to take such decision. In both cases the answer is leadership.

- Prey drive. She simply chases them because they move as preys, she could do it only to strange kids because she already learned it'is not allowed with the family, but need to learn than it applies to other kids too. Lots of discipline to teach it is NOt correct to chase the guest, but you can also teach the kids to play soccer with the dog, a game in which the dog learns that to chase the ball is more fun than chase the kids, everybody have fun and she can release her drive. Before to play adults have to teach the rules of the game to all parts involved to discourage the dog of chasing the kids when they run, but instead chase the ball, that means to train the dog AND the kids.

- Herding Drive: She wants to control the flock, maybe keeping them all togheter or maybe spliting them into MY kids and the OTHER kids. As in the first case, Leadership, you take the decisions, not her. It's YOUR flock of kids.
 

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Wow what you describes sounds like a very scary situation to me. Not over protective but inappropriate, unnecessary, and not to be put up with.

How has the general socialization and dog training gone? What does your trainer/instructor recommend? Have you spoken with your breeder? They may have helpful recommendations.

When you take your dog out in public and on car rides, is she fine there?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
she hasnt always been like this. i was deployed all of 2006 and my wife was taking care of the dog while i was gone. but she kept the dog seperately fenced from all the kids while they were playing the whole time i was gone. before i left my dog played with any kids she didnt care. once i got back she was overprotective of mine and i couldnt believe the way she was acting. i guess a year of watching from the sidelines with me not there changed her attitude. i take her out sometimes while they are out playing and she will stay with me because she knows better but i can see how antsy she gets watching them. i want her to be the friendly dog she used to be. i think its just lack of socialization like many have been saying. outside of our backyard she is fine with everyone. its just in our yard and especially when my kids are there.
 

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Quote: i want her to be the friendly dog she used to be. i think its just lack of socialization like many have been saying. outside of our backyard she is fine with everyone.
I would continue to socialize the heck out of her inside and outside the house yard. But you also need to be smart and think of this in a different way.

Clearly she is 'worried' when the other kids are around. What can you do that would help with this? How about the new kids? Does she like treats and food? What if when the other kids are around YOU give her a treat (NOT dog treat, I'm talking chicken, liver, cheese, etc.). What about when the other kids are around they can give her a real treat? What about when the kids are around and loud you give her a treat? What about if the kids are playing you are making 'happy noises' to show her it's fine and............giving her a treat.

If only WONDERFUL things happen when the neighbor kids are around, maybe that will help with her worries and concerns.

Truthfully, I would also make time for more dog classes with her. And not for the 'sit' 'down' whatever she probably does pretty well. It's not about the actual command. It's about the continued socialization. About the mental stimulation of being outside the house with new people and dogs. About you really regaining a true leadership role with her.

Right now, if you are home, and the kids are having a 'fight' if she thought you were really the leader, SHE WOULD LET YOU DEAL WITH IT. Clearly she feels there is only one person (dog person) who is stepping up at this point and it's her. So instead of her relying on you to take over if something bad happens, she's having to step into a role she is VERY uncomfortable with. So she's not only ignoring your behaviors (which should clearly say the kids play is ok) but she's also not really feelling she can trust or rely on you so is reacting.
 

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I don't know the age of your children, but if around 11 or so, the playmates may not look like children to your GSD at all.

Whatever the reason, I would not let the dog watch the interaction that incites this behavior.

To be held behind a fence and see behavior that excites her must double the reaction with frustration.

I agree with socialize but always have total control of your dog around other children.

Crating dog out of sight and sound - before friends arrive - sounds good to me.
 

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I could not agree with you more. I just don't think the dog should be allowed to play with your kids when they have friends over.

What happens if they start wrestling, will the dog try and seperate them, or will the dog attack the neighbor's kid. Letting them play with friends while the dog is loose is just too darn risky.
 

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Originally Posted By: LicanAntai
- Herding Drive: She wants to control the flock, maybe keeping them all togheter or maybe spliting them into MY kids and the OTHER kids. As in the first case, Leadership, you take the decisions, not her. It's YOUR flock of kids.
That's my guess. While it may be instinctive to the dog, it's still unwanted an dangerous. If your dog bites one of the other children there can be serious legal ramifications including, financial loss or the loss of your dog.

If you want to teach her to play with the kids, put her on her lead and go out there with her. When she initiates this behavior, give a correction. If you're not comfortable doing this, crating/seperating her from the kids is your safest bet.
 

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blackbird, where did you come from? You remind me of Czar Malone almost, lol
 

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hahahaha!! I've been working with rescue dogs for a while now, but just found this place a couple of months ago. The group of folks here are truely in a class of thier own. I've never met a group of "dog people" so willing to help each other and that also share a genuine concern for rescue dogs like you guys.

I use to work with all breeds, but now I concentrate on German Shepherds. They're no different than other breeds when it comes to rehab, but they do have a unique combination of drives that make them a lot of fun and often very challanging.

Thanks for letting me stick around!
 

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its nice having you around
you are a great help to us all and a inspiration all ready!
thanks for being here
 
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