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In preparation for a two-week long vacation that will involve a lot of relatives and a few kids (no babies or toddlers), I'm writing up a list of "dog rules". This is meant mostly for the kid cousins who will no doubt want to interact with the dogs. Help me think of things to add!!!

1. Please do not give the dogs any treats without having them do something for you (sit, shake, etc).

2. Do not give Coke anything with turkey.

3. Please do not handle Kenya unless I am there to supervise or give the OK. Kenya is not mean but she is a shy dog.

4. Do not give my dogs any “toys” (sticks or other objects) that are not actual dog toys I brought along. They will shred them and try to eat them.

5. As a general rule of thumb, if Kenya’s mouth is closed, that means she is getting nervous or annoyed and you should leave her alone. If her mouth is open, that means she is relaxed and you may continue interaction. Please remember rule #3.

6. Please do not give the dogs human foods or plates to lick unless I say it’s OK. Certain things make them sick. I will have dog treats in the fridge.

7. When you are petting my dogs, please kneel beside them and stroke their chest or back and scratch their hips. Please do not reach over top of their heads (this makes Kenya nervous and Coke does not like it, it seems someone hit him in the past), do not grab their faces, and do not try to kiss them. They will like it if you talk softly to them or give a treat at the same time.

8. If you are playing with toys with Coke, please remember he is not allowed to jump and mouth at you or the toy. If he does this, say “eh eh!” and take the toy away for a few seconds.

9. If you would like to take a dog on a walk, please ask first so I can show you how we walk them.

10. When the dogs are fed, they eat in their crates to avoid messes and to make sure that they don’t take each others’ food. If you want to help me feed them, please ask first.

11. The dogs like to be brushed so if you want to brush them, ask me and I will show you how.



ETA: The goal is not to scare the kids (my dogs are not aggressive), but to help them learn proper dog ownership. None of my cousins have dogs, but they all want one. Also, Coke being young and relatively new to us is still working on some basic training, hence the rules about him not mouthing, proper leash walking, etc. I hope I don't sound too strict!
 

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I had this problem with my baby cousin. Every time he see Shane, whether he was sitting or eating or playing, he would SCREAM at the top of his lungs and it make Shane nervous. So maybe "don't scream at the dog or around the dog"
 

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Yeah that's a good one! Fortunately, my youngest cousin will be in 4th grade, and she actually spent time with Kenya on the same vacation last summer, so hopefully they know better than to scream.

I can see them wanting to spend a LOT of time with the dogs, which is fine with me, but I don't want my training and manners un-done! They are all working on their parents about getting a dog, and my aunts and uncles say "well yeah...her dogs are nice and well-behaved because she spends so much time teaching them." So I want them to see what goes into having a "good" dog.
 

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"Please don't run away from or entice the dogs to chase?" or "walk don't run away or toward.."

This is one I reiterate with the kids in the neighborhood.
 

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Solve all of your worries, and prevent heartache with:

Do not interact with the dogs unless I am there with you, watching. You may never pet, play with, snuggle, etc-- unless I am right there watching.

As awful as this sounds, this gives both Kenya and Coke a chance to be set up for success. This means neither dog can make a critical mistake by innocently just being a dog, out of sight of you being able to guide each and every interaction with the kids.

You may have dogs with some issues, but you have GOOD dogs. Both Coke and Kenya are examples of what dogs should be and can be! But, they would have reason to behave like ticked-off dogs if a child plays the "You can have it... no ya can't, Hahaha!!" game.. or many others. Kids WANT to slap dogs atop the head, reaching riiiight up over the snouts of the dogs to smack between the ears. Your dogs are worth you staying right there with them the entire time, if kids will be involved.
 

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I like Patti's rule.

I was just explaining that to a nice senior citizen neighbor yesterday. She was telling me that she's had GSDs before and that it was ok for Camper to mouth her hand. He was gentle and just being friendly, but no, it's not. Camper has one rule for everyone. Not one rule for this person, and another rule for that person. (What if it were a kid with an overprotective parent "AUGH! Your dog bit my kid!" or an elderly woman with really thin skin that breaks easily?).

The only way I can consistently enforce MY rules is to make sure I am there. Me, or someone that I absolutely trust to make sure my rules are followed. Me, my husband, my trainers, my parents. My older nieces when they're playing with them by themselves (not when their friends are visiting). That's about it.

Zamboni was raised around my nieces and nephews. She knows how to maneuver away from them and come to me when things get crazy. I trust her with those kids only. The other two dogs love their crates and go into crates when I can't supervise around the little kids. It's just better that way, for the kids' sake and my dogs' sake. No one gets hurt or has a bad experience -- human or canine.

As the dogs have more experience with these children, they learn good behavior and they earn more freedom. But until my dogs can read a list of rules (I don't trust excited kids to remember a list of rules), I prefer to give less freedom at first, not more.
 

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I would keep the dogs by my side and teach the children how to interact with them. This is just my opinion but just to be on the safe side for all going on vacation. Have fun though and I'm sure everything will turn out great.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom Camper has one rule for everyone. Not one rule for this person, and another rule for that person.
I agree with this, though people find it so hard to understand! Ironically though, I've found kids are so much more likely to do what you say than adults. My cousins will do what I say, but my brother will try to wrestle with my dogs, or encourage them to mouth and lunge at their toys. Ugh! The kids...if I give them a list, they abide by it and it seems they almost feel empowered to have the list and be privy to the "dog rules" so the earn the right to play with the dog (just like the dog earns the right to play with them). That's part of the reason why I'm making a list, not to excuse myself from actually showing them how to interact, but when they have the list they can remember it and they know I'm serious about it, but at the same time they feel better about themselves because they can go up to someone like my brother and say "Hey! That's against the rule!" They like to be in the know, so to speak.

Generally, they will not approach a dog if I'm not around, simply based on logistics. If the dogs are not with me already, they are crated in a back room or gated on a deck that we don't use (some are allergic to dogs so I keep them outside with me, or contained to these areas that no one else uses).
 

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Originally Posted By: Kerry's I would keep the dogs by my side and teach the children how to interact with them. This is just my opinion but just to be on the safe side for all going on vacation. Have fun though and I'm sure everything will turn out great.
Of course, the list is not meant to take the place of actually playing with the kids and showing them what to do, but they are all older kids (youngest is 10) so when I give them my lists, they sort of feel empowered by it and it gives them a chance to think through why I would put something on there and why it would be a bad idea to do something other than what it says. The list is simply the things that I plan on covering with them, not just handing out a printed copy and leaving it at that (though I still might put a copy on the fridge for them).

I am blessed to have a family that in general loves dogs, is comfortable around dogs, and the kids have good dog sense. They want to be able to play with the dog and hold the leash when we go for a walk so they know the way to earn this is to listen to what I say.
 

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Originally Posted By: Liesje
Of course, the list is not meant to take the place of actually playing with the kids and showing them what to do, but they are all older kids (youngest is 10) so when I give them my lists, they sort of feel empowered by it and it gives them a chance to think through why I would put something on there and why it would be a bad idea to do something other than what it says. The list is simply the things that I plan on covering with them, not just handing out a printed copy and leaving it at that (though I still might put a copy on the fridge for them).

I am blessed to have a family that in general loves dogs, is comfortable around dogs, and the kids have good dog sense. They want to be able to play with the dog and hold the leash when we go for a walk so they know the way to earn this is to listen to what I say.

Oh! in that case, I would keep the list really simple; this way, they can memorize them (and remind each other when someone is breaking a rule).

1. The dogs can only have their own Treats, Toys or other Treasures.

2. Kenya is shy. Be gentle. If her mouth is closed, she doesn't want to talk with you.

3. Be a submarine. Come up from the bottom when petting the dogs.

4. The dogs have to be submarines too. They have to surface quietly (they can't jump on you, mouth you, or bark at you).

5. The crates are the dog's bedrooms. When they're in their bedrooms, they're not to be disturbed. Ever.

6. No fighting, wrestling, yelling, hitting, or chasing. That goes for you, the dogs, and each other.

Please.


If you have a special request, please ask Lies. We will gladly accommodate all reasonable requests.

Thank you. The management.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OMG, I love the "submarine" thing! Brilliant!
 

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This is kinda a list for the OP:
Do not assume a kid remembers how to behaive
Just because one kid was good last year, doesn't mean all kids will be good this year (doesn't mean the one kid will be good this year or any one kid will be good this year.)
List everything you can think of whether you are sure they know it or not.
 
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