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pup keeps knocking over baby!

kandilynn
March 13th, 2010, 07:17 PM
Hi all! I have a black lab/german shepherd who is about 5 months old! He is pretty well behaved and very gentle towards my 10 month old. She can crawl right up to him and take a toy right out of his mouth and he'll just sit there. She looves watching him eat! She literally sits right underneath him watching! Lol! The only problem is is that when he is actice or even just walking around he plows right into her!! He'll sit right on her or walk right over top of her! Its not aggression at all it just him being oblivious to what he's doing! He weighs 50lbs already and is going to be a big dog so it isn't safe. I don't want keep him away from him, he's part of the family too! No matter how good he is with her I would never leave him (or any dog) alone with her. Even with me in the same room its hard to be between them all the time! I'm completely lost on how to train him not to do this!
Any help is greatly appreciated!!
Thanks,
Kandilynn

MyBirdIsEvil
March 13th, 2010, 09:27 PM
The best way would be to keep him on leash when he's around your child.

You'll want to correct him when he tries to walk on her. Teach him to sit and lay down when he's near her. He should already be learning the sit and lay down command anyway. You can teach him to do this by giving him the command and pushing his butt down, then giving him a treat and praise.
With lay down the easiest thing is to put him into a sit first. Then give the command and lead him to the floor by holding a treat near his mouth and moving it toward the floor. Give the treat when he's laying down and give lots of praise.

Teach him these commands when he's NOT near her first. Then when he understands the commands use them when she's around. He should be learning to sit when he greets ANYONE for that matter. It will teach him not to jump on people.

mummummum
March 13th, 2010, 09:41 PM
To expand a little on MBIE's leash suggestion. Tether training http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/tethertrain.pdf can be helpful in teaching down/ stay commands for increasing periods of time.

I started off tethering to me. Then tethering to a lag bolt while I was in the room. Moving to tethering to a lag bolt with me out of the room for increasing periods of time.

DoubleRR
March 14th, 2010, 11:35 AM
I totally agree with tethering--I use fit or all pups to help them learn boundaries of when to move about and play and when to lay and quietly chew a toy or just watch the activities.

Longblades
March 14th, 2010, 02:20 PM
She can crawl right up to him and take a toy right out of his mouth and he'll just sit there. She looves watching him eat! She literally sits right underneath him watching!Am I the only one who finds this absolutely terrifying? A 5 month old puppy may put up with this. Will a one year old dog? Toys are one thing but the dog's meal? Dogs should be allowed to eat their food in peace, no kids underneath staring at them. This is asking for trouble. Both the child and the dog could end up paying for this in terrible, terrible ways.

kandilynn
March 14th, 2010, 02:32 PM
Thank you very much for the tethering ideas! I'm starting it right away! I've never even heard of it before!

Long blades, I'm sorry your terrified but if he is a well trained dog he will not have food aggression. She is not alone when she is sitting under him. I am right beside her the entire time in full control over the situation. I do not let her put her hands in his bowl. I do not want my pup o develop food aggression or be defensive towards his food. I walk right up to him sometimes and play with the food pet his face, touch his paws and tail as he is eating. He just wags his tail. I am teaching him that it IS totally okay for someone to be near him and his food and that its not a negative thing. This will help prevent him from gaurding his food!
I am preparing him for a life with children. I have 2 and run a home daycare.

Again thanks for the tips!

Longblades
March 14th, 2010, 03:20 PM
I walk right up to him sometimes and play with the food pet his face, touch his paws and tail as he is eating. He just wags his tail. I am teaching him that it IS totally okay for someone to be near him and his food and that its not a negative thing. This will help prevent him from gaurding his food! I know this is a common idea these days. I wish I knew where this idea came from. Where did you learn it? I do not believe in it. I think it is dangerous and I have seen posts from folks who did it who did discover it was dangerous. An animal behaviourist, a real one with degrees behind his name, commented in a dog magazine when someone posted a comment on how this was NOT working with his dog. Dr. Bailey's comment is:
Do not interrupt his eating. Set his food down and let him eat without wondering when you are going to stop him. Your wife must set the food down and not reach into the dish as though she is taking it away. Dogs don't like being jerked around any more than people do. Mostly, dogs prefer things to be organized, predictable and consistentYou can see the whole question and comment, and links to Dr. Ed Bailey, here: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+importance+of+consistency%3a+be+a+leader%2c+no t+an+alpha+male.-a0207744606 If you choose to continue with your course of action and allowing your little girl to sit under the dog while he eats I hope it works for you. I really do.

kandilynn
March 14th, 2010, 05:07 PM
Longblades, there is always a "better way" out there when it comes to training your dog. There are a lot of different methods and we each have to choose the methods that work best for us and our pets! Some people may not agree with what I'm doing but at the same times lots do, including experts. I don't have a computer right now and am using a blackberry to access this site so I'm not sure how to post links. My house is very busy and not going to pause well my dog eats. Also i don't take away his food, I'm just making sure he knows that its not something he needs to be protective of! A little attention during meal time isn't a bad thing and its not a constant thing either!
I'd also like to point out that when shelters are rehabillitating dogs with food aggression they sometimes use the method where they stick a fake hand in the bowl with treats and pet the dog with it. Its not an uncommon practice nor is it bad for me to teach my dog reallity of life with people!
Another point is some dogs get very aggressive with people taking toys! Charlie is learning that when a toy gets taken he does eventually get it back, we just want to play too! Lol

Tundra_Queen
March 14th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Hi

When u have your dog on the leash and he goes to walk on the baby, pull back a bit and just say NO WALK ON (baby's name or baby) I'm sure your dog knows the word "walk" from u taking him on walks? Also try "BE NICE TO THE BABY" until he understands.

I even do this with our yellow lab, but it is about the cats and grandkids.

Also, I will pet our dogs once in a while while they are eating and talk to them,,,I talk before I start petting. And that is to keep them use to allowing petting while eating just in case I have to take something away from them. But I never allow my grandchildren to pet Tegan when she is eating and she is a guide dog trained in being very tolerant. I also tell the kids it's not fair to bother her.

Debbie

kandilynn
March 14th, 2010, 06:13 PM
Longsword, thanks for that link! I just checked it out and like the authors approach on raising a good dog! The alpha dog thing bugs me a bit but that's a whole other thread! Lol I do get what your saying although I do think the couples situation is a lot different then mine. Charlie isn't aggressive towards food or anything else!
Tundra thabks for the tips! I'll have to think of a good word to use for being gentle! I use follow the leader on walks! I also say what do you do when you meet a bear? To get him to play dead, bear being the command!

luckypenny
March 14th, 2010, 09:21 PM
I'd also like to point out that when shelters are rehabillitating dogs with food aggression they sometimes use the method where they stick a fake hand in the bowl with treats and pet the dog with it.

I just wanted to correct this. That method is not used for rehabilitating, it's used for assessing whether or not a dog is food aggressive.

The correct approach used to desensitizing dogs to people/children in close proximity while they eat is to occasionally drop yummy morsels of food into/next to their bowls during their meal. You can gently brush by or very briefly touch the dog while doing this.

I understand what you are trying to do, kandilynn, but please bear in mind that what a young puppy tolerates may not be the issue once he's a mature adult. Both my sons were bit, one in the face, by close family members' dogs...dogs that were trained young like yours. There are never guarantees so better safe than sorry :2cents:.

I'm sure you've already found this site since you run a daycare but, just in case you haven't.... http://www.doggonesafe.com/ Lots of invaluable tools for adults to teach/keep children and dogs safe around each other :).

JennieV
March 14th, 2010, 11:04 PM
Longblades, there is always a "better way" out there when it comes to training your dog. There are a lot of different methods and we each have to choose the methods that work best for us and our pets!

Another point is some dogs get very aggressive with people taking toys! Charlie is learning that when a toy gets taken he does eventually get it back, we just want to play too! Lol

I am right beside her the entire time in full control over the situation.

I would just like to add my opinion. I would never EVER allow my child to be a part of dog's meal time. Would you like someone sitting there and staring at your face while you eat? or meddling with your food? I don't think you'd tolerate it long..
Your dog is a puppy right now, he is not challenging his position in the pack, but he may think differently once he has matured. And IF and when he does, it may happen in a blink of an eye and you will NOT have time to react. So don't fool yourself thinking you have "full control", there's not such thing with animals.

Again, I don't wanna be all doom and gloom, but WHY put yourself and your child in danger? Isn't it a better lesson to teach that dinnertime = leave the dog alone and do not go near him? What if she is at someone else's house and their dog is not trained like yours and freaks out? Then what? Put the dog down because he snapped at a child. A child that didn't know any better than to go over and stare at him eat.:shrug:

I think that you are asking for trouble going that route. :sorry:

You have a big dog, a dog that can do damage to a human, especially a child. You are better off concentrating on teaching him the manners, while teaching your daughter the proper behaviour around dogs. Just my 2 cents.

kandy
March 15th, 2010, 01:21 PM
I think this really depends on the individual dog, and I doubt if they'd let the child watch a strange dog eat. I'm sure as a daycare owner, you are teaching your child the proper manners at the same time as desensitizing the dog to having a kid right there. My dogs have been taught from pups that me messing with their food is not a bad thing - it often comes back with yummy's on top! Granted, I don't have small children in my home - but I will have my grandkids here eventually and I don't want to have any issues with food guarding.

kandy
March 15th, 2010, 01:28 PM
Oh, and for the problem of the pup knocking the baby over or sitting on her, I taught Hazel to be 'easy' meaning watching her step and slowing down. I did it for her rehab after knee surgery - but it makes her pay attention to her footing and where she is. She loves little kids - and even as a pup would pay special attention to where they were. Course that was because she was busy licking them most of the time. LOL

BenMax
March 15th, 2010, 01:40 PM
Just one small comment on children around food:

I work with dogs that have food aggression. Though this is not your situation, I just want to point out that even the best of dogs may at some point guard his/her food. Trust me, my own dog who is not food aggressive took an unexpected bite into my leg. He did not know that it was me standing next to him and he did have remorse.

Please be very careful as accidents do happen. Animals are just as unpredictable as us humans are.

kandy
March 15th, 2010, 01:46 PM
And that's where training the child comes in.....you never want to startle a dog while they are eating.......or sleeping. But that's different than having the child watching the dog eat from the time the bowl gets set down.

MyBirdIsEvil
March 15th, 2010, 05:16 PM
I wouldn't use a baby to work on or prevent food aggression with a dog. That's just asking for trouble. If you decide to that yourself it's one thing, but I wouldn't get the child involved as dogs can be unpredictable around their food.

I walk right up to him sometimes and play with the food pet his face, touch his paws and tail as he is eating. He just wags his tail.

You should know that tail wagging is a common behavior around food even in dogs WITH food aggression. Tail wagging doesn't always mean happy and comfortable, it can mean he's nervous because something is near his food. For someone that doesn't have much experience in assessing a dog's body language tail wagging can actually be a warning sign of nervousness and a potential bite and it can go unrecognized. That's why you hear people say "Well he was happy and wagging his tail and then he just bit me!" periodically.
Dog's almost never bite without warning, the signs just aren't recognized. So I wouldn't use tail wagging as a sign that he's OK with people messing with his food.

JennieV
March 15th, 2010, 09:45 PM
You should know that tail wagging is a common behavior around food even in dogs WITH food aggression. Tail wagging doesn't always mean happy and comfortable, it can mean he's nervous because something is near his food. For someone that doesn't have much experience in assessing a dog's body language tail wagging can actually be a warning sign of nervousness and a potential bite and it can go unrecognized. That's why you hear people say "Well he was happy and wagging his tail and then he just bit me!" periodically.
Dog's almost never bite without warning, the signs just aren't recognized. So I wouldn't use tail wagging as a sign that he's OK with people messing with his food.

Thank you for pointing that out, I totally forgot to write that! :thumbs up

14+kitties
March 15th, 2010, 11:18 PM
I just wanted to add a small blurb to this. What happens when you are busy with a child and one of your day care kids wanders over to the dog and is particularly rough with him while he is eating? He defends himself by biting. Nothing to do with food aggression. He was just startled because the child hurt him. Do you have adequate insurance to cover the pending law suit? I think minimum for a child care is one million coverage. At least it was when I had mine. Probably more now.
My children were taught to respect all animals when they were growing up. That meant leaving them alone while they ate. Just as you wouldn't want the dog in your face while you're eating, the same goes for the dog. Or cat. Just my :2cents::shrug:

Melinda
March 16th, 2010, 05:25 AM
welcome, I too have an all black lab/shepherd AND a daycare!! *L* aren't they great around children?? Brina has helped a few of them learn to walk and the city has even placed children with me that have a fear of dogs so they will see that not all dogs are to be scared of. In her play she has/does knock some over, but they laugh and Brina always goes right back to them to "nose" them to get up. Good luck with your pup!! pictures of your dog would be welcomed! I'd love to see if she looks like mine

kandy
March 16th, 2010, 11:13 AM
I think some folks here are making some assumptions. You are assuming that she allows the child to mess with the dog (or she messes with the dog) each and every time it eats and that she is not supervising the child/children. That's probably not even close to reality. Now IF she were allowing her baby to be playing in the dogs food at every meal without supervision, and allowing her daycare children to harass the dog at every opportunity, well then that would be a totally different situation.

IMO you are better off to train a dog that having a child in close proximity to their food does not indicate a threat while at the same time training the child to respect the dog. Especially for a dog that is going to be around kids day in and day out. I have a very small kitchen, and 4 dogs (at least when I have my son's dogs). It is physically impossible to walk through my kitchen with all 4 dogs eating without touching them - I would not want a child to be bitten just because they chose mealtime to try and come through the kitchen from outside (which is the only way to get in from the backyard). I'd rather have my dogs comfortable enough that they didn't feel the need to react. Just my :2cents:

14+kitties
March 16th, 2010, 11:49 AM
I think some folks here are making some assumptions. You are assuming that she allows the child to mess with the dog (or she messes with the dog) each and every time it eats and that she is not supervising the child/children. That's probably not even close to reality. Now IF she were allowing her baby to be playing in the dogs food at every meal without supervision, and allowing her daycare children to harass the dog at every opportunity, well then that would be a totally different situation.

IMO you are better off to train a dog that having a child in close proximity to their food does not indicate a threat while at the same time training the child to respect the dog. Especially for a dog that is going to be around kids day in and day out. I have a very small kitchen, and 4 dogs (at least when I have my son's dogs). It is physically impossible to walk through my kitchen with all 4 dogs eating without touching them - I would not want a child to be bitten just because they chose mealtime to try and come through the kitchen from outside (which is the only way to get in from the backyard). I'd rather have my dogs comfortable enough that they didn't feel the need to react. Just my :2cents:

No assumptions being made here. I am going by what the OP stated in her first post - "She looves watching him eat! She literally sits right underneath him watching!" - and my personal experience with a large number of children for 17 years. All I was trying to say was it is impossible to be everywhere at one time. If OP is busy changing a diaper in another room OP will not be able to be supervising all children 100% of the time. Just my :2cents: :shrug: I will now bow out of this thread as I was not trying to start an argument.

BenMax
March 16th, 2010, 11:54 AM
I think some folks here are making some assumptions. You are assuming that she allows the child to mess with the dog (or she messes with the dog) each and every time it eats and that she is not supervising the child/children. That's probably not even close to reality. Now IF she were allowing her baby to be playing in the dogs food at every meal without supervision, and allowing her daycare children to harass the dog at every opportunity, well then that would be a totally different situation.

IMO you are better off to train a dog that having a child in close proximity to their food does not indicate a threat while at the same time training the child to respect the dog. Especially for a dog that is going to be around kids day in and day out. I have a very small kitchen, and 4 dogs (at least when I have my son's dogs). It is physically impossible to walk through my kitchen with all 4 dogs eating without touching them - I would not want a child to be bitten just because they chose mealtime to try and come through the kitchen from outside (which is the only way to get in from the backyard). I'd rather have my dogs comfortable enough that they didn't feel the need to react. Just my :2cents:

No assumptions are being made. Only good sound advice is being offered. It's up to the OP to take it or leave it...and no hard feelings on our part.

Working day in day out with dogs of different sizes, different breeds, different temperments, I can only provide my own personal experiences. I have had now 81 dogs that I have fostered and 4 that were owned.

My moto: Better safe than sorry. In the end, if a dog does infact bite or nip or even give a gentle warning...it will be frowned upon by the average person.

All advice given are with the very best of intentions.:thumbs up

kandilynn
March 16th, 2010, 12:00 PM
No assumptions being made here. I am going by what the OP stated in her first post - "She looves watching him eat! She literally sits right underneath him watching!" - and my personal experience with a large number of children for 17 years. All I was trying to say was it is impossible to be everywhere at one time. If OP is busy changing a diaper in another room OP will not be able to be supervising all children 100% of the time. Just my :2cents: :shrug: I will now bow out of this thread as I was not trying to start an argument.

A huge assumption was just made by you 14+! You just assumed that any of my children and the ones I watch are left alone with my dog! If I'm changing a diaper the dog doesn't stay with the other kids,he's wih me or I crate him. He eats as I'm preparing breakfast or dinner not alone and espicially not alone with kids regardless if he's eating or not. Which I have already stated in my original post.

kandy
March 16th, 2010, 12:08 PM
The OP also said:

She is not alone when she is sitting under him. I am right beside her the entire time in full control over the situation. I do not let her put her hands in his bowl.

I just hate to see a poster being flamed for one comment while having their original question take a back seat. I would rather give the benefit of the doubt, and assume that the OP would never leave any child unsupervised around a dog nor teach her child that doggie mealtime is a time to be harassing the dog. I still think it's a better idea to get the dog thinking that it's no big deal for a kid to be close while he's eating. I could be wrong - not like that's never happened before - but I can say that I have never had a dog bite me or my child over food/treats nor have I ever been bitten due to startling a dog.

BenMax
March 16th, 2010, 12:10 PM
The OP also said:



I just hate to see a poster being flamed for one comment while having their original question take a back seat. I would rather give the benefit of the doubt, and assume that the OP would never leave any child unsupervised around a dog nor teach her child that doggie mealtime is a time to be harassing the dog. I still think it's a better idea to get the dog thinking that it's no big deal for a kid to be close while he's eating. I could be wrong - not like that's never happened before - but I can say that I have never had a dog bite me or my child over food/treats nor have I ever been bitten due to startling a dog.

I don't think anyone is getting flamed..only friendly advice. Everyone is free to do as they wish, and I for one am stubborn..so I will do as I want until I am proven wrong...which has happened more than once.

So it's all good.:thumbs up

kandy
March 16th, 2010, 01:59 PM
Totally agree there - everyone will do as they see fit, and take whatever advice they want, disregarding the rest.

But if a poster were to ask how to get a dog over a mild food aggression issue, the advice would likely be to hand feed the dog, practice NILF, etc. Why is it that in this instance, where the dog is not exhibiting any food aggression, that the advice is to keep everyone away from the dog while it's eating?

BenMax
March 16th, 2010, 02:13 PM
The best way would be to keep him on leash when he's around your child.

You'll want to correct him when he tries to walk on her. Teach him to sit and lay down when he's near her. He should already be learning the sit and lay down command anyway. You can teach him to do this by giving him the command and pushing his butt down, then giving him a treat and praise.
With lay down the easiest thing is to put him into a sit first. Then give the command and lead him to the floor by holding a treat near his mouth and moving it toward the floor. Give the treat when he's laying down and give lots of praise.

Teach him these commands when he's NOT near her first. Then when he understands the commands use them when she's around. He should be learning to sit when he greets ANYONE for that matter. It will teach him not to jump on people.

Oh silly me...indeed Kandy you are absolutely right. I do believe that this post sums it up beautifully.

Thanks so much for putting us back on track.:thumbs up

Melinda
March 16th, 2010, 02:20 PM
sorry, my mistake

JennieV
March 16th, 2010, 03:47 PM
Totally agree there - everyone will do as they see fit, and take whatever advice they want, disregarding the rest.

But if a poster were to ask how to get a dog over a mild food aggression issue, the advice would likely be to hand feed the dog, practice NILF, etc. Why is it that in this instance, where the dog is not exhibiting any food aggression, that the advice is to keep everyone away from the dog while it's eating?

:sorry: for not having answered to the point, but the first three answers have been very helpful and I had nothing to add to them, I saw something that bothered me and wanted to point out the possible danger of such things. I guess I will just shut up from now on.:shrug:

MyBirdIsEvil
March 16th, 2010, 08:22 PM
Who is flaming?

A lot of us have seen dog bites and know how easy it is to make mistakes without even realizing it. Some people don't think about all scenarios and it can lead to horrible consequences.

Everyone is just going by what the OP wrote and telling her to exercise caution. I don't think there's reason to take offense, but I apologize if I myself have caused that :).