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Other Dog Behavior Issues

 

Chasing

 

When we have dogs and small children in the same household it can be an accident waiting to happen. Here are a few tips on how to make all of you happier.

 

Supervision

Anytime your dog/puppy and child will be in the same area they will need to be supervised. Any time they will be interacting together there should be someone able to watch them and keep them safe. You should teach the kids what to do when the dog chases them like ( stop, fold their arms) and ignore the dog. By ignoring the dog, the dog wont find them interesting any longer and move on to something else.

If they are old enough to help in the dogs training it will be easier for you child to control the dog. Even if you just teach your child how to command the sit behavior. If the dog knows they have to respond to the child when given a command it will be a more pleasurable time for both of them.

 

Appropriate Child Behavior

Teach your children how to act when they are around the dog. They can not tease, hit, poke, or pull on the dog. This will aggravate the dog or puppy and may lead to some nipping, growling, barking, or worse... a bite.

 

Natural Instincts

Dogs in the wild are taught to chase small animals as prey. It is their natural behavioral instinct. So when your little one is running around the house they can be mistaken as small prey and your dog will naturally want to chase them. You should teach your dog that this behavior is not acceptable and will be removed from the situation when this happens. Try asking the children not to run when the dog or puppy is near them, if they don't run, there will be no need for chasing.

 

Excitement

Dog's are easily excited by loud, high pitched sounds. Little children are usually running around making all sorts of noises and that is very enticing for your dog or puppy. Try quiet with the children when the animals are around. Or you can have the children play in the back yard if they are old enough, and keep the puppy inside, or vise versa, for small periods of time.

 

Re-Direction

If you find the puppy/dog nipping, chasing, or biting clothing you will need to correct them verbally and re-direct them to an appropriate toy to chew on, or a more desirable behavior like sit, or park it. By giving your dog re-directions you are taking the focus off of the child or object they were interested in and placing it somewhere else. You should correct any of the mentioned behaviors each and every time you see them. This is key to the success of deleting the behavior. If they are allowed to chase, nip, bite even one time with no correction, it is the okay to do it again.

 

Time Out

If you have corrected the unwanted behavior with a few verbal commands and re-directions and that hasn't worked I want you to try time-out. You can use a quiet place for this such as a kennel, garage, or even another room. Leave them there for just about 10-20 seconds. As long as they are not whimpering, whining, or barking you can let them out. If they go right back to what they were doing, I want you to put a leash on them and put them right back in time-out. You may have to do this a few times before they catch on, but trust me, they do catch on. Every dog and dog breed is different so how long it will take them depends on them.

 

Training and Practice

If you and your family are taking dog training classes or are just training at home, this will be a good thing to have your children help you with. Have the children walk the dog with you, or play fetch with them, any kind of proper interaction between the children and the dog/puppy will be a great experience for them both. When your dog has learned a few obedience commands you can have the children practice them with the dog/puppy so they both learn to listen to each other. Having your children know how to ask your dog for a certain behavior, and have your dog offer that behavior will be rewarding for the both of them.

 

Leave It

You can try using the command "leave it!" when you are trying to interrupt a chasing or nipping episode. This includes nipping on clothes, hands, ankles, shoes, or chasing children, cats, or any other small animal. Having a good leave it command will allow you to put this to use at anytime for any unwanted behavior. This is also a great tool when it comes to eating. Your children probably walk around the house with some kind of munchies and the dog/puppy usually isn't far behind waiting for a tid bit to drop. You don't want your dog always following them or yourself anytime you have food so if they know "Leave It!" you can say just that. Once your dog has a good "leave it" you can put that to use on any household item you want. Such as the laundry, remote, or food on the end tables. Teach your dog "leave it" and be pleasantly surprised by the unwanted behavior issues that soon stop.