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JohnW
03-04-2005, 01:23 AM
We just adopted a dog that showed up at my wifes elemetary school. She is about one year old and is by all accounts part Belgain Sheperd and possibly Chow. She is a very sweet dog with adults. It how she acts around our almost 5 year old son, that is the problem. For the first or so that we had her, she treated everyone the same. She would walk over to him and see what he was about, but didn't change he behavior. We've had her about 1 week now and I think she is getting more used to us. Now, when our son comes out to the back yard, she trots over to him and is very active and want's to play. Perhaps she now sees him as more her equal. She is about 65 lbs, by the way. Unfortunatly, he becomes fightened when she comes toward him that way and when she doesn't stop, when he says stop, he crys. This reaction seems to make her more excited and she may drop down on her forelegs and hop back and forth. Which makes our son even more afraid. I know she wants to play with him, but he just sees a large animal in his face. ( As a side note, he has been afraid of dogs for a bit, since my friends 2 ( now 3 ) Bostons jumped on him. ) He likes the tail wagging part of dogs better than the licking part. He likes the dog well enough, from behind a fence or window screen, but in person, she is too much for him. She has never seemed agressive, but just too active around him. I know this type of dog can be a "high energy" breed, but in all other occasions, she seems quite mellow. Perhaps it's the Chow part that is more calm.

How do we break her of this !

kerryclair
03-04-2005, 02:26 AM
Have you considered enrolling your new dog in an obedience class and having your son be the handler (or work with you?)

JohnW
03-04-2005, 08:34 AM
We are trying to find a trainer near us, yes. He's too small to really be the handler though. Especially, since the only bad trait, so far, envolves him !

After some thought and reading on the subject, we think she may consider our son small enough to herd. The little nips at the pant leg and getting very excited when he gets upset and crys, make us think this. Given she is part herding dog, how deep will this behavior go ? Can it be trained out ? I think it is our sons size that triggers this. It's funny that it took a few days for her to exhibit this though. I think if he didn't already have an apprehension about dogs, from getting jumped on, by some really bouncy dogs, in the past, he might not be so quick to be scared. He's happy to be around the dog, from behind a fence.

Which brings up a problem. How do you condition the dog NOT to do something she will only do with my son, but you don't want to her to be close enough to him to get the reaction , for fear of REALLY making him afraid of her or all dogs in general ?

kerryclair
03-04-2005, 07:39 PM
Yes the herding can be worked with...a dog that has a tendency toward something can learn appropriate times to display that behavior, of course. Otherwise all the sheep herders out there would come home and try to herd the familes too (grin), so yes it can be worked out.

The reason that you did not see this behavior for a few days after bringing the dog home is that a dog is a pack animal. He will establish what order HE is in a pack. This will take a few days. He has decided that because of the way your son acts toward him that he is alpha to your son...that your son is his littermate and not his leader. You need to establish that your son is his leader. Have your son feed the dog, make sure your son goes out of the door first or into a room first etc. That is step one.

As for him acting roughly with your son, you need to work with the dog on behavior he knows first. I assume he knows SIT? If so then put him on a lead line. AS you go into the yard where he would normally leap all over your son, ...stand across the yard and the moment he starts to act excited, snap the lead and say NO. Have him look at you and get his attention back to you from being on your son. Then tell him to sit. When he does, praise him and start to walk toward your son again.

Continue to do this until he can approach in a gentlemanly fashion.
Once you move to offlead, the second he starts to do his excited behavior you can clap your hand or stomp your foot to get his attention and tell him NO, sharply. Then make him sit again until he has calmed down.

These are some things you can do as a start.

Sheka
03-06-2005, 07:18 AM
Id try taking my dog for walks/runs 3 times a day. So when visiters come or aroundmy neice, she still wants to play but isnt overly exited. U might not have to do this 3 times a day. Depending on the energy of the dog..I have a border collie Lol always hyper . Id maybe try a type of activity, flyball, agility, herding or just playing at the dog park.

From,
Sheka