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Hound from Hell visited- WWYD?

(22 Posts)
mungojerry Wed 12-Jan-11 21:37:50

Help! My sister came last week with her new dog - under a year and it was aggressive, non-stop barky and tried to bite my dh. Small ds (5) was scared and but she defended the dog by telling ds that by showing him fear, it was making it worse. I was told off for comforting him. We all were told he was like this because of items in or out of our house. At no time did she try to restrain or correct dog. We love my sister but don't want dog to visit again till it's trained as it was so stressful and ds is saying that he's glad we don't have a dog. He's been fine with other dogs over the years.

JaxTellersOldLady Wed 12-Jan-11 21:41:49

sounds like extreme naughty puppy behaviour to me. that said, if your sister doesnt get a grip of it now she will end up with a terribly behaved dog that wont be welcome anywhere. sad

How old is it exactly? What breed? Is your sister an experienced dog owner? Has she a clue?

BCBG Wed 12-Jan-11 21:47:48

Not acceptable and you are right ti say so. What sort of dog? - it sounds like very typical terrier behaviour and the dog is nit that young in training terms. It sounds as though the dog was anxious, not used to children, and stressed by its environment. It's up to your sister to do some work with her og before he comes around again. To put it in perspective, my sister has a Cairn terrier thar is now 16 years old she has has owned him since three when she rescued him and because he was I'll treated he gates kids. We have managed to have Ben visit rotor ten years now, but it took careful work by everyone. You are not wrong, and I hope your ds us encouraged to understand that one grumpy dog us nor typical of all if them.

BCBG Wed 12-Jan-11 21:48:40

Sorry about typos-am moving at same time blush

mungojerry Wed 12-Jan-11 22:25:48

Thanks for feedback. It's a spaniel type of dog aged about 7 months. She's had a dog before. My dh says that being pack animals, this new one is confused because he's got the message that noone's in charge. Sister I think, won't easily take advice (or criticism) and as you say, this can only get worse. Have also spoken to mutual friends - also experienced dog owners who were upset by behaviour. Agreed that not safe around children. Have tried to explain to ds that not all dogs are like this but now says he doesn't want to visit good friends who have one.

BCBG Wed 12-Jan-11 23:11:02

Well, would deffo deal with ds now as it will get harder if left. Explain to him that not all dogs are naughty, or scared, and take him to see the quietest, gentlest you can. some spaniel crosses can be very fearful of strangers and exhibit quasi-aggressive behaviours when stressed. Your ds'sfear would have made the situation worse, but your sister should remove the dog not chastise the child. He us too young to control his responses and it is up to her to control the dog. ban the dog, desensitise ds. simples.

mungojerry Thu 13-Jan-11 09:43:02

she's going to get him snipped (is this the right expression). Will this make a difference?

maryz Thu 13-Jan-11 09:53:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JaxTellersOldLady Thu 13-Jan-11 11:43:59

Actually to me it sounds like the dog hasnt been socialised properly or trained.

Get your DS to see/meet a nice quiet dog who wont scare him.

mungojerry Thu 13-Jan-11 11:53:33

I do have a feeling that others may say something first as she lives in another city and only see her every 6-8 weeks. I completely agree about what you say maryz, and truth be told she can be pretty scary. ds comes first though! We went for a walk the other day by the river and a boatman had the oldest and most placid dog i've seen..both dh and I stroked him but ds wouldn't come anywhere near and he was trying his hardest to be brave. Will try and find one who lives nearby to restore confidence.

minimu1 Thu 13-Jan-11 14:08:05

Sorry to say mungojerry your DH is talking rubbish with regards to "noone being in charge" and also Maryz re "higher in pecking order".

The dog is just untrained and an active puppy. The only way this will change is if your sister recognises that she needs to go to positive based training classes.

Personally I would not visit her or let her come to me if she can not train her dog. (I have also refused to visit friends who cannot train their children too!).

CalamityKate Thu 13-Jan-11 16:49:36

What Minimu1 said about being in charge and "pecking order". Outdated, disproved nonsense.

With regards to her visiting - much as I love dogs, I wouldn't allow anyone to bring a dog to my house unless it was trained and I absolutely wouldn't tolerate one that was in any way aggressive! Who the hell does she think she is??

mungojerry Thu 13-Jan-11 16:55:36

Think that's pretty harsh comment minimu1 as I always understood that dogs were pack animals and needed a leader.

What is a positive based training class? What else could it be?

Agree about visits though. Feel the same about untrained children - some people just have a great big blind spot when it comes to their nearest and dearest, whether they're animals or humans.

minimu1 Thu 13-Jan-11 17:11:33

Not a harsh comment at all mungojerry pack theory and dominance etc etc has as Calamity Kate said been disproved of ages ago although it is taking the general public a while to catch up. You will find people supporting it but believe me it is tosh! (I could quote my academic qualifications and profession here if you want to be reassured that what I am saying is true but really don't think that is necessary!)

Basically the dog and your sister needs help. Positive based training means that the dog is taught the correct behaviour and rewarded when it does it.

So in the case of coming to see you, the dog would be encouraged to sit or lie and when it is doing this be treated. If the dog continues to sit and lie treat it more hence the dog will sit and lie and be calm. Of course with a young puppy this can be done in short sessions and will need to be done regularly for the dog to learn the correct behaviour.

If you shout push restrain the dog it will push against you, get confused, get excited, get fearful etc which will all exaggarate the unwanted behaviour. Which is how the training was done by the good old pack leader type trainers

CalamityKate Thu 13-Jan-11 17:15:05

Dogs who live in a house, with people, need to be taught what is expected of them. That's training. But it's nothing to do with being boss, or there being a pecking order.

midori1999 Thu 13-Jan-11 17:33:55

Yep, what they said, pack theory is a load of old tosh. A dog needs to learn what is acceptable or desirable behaviour, no more, no less.

maryz Thu 13-Jan-11 21:06:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CalamityKate Thu 13-Jan-11 21:31:47

<So no-one any longer believes that there is a pecking order in a pack of dogs confused. There was always a "top-dog" in our house when we had more than one dog>

The same dog was "in charge" ALL the time, in EVERY situation? I ask because generally, pack hierarchy is very fluid, which is why modern behaviourists doubt the dominance theory.

<And when we had our lovely, well-behaved golden retriever, we had no problems training him to do anything any of us said - apart from the fact that he took no notice at all of my youngest child. He used to push him over, steal from his plate, and really be pretty horrible to him>

Because he could, probably. Dogs do what works. Older children and adults wouldn't allow him to push them over and steal etc, but smallest child didn't/couldn't do anything about it.

<No problem with anyone else at all, ever? I always presumed (and in fact was told by the vet), that the dog just quite simply thought he was more important than my youngest and treated him accordingly>

Vets, unless they have trained specifically and separately in the subject, don't generally have much of a clue about behaviour.

<The dog was trained, he knew what was expected of him>

He knew what was expected of him when the rest of the family asked him to do/not to do something.

<we taught ds2 to speak to him in the same way as the others, but he used to just knock him down, sit on him and steal his food, at every chance he got>

It's not so much the way they're spoken to - it's the likelihood that the command is going to be enforced/explained.

My dog does absolutely nothing my DP tells her to do. Not because she sees him as somehow inferior - but because he, being totally non-doggy, has no idea how to enforce a command. For instance, if he says "Sit", she doesn't. Because she knows that if she doesn't, nothing happens. He'll give her the bit of toast/whatever anyway. So, to her, when he says "Sit" what he means is "I shall now pause for 3 seconds, then roll my eyes, then give you some toast".

maryz Thu 13-Jan-11 21:42:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CalamityKate Thu 13-Jan-11 21:54:01

He figured that whatever he managed to steal from your DS was worth being put out for grin

From a dog's point of view, "Not Allowed" translates to "Doesn't Work", "Isn't Safe" or "Isn't Worth It".

Stealing from Adult - probably a combination of "Doesn't Work" (They're quick enough to snatch it away before I get it) and "Isn't Safe" (Get Told Off/Put Out if I try) and "Isn't Worth It" (Combination of first two).

Stealing from a small child - combination of "Sometimes Works" (kids aren't as quick to react), "Is sometimes safe" (child too slow to tell dog off; if adult not around, by the time adult has told dog off it's forgotten what it's being told off for), which translates to "Often Worth A Shot".

Dogs don't DO right and wrong. Just what's safe/dangerous, and what works and what doesn't.... - "proving a point" is a totally human concept grin

maryz Thu 13-Jan-11 21:56:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CalamityKate Thu 13-Jan-11 21:57:42

Ever seen "Fluke"? wink

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