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Nervous dog and children?

(17 Posts)
tazzle22 Sun 30-Dec-12 02:46:25

Welll I wish you the very very best with keeping her but imo its a bit risky. I am another that has a rescue ( gsd) that was nervous aggressive including around children.... although a bit worse in that she actively snarled and tried to lunge if they came near. She is brill now but it took a looong time to change her mindset.

I think that if DC were older it might be ok if you were very vigilant and DC attentive at all times around the dog as well as positively involved in the conditioning process but at 4 and 2 I would be very worried.......... all it takes is one distraction on your part, children over excited or the wrong circumstances. eg dog able to jump over a gate.

NOt aggression but I was caught out when DD tiny and I had in season dog (vet would not spay till after first one gggrr) in the kitchen.... DD hardly walking yet managed to pull up on back door handle and open door while I had my back to it....... no guesses for what happened !!!!

Take care

Floralnomad Thu 27-Dec-12 19:34:57

Well done for trying ,many people wouldn't ,I hope it's successful .

Jinglemyalanbells Thu 27-Dec-12 19:27:45

Thanks for your messages, we've had a good long think and even though we should probably rehome her, we are willing to give Alan dog another chance. She has ( or rather we have) 6 months to try to get the issues under control.
No. 1 is tolerating the children and them leaving her alone when she needs it. We will be making the crate a no disturb zone, with gate shut when she's resting and I'm clearing a space in our spare room upstairs when she needs total time out!
It's going to be hard work but we can't give up on her just yet!

daimbardiva Thu 27-Dec-12 14:34:54

Give her up. You have had a good 8offer from the rescue 're working with a behaviorist beef 're she is reformed again and this would be best for the dog as well as you and your family. We we're in a similar situation this time last year with our dog who we'd had for 7 years. Pre kids I'd run my life' around him, dealing with his nervousness and trying manage his behaviour. It got to a point after I had kids that I realised that I couldn't guarantee their safety around him, and that this wasn't fair to him. It broke my heart to lose him but it was definitely ithe best thing time do. Good luck x

onlyoneboot Thu 27-Dec-12 14:24:59

Our rescue dog is perhaps older, 18 months or so, and snapped at my youngest son a few times when we got her. The rescue centre encouraged me to get him involved in the training and he fed her every meal, held her lead etc. She is much better around him as a result, and him around her, but we need to work on her resource guarding because she will growl when she has a bone.

Your children are young. My son is 7 and even though he knows the 'golden rules' to leave her when sleeping and eating he sometimes just can't resist and it is stressful and frustrating. The other big difference is our dog, though nervous of some things, is friendly with people and dogs so at times when I've been questioning whether we are the right family for her there have been enough positives to keep going. It's hard though and I've had some uneasy moments wondering if I'm putting my son at risk.

It sounds like your rescue centre are understanding and your dog will be given the help she needs if you do decide to rehome. Good luck!

Mulledandmerry Wed 26-Dec-12 22:45:32

Yes, it would be a deal breaker for me. I would take rescue up on their kind offer. You can't watch small children all the time and it just takes one misguided action. Well done for addressing the problems.

highriggs Wed 26-Dec-12 22:38:28

I have a dog much like yours where she is afraid of everything much as you have said in your last two posts. Don't think you have been lax at all just caught unawares of a dog who is very afraid of many situations.
I don't have young kids at home but would find it very hard.
In your situation I wouldn't keep the dog. I have had behaviost to see my girl and it will be a long road and she will have to wear muzzle as cant risk either her or the people she might bite through her fear.
It is so hard. My rescue didn't tell me or weren't aware of my girl' s fear and how much it affects her life.

Jinglemyalanbells Wed 26-Dec-12 22:04:39

Thanks all,
If it were just this issue ( albeit the most important) then I would happily commit to the time and effort but it seems that she has so many other issues ( fear or other dogs, people, traffic, noises outside) I don't really know if I can honestly commit to it fully with a toddler to look after too sad

poachedeggs Wed 26-Dec-12 20:56:57

(FWIW I am a vet and have just completed some training on canine aggression)

poachedeggs Wed 26-Dec-12 20:55:41

I think now is the time to implement emergency measures. You can decide on rehoming once the situation is secure. You have been too lax thus far and your dog's good nature has meant you've got away with it.

You cannot, ever, rely on children following rules when it comes to an aggressive dog. You need physical barriers, either a locked door or double, secure stairgates. The children should not ever be involved in securing or feeding this dog. And no more bones or high value foods lying around. You may find that a management plan alone is enough to stabilise the situation and give you confidence to continue.

She sounds like she is resource guarding, which is fixable with work. A major positive is that she has shown that she has given warnings - she doesn't sound like a dog who wants to bite but she obviously feels like she has no alternatives in the given situations.

From your post I wouldn't write her off, but you will need the help of a good behaviour counsellor (see the APBC for listings) and significant commitment. You may have to accept that she will never meet your expectations of a family pet (many people think dogs should tolerate some very unreasonable treatment by children) but if you can do that and have the time to spend on her then you may well get this situation under control.

overflowingmum Wed 26-Dec-12 20:03:03

I would say that 4 and 2 is really young for them to fully appreciate the importance of sticking to the rules all the time and to always remember them every time.
(speaking as someone with 2 dogs and 6 kids - the youngest of which is 4 - and still forgets a LOT about leaving the dogs alone when they are sleeping etc)
sorry I have missed your other thread but what kind of dog is she? How long have you had her and how old is she?
Our first dog was a rescue we took on at 6 months . She was really nervous and still is a little bit in some situations (shes 3 now) however she did tolerate our children well from the start - she still is not overly keen on the kids friends when they come round but we have worked lots on this with her and she is much better but I still find it stressful as I have to be 100% on the ball with her/visiting kids.
That said she will growl a bit if our kids approach her when she has a bone - but she would not snap - I know this because we have worked with her lots to ensure she would let us all take food off her etc...
I suppose it really depends how much time/energy you honestly have to commit to her. I don't mean that in a bad way, but realistically I think it could be quite a long process and quite stressful. Not unmanageable but you need to be realistic.
Much as I am all for advocating always sticking with a dog and working through it I do wonder if maybe she isn't the right dog for you?
Good luck with whatever you decide

saintmerryweather Wed 26-Dec-12 12:57:50

if your children are too young to remember when to leave her alone and not to go near her crate i would rehome her. your dog needs a quiet atmosphere with owners who have time to work with her properly. she is warning you and the children that she cant cope with the situation she is in with her growling and snapping. you sound like you would be a good owner to a more confident dog so please dont think im getting at you, i just think that this is not the right dog for you and for all your sakes i would give her back to the rescue and look at getting another dog when you children are a bit older and can learn the rules about the dog

Jinglemyalanbells Tue 25-Dec-12 23:34:33

They both love her although dd1 would understand if I explained why she needed to go. Dd2 is too young to notice I think!

Floralnomad Tue 25-Dec-12 23:32:56

It is difficult ,particularly with young children and when you have people putting pressure on you from outside. What would your children think about the dog going ?

Jinglemyalanbells Tue 25-Dec-12 23:29:17

Thanks floral.
I really don't want to give her up (unless the behaviourist recommends it). But am getting grief from my mum about how the children are in danger and the dog should go.
I thought The dcs knew not to go near her when in crate or food, i have told them enough times, but being so young, I guess they forgot. hmm

Floralnomad Tue 25-Dec-12 23:21:55

Nobody can make that decision but yourself . For me I would be keeping the dog and managing the situation better i.e no children near the dog when its got food and the crate should be somewhere the dog can go to get away from people so the children shouldn't be leaning in there. Only you know if you can commit to the necessary work with your dog to enable her to fit into your family.

Jinglemyalanbells Tue 25-Dec-12 23:14:18

So, some of you may remember my post re our rescue. She is fear aggresive and hates other dogs. Se also isn't keen on strangers ( or anyone in house other than us).

Short version, she has snapped at dd1 (4) and drawn blood when she leaned in her crate and growled twice at my dd2(2) as she went near her bone.

We are going to talk to a behaviourist in the new year but I wanted your opinions on whether the above would be a deal breaker for you keeping her?

Rescue have agreed to take her back ( if we wish) have her fostered and worked with a behaviourist, then rehomed.

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