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rescue dog nipping daughter (10)

(25 Posts)
EasyToEatTiger Sun 24-Aug-14 09:32:40

He's a bc, aged 2'ish, badly knocked about and generally terrified. He has improved massively over the past 6months and has learned how to bark and is learning how to play. He is absolutely terrified of children in particular. I think maybe a child similar in size or something, must have been particularly horrible to him and although he is slowly becoming less afraid of her, he still nips her.
My daughter is getting better at feeding the dog and going round the house with treats.
I need to do something (what???) so he is less protective of me.

Anyone out there have any experience of this? Rehoming is not an option.

ChaffinchOfDoom Sun 24-Aug-14 09:37:11

I would keep an eye, so she's safe, lots of supervised time together, gentle play, it's hard on your daughter though; make sure she doesn't become scared?

Owllady Sun 24-Aug-14 17:12:18

Are you sure he isn't herding her, rather than fear?
I would contact the rescue for advice but you need to nip this in the bud so to speak.

CalamityKate1 Sun 24-Aug-14 17:35:04

Under what circumstances does he nip?

EasyToEatTiger Sun 24-Aug-14 22:02:56

Thanks for replying... so now to extend a bit... We think he was abused by children. He is very frightened of school age kids. He is also just learning how to be a dog, and coming out of the shadows. So some of his behaviour may be trying to round people up. He is particularly protective of me. He is, being a bc, likely to be a particularly one-person dog. Dd is quite noisy which doesn't help anyone, and she doesn't do enough what she is told. However, I have told her to use treats A LOT and she has started hand feeding him and being with him. He has started approaching her displaying far less fear. I will contact the rescue and ask them for more advice. I think the poor dog has been terrified beyond his wits and dd has been a bit of a target for him.
He usually nips dd when he is sitting on the sofa and she comes into the room. It is easy to chuck him off the sofa.

kilmuir Sun 24-Aug-14 22:06:30

Well done, hope rescue can advise

SpicyBear Sun 24-Aug-14 23:06:30

Does he have somewhere to go that is just for him where he will not be disturbed and can go to get time away from people? Like a crate? If not it is really important to find a nice safe space for him to retreat to.

lougle Mon 25-Aug-14 00:54:13

If he's scared of children, why we're you allowed to adopt him? That seems awfully unfair for him. sad

It seems awfully unfair on the family ... I have another 8-year-old DD who does not always do what she is told in relation to the puppy and gets growled at, but she is learning ... I think it is probably a very good experience for both dog and child, as long as you can supervise enough to keep her safe.
And some BC do nip, from what I have seen. I have one that doesn't; don't know if that is luck or good upbringing!

EasyToEatTiger Mon 25-Aug-14 13:46:08

Ddog has places he can go. He follows people around. He is basically a really lovely dog who has a lot about being a dog to learn. We think he had his bark beaten out of him and we knew he would need a lot of work. He may have been kicked around like a football. Our other bcs are not especially nippy. Our old one eyed the birds. They're all very different in some ways.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 30-Aug-14 06:46:30

I wouldn't let the dog on the sofa. This makes dogs think they are on a par with humans when they should be at the bottom of the chain. If he is on the sofa and your child comes in he will think he is better than the child.

Think its fab you are getting her to feed him * dogs tend to not bite the hand etc.

We have just rescued a staffie. Tensions are high and we have 2 kids - he knocked over stepson and he is now scared but we are getting him to feed and give commands so the dog learns who is boss.

Has the dog learned what 'bad' means. So it might be an association thing. Teach him it's naughty to nip and if he is reprimanded and you use the same word each time he will eventually associate that word or action with that action. Maybe it will help stop him nipping might take a while but it could work. Xx

SpicyBear Sat 30-Aug-14 08:55:42

always that theory of rank and dominance has been discredited. Dogs go on the sofa because it's comfy. It's fine if you don't want them on there for whatever reason, but it won't make them think they are the boss and you don't need to teach dogs their place by following arbitrary rules.

needastrongone Sat 30-Aug-14 09:05:57

always - I urge you to revise your thinking re dominance. It's seriously outdated now, if you use the replay feature for Channel 4, there was a programme this week called 'the truth about dogs', which had a good starter explanation about how the dominance theory came about and about how it was completely flawed right from the start.

I have a whole host of reading material that I can give you too if you would like?

Please do not use this theory with your new dog, as it may cause more harm than good and it sounds like he could be a lovely addition to your family smile

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 30-Aug-14 10:17:11

The dominance theory has always worked for my dog when I was young and worked for my partner with his dogs too.

Sorry if it's not good advice. I didn't realise it had been discredited. I'll check my replay and have a watch. .

I think it's importnant the dog knows it's place though. It has to learn what is unacceptable such as nipping etc.

Sorry for mis advising.

Happy to read anything that will help the guidance and training of a dog. Although the guidance regarding rank etc came from a booklet given to us by the dog home.x

SpicyBear Sat 30-Aug-14 10:38:23

That's really shocking and depressing about the booklet.

No one is saying dog should have no boundaries. It isn't a choice between dominate or a free for all.

SpicyBear Sat 30-Aug-14 10:39:24

Meant to include this link:

needastrongone Sat 30-Aug-14 11:03:32

always - the first training group we took ddog1 (aged 2 now) to tried to sell me a choke chain and gave me a leaflet all about being dominant smile This was only 18 months ago. I left, and went to a group which used only positive training and reward. There's so much crap out there still, hardly your fault.

A great starting point, a very short book and easy read is 'dominance - fact or fiction' by Barry Eaton.

Our dogs have very clear boundaries, they have just been established using fun, praise and reward. I wouldn't be able to cope with a badly behaved or ill mannered dog either smile

needastrongone Sat 30-Aug-14 11:05:02

ps Cesar Milan has a lot to answer for, 'cos he still spouts all that crap, which is why Pets at Home chose earlier in the year to withdraw any of his books from their shelves and no longer stock them.

CalamityKate1 Sat 30-Aug-14 11:09:36

Cesar Millan needs shooting.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sat 30-Aug-14 11:17:38

Oh right. Well we are starting training in the next week. They claim to be positive reinforcers which is what we want. But it looks like he needs to learn no. I will post aseparate thread for advice. Conscious were not helping op with her issue. X

BOFster Sat 30-Aug-14 11:22:34

Can you look up last week's The Secret Life Of Dogs on iplayer (is it a BBC show? Maybe 4OD, I'm not sure)? It helped a family deal with some very similar behaviour.

SpicyBear Sat 30-Aug-14 12:13:34

It's actually quite dangerous to teach a dog no for growling and nipping if they are doing it because they are frightened or uncomfortable. If you don't also do work to change their underlying emotional response to the trigger (e.g. O'S daughter) and take away their ability to communicate their discomfort/tell the trigger to go away, you can end up with a dog that feels they have no choice but to go straight to biting to make the scary thing disappear.

ffallada Sun 31-Aug-14 00:51:37

easy, I have a border collie who nipped beyond the usual puppy play. He wasn't a rescue with such a sad story as your pup (well done for taking your dog on btw - it takes a really special person to work through such baggage).
It sounds like your making great steps forward with your dog. If you are absolutely sure that your Ddog isn't nipping after being provoked or out of fear then perhaps I could share Some advice that I was given - to not set your dog up for failure -
If your pup always nips when being approached on the sofa by your wee girl, your wee girl shouldn't approach the sofa for a while. I know it's not ideal but I know someone who paid £300 to a behaviourist who basically (after many sessions) said that. Time will sort it out with continued positive reinforcement I.e. Lots of treats (that you are already doing)
Also, and what really worked for us, was displacement. As soon as our ddog looked like he was going to nip we asked him to get a ball a threw it a few times for him. It's not a quick fix and the unintended consequence is that he is a bit ball obsessed - but it's a hell of a lot nicer than the nipping smile

EasyToEatTiger Mon 01-Sep-14 20:30:34

He's becoming less afraid. I watched Secret life of Dogs about the aggression. It looks like a good idea to have fun when dd and ddog are in the room. It's taken a while for dd to understand that she has to be proactive, although she gets it that it's not something she's doing but something which has happened to ddog which is our problem to sort out. Over the 15 years we have kept dogs, they have had the range of the house and we were advised early on that it was fine for them to lie where they liked, as long as they moved if they were asked. So far it seems to work and I enjoy being on the sofa surrounded by hairy love!

alwaystryingtobeafriend Mon 01-Sep-14 21:59:12

If it hadnt been for the fact thst our dog knocked over my stepson and jumped on him he may be allowed on the sofa. the boy got a fright and its not fair on him if the dog is sitting on the sofa.

I really need to watch secret life of dogs for some hints. Haf pooch a few days now and while he is coming along nicely we need totry and sort out his mouthing and nipping. x

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