Scolding children

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by Johnny Walker, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

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    Could scolding toddlers and children for approaching a resting dog or for performing some unwanted behavoir in front of the dog be inadvertently training the dog that children should not approach and growl or create anxiety in said dog ?
     
  2. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

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    Let me clarify. I’m talking about scolding the child in front of the dog for performing an unwanted behaviour to the dogs. As I read that back it seems a bit ambiguous.
     
  3. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    I suppose it could. Child approaches dog, human gets angry, therefore child approaching must be a bad/scary/dangerous thing.

    However, it doesn't mean that you can't do it. Our child gets in trouble if he does the wrong thing with Ella but there's no shouting or anger. It's a simple removal, explanation (to the child) and time out (again, the child) with a quick pat/and or reward and a "good girl" for Ella.

    Hopefully this could potentially result in the opposite to what you mention above. Child approaches, human rewards me, therefore child approaching is pretty bloody cool!
     
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  4. MF

    MF Registered Users

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    It’s an interesting training question. If you were to redirect the child to something better to do, instead of approaching the dog, is the child learning not to approach the dog?

    Anyway, if it were me, I wouldn’t be shouting at the child. I’d be using words to explain what must be done.
     
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  5. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    I find some aspects of dog training and child training quite similar. However, there are a lot of diffences too.

    Sometimes I get mixed up... Like when I gave Nathan a whistle to come back to me on our walk the other day o_O
     
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  6. Anne123

    Anne123 Registered Users

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    When Finn and my grandchildren are here it can be sometimes confusing. When I speak to Finn they think I speak to the children. When I speak to the grandchildren Finn thinks I spoke to him....I found out I speak on the same higher voice to both parties...
     
  7. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    Well, did he do a whiplash turn? :D
     
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  8. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    Interesting isn't it?:)
     
  9. Shamas' mom

    Shamas' mom Registered Users

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    That's funny, because I had an entire conversation with my teen about dog/children training after using the same tone with her that I use with Shamas. I did point out that with his anxiety issues, I threw out the classical consequense-based training and train him the way I "trained" the kids, which is why I talk to him in the same tone I use with them XD

    I do think that the tone we use when dealing with a situation tells the dog much more than the situation itself-so if the child is making the dog nervous, then surely a harsh-toned parent will re-enforce that concern. Whereas if the trusted adult were to come in with reinforcement and remove the offending child, it would have ess lasting impact. My favorite tactic is to simply call Shamas to me. He'll get up and leave the child who is trying to hug him, and I offer him treats. Then, I can talk to them in a moment. But mine are all older and don't need immediate intervention...
     
  10. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

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    Reason I’m asking is because my 22 month old and my 2 year old dog who were inseparable since birth now seem to have an issue. Starting last night Whenever she walks by him he growls at her. Very scary situation. He initially barked and now it’s a growl when she passes by him. No one saw what caused the growl but knowing toddlers he probably smacked her with a doll whilst he was having his post dinner snooze but momma says she did nothing, just walked by. Toddler was extremely upset and now we have a dog that growls at kids. Now, I work away but when I’m home I constantly supervise the dog and child. My wife is 36 weeks pregnant and not so much in the supervision Dept. She says they are fine and best friend friends. I have bombarded her with literature and videos about children and dogs, bites and statistics, etc. When My toddler acts inappropriately she gets corrected and redirected but being 22 months thinks it’s funny and tries to test the boundaries so we use stern voice to tell her to “leave the puppy alone”. Then usually it ends up with her being whisked to another room to colour etc. I am vigilant until she’s old enough to fully understand how to properly behave around the dog. He has never been bothered by her actions before and has even jumped on him by accident exiting the couch or plopped herself on his bad leg in an attempt to snuggle in with him. Watching his body language he has been more than fine although I keep them apart at times like when he’s sleeping or has a toy even though He’s fine to share toys with her. I’m wondering if over time I have created this issue by asking her to leave him alone or if she has just whacked him in a way that he didn’t like one time and now he’s cautious with her. He has an incredible memory for experiences and doesn’t let things go very easily. Took my wife ages to regain his trust after she changed her training technique and demeanour around him. He actually looked to her for help after the event last night which is a win on that front but now we have to worry that he’ll bite. 1 in 70 people will experience a dog bite every year and 75% of those bites are children’s under 10 by their family pet. I was bitten three times as a teenager by family pets, who otherwise never had agression or bothered anyone else.
     
  11. Anne123

    Anne123 Registered Users

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    Would a crate or baby gates be an answer? The dog can be protected from your toddler and reverse. They have their own space. I did this as soon as one of my grandchildren came to visit.
    When we got our first lab our youngest girl was 2,5 years, our oldest 8. In between one of 5 and 6. I had a crate for the dog and she stayed there when the youngest was playing. We gradually introduced them together and by the time our youngest was 3 they played together in the garden. Sometimes the dog with rainbow colors of chalk. She had then laid down in the drawings made by our daughter. The dog knew exactly when she could play rough or had to be careful and gentle. Our oldest boys took her often to the soccer playground to play with the soccer ball with their friends! The youngest could pick a Tennisball out of her mouth, very gentle.

    Has something happened between the two? Did the toddler hurt the dog?
     
  12. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

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    Not sure if she hurt him but he’s s kinda bulletproof. No one saw the interaction they Only heard it.
     
  13. Jojo83

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    No dog, regardless of how calm, relaxed they are, are bulletproof. My girl is totally relaxed, very gentle, but I totally accept and never forget that she has the capacity to bite if the circumstances are right - or should that be wrong? One thing is guaranteed is that something has occurred, or a series of incidents which has led to the growling. It could be an incidence of 'trigger stacking' where things he's not happy with have built upon each finally leading to a vocalisation - a bit like us having a bad day at work, getting stuck in a traffic jam, arriving home to a large bill needing payment and we snap at our partner or children. It could just be that with your toddler becoming more and more mobile and generating more noise, particularly the frequency of young children, that he is finding it scary - it happens.
     
  14. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

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    There are many things in play in this situation. Absolutely trigger stacking and an unseen isolated event. There’s an active dog stressed because of surgical restrictions for past 8 months. There’s a toddler aproaching her terrible two’s. There’s a 37 weeks pregnant proud handler and there’s me away from home trying very hard not to say “ I told you so” to the defensive pregnant handler. I knew we were on the path to where we are today and tried everything to prevent it. They have been isolated for the moment which is safest but not necessarily the best option. My plan of attack if I can get mommma on board is to reintroduce the child to the dog in small doses under fun and positive events. Gonna start by getting the toddler to feed him high value food rewards and take it from there. He has always taken treats from her very gently and calmly so hoping to rebuild the relationship now momma knows how serious the situation has become that I was trying to prevent. Poor dog just needs a long run in the country but he’s still not healed enough. Even swimming is too much for him still. We tried to take him to the river and he will swim but only if it’s for a dummy so there’s still too much running on land yet.
     
  15. Jojo83

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    I wouldn't try to have little one feed treats. You need to maintain distance so he doesn't feel the need to growl at all. From a distance have little one throw a treat towards him repeat 5 times and then stop. Perform the sequence of 5 throws several times a day for a week ensuring that you main rain a distancewhere he is comfortable. Then move a step closer and repeat the 5 treats and so on. Building up very slowly should help counter condition before there is any attempt to feed a treat by hand for little one.
     
  16. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

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    I’ve read “Mine”. I’ll start with what you suggest. He’s been following toddler around all morning. Mommma is watching close and no growls yet today but he’s been outside on the deck for most of the morning.
     
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  17. Harley Quinn

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    Or did he sit and stay? :)
     
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  18. Jojo83

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    I knew you'd recognise the methodology :) . The growling could have been something or nothing if everything is fine today but it is always best to be cautious and work through some counter-conditioning.
     
  19. Johnny Walker

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    Update: Vet said he seems to be in a bit of pain in one of the legs that was operated on but otherwise seemed fine. The behaviourist said that it’s quite possible because of this he was just warning her “not today“ as a means of preempting the possible strike. Her solution was to keep them separate. Wife’s reaction.. what’s the point of having a family dog in isolation. Not fair to anyone. The saga continues.
     
  20. Jojo83

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    Oh no! Poor boy! I did wonder if it was possibly pain related. I would agree with your behaviourist on both the growling itself and the best course of action. It's such a shame that your wife isn't fully supportive :( . Did the vet suggest any medication to ease the discomfort.
     

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