If your dog is biting your child or even growling at him you have a big problem. This is the biggest nightmare for any pet owner and for any professional dog trainer.
Solutions that will never work:
• Ignoring or avoiding the problem
• Separating the dog from your children
• Becoming overprotective of your child
• Screaming and yelling at the dog
Solutions that work
Become the Alpha in your dogs’ life by a serious obedience training. In this case your dog will respect you and everything which belongs to you, including the children. This is the law of the pack, and your dog has a natural instinct for this. Remember, an obedient dog is a problem free dog!
As you decrease your dogs’ social status and increase your authority, you can begin to enhance your child’s social status in your dogs’ eyes. Children are often victims of canine aggression when they cross the line from the dogs’ point of view. Children are considered by adult dogs as puppies that should behave according to their social status.
Your dog thinks children should show submission and respect but not when they are interrupting him as he sleeps, nudging him when he is walking through a room, or trying to grab his favorite bone or toy or petting him when he is lying down or sleeping. Children are always trying to harass dogs with games and by grabbing their skin, tail, and pulling their ears all over their head. When you do not punish your children for behaving this way, your dog thinks that your puppy-child is out of control. He then feels that he must do it for you!
Stop your child calmly, without screaming, take your child to a separate room and then scream and yell at the child if you want to. But don’t do it in the presence of your dog!
Dogs use their mouth as we use our hands and they use their teeth as we use our fingers. They will shove a child away from them by using their mouth and teeth. Your dog bites your children not because he hates them or wants to kill them. Your dog simply wants to inflict pain so the children will leave him alone.
Your child should never:
• Approach a sleeping dog.
• Approach a dog that is eating or chewing on a toy – please remove all items that your dog is possessive about and throw them away.
How to assert your child as the leader
• If you have a small child, under the age of seven, keep your child on the furniture as your dog remains on the floor. This creates a hierarchy between your dog and your child, with your child being on top.
• Make sure your children eat first while your dog is watching, and afterwards, have your children feed your dog.
• Always carry, or have your children walk through the door first, before your dog does.
• Shower your dog with attention when your children are around and ignore him or even put him in a crate when the children aren’t around.
• Take your dog outside and have your children play your dogs’ favorite game with him.
• Imitate your children’s behavior around your dog and to your dog. Pull his skin, ears and tail. Yell and laugh loudly. Then give your dog treats so he will start to associate these behaviors with a delicious treat.
• Constantly change the location of your dogs’ bed and where your dog is eating to diminish his territorial instinct.
• Supervise your dog and child and when you cannot supervise, put him in a crate until you can.
• Make your dog love what he hates. Bring your child something outrageously appealing like small in a cellophane bag. Have your child approach your dog and give him the small treats, with an open palm, twenty or thirty times per day. (The trick is that the treats must come from the cellophane bag.)
• If you are not completely comfortable with your dog being around your child, put a comfort muzzle on him. Don’t do it in the presence of your children otherwise your dog will begin to link a negative association between the muzzle and your children.
• Stop playing with your dog in any game if he starts to grab one of your children’s toys. Purchase unique toys for your dog that are not made from the same materials as the children’s toys. This will make it easy for your dog to distinguish the difference between his toys and the children’s toys.
• Practice obedience training with your dog. Every single time your dog shows aggression towards your child, a correction must be made.
About the author
Vladae Roytapel, Russian Dog Wizard, is a renowned dog training expert; his success has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX networks across the country. He hosts a nationally syndicated show on Animal Radio titled “Ask Vladae!” If you are experiencing problem behaviors with your dog or simply want your puppy or adult dog to have better manners, please visit Vladae the Russian dog training Wizard Informational website with Free dog training tips: http://www.socaldogtraining.com/