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 Post subject: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:22 pm 
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Hi All
Love some advice.
We've had our 5 month old boy Jasper since he was 8 weeks, he is lovely (if very lively). The major issue we're facing is the relationship between our 5 year old son and the dog. He ended up in the ER last week with a deep bite to his ear (child not puppy!) :( He continually winds the puppy up and is very rough with him. As a result Japser still nips and chases our son ... it is like they're vying for 'bottom dog'.
My 7 year old has no issues like this. Jasper is still very chewy (loosing his teeth etc). Any advice would be great. Our puppy trainer just recommended keep him on a leash when he is inside - so he is involved with the family but can't jump, run and bite. But then all he does is bark his head off at me and I can't stand the noise. So I end up putting him outside.
My husband and I work hard to train the pup to have a soft mouth, and to sit & stay instead of biting/at mealtimes etc... overall he does as asked, with US. But I'm now really concerned he is learning that all small boys are there for biting.
I'm trying to keep a lid on the chaos!!


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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:21 pm 
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First let me say, don't want to come off harsh, but it sounds to me you need to work with your son on how he plays with a pup/dog. Jasper is playing rough because your little guy is playing rough and winding him up

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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:43 pm 
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debbiefive wrote:
First let me say, don't want to come off harsh, but it sounds to me you need to work with your son on how he plays with a pup/dog. Jasper is playing rough because your little guy is playing rough and winding him up


Ditto

Your son is teaching the puppy it is acceptable to bite and roughhouse with him. Remember, your puppy is the baby here, and he is learning from the family members. Since he behaves well with other family members, Jasper has learned boundaries for most of the family. But with your 5 year old son, it's a free for all for the two of them.

Your son needs to dial down his roughhousing and winding up of Jasper. It may take a bit, as Jasper will not understand at first. But by being consistent with both your son and Jasper the two if them will be good buddies. I think Jasper will be a lot happier with the new relationship he builds with your son.

Do you have a crate for Jasper? Jasper should have a crate as a safe place to rest and be calm. I taught my puppy, Echo, that her crate was a great place! As a pup, Echo would eat in her crate, and take naps and sleep in there as well. Echo, now at 2 1/2 years old, still loves her crate! It is her very safe place, where only good things happen! We tell her 'crate' and she runs into it and sits down to wait for her reward treat.

Also, you will need to make sure your son knows that Jasper's crate is his safe place. When Jasper is in the crate, he must be left alone to eat, sleep or rest.

Good Luck. Keep us posted.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:06 am 
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Yes. I agree ... we're having more trouble training my son than the puppy. Even tonight I had to send him to his room for teasing Jasper with a banana. It is not harsh at all to point that out to me - I am just at my wits end and of course blame the dog. I often wish we'd waited another few years as I had no idea my son was going to be so difficult. Even after a nasty bite, he still seems to want to 'get one up'.

I'm comforted by the fact Jasper recognises boundaries with the rest of us.

Jasper sleeps in a crate in our laundry which is separate from the rest of the house. My husband gets up at 5am and we don't want Jasper awake at 5am too when we're all asleep till 7am, so we don't have the crate inside. Tonight I ended up putting him on his lead near the TV while the boys watched TV after school.

Then he couldn't run and leap onto the sofa and nip. What happens is he does that and my boy pushes him away with his leg ...so Jasper thinks its a fun game.

I'd love to hear other's experiences with their children.


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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:30 am 
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I have a six year old cocker Zoey and two kids. A girl 11 and a boy 3. My daughter was 5 when we got Zoey but she did not enjoy the nipping of a puppy. She was easy to teach to not play rough. My son who is now 3 is another story. He loves to tease the dog with food and then holler when she gets it. I've caught him feeding the dog from his own fork(yuck) so now I crate her when we have a meal but not every one else does. :bang When the kids get wild Zoey does get crazy too and barks and wants to play but most of the time she will get her own toy to carry around and go crazy on. We didn't teach her that she just does it. I am forever teaching my son to be calm with the dog,not so easy when we haven't had nice weather to get him outside and burn off his own energy. When Zoey was a pup I did my best to wear her out running and playing to make her too tired to chase after my daughter also.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:54 am 
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debbiefive wrote:
First let me say, don't want to come off harsh, but it sounds to me you need to work with your son on how he plays with a pup/dog. Jasper is playing rough because your little guy is playing rough and winding him up


I couldn't agree more. :th-up

Any time a child is around my dog, I am the one in control of both of them. :Clap

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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:13 am 
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You haven't mentioned puppy training or obedience classes, so I'll add that. Take your boys with you and let them learn how to handle the puppy properly. It sounds like your 5 y/o would benefit from positive training, too - like when he handles the dog properly he gets rewarded with something really special that he likes and doesn't ordinarily get. I don't know if there are any childrens' books or DVDs that talk about having kids and puppies (and the training of both) but you might check into your library or the AKC or someplace like that to see.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:01 am 
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The suggestions you are getting are right on-your son needs to be taught how to interact with the puppy and probably the best way is thru obedience school or a private trainer that can work with your son and teach him appropriate behavior with the puppy.

I also do not want to seem harsh, but if the dog bites again and you have to give up the puppy, more than likely he would be put down in a shelter or rescue due to the biting history, even though it was not the dog's fault, so its very important to get this situation under control quickly. Hope it works out for all of you.

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 Post subject: Re: 5 month pup + 5 year child = biting
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:23 am 
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Hi! I'm going to chime in, too. We got a puppy last spring and had an almost 8 yo (now almost 9 yo) daughter. Our daughter was the biggest challenge to train and it is an ongoing process. She constantly winds Lola up and then gets angry when Lola starts playing too roughly. She really struggles to see how her own behavior creates the situation. We give our daughter warnings -- "you are winding Lola up. Settle down." We redirect the game -- "Lower your voice. Use calm tones. Throw the ball AWAY from you. No tug. No wrestling." If she has invited the dog to play with her and her own toys (A tent or a tea party, for instance.) we make her put her toys away and get off the floor. Be consistent with your son. Give him consequences and enforce them. You'll find that the dog is easy to train but that your child will be the one who needs constant reinforcement.

Our experience with a puppy class wasn't very helpful. The trainer wouldn't work with my daughter because she was under 12 years old and "too immature." Which is precisely WHY she needed some help!! In my area, we had to hire a private trainer to come to our house. That worked pretty well but we still have to be vigilant with the 8.5 yo.

Also, we found it important to correct adults who were visiting. Several of our friends enjoy playing VIGOROUS games of tug or other types of teasing games with dogs. We found that asking them to dial it back and treat Lola more gently helped her establish better human/dog boundaries. If only kids were as easy to train as dogs!

Good luck!


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