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Old 09-23-2012, 06:13 PM   #42
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Re: Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

Originally Posted by emerino View Post
Today I felt hopeful until DS startled her. He's not rowdy, but he is a boy and has a less-than-stellar attention span, so he cannot be trusted to always be aware of the dog, nor do I feel like we should have to walk on eggshells.
You are exactly right - he is a kid, and kids are going to be loud and unpredictable, and they're not always going to be really aware of the dog. Teens, sure, but little kids just aren't capable of that. And you definitely don't want to be on eggshells worried about what she may do to whom.

Originally Posted by emerino View Post
She had 20 dogs and they were outside
I really don't understand, and don't like, that this facility allows foster homes with that many dogs. No matter how good you are with dogs, you couldn't give 20 of them the attention they all need and deserve to be social (with people, I mean).
That many dogs, especially kept outside, is just asking for trouble - they will pack up, it's what their instinct is.

Originally Posted by somo_chickenlady View Post
I also would not tolerate her growling. Pack members are never allowed to growl at those higher than them in the pack order. She shouldn't be allowed to growl at her alphas, and you AND the children should be above her. You need to correct her when she growls, until she realizes that she isn't alpha in that pack.

I do find it surprising that the trainer told you that dogs don't like hard pats.
I really agree with this - her growling is, yes, a warning... a warning that if you (the kids) don't stop, she will become more aggressive. As a family dog, she is the lowest on the "totem pole" and has no right to show any aggression to anyone in the family - everyone in the "pack" is higher than her.
That's definitely not saying to beat her or hurt her in any way - but correcting her with a firm "No growls", is definitely called for.
Allowing her to continue growling at the kids is allowing her to continue her attempts of dominance - she is not the boss, she is not in control in the house.

I found that strange too - although maybe she meant dogs in this situation? I can see that - a dog with aggression issues would not tolerate being patted, they'd likely take it as being attacked and would attack in response.
But any dogs I've been around (my dad had tons of hunting dogs when I was growing up, and we've always had our family mutt) have loved a good hard pat and rub.

Originally Posted by Puppydog View Post
Dogs growl as a warning to a bite. DON'T take away that warning by shutting the dog down.
She has no right to be giving a warning, because she has no right to ever feel like she could bite the kids.

Originally Posted by Puppydog View Post
Dominance and dogs don't go together. Read up on it.

I think the only No should go to the children if the dog is growling. Just move away from her. She is asking to be left alone.
You should meet our very submissive dog. He is a loving, happy, and completely trustworthy animal. This is in part because of his personality, but also because we didn't allow any shows of dominance in him when he was a pup.

If they constantly tell the kids "no" and make them move away, they're just teaching the dog that her growling is working - she is getting what she wants by growling. That's not okay.
Momma to R (12), Z (10), I (8), L (4), P (2) & J (Apr 14, 2015)
remembering Elliana Lucy (2.7.12)
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