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Old 09-24-2012, 04:27 PM   #47
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Re: Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by somo_chickenlady View Post
I completely agree with everything said. As for the bolded...this dog most likely DID have pack mentality b/c it was in a pack of 19 other dogs. With that many dogs, it is next to impossible to properly socialize all of them. Particularly so, since they were all kept outdoors and NOT part of a family unit.

We have an Australian Shepherd that is working dog for our 5 acres, so she is outside all the time. We also have 2 barn cats that she interacts with. I do see the sliding scale among them, especially when it comes to food. We tolerate and allow her to show dominance over the cats and chickens, but absolutely under no circumstances is she allowed to show ANY form of dominance over us whatsoever.

If a dog is SO sensitive that telling them a simple no is going to push them over the edge and turn them vicious, then honestly that dog has no place in a family setting, particularly with small children.

They are just pets, not at all on the same level as humans, and I'm not about to start attributing human thought patterns and behavior characteristics to my DOG.
Yes, exactly. This poor dog was kept somewhere with 19 other dogs - I am very disturbed that the facility dealing with these animals is okay with a foster home like that. Anyone would know that that many dogs couldn't possibly be socialized properly with humans, and would realize that a pack mentality is going to happen - which sets those dogs up for "failure" to come into a home with no other animals, and especially with small children. It's very sad to me that they allow those conditions for their animals.

Our friends have an australian sheperd to work their farm as well - exact same situation you have described. He is outside all the time, he has the run of the farmyard and is allowed to interact with all the animals however that works. But he is NOT allowed any dominance over any of the family or any people that come on the farm - he knows this and is a really good farm dog, as well as a really nice pet.

And yes, if saying "No" firmly and sharply is going to freak out a dog and bring out aggressive behaviour, then there's really no way (at least not without major major training with a professional) that the dog is going to integrate into a house with small children. Little kids can be (and SHOULD be!!!) taught to be gentle and loving with all animals, but they can't be expected never to speak loudly or sharply, or to scream or squeal, or to never run around a dog. That wouldn't be fair to the child.

It's almost like these theories "debunking" dominance in dogs are saying a dog can't learn to distinguish when he is allowed to do different things, so you have to allow him to act the same with everyone/every animal.
That's exactly right, too - saying you shouldn't be the master or be dominant over your dog is like saying they have rights the same as the humans in the house. Nope. Not here.
Our dog has the right to food, shelter, and a loving caring home - but he has no right to be "in charge" in any area of interaction with any person - in our family or otherwise.
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