From the category: You ask – I answer
„I have three children and our youngest daughter is six years old. Of course the kids love the puppy, but they can’t really understand why she always jumps up on them and unfortunately sometimes snaps in their faces with her sharp teeth.
Do you have a concrete tip for me on how I can stop Nova from doing this lovingly and quickly? Especially the youngest is already afraid of the dog, because she not only jumps at them but also pinches her legs.
You are not alone with this problem. The puppy just does what a puppy does. The children cannot handle it. So it becomes a nice game for the puppy and he does it again and again. Understandably, for the kids this is not a nice thing at all.
The good news is that with a little practice you can get rid of the problem pretty quickly.
That’s the way it works:
Dog and child are never alone.
Think about what the puppy should do
Practice with the puppy
Practice with dog and child(ren)
Pay attention also in everyday life
1 – Dog and child are never alone
You should never forget this first important rule. If you can’t keep an eye on the puppy or can’t control the situation, make sure that the puppy is safely housed.
A well-trained kennel, a puppy run or a barrier to another room can be of great help.
This ensures that nothing happens.
2 – Think about what the puppy should do
The puppy cannot know that his behaviour is hurting your child and even scaring him. With his siblings he played like that too. How he should behave with children, he has to learn first.
For this you have to know what you want. What should your puppy do?
This can be quite different behavior in different situations.
Here are some examples:
When the children run around the house, the puppy should stay on his blanket.
If the children are running around outside, he should orientate himself towards you and pick up a treat from you.
If he wants to greet the children, he should sit in front of them and stay seated.
You see, there are many possibilities. Maybe you will think of something completely different. It is important that you know what you want from your puppy.
3 – Practice with the puppy
Puppy stays well-behaved in the dog bedYou know what your puppy should do? Great, then you have already taken the most difficult step.
But you can’t expect your puppy to be able to look inside your head and automatically know what to do.
You have to practice this with him. It’s best to practice first without the kids or other distractions, then you can put in different distractions and in the next step the kids will join in.
To explain here how you can practice the different behaviors would go beyond the scope of this tutorial. But you will find a lot of instructions on this blog that will help you.
For example, here I show you how you can practice that the puppy stays in its place.
Practice everything that your puppy should do later until he can do it well.
4 – Practice with dog and kids
If your puppy knows what you want from him, you can get the kids to do it. Maybe it’s enough distraction in the beginning if they are just in the room.
Then they can move. Then they can move faster. Do not forget to practice in different rooms and also in the garden. Also praise the kids when they join in with the practice.
Insider tip: By the way, harness and leash are a fantastic aid during the training.
5 – Pay attention to desirable behavior in everyday life
Make sure that the new behavior is also practiced in everyday life. Better keep the puppy on a leash when the kids run outside. This way you can practice what he should do and prevent him from unintentionally having a lot of fun chasing the kids again.
You would torpedo your own training.
By the way: The more consistent you are, the faster the new behaviour becomes a habit and the puppy just does it. Don’t be stingy with rewards for the desired behavior. Dogs do what is worthwhile. Make sure that the „right thing“ is worthwhile.
Further information here: https://www.otz.de/regionen/gera/verein-hundeplatz-ronneburg-hilft-beim-erziehen-id230716096.html