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Thread: Dog getting worse with kids?

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    #1

    Dog getting worse with kids?

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    After years of waiting and researching, we finally adopted a Shepherd mix. He's almost 2 and was adopted out of a shelter 3 months ago. He does great with my older kids, pretty much ignores them honestly. Ax (our dog) acts completely different with our toddler though. It started off just as him trying to herd him around the yard or house, which we pretty much got under control. Ax still does it throughout the day though. Recently though, when YDS is throwing a tantrum as toddlers do, Ax will bark, growl, and snip at him. All that does is upset YDS, which makes Ax do that even more...the cycle continues. Our kids are never left unsupervised with Ax, so I know there wasn't anything on their part to make him have a change in behavior. I'm just at a loss of what do to because he's such a wonderful dog, but doesn't seem happy being around kids 24/7. It's at the point now where Ax will do anything to be away from all of the kids. I guess my question is, at what point do you decide to continue trying to correct the behavior vs deciding a pet is better off in a home with no kids?
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    Does Ax have a place to get away from the kids when he needs time to himself? Barking/growling/snipping is how a dog communicates that they don't like a situation and they're uncomfortable. Toddlers do throw tantrums, but that doesn't change the fact that it can be scary or upsetting for a dog when they happen. I'm not sure if I'd label that a behavior to be corrected so much as Ax is communicating a need that isn't being met.

    Is it possible for him to have his own "safe space" that the kids know 100% he is to be left alone if he is there? Like a crate or a section off part of a room that can just be for him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    Does Ax have a place to get away from the kids when he needs time to himself? Barking/growling/snipping is how a dog communicates that they don't like a situation and they're uncomfortable. Toddlers do throw tantrums, but that doesn't change the fact that it can be scary or upsetting for a dog when they happen. I'm not sure if I'd label that a behavior to be corrected so much as Ax is communicating a need that isn't being met.

    Is it possible for him to have his own "safe space" that the kids know 100% he is to be left alone if he is there? Like a crate or a section off part of a room that can just be for him?
    He has his crate set up with his toys and comfortable bedding...he won't go near it though. I've only ever seen him go in there one time and that was to get a treat I tossed in for him.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by docswife522 View Post
    He has his crate set up with his toys and comfortable bedding...he won't go near it though. I've only ever seen him go in there one time and that was to get a treat I tossed in for him.
    It may help if he can learn that his crate is a safe space for him and he can got there if he needs quiet time.

    If you google "crate games" there's a bunch of tips of training dogs and teaching them that their crate is their den. It took my dogs a bit to get the idea but now they always go to their crates if they need a break or if they just want some time to rest. You can also teach them a command to, for ours we use "go to bed!" which is great if we need them to crate themselves if we're leaving or have company etc. Maybe that could help, if Ax learns his crate is his safe place and you have a command you can ask him to go to his crate and wait if your toddler is having a tantrum and that way they won't keep upsetting and escalating each other?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    It may help if he can learn that his crate is a safe space for him and he can got there if he needs quiet time.

    If you google "crate games" there's a bunch of tips of training dogs and teaching them that their crate is their den. It took my dogs a bit to get the idea but now they always go to their crates if they need a break or if they just want some time to rest. You can also teach them a command to, for ours we use "go to bed!" which is great if we need them to crate themselves if we're leaving or have company etc. Maybe that could help, if Ax learns his crate is his safe place and you have a command you can ask him to go to his crate and wait if your toddler is having a tantrum and that way they won't keep upsetting and escalating each other?
    I'll definitely look up some games! I was told at his last home he was left crated for 12+ hours at a time so I'm sure that has something to do with it. It's set up in my bedroom since that's the only space we had enough room for it, so it's somewhere that's always quiet at least.
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    #6
    Aww poor guy! Sometimes crating just doesn't work for whatever reason ... but even if he's averse to the crate maybe he'd be ok with having a more open area in the bedroom as his own little space. I hope you find something that works for Ax and your family!

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