Jump to content

Adopted a rescue dog
Question about children!


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 amberlee

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

On Friday we bought Stanley the 2 year old (?) maltese x poodle (?) from the shelter. Our main criteria were great with children (aged 4 and 22 months) and not yappy.

Well we haven't heard a woof out of him and he is so calm and gentle, and settled in really well. He plays really well with the children and even when the youngest one fell/stepped on him he just moved away calmly. Perfect I thought!

He wasn't interested in any new toys we got him, but he really took to one my mum bought him yesterday. The neice and nephew were also playing with him- grabbing the toy and throwing it. I could see he was getting sick of the throwing and just wanted to sit and chew it so I asked the kids to leave him alone. My neice went up to take it again and he growled. Into the toy, not really at her.  

Then this morning I was lying on the ground reading to 4 year old and he had his head resting on me. When my 22 month old walked over carrying a book he growled at her.

Now I'm worried that maybe he's not so trustworthy ? I haven't taken my eyes off him now when around the children. Or maybe he is just settling in, trying to find his 'place' in the family hierarchy and I should give him a chance to settle more?  Or is this 'normal' dog behaviour that even a non-agressive dog might demonstrate?

I'm aware of making sure he know's his 'place' in the family eg. not allowed up on beds and chairs, feeding him after we've been fed and making him sit while my 4 year old puts his food in the bowl etc.

Any tips / ideas etc?  Thanks!

Edited by amberlee, 26 November 2012 - 04:01 PM.


#2 morgansacre

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

Spikey is the one you want to read this and answer.

But it sounds to me that as you have only had him for the weekend, he is still trying to find his place in the family. If my dogs do something I don't approve of, like the growling, I use my growling voice and say a short sharp NO! He will learn this is unacceptable. Don't shout at him, as he won't understand what you want, but the growling voice is a warning they have gone to far.

It is going to take time and patience from all of you to sort this out. But he will get it.

Good luck.

Lynn

Edited by morgansacre, 26 November 2012 - 04:11 PM.


#3 FiveAus

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

The growl is a warning. Don't stop him from growling, or he might very well escalate to biting without warning. At least he's letting you know he's not happy about something. Contact the place you got him from and ask their advice.

#4 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:25 PM

The first thing that I would say is that NO dog is 100% trustworthy around children.

Children don't understand dog cues - such as growling and signals to be left alone - which is why so many end up being bitten by the family pet (I'm thinking of my sister here many years ago, I was telling her not to blow in the dog's ear because he didn't like it, but she kept doing it - 6yo's are not the brightest, and three stitches later...). Your niece was given lots of clues no doubt, but ignored them and so was given the 'more serious' version of a warning. Be firm with the child, and provide the dog a place to escape from the tots. Crate training is likely to be a godsend in your family situation, please do it - it will also give your dog a place to hide from the kids when he's had enough fun and games.

So supervise all interactions and tell the children what the dog is doing to tell them they're being annoying. Education is important.

Next thing - by allowing the dog to be on you, you've given him a 'promotion' in the pecking order, so to speak. Without having been there, its hard to say, but there is a chance he thinks that he's higher that your 22 month old. This happens frequently, mostly because 22mo toddlers are not exactly together in the communication and mobility stakes. They are not 'in charge' of anything, so dogs can mistake that for being like a 'puppy', which is a reasonable (if incorrect) assumption. The dog might think he's 'alpha' to any puppy-thing.

What to do - dog on the floor at all times. Dogs do not sit on laps, nor are they invited for cuddles or to rest their body on you. Make sure your dog sees you carrying your toddler, and sees you rewarding the toddler BEFORE he gets anything. If you are on the floor, the dog can be beside you, but not on you (I say this, although my DH allows our youngest Elkhound to lounge all over him - but she doesn't do it to anyone else, its their 'thing').

Also teach the toddler to be in charge of handing our some sort of regular treat. My DD started giving our dogs their evening treat around that age, with my hands-on assistance (my big dog wouldn't take them from her otherwise).

Finally, he may be slightly 'possessive' of his things, including food and treats. This can be a problem if you don't address it, because there will come a time when he has something in his mouth that he cannot have, and you want him to hand it over without a fuss.

Usually, for toys and objects we use the 'give' command, and reward/swap a treat for the object. I'd suggest that you, and the kids play this training game. You should start until he gets the hang, then let the kids have a go at offer/swap, until he is happy to relinquish whatever it is he has in his mouth. Eventually, he'll work out that bringing things to you and dropping them might also be reward-worthy. wink.gif

#5 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

Oh, and get off to obedience training. It will make a world of difference, and really get him to understand his place in the world (plus it will reinforce the habit of doing what he's told - poodle's are too clever by half, and this can be a problem if they get bored).

#6 FiveAus

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:11 AM

To the OP, learn to recognise the dogs "aversion" signals.......signs that the dog isn't comfortable with what's happening to him, or the environment he is in....and act quickly to change things (ie, remove the dog) before the growling starts.

They are easy to recognise.......yawning, and lip licking. As soon as he starts doing either of those things, it's a sign that he's unhappy. Change things for him. Pop him in a covered crate, or take him to a quiet room. And always be very aware of what's going on between him and the children.

#7 amberlee

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:47 AM

Thank you so much for all the replies and advice. I know it is so true about getting the pecking order right and that is what we have to work on.  I learnt the hard way with my last dog- a pomeranian I allowed to be a princess but really she was a monster. Fortunately for most of her life we were child-free so it was only us that had to deal with her obnoxiousness!

So I am not going too stuff it up this time!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.