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Aggressive to kids

Posted: 08 May 2015, 07:16
by Mrsmcy
We have a gorgeous 18 month old labradoodle. She is the perfect dog except she has become aggressive towards children coming into our home. She is fine with my own 2 children aged 4 and 6 (will sometimes show her teeth at the youngest but doesn't growl or snap).

We have started shutting her in the kitchen when children come round as she barks, snarls and looks aggressive. Last week our neighbours came round and we put the muzzle on cookie for the safety of the other kids. She was growling and when one of the boys went past she lunged for him. I have no doubt that if she didn't have the muzzle she would have bitten him.

Is there anything we can do to help get over this? I would never forgive myself if she bit a child but honestly don't know what to do. I worry about a child calling on my son and him opening the door before I have chance to shut the dog away. I know shutting her away won't be helping but what can I do? Any advice would be gratefully received.

Also she does have a tendency to guard things. She guards random objects around the house (is getting better with this though) so wondering if she is guarding the house from kids?!

Re: Aggressive to kids

Posted: 08 May 2015, 08:57
by dexysback
Did you get her as a puppy or rescue, I was just wondering if a child had hurt her at some point ,but saying that I had a yorki that was brought up with kids but he didn't like them and was snappy. I think you could try and make the kids become pack leaders by letting them give her food and toys ,this is what I saw on TV. My 2 year old granddaughter always feeds Dexter with treats and even combs him ,she tells him to sit and down ,its funny to watch her but he does what he's told. Plus you could ask a trainer to come in and sort it if they can.

Re: Aggressive to kids

Posted: 08 May 2015, 09:46
by Pollydoodle
Hi, you have identified the main issue in thst she resource guards.
Please be very careful even with your own kids, you say she lifts a lip to them that is not fine . She is giving a warning !! Wonderful she is at warning stage with your kids.
She may feel she is guarding your kids when others are around

Please look asap for a trainer who uses positive re-inforcement to train dogs.
Where do you live ? Someone on here may recommend a trainer.

It is something you can help her overcome with gentle guidance and loads of patience. You are right to keep her away and perhaps lock the door so yr son cannot open it - worth the inconvenience for now.
Best wishes and hope resolved soon

Re: Aggressive to kids

Posted: 08 May 2015, 13:49
by Mrsmcy
Thank you for the replies. We have had her from a puppy and the children have never hurt her to my knowledge. The only thing that I can identify that might have had an effect on her is the 2 children who live next door climb up and talk over the fence to my son. This seems to wind the dog up and she barks a lot at them. We do ask them to get down now but I don't know if this triggered something with children coming into the house.

I have been looking for someone that could come to the house to advise us. We live near Bournemouth, Dorset. We have a close family friend who doesn't have children but has a labradoodle that has offered to take her. I feel torn that I am giving up on her but I would never forgive myself if she bit a child. When we came home yesterday she didn't recognise my son immediately and was very aggressive towards him, luckily she was behind the glass door. As soon as he spoke she stopped. I feel bad that I don't know the answer.

Re: Aggressive to kids

Posted: 08 May 2015, 16:18
by Ianto!
Please don't feel bad, Mrsmcy - you're looking for the answer and that proves you're a caring person. I'm no expert in dog behaviour, so my advice (for what it's worth) would be as has been suggested - to find a good trainer who can help you by using positive methods. It is difficult because at least the lip-lifting is a warning, I knew a rescue dog who'd been trained out of that and went straight to biting... which is not good.

There are a lot of behaviourists out there and not all of them are as good as they seem - but a good one is certainly worth the money they charge (you may be able to claim from your insurance). They will also be interested in following up, and continuing to help you and your doodle until you are satisfied that the training has worked.

I feel for you as you are concerned for your children, and others', and of course for your Dood. I could never instil in my lad that he shouldn't let our previously docile Yorkie out of the door in her later years when she became a little senile and untrustworthy with visitors. :cry: I always had to be on the alert.

Wishing you the very best of luck, you've taken the first step and hopefully things will start to get better from here on...

Anne, Ianto & Wyre x

Re: Aggressive to kids

Posted: 08 May 2015, 17:49
by Pollydoodle
Hey,please do not feel is VERY tricky situ you find yourself in and here you are trying to do best for your doodle but also very mindful of the potential harm that can be done.
Moving her to somewhere without kids will not solve her guarding issues. BUT equally may even be a safe temporary option.

Bid is not million miles from you so she may know someone in your area,she is usually on here most days...

With the barking at the fence scenario, don't tell her off but try redirect her attention before she is completely wound up , (hard to do) even just throwing handful of her kibble on the ground ,away from the of the harder ones to curtail, bit like stopping dogs barking at the post man.

Hang in there. Lets hope amongst we find u a good trainer pronto.

Re: Aggressive to kids

Posted: 09 May 2015, 08:26
by Bid
Hi there - yes you definitely need the help of a good behaviourist to get you back on the right track. Our training classes always refer people to Denise at Paws in Hand - she is excellent and can help you to get good results ...... ... vices.html

Re: Aggressive to kids

Posted: 09 May 2015, 13:53
by Mrsmcy
Thank you everyone for the help. Thanks Bid, I will contact Denise and see if I can arrange for her to visit us to help.