well that was.... unexpected

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by LostAndConfused, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    The key players this story are Hudson and Londyn. Londyn is my 19 month old niece. Since they live so far away, Hudson has only been around Londyn about a dozen time spread over 3 visits.

    We were coloring eggs on Sunday. My mom was holding the baby when my dad came up and tickled Londyn. Hudson did not approve and baked at dad. Dad did it again and Hudson jumped up on him and baked again. Dad did it a third time and Hudson jumped up on dad and put his teeth on dad's forearm. He didn't leave any sort of mark, but it shocked us all. We are now back in NY and won't see them for a few months. Suggestions on how to handle?
     
  2. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    He gave your dad two clear warnings, your dad continued to "threaten" the baby, and so he escalated his warning. He showed a great deal of restraint, didn't hurt anybody, but felt the need to make your dad understand that he was serious about protecting the baby.

    Next time he gives a warning, stop the first time. If it's not an appropriate time to guard, tell him to "leave it" and quietly remove him from the situation (like put him in an unoccupied bedroom or something).

    To address the baby guarding, you can do a few things.

    If you don't want him to guard her at all, stop him every. single. time. Make it very clear that protecting the baby is your job. If he thinks something is a threat, tell him "leave it" and remove him from the situation. Since he doesn't see her often you might not get a chance to reinforce it enough to become reliable.

    If you do want him protecting the baby, then you can socialize him to normal behaviors. Sometimes baby squeals of glee are interpreted as baby squeals of distress. Strider tried to run interference on my cousin once when he was swinging my daughter around. Not cool. So I (a trusted person) did the same thing with her in front of him. She squealed, I'd pause to let him sniff her and see for himself that she was happy and fine. I'd talk to him and let him know we were playing. Then I'd hand her back to my cousin and continue talking cheerfully about how she was a happy baby and that he was a good boy. It didn't take long for him to figure out the difference in scream types.

    Since they aren't together often, you can also just choose to manage it. Luckily he gives clear warnings and shows a lot of restraint while escalating his warnings, so you know when he's getting uncomfortable and can take him out of the situation.
     
  3. Oko

    Oko Silence, peasants.

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    I would guess it depends on the 'why'. Wesley gets a bit freaked out if people roughouse/tickle/etc, definitely on my list of things to socialize puppies to. I would try to figure out if he has the same reaction to adults, and start there, within his threshold, rewarding him for staying calm, and building up.

    ETA: And don't ever let it get to the level where he feels he has to bite to make his point.
     
  4. Shakou

    Shakou New Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much. Ma'ii get's VERY upset when my husband and I rough house, and has nipped both of us. A lot of dogs are like this. Just be glad your dog disapproves of what he perceives as violence!
     
  5. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Yep, I agree with Romy. Hudson was "protecting" the baby, and it would probably work fine to just manage the behavior, since they aren't together all that much. That would probably be my choice, but you could also try training as suggested.
     

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