Help training my one year Aussie to not bark and lunge at kids

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Help training my one year Aussie to not bark and lunge at kids

This is a discussion on Help training my one year Aussie to not bark and lunge at kids within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; We are expecting twins very soon and have a lot of people in ton. One being my sister in law with her 7 month old ...

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Old 07-27-2018, 05:42 PM
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Help training my one year Aussie to not bark and lunge at kids

We are expecting twins very soon and have a lot of people in ton. One being my sister in law with her 7 month old baby and our one year old standard Aussie keeps barking and lunges at her. I don’t think she would bite but naturally it makes my wife and her family very nervous and in turn makes my life even more difficult. I have gotten her come cbd oil and started usin that today so we will see how that works in time. I keep her on a leash in the house now when she’s around the baby but she still barks at her. We go for long walks daily but I’m trying to find more solutions! Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. I’m very familiar with the breed so I don’t need that kind of help.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:01 PM
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We have an aussie mix, so I understand exactly what you are saying. : )

I know they are expensive, but with issues involving possible injuries I generally suggest a good dog behaviorist/trainer. They give great advice, know multiple different solutions, and understand what works best with different dogs.

I'm not an expert, but if I were to name a solution it would be desensitizing the dog to children, running, loud noises, etc. Things that go along with young kids. Teach her self control, teach her something like to sit and focus on you, lay down, or go get a toy. You could work out some of her excited energy with something such as agility (something to focus the mind on) as well.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!
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Old 08-04-2018, 07:34 PM
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Sensitive dogs and stress

Sorry to hear about your dog problem. I am sure it is stressful for all.

I have a shy/cautious sensitive heeler mix (similar in temperament & intelligence to aussies) so I know how challenging it can be with new stressful situations. Sounds like your dog possibly is stressed by all the visitors, and thus the change in your household routine. I have found that our sensitive dogs thrive on routine and tend to get pretty stressed by change or new/novel things.

I have a new pup and so I am acclimating her early on to all new-- and possibly stressful to her--- things such as: babies and their sudden noises and screams, toddlers who move fast and don't really know yet how to move safely around dogs, kids who want to get in her face and hug her and step over my dog (eeek ---unsafe!!) etc etc. Also wheelchairs, walkers, baby strollers, skateboards, bikes, you name it.

I take her to areas where kids are and I have tons of yummy lil treats in my dog treat pouch and as the kids are petting her and they are doing her many fun dog tricks, I give my dog the treats so she learns that GOOD things happen when babies and kids are around. I started by just having her watch and listen to kids playing roughly/loudly at a distance just to be sure/safe. And I always verify that it is ok with the parents if my dog meets their kiddos.

This new pup is very good so far with kids. But my sensitive heeler dog I would not take a chance. Not worth it. I take her around kids but always manage her on leash very carefully (and gently) and do not have kiddos pet her. Nope. Better safe than sorry!

But--if your dog is reacting now by warning growls etc your dog is screaming that it is stressed or nervous. Thank heavens that your dog trusts you enough to growl and say "Hey mom/dad, I am stressed out!! Give me space or a break from this situation" You are lucky that your dog is giving you advance notice--this allows you to work on it it together.

Please be really careful and take precautions. Use baby gates to separate dog from baby. Cheap, easy helpful management tools. I have baby gates all over my house to give my sensitive dog time away from annoying puppy!!!

If it was me, I would crate train the doggie and have her LOOOVE her crate with delish bones/chew treats etc so you can send her there to give her space and quiet time away from the stress of visitors, babies, etc. Never as a punishment, only a respite. If you don't want to crate train, then perhaps designate a separate room or space with a baby gate and make that your dog's safe place.

Give your dog lots of safe chewie items to chew since chewing relieves dog stress... and keeps them busy so not so worried about what is going on. Especially if you are adding more babies soon to the mix

Congrats by the way!!!
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Old 08-04-2018, 07:50 PM
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Counter-condition to baby sounds

Also you may want to try counter conditioning your dog to the baby.

At a distance where your dog is NOT reacting (barking/growling) to the baby start feeding your dog small bites of very high yummy food like cheese or hot dogs or meat or chicken. Maybe several times a day when baby is at your house say a cue like "lets go see the baby!" in a super happy tone. Bring dog on leash at that distance and start saying happy things like "babies are so nice, or we don't have to be nervous around babies, or I loooove babies, etc. Don't be fakey, say what you feel as dogs are really smart. If your dog starts to growl or act nervous at that distance, I would verbally acknowledge to your dog that you understand and say something like "Hey we're good, how 'bout we move away a bit?"

Usually giving space or distance will calm a nervous/anxious dog down.

If you learn dog body language and calming signals you will be able to read when your dog is getting nervous BEFORE she growls or barks.

Keep working on this until your dog can relax near the baby (ON LEASH still for safety!) The goal is to slowly decrease the distance that your dog can be relaxed and calm around baby. And happy to see the baby

If you do the counter conditioning correctly and with patience, understanding, and humane care, your dog will learn to be comfortable near the baby and not feel the baby is scary or a threat and thus not need to bark or bite.

Hope this helps. I use counter conditioning all the time with my dogs to change their emotional response to stressful things. It works!!!
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