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Last May, my family and I adopted a three legged dog named, Captain, He is a six year old shiz tzu/poodle and the friendliest dog you will ever meet. in the beginning all he wanted was petting and love. He got really attached to the middle child, all he wants to do is be with her and she loves him. However, now he has become aggressive to the youngest, when she walks by him, he growls at her and today he attempted to bite her. We do not know what to do? We love the dog but we love the youngest more. She has been trying to pet him and give him a lot of attention, but she only receives growling. The dog was fine and nice to her before, but then it all changed. This is heartbreaking for the middle and saddening to everyone. This is our first dog, and a very difficult problem. Any advice?
 

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Going to echo Lynsey, how old is your youngest child?

Further, just how does your youngest behave with the dog?

What are their interactions like?

Is your youngest child loud, and does she like to be really active?
 

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Welcome! Sorry you're here under such distressing circumstances.

If this a new behavior or a fairly recent change in behavior, I'd recommend a thorough vet check to rule out medical issues that may be behind the growling and attempted biting.

I'd also strongly suggest you hire a knowledgeable, experienced trainer or behavior consultant to see the interactions between your children and your dog. Even if your youngest isn't "young" biting or attempts to bite are serious. There's a post in the Behavior and Training Sticky section on how to find a trainer. There are also posts on safety with dogs and kids and dog calming signals that would be helpful for you to review.
 

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The youngest at first did not really like the dog, but she did not do anything hostile to him. The youngest is not very active or loud. On one occasion she accidentally sat on his ear, but i do not know if that is what triggered the aggression. She has been trying really hard to be nice to the dog, but he has not been very cooperative.
 

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This has been going on for a few weeks,i do not believe he is sick, because when he is, he gets very tired and does not want to eat. Are their any techniques that we can implement to get the dog to like her? or is hiring a trainer the only viable option.
 

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I was expecting you to say your youngest was a toddler, but as she's 9 I would suggest she takes the dog for his walks occasionally. You would need to go with them at first to keep an eye on them, but maybe hang back so they have a chance to bond. In my experience it's the person who gives dogs their exercise who becomes their master. And maybe you could ask your middle daughter to be a little less affectionate to the dog for a while. Don't know what else to suggest.

Good luck

Lynsey
 

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Dogs are very good at hiding pain and illness and they don't always show obvious symptoms, so if this is a change in his behavior, I'd still recommend a vet check.

As far as helping your daughter repair the relationship with the dog, she can take over care (e.g., feeding, walking, training) with your supervision, drop or toss treats towards the pup when she's nearby, sit quietly in the same room and toss treats towards the pup. You want to make sure the dog isn't uncomfortable (look at the calming signal sticky for help) and that your daughter isn't moving too quickly.

It wouldn't hurt to have an in-person trainer observe your dog with your children and give customized advice for your situation. It may be that you need only one session for the trainer to observe and draft a plan for you.
 

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In addition to what has already been suggested, vet check, having youngest take over care, etc. you should also check out this thread in the off chance that the dog has started resource guarding http://www.dogforum.com/training-be...guarding-causes-prevention-modification-7511/

One other suggestion I have is that if you are fussing at her for her behavior towards your youngest, you should stop that. It will only mask what's going on at best, but in the long run she's liable to get worse if she begins you view your youngest as the cause of her getting fussed at and not her behavior. If the latter happens she's liable to escalate her behavior to try and drive off your daughter before she causes you to fuss at her.
 
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I know with my kids (age 14 and 10) there is a difference in how they interact with the dog. My youngest clearly acts like a "kid" and the oldest acts like an adult. It's hard to explain but I wouldn't just assume that the dog isn't sensing a real difference...I'm sure your youngest isn't doing anything wrong!, but based on the ages I would guess your dog is somewhat fearful of the youngest for a reason that is completely logical in the dog's mind. It's still an issue that needs to be dealt with in terms of the dog...I would bet the dog wasn't properly socialized with little kids in her previous home. I would get a trainer right away, even for one session, sometimes a fresh pair of trained eyes can pick up something very quickly that we can't. Good luck, I know it's very stressful mixing dogs and kids in these situations
 
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