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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today, we took our 10.5 month old pup to a state park we haven't been to before. After a nice long walk, we were walking back to our car and came across a large campfire about 50 ft away. There was some kind of event for kids going on.

Anyways, just as we were passing by this event, about half a dozen children burst out of the fence and came charging at us from the side and behind us. They were, I would guess, somewhere in the 6-8 year old range. They were screaming and running at us full throttle and wanted to meet the big dog with the "blue light" (we had his LED collar on since it was dark).

My dog freaked out. He's okay around kids if they are calm. But it was kinda dark, and these kids were running at us from different directions and screaming their little faces off. I told the kid 'ringleader' (he was the one closest to us) to not get any closer. While this was happening, our dog was barking and being spastic and lunging on the leash....

We were able to get our dog out of the situation by forcing him into a heel and pulling him out of there. He's a 90 pd dog. I wasn't really able to distract him though and do it well, as my treats could not compete with the craziness going on.

How would you guys advise I handle a situation like this in the future?
 

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Depending how young and impressionable they are I usually tell them that they are harassing my dog which is a crime and that I am going to call the police and have them arrested and since I am going allege emotional injury that they are going to go to adult jail for 3 years and that all kids in adult jail end up "married" to the drug addled child molester who is going to tear their clothes off and violate them.

Most of them are crying by this point and learn to behave around strangers. It's also a real winner with the parents when they overhear it, they usually try to get their brats as far away from you as possible.

If you're not up for a speech, sometimes screaming like a crazy person and charging them while swinging over your head a leash or evenbetter, a bag of dog feces, works just as well. Kids are easily scared, especially at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
If you're not up for a speech, sometimes screaming like a crazy person and charging them while swinging over your head a leash or evenbetter, a bag of dog feces, works just as well. Kids are easily scared, especially at night.
Omg, that's hilarious. At first, I read the first sentence of the first paragraph and didn't realize you were joking yet, and then I was like...hah ha, that's great!

And kids don't really take a hint...even when our dog started acting up and started barking, they were still running closer and making so much chaos! May have to try your suggestion...that bag of feces may do the trick, LOL
 

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Now I have the opposite problem in that Pixel LOVES kids. I have no idea why as when we got her she was terrified of anything non-dog but she seems to think that all kids are put on earth to be her best friend and personal play-mate. *sigh* So she's usually the one try running after kids to play causing the kids to yell and scream then vice versa (or would, if we let her).

If there are two of you, then I would have one person holding the dog, trying to get his attention focused on you (receding and creating space if possible) and the other walking out front and in a loud voice "hooooold on, everybody quiet. The pup wants to meet you too but he's shy and a little scared right now. Everyone quiet and calm so that we don't scare him." 6-8 yr olds are empathetic so they understand shyness. This is assuming they're actually running to meet the dog and not just running as part of another game and are oblivious to the dog.

If you're alone, it's trickier. I'd say focus more on stopping the kids then on getting good behavior from the dog. Yell something similar about being quiet, going slow (in a nice tone, not a "you durn kids!" type of way). Then use it as a teaching moment that because they scared the dog, now he's too frightened to meet them and that next time they should approach slowly as dogs can be shy.

But I work with kids a lot and like them a lot, so I'm very comfortable going into parent/babysitter/teacher mode.
 

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To desensitize your big puppy so that he will remain calm if this happens in the future: go to kids soccer or baseball games. Sit with him and treat for remaining calm. The more he is exposed to it the less of an issue it will be in the future. We cannot always control the environment around us, so being prepared is the next best thing. Plus at a game you will get controlled yelling and running so you can concentrate on your pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I will further socialize our pup by passing by school playgrounds during recess (and ensure there is a fence between us and the kids, lol). However, the problem isn't really our dog getting worked up over seeing kids playing with each other....it's when crazy screaming kids run directly at us to meet our dog! If I were a dog, I would feel threatened too. But more socialization to kids can't hurt anyways....
 

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I would just address the kids first in whatever way was appropriate. Or you could try grabbing your dog by the collar while the commotion is going on, have it sit and heel and just focus on being calm and centered and delivering that energy to your dog by placing your hand on its chest nearest the collar while holding it.
 
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