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Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

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Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#1  Unread postby HansenHomestead » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:03 pm


Lucifer is 6 months old now he is a Doberman, and so far he is doing pretty well.

When we first got him I would go up to him daily while he was eating/drinking/playing, and mess with his mouth, body whatever he had in front of him to test how his tolerance is. Not once has he made a wrong move towards my husband, or myself. My 6yr old daughter however he has now gotten overbearing at her. Once about his toy as they were playing together, and once over something he had taken from the trash.

He showed his teeth to her when she tried to pick up the toy to throw it for him, and gave out a meaner growl. The second time he took a tortilla shell from the trash, and she was trying to pick it up, and put it back in the trash, and again he showed his teeth, and let out growl. I have noticed that he will NOT act this way if he has clear view of myself, or my husband. (Example: I was on the other side of the couch where he was unable to see me.)

Both times he was quickly corrected, and taken right to his crate. My best guess about this is that he sees she is small, and that he can take advantage of her, because so. He is not seeing her as a dominant being in the house.

I do include her in some of his training, and corrections, because I want him know that he has to listen to her as well. They get along, and play together very well other than these 2 times, and my daughter knows that if mom, or dad is not around to leave the dog be. She can pet him, and be near him, but she knows not to play with him if we're not in the room

What are some ways in better correcting this behavior?

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby UFCreel » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:07 am


Used to raise Dobermans with my Father when he was alive. Now i am into Rottweilers. What you are describing could lead to big trouble. Your dog thinks he ranks higher than your daughter. Lots of training to do. Easy way to nip this in the bud, is to get an electric collar. Put him on a lead and work obedience. Any miss steps should be met with a correction. Once he realizes that that collar emits a charge, he will get better quick. Once that comes to fruition. You need to have your daughter take over all training. To teach him she is the boss. Many short lessons of no more than 15 minutes at a time. Contact a qualified obedience trainer is also on the list. They have seen this before and will instruct you on what to do. One thing i do with any of my dogs if they show any negative behavior. Is once it occurs. I lay on them with all my weight and hold them down. Until they have calmed down. This works and works well in showing them who is dominate. I don't think your daughter will be able to do this because of her age. Dobermans make great family pets. But they do have to know who the boss is. Good luck Here is a site that should shed some light on the issue you are having and many others. Just like here for Rabbits. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... PskwparEH-

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby AmberRae » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:11 pm


You need to protect your child. He shouldn't be anywhere around her. I can imagine this is a horrible position to be in. I have a dog that I love with all my heart that has bit me in the past. As an adult I have chose to keep him with the risk he could seriously hurt me. I however would never let a child around him. If you want to keep him he needs a very secure area that your daughter can not access. It always starts off as a growl and will almost always escalate to more. He could hurt her very bad in an instant before you could stop him.

I also agree with most everything UFcreel said about this expect for the fact she should not have anything to do with training a big dog that has shown aggression. It is too risky. There are many dogs including Dobermans that will naturally never show dominance over her. Unfortunately this is not a good dog to be around your child.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby alforddm » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:51 pm


Sorry, AmberRae but I absolutely disagree with you saying she shouldn't have anything to do with training. The only way the child will be safe with the dog is if the dog views her as a higher ranking pack member. The only way that will happen is if the child is involved with the training and corrects the dog herself.

Dogs are pack oriented, if you don't establish a good pack ranking your going to have problems. Dogs establish hierarchy by snapping, biting, and sometimes even drawing blood. You should be prepared to correct your dog the same way an alpha pack member would. UFCreel gave excellent advance.

People who aren't willing to make themselves their dogs alpha, are the ones who get eaten by their pitbulls. /rant off/

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby AmberRae » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:28 pm


Of course she should be a part of training the family dog. The problem here is this dog has growled at her. Why would you put a young child in such a risky situation? I am the biggest dog person. I don't have any kids and I still have to take the kid's side here. What if the dog doesn't take well to her training? He obviously has already shown he doesn't respect her. So now it is a 6 year olds job to train him and hope he doesn't hurt her when he resist her dominance? I have had dogs all over the spectrum. There are plenty of dogs out there that would never never never for any reason snap at a family member of any age. Those are the kind of dogs that should be around kids. I completely agree this dog can be trained but it comes with risk to a helpless child. It's a tall order for a 6 year old to learn to be dominant over a very large dog that wants to be dominant. Wouldn't be worth it for me.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#6  Unread postby JessicaR » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:51 am


UFCreel wrote:my dogs if they show any negative behavior. Is once it occurs. I lay on them with all my weight and hold them down. Until they have calmed down. This works and works well in showing them who is dominate.


Please DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!!! That is a great way to get bit! The whole dominance theory has been debunked. Dogs know we are not dogs! Also with an E-collar, the dogs is NOT supposed to know the correction comes from the collar, that is the whole reason a trainer will have you put the collar on for several days to weeks without using it, you do not want a dog to learn that he only has to listen with the e-collar on.

Please seek out a professional trainer, one that is knowledgeable in large working breeds. Nobody here can say for certain what needs to be done as we cannot see the dogs body language. Until then I recommend reading Leerburg's articles, if you can afford get their DVD Engagement Skills with Forrest Mickie. I also like Stonnie Dennis on youtube for training.

Another thing please top messing with your dog while he is eating! That can cause the dog to be more anxious and think that he has to guard his food. Think about how would you like someone to take food away from you while you are eating? how many times would that happen before you told someone to knock it off or even smacked their hand away? I used to think you had to do that too, after that is what all the old school training books recommend, until an IPO trainer told me exactly what I said above.

And in case you are wondering my experience with dogs, I have raised 13 guide dog puppies, 4 of them were Dobermans. I currently own a working line german shepherd, that is being raised with my 3 year old.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#7  Unread postby HansenHomestead » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:04 am


She does most certainly help in training him WITH me. She never gives commands while she is alone. I know without a doubt that he would never outright attack her, or anyone. These 2 incidents were the perfect case of him trying to show who is boss.

(Example: She tried to get his toy when he was not ready to give it up, resulting in him defending what was his.)

I will protect my daughter, AND my dog by teaching them BOTH the correct behaivor in a situation like this, and to prevent any further issues. What do you think will happen if I were to completely shelter my daughter away from the dog? By the end of it he would have no idea how to interact with her, which could make things way more worse.

With what you're saying it seems like all you're hearing is that she was just walking by, and the dog started to growl at her for no good reason, which is not at all the case. Both times it was due to him defending what he feels was his from someone below him. (In a dogs mind.)

My childern will always be my #1! That however does not mean at the slightest bit of trouble I can going to completely out the animal in the situation, it is uncalled for, and unfair.

All I am asking for is how to better set up both my daughter, and the dog for success.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#8  Unread postby JessicaR » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:48 am


I would start with engagement skills with your daughter. Start with the name game. I know that it is basic, but with her training she needs to start at the beginning. She should have treats and say the dogs name, as soon as he comes over to her she gives him a treat. Do this 3 times (name treat, name treat, name treat), repeat this exercise 3 times a day. She can also work on a game by Susan Garret called, its yer choice. Start with a treat in a closed hand, she is not to release the treat to him until he backs away no matter how much he paws and nibbles at her hand. Just stand/sit there quietly and calmly until he backs away. This one you might want to teach first, just so he gets the idea of what is expected before your daughter tries.

Just for clarification, you said when tried to get the toy he growled at her. Since I wasn't there to see his body language, are you sure it was a mean/back off my toy growl or could it have been a play growl? I ask this because I am currently raising a golden retriever puppy and she sometimes play growls when we grab at the rope toy she is playing with.

If it is a true back off growl, I would play two ball with this dog (doesn't have to be a ball) take 2 similar toys throw one when he starts to return throw the second toy in the opposite direction, the goal is that he drops the first toy near you as he runs off to get the second. I would not allow your daughter to play tug (if you do) just because accident do happen especially with a young dog and young kids.

Also remember this is a 6 month old puppy he could be going through a fear phase right now so I would take it easy on him. Negative things that happen during a fear period could cause a lifetime of problems.

I say all of this without knowing your dog, his training, routine, exercise needs, and whether he is neutered or not (hopefully not). All of this can affect what needs to be done which is why I recommend a trainer.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#9  Unread postby HansenHomestead » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:17 am


Name game sounds like a good start for her, and Luci.

Even before we went, and got Luci I explained the rules to her. (Do NOT get in/grab his face. NO "kisses" until better trained, and comfortable with it, etc.) I also know that she is 6, and forgets, or gets too excited just as the dog does.

No it was in no way a play growl. He play growls with me a lot (which I don't mind, if seems to getting out of hand I will end the play, and walk away,) but when she bent down to grab his toy from him (something she told not to do,) he beared teeth, and let out "this does not belong to you growl" very deep, and harsh tone.

August (my daughter) has also been ask to not pull on his toys while they are in his mouth. It causes dogs to want to get bitey in simply trying to get their toy, and I don't want him to get her by mistake.

He is not fixed, but he does have an appointment to have it done on the 30th.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#10  Unread postby UFCreel » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:23 am


Jessica R. I am 54 years old have been training dogs since i was a child. I come from a dog family. My Father was a Dog Show Judge. My mother was an Obedience trainer. Who also trained Police Dogs. I have shown dogs since i was a kid. I currently am working on getting our 1.5 year old Rottweiler in getting her CDX title. As well as working with our 8 week old male Rotti on sit, down, and heel. He already does this for me. But is still a little guy so short work sessions are key. My dogs know i am Alpha. You may say the dominance theory has been debunked. I do not buy into that. As for taking the food away. I highly encourage this. Yes it is the dogs food but i am the provider. I have seen way to many dogs with food aggression over the years and this is the proper way to train them that does not fly. As for laying on the dogs it works and works quite well. Now would I try this with a dog i do not know or is full grown? Probably not. But a six month old Doberman would be no problem. Yes i am old school. There are many ways to train a dog. That is for sure. I gave a rough run down on what works and works well for me. You did notice. I also said to contact a qualified trainer? By the way i have seen plenty of Golden Retriever's that bit. As for the daughter working the dog. I am all for it under adult supervision. That is a given. With plenty of firm loving training. This issue can be over come.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#11  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:27 am


This thread made me very angry and I had to take a step back and think through my feelings.

I can't see how the dominance theory has been disproven. Of course dogs know we are not dogs, however, they are dogs and they interact with us from the only point of view they have...as dogs. They do not have the higher reasoning skills to understand why we do everything we do. They have to be taught to respect our authority and obey even if they don't understand why. That is dominance.

I have dogs that live in a pack. I've watched extensively, how they interact with each other. Almost all their interactions are dominance oriented. Watch a dog correct an exuberant puppy. Snap at a puppy and they will tuck their tails and roll over showing submission. A child or even an adult does not react the same way as a puppy. Snap at a child, and the child starts to cry and make noise which the dog can interpret as an aggressive action further escalating the situation. That is all about dominance. Every time you actively correct or reward a dog for behavior, you are exerting dominance. Like any training however, there has to be some give and take. If you only offer correction for undesirable behavior (and this goes for dogs, horses, or children) they will become frustrated. Punishments alone do not give a good results and the same goes for only giving rewards. Some animals (and children) will do ok with one extreme or the other but some you will ruin. A balanced approach of punishments and rewards as well as paying attention to the needs of the individual animal is needed in any training situation.

The food issue is a safety issue. Dogs should absolutely be trained not to growl or snap at someone who takes away their food. What happens if they are eating something they shouldn't and you NEED to take it away? They only way you can assure your safety in this situation is by training. That doesn't mean you do it to the point of anxiety. Taking away a bowl of food every couple of days and holding it for a few seconds, correcting as needed, and then giving it back is not going to create food anxiety. After a few times, they realize your going to give it back but it does condition them to know that you have enough authority to take their food away if needed. (There are situations were the dog is food deprived that this is a bad idea but that goes back to paying attention to the individual.)

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#12  Unread postby HansenHomestead » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:44 am


I do not, and have not ever actually taken away his food, not even close. What I am meaning is that while he is eating I will walk by him very far, and few between, and simply pat his back while he is eating, pet his head, or give him a rub on the nose.

While we are laying on the couch I will reach over, and hold his paw, or start playing with his ears. Just to get him used to being touch in areas that my kids might touch.

He has not once growled in a bad manner at myself, or my husband. Which leads me to think that the ONLY reason to lash out at my child is that he views her at a lower ranking than himself, and he was putting her in her place so to speak. THAT is what I am wanting to correct.

That is why I am asking, what training can we do with my daughter, and the dog to get him to view her at a higher ranking than himself.

__________ Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:44 am __________

To further add to the food part of this conversation I do not completely take away his food. However I have trained him since the moment we got him home to sit, and wait while I fill his food bowl, and when I put the bowl on the floor he is to wait until I say he can eat.

This has worked without fail for me. Not once has he tried to get his food before I said he was okay. I also have my daughter do the samething. I will be present, but I will stand back, and let her take control. She will take the bowl, tell him to wait, and he will lay down, she sets the bowl on the floor, and he won't touch it until she says it's okay.

When it comes to taking things from him that he should not have. Again with myself, and my husband he will not growl, or show that he does not like what we are doing. Hell just a few days ago he decided that he wanted to try to eat a nail that fell on the floor, and I switly opened his mouth, reached in, and took the nail. No issues at all.

He is a very tolerant dog honestly. It just seems to me that he hasn't quite got the grasp of our pecking order yet when it comes to August. My husband has mentioned though that when it comes to "top dog" in the house, Luci views me as the leader.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#13  Unread postby JessicaR » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:46 am


HansenHomestead wrote:He is not fixed, but he does have an appointment to have it done on the 30th.


Different debate, but I would wait until 2 years old before fixing him. He needs those sex hormones for proper development.

@UFCreel yes I understand there are many different ways to train a dog, I will say I am not as experienced as you are. I have been working with a trainer and this is the way he recommend training to me. The guide dog organization that I have been raising for has recently changed their policy of training to positive only, which I will say I don't agree with. Dogs do need clear direction and corrections, the key is timing and fairness.

I am 40 and have been around dogs my whole life, but in my childhood dogs weren't treated the greatest, all training was done by me with my limited knowledge of what I read in books. But I think I did ok with that, obviously not obedience level. I am just recently starting to get into dog sports. I would love to do IPO someday, but with a 3 year old with development delays I dont have the time for that kind training at this time .Sorry I did miss were you said find a trainer.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#14  Unread postby UFCreel » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:54 am


Alforddm. Spot on with that last post. The way you described taking the food and why is correct.

__________ Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:54 am __________

JessicaR no harm no foul. There are many ways to skin a cat. Or train a dog. Myself i like old school no nonsense training. Firm but with love.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#15  Unread postby AmberRae » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:41 am


Not all dogs are naturally dominant. I would say most dogs submit to humans with out being trained to do so. This is the kind of dog that should be in a family with children. A dominant dog that requires training to submit is risky to have around a young child. It also scares me that you say you know he would never hurt her. The growl is warning that he is going to bite most of the time. There are some dogs that will stop at growling but again to take the chance with a young child doesn't make sense to me.

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