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Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#16  Unread postby JessicaR » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:39 pm


alforddm wrote: 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.)


I agree that a dog needs to be trained to allow food to be taken in case of an emergency. I don't know, maybe I have been lucky, but I have never messed with my dogs food or took it from them while they were eating. I can and have taken stuff from there mouth, such as a chicken bone and have never been growled at or bit, I can also pet them no problem. My toddler can touch them and they don't care, because he is not allowed to take there food. What I did do was hand feed them when they were little, used part of their meals as training treats, held there bowl while they eat (not remove it). All my kids have hand fed them and gave them treats in case they need to take something from them and I am not home.

I will repeat, I do not believe in positive only, I believe in balanced training. I do not believe in the alpha theory, but whatever works for you is fine, as it was stated there is more than 1 way to train a dog, and no 1 method works on all dogs. I just don't feel the need to dominate my dog, teach them rules, boundaries and respect, yes.

AmberRae, the only thing I agree with you is, a growl is a warning. Too many people say there dog would never bite/hurt them or their kids. This is not true any animal can bite. We teach our kids in 4H dogs have teeth, any animal with teeth can bite!

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#17  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:51 pm


JessicaR, I think we may have a different definition of "dominating" a dog. IMO, if you are teaching "rules, boundaries and respect" then you are showing dominance. If the dog is looking to you for leadership then that makes you their packleader and you are "dominant". That is all I mean by it.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#18  Unread postby JessicaR » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:22 pm


alforddm wrote:JessicaR, I think we may have a different definition of "dominating" a dog. IMO, if you are teaching "rules, boundaries and respect" then you are showing dominance. If the dog is looking to you for leadership then that makes you their packleader and you are "dominant". That is all I mean by it.


Probably :lol: When I hear dominate and alpha I think of the people that feel the need to "roll" their dog which is not being a pack leader it is being a bully, dogs never physically roll lower pack members.

Here is an article I really like about the Alpha theory.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ca ... -dog-valid

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#19  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:51 pm


JessicaR wrote:Probably :lol: When I hear dominate and alpha I think of the people that feel the need to "roll" their dog which is not being a pack leader it is being a bully, dogs never physically roll lower pack members.


Really? I've seen mine do that quite extensively. Usually it is a young dog (in my case one that is a bit over 1 yr old) who is continuously bothering an old one until the old one says enough and attacks and "rolls" them until the young dog is submissive.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#20  Unread postby JessicaR » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:16 pm


I have never witnessed a dog physically roll a puppy to display dominance, and yes I have raised litters of puppies before. I have however seen that behavior out 2 dogs fighting for leadership, where neither one is willing to submit. At 1 your dog has lost his puppy license and is try to move up the ranks, at this point young dog is still young enough and inexperienced enough that he/she submits, one of these days he wont!

I have 6 dogs currently ages 13 years, 11 years, 9 years, 7 years, 11 months (almost) and 4 months, all intact except for the 13 y/o. My 11 month old has lost her puppy license probably because she is in heat right now. When she gets too rowdy with the older ones they will nip at her face at which point she will lick at the corner of their mouths which signals appeasement. The 4 month old gets away with a little more before the older ones correct her, which again is a nip to the cheek, she does submit her belly, but not because they have physically put her down. That is where it ends.

I also believe early spay/neutering causes a lot of problems since they are basically puppies/ teenagers in an adult body.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#21  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:25 pm


You didn't say a puppy, you said a lower pack member, which is exactly what my dog is. He's not really a puppy, but is trying out his order in the pack. He will badger his mother, biting at her legs, until she gets tired of it and rolls him to put him in his place. You also said you had never seen the behavior before.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#22  Unread postby UFCreel » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:27 pm


Dogs are pack animals. There is always a leader. They do not vote on who is to become leader. Leadership is taken by the dominate dog. People are pushing Human traits on dogs all the time. While it may make one feel good to do this. In the end as much as we love them. They are dogs.

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#23  Unread postby akane » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:09 pm


In a typical dog pack the puppies carry the weight of the parents because they are always visible until the lower members can be trusted and the lower members to them have learned good bite inhibition to "discipline" a puppy as a higher rank puppy. Now with a pet dog and a child this view of the pack system often breaks down both from the limited experience of the dog in a pack with multiple ages of other dogs and because humans just aren't quite dogs. We have to teach most puppies what a pack is or they are not going to react in the same manner with the same rules despite instinct. Pack instinct only comes with half the tools you need to make a working pack member.

First do not crate a dog as punishment. Never. This is an improper use of a crate and will cause multiple issues with many dogs. I also only glanced mention of neutering aging but I would not neuter with the plan it will fix the issue. It was shown in several studies for service dogs that aggression as adults was actually increased in dogs spayed/neutered early and the wash out rate for working dogs went up instead of down by not waiting 1-2years depending on the breed. While it might seem to settle things now both these 2 attempts at a solution have a potential to make the lifelong situation worse. Not with all dogs and all breeds since some are less sensitive than others but the studies are for generally easy to train, good natured breeds like retrievers so it should apply on some level to all dogs.

I would suggest you see if you can increase your child's awareness of the dog. Before reaching for food near a dog that is not yet fully trained to allow it you should give a warning. Kind of the same for toys but that is often less predictable because in play even adults don't expect such flare ups of behavior. Really this is a good habit for all animals and especially strange animals that also transfers over to livestock work such as giving a warning before walking around the corner of the stable to not get reflexively kicked or putting your hand on a horse's rump as you pass behind. While those are to avoid startle instincts it has some crossover to other situations they might react before fully thinking about it. I still just reflexively say "give", "drop", "leave it", "mine".... every single time I pick up a toy to throw, want to take a food item, or pass by something interesting. Most of the time I just use it in a casual tone with my dogs as my wolf hybrid is now over 1 year old and my akita is past 10 years old (look at those breeds if you want to talk about how several dominance methods will fail....) so none are left that really need warnings but it is a leftover habit I don't quit using partially from also being around large livestock. With a new puppy/dog or if they show any reaction over something I will go back to a far more forceful tone with a longer pause between saying it and reaching for something or even making them back away from it first. You don't force things out of the mouth of my hybrid. You impress on her how she should give it up to you willingly and we phased out the swap items trick as she gained her own measure of self control. For awhile she just plain wasn't old enough to overcome how much she wanted something for nothing but we've slowly instilled her own self control and sometimes we laugh about how we are just waiting for the thought process to kick over after we tell her to do something she knows she's not going to be left alone until she does on her own.

It may be a lot of mindfulness for a young child who doesn't have constant experience yet but the more an initial order can be given that shows control and gives the dog warning you are about to take something from it or enter it's space the less likely it is to lash out on instinct or on purpose at any level of pack member. You already show you control the situation, you've already given a command, and if the dog is going to react still they often will prior to reaching for something by trying to run off with it or body blocking instead of after your hand is already easy to nip. Even if she can't command the dog until they both have more time to work on commands it has good potential to at least change the seriousness of a reaction from a bite to a knocked over kid or chasing down a dog to get an item back from it.

Punishment should fit the crime and not as much the perceived intent. Innocent until proven guilty and a growl is communication attempt rather than actual proof of how much intent they have. Body language can give you more of a clue as to how bad the intent behind it is but going all out over noise and lip curling is going to cause problems in several ways. You want to teach them to de-escalate and use the least force necessary. You don't do that by being the most forceful thing in the room 100% of the time. With some breeds like mine that will only make a defensive dog that feels the need to over react more often. It will also dull them to the use of force. I keep shaking my head and trying to tell my husband to stop only changing the volume of his voice instead of his tone because he uses the same upset tone for a knocked over glass of water as eating the bed (kitchen floor, guinea pigs, antique dresser, smashing a chinchilla kit that fell out of a cage.... ok Aiko is a handful) and so everything he yells carries the exact same weight until she is going to quit listening to him about all the minor things. Noise is not really a big deal to Aiko so he's basically giving the exact same level of correction for everything. To the dogs it doesn't come off as fair and it means he has no way to go up in force except to get more physical if for example it were very important for someone's safety they stop doing something. If you apply the same to things like pinning the dog down and physical corrections you are only reinforcing they should strike out with everything they have 100% of the time and dulling your own levels of correction. The dog has not yet even attempted to bite and I do not discipline for showing they are upset. Some are a little more forceful about that and if you have the need to keep them from showing some of their opinion I can understand that but I like to know what they are thinking and only punish for actions taken instead of bluffs. It's one thing that unnerves people around my akita because she will show her mind but I consistently matched my response to how badly she improperly reacted to varying things until I can trust her to slowly escalate from bluffing to increasing physical altercations only as necessary. Lead by example.

For the first teeth raising and mild growl without action I often just give a warning tone that any escalation will result in trouble and then later do a training exercise on the incident with maybe a less desirable piece of food like dog treats instead of stolen human food. I sat there picking food up, putting food down, shoving food around, and so on while my siberian husky and wolf hybrid were eating their kibble or dog treats as puppies. Sometimes we all line up in sit, I sit down with a bag of treats, and I hand out to each dog with no stealing until we moved up to I can set down a piece of food and say who I want to come get it. There is practically no punishment in that situation but mainly a missed out on treat if they take what is not meant for them. I only get sharp if their attempt to steal involves my fingers or risks an outright dog fight because of the danger level they just started instead of a stolen piece of food. My response matches the seriousness. If there is actually any physical movement toward something it's an entirely different matter and I will physically remove them from the area with a far sharper vocal reprimand. If I enforce a time out type punishment it's in a specific spot I maintain them through verbal commands, on the other side of a gate, or tied to heavy furniture rather than in their usual crate where I want them to willingly go and feel safe while I am not around or able to supervise a troublemaker. I will shove into their space aggressively so they put themselves on the ground and I've scruffed a few minor nip attempts partially because if you've got the back of their neck they can't as easily turn to bite you while you get you decide how to further deal with them.

Now the intact male akita that spent 2 of his 3 years unsocialized in basically a closet on a farm with not even things going by a window I did put on the floor once. He went at my husband with no bite inhibition and when I hauled him off by leash and tried to gain control without further physical contact he swung around at my hand. I still didn't alpha roll or dominance pin him. I promptly took him over sideways with me until I was sitting on his ribs while he was on his side with my arm across his neck. I released his neck and sat up off him a little but picked up his muzzle, told him "no", got up, walked out of the room, and shut the door. Stopped, knocked down, and abandoned to be alone. It's the only dog I have taken down fully by force instead of body language and voice causing them to half go down for me and I let right off him as soon as I proved he was incapacitated by me. You don't build trust and get dogs with their own agenda to listen to you by always being able to physically over power them. I can't say I ever physically disciplined that dog again except maybe to shove a butt down or pull a collar in order to help put him where I wanted when he was obviously ignoring me instead of trying to figure it out. I was always less aggressive than him while still being dominant and my neighbor commented on how rapidly he chilled out toward all the people around us and their little dogs threatening through our weak, falling down chainlink fence. I taught him to react less severely to match the situation instead of escalating by always reacting even stronger than him.

If you don't teach a dog to police itself and control it's own reactions you will never be able to trust them out of your sight. They will always need someone they know can be dominant telling them what is correct or not. That's not what I want for a pack of independent minded dogs with a lot of physical ability.
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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#24  Unread postby HansenHomestead » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:58 am


Thank you everyone for all your advice, and input, also thank you akane for you very informative... novel? :lol:

I got up this morning, and decided I would write out a long post, and try to fill it with as much information as possible. Be warned I am only half way through my first cup of coffee so I will edit my post if I forget anything, or feel free to yell at me if something doesn't make sense.

While Lucifer is a family dog, he is also my dog, if that makes any sense. He will listen to/respond to me more often than anyone else in the house. He will also seek me out for attention, or direction before he will my husband. I personally feel he does so, because 1.) He views me as the leader of the pack, 2.) He senses my husbands nervousness with him. (Not nervous in the sense that Luci will attack one of the kids, or him, but nervous that he may bump, and hurt the baby.) Which it is normal as a parent to have that worry, but I feel as though my husband is projecting it too much, and Luci can feel his hesitancy, and worry. While I however may worry that he could make a mistake, I do not allow it to rule how I train him. I do not let him feel my worry, I've always believed that an animal can feel exactly what you are feeling, and will pick up on the vibes that you are putting out. You can not let your dog feel that you think it will fail.

Commands we know/are working on:


All commands are taught using verbal commands, and hand signals.

Sit - This is the easiest, and quickest usually. (Sometimes he will mix up sit, and lay down.)

Lay down - Once again he was quick to learn this.

Wait - This is mostly used when feeding, or giving treats. For feeding I will cross from the kitchen to the dining room food bowl in hand. He knows that when I come in he is to sit. I give the "Wait" command, and he will lay down as I set his food bowl down. He will continue to lay down waiting about a minute to a minute, and half until I say "Okay" at which point he knows it is now okay to come start eating. For treats I will have him sit, and I will give the "Wait" command then drop/place the treat on the floor, and again he won't touch it until I say "Okay."

Out - When he becomes a little too much to handle, or is way too into someone's business I will point in the direction that I want him to go, and firmly say "Out," he knows that it is time to leave the room, or area.

To your chair - He has a big green moonchair that I used to basically live while I was pregnant with our youngest. It is located in the living room right along side our couch. If he is not permitted to be on the couch at the time, or he is bothering us while we are doing something. I will say "Luci go to your chair," and he will hop up in his chair, and laydown.

Outside/Potty - Simple enough. I will say "outside, or Potty," and he will come running to the door, and sit down until I have the leash attached. Then we head outside.

Inside - When it's time to go inside I will walk up to him leash in hand, and say "Inside" to which he will sit until again I have the leash attached. Once inside he will again sit until I take the leash off. (The sitting while leashing is one of the first things I taught him, because I hated having to chase down my dogs in the past.)

Be Gentle - To take treats, or food gently from hands. All I did was hold the treat in a manner that would only allow him to be able to take little nibbles of the treat while would say "Be Gentle" after a few gentle nibbles I would give him the treat again saying "Be Gentle."

Drop It - (Still working on this one as it is not as consistent as I would like.) I do this with toys, as well as something he is not supposed to have. Unless is it something that could hurt him, then I just have to take from his mouth. (To which he gives no aggressive behavior.) While playing I will throw his toy, and once he is near me again I will repeat the command "Drop It" until he has dropped the toy, and will treat him right away. I would like a little more advice on a more effective way to teach this command.

Leave It - I also use this command while giving treats, or while he is expressing interest in something he is not to have. For treats I will have him sit, and I will say "Leave It" as I drop the treat, and he will not touch it until I say okay. For other things that he is wanting to take, but can not have at the first sign on interest I will combine the lay down command, and the leave it command. I will tell him to lay down (which he will usually try to lay right on top of whatever he is not supposed to have.) Once he lays down I will simply scoot away whatever he was wanting while saying "Leave It." I would also like a little more direction in teaching this command.

Jump - This is just something we do for fun. I will hold the treat just above his head, and tell him to "Jump" he will pop up onto his back legs to get the treat, and I will say "Hold It" to which he stays on his hind legs until I give him the treat.

Look - This is used when giving most commands to center his attention on me, and what I am saying. Simply enough when I say "Look" he knows to look at me directly.

I would like to further the "Leave It" command, and the "Drop It" command as it is essential in good training, and also teaches him boundaries, while also keeping him out of trouble.

He also has a few quirks that I would like to work on, but I have no idea where, or how to start with them.

1.) He always has to put my hand in his mouth. He will do this when we are on the couch, and I am petting him, or if I simply give him a pat as I walk past him. It does not really matter where I put my hand he has to put his mouth around my hand. He doesn't actually bite down, or give off any aggressive vibes, but more like gives my hand a tasting chew. (Which I dislike, because I don't want him to think that hands in mouth something he can do, and puppy teeth hurt, lol.)

When it comes to correcting bad behavior it is more of a stern voice than anything, or a very light pat on the butt to get his attention


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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#25  Unread postby Fernie » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:22 pm


I would get into an obedience class with the dog and my child. The dog does not see the child as higher in the pecking order. It is a dangerous place for a child. You need to let the dog know he is lower than the child. An obedience class will help with that. They can give you the tools to deal with the behavior.
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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#26  Unread postby ipoGSD » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:42 am


I haven't read the replies but just wanted to offer a little advice..

To get dogs used to your hands by their food bowl, make it positive. Years ago it was recommended to put your hands in the dish, by the dogs face, take the food away etc. Unless you have an *easy* dog doing the old method will work, along with not messing with them at all. Meaning, if that method works, more than likely that dog wouldn't have ever had the issue. If your hands are going IN the dish, ADD food! Never take. By always adding and not taking, you're teaching your dog hands in and around the dish is AWESOME.

Also, never punish a dog for growling. Id rather a dog growl first as a warning. If you teach your dog growling will get them in trouble they will just react with a bite and no warning. Some dogs no matter the training, its still in them. Some dogs just need better leadership. Either way, id still rather HEAR a growl vs no growl and a bite.

Teach kids to respect a dogs space. The floor is a dogs space, a child is above the dog in the pack. So if your child is playing on the floor on the dogs level, the dog will begin to challenge the child for rank . Have kids feed the dog if the dog knows to wait and eat on command. Teach the child to ignore the dogs attempts to play. Child is alpha, alpha is the one who decides if its play time.

NILIF learn it.. live by it!! Even something as simple as walking thru doorways. Your dog should sit and give you eye contact before you exit the door and then allowing your dog to exit. Eye contact the whole time you're opening the door is important. His reward? Him going outside. Eating? Sit, eye contact, no smelling food as you set the dish down, wait how ever long you feel is appropriate. His reward? Hearing that EAT command. His toys? Before you throw one, do a few commands. When you're finished, take them away. YOU own them, not your dog. A toy is a reward

Definitely look into a dog trainer, not the petco/petsmart trainers. A specialist who deals with these issues, they will come into your home and observe for themselves and go from there.

Good luck!!!

__________ Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:38 am __________

Just saw some pics..

Absolutely NO on the furniture!!!!!! Some dogs never have an issue with being on the furniture. But if your having issues especially that involves a 6 y/o. That couch and chair is the childs. Dog gets the floor. No ifs ands or buts!!

PS my current working line GSD is NOT allowed on the furniture. My last GSD was. It all depends on the personality of the dog.

Again i say good luck and btw dobies are my 2nd favorite breed of dog!!!! Love them!!!!

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Re: Dog snipping at 6yr old daughter.

Post Number:#27  Unread postby JessicaR » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:09 pm


Sorry it took so long to get back to you, my 3 year old was sick all week with the flu :(

Leave it: you just expand on the it's yer choice game (almost like your gentle command but he isn't allowed to nibble at all) food in your hand closed fist, as soon as he backs away say Yes! and give him a treat, very important, your hand does not move! He has to be the one that backs away. Slowly expand that to open hand with treats, then on your lap (cover with your hand if necessary) then on the floor, paws, treat bowl full of food on a chair, then on the floor. Once he gets the concept of not taking them while you are beside the treat, then start adding distance between yourself and the treats. Just remember to take it slow, he is still a puppy.

Drop it: Play two ball as he comes near with one toy show him the other toy, if/when he drops the first toy say Yes! And immediately give him the other toy as a reward. This will work fine for non-food items, it takes quite a bit of training to get them to drop food on command. :lol:

The hand in the mouth problem, personally that wouldnt bother me, as long as no pressure was put on my hand, but since you dont like it, you can either coat your hand in something like bitter apple or leash correction everytime he does it.

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