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Thread: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

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    Newbie Corinnalaverne's Avatar
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    Default Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    I am new to the site, i wish i was here for the love of bullys, but this time its because we have been having problems with our Hercules. He is our 1 1/2 year old neutered bully. We have had him since he was 10 weeks old. Always been around our children and others. We noticed the problem in January we had our daughters birthday party at our house filled with children, he would walk to to the kids wanting to be petted, they would pet him then for no reason he would snip at them. Now we are to the point when my kids ( 6 yrs, 4 yrs, and 6 months) Have friends over he has to be put in a cage away from them. But its gotten worse, he is now snipping at my kids, even the 6 month old baby just laying on the floor playing with his toys. Sometimes he has snipped when he was laying down and the kids touched him, others he goes from one room to the room they are in to snip at them. He has never been like this, he used to let the kids cuddle with him, lay on him, he would sleep with them, heck they used to pull on his cheeks with out him caring. I don't know what this sudden change is caused from. At first i thought he was doing it because he was sleeping and when the kids touched him it scared him and he did it out of fear, but thats not the case anymore. He has been to the vet he has no health issues other than being allergic to some things in dog food and genetic mange (thanks breeder!) He has never drawn blood but the kids have had teeth imprint on them and they have had bruises from him. Can any one help, i don't know what we are doing wrong, he is my fur baby! Thanks

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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    He may be trying to display dominance over the kids. But others with more experience with behaviours should be along soon to help advise.

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    Newbie Corinnalaverne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    Thanks for posting, i didn't even think about the dominance thing! He is very jealous of the kids, when i am holding the baby and sitting on the couch he has to come up and lay on me as well, same with the other kids....

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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    He's reaching maturity and with the attention turning less to him, he may not be a happy camper, or it could be the level of excitement with him getting a bit slower as some bully's do with maturity age he's not digging on the noise level. although he should be use to all the commotion.
    One thing you mention is allergies from some food. You might want to try a food change, grain free, chicken free, potato free, .Nutrisca lamb and chickpea is a kibble without any of those. I'm sure the mange isn't helping his mood. In my opinion it could be his health issues making him uncomfortable enough to act out at the children, again, this is just an opinion. Please keep us posted @Corinnalaverne
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    Newbie Corinnalaverne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    We have changed his dog food a while back to grain free, dye free, potato free, hes been doing alot better on that. I can understand him being in pain or uncomfortable and acting out, but hes never had a flare up when hes been snipping at the kids. I don't know if he is just jealous of them or what...

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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    I'm wondering if it has something to do with your third child. It seems like the problem started about the same time the baby came from your post.

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    Newbie Corinnalaverne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    Gavin was born in November, it started in January which is only 2 months after, do you think hes jealous and wants more attention, i mean i know how much life changes after you have a baby and how much care they need, maybe he is just jealous?! Not only that but how do i stop the jealousy issue, i love him but i can't have him biting the kids because hes jealous!
    Last edited by Corinnalaverne; 05-22-2013 at 10:59 PM.

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    Default

    Has the dogs excersise and stimulation decreased with the new baby? Pent up energy needing to be worked and played out?

    Dog confused of the pecking order? Kids first then dog? This may require a increase in your daily attention to the dog to show him who is boss and that is not ok to do.

    Have the kids feed him and allow him to do things to show him he comes last.

    Is the dog in pain in any way where its a sign to leave him alone?

    Few suggestions, I would increase his walks and training, which in turn strengthens his bond and will allow you to correct him and show him what is ok and not ok.

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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    Quote Originally Posted by Corinnalaverne View Post
    We have changed his dog food a while back to grain free, dye free, potato free, hes been doing alot better on that. I can understand him being in pain or uncomfortable and acting out, but hes never had a flare up when hes been snipping at the kids. I don't know if he is just jealous of them or what...
    Dogs are instinctual. The nipping at the kids is an outcome of another behavior in Hercules. Dogs don't experience jealousy like humans do (I know! We all want to think our little furkids are children in a puppy suit! LOL) I'm no expert but I would guess that Herc has some confusion about where he is in the pack structure.

    For now, keeping him separate from excited, screaming children is the best course of action to avoid a bite. Without seeing the behavior happen, it's really hard for anyone to know what Hercules trigger is and what the biting is an outcome of. Does he think it's his job to "correct" noisy children? Is there a medical issue that causes him to "protect" himself? Has something happened with the kids to inspire this defensiveness in him? Hard to say without seeing him. Consulting a dog behaviorist would be a very good move, I think.

    In the meantime, I would institute a STRICT "No touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact" rule with Hercules for EVERYONE. (Google this for more detail) Closely supervise any interaction with the kids and WATCH CLOSELY (closely not anxiously - big difference) for the behavior that triggers the snap. Keep him on a short leash (drag leash) so you feel you have more control. Disagree with any "pre-snap" behaviors. Be calm. Be assertive. Be the pack leader.

    I would also start immediately with "NILF" "Nothing in Life is Free" and as you master this and become more confident, involve the older children.

    That's my opinion. I'm no expert. But I do know that a snap will indeed become a full on bite with time. Nipping it in the bud (pun intended) is the only way to keep him out of rescue / being rehomed -- because eventually, if he bites a kid, that's where he's going to end up.

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    Newbie Corinnalaverne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    I will keep an eye out for what triggers him. Last night the baby and i was sitting on a blanket on the floor watching tv, Herc came up and laid infront of us, the baby moved his foot and barley grazed Hercs leg and boom herc bit the baby in the face, no blood, a hole where his tooth went in and its bruised now its getting very old!

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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    you received great advice.... good luck and keep us posted
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    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suddenly Snipping at kids....;(

    Quote Originally Posted by Corinnalaverne View Post
    I will keep an eye out for what triggers him. Last night the baby and i was sitting on a blanket on the floor watching tv, Herc came up and laid infront of us, the baby moved his foot and barley grazed Hercs leg and boom herc bit the baby in the face, no blood, a hole where his tooth went in and its bruised now its getting very old!
    Oy vey.

    How's your pup doing?

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