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Thread: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

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    Newbie Maggiesmom's Avatar
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    Default Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to deal with 8 week old Maggie and my 5 year old son. Maggie just started what likes to be signs of aggression towards my son. Tonight he was dancing around being crazy and Maggie got down on her front paws, started growling and barking at him. When I went to tell her NO and let her know it was ok she growled an nipped at me as well. We haven't even heard her bark the past 3 days until now. I am just not sure how to handle the situation with Maggie, I definetly can not have her aggressive with children. I know my son is a bit afraid of her especially now, and I am sure she can sense that. Anyone have any advice on how to handle? THANKS

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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    that getting down on the paws and barking is a typical play pose. She is not being aggressive she is being playful because he is acting excited around her. I'm not an expert on children and bullies as far as training proper behavior however. I will watch this thread for responses from those who are more experienced because my two year old grandson will be here visiting in a few weeks.

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    Sounds like she got over excited at the dancing and looks at your son as more of a playmate/littermate. Best way to handle this playful over excitement is not for you to say no, but for your son to also learn to do so. Have your son hand feed a bit of kibble each day, as well as teach her the command "sit". She will learn she also works for him and that he is above her in the order of things. Where there is food, there is respect. My kids help give every bully their food at meals too.


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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    Your puppy was inviting play... play-bow (front paws /legs down and butt up). As Lari and Lisa stated.... have your son do some hand feeding and commands so Maggie is aware he is also above her in the pack.

    A good read/training technique you can use too is -- Nothing in Life is Free. Is is a great way to train and keep pack order
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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    You have been given good advice. Make sure your son gives your playful pup a firm no when the pup gets too excited. Also explain to your son that the more active he is (running, etc.) and when he squeals in his high pitched voice, Maggie is going to get really excited.

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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    Your pup was responding to excitement in the home. 8 week old puppies are not aggressive; they are simply finding their way in the world. I would immediately make puppy training a family affair. That soft fearful energy you're son is sharing with the puppy isn't going to get better with time. Guaranteed; it will get worse.

    How about taking a puppy obedience class -- all three of you; son, pup and you?

    My Bo is two years old and still responds in a very puppy like manner to over-excitement. As his pack leader, it's my job to monitor such things and disagree with behaviors (like humping!) that I do not want. Yesterday, he tried to hump my sister!

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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    I have the same issue w Brie. She is a bit domineering at times, but especially w my 8 yo. She plays but doesn't realize how hard she can nip even tho she prolly should at this point. My son doesn't realize his excitement, fear, frustration, high pitch etc antagonizes her. They act more like litter mates. She doesn't seem to really even want to be around him and i know that hurts his feelings cos he loves her very much. we've been trying to teach him how to block her, say no w out running or scootching away, being calmer with her and around her as well as to feed her and give her commands. It's hard tho cos he loses sight if it and it starts all over...I'm hoping in time w diligence things will be calmer.

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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    Relax. Dont worry. It is not a sign of aggression. It is a form of the puppy playing. Thats how they play with their brothers and sisters in the litter and maybe was taken from the siblings a lil too early. Growling along with biting is what they do when they are puppies. Especially while teething.

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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisabear123 View Post
    I have the same issue w Brie. She is a bit domineering at times, but especially w my 8 yo. She plays but doesn't realize how hard she can nip even tho she prolly should at this point. My son doesn't realize his excitement, fear, frustration, high pitch etc antagonizes her. They act more like litter mates. She doesn't seem to really even want to be around him and i know that hurts his feelings cos he loves her very much. we've been trying to teach him how to block her, say no w out running or scootching away, being calmer with her and around her as well as to feed her and give her commands. It's hard tho cos he loses sight if it and it starts all over...I'm hoping in time w diligence things will be calmer.
    Is your boy interested in being a "dog handler"?

    An 8 year old can certainly understand the responsibility of dog ownership. Is he playing with the dog or seeking attention by getting negative responses from the dog? If excited behavior begets excited behavior from the dog, then why isn't he stopping the excited behavior? He could be the dog's pack leader and tell the dog what to do! How empowering would that be!?

    Your situation kinda reminds me of an episode of The Dog Whisperer when Cesar went to go help this Hollywood star couple with their Labradoodle. The parents, the nanny -- everyone in the household -- was so puzzled by why the dog reacted to the child in the home in the way that he did. The nanny said, "It's like their litter mates." As the episode unfolded, Cesar was quickly able to see that the problem wasn't the dog at all -- it was the kid and how the family was managing the mayhem. The child in the home would purposefully antagonize the dog so he could then complain about the dog's reaction and get attention from the people in the household. The dog got attention (negative) and the kid got attention (negative) but hey, it was attention, right? LOL

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    I make my children take a firm tone with Sheldon whenever he gets too excited and even though one of my twin daughters was bitten by a dog recently(not ours) she doesn't show any fear when giving him a command when he is overly stimulated. All have given great advice on here and have helped so much.

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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    @vicaroo. I'm not sure, I thought about the negative attention theory but he tries to be good w her just not consistently. I don't think it is the dog at all, it is all my 8 yo sadly. Brie gets nippy at times w me as we'll in play, but I can easily redirect her. My son, Kyan, gets shreiky n upset, excited Ed. I think she feeds off that energy and then it's 'on' so to speak. I will talk w him today about the dog handling idea and how empowering it could feel for him. Thank you for that suggestion! he loves her, he just needs to learn the cues of her behavior...To see her body language and know to stop or redirect before she gets too much for him if that makes any sense. He did some training w me and walks her w me. He feeds her at times so he is getting there..but just slowly..lol

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    Default Re: Maggie growling and barking at my son...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisabear123 View Post
    @vicaroo. I'm not sure, I thought about the negative attention theory but he tries to be good w her just not consistently. I don't think it is the dog at all, it is all my 8 yo sadly. Brie gets nippy at times w me as we'll in play, but I can easily redirect her. My son, Kyan, gets shreiky n upset, excited Ed. I think she feeds off that energy and then it's 'on' so to speak. I will talk w him today about the dog handling idea and how empowering it could feel for him. Thank you for that suggestion! he loves her, he just needs to learn the cues of her behavior...To see her body language and know to stop or redirect before she gets too much for him if that makes any sense. He did some training w me and walks her w me. He feeds her at times so he is getting there..but just slowly..lol
    There's a WONDERFUL episode of The Dog Whisperer online about a boy and his Husky. This boy LOVES his dog and was experiencing an over-excited dog and while the boy wasn't creating this behavior on purpose, he was certainly willing to do whatever it took to have a relationship with his beloved dog. It's a wonderful episode and I think you'll pick up some great tips in watching it. I've seen it oh probably five or six times. It's wonderful to see the boy WALK this dog that he couldn't handle before at ALL. The dog was dragging him down the sidewalk before! Energy / body language!

    In fact here it is on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaQkmGtk3k8

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