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Thread: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

  1. #1
    Pet Sitter Miss Lola's Avatar
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    Default Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Help-any advice welcomed and sorry for the long post.

    Lola our 6 month old female bully started a few months back to randomly attack our 12 yr old daughter. It wasn't very aggressive at first, mostly she would start jumping at her while she was sitting at one of the bar stools and then nip a bit. But it would generally cause scratches as she is usually in shorts or thin leggings. It also wasn't very often. Seeing how Lola acted we realized there was a problem with the pack order in the house. She was doing to Kaylynn exactly what she does with Floyd our 4 1/2 month old bully, treating her as a mate not a leader. We talked to the kids about how to show dominance with the dogs because she started to do the same thing to our 10 yr old son.
    Our son listened to us and got the problem under control rather quickly now Lola doesn't try anything with him our daughter however goes into panic mode as soon as the situation arises and it has now escalated. It is happening several times a day and she turns into a crazy dog. Part of the problem is Floyd now attacks Lola when this happens which triggers a fight between the two of them and Lola's breathing becomes rapid as does her heart rate. She now bites her in an aggressive manor and has done some damage.
    I'm very frustrated with the situation as I don't want my daughter hurt, that's unacceptable but so is Lola being in trouble all of the time for a situation that I think could have been prevented had it not been allowed to get to this point. We had the pups in a puppy obedience class and we had our daughter accompany me instead of hubby thinking this might help but this didn't help the situation. We have tried her taking on more of the leader roll, feeding meals, walking, ect. Didn't help. We tried a water bottle. Didn't help. I've also had to keep her harnessed and leashed to me in the house and that didn't help. The thing is if my husband and I aren't home and my daughter is home alone or babysitting Lola never behaves this way, she is always really good for her. So clearly when the adults are home she knows we are in charge and Kaylynn isn't.
    My next step is to bring a behavioural specialist into our home to witness the situation and help correct it.

    I love all of my babies, human and fur and I just want everyone to get along and feel safe.

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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Hi Leslie, I'm so sorry you're going through this with Lola. I agree with you that Lola is trying to show dominance over your daughter, and it sounds like you've tried some really good ideas on how to correct her. I'm sorry I don't have any experience with this, but your idea of bringing in a behavioural specialist sounds like the next step and a good idea, especially because Lola is still young and this can be rectified before she gets older. I can't offer any suggestions or advice since I have never dealt with this problem, but hopefully a member with experience with aggression will come along and offer some advice. I can imagine how hard this is for you as you love both your kids and your fur babes, but understand you have to protect your daughter and make sure she is safe. I hope you find a solution and things work out. Sending hugs and prayers that everything is okay. Please keep us posted.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

  3. #3
    Pet Sitter Miss Lola's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Thank you, I will post an update once I have one!

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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    When your daughter goes into panic mode, what does she do? I'm sure you are correct, that the dog is trying to show dominance over your daughter, and your daughter is projecting fear to the dog--which Lola senses, only making your daughter weaker in Lola's eyes, and easier to 'mess with'. It's sort of a vicious circle.
    The dog must be gaining something by the reactions to what she is doing, so maybe think about that, and how to change the reactions you/and or your daughter are doing in reaction to action itself (Lola's nipping). This can be a tough thing for sure, especially with a child involved! Good luck to you!

  5. #5
    Pet Sitter Miss Lola's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    In the beginning she would try to get her to sit and then give her treats or affection but As soon as she stopped Lola would continue what she started. We put a stop to that as that was only rewarding bad behaviour. That was only at the start, as it got worse she would stand on the bar stool to get out of her reach. Now Lola is getting quite big and she jumps up on to the counter to get away from her. Lola continues to jump at the island or stools which is a real safety issue for her. During this my daughter is usually shrieking. Other times she will run and hop the baby gate as fast as she can. All of these things we told her to stop doing as it probably seems like a game to the dog. But I also understand she is scared. But trying to reason with a dramatic 12 yr old girl who knows everything is also hard. Our son didn't have the same fear and he is also very reasonable with his thinking so when we told him he needed to show Lola who was boss, he did. If she didn't listen to the command to stop he would pin her until her breathing went back to normal, once he let her go if she went right back at it she would have to go in her crate for a time out. Didn't take long for Lola to start leaving him alone.

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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    I'm going to tag some behavior experts on here… this hasn't been an issue for me, but I have a few tips.

    Have your daughter be in charge of her (when she is home of course)… feedings, snack times, walks, etc… she needs to understand that your daughter is an ALPHA. When she attacks your daughter, I would put her in her crate. She needs to understand that the behavior will NOT be tolerated, and she's not allowed to hang out w/the family until she controls herself.

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Agree with ddnene--your daughter's behavior does seem to be amplifying the dog's behaviors, so they definitely have to be in this adjustment 100% together. I just want to clarify something though from your original post, you said: "I've also had to keep her harnessed and leashed to me in the house and that didn't help. The thing is if my husband and I aren't home and my daughter is home alone or babysitting Lola never behaves this way, she is always really good for her. So clearly when the adults are home she knows we are in charge and Kaylynn isn't."

    Is the dog only doing this to your daughter when you're home? You mentioned yes, so what is the reason you had to have the dog leashed to you in the house?

    I know this must be really hard. Since the dog views you or your husband as leaders, then maybe you should be the ones putting the dog in the cage for the time-outs? You should be the ones assisting proper behavior in the pack, and fostering an environment for your daughter to the lose fear so she can regain cofidence and be able to adjust status in the dogs eyes.

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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    You should use eye contact and 'check' her with your body to get Lola away when she attacks your daughter. Then, give her zero attention immediately after by walking away calmly with your daughter. Repeat this every time.

    Years ago, I had a very strong and athletic 70 lb. Olde English with the body of a pitbull, who loved to play hard with his mouth...he ran at me full speed from across the backyard to tackle me, and I was alone out there with him. I stood my ground as he jumped full force at me, and I slammed him to the ground on his back. I straddled him, and put my hands at his mandibular joint and around his throat...not choking by any means, but with power enough to enforce he WILL NOT do that to me. I stared him in the eyes simultaneously until I could feel him settle back into 'normal mode'. He never ever did anything like to me again. I swear it was the one moment in my life, I was frightened of a dog for a second and had to think fast....I imagined the worst as he was charging me, and I thought I have to think fast so I don't get mauled by my own dog. ha! He was 1.5 years old and I saw that as a test. I learned a valuable lesson about animals that day, and I am so glad my instinct was to act like an animal, not like a human!

  9. #9
    Pet Sitter Miss Lola's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Quote Originally Posted by ddnene View Post
    I'm going to tag some behavior experts on here… this hasn't been an issue for me, but I have a few tips.

    Have your daughter be in charge of her (when she is home of course)… feedings, snack times, walks, etc… she needs to understand that your daughter is an ALPHA. When she attacks your daughter, I would put her in her crate. She needs to understand that the behavior will NOT be tolerated, and she's not allowed to hang out w/the family until she controls herself.
    We tried this for a few weeks and it made no difference.

  10. #10
    Pet Sitter Miss Lola's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMum View Post
    Agree with ddnene--your daughter's behavior does seem to be amplifying the dog's behaviors, so they definitely have to be in this adjustment 100% together. I just want to clarify something though from your original post, you said: "I've also had to keep her harnessed and leashed to me in the house and that didn't help. The thing is if my husband and I aren't home and my daughter is home alone or babysitting Lola never behaves this way, she is always really good for her. So clearly when the adults are home she knows we are in charge and Kaylynn isn't."

    Is the dog only doing this to your daughter when you're home? You mentioned yes, so what is the reason you had to have the dog leashed to you in the house?

    I know this must be really hard. Since the dog views you or your husband as leaders, then maybe you should be the ones putting the dog in the cage for the time-outs? You should be the ones assisting proper behavior in the pack, and fostering an environment for your daughter to the lose fear so she can regain cofidence and be able to adjust status in the dogs eyes.
    The reason I tried being leashed to myself was so Lola could not even try to attack Kaylynn and so Kaylynn could have some time being in the main living area of the house without being attacked. Also at the point of trying just about anything to fix this.We have tried both styles Kaylynn doing the discipline and my husband and I doing it, itdidn't seem to make a difference. We are at the point now that the adults have to do it anyhow because of her strength and that if Kaylynn loses her grip at all she ends up with a bad bite which I'm not OK with.

  11. #11
    Pet Sitter Miss Lola's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMum View Post
    You should use eye contact and 'check' her with your body to get Lola away when she attacks your daughter. Then, give her zero attention immediately after by walking away calmly with your daughter. Repeat this every time.

    Years ago, I had a very strong and athletic 70 lb. Olde English with the body of a pitbull, who loved to play hard with his mouth...he ran at me full speed from across the backyard to tackle me, and I was alone out there with him. I stood my ground as he jumped full force at me, and I slammed him to the ground on his back. I straddled him, and put my hands at his mandibular joint and around his throat...not choking by any means, but with power enough to enforce he WILL NOT do that to me. I stared him in the eyes simultaneously until I could feel him settle back into 'normal mode'. He never ever did anything like to me again. I swear it was the one moment in my life, I was frightened of a dog for a second and had to think fast....I imagined the worst as he was charging me, and I thought I have to think fast so I don't get mauled by my own dog. ha! He was 1.5 years old and I saw that as a test. I learned a valuable lesson about animals that day, and I am so glad my instinct was to act like an animal, not like a human!
    I have been using eye contact and I try to block her but she just is relentless to get past me and get to Kaylynn. Your experience you had is what we have tried to talk to Kaylynn about, one good pin showing Lola who is boss might work but we just don't seem to be able to get her to that point. If it was just the jumping I think it would work but the problem is the biting. Being able to do it while not getting bit and because she has gotten bit twice really bad not to mention numerous small bites she is just too scared to follow through with it and is definitely giving off fear instead of dominance. This is why I am at such a loss and think a behaviourist might be work. Another adult trained to deal with this that can teach her a proper technique and I think she might listen a little better to a stranger instead of her mother.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help: Bully Attacking my daughter

    Our Frankie does this sometimes. He will jump on everyone and nip. He usually is bored and wants to play. As soon as he does this I leash him and make him sit until he is calm. This corrects his behavior and might be something your daughter can do as pinning him may be difficult for her. She has got to stay calm no matter what. No yelling, running, or anything that will make the dog think it is a game. When Lola is calm and sitting, have your daughter give her a treat. Only your daughter can correct this. Lola is under control with everyone else. You can be nearby to supervise and make sure your daughter is safe, but Lola has to know your daughter is in control.
    My smooshy face boy!

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