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Thread: Puppies and toddlers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Flagstaff Hill, SA

    Default Puppies and toddlers

    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice or resources about how to train your pup to be more careful around children?

    Zulu is only 8 weeks, but when he is around the kids (1.5 and 3.5 years old), he gets very excited and often jumps up on them or starts tugging at their clothes. This is also done if the kids have their backs to Zulu. There is no malice in it, but I just want to know what to do in that situation.

    It might be a simple as telling Zulu in a loud and firm manner to "STOP" or "THATS NOT NICE", or getting himn to sit by offering some kibble (but i dont always have kibble close by when needed)

    It might be as simple as carry some kibble on me and

    The idea of getting a puppy was for the kids to be comfortable with dogs, so i dont want them to be frightened of Zulu.

    Look forward to hearing from you guys.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    It might be a simple as telling Zulu in a loud and firm manner to "STOP" or "THATS NOT NICE", or getting himn to sit by offering some kibble (but i dont always have kibble close by when needed)
    hmm, not sure about scolding your dog for being friendly. Your puppy might blame the children...

    I would treat this the same as toilet training - for at least the first month he is home all interactions with children should be fully supervised and maybe have him on lead so you have more control.

    Get your kids to play games with puppy and set clear rules on what is and isnt' ok for all participants and consequences...

    Eg for puppy - maybe 10 seconds of no access (ie haul him out of reach of children) and all quiet and boring. Eg no eye contact, no touching and no talking (scolding is actually attention and some dogs will work to get more of it).

    Also if I start yelling - my dog joins in and helps me scold the whatever (cat in yard?), in her world, I couldn't possibly be scolding her.

    Dogs do scold occasionally but mostly when they want the other dog to go away - ie it damages the relationship. They don't scold a dog to "stop digging holes".

    A good word to use is "gentle". And reward the dog for being gentle. I also find that most dogs will match your play style - if you play rough - they play rough - so if you swat a dog for biting a bit hard, they may see that as encouragement and acceptance of rough biting play. What my dog and other dogs do - when another dog is too rough is freeze up, look away and end the fun - ie stop playing and move very slowly and deliberately away.

    There is the odd SHRIEK if a dog gets hurt ie tail stepped on, but that's similar to scolding - they want the other dog to go away (or mum to save them). And if you do it to stop a dog biting you - you have to do it just exactly like a stepped on tail shriek that a dog makes.

    But I find the thing that works best for the biting is pushing. Which is a bit hard with baby teeth because they hurt.

    Jumping - I just quietly grab a collar and hold the dog down and away from me for 10 seconds or long enough for the puppy to notice. The puppy then usually tries to eat my hand to let go - important not to let go at this stage, just grab a bit of neck too so he can't reach around or lift the dog up a bit so he can't reach to bite you. keep holding until he calms down for a second and stops jumping or trying to eat you - a nice sit is good. And let go. Try to get rewards in immediately. As soon as you can see the dog thinking that jumping and biting is not getting what he wants and try something different then you let go and praise and pat.

    with most puppies - the whole exercise may take less than 10 seconds - but you may have to repeat it often, until they learn some impulse control - ie how to behave politely when excited. In front of dinner is a good place to teach impulse control or an appreciation of delayed gratification / reward. But don't ask too much of a puppy - we're talking seconds here, not minutes.

    If the puppy can't or won't calm down then take puppy out for a few minutes and try again later - puppy might need to potty or sleep first. Always take out for potty time after play. And before play too.

    foundation games
    its yer choice
    collar grab
    bed to bed games - teaching your dog to go to mat / bed / crate for treats/praise/more play.
    dinner stays - very short waits before dinner.
    tug. give and geddit - teaching puppy first to trade stuff in mouth for better stuff, and then to give when asked and geddit when asked and very very short games of tug - this gives something that is safe for puppy to put his mouth, and a really good not-food reward you can use in all levels of training. Can also use ball chasing and retrieving too. Ball on string for best control to start with.

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