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My dog wont let my kids play!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by xdaniellex, Oct 18, 2020 at 1:08 AM.


  1. xdaniellex

    xdaniellex PetForums Newbie

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    I have a 8 month old black lab! He is great! No problem house training, and is generally great in and around the house! His problem is when we are out a walk as a family (eg taking kids to the park). He jumps around, bites the lead, majorly pulls and mouths who ever has his lead. This is only when the kids are on the swing ect. If you walk away with him he howls and yelps to get back to the kids. No amount of high reward treats seem to work! We are pretty desperate, he scares other kids in the park. Please help us! We appreciate any advice anybody can give us! Thankyou! Dx
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    He's only a baby himself and wants to be part of the games. It's excitement and arousal because he wants to join in with them. What training have you been doing with him?
     
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  3. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I would suggest that you do not take him with you when the kids go to the park to play until you have done some training and can overcome this. It is not really fair on other park users or on the dog.
     
  4. xdaniellex

    xdaniellex PetForums Newbie

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    He has been attending puppy classes twice a week since he was about 5.5 months. He is pretty good at most commands, but still gets easily distracted. Also is not entirely trust worthy when it comes to recall. All his training seems to go out the window when we are out with kids!! I know he is still a baby and just wants to play, but we do alot as a family and feel like we could be doing something to help him cope with situations like this?? Dx
     
  5. xdaniellex

    xdaniellex PetForums Newbie

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    We do alot of outdoor things as a family and since this problem has started we have been doing alot less. He has been attending classes twice a week for about 10 weeks. And is fine at class but is pretty distracted at the park or out a walk. I know he is just a baby still but i feel like there is something i could be doing to help him cope. Dx
     
  6. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Well if you and your partner take the children to the park I would suggest one of you supervises the children and the other does a bit of training with your puppy. Use high valued treats to keep his attention on you and do baby recalls on the lead(even with a treat stuck on his nose) and a bit of loose lead walking again with a tasty treat stuck virtually on his nose to start with and be enthusiastic yourself and very encouraging. What have your instructors suggested at your class, presuming you've discussed it with them?
     
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  7. xdaniellex

    xdaniellex PetForums Newbie

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    We have been doing this for a week or so. Just taking turns 1 taking Ace and the other with kids. Our trainer suggested walking in the totally opposite direction from where the kids are until he can approach the kids calmly, using high reward treats to encourage this. He is just not interested in ANY treats when we are there. It is so unlike him as he is usually really motivated by any food!
     
  8. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Yes the state of high arousal and excitement over-rides the treats in circumstances like these. Try something novel like a tube of Primula cheese kept in your pocket and just used when he gets worked into a state. Walk him a fair distance from the children and then try to get his attention.
     
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  9. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Teach him to watch you at home and then transfer it to outside. Involve the kids in the training. Get them to head off to play but turn round and come back while you keep your dog's attention on you either with a game or sitting and watching you. You can turn the whole thing into a game with the children. Find out how far away or what actions trigger him and get them to do slightly less so he does not get aroused but is enjoying what you are doing with him. Then gradually increase the distance he can manage till eventually they can do what they like. It might take days or weeks and will get a bit boring but well worth it. After you have done a few repeats at the right distance get the children to stand a little way away and one of you head off in the opposite direction for a decent walk while the kids have a good play and he does not get bored with the training session. Don't just use treats, he might well prefer a ball or a game of tuggy.
     
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  10. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    I'd just leave him at home when you go to the park tbh. There are loads of places to go with dogs and kids that dont involve parks. A park is such a difficult environment for dogs, especially puppies.

    One of mine couldnt go anywhere near a park for best part of the first year, then progressed to walking through but only if i kept his attention on a squeaky ball. He's all right now but he is 7 years old lol!


    When a dog gets into a high state of arousal, he wont be interested in anything you're offering because all his senses are fixed on what is distracting him. In a park there is just too much (other dogs, people throwing balls, kids running, noise, possibly squirrels, food on the ground)

    It just isnt worth the stress imo. In the blink of an eye your kids will be old enough to go to the park with their pals (honestly, even 18yrs passes in the blink of an eye!)


    So many other, nicer places to walk dogs than parks full of kids.
     
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  11. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Also is he on a collar or a harness. If he is charging around on the end of the lead he is winding himself up and making things unpleasant for himself so he will think that if the children are playing it is not very nice. You could try a headcollar on him as that gives you closer control and sometimes quietens dogs down a bit for some reason.
     
  12. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Ha ha i was thinking the very same thing - but i thought it's asking for trouble putting that on here!


    I have a new headcollar coming from Amazon right now after Tilly's deer chasing incident:p
     
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  13. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I agree with this. One of you focus on the kids, the other focus on the dog. I had young children and two young dogs at the same time, and there was a lot of creative 'divide and conquer' going on. If I was on my own, I made sure I had either no dog or mature dog with me. If I had help I would bring just one of the youngsters. It made for double, sometimes triple the outings, but dogs do grow up relatively quickly (unlike kids) and making sure I could give the dog my full attention when needed meant there was less opportunity to practice undesirable behaviors.

    Since he has had plenty of opportunity to practice over excitement and over arousal with the kids, when you try to overcome it, you're going to experience what's called an extinction burst. Basically he's going to play out the behavior to the extreme until he realizes it won't work.

    If he were mine I here's what I would do.
    Plan a park outing. Have another adult who's in charge of the kids. Bring Ace, bring a chair, you're going to be there a while. Find a quiet spot away from the park and just sit there with Ace. Far enough away that his extinction burst isn't going to worry onlookers. Depending on your personality, you can bring a sign with your chair that says "I know this looks bad, don't worry, we're training" :D
    Because he's going to have a tantrum.

    And when he does, don't try to distract him, don't try to give him treats, just sit with him and let it play out. He *will* at some point at the very least pause and try to figure out what isn't working, why you're not going to the kids. At that point you say "good boy, this is interesting isn't it?" Soothing, calm talk to him. He's going to loose it again, and again, you just sit there let him get it out of his system.
    Eventually, and this may take a LONG time, so plan for a long outing. He will settle. At this point you can reward him, tell him he's a good boy.

    When you leave, don't bring him to the kids, let the kids come to him and then you walk away from the park. Basically he's learning that the park is where he sits and observes, he doesn't participate.
    The next time, wait for the settle, you may get another extinction burst, but that's okay, the settle will come sooner and sooner. At this point practice some of his training that he enjoys, with lots of rewards and fun engagement with you. Eventually you can move closer to the kids and do your thing, but for now you may need that distance.
    Also sniffy games at a distance from the kids also will help him relax and focus on something other than being over stimulated.

    If at any point while waiting for him to settle you have to abort plan, take him and the kids away from the park. Never let his tantrum result in getting to go to the park.
     
  14. xdaniellex

    xdaniellex PetForums Newbie

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    Thankyou so much for everybodys advice. I will try everybodys suggestions, one at a time! Hopefully something works We have considered a head collar as he is a big boy and i struggle when i have to hold him myself (at the park ect.) There have been a few occasions that we have had two leads on him, one on his collar for control and also on a julius k9 harness. I like the idea of letting his 'tantrum' play out while sitting at a distance. I think i will definitely need to buy a head collar for this tho as he will end up escaping his normal harness or choking himself if he is on a normal collar! Here is pic of our gorgeous boy! Thanks agin everyone! X 20200824_183724.jpg
     
  15. LittleMow

    LittleMow PetForums Member

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    No advice, just wanted to say what a beautiful boy you have and good luck with him :)
     
  16. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Oh he is lovely! I love a good looking lab and he certainly is :)

    I'm not a fan of headcollars, especially if you have a leapy, lungey type, I'd much prefer a well-fitted body harness. However, he is a big boy and if that's what you need for control, for now, then it's an option.

    If you do go the headcollar route, please take the time to introduce it to him slowly. You don't just put it on like a collar, you have to get the dog used to the sensation of the headcollar sitting on their face. I believe most head collars come with instructions of how to do this.
     
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