Originally Posted by bygones75
Yes, I might be naive... but what happened definitely seemed like wild puppy behavior, not fear aggression, etc. Her tail wagged the whole time. No growling.
We've been working with her and things have gotten better. She still views the boys as puppies, so I have to keep a close eye on her. But I need to work with the boys as much as Moya; if they don't want her to get riled up, then they need to not play rough with her! It's tempting, but they're getting the picture. And she gets excited when they wrestle and wants to join in, so that's when I leash her and bring her to another room.
One of the best things we did to help with the "children are puppies" problem was to have DD completely control Merlow's feeding and start getting involved in daily training. (Supervised, of course). Your kiddos are younger than mine, but you might be able to try something like this with a lot of guidance and supervision.
We started this technique after Merlow had nearly perfect food manners with adults. It won't work otherwise.
At each meal DD (age 7) would hold Merlow's meal (with me holding Merlow until I could trust her not to jump or steal it). Merlow would need to sit and lay down, then wait patiently. When she'd calmed down enough DD would put the food down and give the "OK." Then several times during the meal we would take the food away, have Merlow sit, and then DD would give her the "ok" again. We also had her do training with the pup every day: lots of "sit," "down," "wait," etc. And lots of food rewards for good behavior.
It took only a week of this for Merlow to start treating our daughter with a lot more respect. Within a couple weeks the puppy nipping had vanished. Merlow now seems to view DD as a playmate, but also as a boss and takes play cues from her.
Of course, all this also required a lot of kid training, as well. We had to coach DD in body language, firmness, and a clear voice. We especially had to show her how not to run when she gets overwhelmed by the pup and not to jerk things out of the pup's reach (which just enoureged Merlow to jump for it). The more confidence she gained the better everything went.Edited by tinuviel_k - 12/23/10 at 12:47pm