The other day, DH requested that DD (age almost-10) take the dog out to go to the potty and for a walk. (Our yard is not fenced, so we take him out on lead, and he was doing something regarding one of the younger children that he could not drop to take out the dog himself.) A bit later, she returns. A few minutes later, the neighbor comes over--face pinched, on the warpath look on her face. I don't really know her and have actually never seen her. They just moved in and keep to themselves more than we do. I am actually wondering if she's a social worker (CPS) or something...She starts in on me like "my daughter saw your daughter kicking and pulling the dog (a 1 1/2 year old shih tsu) roughly." I "thank" her, trying to be as polite as possible and tell her that "I will handle the issue. Thank you for bringing it to my attention". Honestly? What did she expect? For me to give her my dog? Spank my daughter? Well, that cast a pall over our evening. What should we do about it? Get rid of the dog? I was feeling that if we had been back home in the country, the dog would have had a bullet in his brain not five minutes later (exaggerating, here), though if we were dealing with extreme viciousness, I wouldn't be above it.
After calming, DH and I discussed it. We think it stems from the fact that the dog does not respect DD's "authority". How can I reenforce to the dog that the kids are above him in the pecking order and have it stick when I'm not present? Teach her to be able to handle the dog? Are there trainers in the Tacoma/Olympia area that will work with entire families (to include children)? Obedience training? Group or private? I see kids younger and smaller than DD out walking big dogs (GSDs, pits, rotties) with no problem. The dog will obey me and my husband, so when we are with her, the dog is looking to and following us. I try to model the calm, quiet assertiveness to her, but she is easily frustrated, especially when her ritalin has worn off, which she was between doses when we asked her to take him out.