Moved back in with my parents and their new dog is not good with kids *vent* - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 12-15-2011, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My two kids and I just left my stbx two weeks ago and are now staying at my parents house. This is a temporary situation that we have agreed would last a couple of weeks to a couple of months but they keep suggesting we stay longer (until I finish college). Anyways, they just bought a dog who has a rotten personality. This dog is fear aggressive and barks at me whenever I try to pet it. It has even growled at my kids! My kids are good with dogs and will ask to pet a strangers dog but are used to our former dog who would let them play on her and dress her up etc. This new dog of my parents is very poorly socialized and my parents keep defending it as being a good dog that just needs more time to get used to the kids and that it's my daughters fault for being too excited. I am starting to regret having moved back in with my parents and am thinking my kids and I would be better off at a shelter than having to worry about a dog that might fear bite and my parents blaming my kids for scaring it!


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#2 of 12 Old 12-16-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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I would have your kids completely ignore the dog, and if possible stay away from it, you can rotate it out if it has a kennel or a room you can keep it in.


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#3 of 12 Old 12-16-2011, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would have your kids completely ignore the dog, and if possible stay away from it, you can rotate it out if it has a kennel or a room you can keep it in.



Thank you for the reply! It's only possible to stay away from the dog if my kids and I hide in the basement. The dog has free range of the rest of the house and despite the numerous dog crates my parents refuse to put it away so my kids and I can sit in the family room, eat at the dining table, cook in the kitchen etc... And to make it worse the dog has gone from just barking at my kids to actually growling at them! Then instead of yelling at the dog my folks yell at my kids for being too loud or rowdy around the sensitive dog. During the few moments when the dog is out in the yard everything is fine. I'm afraid I might have to leave here if it does not stop growling at my kids, I'm so afraid it will bite one of them and it's a giant dog.


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#4 of 12 Old 12-17-2011, 12:51 AM
 
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That's not a good situation - your parents are doing it all wrong. I wonder how you could get through to them. Would they by any chance watch the Dog Whisperer show or some such? Maybe they will realize that the dog is not supposed to be leader of the pack in the house?

 

The dog is testing boundaries - first it barked at the kids, your parents condoned it. Now it growls, the testing is going further - and the dog keeps learning that kids are low in hierarchy (or so your parents implied.) Next step will be biting, I'm afraid - how else can the dog verify that the little ones are fair game?

 

Are your parents very inexperienced

dog owners? It sounds like they are absolutely clueless. Any other owner would have put the fear of Cthulhu into that dog already.

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#5 of 12 Old 12-17-2011, 05:11 AM
 
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I'm sorry, in that situation and this is completey wrong and should not be done but I would open the front door... and let him go.  As I said, it's wrong and I don't think you should do it.  However your kids around this dog your parents are defending sucks!  I bet they wouldn't feel that way if a friend of theirs came over and was growled or barked at.  I would ask them if they felt comfortable taking their new sweet pooch out to the park.  There are all sorts of excitable kids there with parents who would have no problem suing for a bite.  (something I find understandable)

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#6 of 12 Old 12-17-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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Do not use the dog whisperer techniques on a fearful dog! His techniques are outdated and not supported by science, in fact science shows his techniques to be detrimental to fearful animals. Dogs dont try and take over households, dominance is very misunderstood in this context. Alpha wolves in the wild are the ones who control the resources and they are not aggressive, it is actually the lower dogs that are the aggressive ones.

 

I would teach your kids to completely ignore the dog, dont look at him and dont touch him. Most importantly dont look at him straight on (dogs avoid looking into each other's eyes, when they do it, it is a very rude behaviour and a challenge). I would educate yourself on dog body language and maybe if you can afford it grab a book on fearful dogs and work with him yourself (or give it to your parents). Do you think if maybe you started staying in the basement (dont know if it is finished or not lol) and eating down there your parents might get the hint?

 

Body language (lots more if you google)

http://www.moderndogmagazine.com/articles/how-read-your-dogs-body-language/415

 

Good fear book

http://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Fearful-Step---Step/dp/0966772679/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324143100&sr=8-1

 

good website for fearful dogs

http://fearfuldogs.com/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

That's not a good situation - your parents are doing it all wrong. I wonder how you could get through to them. Would they by any chance watch the Dog Whisperer show or some such? Maybe they will realize that the dog is not supposed to be leader of the pack in the house?

 

The dog is testing boundaries - first it barked at the kids, your parents condoned it. Now it growls, the testing is going further - and the dog keeps learning that kids are low in hierarchy (or so your parents implied.) Next step will be biting, I'm afraid - how else can the dog verify that the little ones are fair game?

 

Are your parents very inexperienced

dog owners? It sounds like they are absolutely clueless. Any other owner would have put the fear of Cthulhu into that dog already.



 


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#7 of 12 Old 12-17-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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If I were you, I would move out as soon as possible.  Not to sound like a jerk but of your parents have a fearful dog and intend on working with it and trying to help it cope with it's fears they shouldn't be exposing the dog to the constant craziness that is children.  They should have either found a solution for the dog when you came and stayed with them such as crating or a quiet room just for the dog so it can retreat from kids or not offered you to stay with them. 

 

I have a dog who is feaful of children.  I have a child and he has been around children slowly and always under control.  Dogs that are afraid of children aren't necessarily "aggressive."  They are afraid and who would blame them.  Children are loud and wild and unpredictable no matter how well behaved or "good with dogs" the child is.  To a dog who is not exposed to that or has fear issues anyway it is a nightmare.  When people with kids come over my house I make sure my dog Jake is somewhere safe, quiet and secure for the time being.  I let him come out and greet people so he knows who is here but I know that kids running around scares the crap out of him so I don't subject that to him or the kids.  It is really only common sence.

 

I know I must sound like I am only defending the dog here but really it isn't the dog's fault, it is your parents fault.  They need to either take action to assure you that you and your kids will be safe and comfortable in the house and the dog will feel safe and comfortable in the house or you and your kids need to leave or the dog needs to leave plain and simple.


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#8 of 12 Old 12-17-2011, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks for all the responses. I think as soon as I can get a daycare assistance and get a job I am out of here! My folks have always had dogs and put them on a pedestal above kids. When I was growing up I could not have friends over because my friends parents were always afraid of the number of dogs roaming in the house. They don't really know how to train dogs to be good house pets but they are very into dog training and showing dogs, if a dog didn't win enough they would sell it to someone else. This new dog is a show dog and was sold them because it attacked another dog. The dog has only been around people when being shown as far as I know so it needs a lot of socialization. He is only two years old so with a little of the right effort I think it could learn how to get along with people and other dogs.

As for the dog whisper they have watched the show and laughed saying dogs need more discipline and correction than he gives them. The good thing is when I went ahead a took the initiative to clean up an old crate and set it up for the dog they did not stop me! I have been staying in the basement which is partially finished for most of the time and putting the dog in the crate whenever we do come into the house. I have tried explaining to my kids that they can not just go pet the dog but it's not working. My dd does not seem to understand that it is possible for a dog to not like her since our dog was super friendly. However she is cautious around dogs in public, I guess I just need to explain to her how the dog is not her dog so she can't treat it the same, which is tough because my mom keeps saying the dog is my daughters and how they should play together. But then yells at my daughter for getting too rowdy.  I am hoping to convince them to take the dog to a park this weekend, not to see if it bites anyone but to get it used to people and other activities.

How long should it take for an adult dog to become socialized and not fearful any more?


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#9 of 12 Old 12-17-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Maybe you taking charge of the situation is a good thing.  Just make sure your kids are aware of not playin in or around the crate.  I'm sure you know that, I'm just adding it in.

Also good luck, I read your post about getting out of your unhappy situation and I hope all the best for you. 

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#10 of 12 Old 12-17-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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how long it takes really depends on the dog. I dont know how old your DD is but I would start teaching her to never approach a dog without your consent, i know its harder then it sounds lol!

It will take patience and consistency to socialize the dog and get it comfortable around people. I wouldnt take it to the park right away, I would take it out somewhere where there will only be a few people around, if you go to fast too soon you could make it worse.
 

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Originally Posted by mamayogibear View Post

Wow, thanks for all the responses. I think as soon as I can get a daycare assistance and get a job I am out of here! My folks have always had dogs and put them on a pedestal above kids. When I was growing up I could not have friends over because my friends parents were always afraid of the number of dogs roaming in the house. They don't really know how to train dogs to be good house pets but they are very into dog training and showing dogs, if a dog didn't win enough they would sell it to someone else. This new dog is a show dog and was sold them because it attacked another dog. The dog has only been around people when being shown as far as I know so it needs a lot of socialization. He is only two years old so with a little of the right effort I think it could learn how to get along with people and other dogs.

As for the dog whisper they have watched the show and laughed saying dogs need more discipline and correction than he gives them. The good thing is when I went ahead a took the initiative to clean up an old crate and set it up for the dog they did not stop me! I have been staying in the basement which is partially finished for most of the time and putting the dog in the crate whenever we do come into the house. I have tried explaining to my kids that they can not just go pet the dog but it's not working. My dd does not seem to understand that it is possible for a dog to not like her since our dog was super friendly. However she is cautious around dogs in public, I guess I just need to explain to her how the dog is not her dog so she can't treat it the same, which is tough because my mom keeps saying the dog is my daughters and how they should play together. But then yells at my daughter for getting too rowdy.  I am hoping to convince them to take the dog to a park this weekend, not to see if it bites anyone but to get it used to people and other activities.

How long should it take for an adult dog to become socialized and not fearful any more?



 


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#11 of 12 Old 12-19-2011, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today was a growl free day! Yay. Yesterday my folks took the dog out, I'm not sure where they went but they talked about him meeting a few people and other dogs. I think when the dog got back somehow I stopped being a stranger to it... Anyway it's been being crated when my kids and I are around it except in the yard where they can all play fetch together since the dog is an awesome retriever. I just hope we can keep up this routine and have this dog adapt to being a family pet, I actually kind of feel sorry for him having not been a house dog before. Who cares if a dog is a champion if it can't be a normal dog and live amongst people!


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#12 of 12 Old 12-20-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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great news!


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