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Old 07-02-2010, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nipping?

I can't get Charlie to stop nipping at the kids! All and all, he is very calm and well behaved, but EVERY time he gets excited, and starts running with the kids, he will nip at their hands, and cloths. He never jumps up on them, so we don't have a problem with him knocking them down or anything, and he only nips when he's running around with them. I correct him when I see it, but more often then not, I don't see it, someone just comes running up "Charlie bit me!" He's almost 4months old, will he just grow out of this? I've tried running around with him myself, to see if he'll nip at me, so that I can correct him then, but he won't do it to me or my husband. He's the most intelligent dog I've ever owned, already he knows sit, stay, down, paws up, shake, and roll over, and he's getting pretty good at jumping through Abby's hula hoop. So I know it's not that he doesn't understand that we don't want him doing this. He just wont stop, and its driving me nuts. He has ripped a few pairs of shorts, but he hasn't broken skin yet. Any advice?
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1- at this age with this issue i'd never have charlie with the kids unless supervised by YOU or on a leash attached to YOU.

everytime he nips one and nothing happens it's telling him it's OK - so until this stage passes- no kids with out you there

Let the kids know that if he nips they are to shout OUCH and then immediately STOP playing- that means EVERYONE. So if he nips at kid 1- kids 2 3 and 4 and you gotta stop playing. You don't really discipline it... as much as teeach that doing so gets you no more fun stuff... you know?

If he's really riled up it's a OUCH and into the crate for everyone to calm down- then back out.

but again no more charlie and kids unsupervised time. This is an important stage and issue to ge tpast for him to be a great dog for your kids. My aussie who has huge herding drive- now yells at kids who run around... we do not run with dogs she says NO RUNNING BARK BARK BARK YOUR RUNNING THAT"S BAD BARK BARK BARK. and she does nto follow them she does not chase- as soon asthey stop running she goes over and plays again.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Firstly, I would not encourage the children to play those sort of games with him - he is still a young pup, and is going to be easily over excited. The very last thing you want is for him to learn that chasing children - especially squealing, excited children - is a fun game. That way lies big trouble when out in the big wide world. Secondly, if he does nip, the game has to stop immediately, the person nipped give a loud yelp, and then behave as if the pup is, in Ian Dunbar's phrase, the nearest thing to an axe murderer. After a few minutes play can resume, in a lower, calmer key. Another pup would stop the game like this if it got too rough - Charlie will quickly get the message.

Poppy invented a wonderful game (for her) called Let's bite Mum's bum when she's not looking. She was a very "soft", rather nervous pup, and I was concentrating hard on using reward the good, ignore the bad with her. Difficult, as the yell and leap several inches in the air she usually managed to get out of me was more than rewarding enough to keep the game going. Then she started eyeing up other people when we were out walking. In the end (!) I turned round and ROARED. She gave me one of those poodle looks, and never did it again.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Another cross post, neVar!
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice Stopping the game when he gets nippy is a great idea. As far as supervising every interaction the kids have with the dog, well, if you have kids, I'm sure you can imagine have difficult that would prove to be. He really is great with them, they can lay on him and cuddle him, play fetch and tug, and he is fine. It's only when they play the chase me, chase me game in the yard that he does this. Now, I could just not let them run with him, and since that's the only time he does it, problem solved. But the kids love to run And so does Charlie. I'd like to find a way for them to romp in the back yard without having this issue. But for now, I'll put a hold on the tag game
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryl4237 View Post
As far as supervising every interaction the kids have with the dog, well, if you have kids, I'm sure you can imagine have difficult that would prove to be.
I'm new to this board and new to poodles but not new to dogs or puppies. I hope, as a newbie, I'm not overstepping any boundaries here but....

Turning puppies into nice dogs is a lot of work and requires an investment of time. The more time invested when they are young, the easier things are in the long run. It is MUCH easier to train good behavior early than to undo and retrain bad habits later.

While I imagine this is difficult, I personally also imagine no other choice when puppies and children are together.

So yes, you need to invest the time to supervise this puppy around your children and be sure he learns how to properly interact with kids. You also need to supervise your children and be sure they learn how to interact with the dog(such as how to react when the dog nips).

Personally, I use a tether method with a new puppy. From teh tether i graduate the puppy to always being gated in a room with me where i can still watch him. Yes, it can be a pain. Yes it takes time. But it's a short period of time out of the dogs life and the rewards are worth it given the number of years the dog will be part of the family.

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I also would not allow Charlie to play chase/tag with the kids. While your kids might like a dog chasing and running after them, other children may not. He's going to be a big boy, even kids that like dogs would likely be frightened by a big strange dog running after them.

I think it's important to always keep the future in mind. If you ever plan on taking Charlie to a park with the kids, the chasing game will be a big problem.

If Charlie likes to run, and the kids like to play with Charlie, the kids could play monkey in the middle with him.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't want anyone to get the impression that we don't put training Charlie as a top priority, because we do. He has been with us a month now, and he is a joy to train. I grew up training dogs with my dad, (He's a police officer, canine unit) I think the only way to fully enjoy a dog, is to have a well trained one. If they aren't well trained, then there will be constant conflict. We have been addressing any negative behavior as it comes. We have had no problems teaching him not to jump on people, or to sit and wait politely when guest come over. He is walking great on the leash, no pulling. We make him do something, before we give him something, be it something simple like sitting before he gets his bowl, or bringing me his leash to go on a walk. I have never had a dog that listens, and obeys as well as he does. Except for this. So far, this is the only behavior we have not been able to modify. When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than chasing, and being chased in the yard with my dog, so I think thats why I'm trying to find a way to make this work. I just came in from a play session in the yard with dog and kids. I took the advice, and put him on a long lead, when he would go for a bottom, I corrected him. He seemed fairly responsive, so thank you everyone I'll give it a couple of days with this method, and if he doesn't improve, I'll just have them play fetch with him instead lol.
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locket View Post
I also would not allow Charlie to play chase/tag with the kids. While your kids might like a dog chasing and running after them, other children may not. He's going to be a big boy, even kids that like dogs would likely be frightened by a big strange dog running after them.

I think it's important to always keep the future in mind. If you ever plan on taking Charlie to a park with the kids, the chasing game will be a big problem.

If Charlie likes to run, and the kids like to play with Charlie, the kids could play monkey in the middle with him.
You know what, I never really thought about him possibly chasing other kids at a dog park. I don't want him doing that. Or scaring anyone. It's just hard to let go of old habits i guess.
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You know what, I never really thought about him possibly chasing other kids at a dog park. I don't want him doing that. Or scaring anyone. It's just hard to let go of old habits i guess.
I really admire you wanting to make it work, and I think it's great that rather than just avoiding something, you want to put forth the effort in training him the proper way of playing. That said. the chasing game does pose some problems outside of your home, but perhaps you could work on commands that let Charlie know when it is okay to chase and when it is not okay? I know he's still a young pup, and you're also working on the no nipping issue, but perhaps having Charlie sit and watch the kids running around for a little, then saying "go chase" or something, and letting him join in the fun and then removing him from the game with a "game over" command or something would allow you to keep playing chase at home, but also have control over it for when you are outside your home.
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