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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Another cross post, neVar!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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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.
I agree with Locket - my post disappeared in mid post:doh: we typed very similar thoughts lol. AND neVars post on tethering - it does work! He is still young and addressing it now will make life for everyone so much better. We still tether Olie from time to time - when he is too "social" when company comes or for barking. He will be 1 year this month.

The only thing I would add is if you cant always tether have an x-pen while the kids play.

On a lighter note - when reading your post I could not help but think of this adorable video - maybe you seen but to funny - "Charlie Bit Me"

 

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Along the same lines as what Locket said, Mia has a "go play" and an "all done" cue. When I tell her go play she is free to go interact with other dogs or people (she also has a say hello cue, which means she can nicely aka no jumping great people). If she gets to rowdy or we need to leave I give her the all done cue. I've used the all done cue mostly when she gets to rough with my mini. I keep her next to me for a bit and when she's settled down she can get another go play. We've also been working on a solid recall so if she does get to rough I can call her back even though she's playing. She's still a puppy so this is all still a work in progress!!
 

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Charlie sounds like a wonderful dog!! I agree with everyone to supervise the playing for now. If you supervise, dont let the dog/kids get too crazy, teach him that nipping is not allowed then after awhile you could let them play again in the yard. Were not saying that for the rest of his life he and the kids cant play. For now until he matures (which will help a Ton) and learns the rules he cant do it though.
I never had a dog to run and play with as a kid. Im sure your kids love it! You DONT want a neighbor child to show their parent the nip mark Charlie left on their kid though and have Charlie slapped with a bite history! For now there are other games your kids can play with Charlie that dont involve chase. If your kids want to chase in the yard then bring Charlie inside and give him a PB filled kong toy unless you are out there with them. Good luck! It is great that you are working with him so much!
 

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Charlie sounds like a wonderful dog!! I agree with everyone to supervise the playing for now. If you supervise, dont let the dog/kids get too crazy, teach him that nipping is not allowed then after awhile you could let them play again in the yard. Were not saying that for the rest of his life he and the kids cant play. For now until he matures (which will help a Ton) and learns the rules he cant do it though.
I never had a dog to run and play with as a kid. Im sure your kids love it! You DONT want a neighbor child to show their parent the nip mark Charlie left on their kid though and have Charlie slapped with a bite history! For now there are other games your kids can play with Charlie that dont involve chase. If your kids want to chase in the yard then bring Charlie inside and give him a PB filled kong toy unless you are out there with them. Good luck! It is great that you are working with him so much!

Agreed!
 
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