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Discussion Starter #1
My Basset, Alfie is starting to scare my 4 year old son.
The puppy is 15 weeks and up to now has been ok with my children.He seems to have developed a "big brother" approach to the 4 year old.
Last Sunday the child was playing with a football and Alfie tried to join in.Somehow my son got nipped on the cheek and you could see where a tooth had gone right in.Alfie was removed to his crate in the car (as we were at Grandparents house).
Last night he went up to the child and started to nip his shoulder and pull him about.Again he was removed from the situation but i now have a very scared little boy .
The puppy obviously sees the child as either a litter mate or someone he can bully.
what is the best way to deal with this?
The 2 incidents were the only times when the 2 were on their own for a few seconds.
 

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oh dear. im sure if you can fix the problem really quickly as the puppy is so young.

im no expert my my opinion would be that the puppy is trying work his way up the packing order and is telling the child that he is incharge of him.

my suggestion would be if it happens again, which hopfully it wont, is to make the child aware that if it happens to make a very loud high pitched scream to scare the puppy and to instantly remove the puppy and leave it alone in the create just like you have been doing.

our puppy nipped us until about 8 months (she was incharge of our house until we went to dog taining classes) until we were suggested this method and it worked for us. i let off a few high pitched yelps and she seemed to understand after two or three attempts and never done it again.


hope this helps
 

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For the next few days, or longer, put the child in total charge of serving the puppy's meals. Make certain that the dog can observe the fact that the child is the one providing the food. Have adult hold dog by collar if you are worried that he will injure child during feeding.

At family mealtimes, the child should eat first., then feed the dog. This sends a big message. The child is first in the packing order. I agree that making a racket when the dog nips, and putting him in his crate for 15-30 minutes is effective too. Hitting him will increase aggressive behavior, though. Longer than 15 minutes and he forgets why he is in there. Make sure the child stays above the level of the dog. Hard to control dog when both are rolling around on the floor, and if he gets up on the furniture with the child, well, that just reinforces his belief that he is the child's "equal".

When Elmer would get too excited and nip, I'd say "STOP"! while putting both hands up and stand up and walk away. No attention gained by neg. behavior.

All of these things take time and patience. It is a committment just like having a dog is. But if you can get thru this, you'll be rewarded with a devoted, well behaved loyal companion that would die for your child.
 

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A good book is Childproofing Your Dog by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson. It should be available almost anywhere or online......
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thankyou for all of your help,i will start making the changes straight away!
Will keep you all informed of our progress,
Sue x
 

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Important to note that the puppy is exhibiting normal and proper behavior for a puppy. The important point here is you do not actual want to teach the puppy not to bite but rather bite softly. It need to learn that human skin is less resilent that his littermate. That way later in life when a situation occurs and the dogs only option is to bite it will do so with restraint. With this in mind no 4 year old and puppy should every be together without strick adult supervision. More links on training Bite Inhibition

Bite Inhibition - How to Teach It
Rather than "No bite," I strongly, strongly, strongly urge you to teach your puppy bite inhibition instead. Bite inhibition is a "soft mouth." It teaches the pup how to use his mouth gently. Does this mean that the pup will forever be mouthing you? No, not at all. Actually, regardless of the method used, puppies generally grow out of mouthing behavior after a few months.

So why should you teach bite inhibition? Because dogs have one defense: their teeth. Every dog can bite. If frightened enough or in pain or threatened, your dog *will* bite. That doesn't in any way make him a "bad" dog. It makes him a dog. It's your responsibility, therefore, to teach your dog that human skin is incredibly fragile. If you teach your dog bite inhibition that training will carry over even if he is later in a position where he feels forced to bite.

A story... Ian Dunbar tells a story of a bite incident he had to asses. A Golden Retriever therapy dog was leaving a nursing home and his tail was accidentally shut in a car door. The owner went to help, and the dog delivered four Level Four bites before she could react.

FYI, a standard scale has been developed to judge the severity of dog bites, based on damage inflicted. The scale is:

* Level One: Bark, lunge, no teeth on skin.
* Level Two: Teeth touched, no puncture.
* Level Three: 1-4 holes from a single bite. All holes less than half the length of a single canine tooth.
* Level Four: Single bite, deep puncture (up to one and a half times the depth of a single canine tooth), wound goes black within 24 hours.
* Level Five: Multiple bite attack or multiple attack incidents.
* Level Six: Missing large portions of flesh.

Technically, the woman received a Level Five bite from a long-time therapy dog. Dr. Dunbar wasn't the least bit surprised by the bites. I mean, the dog got his tail shut in a car door! Of course he bit! What shocked Dr. DUnbar was that a dog with no bite inhibition was being used as a therapy dog.

"But he's never bitten before." Of course not. And barring an accident like that, he probably never would have. But an accident is just that. An accident. Unpredicted. What if it had happened in the nursing home?[/b]
also check out the FAQ forum
Help with Puppy Chewing and Nipping Links
 
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