Child aggressive dog

Posted by peppersmom
Oct 8, 2009
Hi, I have a 2year old Eskie/ShiTzu mix. He hates kids! I am trying to give him the 48hour cold shoulder to set myself up as Alpha but I have a question. Should I crate him at night or just ignore him on my bed where he is used to sleeping?
Posted by LetsPlay
Oct 8, 2009
Hi there,

could you give us some more information on how you have trained your dog so far and what exactly happens when he sees children?

Here are a few thoughts to start with:

I don't believe in having your dog sleep on your bed at all, and especially not if you are not (yet) the pack leader.
The pack leader sleeps in the highest position (the look out) and no lower ranking member of the pack is allowed to be up there.
By allowing your dog to sleep on your bed you are showing him that he has a lot of status and rules the pack, which is definitley not a good idea.
If you have a dog that constantly challenges your status you should NEVER let him sleep on your bed. If you dog accepts you as the leader without any problems than you can make the odd exception, but only if you ask your dog up and he leaves the bed as soon as you ask him to as well.

I would recommend putting his bed in a separate room where he feels safe. If he is used to sleeping in a crate then you can put him in there.
I personally don't believe in locking a dog in a crate, but if he is used to it it might work for you.
If he is not used to being in a crate I would not lock him in over night as the crate is supposed to be his safe place, so don't force it. A room where he can't distroy anything might be best.

The reason I don't believe in locking a dog in a crate is that I want my dogs to make the right choices at all times and by locking them in I remove that option from them. They have no choice then.

My dogs do have crates and kennels outside, but they don't have doors, they are always open. By locking them in they don't really learn how to behave properly. It's like removing all house plants when you get a new puppy and then expect them to know not to dig or chew them when they are an adult. It's best to teach them right from the start how to behave and then you don't have to change your life around. Even if that means having to watch them closely to start with, it's worth the effort.

I think ignoring your dog for 48 hours is the last resort. Have you tried the other steps to establish yourself as the Alpha Dog?
Those 48 hours are no magical fix if you don't implement the other steps as well and ongoing from now on.

Your dog won't see you as the Alpha if you ignore him for 48 hours and then go back to your normal routine.

It would be great if you could give us some more details on what your daily routine is with your dog.

Posted by peppersmom
Oct 9, 2009
Hi I will try this again, My Dog is in his crate in an upstairs bedroom all day while I have a daycare on the main floor. I tried to have his crate downstairs with us but he started snarling at the children. I tried to have the kids give him treats and greet him. I tried having him on a leash with the kids until he lunged, snarling at a 4 year old and bonked him in the forehead with his nose. I tried putting his open crate in the upstairs hallway with some toys and a double gate at the bottom of the stairway (he jumps gates and even our 4 ft fence). I thought that this way he could be near if he wanted but be able to retreat if necessary. When he made it a point to come down and snarl I put him upstairs. In the evening I walk and spend time with him. I do make him walk a little behind me and when he is leashed I make him wait at doors and gates. I am not as consistent when we are at rest. He is showing some of the signs that you mention. He does not get out of the way for us (although I try to just keep walking and force him to move for me), He chews shoes and steals socks and gloves rather than his toys, and demands affection by nudging.
I thought, when I read your book, that I should start with the ignoring and then go on to the more consistent training. He has been through obedience 1. He is somewhat protective of me when he is with our other dog who resides at the house that we are renovating. He uusuyally plays with the other dog at the other house but not in the yard without a long line because of the jumping. He is usually good on recall since he likes to be with us.
He does not like other dogs at dog parks so I try to give him his exercise on walks and fetch in the house. I also can't play fetch with the other dog (a German Shorthaired Pointer) unless I put him in.
I appreciate the attention to this; I got your ebook to try to make this work with him. My last dog had the run of the house with an open crate and areas that children couldn't access if she wanted to get away so I am not used to confining a dog like this.
Posted by LetsPlay
Oct 9, 2009
Hi there,
yes that makes sense.
He want to protect you, the children are the intruders, when they are around it means boring time for him, nudging for attention is another sign for a dog having the wrong idea about his status. You should never pet a dog or give him any attention whatsoever when he is nudging you to pet him.
I know it might sound mean, but what's even meaner for a dog is being stressed about having to look after the whole family, which a dog is simply not capable of.
You should always implement all elements of alpha dog training. Ignore him during the day a few times, and if that doesn't work do the 48 hour thing.
Let us know how it goes