My Kids Are Scared Of My Rottweiler Puppy
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Are your kids afraid of your Rottweiler puppy (pit bull, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Boxer, Husky, Bulldog, Mastiff, Great Dane, Spaniel, Doberman… or whatever breed you have)?
I have worked with a lot of families where the kids were afraid of the new puppy. So, what do you do?
ASSESS: The first thing to do is assess what is going on. What is the dog doing, what are the kids doing, what are the adults doing, and what is the environment like? All of that has to be looked at before a good solution.
KIDS: One aspect of this are the kids. Sometimes, kids aren’t really afraid of the dog, the complaining is more about getting attention than about what the dog is doing. Sometimes the kids are afraid, the puppy is very vigorous. Sometimes it is what the kids are doing to and around the dog that stimulate the puppy to get past the point where the kids are comfortable. And sometimes the kids are allowed to be brats, and the dog is either participating in that, or the kids are harming the dog and it is being forced eventually to defend itself, and then the kids get scared. Sometimes the kids are jealous of the dog, and what is labelled as fear is really them being upset with the competition for your attention, so they come up with an excuse. Or… a hundred other things.
DOGS: Puppies need supervision and training. Simple as that. It is unfair to the dog and the kids to not get the puppy into early lessons if problems are developing. You know that. I shouldn’t have to tell you that.
ADULTS: The adults can also greatly affect how the dog is relating to the kids and how the kids are relating to the dog. I’ve even seen parents that got a laugh out of their dog bullying their kids. Then, when it goes to far, the puppy is the one being punished.
ENVIRONMENT: How you live with a dog and kids affects how they behave. If you live in an out-of-control home, then expect troubles. If there is tension in the home… expect troubles. If the pup is being overstimulated, or neglected, or improperly fed or managed or exercised, or… expect troubles. If the dog is being neglected in the back yard… expect a LOT of troubles.
If your kids are afraid of your puppy, NOW is the time to find a good dog behaviorist, and work out a plan for your home. It’s only going to get worse until you take responsibility over the situation.