Dog dominant with toddler

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Bestbreedever
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Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Bestbreedever » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:26 pm

Hey so this is my first Chow Chow her name is Lady and she's about 6 months old. I've always wanted a Chow and was so happy to finally be in a place in life where I could have one. I read up on the breed and have learned a lot, which leads me to my question: I know Chows take a special firm gentle dominant type of handling, and can happily say my girl sees me as pack leader and we have a great relationship. The thing is, I got her when my daughter was just barely walking and of course Lady was a baby too. Now they are both older and I'm seeing some issues, and I'd like to nip them in the bud. Lady is confident and energetic, and so is my toddler. It is, however, very clear that my dog sees the little girl as her subordinate. She mouthes her, herds her, and ignores her a lot. My daughter is fairly gentle with the dog, and they do play well under close supervision, but it usually results in Lady mouthing her and my daughter getting upset.
Lady, I'm proud to say has never bitten my daughter. I trained her extensively from the moment we got her. My mom used have show dogs and I am pretty good at working with dogs. Still, what can I do to help the dog be more gentle? I usually end up calling the dog away from my daughter when they get too rambunctious, but I hate to teach the dog that playing with children will get her in trouble.
Now. I know Chow Chows aren't great with kids. I read this before getting the dog. But I had hoped with proper socializing and training we could get past this. And my dog is very well socialized and well rounded.
I just was wondering if anyone had any tips?
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Dog dominant with toddler

Post by TyChowgirl » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:38 am

Chows can be great with kids. There's a whole section in the photos devoted to it. You're off to a great start, but I will say this. Letting lady mouth her will only make this worse later. She is a puppy right now and it may not hurt as much...but if this continues she will do it when she's grown and she will grow up sooner than your baby. Does that mean that perhaps she'll relate this to never play with child? Probably, but it's for the better right now. Your child can reintroduce play with her when she's old enough to command her and earn her respect. At this time, your child needs to be off limits when not being gentle. If it is a dominance issue during play and she wins every time... She will take that to mean she is higher on the scale than your daughter. Chows are great dogs, but many are so very intelligent and self righteous that you have to keep them in check or they will walk right over you or in this case your baby


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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Bestbreedever » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:05 am

That's what I was thinking. My daughter is too young to act dominant toward the dog, and I really have no way to stop the mouthing, what will happen is they start running laps around the living room together, and then Lady gets too excited and starts mouthing. So I firmly say "NO." and then Lady comes and sits still next to me. Lady IS stubborn, when I tell her no, she listens, but it's almost like she's sulking, like "well if I can't mouth her I suppose I will just sit here still and ignore you all." Of course my daughter gets mad that the doggy is now ignoring her. So I suppose this means just letting them build a relationship when my daughter gets older?
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Dog dominant with toddler

Post by TyChowgirl » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:09 pm

They can still build a relationship, just no mouthing. To be fair to the puppy, correct your daughter also when she encourages this. The running around the room should probably cease too just because it's probably enacting her prey drive which in turn makes her excited enough to mouth. It's not the puppy's fault if your daughter is encouraging her but she still needs to get the message it's not ok


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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Rory's Dad » Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:33 pm

I had a couple thoughts based on the original post, and then a few more after reading the responses and counters.

My initial reaction was that mouthing wasn't really an issue, but based on the description of the chase games, it appears this is really nipping. I agree that can't be allowed. But that also may not be a dominance issue. Sounds more like litter play. I would venture that your Chow views your daughter as more of a playmate, and that is how puppies play together. Your daughter doesn't need to be able to control the dog if this is the case, just the situation. Most young girls are really good at screeching. That is what she needs. A really good yelp is the dog's teeth touch her skin. It's a signal to the dog that play has gone too far. n most cases they will respect that. And then the dog needs an alternative to expend that energy...a ball, a stick, a small food treat. She could throw a ball, or you could provide a reward treat for proper behavior.

I would also work on other training. You don't have to completely stop play. Work with the dog to understand what it is you expect. For example, with my dogs, down means to lie down, off means put all four paws on the ground. Drop means to drop whatever toy you are playing with so we can play again, leave it means ignore it and don't ever touch it (reserved for dead rodents, puddles of anti-freeze, etc). Since they have different levels of acceptable play levels with different family members, I have taught them "no teeth". This means mouths closed. It took a while,, but my dogs have their mouths/teeth inspected as part of their normal routines, so getting them to display their mouths "teeth", is natural to them.

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Dog dominant with toddler

Post by TyChowgirl » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:04 pm

All good advice Rory's dad. I just know the I had an issue with Ty mouthing and nipping with play and it had gotten worse after he got his adult teeth in and despite the training that adolescent stage kicked in where he suddenly forgot things. And it hurt me, so my concern was if it was allowed to continue the impact an adult mouth would have on a small child. If she can get her to a place where she understands the difference, that would be awesome.


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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Rory's Dad » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:28 pm

I don't disagree in the least Ty. Nipping can never be allowed with children, and since its a difficult line to teach, shouldn't be tolerated with others either.

My initial thoughts again, were toward mouthing. I have had dogs that will place a hand into their mouths without any bite pressure whatsoever. It was almost like a security blanket for them.

I lost my train of thought when replying, but had intended to tie that into the herding concern. I have seen stories of dogs that will lead a child by placing the wrist in the mouth and moving in a certain direction.

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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Cindy J » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:11 am

Rory's Dad wrote: I have seen stories of dogs that will lead a child by placing the wrist in the mouth and moving in a certain direction.
This is something I am trying to break Chance of now. When he wants to go somewhere he will often try to take my hand and move me. No pressure applied, but still a no-no.

Without being there to watch, I lean towards the belief that Lady is "litter playing" with your daughter. We have a strict rule at our house. Children are NOT to play running games with the dogs. Every one of our dogs want in on the fun and will chase them. Sometimes little play nips are given. Sometimes a child is bumped and toppled over.... and sometimes a child is tackled. The dogs think each of these actions is part of a game.

Our nieces and nephews are all taught the "TREE GAME". If one of the dogs runs towards them quickly it is a game of "Stand frozen like a tree." The dogs lose interest when there is no one moving that needs to be caught.

I would encourage interactions with your toddler and Lady that are much more subdued until Lady understands that your child is not a litter mate to roughhouse with.
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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Rory's Dad » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:38 pm

I like the sound of the Tree Game.

Have a similar rule with my dogs, and that is no Tug of War. We do not purchase any sort of pull toys, and do not encourage play with rope type toys (the dogs can have them for chewing, but we don't do pull battles).

This is so we don't encourage any sort of behavior where the jaw is not released.

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Dog dominant with toddler

Post by TyChowgirl » Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:26 pm

Same here with the tug toys. Though my two are not good at tug with other dogs because of it. Still things get messy with serious tuggers


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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Grab » Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:36 pm

The dominance theory of training/human-dog relationship is considered fairly outdated these days amongst those who train dogs. My Chows are not trained differently than, say, my Poodle. My female Chow was 6 months old when my child was born. They have a fabulous relationship. You essentially have two toddlers. I would make sure your puppy has a safe place to get away from your toddler. A crate, a gated room or hall, etc. You must teach your daughter that she is not to bother the dog when she''s in there. Because she is puppy, I'd make sure she has plenty of chews to have while in her safe area. I'd confine your puppy when your daughter is running around. Toddlers run around..it's what they do :) But, that causes excitement in puppies, which is leading to mouthing and nipping. Your puppy occasionally ignoring your daughter is not a show of dominance...it is likely her being overwhelmed or just needing a break. Your daughter will have to be taught to respect that. My son is 3 now and he and the dogs have a very good relationship. Often they aren't actively playing with each other, just sitting quietly nearby.
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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by Rory's Dad » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:52 pm

Can you expand on your 1st sentence Grab? I would like to understand what may have changed with professional trainers. Maybe it's just semantics, because I certainly agree that dominance (AKA the Caesar Milan theory) is not 'trendy'. Physical dominance of any sort shouldn't be necessary. Crate training or separation may definitely be effective. I do think that leadership is necessary though. All dogs, regardless of breed, need to understand a pecking order. They WILL respect those that control the resources (be it food, affection, attention, etc). That of course is the goal, not wrestling or pinning a dog into submission.

I think we are on the same page, just wanted to be sure.

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Re: Dog dominant with toddler

Post by MichaelMason » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:22 pm

I would say my chow Tomy loves to play with tug toys. I dont stop him as long as he loves the game, after few hours he relaxes and looks satisfied. I am happy to see him like this.

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