For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog
Leerburg » Leerburg Q&A » Answered


Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3321 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Kids and Dog Aggression , Rescue Dogs

Q. We adopted a 2 year old poodle a couple weeks ago. She’s been growling and has bitten our 6 year old daughter. Can this be dealt with through training?
Hi Cindy,

It's been a while since we spoke last, but I have a question about our new dog: but first some background. We have just recently adopted a rescue female miniature poodle that is 2 years old. We have had her for almost two weeks now and have been putting her through the ground work training as taught by Leerburg. She has accepted myself and my wife as the pack leaders (more so me than my wife but still minds my wife very well) and she is a very loving and quite obedient dog. We have a 6 year old daughter who the dog also shows affection too the few times we have allowed her to interact with the dog. The dog is very calm in her crate, calm in the house and comes every time she is called. She is calm around my daughter and us. When we decide to play with her which is just recently since she's shown such great progress thus far, she likes to play growl when running around etc. When she plays with her toys, she growls when we try to get the toys back so I get her to drop it with another toy or food and using the out command. Which is working well. But for now I've relegated her to not playing with her toys until I learn the best way to proceed here. You should know that dog comes when either three of us call her almost every time (this is without any obedience training from us since we've had her). If my daughter calls her she comes and sits beside her and loves to be petted by her. Once called over and told to sit (by my daughter) then she's allowed to pet her and the dog totally shows great affection to her.

Some concerns. When we first got her she did a little growling at myself, my wife and my daughter if touched in the back of the legs or if she thought my daughter was going to pick her up. This was the first day we had her at home and before we started ground work training. Since the training she has not growled at all at my wife or I but does still do it to my daughter once in a while (we are continuing to teach our daughter the do's and dont's about handling dogs). The other day the dog did bite my daughter twice in the arm and leg (small bites but bites non-the less) in a couple minutes when she was holding the leash and outside with the dog to go to the bathroom. She was not being supervised and my daughter says she was going to try to pick up the dog when it happened so I'm not sure if the dog gave a warning growl first or what (I suspect she did since she usually shows signs before reacting). We fully understand that she should not have been alone with the dog even for a couple seconds and take full responsibility for this lapse in protocol.

My question. I am not sure how concerned we need to be about the growling and now bites to my daughter. I take the bites very seriously and wonder if this is something that can be dealt with through better training and more diligence on our end or should this dog be separated from kids all together? The dog does show so many great qualities except for this and I'm not sure how much of this is a handler issue and if it can be totally remedied? We bought the dog as a family pet and want to be able to trust the dog around our daughter eventually. Do you think this is realistic or are we dealing with a dog that might not be able to be trusted around kids?

Regards,
Rene

A. Unfortunately, I can’t really know whether this dog is ever going to be trustworthy with your family.

It could be the growling/biting was a behavior that worked for her in her previous homes so she’s doing what’s worked. It could be that she really does not want to be picked up or touched and she’s telling all of you in the only way she knows how. She could have a nervous/dominant/fearful temperament. It could be that she has some type of discomfort physically.

As a parent myself, this would not be the ideal choice for a family dog if you have specific expectations that your daughter will be able to pick up and carry or handle this dog unsupervised. You’ve already seen that she will progress to a bite and while training may help this would not be MY idea of a great dog for a home with small kids.

Here is a section on preventing dog bites in kids.

Cindy Rhodes
  
Recommended Products
The Power of Training Dogs w/ Markers
The Power of Training Dogs w/ Markers
$40.00
3 Hours, 33 Minutes
Marker training (also called clicker training or operant conditioning) is one of the most profound systems of dog training that I have seen in my 50 years of owning, breeding and training working dogs. In its most basic form, it's a method of communication that is very clear for dogs to understand. Dogs learn the marker language quickly and when they do they thrive in training. The marker system produces dogs that love to train.

$40.00
 
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
$45.00
4 Hours
The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves. Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact, far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply do not know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a pack leader or they may have heard they need to be an ALPHA with their dog but they do not understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.

$45.00
 
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
$50.00
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
In my DVD, I provide 3 1/2 hours of information to help people solve their problems with dominant dogs and aggressive dogs. This information is based on 45 years of experience training dogs. For the last 30 years I have studied the art of protection training dogs. I was a police K9 handler for 10 years, and was chairman of the training committee for the WI police dog association for a number of those years. I have bred German Shepherds for police service work for 28 years. During this time I have bred over 350 litters of working dogs. I have dogs from my kennel working in law enforcement, Search and Rescue and competing in Schutzhund all over this country. No one I know in the United States can make these claims.

$50.00
 
Deluxe Full Tread-brite Powder Coated Dog Crate
Deluxe Full Tread-brite Powder Coated Dog Crate
$765.00
This powder coated aluminum crate is very durable. The crate has a very hard finish because there is a special coating process that is done in two steps. It is because of the two layers of coating on this crate that the finish is not only very hard but also extremely durable.

Option 1:
$849.00 
$765.00
Out of stock
 
Dominant Dog Collar
Dominant Dog Collar
$14.50
This collar is not intended to give a painful correction. It is intended to take the air away from a dominant aggressive dog. More dogs are put to sleep everyday for aggression problems than they are properly trained. Killing a dog must ALWAYS be the last resort. Learning how to use a dominant dog collar can and will often make the difference between having a dog put down or ending up as a pack leader and a dog the you can live with. Some dogs will often get over-stimulated by a prong collar resulting in a more hectic and aggressive dog. The Dominant Dog Collar is designed to be used on handler aggressive or dog aggressive dogs. Using a Dominant Dog collar correctly on the takes the drive and fight out of the dog. Leerburg's Dominant Dog Collars If you have a problem with dog aggression or a dominant dogs, we recommend that you get the Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs DVD. We also have an extensive collection of articles pertaining to dominant and aggressive dogs We recommend you read the article on Dealing with the Dominant Dog written by Ed Frawley. Individuals who use this collar for handler aggression should have their dog undergo through a solid pack structure program. For adult dogs, we recommend the Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet DVD. For puppies, we recommend the Living with Your Puppy - Establishing Pack Structure DVD. Due to government restrictions, countries such as Australia and a few in Europe do not allow the use of remote or electric collars. These dominant dog collars are a viable alternative.

Option 1:
Option 2:
$14.50*
 
Deluxe Full Tread Aluminium Dog Crate
Deluxe Full Tread Aluminium Dog Crate
$655.00
This is a premium crate with full tread-brite construction through out. It is a beautiful thing to behold. This is a substantial piece of equipment. Like all of the aluminum crates we offer at Leerburg, this crate is Tig welded.

Option 1:
$789.00 
$655.00
Out of stock
 

15% off Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots 24 hours only