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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
luna is skittish when she's around kids - sometimes a growl when she's really uncomfortable. now that we've moved closer to family there are more kids around and we're also thinking of having our own, i want to take advantage of her being expopsed to these kids - all kids that have dogs, know they need to be respectful of space, etc - but i want to do it gently.

how should i introduce? and what kind of time should i let them have together (always supervised of course)?

right now i have the kids throwing her toys for her, teaching them to never grab it out of her mouth, give her the command "drop it", dispensing treats and telling her to sit first. all this seems to be positive, but she still gets very uncomfortable with kids around. luna is 2 in october and we got her from a family at about 1 yr old. there was an incident with their oldest (i think he might have been 3 at the time, the same age as most of the kids around us unfortunately).

it's not too late to get her acquainted, right?
 

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her skiddishness........is it genetic or is it your fault for not socializing her to kids when she was young?

If genetic, get rid of her. I hate to be crude, as many of you say. However, I just do not think an AB should be growling at kids. EVER! Sure, they may get too rough with happiness and knock them down, but not aggression!

A well bred AB never never never never growls at a kid. ever!

If your dog has NEVER been socialized........even then it should be predisposed to being overly friendly to kids, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you NEVER socialized it.
I would never let it off leash. Period. I would watch it like a hawk around kids. If the kids do not create a prey response from your dog, the dog should not bite. If the kids are a source of fear to the dog.............well, that is up to you.

Ask yourself....is it genetic or non socialized (your fault).
 

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PeterC said:
her skiddishness........is it genetic or is it your fault for not socializing her to kids when she was young?

If genetic, get rid of her. I hate to be crude, as many of you say. However, I just do not think an AB should be growling at kids. EVER! Sure, they may get too rough with happiness and knock them down, but not aggression!

A well bred AB never never never never growls at a kid. ever!

If your dog has NEVER been socialized........even then it should be predisposed to being overly friendly to kids, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you NEVER socialized it.
I would never let it off leash. Period. I would watch it like a hawk around kids. If the kids do not create a prey response from your dog, the dog should not bite. If the kids are a source of fear to the dog.............well, that is up to you.

Ask yourself....is it genetic or non socialized (your fault).
:thumbright: rite onthe money as per usual peter !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
as i said in my first post, i think there was an incident with her previous family - she was pushed down the stairs by a kid - and she came to us at about a year old being skittish around kids and stairs. as luck would have it we encountered more stairs in our first year of having luna than we did kids...so we're working on the latter.

so to answer your question, peter c., or the question you had me ask myself, i would have to say that her skittish-ness would be due to lack of socialization - or better yet negative socialization, if that makes any sense.

am i doing this right, this socialization? i nanny for a three year old and she's seems to be more receptive to him than most. and that's the child i get to work with most. he's around luna and learning her boundries and how to give her commands. but so that i don't mis-represent her actions, she is VERY good with kids on the street - she licks and wags. so the growls come when it's her space they invade, if that makes sense, and it's NEVER a lunge or a snear - NEVER.

i want to know that i am doing this right, that i am doing all the things i can to reverse her negative associations - i DO NOT want to do anything to furtur traumatize her nerves around children. decisions about putting her down will come when i feel i have exhausted all outlets and possibilites.

thank you for your help AND your honesty. it's much appreciated.
 

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It sounds like everything you are doing is great! But this will definitly be a slow and patience needing time for you and Luna.

I'm not sure if you remember reading about Kate and being skiddish around kids and barking at them. She was never around any kids at all until at least the age of 1. And now living in NY, all my little cousins are here so for her to not sit in her cage all day she needed to be okay with my cousins. Little different situation because they are around a lot instead of just random kids in the neighborhood. I don't let Kate meet random kids though, the only ones she has met are my cousins and their friends.
but what we did was we kept Kate in her cage when they arrive to where we are at and let them live around her while she calms down. Once she has calmed, we let her out and she is much better cause she was able to get used to them being around without all the excitedness.

Now to help with her being too excited around them and to reintroduce everytime they meet again we all go on a walk together. That way kate is getting excerise and getting tired out while she is getting used to having the kids around
 

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I'd have Luna meet them on neutral turf if she sees them as a threat. Make it a positive experience with lots of play and treats so children are associated with fun. However, I would have a zero tolerance policy for any aggression toward them in any way, shape or form. Pin her on her back by the throat if she gives the slightest hint, she'll get the idea.
 
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