Kids giving commands
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Thread: Kids giving commands

  1. #1
    LovnHazel is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultKids giving commands

    We've got four non-furry babies ages 9, 8, 5, and 3. Since Hazel is their first dog they are absolutely enthralled with her. The children are well behaved and have been taught to respect animals so they know better then to be mean to the pup, try to ride the pup, pull tail or ears, etc.

    However, they give her "commands" all. day. long. Hazel, come! Come Hazel, come come come Hazel! Sit, shake, shake, shake, shake... ad nauseum. If I were the dog, I'd be pulling my fur out by now, but she has taken it in stride. She seems to like them well enough and is happy to play tug or fetch with them and even obeys some of their shake requests on occasion.

    Is there any reason to attempt to curb their attempts to constantly command her? I definitely want her to obey my husband and I (so far no problems with that - we continue to practice daily with basic commands and she is very reliable). Will she always differentiate the big people she should listen to from the little people she can ignore? I don't want to confuse her.

    But I also don't want to completely dictate the relationship between dog and kid. I nag them enough and as I mentioned they are very physically gentle and respectful with her.




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  3. #2
    sarah's Avatar
    sarah is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    I don't have kids, Milly is my first furry baby and this is something that i've never experienced before. Some people on here will have GREAT advice for you. But sitting here thinking about it, this is what I would do. (Once again I will repeat - no kids here!)

    If it were me, I'd want my dog to obey commands from my kids. What if you are in a different room, one of your children open the front door and Hazel goes to go out the door and your child says "Hazel sit" and the dog ignores? You would want the dog to listen to your children in situations such as this (or I know I would) so I would allow my children to give Hazel commands BUT I think you need to control it.

    So, I would sit down with my kids and ask them not to give Hazel random commands that she'll probably only obey 50% of the time... the constant half-hearted commands will make your life harder for Hazel's obedience training (which you are commencing soon if I remember right?) But I would organise a certain time of day where it's "Hazel training time" where the kids are involved in training practice. They each get turns at giving Hazel commands under supervision and they each get to treat and praise her. 10 minutes or so each day. And you want their commands to be exactly the same if possible... understandably your 3yo might not be included in that. But if the command is sit... do they all say "Hazel sit!" or "Sit Hazel!" Show them how to lift the treat above the nose if she doesn't obey etc etc...

    I think their enthusiasm with Hazel is marvellous - how lucky is Hazel having 4 kids to herself!! She's probably just as enthralled with them too!

    Also, it is very common in my obedience class for young kids to be handlers with their dogs. There is a 13yo girl with a Golden Retriever and a 14yo boy with a Red Cattle Dog, both of them compete in Junior Handling Competitions but alot of parents do bring their kids and puppy to obedience and the older ones get to participate - something you might want to think about in the future for your 2 older ones.

    And I'd love to see pictures of Hazel and her new crew. They must be precious to watch!

    Sarah & Milly - Sydney Australia






  4. #3
    Garth is offline Registered Users
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    The only problem I can see is if all the kids are giving the dog different commands simultaneously. IF that's happening, the dog will be so confused, you'll get nowhere.

    As Sarah said:

    So, I would sit down with my kids and ask them not to give Hazel random commands that she'll probably only obey 50% of the time... the constant half-hearted commands will make your life harder for Hazel's obedience training (which you are commencing soon if I remember right?) But I would organise a certain time of day where it's "Hazel training time" where the kids are involved in training practice. They each get turns at giving Hazel commands under supervision and they each get to treat and praise her. 10 minutes or so each day. And you want their commands to be exactly the same if possible... understandably your 3yo might not be included in that. But if the command is sit... do they all say "Hazel sit!" or "Sit Hazel!" Show them how to lift the treat above the nose if she doesn't obey etc etc...
    If you're doing that already, you shouldn't have any problems. If possible, make the obedience classes a family thing so you can all get involved in her training. I think the fact the kids are taking such an interest in the dog is great & goes a long way towards treating them respect for other animals. I've seen several young kids handling their dogs both in obedience classes & the show ring. Some of them are better handlers than the adults. :educated:

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  6. #4
    sarah's Avatar
    sarah is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    Some of them are better handlers than the adults.
    I think that's because kids and dogs just bond so well together - my sister is only 15 but her and Milly have something special. Milly will do ANYTHING for her and vice versa.

    Having confidence that your older kids one day can walk Hazel without supervision if needed and you don't have to worry about the dog or kids acting up is something that I would want to strive for - kids and animals always have a special something together and you want that to grow with your crew NOT suffocate it. If you constantly nag them about laying off on the commands without giving them time to do the commands too they may lose interest in Hazel and you wouldn't want that either.

    Also - kudos to you having 4 kids and a puppy!
    Sarah & Milly - Sydney Australia






  7. #5
    LovnHazel is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    the constant half-hearted commands will make your life harder for Hazel's obedience training (which you are commencing soon if I remember right?) But I would organise a certain time of day where it's "Hazel training time" where the kids are involved in training practice.
    That is a really good idea. We are indeed going to take an obedience class in September and it might be impractical for me to take them all (as well as a distraction for all involved) but maybe the older boys might come? And then we could do our own training time at home with the littles.

    And you are also right that I *do* want her to obey them when it matters. I could (and will) explain that to the older boys but I'm guessing the 5 and 3 won't quite get it. That's probably ok though since I don't expect them to be able to handle her for a few years anyway.

    Just thinking about them taking her on a walk alone sends shivers down my spine. She's a big puller and the zillion barking and off leash dogs in our neighborhood drive her mad. We're a looooonnnggg way from being able to let even the 9 y/o walk her alone!

    And I'd love to see pictures of Hazel and her new crew. They must be precious to watch!
    Ok, twist my arm

    Hazel is most enamored with the youngest and only girl. We have three 3 y.o. neighbor girls that visit frequently. We had two visiting this day (only one pictured plus my daughter, the other is off camera). Hazel took it upon herself to babysit: http://www.pattynaps.com/fam/gaurddog.jpg

    An afternoon siesta: http://www.pattynaps.com/fam/naptime.jpg

    kids and animals always have a special something together and you want that to grow with your crew NOT suffocate it. If you constantly nag them about laying off on the commands without giving them time to do the commands too they may lose interest in Hazel and you wouldn't want that either.
    Absolutely! That's my fear with dictating what they can and can't do with her (assuming safety and comfort of all parties of course). I don't want to give the message, "Go near the dog and Mom starts yapping" :ugly:

  8. #6
    sarah's Avatar
    sarah is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    I really doubt that any 9 year old could walk a lab puppy successfully. But as your children and Hazel mature and get older it'd be nice for you if she listened to them enough to be well-mannered on the lead without having to have you or your husband try and haul her back next to you all the time!

    We are only now starting to get it together with Milly in the heel department, thanks to obedience. But when it comes to meeting another dog she is still SSSOOO disobedient! So I feel your pain - REALLY!

    You will learn so much at obedience and have so much 'obedience homework' that it'll be no issues involving your kids. And taking the older boys would be a great idea!

    I have to say 2 things about your pictures - I love Hazel's spotted foot! And I also love your daughters hair!! That second pic of them napping is priceless. What a lovely photo.
    Sarah & Milly - Sydney Australia






  9. #7
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    Yes bring the kids to the obed classes; but don't be surprised/dismayed to find them sitting on the sidelines and watching more than out in the field, training. I am an asst. obed trainer. We don't allow kids to train dogs until they show sufficient maturity to pay attention to the directions they're given; they have the vocal oomph needed to guide the dog properly; can give corrections consistently and properly; and keep up physically with the other adults.

    Generally, that's at about age 12-13-14, depending on the kid.....

    Also, we allow only one handler per dog on the training field at a time. Husb/wives will either go every-other class or swap halfway thru the hr session. But try to imagine the chaos of a family of five all heeling a dog together and it's pretty clear why we go 1:1.

    Different trainers will have different opinions, so don't take my description as gospel. YMMV.

    BUT your kids will gain a lot just by osmosis in watching you/your husb work the dog. For one, as mentioned above, they'll learn the consistent language of training, so that all commands to the dog are the same.

    We try to incorporate the kids who come and watch as much as possible (they're great for distraction training in advanced classes), but in general, we teach the parents; the parents teach the kids.....

  10. #8
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    BauersMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    Consistancy is the key. Kids get excited about teaching puppies; my kids are 15 and 11 (both boys) and we faced similar things. They would constantly tell Bauer to sit, down, etc., etc., etc. I turned it around on them, and told the boys to: Sit, down, sit, sit, down, stand . . . and they quickly understood how annoying it was. We set aside training time each day for 2 different categories of "tricks". My tricks are "useful" tricks: sit, down, off, drop-it, leave-it, come, heel. My kids tricks are what I call "useless", but I only call them that to take some jabs at them (I have to get them in when I can ). I am still amazed at what they have taught him to do. They started by using this website:
    http://www.loveyourdog.com/tricks.html, but have figured out some themselves. They also have learned the cues that Bauer gives when he has had enough, and they know to stop. Last night my 15 year old had a friend over, and was showing him all of Bauer's tricks: shake, high-5, ready position (chest down, butt up and ready to fetch or catch something), catch-it, crawl, etc.). The friend was amazed, and my son looked at me and said, "We taught him all the cool tricks." 8)
    Debi and Bauer
    Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.


  11. #9
    TN_LAB is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: Kids giving commands

    I try to teach my girls how to give commands. They are OK at best.

    I don't worry too much. My pup knows I'm the pack leader and listens very well to me. To my kids, she's a pet to play with...and that's just fine by us. The dog is such a good pup, she handles it like a champ.


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