Just Labradors banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Belle is a one year old yellow lab we got last week. She listens very well but only to adults. When the kids tell her to sit or stop she ignores them. I know it's probably normal for right now cause she's never HAD to listen to kids, but I think it needs to change and fast!

The kids love to play and run around with her, so I can see how she doesnt want to stop and listen.
Any advice on the first step?

Kelly and Belle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I would like to know what people think about this also....our chocolate lab Bella is about 12 weeks old and she chews on my 5yr old and will not listen to him to sit or stop. She plays very rough and we never leave them unsupervised for that reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,913 Posts
I don't know how old your kids are but size is often an issue...dogs are more inclined to listen to someone who is above them as apposed to someone on their level. They tend to think of children as an equal. The best way to change this is by having your kids help out as much as they can. Ask them to help in the feeding, walking and training. These are the three priority areas. Also, limit the rough play. Don't let the children and the dog run riot together in an out of control way. Keep play calm and controlled.

Bare in mind you have only had her a week. Things will settle down in time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
kids are 6, 3 and 1, so pretty small! I am teaching the 6 year old not to 'cry wolf' by calling the dog a million times, and to 'Stop where she is, say a firm SIT, and wait."
I just have to realize it wont be an overnight thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
For what it's worth...

Misty is now 20 weeks old, and my daughter will be 6 in July. When we first got Misty, she was a terrorist, and wouldn't listen to ANYBODY, of course. With time, she started to listen to me (I am the one who primarily works with her, training-wise), but wouldn't really listen to my wife -- and certainly not my daughter. With time, she has gotten better with listening to my wife (who I have REALLY been pushing on to start to take a "firmer" stance with the dog -- and she is). Finally, she is also beginning to listen to my daugher. She rarely jumps up on my daughter now -- she minds her manners pretty well. Here's what I did to try and bring this about...

When we walk, I always take treats (pieces of kibble) so that I can practice recalls, heeling, etc. with Misty. My daughter often likes to come with Misty and I on our walks, and a couple of weeks ago I started giving my daughter some treats to carry as well. At first, I told her to give the dog a treat any time she saw the dog trotting at her left leg (in a roughly heel position). It didn't take long before Misty would spend a good portion of our walk trotting at the left leg of my daughter (waiting for a treat!) Once it became apparent to me that Misty was using my daughter as a "treat dispenser," I decided to change the rules. I told my daughter that when Misty comes to her left leg wanting a treat, to make her "sit" first. Misty did this readily -- since she already knew the sit command, and since she knew that my daughter had treats! Now, I have also started to have my daughter put the dog in a sit-stay, walk away, and put the treat on the ground. Then, I have her release the dog to go get the treat. This is working great! First of all, my daughter is just SO proud of herself!! This dog that used to intimidate and "attack" her (not really, of course), will now obey her commands! She loves it!! I think she LOVES the idea that she gets to give orders to someone for a change -- instead of just "taking" orders all the time! But, more than that, I felt that the dog would see my daughter as less of a "peer" or "playmate" and more of a leader. And indeed, I think it definitely seems to have bumped my daughter up a notch on the totem pole, so to speak. Like I said, Misty has really changed the way she treats my daughter. She is now MUCH more obedient, does not "overpower" her or jump on her, and overall just behaves better around my daughter. I am working to teach my daughter to be more "assertive" with her voice and all, but I'm proud of her! I know, there are lots of folks who don't buy the dominance/heirarchy thing, but I'm telling you what -- in my limited experience, dogs obey those who issue and enforce commands; they "disrespect," and show no good manners toward, those who do not. I can't help but think this has to do with some "pecking order" type of thing. I can't tell you how much different Misty acts toward my daughter now. She now outweighs my daughter -- and yet she now respects her and will obey commands from her. And it is NOT just that Misty has gotten older and grew out of jumping on the kids. She will still jump on/overwhelm other children who come to play. I have to really keep an eye on her when other kids are around -- she is just "too much" for them. But around my daughter, she has changed -- and I really believe it is because I have started to teach my daughter to give commands to the dog.

Sorry for the rambling, but I wanted to let you know what we did which seemed to help.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I have to count my lucky stars that Belle came to us NOT jumping on ANYBODY! She is very good, but the one thing we are working on is 'sitting' a few feet from the front door so she doesnt run out and bowl over the kids (which she did once already- my three year old was NOT impressed!).

I'm starting the treat thing today.

Steve- your daughter must feel so proud!!! I know mine would!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Dogs think in terms of pack rank, he/she (dog) will think they are the alpha until put into their place, kids will be considered beta's until they can prove to the dog they are his/her equal, and or better, if your the dogs provider/caretaker/parent, and u are fair, and the dog learns your ...good tones (happy..lets play!) and discipline/authority (NO...bad dog) or however u carry yourself when letting u dog know right from wrong, they will learn quick! the kids will find their own niche under your guidance and patience remember it doesn't happen over night. Luckily u have a lab!!!Good luck fellow Alpha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,085 Posts
You need to take control of this situation, not your kids. They have neither the muscle nor the vocal inflection to get a dog to do what they want. Remember, as the person in charge, you are to NEVER issue a command that you can't reinforce. So if your kids are saying sit - sit - sit - sit all day long, all they're teaching the dog to do is ignore them.

Train the kids that running, screaming, taunting, teasing is unacceptable. And make sure the dog is up on all manners commands (LEAVE IT, NO BITE, KENNEL UP, SETTLE, COME, SIT, DOWN, STAY). And give it some time. When your kids reach pre-teen age (jr handler age), the balance will start to even out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
I have to respectfully disagree with dweck on a couple of points (perhaps, I was not clear enough or did not give enough details in my first post).

I FULLY agree with dweck that you can't have the kids barking orders at the dog all day (orders which they cannot, obviously, enforce at such a young age). Second, I FULLY agree with dewck that the dog must be up on any command you are going to ask your kids to use.

However, I do not agree that young (elementary school-age) kids don't have the ability to give a dog a command, under the right circumstances; I don't think they have to be pre-teens to do so.

In my case, I have taught my daughter NOT to give the dog any commands if I am not there. She, for a day or two, got carried away and was telling the dog to sit, sit, sit in the yard, in the house, whatever. I had to explain to her that you cannot give a dog a command that you are not enforcing, and therefore to only give a command to the dog when I or her mom are there, such that we can "enforce" it, if necessary.

Usually, the only time I allow my daughter to give the dog commands is on walks, when I am right there to ensure that the dog complies. Also, Misty is very solid on her sits, and her sit-stays. You might have to give the sit command twice, or 3 times, depending upon the level of distraction. However, once you get her attention, and get her sitting, a stay is no problem for her.

So, in my experience, having "trained" my daughter a little with respect to what we are trying to accomplish with the dog, asking her NOT to give commands to the dog unless one of us is there to "help," and to only give the basic commands that Misty is best at obeying, we have not had any trouble at all. It has taken some time; sometimes, I feel like I am training BOTH of them -- I am working with my daughter, showing her how to give the hand signals as well as the voice signals for "stay," showing how to do the "Patricia McConnell herding" trick with the dog (lean in toward to dog to enforce a sit, or block the dog while leaning in when you want the dog to move in a direction). I am proud of BOTH of them -- the dog, AND my daughter. The dog is learning to obey; my daughter is learning how, with my supervision and teaching, to "lead" the dog! In fact, like I said, this whole process has definitely helped to improve the dog's behavior, it has furthered my daughter's self esteem, and most of all, it has strengthened the relationship between my daughter and the dog. Based on all the good I have seen come from this in my case, I would really, really encourage you to at least give this a try. Once you can accomplish having your 6-year old understand to ONLY give commands in your presence (like on a walk), and ONLY the commands your dog knows very, very well, I think you'll see what I mean. It is a process, but if the dog is capable of learning, I think a 6-year old child is, as well.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,085 Posts
We're not that far off in disagreement. The idea is reinforcing the commands. You're doing that for your daughter, Steve. Whichm BTW, I think is excellent. Is she interested in competing as a Jr Handler? If not, think about it -- she might really enjoy it.

Most posts I see from parents who's kids are getting run roughshod over by their labs are young -- like 3,4,5. Much too young to have the oomph for their commands to have any real meaning to a dog. But I didn't mention (and I should have) that attentive parents can supply that oomph on behalf of their young'uns. ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,913 Posts
They have neither the muscle nor the vocal inflection to get a dog to do what they want.
I've got to disagree with this. ;) My 8 year old sister is pretty darn good at commanding the dogs. Its quite funny watching a small 8 year old (she is really small for her age) command 4 big dogs. Sometimes I think they respect her more than me as I tend to spoil them and she tends to ignore them most of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If the dog is calm the 6 year old (and even the three year old sometimes) can get Belle to sit. But that is as far as it goes. I dont 'expect' the girls to be handling Belle anytime soon, but I do want Belle to listen if she happens to be too rough or nippy.

But so far so very good, and I am pleased nonetheless.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top