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I seem to be witnessing a power struggle between Poppy (nearly 12 months) and my two children (7 & 5), so should i day Poppy is trying to dominate in this struggle. She seems to think that she is higher up the rank than what she is! In order to negate this struggle we are trying to show Poppy her place! She is no longer allowed on the bed and we are making a point of showing her that the kids are top dogs compared to her. A typical show of this point is that on Sunday my OH (lucky me) brought me breakfast in bed...well it was a race up the stairs to see who could reach me first...Poppy or my daughter!! Poppy has even started to "nibble" my son when trying to make her do. Is this normal??? please help as i am not quite sure what to do next!

Michelle
 

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Does Poppy know the leave it/ or off/ commands yet? its really handy in situations like this, even better if your kids are in on it (teaching your dog these comands)

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Have your kids begin feeding her. Have your oldest do breakfast, and your youngest do dinner. Have them put Poppy into a "sit" and then "wait", then when they say "ok" she can eat. This might help a bit.

When she nibbles your son, is it like corn nibbles?
 

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I saw this with Rowdy and my step-daughter, (20) she thought she knew everything and knew nothing about working with a puppy. She would not use one word commands but just rattled off what she wanted him to do when she wanted him to do something. Lexie had more control over him and she is only 19 months. ::)

I finally told her she would have to believe what I told her to do or the dog would rule her and only her and I could care less if he was her boss. ;D She has now started to believe me and has good control over him. ;)

With younger kids I've never had a problem with any of the three.
 

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You are on the right track with not letting the pup on the bed. Also make the pup wait at the bottom of the steps and the kids go first, same with going in and out the doors. Make sure the dog eats after the humans in the house, always.

Try the NILF program..nothing in life free...make the pup work for all treats...sit, stay, come, etc. Teach leave it also.
And let the kids work with giving commands and issuing the treats. Make sure they know how to give a command properly, and supervise them with it. The dog will get the idea that he is below the kids eventually but be consistent.
Don't allow any "nibbling"...give a stern NO bite or NO teeth, whatever you use. The pup has to learn teeth on skin is completely unacceptable. After you give the NO command, replace a toy or puppy appropriate item into the dog's mouth immediately. And just stick with it. Glad to have you on the forums! Welcome.
 

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I wouldn't say it is a power struggle at all. She sounds like a normal young dog who is perhaps getting a bit testy. I would do as the others have said and make sure that you all (the whole family) play a part in Poppy's day to day routine. Have the kids run through quick training sessions with her, have the kids feed her, when she on the lead make sure she is in a 'heel' position, work on obedience when you are out on walks, etc. etc.
 

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TangerineFizz said:
When she nibbles your son, is it like corn nibbles?
;D That is a great description.

I highly recommend the NILF program as described by WeHeartLabs. Showing the dog that the kids can control her food and treats and that she has to work for it should bring her around.
 
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