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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Discussion Starter #1
My lovely Bailey who has been so sweet is now showing some discomfort towards my 6 year old. Just this weekend she has growled at her and now she is showing her teeth when my daughter pets Bailey when she is sitting on the ground.

Please tell me how I should handle this. I am letting my daughter hand feed her meals kibble by kibble, I'm sitting right next to them. I'm also letting Madison give some treats to her as well.


I realize that Bailey see's herself above Madison. What else can I do to establish the pack order. This is mainly Madison's dog. I have told Madison and showed her pictures on what damage dogs can do and that we need to respect them.

Do I need to consult a behavior trainer?
 

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Missing Molly
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well, it seems strange that Bailey is just now acting out towards your daughter. Has something happened between them to change the dymanics? I know kids will be kids. My daughter used to cut off our dogs whiskers and other strange thing when we weren't looking. Is it possible that this is the case? I would talk to a trainer about the issue though. Otherwise it's gonna end up with Bailey having to find a new home. Nip this one in the bud now.
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Discussion Starter #3
There is no way I am going to give this girl up. I need to find a way to work it out.

It has to be a part of the pecking order in our house. This just started this weekend. Bailey just jumped up on my bed where my two youngest girls were playing a video game. Madison pet her and she growled at her again. Ugh! I went in there, got Bailey out and shut the door. When I approached Bailey she was licking her lips.

When it started this weekend, I had other children over. Yes, they were crazy loud. They were bothering Bailey and I made them stop. Madison had grabbed Bailey by the neck and she didn't like it. Ever since then it's been downhill. I've been keeping a close eye on Bailey and it seems like Bailey is the one who is going near Madison.

I do realize it is my fault for the kids bothering Bailey in the first place. I had a migraine headache and wasn't watching them as well as I should of.
 

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I don't have any experience in this area since I don't have children, but you could try getting some extra special treats that Bailey can only get from Madison. Something really high value like roast.

Another way you could try it is Bailey gets the treat from you, but only while Madison is petting her. Make Bailey associate great things from Madison being around.

If she is reacting to the way Madison grabbed her then it isn't really a pack order issue, it's more of a fear reaction. You want her to think of such great things when she thinks of Madison that she forgets all about the bad experience.

Again, I don't have children, so these are just some ideas that popped into my head. I've never actually put them into practice for this specific problem, but they are similar to what I would do in other situations.
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Discussion Starter #5
What I don't get is that Bailey is seeking Madison out. Madison has been nothing but nice to her since I've talked to her. I know I will get through this. I'm assuming Madison has some fear and Bailey is picking it up. Madison was dropping some of the kibble when she was feeding her. Bailey likes taking it out of our hands and does it very nicely.

I hope this weekend hasn't ruined Bailey. I feel super bad for not being on top of things. I do have high value treats in the freezer, I will work on it tomorrow.

Ugh, I feel awful for letting this happen.
 

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Missing Molly
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I am sure it is a workable situation. It's just a matter of time and the right method. It sounds like Bailey was overwhelmed and is now frightened. If Madison has been feeding Bailey kibble, Bailey will seek her out to see if she has more. It would be nice if someone with more experience in this would chime in here.
 

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Not to downplay the situation at all, but at that age sometimes they go through some growing pains. Bogey would do some REALLY odd things at 5-7 months. He even had two accidents in the house after months of being fine. You are smart to educate your daughter since she understands more than the puppy does. I would continue to watch them carefully and make sure they are treating each other with respect - I hope it's something she will just outgrow. Sometimes they do push the limits.
 

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Missing Molly
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Here is another thought. I would keep Bailey close to me. Leash her and tether her to you if necessary. This way she is always with and you can monitor all her interactions with the children. You'll be there to help calm her if she gets nervous. I am not an expert though. I have had some dog/kid related issues but have never dealt with an aggression problem before. I just know kids can sometimes be mean to animals when the parents aren't looking.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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That is about the same age that I had to hand feed Oakly because he was getting food aggressive. In my mind you are doing the right thing by hand feeding. You just need to be careful and both you and your daughter know that the growls are a warning and should be heeded.
 

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I don't have much advice that other wise posters haven't offered, but I just wanted to let you know that I really don't think you have done anything wrong and although I know it's difficult I don't want you to feel like this is your fault or that your dog is "ruined" or anything like that. Those were all thoughts that went through my head when my perfect sweet Murphy started showing some serious resource guarding with the other puppies in his kindergarten class.

I know for me it is sometimes hard to remember that although Murphy acts and looks like a grown up dog in many ways, he is really still very young and in fact... a teenager! I have to remember that my parents were pretty **** near perfect and I still rebelled and was an absolute terror as a teenager. There are bound to be bumps along the road.

From all of your posts that I have read I think you are doing a great job with Bailey. I know it is difficult with your puppy and your child involved, but try to take a deep breath and relax. I am a strong believer that our dogs can really sense and feed off of our emotions and body language. If there is one thing that I learned from my old dog, who was dog aggressive in most situations, it is that if I was nervous and EXPECTING something to happen, it most certainly would. I had the best results when I just relaxed and went with it and tried to project calm and comfortable (always ready to act if needed of course).
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Discussion Starter #11
I don't understand??? Bailey is sleeping next to Madison on my bed. I contacted a behavior specialist by email to get her prices. I'd like to try and solve it on my own if possible. It has been my fault, I'm full of anxiety this past week and I suffer from severe chronic pain. I've had a horrible week and my emotions are all over the place due to the pain being so bad and uncontrolled. I wasn't watching the kids that night as close as I should of been and I hope they didn't do something to her while I wasn't watching. Bailey was in her kennel when Madison grabbed her by the neck. She was trying to pull her out.

I'm thinking the kids should only being giving Bailey treats and playing fun games with her. They like to give her commands also and I'm thinking they should lay off the commands for a while.
 

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Missing Molly
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Madison trying to pull her out of the crate may have been the breaking point. Her crate is supposed to be her safe haven and if someone threatened her there she feels she has no safe place to go and must resort to other methods of keeping herself safe. I agree the children should not be giving commands. The kids should only have contact with bailey while under supervision.
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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You may want to institute a "you may not touch or talk to the dog when she's in her crate" command for the children. A dog needs a safe place to get away from the loudness and occasional rudeness of children. Trying to pull her out of the crate by her neck certainly could be construed as aggressive by Bailey. Nip the kids' behavior just as much as nip the puppy's behavior, and I'm sure it will all work out fine.
 

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Have you asked Madison what happened? I don't mean accuse her of anything, just ask if Bailey might have been hurt or scared in some way.
Ditto on what everyone else said.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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I went in there, got Bailey out and shut the door. When I approached Bailey she was licking her lips.

Lip licking is a classic calming signal in dogs. Sounds like for some unknown reason, Bailey now has some anxiety where the girls are concerned. IMO, you should involve the trainer --- so long as it's someone experienced in behavior problems (vs. basic training) and who does NOT use compulsion-based methods or insist that simply fixing the "pecking order" will address the problem.

Behavior mod stuff can be tricky and it's always harder when you're emotionally involved. Rather than have to go it alone, a skilled 3rd party can be very helpful. It's okay that you don't know how to fix this yourself - that's what help is for!

In the meantime, I'd suggest zero unsupervised time and a house rule that the dog is left ALONE when in her crate -- even if it means you have to set up an x-pen around the outside of the crate to keep the kids away.

There are also some great books about raising puppies and kids together. Check out www.dogwise.com for a list.

Hang in there! Keep us posted.
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like for some unknown reason, Bailey now has some anxiety where the girls are concerned.
The girls were very loud and over excited last Friday night with their friends. This is how it all started. Bailey didn't like that Madison tried to take her out of the kennel by the neck. Bailey had enough. I feel awful for it happening.

Hopefully Bailey will forget about all of it soon. Bailey does show anxiety from time to time, she always has since the day I brought her home. It's easy to calm her down.

I'm not going to let Bailey on the furniture or bed until we get this straightened out. I will save part of a meal for when Madison gets home and have her hand feed kibble by kibble. I will also only let the kids play fun games with Bailey.

Bailey is young and I hope this is something she gets over. The girls are young and they DO get very loud at times, especially when they are excited with friends over. I will make sure they are loud outside or downstairs.
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Discussion Starter #17
There are also some great books about raising puppies and kids together.
Just ordered a book from amazon.com. I just bought Raising Puppies & Kids Together: A Guide for Parents for .24. You can't go wrong buying a used book at that price.
 

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Nancy
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It sounds like you're on top of things with this. It's hard with kids, my 4 y.o. granddaughter lives here and sometimes wants to boss Hank. We adults understand the limits but they don't. Pulling Bailey out of her crate is an example. As someone mentioned up thread, make Bailey's crate off limits to kids. I don't allow DGD to bother Hank if he's sleeping or eating. Hard to do when there's a lot going on but try to keep an extra ear out when kids are over. I know rules are sometimes forgotten when friends are around. I have to watch DGD's little friend, she likes to kick Hank. I keep him with me when she's over.
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Discussion Starter #19
Whoa! I don't know what happened, but Bailey has decided that she doesn't like Madison at all. She growled at her while they were in the kitchen together. Madison was ignoring her.

I then got some food with a little bacon dripping and had Madison feed it to her. Bailey is now in her kennel and will remain in there until this is straightened out.
 

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Nancy
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This is probably a dumb question but, are you sure Bailey is actually growling at Madison? My Maggie used to "talk" when people would come over trying to get their attention. They thought she was growling.
 
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