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Discussion Starter #1
My Golden is 18months old(in tact) and has a big problem - he really does not like kids! Im getting a little worried as we went to the pet superstore yesterday&whilst queing a little girl about 3yrs old approached him with her arms outstretched to hug him&he did the most fearsome growl I ever heard come out of him! He has growled at little kids before and I just really dont know why he doesnt like them,is he afraid? I babysat my friends newborn&he growled&hid behind the sofa(peeping out) til he'd gone. He's fine with any other human being and 1 child only, from our neighbourhood,who he loves. My vet said it should settle down once he's been neutered but, Im worried. I'm considering a muzzle but what else can I do? He wasnt raised around small kids,just teens.
Please be kind in your response, thanks
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I think it's odd that a GR doesn't like kids....there are many others on the forum who could possibly tell you why he's behaving the way he is. We have 3 GRs and none of them have been raised around kids (we are empty nesters) and all 3 adore children!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Im grateful of recieving helpful advice rather than comments but thanks I suppose, Im happy for you
 

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Boudiga
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while you don't want to see growling and aggressive behavior, i really wish parents would stop allowing their kids to run up to strange dogs to hug them simply b/c it's a golden / lab / insert whatever breed you like here.

imagine how you'd feel if someone just ran over to you and wrapped your head up in their arms.... i know i wouldn't just stand there quietly and yet we always expect dogs to do so.

also, I know that Faith is afraid of how fast kids move and how their "petting" is sometimes hitting. it's not that unexpected, imho.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Faiths mom how do you think Id go about correcting his behaviour? kids are as unpredictable as dogs lol
 

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Boudiga
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i always pretend i'm diana ross - think of the stop in the name of love pose or traffic cop pose. just because they want to come over doesn't mean you have to let them. i also have told the kid/kids "wait, let me get her ready" and put her in a sit and hand the kid a treat to give her - that way they stay 2ish feet away from her and she gets the positive idea of kids = treats.

and, you will get lots of comments vs advice. it's how forums work, and pointing out that someone wasn't helpful in a reply will probably get you ignored going forward.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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It does sound as though he's afraid of kids, and it makes sense given that he wasn't raised with or likely socialized much with kids as a pup.

In general, you want him to associate good things with kids and make sure that they aren't allowed to overwhelm him right now. I'd start walking by areas with kids at a distance. Let him realize they are there, but keep him far enough away that he isn't reacting about them. Feed him little bits of meat. The idea is that he starts to equate kids with little bits of treat from you. Over time, move closer, etc.

You might benefit greatly from finding an area trainer who can help you. www.JohnRogerson.com might be a referral source for you.

Also, don't punish him for growling. Remember that by doing so, he's telling you he's uncomfortable in the only way he knows how. If you punish that, he may not growl, only bite.

And I love the Dianna Ross STOP arm! Your job is to make sure kids to rush up to him. Be on the lookout and turn and go the other way if you see them coming in ambush fashion. Asking him to interact with kids that close is like tossing him in the pool before teaching him to swim.

Best of luck! Keep us posted.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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I think it's odd that a GR doesn't like kids....there are many others on the forum who could possibly tell you why he's behaving the way he is. We have 3 GRs and none of them have been raised around kids (we are empty nesters) and all 3 adore children!!
Unfortunately, sterotypes often are as damaging in dogs as in humans! Ideally, a well-bred Golden will have a stellar temperament that can withstand lack of socialization to a specfic subset of "human," but not all of them can... even if they ARE Goldens.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great idea re;the treats! I have tried the sit before but he just freezes&growls. Definately will try the treats. Better than my neighbours suggestion of telling the kid he took the postmans arm off!lol
On the last part I really did not wish to offend. I wanted advice, thats why I have posted on this forum for the last year or so&sponsored. Some days you just want advice - like when your kid is the naughtiest in class&everyone else tells you how fab theirs are?makes you feel like crap, you're well aware of how wonderful other people have it. Sorry Laurie
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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Okay that was rude to someone who is ALWAYS nice to others. Uncool. :mad:

Thank you...but that's okay. Since finding this forum I am on it alot...I LOVE my dogs and I love reading the comments made as well as the ongoing advice. I didn't mean to upset anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Flying Quizzini, lots of useful advice in there, I never thought about the punishment bit as having a negative effect, so to speak. Thanks again
 

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I recruited my nephew and niece early in Harleys life in order for him to make positive associations with children. My niece and nephew were very willing to have Harley do "tricks" in order for him to receive his "reward" -- usually treats. Them feeding him in this manner really reinforced that they are a step up in the pecking order (my niece is 6 my nephew is 4). Harley adores kids and has always had a very loving personality though and has always seen himself as lower on the totem pole (including cats).

In your circumstances I think you need to make positive associations with children, but without being able to trust him it is going to be tough sledding. I would NEVER place a child at risk in order to rehabilitate my dog. Start small, maybe an obedience class or two... then branch out and start getting children to interact with him in positive manners. (Dog loves fetch... play fetch with a child, or a chow hound *HARLEY* make them do tricks for treats).

Good luck! And don't shy away from asking for help from a trainer! They work wonders.
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Your dog is afraid of children. I have three children(girls) of my own and Bailey is not so lovey dovey with them all of the time. Bailey, too, has growled and even snapped at the kids, mostly my own girls when she feels threatened. However, Bailey does show signs when she is uncomfortable around the kids and the children need to learn to back off and leave her be. I have to keep a watchful eye every second that the kids are home and around Bailey. It's getting much better now that the kids are learning how to respect a dog. Bailey is our first puppy. When the girls have their friends over, Bailey heads right to the kennel or my bedroom until they are gone and I tell the neighborhood children they HAVE to leave Bailey alone and she may/will bite them.

You will need to be extra careful when you have your dog around children. Your dog has the high potential to bite. Also, when out in public, the parents NEED to keep an eye on their own children and not let them go up to strange dogs.

I have socialized my puppy well with children and took her to class, obviously that was not good enough. My dog is afraid of many, many other things besides the children as well.
 

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I was going to suggest using some friends and there kids in a better controlled situation, unless you really feel the kids would be in danger. Maybe even slightly older kids to start. Lots of treats & toys he likes. Maybe sit on the floor with the kids near you.
If you are afraid he could harm the child then I would check out a private behavior trainer to help.
You are right in parents should be watching what their kids do, but unfortunately you will be the one blamed if anything happened. I like my breeder so much. She has a gradaughter in preschool & one theing she did was take some puppies to the preschool. Both for the puppy socialization, but also to teach the kids how to approach a puppy including asking to pet it first.
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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You can call a behavior specialist and they will help you with the situation. They are a bit expensive, I've had one here myself, but it is so worth it. They will evaluate the situation and your dog, then give you step by step details on what to do. Your vet will have very good recommendations for the specialists. Until then, I would not take your dog out in public where there are children around. You can't control if the little kids are going to run up to your dog.
 

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My first rescue golden Charlie 1 didn't like children either or people to start with but with treats and a calm quiet voice she was ok in the end :)
 

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I agree that setting up a controlled situation, where Jamie doesn't feel backed up against the wall (maybe outside?) with some children who are going to be quiet and calm and only give a treat when you say so.

I wonder, has he had any scary situations with kids? If he isn't used to their high pitched voices and erratic movements, I can understand why he might be wary.

I'm sorry, but no child should be encouraged to go up to ANY dog and fling their arms around their necks. Whether the parents were watching or not, it's very irresponsible for them to allow this!

There have been two occasions where this has happened with Obi. Once was a strange man in a fur coat and full white beard, I don't know who was more shocked me or Obi, and the other time was a child of about 10. Both times Obi's body language was definitely "get off!" He leaned right back away from the person.

Most dogs hate close contact like this, it is not a behaviour they understand. I guess Jamie just goes into that category of not liking close contact.

Do you trust him when out and about to keep away from children, or is it just when they are "thrust" onto him, so to speak? I guess he's just defending his space from something which worried him...

He needs to change his association with children as positive. It shouldn't be too hard, just make sure the kids are confident, sitting quietly, and have extra tasty treats. I would also start with older kids and gradually work my way to younger ones.

Good luck!
 

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Jamie's not the only one - Reeva is very wary of kids, but so far has never growled, the opposite with Quinn which can be as bad a problem as he would probably get over excited and knock them flying.

As Tanya has said, try and set up a controlled situation and start with older kids and then work back to the younger ones. If you manage to do this always try and finish on a good ending, so if he is calm around one kid end the session there, don't keep pushing him to do more as it could have a negative effect - better for him to walk away being praised and having another yummy treat, and then the next time increase to 2 kids and so on.

Good luck, take it slowly and at Jamie's pace
 

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Children should not go up to dogs (I fully agree with this, but you cannot control every kid you run into). I'm sorry to say- I feel strongly that dogs who would bite a child should not be in homes with children, or in ANY situation where a child might be present. It's dangerous. Any dog that even looks at my baby the wrong way is history. Honestly I don't think there's really room in this world for dogs who bite people, period. (I make exceptions for dogs who bite accidentally, like when the owner is breaking up a dog fight, or dogs that bite when injured, etc).

Now your dog has not bitten, so perhaps this can be cured. But please be careful. It will be no one's fault but your own if you take this dog in public or bring a child over and your dog bites.
 
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