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A warning
Bren adult
Early this morning I had an example that I would rather not have had, of why you should NEVER leave a child alone with a dog (or anyone who has no control over it and doesn't know dogs, for that matter.)

My big dog Bren is thirteen months old and, in that time, he has never shown the remotest sign of aggression. Yet this morning, when he did his usual stunt of trying to get me to feed him treats by doing his demand bark, and I turned deliberately away from him, standing and folding my arms a la Victoria Stillwell (whose training methods I do admire) he rushed me barking aggressively, leaping up, trying to shove me over and grab my arms with his teeth. Indeed, I now have bruises on my wrists. The 'off' command didn't work. (And Draco was NOT HELPING by rushing round barking and killing a toy.) However, I got him calmed down, as I thought, but then when I turned my back, he went for me again.

I managed to get him under control within thirty seconds or so, got him to sit, and accept his muzzle (which we only bought to try and stop him eating things he shouldn't outdoors.) I then spent quite some time turning my back on him and folding my arms, and he didn't bat an eyelid.

He has never been allowed to jump up and likewise never been allowed to get away with that kind of bullying. I think that this was an attempt at dominance behaviour coupled with his dislike of me deliberately ignoring him, and I hope that we can put a stop to it fairly quickly. (He's a bright dog.) However, if this is a trend we are seriously going to have to considered calling in an expert.

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Oooh not good. He didn't draw blood though?

No. I don't honestly think there was any intent to hurt - he was simply trying to boss me. Unfortunately for him, I can't allow that.

Well that's something. Eventually he will learn you're top dog.

We used to have to sit on our labrador from time to time until he gave in when he was going through his teen stage.

Wow. That would disturb me very much.

I'm glad you were experienced and knew how to deal with it.

Diezel used to use his teeth when bullying. Like you say, not intending to draw blood, but I bruise very easily and sometimes my forearms were covered in bruises. Yes the folding arms and turning away does work eventually with a smart dog, but as you know we had other problems with Diezel as well. It's very much an alpha dog trait and like you say has to be nipped in the bud. Eska tries to bully for attention, but much less assertively than Diezel used to. There's a lot of nudging (nose under the arm) and she does jump up, though not heavily. She will also mouth your hands, but she's very soft-mouthed and never squeezes, so no bruises and it's not agressive in any way, just attention-seeking. She's a bit older than Bren and learning gradually that that kind of behaviour is not acceptable, but she is still very excitable when visitors arrive. And we do appreciate that having a German Shepherd, even quite a small one, jumping up at you is scary for some people even though it's just because she loves you.

No, children should never be left alone with dogs. I'm sure that Eska would never intend to hurt anyone, but she could easily knock a small person flying when she does her Tigger impersonation.

This morning was a real surprise. Bren is exceptionally lazy and laid back, and, while he has occasionally jumped up when excited out in the country, it's not something he does very often.

He's rather tiptoeing round me at the moment, having spent half an hour muzzled this morning, and having been rolled over and growled at during that time.

Good job. Sounds like he's getting the message.

My introduction to dalmatians was being knocked flat from behind on a camping field at age 8. I wasn't hurt or surprised as I was in fact running away from #chargingdog, but I'm always aware of the potential of large dogs.

I well remember being about sixteen and in charge of my large dog Sandy, a GSD/Rough Collie cross and the dog of a lifetime, and watching a child of about ten being dragged on his stomach across a field by an Afghan he was hanging onto for dear life.

Kaylee tried jumping on me when she was still a puppy. After a few knees to the chest, knocking her back down, and a sharp word, she quickly learned that this was unacceptable. Jumping on people is one of the dog behaviors I absolutely cannot stand. I hope you're able to get Bren under control, and that you aren't hurt.

He jumped up a few times when he was a pup, was stopped, and seemed to abandon the whole idea -- until this morning. He's a bright dog, and usually obedient. We'll work it out.

It's also a question of training visitors to do the knee-up thing. Eska doesn't jump up at immediate family as much now, but she'll try her luck with newcomers because it's allsoexciting and thespeopleargoingtobemybestfriendsevah!

Indeed. (Eska is a darling.)

Not, I think, going to be my problem. Bren is not effusive with strangers.

Wish I'd had a muzzle and crate for my first husband.


Crating really does work, for dogs, at least...

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