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Old 04-12-2009, 07:49 AM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 8,041

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your family. I can't imagine how upset you must be. You may be right about the negative association between your son and punishment. I too would find another daycare who does not think it is their job to "train" your dog. Now it is time for positive associations between do and son and some vet care/pain meds for the dog. From now on your son should not try and touch the dog but every time he approaches the dog he should toss a treat. He should come on walks with whoever walks the dog and should help with feeding the dog. Playing fetch and other non-physical (therefore cannot accidentally touch and hurt the dog) games is good too. Your son should always mean good things for the dog. How is he if he sees children out on a walk? Does he get nervous or is he okay?

As far as peeing when your husband comes home it's possible it's fear urination, it could be excitement as well. Does he roll over and pee or is he excited? Try and make sure your husband keeps interactions with the dog calm and gentle, he too should build up positive associations. It's possible a daycare person who often rolls your dog looks like your husband or sounds like him. When your husband comes home he should avoid looking at the dog, he needs to make himself nonthreatening.

You might consider having your son do some clicker training if he has decent timing. He can just teach her some fun commands and tricks that she'll enjoy, make sure it is nothing that hurts her hips or foot. The training should be light hearted and fun. He should use treats and the clicker to mark when she makes the right move and reward her for it. It is a great way to bond.

If she is very wary of your son you can use the clicker to mark, from a distance when you see it, any good behavior she has towards him. If she looks at him without getting worked up, if she calmly sniffs him or lies/sits near him etc. you can click and the give a treat (or even better have him toss the treat to her) so she feels even more confident about her decision to interact with him. You will need to first teach her what the click means, if you don't know how I'll teach you, just ask.

You can also make you interacting with your son and Lab a positive thing for the GSD. When you pay attention to one of them someone else should periodically toss treats to the shepherd and should stop when you stop interacting with son or lab. Or if you play with the Lab someone else should start up a game with the GSD. Again she should learn that them having your attention is not bad for her and she should learn to seek interaction from other family members so she is a little less possessive of you, you should try and step back a little in the feeding, walking, training etc. so that other members can have a chance at doing some of that and get to be seen in her eyes as someone to trust and a bringer of good things.

Good luck, I really hope things improve for you soon, please keep us updated on her progress.

Thank you ~Dixie's Mom~ for my awesome siggy!
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