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Old 08-05-2013, 12:26 PM
OthoDPS OthoDPS is offline
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Default Help with preventing puppy jumping and biting with Toddler with Autism.

Hello all,

We have recently got a Beagle puppy, which is 10 weeks on Wednesday. We also have a 3 year old non-verbal autistic son who runs and jumps about a lot. Normally this is fine as due to his autism he pays little attention to whats around him quite a bit, but occasionally the pup will jump and try to nip at our little ones feet, which causes him to scream and become very upset, which seems to egg her on to do it more. This is normally when our toddler is/has been running and she thinks its play time. but unfortunately our son doesn't see it this way.

Meal times is just as bad as she tries to jump up and eat from the little table we have for him.

We do not want to give up the puppy as shes adorable and in general very well behaved, and generally unless tired or over excited very passive with us and only bites gently, but with our toddler its different and we cant get him involved in bite inhibition training as hes hasn't got the understanding or awareness to really get what is going on, plus on the long-term side we know the dog will be a wonderful companion for him, and possibly looking on doing some autism specific dog training here in the UK should it become available in our area.

Any advice we can get on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:07 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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You, as the parent, need to be in control of the dog and supervising interactions 100% of the time. Do not give the dog the opportunity to chase and nip the kiddo. Don't give the dog theopportunity to steal food. Crating and tethering the dog to yourself or just keeping her on leash during these times (yes, even in the house!) can help with that. DO NOT EVER leave the dog and child unattended together.

You need to teach the pup to settle on command, to not chase the kid jsut because he's moving, and that stealing food is never okay. The pup is still very young, so it will all come with time, patience, and training. It's going to be a lot of work, and anyone that tells you any different is lying. But it will be worth it in the end to have a well-mannered dog.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend finding a trainer to work with locally. We can't teach you how to train a dog over the internet. Sure, you can learn some things, and it's a good supplement, but you NEED a trainer close to you that you can reply on for hands-on help. Dog trainers are, after all, really people-trainers, and the trainer will teach you how to train your dog.

As far as autism-specific work, please think very, very hard about it and understand exactly what the dog can and can't do and what the dog's purpose really is. What, exactly, are you expecting the dog to do? Be realistic in your goals, and never put your dog or child in danger. There is a fad over the last several years of tying autistic children to dogs to make them less mobile. This is a horrible ideal, is very dangerous, and is NEVER okay. Dogs are not babysitters. That said, dogs absolutely can help people with autism. I am autistic and I have a service dog, and he's really changed my life. He goes guide work (including stopping at street crossings and changes in elevation), light balance work, and several other tasks that are specific to my needs.


The long and short of it is that you have a 2 1/2 month old PUPPY and you have two years of puppyhood ahead of you. You need to enlist the help of a local trainer to help get your pup off to a good start. your puppy needs to be a puppy, and your primary job is to keep both your kid and your pup safe. Make sure the pup gets plenty of exercise and play time in a safe, controlled environment, even if that means your son isn't present.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:17 PM
OthoDPS OthoDPS is offline
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Thanks for the reply,

We never leave the Luna and Theo together unsupervised as we know that would potentially end in disaster. Currently we are using the same techniques we used to stop her nipping at us with Theo but obviously without Theo doing it. The technique we are using is firmly stating no biting and giving her one of her chew toys instead.

We are looking for a local trainer, and there are lots fortunately, but none of the courses start before September which is annoying. Currently if we need to we move Luna into the kitchen and we have a baby gate there to prevent her from coming back into the living room, which helps in calming Theo down a little bit and makes eating easier until she starts to howl, which cause Theo to cry because of the noise. At this point we do generally let her back on but on a lead so she cant get near the table he eats at.

As for the training, its ran by a charity called Dogs for the Disabled and its just general training on how to get your autistic child to better communicate via the use of a dog. They have been doing it for a few years and it works really well, it isn't about tethering the child to the dog either, its about forming a positive relationship where the dog understands the limitations of the individual they are with.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:50 AM
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Cardiparty Cardiparty is offline
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Quote:
well, it isn't about tethering the child to the dog either, its about forming a positive relationship where the dog understands the limitations of the individual they are with.
That's an awful lot to expect of a puppy. Puppies are just like toddlers in the sense that they don't know anything about limitations or boundaries and are just crazy babies lol

Have you all though about an adult dog that is trained for service work? That would probably be a better bet since you guys seem frustrated by the training process.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:36 PM
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Kayla Kayla is offline
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A great resource I would suggest would be in home training, while you wait for classes to be available.

I highly recommend working with a positive reinforcement trainer and this is a great certification school that you can look up grads in your area.

https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer

Try re-directing your puppy on to appropriate chew items like toys. Your puppy just wants to play and his littermates running would trigger him to play and nip. It's going to be easier in the long run to re-direct your puppies normal behaviour onto an appropriate item then to suppress a normal healthy developmental behaviour.

Here is a great website for dog and child safety:
http://www.doggonesafe.com/

Also a free download of Dr. Ian Dunbar's puppy book:
http://www.dogstardaily.com/
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:23 PM
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Dogdragoness Dogdragoness is offline
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Also remember that Ny technique you apply will not work immediately, be prepared to rinse and repeat it for what will seem like a million times before you see any progress at all. And this goes tenfold when your puppy enters their teenage stage (which can start as early as 4 mos and is until the dog is 2 years old).

Tethering the puppy to you and removing her when she gets too stimulated is a good place to start just remember to be consistent
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