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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:cry: We just had a very bad incident with Cody and the boys. They were outside on their swingset playing like they have done lots of times. My husband had just come out of the shower and heard them screaming so he yelled for me that Cody was all over our 5yr-old. I ran out there and my son was screaming and Cody was biting him all over. He wasn't trying to hurt him because it was mostly bad scratches and not real bites. While I was taking care of our oldest, Cody ran over and jumped on my 4yr-old. He was just standing there not doing a thing, not saying a thing. Cody started to bite him all over his head and thank goodness my son had the reaction to cover his head and protect his eyes. It happened in two seconds and I was right there. I yelled at Cody and checked my son who has a small puncture at the base of his neck and a moderate cut behind his ear. My husband and I are very upset and if this happens again we will be getting rid of Cody. I cannot have a dog like that. I'm really sad because I wanted a lovable, trustworthy dog to be a companion and protector for the boys. I cannot make the boys understand that they can't play roughly with Cody. As much as I try, I cannot be there every second in the day to shadow them and make sure they are following the rules. Cody is inside most of the day so he's with us all the time. Up to now - being outside with the boys has been fine. He jumps around and the boys have been able to handle him so far but he's getting bigger every day. I'm very frustrated that I cannot get him trained. We don't have the big pet centers and training facilities out here. We're very rural and the trainers only offer classes in the Spring/Summer and nobody will do a private training session. I'm just mad and frustrated and upset. My boys are 50% of this problem but I can't get through to them about it. Young boys have the attention span of a gnat. Maybe this was just a big mistake. Anybody want a precious doodle?
 

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I was so nervous to read your post. My daughter was attacked by a dog a few years ago and had to have about 70 stitches on her lip, cheek, neck and ear. We were reluctant to even get a dog because of that incident (ironically my daughter is the one that wanted a dog so badly). I imagine you selected the labradoodle because they are supposed to be good with kids. I have a son who is almost 3 and I have problems like this with he and Coal. Coal is 13 weeks and luckily not that big but if my son is crawling around, or sometimes even standing up, Coal will jump on him and start biting him all over and I freak out! One day Coal bit Aidan in the neck and a million scary memories came back to me. I think I scared the wits out of Coal the way I yelled when that happened! Anyway, I am sorry that I don't have any advice as to what to do. I don't know how old Cody Bear is but I would bet that this is just related to his age. I definitely understand your feeling like you have to get rid of him. Would the kids be devastated if you got rid of Cody Bear? I'm sorry that you are going through this and I wish I had better advice. All I can offer is my empathy! I hope everything works out and someone can offer some possible solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks..

It's a nightmare and feels like slow-motion to see your kids getting hurt and scared. I was right there and it happened under my nose. I put Cody's pronged collar on him and tied a ribbon to it. We'll be working on learning "down" boot-camp style. I love him but I will not tolerate this anymore. I'm just going to have to make sure the boys are never alone with Cody. That may mean Cody gets put out or in a crate more than I would like but their safety has to be the priority. I fell into that comfort zone and forgot that Cody is an animal above all else and runs on instict and that he is young (4mo) and doesn't know the rules yet. If my children are afraid of their dog that will defeat the purpose of getting him. I'm getting Cody a muzzle tomorrow so that he can play with the boys outside without them or me worrying about them being bitten. I am 100% sure that Cody was not trying to harm the boys. I had a long talk with them about how Cody doesn't understand the rules and how he uses his mouth instead of hands. They know that the way they have been playing with him is unacceptable and they want to keep Cody. Maybe this was just a wake-up call we all needed. I'm still very nervous about this and will continue to worry the bigger Cody gets. He's already bigger than my 4yr-old. We had a lab when my sister was under 2yrs-old. We NEVER had this trouble even when Kelly was a puppy. I was counting on the good-natured Lab trait to come out in a Labradoodlel. I think they are good with children but honestly, they (or at least Cody) are not as good with very little children. I will have to watch him and them much more closely than I had thought. I really wanted a dog for my kids to grow up with but maybe we've jumped into this too early. We all love Cody so we're not blaming him and we're not going to give up on him at all. I'm just very shaken up about it right now.
 

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I think you are doing the right thing by never leaving the kids alone with Cody. I myself have to be there all the time for both Aidan's safety and Coal's safety because little kids can hurt puppies just as puppies can hurt little kids. I know it is a pain in the butt but it won't be like this forever. The kids and the puppy will both grow up. I'm glad you are trying to keep him. Let us know how it's going!
 

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Angela, I'm so sorry this has happened!
You seem to be reading Cody correctly that he's not being truly aggressive, so I know you'll do whatever is best for all. I could barely get thru your post...like I wanted to read it faster than I actually could!

You clearly know about puppy behavior so this might be useless, but have you considered, or would you consider contacting a reputable trainer in your area for where to go from here? I would love to see your kids and Cody all learn to grow up together, but clearly you can't let your kids be terrorized by their own pet. I hope there's someone in your area who can help you with how to train the children in puppy-thinking so they learn but crating Cody more doesn't seem like a solution that is too hard on anyone.

I'm so sorry! Of course you are shaken!

And, if you think you need a new home for Cody feel free to email me about contacts I might have.
 

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Angela, I am so sorry you had to experience this incident. Thanks for sharing. It is a great reminder for me...I have become too comfortable with Gunner and my boys.

I truly hope things work out for you and your family.

Amanda
 

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Oh, my! Angela...I am so sorry, this is such a nightmare! I can't imagine how terrified you must have been.

I understand what happened, I believe, but you never know for sure...generally puppies like to play rough with their littermates, and when we are on their level (even adults sitting on the floor) they go nuts thinking you are there as a littermate and they want to play...only their play at this age is much too rough and once you are down, you can't get back up. It is a very dangerous thing.

Again, generally, it is the dog being playful...but there is always the possibility and the genuine fear that Cody Bear has an aggression trait...and if so, he does need specialized training. It is truly unfortunate that you don't have trainers conveniently available to you.

Our dogs attended what we jokingly called "boot camp" but I wonder if there is a similar program near enough to you that you might be able to place them...we signed up for a week and they worked wonders with the dogs! Of course, you have to continue to work with them, but the foundation is there and they will work on specific problems.

I hate to even suggest this, but you might want to consider a muzzle for Cody Bear when you are not able to be with him and the children.

I just don't have any answers...only possible suggestions. Sometimes professional trainers take the dog to their home and train them for you. This might be the only option you have.

I am terribly sorry that you are facing this horrific decision and that your dear children are placed in this situation...and that Cody Bear is not understanding his place in the pack right now...I hope it will work out well for all of you, but of course...the safety of your children must come first.

I made a quick check on this link: http://www.veterinarypartner.com

This information was interesting to me...there is a possible connection to sudden changes in behavior (for the dog) and possible physical problems:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=1737
 

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I'm sorry but I can't agree with the previous posts. I have raised 4 dogs in my life so far and granted they were all golden's but I don't think this behavior is "normal" puppy play. The fact that he attacked the second boy while you were reprimanding him and taking care of your first sent up big warning flags for me. There are plenty of great dogs out there and it doesn't sound like yours is meant to be around little children. Just my opinion for what its worth but I think your kids faces etc. are way more important that your dog.
 

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sorry to hear your news. It is so hard to tell the difference. Puppies can be a handful, and i had one that was. But as hard as he was to handle as a puppy and how dominant he was he never once broke skin, and would back off when i would correct him. I have seen a young beagle pup that was truely attacking as a pup that ended up being put down so it is possible it is true aggression. It is also possibly just normal puppy behaviour? What scares me is that the puppy sounds like he was not quick to back away. I know how hard it is around here to find a good trainer, so it may not be possible for you, but i would continue to look for a professional trainer to come to your house and spend some time with the pup and kids. ?? ??? I am not much help to you either, sorry.
terri lynn
 

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So sorry to hear about this. I have read all the posts and my heart was sinking. You must have been so scared. I have been in a position where a dog has bite and it's very scary.

Our puppy, Biscuit, is 3 months old and he is also very bitey. I have to watch him all the time with my daughters because he bites. I have put a prong collar on him and he wears it all the time in the house. I give him a correction and he settles right down, but not for long. We took him to puppy kindergarten and we learned a "settle" position. When, Biscuit, is really out of control I use the settle. I also do not leave the dog alone with my kids. And, he's in his kennel a lot. But, I read that he has to be in his kennel unless you are with him supervising him.

I have also purchased training videos from LeerburgKennels.com. They have lots of questions and answers and advice.

Please keep us updated.
 

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It really does stink.
I feel bad for you, and the decision you feel you have to make. I once had to give up a shih tzu puppy, because he was so bitey and aggressive and my mom had just come home from bypass surgery, it just wasn't safe because she couldn't defend herself against him in any way. I gave him to my cousin and he did grow out of it, and is now a wonderful dog, that I still get to visit.
It was so hard, but it showed me that they will grow out of it. I think all the techniques they teach us humans to "stop" the biting behaviour are really just things to keep us occupied, distracted and reading while the pup grows up.
I hope you are able to keep him, but if you feel it is truly a safety issue for the kids, I think you know what you have to do.
But please, whatever you do, don't send him to a shelter. Take the time to find him a good, loving home.
 

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Sorry to hear about the frightening episode with Cody. It is understandable that you are shaken up. It sounds like rough puppy play to me which he could outgrow with training, patience and supervision. The key may also lie in your boys understanding what is approprate play with Cody. Chasing games often do not end well. It is not easy raising children and puppies at the same time. Sometimes I wonder which is harder!

Our last dog, Ollie, a lovable 85 lbs. lab/shepherd, found us when my children were 5 and 2. It was so difficult to get the kids to understand that while Ollie was part of the family, he was not one of them and that there was acceptable and unacceptable behavior around the dog and vice versa for the dog towards the children. It was a sometimes crazy balancing act that turned out to be worth while as he was our loving friend for 9 1/2 years. We still miss him even though we have our little Sawyer Dood who fills us up now!

Hang in there! If you can't get a trainer maybe try some of the great books on dog training and behavior. I like the books by the Monks of New Skete, they have a very common sense approach and information about how to tell the difference between exuberant puppy play vs. serious agression.

I hope for the best for you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the support and advice - things are better...

Thanks to everyone who gave me their support and advice about Cody. Things are getting better and I think it will work out ok. After looking at all our options and talking to our very dog-savy friends we have decided to work with Cody and the boys on this behavior. If I thought Cody was trying to hurt my boys he would already be gone but I really feel that he was playing - too aggressively - but playing. Today I bought a static collar for Cody. I was really nervous about using one on him so I tested myself first - how's that for love. It gets your attention but it is in no way painful - just disturbing. Cody did not like it at all. The one I have is remote controlled and has a tone button and a current button. I pushed the tone then then the current buttons two times on Cody. He was upset and actually peed the floor :cry: I felt very bad about it but here's the upshot. Already, after only two times with the current, I only have to use the tone button. I had the boys sit on the floor. They can NEVER do this because Cody is all over them every time. As usual, he went for my son and started mouthing his head. I pushed the tone button and Cody ran out of the room. To keep from having Cody afraid of us we are giving him lots of treats and love and hugs for good behavior and I'm having the boys sit with Cody on the floor petting him and saying "good boy". So far I've used the tone only on Cody about six times. Each time he stops the behavior. He's a little sulky because he doesn't quite understand and having the collar on makes him nervous. I think he will do much better tomorrow. He's eating just fine and is otherwise normal but a little less engaged. Ideally, I'll never have to use the current on him - only the tone. We're off to a good start. Watching the boys on the floor with Cody just relaxing and not having them scream and get bitten was really a huge relief. I know people have different opinions about static collars but I can tell you - it's letting us keep our dog who we love very much and that's worth it.
Angela
 
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static collars

I know how you feel when it comes to the collar but some of the top trainers (my father in law) swear by them to correct problems such as biting.....I did talk to my father in law and he mentioned that he might be trying to establish an order in the family not wanting to be on the bottom he rough houses hard to show his strenght. It is not an aggressive thing its pretty normal for a male puppy who is healthy and strong. One suggestion he made was never let him eat when others in the house are eating dinner give him his food after everyone is done. This will let him know in a kinder way. In nature the leader gets to eat first so this will be something he will understand....Good luck!!!
 

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I absolutely agree that he's probably trying to establish pack order. The dinner thing is a great idea- you eat before he eats! Go through doors first- in front of him, and making sure you walk in front of him on walks, not behind. The pack leader (you and your kids) always walks in front, always makes the decisions. Make them wait for everything- to go out the door, to get in the car, to eat... these things will teach him that he is not the pack leader. With the kids, I would make sure that he submits to your kids before they touch him. Make it a game- before your kids can pet him, he HAS to lay down. I've never used a static collar before, but in this case, your pup is just too excited to learn that he can't play rough with the kids. I'm glad that you are working to find a solution. Good luck and keep us posted!

Bridget and Summer
 
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