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Thread: Socializing

  1. #1
    Senior Member Become a 4 Paw Member trishkidd24's Avatar
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    Socializing

    Hi everyone. We have been experiencing a new issue with Marg and I wanted to post and see if anyone has suggestions on how to work on this.
    Marg is terrified of children. Marg is 7 months old and I don't think she has ever really been around kids before. My husband and I are newly weds and don't have kids currently, but in a year or so we would like to consider having them, so this is a big issue for us we want to work on now.
    My friend brought her 1 1/2 year old daughter over to visit. She set her down so she could walk around, and marg went nuts! Barking at the baby, growling, kept running from her and then turning around and charging her. I only let this go on for about 5 minutes before I realized Marg wasn't calming down and accepting the baby, so marg had to go outside ....

    Another scenario was with my 10 year old sister. I had Marg in her kennel. My sister came over while I wasn't home and let marg out. They had a blast playing on the floor with toys. When I got home, Marg's whole demeanor changed. She was barking at my sister when she sat down on the floor to play with her some more. (high pitched howling warning bark).
    Is marg being protective? She never barks or growls at adults that are around me? Just confused why she is so apprehensive around kids? What can we do to work on this safely without putting any kids in danger (in case barking turned into biting). She is still so young so I'm sure we can work on this. Just never had this aggressive issue before where I was actually worried about a dog around kids.
    Any training suggestions or insight on what is going on is appreciated!!


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    -- Trish and the Kidd's, Marge, Mac, and Murph

  2. #2
    Senior Member Become a 4 Paw Member trishkidd24's Avatar
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    Re: Socializing

    @Julie Stevenson
    Maybe you have some advice?


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    -- Trish and the Kidd's, Marge, Mac, and Murph

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    Senior Member Become a 4 Paw Member BellaMayBulldog's Avatar
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    Re: Socializing

    I would get her into some classes right away. I am thinking she is being protective, but I would take her to a training class and specifically chat with them about her children fear. At seven months you can def get it under control!!!


    ~ Loving life with our Frenchie

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    Re: Socializing

    Quote Originally Posted by BellaMayBulldog View Post
    I would get her into some classes right away. I am thinking she is being protective, but I would take her to a training class and specifically chat with them about her children fear. At seven months you can def get it under control!!!

    I agree! I do think it will be different with your own baby that Marg sees everyday.


    ~ Loving life with our Frenchie
    Happy New Year! One would think that by now I would automatically make sure I got in the whole quote before responding!
    Last edited by Alice Kable; 12-28-2013 at 01:49 PM.

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    Re: Socializing

    I'm sure she can be trained out of it. Stella is sometimes a total butt to certain people but she doesn't get much exposure to other people (she isn't good with other dogs so we don't take her out and about as much as Tank, he can be trusted to run errands with us )

  6. #6
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    Re: Socializing

    Well the funny thing about it is she played with your sister until you got there so it seems she is trying to protect you. I would take her to places that have children, like petsmart or places like that. Let Marg see them and see how she reacts to them. Don't let her get too close at first until you see how she reacts to them. hopefully she will get used to them and get over this fear she has. Julie should be around soon and may have some better advice on this subject.
    Have a Great Frenchie Day
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    Re: Socializing

    I've experienced something similar with Gidget. My boys are 15 (almost 16) and 12. The 15 yr old is 6' and 200lbs. So, she hasn't been around really small kids either. My niece and nephew have been here (they are 8 and 11) and she has been OK with them - super excited and jumping on them. Back in the spring / summer / fall when the boys were playing sports I would sometimes walk on the greenway. One time Gidget really barked and barked at a little girl (maybe 5?) and kids who came up to her on bikes really freaked her out. Sometimes if we were just sitting in a chair and families would walk by and the kids wanted to pet her she was OK with that. Still a little growly, but she never snapped at any of them. My vet also has children playing sports and was there one time and I mentioned that she seemed to be weirded out by small children and he said that Yes, many times the 'chopped off people' really bothered the dogs. Those were his exact words. I think it's a matter of exposure, same as to other dogs. I would see if your friend is willing to bring her little girl over again and just hold her in her lap while Marg checked her out.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Become a 4 Paw Member trishkidd24's Avatar
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    Re: Socializing

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
    I think we definitely need to get her out and about more for socializing reasons. I know a local group in town that offers obedience classes so I will have to enroll her. I was waiting till she was old enough, they had to be over 7 months old I think. Hopefully that will help some.
    It is just a weird thing... I can tell she is frightened of them, and she is barking out of fear. (little dog trying to act big)... I just think its weird how she only reacts like this to the "chopped off people" (that is funny).... Exposure is probably key and we haven't been doing it enough...
    -- Trish and the Kidd's, Marge, Mac, and Murph

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    Re: Socializing

    Definitely would suggest some sort of training or obedience classes and sooner rather than later and get it nipped in he bud. She's so cute! How can she be naughty?
    Socialize as much as possible.


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    Michelle - Asheville, NC
    Mom to Leo (5/21/2010-3/26/2019)
    Mom to Molly (DOB 8-1-09)

  10. #10
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    Re: Socializing

    Well, I am definitely NOT an expert, but I will tell you a little of my experience. We had an English Mastiff that had fear issues from puppyhood. Some of the things that I learned from this experience: first I would try to comfort (pet, praise, etc) to help her when she was experiencing fear to help her through it-- Big mistake! Unfortunately, I was unknowingly reinforcing her shyness as she took this as praise. I should have really focused on only rewarding her when she was acting brave. One thing that worked for her was to have guests in our home ignore her. Fortunately for us, considering her size, she was never fearful of children, but of most men and occasionally a woman. I think controlling children's behavior (such as having them ignore) is a bit more difficult. For her, barking or growling was an attempt to keep people away. (and it was effective given how large she was). Our dog was quite extreme in the sense that she was scared of soooo many things as a puppy-- and while we did our best at the time, by the time she was one year she completely overpowered me with her strength and I felt overwhelmed. Today, if I had to do it over again, I would socialize, socialize, socialize-- and if I needed more help, I would hire a professional trainer (or two or three!), until I found what worked, because I really believe these things can be turned around! I am sure that given a little guidance, your puppy, with more exposure, will turn out fine! Also, our Frenchie is 6 months old in a week, so we are not far behind you! I have enjoyed your posts on Marg, especially about her being a little hoover vacuum, because we have said the same thing about our little guy! Never, ever with all the dogs we have had in our lives have I ever seen a dog literally suck up everything from the floor in a matter of minutes!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Become a 4 Paw Member trishkidd24's Avatar
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    Re: Socializing

    @HugosMama - Thank you for sharing your experiences... It does help! I currently have a rescue dog who is 3 and afraid of everything!! (literally if the wind blows to hard he is skiddish) So we also work with him on his fears. I guess the only difference is the severity of their fears, Marg seems only startled by children, while my Murphy is petrified of everything.... Ha and thank you for following Marg in my posts... She is a comical little girl and it sounds like your Hugo is as well

    I am signing her up for obedience classes which run for 7 weeks. They not only work on obedience but give tips and pointers on all other things in raising a dog.... Ha I am afraid though, Marg has zero ambition for obedience training... she can sit.... that's about it. Anyone else experience obedience classes with Frenchies? I know Marg is food motivated so that will make it easier to get her interested but Im afraid she wont want to learn any of the basic commands?
    -- Trish and the Kidd's, Marge, Mac, and Murph

  12. #12
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    Re: Socializing

    Quote Originally Posted by trishkidd24 View Post
    @HugosMama - Thank you for sharing your experiences... It does help! I currently have a rescue dog who is 3 and afraid of everything!! (literally if the wind blows to hard he is skiddish) So we also work with him on his fears. I guess the only difference is the severity of their fears, Marg seems only startled by children, while my Murphy is petrified of everything.... Ha and thank you for following Marg in my posts... She is a comical little girl and it sounds like your Hugo is as well

    I am signing her up for obedience classes which run for 7 weeks. They not only work on obedience but give tips and pointers on all other things in raising a dog.... Ha I am afraid though, Marg has zero ambition for obedience training... she can sit.... that's about it. Anyone else experience obedience classes with Frenchies? I know Marg is food motivated so that will make it easier to get her interested but Im afraid she wont want to learn any of the basic commands?
    I have thought about obedience training as well for the bonding experience...as well as training Leo to do some basic commands.... He knows sit, most of the time, but not always, and that is about it...... I can see him learning other words, like hungry, wanna eat, night night, peepee & lulu (for poop)..... I have tried to teach him to shake, with no luck. He seems very food motivated as well, but very tough to train.

    Good luck with little Marge and let us know how it goes. It will hopefully be fun for you both! She's such a little cutie and I just love your avatar photo!
    Michelle - Asheville, NC
    Mom to Leo (5/21/2010-3/26/2019)
    Mom to Molly (DOB 8-1-09)

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