Author Topic: need help... children and big dogs???  (Read 7972 times)

Offline Kermit

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need help... children and big dogs???
« on: June 21, 2006, 02:38:41 pm »
I have some questions for all you skinkid parents out there... I know a lot of you guys have huge dogs and little kids. How do you make it work? Is there maybe a thread on this topic somewhere? Or some kind of information source? I don't have any kids, and there aren't any who come over to my house to visit, so I have no experience on the subject. In fact, the only "experience" I have had was when my sister had kids and she gave up her 2 large dogs. She didn't even try to make it work, she was going to take one to the pound >:( (I ended up with him of course) and the other one she gave to a neighbor. :(

The reason I am asking is that we have had some people interested in adopting Samson, and they have little kids. I don't even know what to tell them. He's a really calm dog, and I think he could get used to kids, but I don't think I am capable of educating anyone about how to keep a Great Dane and children together safely in the home. 'Cause I sure don't want him to end up as a yard dog. That's not gonna happen.

Can anyone give me some tips or point me in the right direction? (And who knows, I may end up using the information myself someday but not any time soon!!! ;))

SA_horses

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2006, 03:10:30 pm »
Okay, I'm, of course, not a parent, but two of my sisters are still little (20 months and 3 years).

First, how little are the children?¬  If they are over four, I think it is mostly a matter of educating the children to behave around the dog (i.e., not to run around screaming, not to disturb the dog when it is asleep or eating, not to pull on it in any way), which would be especially important at first while the dog is adjusting to the new home and the children.¬  I really like these ten tips (http://www.leerburg.com/kidbites.htm):

Quote
1. NEVER disturb any dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.

2. NEVER pet a dog, even your own, without letting him see and sniff you first.

3. Children must always ASK PERMISSION from the owner and their parents BEFORE petting any dog. I never allowed my children near strange dogs much less pet them.

4. If the owner cannot control the dog and have it SIT nicely for the child to pet, WALK AWAY

5. NEVER approach a dog who is confined behind a fence, within a car, or on a chain.

6. NEVER TEASE any dog by poking at them through fences or car windows or reaching your arm through to pet them.

7. NEVER approach a strange dog you don't know or a dog who is not with his owner.

8. NEVER RUN away from a dog that is chasing you. STOP, STAND STILL, REMAIN CALM, ARMS AT YOUR SIDES, be quiet and DO NOT SCREAM. Walk away SLOWLY FACING THE DOG BUT NOT STARING AT its eyes


9. If a dog attacks, "feed" him your jacket, a school book, a bicycle, or anything else that you can get between you and the dog.


10. If you are attacked, STOP, CURL UP IN A BALL LIKE A TURTLE, COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR ARMS AND HANDS

Numbers 1 and 2 would be especially applicable here.

Now, if there are toddlers, then the dog has to learn about children and become accustomed to them.¬  They can be really annoying to dogs, with the noise and the occasional tugging at fur, ears, tail, or whatever which sometimes occurs even when the dog and child(ren) are being carefully supervised.

Has Samson ever been around small children outside your home?¬  If not, maybe you should consider taking him out to a place where he can safely be exposed to them.¬  If he is fairly comfortable with them around, have the little kids command him to do a down, if possible, and then give him lots of treats.¬  He'll need to realize that little kids have to be respected (the reason a down would be good) but that they bring VERY good things (that's what the treats are for).¬  If he is scared or nervous, then just reward him whenever little kids are close by and he is acting brave.¬  Also, if he is afraid of children, only have well-behaved children visit him, ones that wouldn't ever pull on him or scream around him.¬  That way he can realize that the children aren't hurting him and that he gets good things when they are around.¬  Our two big dogs love my youngest sister because she is a "treat machine" and loves sharing her food, although this is much to our dismay!¬  (I'll state the obvious here, just in case someone else later stumbles upon this thread.¬  When you are training with treats, be sure to accordingly reduce the food the dog gets at meals.)

Also, I think that before adopting him out to a home where some of the children are little, he ought to meet the whole family somewhere, maybe a park where dogs are allowed on leash.¬  If he cannot deal with meeting them when you are around, that is a pretty good indication, IMO, that they are not the right family for Samson.

Anyway, I hope this helps.¬  It is just my opinion, as always.¬  Hopefully others can give you some better advice.

Sofia

Offline Love My Emmee

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2006, 04:03:03 pm »
Ok...Something maybe I am qualified to talk about!!!  LOL...

We added Emmee to our home when she was 10 months old.  First we meet with her alone, then we meet with our 18 month old son. 

Mathai was intimidated for some time, just by the size of Emmee, she would come trotting into the room and he would instantly put his hands up...I'm not sure if it was becuase of her big nose or her tail.  He has adjusted well, we just have to remember that Emmee is still a VERY clumsy puppy, and accidental bumps happen.  We keep him away from her when she is eating, feeding her before he gets up and again after he goes to sleep.  The biggest problem is that he likes to play in her water bowel!!!

We NEVER allow her to rough-house or run inside!!!  And we NEVER allow her to bite in play!!!  These are very important as you well know with large breeds. 

I think if you share your knowledge about the breed in itself, and have any perspective adoptive families with children meet in a park to get a feel of the interaction and a feeling of how Sampson tolerates the children, you will do well.

Good Luck!!!!
Heather, NH
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Gypsy Jazmine

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2006, 08:35:56 pm »
I'd fully agree with Tina...Have the potential adopters over with their kids to see how they all interact with Samson...I'd actually ask them to come more than once so you can sit back & think on the first meeting & then reevaluate the 2nd time...Don't rely strictly on their interaction with Samson but how they interact with each other & their parents too...Get the big picture!...Do they have a child who is defiant & may not heed their advise in relating with samson once he is in their home?...Do they have a child who disrespects the parents authority who may very well disrespect Samson once he is there...Or, worst yet, blatantly go against his/her parents orders on how to act with Samson & push his buttons to see what happens...Bad news!...Maybe I am too anal but I think all it is important not just to see how they act with Samson but towards their parents & each other...Good luck!

Offline stryder

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2006, 09:24:27 pm »
If the parents are "dog savy" and control both the dog and the kid or kids the addition of a big paw can be a joy. If the adults want a "decoration" then all bets are off. It boils down to respect, the dog's needs for a place to get away if needed and the child's understanding that it is not a stuffed toy.
We raised two kids after we got 3 dogs (all adults). My daughter's first ten words included a low growl when she didn't want to do something.
Good Luck
THoM
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Neuter before he runs away.

Gypsy Jazmine

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2006, 12:00:01 pm »
My daughter's first ten words included a low growl when she didn't want to do something.
Good Luck
THoM
LOL!...That's great!...I've caught my kids chewing on the dogs rope toys with them but my kids are 7 & 9. :-\ :D

Offline AC

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2006, 12:15:49 pm »
My daughter's first ten words included a low growl when she didn't want to do something.
Good Luck
THoM
LOL!...That's great!...I've caught my kids chewing on the dogs rope toys with them but my kids are 7 & 9. :-\ :D

LOL, my 1 year old daughter barks at the door when she sees Angus. I think they understand each other!!

Offline Kermit

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2006, 12:16:15 pm »
Thanks for all the great advice, everyone. :)

I actually haven't heard back from the woman, so I may have scared her off when I told her that without supervision, Sammy could easily knock over a kid. Shoot, he's knocked me over before. :D Her kids are 2 and 7 and I am not sure whether they had ever been around dogs or not, she didn't give me much history. She just said they want a Great Dane.

We'll see if she writes me back today!

Offline NoDogNow

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2006, 01:24:28 pm »
Quote
Sammy could easily knock over a kid

Good Grief! Would that really deter someone who sincerely wanted a dog?

I saw a mother knock TWO of her kids over with her purse just last night at Von's! Does that mean her kids don't need a mom?? ;D  ;D  ;D

I mean, there are issues, and there are issues, don't you think?  Little kids get knocked down (or fall over on their own!) all the time.  It's why God made their butts so close to the ground, so it wouldn't jar them as much when they fell over!
Sheryl, Dogless and sad

Offline cataria

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2006, 08:51:36 pm »
I'm not a good one to comment on this thread...I used to put my toddler son in the x-pen at dog shows.... Seriously, lots of good advice here.¬  I do believe the key is obedience training the child and the dog.¬ 
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Icerotti

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2006, 09:06:56 pm »
 I found that teaching the child to respect the dog was very important. We  had two rottis when Lexi was born so it was a bit different situation. The one female didn't like to be approached fast..so we taught my daughter to ask us first before she pet Katie so we could supervise. I think everyone else gave really great advise.

 I found that teaching the kids basic obedience commands even at 2 was a great benefit. It was something to see a 135 pd rotti listen to a 2 year put him in a down. I think some of Lexis first words were sit, down and stay....lol ;)

Gypsy Jazmine

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2006, 09:28:21 pm »
Thanks for all the great advice, everyone. :)

I actually haven't heard back from the woman, so I may have scared her off when I told her that without supervision, Sammy could easily knock over a kid.
Better to disclose the good, bad & the ugly anyway...That way you can see if they are prepared for the dog...I know what you mean though...I went to check up on Chester, a Great Pyr/Bullmastiff, at our HS the other day & a very nice lady & her daughter were looking at him...Kim (HS worker) told her I had Pyr & might beable to give her some insight & I told it all...the whole time hoping I wasn't scaring her away...I did make mention several times that I didn't know if Chester took more after the Pyr or Bullmastiff & I wasn't well versed on the Bullmastiff... They didn't end up taking Chester & I hope it wasn't because of me. :(

Offline mixedupdog

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2006, 10:17:24 pm »
How old is Samson? How does he react to other new/scary things?  I've had Danes that weren't raised or socialized with kids that I wouldn't trust around a little person, and then I've had others that were just fine. Stanley was my son's babysitter, we got him when Levi was a toddler, and he was the most patient, kind friend a child could ever have. Stan was just about 2 at the time, his people didn't have kids, but they let him run loose and he spent his days at the elementary school up the street, playing with all the children. Stanley's belly was above Levi's head, and one day he reached up and grabbed Stanley by the "family jewels" and said "Back up Stanney, I can't see the TV". What did Stanley do? Backed up, of course. Stanley would grab Levi where the straps on the back of his overalls crossed and pick him up and turn him around... so the boy wouldn't wander out the front door, or go places in the yard (like near the bee's nest). Levi would reach up and grab Stan wherever he could get a hold, collar, ear, handful of skin, and pull on him, "lay down Stanney" and then lay on top of him for his TV sofa.  But before we got Stanley we had gone to look at a female the same age, and the whole time we were there she kept holding her head stiffly to one side, and eyeing Levi like he was a monster- not a dog I'd try to place in a home with little ones. You have to remember that there's only so much you can dog-proof a toddler, they are going to do things that they shouldn't, with really little ones the dog needs to be the one that's extra tolerant. Unfair, but true.
Bottom line is to set up a meet in a neutral place and take your cue from Samson, if it seems ok then meet again at their house and see how both he and the kids handle it.

Offline Kermit

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2006, 10:45:47 pm »
I should step in now and say- Samson has been adopted! ;D

He was just adopted last weekend by a WONDERFUL single woman who incidentally has no children. I have been getting constant updates and she loves Sammy and boy does Sammy love her!!! :D


THANK YOU so much for everyone's help and wonderful words of advice. I will definitely be prepared for next time this situation comes up!!! ;D ;D ;D

Gypsy Jazmine

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Re: need help... children and big dogs???
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2006, 10:53:26 pm »
I should step in now and say- Samson has been adopted! ;D

He was just adopted last weekend by a WONDERFUL single woman who incidentally has no children. I have been getting constant updates and she loves Sammy and boy does Sammy love her!!! :D


THANK YOU so much for everyone's help and wonderful words of advice. I will definitely be prepared for next time this situation comes up!!! ;D ;D ;D
Yay for Samson!!!!!!!!!!!...Another happy ending!!!...Keep up the good work Rebekah!! :-*