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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My puppy is 14 weeks old. About a week ago, she was laying on the couch almost asleep when my 6 year old went over to her and put his face right next to hers and patted her. She growled at him and he backed away. Today the same thing happened. What's the best way to correct this? She doesn't do it to anyone else - maybe she knows he is the smallest and if she's going to be dominant over anyone, she thinks it could be him? I did the exact same thing he did after he did it, and she didn't growl. I just am not sure what the proper way to handle it is. Thanks in advance.

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Is your son training her? That will help if he is apart of her training. basic things like sit come down shake. He needs to be looked at as if it is you. Humans are in charge, even if they're young.

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Sounds to me like the pup doesn't like being messed with while sleeping, hardly a shocker and usually little kids are too clumsy, pet too hard, too long, not really fun for the dog so that might be why it's only occurring with the kid. Has nothing whatsoever to do with dominance/alpha crap. You can desensitize the dog to being handled while sleeping with treats and being gentle or you can train your kid to get the pup awake before petting. Do not "correct" the growl because that is just the dog communicating and all that does is create a dog who bites without warning as you've taught it to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do feel like it's more than that. She will run up to every other member of the family, tail wagging, excited as anything, when they walk through the door - but not him. She doesn't like when he gets too close. In the past few days I've been trying to include him with everything - I've had him feed her, I've had him give her treats from his hand on multiple occasions. She will tolerate him if he's near but if he gets really close, the ears go back and she's scared, or upset.

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Not being a jerk but sounds like maybe your boy might have messed with her one time when you weren't looking? Continue to do why you're doing. I would start slow and only you do the messing with while sleeping until you feel more comfortable and pups awake like going postal said.

Growling isn't bad in itself, your pup needs its space. Maybe your son never did anything on purpose or tripped over or stepped on his tail. Who knows. I bet he is now nervous though which your pup can also react off of if not 100% comfortable.

Keep up what your doing training wise and good luck let us know how it goes

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ames, thanks - I'm thinking the same, that something happened that we didn't see, or something innocent that upset her very much. I'm hoping that if we continue doing what we're doing then she'll learn that he's good to have around! She will fetch for him when he throws toys, and is ok when just sitting next to each other... I'm hopeful.

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I agree with Going Postal.

I also think it's good general practice to teach children to not stick their face in an animal's face...right along with don't touch the stove and look both ways before you cross the street.
 

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I agree with Going Postal.

I also think it's good general practice to teach children to not stick their face in an animal's face...right along with don't touch the stove and look both ways before you cross the street.
agreed on that.I let my youngest boy do all the feedin,now she listens to him more than me. he lets her out n the am and has her food ready when she gets bac n. gets her n at nite from the kennel and has her food ready then also.guess she's his dog now.lol
 
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