If your canine does not like kids, counter-conditioning, desensitization, and other training methods can help him feel more comfortable in the presence of children.
Kids and dogs typically form wonderful relationships. However some pets are uncomfortable around kids and might respond with worry. They may walk away, hide, or bark and lunge at kids. Why is that? Certainly, a pet dog that was taunted or teased by children in the past is most likely to remember this experience and type unfavorable associations with kids. But often, a pet’s discomfort around kids comes from the lack of exposure to them during puppyhood. Here’s what to do if your own pet dog reacts negatively towards children.
1. Change the method your pet dog feels about kids
We can change our dog’s unfavorable sensations toward something and develop brand-new positive associations by rewarding her (e.g. with food) when the fear trigger (i.e. a child) appears. This technique is called “counter-conditioning”. As soon as your canine looks towards the child, rapidly feed her a number of bite-sized treats and continue to do so as long as the child remains in sight. When the kid is no longer in sight, the rewards stop. Your pet does not need to perform any behavior in order to be rewarded. You are just teaching her that when a kid appears, wonderful things take place: she gets yummy deals with.
It is important to start at the distance at which your dog notifications the kid however does not react. This indicates you are keeping her under her “tension management limit”. This distance differs from dog to pet; it can be anywhere from a couple of feet to an entire block far from the kid. Over time, slowly decrease the range at a speed that your dog can deal with. You may likewise add an expression to prepare your dog. In a happy tone, state: “Look, there’s a kid.” When your pet dog takes a look at the child, give her a reward. Eventually, she may seek to the kid and then right away turn to you. When this happens, praise and reward her enthusiastically due to the fact that this is the habits you want. You will require to apply the counter-conditioning method regularly over an extended period, so carry treats with you whenever you take your dog out.
If your pet is uneasy around rambunctious kids but gets along as long as they are calm, a quite kid can assist you with counter-conditioning. Provided it is safe to do, and under your guidance, the kid can feed your pet dog treats, reward her for carrying out a basic habits that she understands (e.g. sit), or carefully pet her as long as your pet enjoys it. The child must be mature enough to follow guidelines. Keep interactions short and favorable.
If you require assistance or encounter any issues, seek the assistance of a professional favorable reinforcement trainer.