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Discussion Starter #1
We live in the city and when we walk we always meet new people. Of course EVERYONE has to stop and talk to or try to pet the tiny little puppy. Biscuit usually handles it fine. If he "likes" the person and they try to pet him he will happily let them. If he is uneasy he will retreat to between my feet, but with a little encouragement he will lick their fingers (strange) then let them pet him. However, we live in a very family oriented neighborhood and we often encounter children. If it is one or two children he is totally fine with giving kisses and letting them pet him. There is one family a few houses down that has like 6 kids. They are all VERY excited to seem him and want to pet him, but Biscuit gets very overwhelmed with them. He doesn't bark or snap, but he shakes and tries to climb my leg. I don't want to encourage that. So how do I get him to be more comfortable with a larger group of really excited kids wanting his attention? They are all under age of 10 down to age 2ish, loud, and active boys. I cannot avoid them, so I need to come up with a strategy on how to deal with it.

What is you advice and how do I go about taking this from a fear inducing socialization experience to one that he can enjoy and welcomes?
 

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Maybe ask them not to charge at him and explain he gets scared when lots of people gather around him...or..you could give them a ball or a few treats to give him so he wont be so frightened?

My girl is very scared in situations like this when she is out of the house that is...and usually I have to explain to people that she is scared.

Biscuit is still a baby..if he is subjected to the kids many times eventually he will stop trying to hide on you.
 

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Rocky doesn't like children (he got dropped by a child as a puppy when a family considered getting him). So it's always difficult getting kids away from him especially as they seem extra interested when the dog is small. Usually it's enough to tell them that he is scared and doesn't like being pet. He does show this as well when someone comes too close as he will bark then. It's just annoying when some kids won't stop trying to get to him (despite him barking and obviously not wanting it) and the parents don't really care what their kids are doing :/
 

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I usually tell them as they are coming "Easy" and to calm down a bit as my guys are small and can be easily intimidated by all the noise, etc...
 

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Just make sure they are settle themselves down before coming to meet Biscuit and make sure they allow the dog to come to them. Maybe give them some treats to give Biscuit.

There was one time that I brought Stella out and there was about 5 or 6 kids that came charging over to her and all climbing over each other to pet her. Poor girl was so overwhelmed... Even when I told the kids to calm down, they were still shoving their hands in her face for her to sniff. It was a hot mess.

If your neighbors can't settle down, I'd find a some kids that are a little more dog savvy and calmer that can help you socialize, if at all possible. That way he'll be able to get used to kids in a more controlled setting... Then perhaps it'll be a little less overwhelming to him next time you run into the neighbors.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips. It is so important to me to get this part right as we live in a very urban environment and he has to be able to deal with meeting all strangers big and small. I will see if I can get the boys to work with me too on making this scenario not one to be afraid of.
 

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We have a lot of neighborhood kids that just adore Jaxx. It seems like there is always new ones though that want to pet him.

My rule of thumb with kids is they have to sit down if they want to pet him. I have had a few kids early on that almost dropped him so I came up with the rule that they have to sit down. I had tried telling them that the can't pick him up but I found that some of them just didn't listen so sitting down works for me. It also seems to help Jaxx get used to them since they are on his level.

Some of the neighborhood kids have even started telling other kids to sit down if they want to play with Jaxx.

After they are sitting I tell them to let him come to them first and get accustomed to them before they try to pet him.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We have a lot of neighborhood kids that just adore Jaxx. It seems like there is always new ones though that want to pet him.

My rule of thumb with kids is they have to sit down if they want to pet him. I have had a few kids early on that almost dropped him so I came up with the rule that they have to sit down. I had tried telling them that the can't pick him up but I found that some of them just didn't listen so sitting down works for me. It also seems to help Jaxx get used to them since they are on his level.

Some of the neighborhood kids have even started telling other kids to sit down if they want to play with Jaxx.

After they are sitting I tell them to let him come to them first and get accustomed to them before they try to pet him.
I like that plan. I am always very firm on the no one picks him up ever or they cannot play with him, so that's not a problem. It's the climbing and shoving hands in biscuit's face that is the trouble. And their parents areno help.
 

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I tell the kids that it is because they are giants to Jaxx so he will play with them better if they are on his level on the ground. Which is true but in reality I do it for his safety. We have one little stubborn girl in our neighborhood that even though I said no she still picked him up and he was at the end of the leash so she had him in the air before I could stop her. She will get on the ground with him though because I told her if she didn't she couldn't play with him.
 

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I really like the suggestions of getting the kids to sit down (though that's harder to do in the winter) and bringing treats with you. I would get the six kids to sit or stand in a loose circle, with you and Biscuit in the middle, and give them each a handful of tiny treats. Tell them they can each take turns playing 'find it' with Biscuit by dropping a treat down by their feet (or legs if sitting) and asking Biscuit to 'find it'. Then, when they've tossed him all the treats, they can crouch down and hold out their hands, and Biscuit can clean up the crumbs off their fingers. I would just really stress that in order to play the game, you must sit or stand still, let Biscuit come to you (no reaching or grabbing), one child tosses a treat at a time, and you have to let everyone else have a turn before you take another one.
 

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When I did animal encounters at a wildlife park, I always had a "one kid at a time" rule if there was an animal that they could touch, which would be in tune with getting kids to sit down. For smaller kids, I would use a "one finger only" rule when touching to avoid grabbing. I think it's always a great idea for smaller kids to explain how the animal is so tiny and they're so big, and get them to imagine how frightening it would be to have tons of giants around trying to pat their head all at the same time. Haha. It works for snakes and opossums anyway!
 

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I was going to say what smith said. Luckily I don't find I have a problem with Mylo. He absolutely adores children. We often get big groups of kids playing in the street that all want to pet him at the same time but the more excited they are, the more excited he is. I've actually found that kids are more respectful than adults. I've had a few adults pick him up without asking and only one child has ever done that. 99% of the kids we've met Have asked if they can stroke him, or at least if he bites first.

I've found that large groups of kids have automatically sat down in a circle and let him come to them. A few times he's just ended up climbing into the lap of the kids. I take treats with me so I'll often ask if they want to give him a treat and I show them how to ask him to sit, lie down or give paw and that way they all do it one by one because they want him to do something for them.

Let us know how you and biscuit get on with them.
 

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Onyx is not comfortable with very young, loud, grabby children. And you know what? I'm not comfortable with little brats coming around my dog either. Most kids in my area try to pick her up by her ribs, trample her, pinch her ears. Not only do I feel most of the brats are unsafe, but I'm not trying to push my dog's comfort level and have her snap then have her get in trouble over a stupid parent and their brats mistake. So I scare the kids away Lmao! That's right, most kids around here don't dare approach my dog anymore. Haha I'm such an a**

Kids need to be at least like 8 to interact with my dog because I find any younger and they are too stupid to know how to approach a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am loving all of the suggestions. Thank you all so much.

Onyx, I wish I could say no kids, but given I usually have my 7 yr old with me I can't. But with these particular kids I wish I could. Most children are respectful. They naturally go to his level and call to him in some way. These boys, who live 2 houses down, are not like that. And their mom is too overwhelmed to try and stop them. She just stands there and stares.
 

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PS. 99% of the kids he is fine with. It is just this bunch he has an issue
We have two kids like that in our neighborhood. I usually either say sorry we are in a hurry or that Jaxx is not feeling well. It works most of the time.
We have one kid that has tried to run Jaxx over with his bike or with his scooter. I just tell him Jaxx is afraid which is true because Jaxx is afraid of him. I usually put Jaxx into the grass when I see a kid on a bike but this kid will go in the grass to try to hit Jaxx. Now I just pick Jaxx up when I see that kid on anything mobile. The kid has commented a couple times about Jaxx being afraid and I just say yes he is and keep walking.
One of my neighbors told me she tells that kid her dog has worms.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We have two kids like that in our neighborhood. I usually either say sorry we are in a hurry or that Jaxx is not feeling well. It works most of the time.
We have one kid that has tried to run Jaxx over with his bike or with his scooter. I just tell him Jaxx is afraid which is true because Jaxx is afraid of him. I usually put Jaxx into the grass when I see a kid on a bike but this kid will go in the grass to try to hit Jaxx. Now I just pick Jaxx up when I see that kid on anything mobile. The kid has commented a couple times about Jaxx being afraid and I just say yes he is and keep walking.
One of my neighbors told me she tells that kid her dog has worms.
Omg! Poor Jaxx! I would be scared too! And lol over your neighbor and the worms!

I think I have a strategy now to deal with these boys. They are nice kids. Just really wound up all of the time.
 

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We have two kids like that in our neighborhood. I usually either say sorry we are in a hurry or that Jaxx is not feeling well. It works most of the time.
We have one kid that has tried to run Jaxx over with his bike or with his scooter. I just tell him Jaxx is afraid which is true because Jaxx is afraid of him. I usually put Jaxx into the grass when I see a kid on a bike but this kid will go in the grass to try to hit Jaxx. Now I just pick Jaxx up when I see that kid on anything mobile. The kid has commented a couple times about Jaxx being afraid and I just say yes he is and keep walking.
One of my neighbors told me she tells that kid her dog has worms.
THIS is why kids freak me out. IMO, it is down right creepy to know a kid behaves like that. There was a kid just like that in my old neighborhood, always trying to run my dog over with his bike. One kid even threw a soccer ball at her while I was holding her. Needless to say, I chucked that ball right back at the little &?%@. Can't wait till I get a German Shepherd Dog. Let's see how willing little kids are to run up and harm them :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Onyx, you are too funny. I do notice these kids have a lot more respect for the big male Akita that lives between us. I think it is funny. He barks and they scatter. In reality he is a big baby. He and biscuit are best buddies. We often play outside together.
 

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Haha exactly! When I used to have a bigger dog, kids hardly approached her, let alone tried to harass her. Everyone knew not to come in our yard because the rabid dog would get you :laughing9:

She was a big baby too. If anyone just yelled around her or stomped, she would lower her head and tail. Nothing the neighbours needed to know though ;)
 
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