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My German Shephard mix has done something

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Guest Anonymous
I'm not sure of. 3 times now my 2 year old has ran into another room and the dog has ran with her and put her mouth on the child's arm. Kinda like what a dog would do if she were to bite but she's not biting... the first time the baby didn't even know the dog did it. We just seen it and she has done it since then 2 more times. She's just putting her mouth on her arm?

Do you know why she is doing this if the child runs? is she trying to play? or tell the child to stop running?

She seemed a little freaked the first time she seen the girls swining on the swingset too. She seemed to think that that was wrong and almost like she was trying to get them off the swing. She has no aggression towards the kids at all and anytime the 2 year old is around she licks her. So i was kinda confused as to what she is "saying" by doing this? She seems protective of the kids?

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You would be better to discourage the dog in doing this and of course a kid should never be left alone with a dog. The BC bitch Caeli that I am currently training will grab my hand or wrist and hold it even when I am sitting down in a chair. It appears to be a sort of assertive dominance trait and also almost like a reassurance thing. In human terms its like a child holding onto his mum saying that "shes mine" but by holding mums hand he is also reassured that he actually belongs to mum. with Caeli it seems to be the same. She only does this with me and she has been living with her owners for 5 years but doesn't hold great respect for them.

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There are some breeds that are very "mouthy".
My Lab/Rott Gretchen is very mouthy and likes to use her mouth in play with me.......grabbing my hand or forearm. She never hurts me or clamps down hard though......although, if I were a small child it might hurt being as they are more sensitive.
To me it doesn't sound like the pup is trying to hurt your child but I would still discourage this behaviour with the pup and redirect her with a chew toy. :wink:

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i would redirect it too...but it also sounds to me like part of the dog's herding drive since it happens when the child is moving away from her, or on the swings? if she really needs something to herd, they have these oversized (beach-ball sized!) tennis balls at toy stores which my elkie thinks is a gift from heaven! or you could buy her sheep... :D

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I agree that it sounds like predatory/herding behavior. Don't allow your dog to be placed in a situation where her predatory instincts can threaten the life of another human, especially a child. When your children are playing and screaming and running, its best not to allow your dog to be playing with them until you have taught her to redirect her predatory drive towards play objects. You will require the help of a good behaviorist who practices positive training methods only.
Practice training exercises that will specifically address the chase behavior challenges that your dog is likely to present to you, giver her plenty of outlets for the predatory behavior. Plenty of chase and fetch, and teach your dog "off" or "drop it" and "take it". This will teach the dog that you control the toys, which go into the dog

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Cassie is correct. My Lab has predatory drift (where it came from I have no clue, but her tail speaks of Shepherd) and she will stalk chase and kill critters in the yard. This behavior towards a child MUST be discouraged.
Even a herder will nip the sheep, on the hocks, which doesnt hurt them but will hurt a child. Come up with a command (mine was always NO BITE with the lab, even tho she wasnt really biting) and replace the target with an allowed chew/bite toy. then praise.with time she'll get the point.

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