We have a 1 year old Neo Mastiff and 2 girls who are 7 and 8 years old. The dog when outside in the yard with our kids, will sometimes suddenly get excited and run around and eventually move in on the youngest and try to bite at her clothes or on occasion get her mouth on our youngest daughters arm and try to pull her around. She isn't trying to bite her, but due to her size and strength still ends up hurting my daughter, and of course scares her to. Any other time she's pretty good with the kids.
She will also do this thing when I'm commanding her to lay down, because she's getting over rambunctious, that she snaps at me like in the air, not actually trying to make contact, just snapping in the air one after another. I find if I ignore her and walk away it diffuses the situation and she stops.
Anyway have any ideas on why she's acting this way? And what steps can we take to prevent or correct it?
I believe the first thing you describe is based in prey drive...Dogs have instincts to chase moving things, and catch them. Some dogs have this more than others. Screaming kids can certainly turn this on. This I would simply keep the dog and kids seperated when this could happen. I would then take the dog out and try to satisfy these instincts with a game of ball or tug. I would wait a long time doing both of these things till the dog understands that the toys are the game and not the kids.
The other thing, sounds an awful like handler aggression based out of fustration. This is actually more concerning than the kids. Most people see this behavior and think applying discpline is the answer...Some dogs just get worse with this type of response. And if they ever learn that biting you or fighting hard with you will stop the pressure they are recieving and they can get what they want...they will forever do this....and if that does not work for them. They know fighting harder will
I would hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I have seen many dogs that have this tendency and rarley it gets better. Even a friend a mine whom is an accomplished dog trainer took the dog to Ceasar Milan...who refused to take the dog. I have seen many accpomplished dog trainers try many things to remedy this...I have yet to see a successful case.
I am not goig to say all hope is lost. But I would stop provoking the fustartion and find some other means of getting the dog to behave.
And maybe this one of those cases where the dog would be a better fit for someone who does not have children.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."
Ok thats a huge dog and 2 very small kids . it could be prey drive kicking in, I had a GSD that had this problem with kids, the screaming kicked in the drive, she is going after the smaller of the 2 because well she is smaller and her voice is a higher tone...bottom line keep the dog away from the kids and never leave them unattended. As for the problem with you and the dog, your ignoring her and walking away is not diffusing the problem it is letting her win, this does not and is not making anything better. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself and discuss with your family How long have you had the dog? Has this dog had proper training? Are you willing to pay for Profressional Training? Do you understand that handler agression is a very serious problem? Why did you get this breed of dog? will you consider rehoming her and getting a more suitable breed for your family? I have been training dogs(mostly GSD's Rotties,Labs and pits) for 30+ yrs and from reading your post I would consider this a "flagged" dog meaning she could turn on you or your kids and cause serious harm. She is still young enough to be rehomed with a kid free home and hopefuly the handler agression can be reversed, I'm sorry to say I honestly believe this dog is not suited for the safty of your family.
If people were more like animals the world would be a better place...
This is a very large dog when it is full grown. If the behavior continues he will cause serious damage as he gets bigger, stronger and heavier.
Some breeds require a experienced ownr to be properly raised. I think you may have gotten a breed that is too difficult for your situation.
A professional trainer to come into your home and work with you right there is the only true option right now. Though I would put my kids safety first and seek to rehome either back to the breeder (very well that you may be under contract to do so) or a experienced person with no children.