Our dog Maya, a 2-year old Bali dog, attacked a 6-year-old child this morning who was playing in our yard (his father is our gardener). She jumped up on him, arms on his shoulders, and bit his face and neck. Not a bad bite, but blood was drawn and clearly the kid was scared. The child was not bothering her; he was walking towards me and she jumped on him.
We have seen Maya have similar reactions to children and people who are scared of her when they come to our house. However, she has only sort of growled, lunged and given a warning bite to them (never broken the skin). We leash walk our dogs to the beach and let them run around daily. She has no problem when in public, these incidents only happen in our home or yard. They also happen with no provocation. She just seems to be unsettled by people who are fearful of her and children.
To add to this, my wife is pregnant and due to have our first baby in October. I am really worried about having a child around a dog that is aggressive with children. Maya has never been aggressive with wife or I, nor is she aggressive with anyone who is comfortable around her.
In your opinion, is this a fixable trait? Any tips on training her to not bite children? Is there anything we can do to fix this behavior? We love her a lot and she is a big part of our family. Thanks, Adam
I am sorry to hear about Maya’s latest incident of biting a child. I will be very honest here for the safety of the dog and all involved so that the situation is cleared up for good.
It is wonderful that you brought Maya back from Bali( I am assuming) but what it is sounding like here is that the boundaries for Maya have not been clear and she is taking a fearful role at being leader and then turning it into aggression which is not safe for her or anyone coming to your home.
What is Maya’s previous training? Puppy training? Leash training? What commands does she know and how does she adhere to them? Who leads the walk? How is Maya with other dogs?
In bite cases I always recommend a trainer coming to your home, rather than me giving you advice as they will be able to correct things in a more efficient manner than me telling you in writing and anything being lost in translation.
I am happy to consult with you by phone on locating the best trainer in your area to work with you and I do hope that you chose this road as the short term cost will be well worth the long term gain of having a safe, reliable, respectful being, especially with a new born on the way. And remember Maya is only doing what she has been allowed to so having a positive reinforcement trainer come to you will be the best education for you to see how Maya could be misinterpreting situations.
Wishing you the best with Maya and your newest family member.
Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.
The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine, DogTipper.com, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.