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When to Phone the Shelter for Advice

Sue Sternberg

  • Any signs of physical rough play from the dog towards the child
  • Any signs of displays of rough, physical strength from the dog towards the child
  • Any growling (even during play)
  • Any snapping or nipping
  • Any humping or mounting of the child OR adults
  • Any avoidance or resentment of physical contact (dog backs off or leaves room when child hugs or pets or gets close to your dog.)
  • Any signs the dog is afraid of the child (your dog backs away or tries to escape when the child appears or gets close.)
  • Your dog seems “jealous” of intimacy or physical affection between parents or especially between child and parent (the dog barks or cuts in between people during intimacy.)
  • Any signs the dog is guarding his food bowl, his bones, his toys, or “stolen” items (dog may tense up, freeze, stiffen, growl, snap, show his teeth, snarl, or just give a ‘hairy eyeball’ to anyone approaching or coming to near his item.
  • Your dog seems out of control or disobedient and “wild” with children who are playing or running around.
When to Phone the Shelter for Advice


It is important that your dog truly adore, worship and almost PREFER children to adults. This is because no matter how well behaved and gentle your child is, there will come a time when a child will push a dog to his limits – push the dog past his tolerance threshold. A dog who starts out with a huge buffer of love, affection and adoration of children is apt to tolerate much more before reaching that threshold. Likewise, a well-behaved, well-supervised, gentle child is less apt to push a dog to his limits.

During the first few days and weeks of the adoption, you should be vigilant and very observant of the developing relationship between your child/children and your new dog.

Your shelter or rescue group can help prevent, thwart, re-direct many potential problems IF THEY HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON AS YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR SUSPECT A PROBLEM.

Courtesy of
Rondout Valley Kennels, Inc.

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