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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As Duke grows up and is building more confidence, I've noticed that he's still very weird around children. We have a few neighborhood kids ages 12+ that will come and pet Duke which he is starting to get used to, but he cannot tolerate smaller children.

A co-worker of mine came to visit yesterday and brought his 6 year old son. Duke freaked out with his growls and barking and ran to hide. We don't have children of our own, and don't have friends with smaller children...so what are some suggestions to help socialize him?
 

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u mad?
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Take him on walks in parks near playgrounds or, if your community is dog friendly, go out to eat at restaurants with patios so you can bring Duke too. This is how I socialized Dreizehn around kids since I don't know any personally.
 

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I took Ruger to a little league baseball game. Initially he barked and even growled at a few of the kids as they ran past. After a short period of time he began letting kids approach him and pet him. By the end of the day he was whining when they would not stop and say hello.
 

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From personal experience, make sure you are not irritated with the kids involved. When my second dobe, back in the early 80’s, was a small puppy, I had a guy doing some mechanical work on a tractor that winter. Long story short it was cold outside and I felt sorry for his wife and kids and invited them in the house while he was working over a period of several days. Kids were irritating the heck out of me with getting into stuff etc, and it went down the leash so to speak on the pup. They were not given the chance to tease the pup but ticking me off nonetheless. He never liked kids! No big deal as I just monitored carefully during the rare times they were around. On all my pups since, I have been very careful to make sure I was in a VERY tolerant mood when doing puppy socialization with children.

Moreover, even with socialization around children as a puppy--unless your dog is around them on a regular basis--watch things very carefully. Rex and Tara have always acted appropriately around kids but since we do not run into kids on a regular basis--I certainly would not bet the farm on it.

Since I am involved with horses too, I take my pups to horse events to locate kids for puppy socialization, as I find those kids are more animal oriented than most to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. Husband and I are thinking about having children in the near future and didn't want to have any repercussions later on. Especially when it involves an infant.

The dog park that we visit on occasion has a lot of other fields with sporting activities going on. Maybe I'll have him sit and watch the kids run around and see if he gets used to them over time.
 

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Just make sure you desensitize, not flood. Meaning if he is upset or reacting, move further away. Go just close enough he is comfortable and playing and/or taking treats. Go as slow as you need to go to get him comfortable. There is no rush.

I think genetic is a huge factor in this also. My oldest Vizsla Gabby wants nothign more than a child of her own to play with. ANY TIME we are near kids she is all over them and gentle (which si rare for her she's normally a pogo stick). But I also socialize the dogs just as much as I can. Gabby's mother and lines were the same way. Flirt is very very very comfortable with kids, her probably more than the kid since her nose comes to their face level. Havoc had the same or more socializing and is good with kids, but not fantastic. Flirt and Gabby are exceptional.
 
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