Need ideas for protective dogs good w/ kids please!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by EgyptStarr, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. EgyptStarr

    EgyptStarr New Member


    Hey, All!

    I have heard 2 very different things about Chows: I've heard that they have a volatile nature just like pit bulls and should never be around kids, then I've also heard that they're very loving and protective dogs that are GREAT with kids! What do any of you know about this???

    The BEST dog I ever had was a Chow-lab mix. He was VERY intelligent, a GREAT dog in general (very well-behaved) and EXTREMELY protective of me, especially when I was pregnant! FEW people were even allowed NEAR me! He would literally SIT ON MY FEET and WATCH everyone else, almost daring them to get too close! He was rarely around kids, though, so I don't have much to go on there.

    Now a stray (or more likely, a "dumped dog") has shown up on our doorstep and she resembles a Chow very strongly, except she doesn't have the curly tail. Hers is bushy, but straighter than any Chow I've ever seen. She has the THICK coat, though, she's all red with a black snout, and she's just about the size of a Chow. She's almost certainly still pretty young, judging by her character. She's very hyper and happy all the time, chews on everything in sight, and she doesn't just wag her tail; she wags her whole body! She's also very eager-to-please. We have kept her strictly outside, because we have cats inside, and don't want an indoor dog anyway. (We are getting her a doghouse soon to make her more comfotable in winter, but Oklahoma winters usually aren't very bad anyway.)

    My only problem: I have a 3-yr-old daughter (Aislyn) who Red (the dog) seems to enjoy, but she has a problem with jumping up on Aislyn and "nipping" her. Red doesn't do this to me or my fiance', just Aislyn. She seems to be just playing; her tail (and body) never stop wagging, but she just jumps up, like many dogs do when they play, and.... I can't really say that she BITES Aislyn...... it's more like..... nipping. She basically pinches Aislyn with her teeth. Does anyone understand this? Aislyn has not been seriously hurt. Red has never drawn blood or left a mark, and Aislyn doesn't cry, but she sure voices her displeasure! "MOM! Red BIT me!" When we catch this (and of course, we watch VERY closely), Red gets a swat on her rump and a stern "NO!", then she cowers down and tries to chill out. Notice I said she "tries". This dog is SO hyper! Does all this seem to be just regular puppy stuff, or should I be concerned about the rumor that Chows don't get along with children? I don't want to keep the dog if there's a good chance that she may one day attack my daughter!

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!!!

    [This Message was Edited on 11/14/2005]
    [This Message was Edited on 11/20/2005]
  2. Alyndra

    Alyndra New Member

    I was around when she got them as pups, and for 4 years they were such a loveable pair of dogs I wanted to take them home with me!

    Until the day I opened the gate to let them into the backyard (like I did every day) and they both attacked.

    While I was trying to get loose from the one biting my leg, the other one came up and bit my arm. I ended up with a total of 42 stitches and both dogs were court ordered to be put down. Seems my friend didn't tell me that the dogs had attacked 2 other people already and this was their final chance.

    Unfortunately Chow's are EXTREMELY volitile, and from personal experience I wouldn't recommend having one at all - nevermind around a child!


  3. buddylee

    buddylee New Member

    with a pug
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I would not have one around a young child. They can be very aggressive and they have the same type of jaws which the Pit Bulls have. Then can lock them down on something, or someone, and they will not let go.

    They can also be very sweet and loving. Martha Stewart's old Chow, Paw Paw, is very docile and gets along great with her cats. My neighbors had a chow who was loving and got along great with my own cat.

    Still, they have a very strong hunter streak and when they are playing, that instinct can turn deadly. Once that is turned on, they will go for a kill.

    I love Pit Bulls, as well as Chows, and my daughter had two Chow/Pit Bull mix dogs. They were beautiful but they were never allowed around other animals or children.

    People will say that if any breed is socialized and trained properly, they are safe. All the socializing and training cannot overcome instinct in certain situations with certain breeds. Many claim to have these breeds and never had a problem with them. That's true, but one cannot count on some breeds, especially around children and other pets. Better to be safe than sorry.

    Where children are concerned, it is better to select a less volitile breed.

    Love, Mikie
  5. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    I am a firm believer that it isn't necessarily that any breed is more "volatile" than another, but that they are bred or raised that way. Any dog can be dangerous if raised to be that way.

    I have a smaller chow mix and a larger terrier mix. Both get along great. The terrier was extremely hyper until he reached about age 6 and would jump on people and nip at them all the time (trying to play with them). The chow is a great dog who is quiet and docile, but protective in a good way. He hates violence and if someone is trying to hit me (even in playing) he will become upset and protect me. However, I rescued him from the pound when he was about 3 and believe that he was abused by his former owners. It took a long time for him to trust any men and to not cower at the slightest fast movement (which he thought would be violent towards him).

    So, my point is that you don't know the dogs past and she may have suffered some cruelty. She sounds like a hyper puppy and this behavior may change with age or if she gets "fixed". There are lots of variables. I would suggest talking with a vet about the behavior and see what they have to say. However, I don't think the dog is dangerous just because it may be a Chow mix.
  6. louiesgirl2

    louiesgirl2 New Member

    I had 4 for 16 years. My male gave what we lovingly called buddy bites. It was almost like he was pinching, however, never broke skin or hurt us, or anyone for that matter. Seems it was his way of showing love while playing with us. He was neutered as a puppy. He came from a home that fed him raw meat and never groomed him. Of the 4 we had, his 3 sisters and him, he was the most gentle dog I ever had.

    I now have a chow, shephard, border collie mix. She is 17 months old and things I am her chew toy. Puppies tend to do that, so she is being trained. She was left by a dumpster at 2 months and I rescued her.

    So, I hope that helps. I agree with one of the responders that you do not know the history of this dog. Watch him, if he becomes too too agressive you may have to get rid of him.
  7. Bailey-smom

    Bailey-smom New Member

    We breed dogs and would never allow a dog at our home that would knock our children over or that we would have to worry about. I guess I would worry just for the fact of you do not know how that dog has been raised (Chow or not) and why someone would just drop them off or not be looking for them.

    I would atleast make sure you took the dog to training classes like suggested above - all dogs should be taught the basics anyway. And use your common sense - if you have to worry about your children do you want that animal at your home?

    We do not know the dog - in your heart you know. Good luck!

  8. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    I raise pit bulls.. they have been around my daughter since she was 4.. she is now 15. They are so protective of her it's not even funny.. they are big lap dogs where she is conserned.. however.. I won't let them near my grandbabies.. they haven't been raised by them. They seem nervous around them. When the grandbabies are here the dogs are banished to the back yard and garage.
    Now.. trying to get house insurance with pits isn't easy.. I had to get a dog exclusion to get insurance. Chows are on the list of uninsurable dogs..
    Good luck!
  9. EgyptStarr

    EgyptStarr New Member

    Red is gone.... Not sure if it was the landlord who took her, but it probably was. Any suggestions for a breed that would be gentle with kids, even-tempered and protective? My daughter will be taught not to hit, pull ears, tail, etc., just as the dog will be housebroken and given some basic obedience lessons (I don't have to take classes for that; I've taken several dogs through the classes in the past, so I know how to do it.)

    Anyway, was just looking for some ideas for the future. We can't get another dog right away, but as soon as we can, I wanted to have some ideas for good dog breeds for kids.

    Thanks again!

    [This Message was Edited on 11/20/2005]
  10. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    i had a black lab when my oldest kids were little that was just great.. Also had a great golden retriever when the kids were little.. Both protective but loving to my girls.
    We had shelties when I was a kid and they loved us!
    All breeds have their good and bad though and I would get to know the dog before you leave your daughter unsupervised.
    Good luck!
  11. victoria

    victoria New Member

    over past 22 years, usually 6-7 at a time, none of them were indoor dogs 99% of the time, but they got along with the kids just fine.

    When my daughter was born, I ws worried since we had a pit, but since he'd been raised around our neighbors' kids since a pup he was just fine with her too. In fact none of the dogs except a Great Dane never even nipped in play... we'd also had a rotweiler, chow, spaniel, collie-/shepherd mix, Gr. Pyrenees, labs, and unknown mixes.

    I think part was the fact they were outside and not allowed in, and the kids were... sorta set up a pecking order to start I guess. We did minimal training with most.

    The only dog I was afraid of actually was a Bouvier who was too hyper, but not because I was afraid of him hurting one of the kids, but me - he was a very serious dog and didn't understand me playing with the kids like chasing them and stuff, he would actually give me nips that didn't break the skin but as a warning... BTW he's the only one I took to obedience classes, even the trainer had difficulty at first getting him to respond due to nervousness/hyperness...

    I finally had to put him down as i was worried he might misunderstand one of our kids roughousing with a friend or something.

    So I agree with Nancy/Mysticbrit's answer to take him to training --

    -- and also if you get the channel (thin it's Nat'l Geo or Animal Planet) watch the show 'dog whisperer', Cesar Milan; he also has just put out a DVD on his methods, you can find it at amazon ... his methods work quite well.

    (The "trademark' for him is a video clip of him having about 10 dogs on leashes in each hand (so total is about 20 dogs), mostly pits and rotties, pulling him on his rollerblades and all cooperating with each other and him. People literally stop in the tracks in amazement to watch. All he has to do is look at one of his dogs who misbehaves, and they roll over... all were rescued from pounds and people who couldn't control them. And he uses no physical violence.

    RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BREEDS: I'd get one that has a laid back characteristic... GR. PYRENEES are great, they were bred to think they were sheep to stay with them to protect from wolves, but can be stubborn so they do need training; LABRADORS are usually great with kids; so are SPRINGER SPANIELS, all ours ever wanted was someone to throw the ball for him... well, that went for the pit too tho, LOL.

    Good luck, so much depends on the individual personality of the dog itself in the end really. This little chow mix you have sounds like a cutie, you might want to have a professional trainer come to your house to help and evaluate?

    all the best,
    [This Message was Edited on 11/14/2005]
  12. jennypee

    jennypee New Member

    I love chows-- we had 4 of them at different times while I was growing up, which means all of them were around small children all the time. We had one time where our first chow bit a neighbor girl. No one saw it and she didn't have a mark, but the kid didn't seem like she'd lie.

    Still, I think I'd recommend a different breed for small kids. Labs are really sweet tempered and nurturing. Both labs I've had were male and loved baby kitties! They'd cuddle and let the kitties climb on them and bite them.

    Hahaha! I just remembered, my mom told me that we had a pet goat when I was around 2, and the goat would herd me back to the house if I tried to wander far. I still don't know if I believe it, but mom insisted it was true.
  13. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    Whatever you do, please don't end an innocent dog's life just because of behavioral issues. (Just the thought makes my blood boil.) We wouldn't tolerate anyone killing their child because the child didn't behave the way they wanted him/her to would we?

    If you do decide to get rid of Red, I guarantee that there are rescue groups, no-kill animal sanctuaries or humane societies in your area that would be happy to find Red a great new home or that can help Red deal with her behavior issues.

    Thanks and I hope you find a suitable companion for your daughter. How about a good ol' mutt! They have always been the best behaved dogs I've ever had and they don't seem to inherit the health and genetic problems that pure breeds do.

  14. vp

    vp New Member

    I have favorite breeds, but like them all, well most of them, not a big fan of any of the "pocket sized" breeds. Seems to me a dog should be at least as big as a cat. I really want a Bernese Mountain Dog.

    Anyway, I don't believe a certain breed is destined to be dangerous. It is all in individual personality and training. At the same time, larger breeds have alot more power to their advantage if they do behave badly. I would recommend a training program with a professional. Alot of times they can see potential personality problems and recommend that a dog be allowed around children, other dogs, cats, etc. or not.

    Make sure she gets lots of exercise, that should help a little with the hyperactivity. Are there any dog parks near you? I take Baxter as much as I can, it's a great social experience for him and I love it there. There is one chow that I know of there and she is such a cuddly little teddy bear, so sweet. I could go on and on about this place, it is the one thing I look forward to.

    I would also check with your homeowners insurance. As someone else mentioned chows are on the dangerous breed list along with pit-bulls, rotts, dobies, and a few others I can't remember. With my homeowners I can't have a mix including any of the "bad breeds". My pup is officially a "spaniel mix" even though the card on the front of the cage said rott mix when I adopted him at 7 weeks old. He's probably mostly beagle and shepherd (we think)

    As long as she is not referred to a chow mix in writing anywhere (vet, license), it would be hard to prove what mix she really is if you had to.

    Good luck with her, she sounds beautiful.
  15. ldbgcoleman

    ldbgcoleman New Member

    I am a huge dog lover and I Agree with theposter who said alot of it is the way a dog was raised. However my son was attacked buy a chow and ended up with 42 stitches some in two layers. He was taking care of his freinds chow when the family was out of town. He was around the dog alot before that happened. He went in to feed the dog and it attatcked him. It was horrible. I think it is not only the way this particular dog was raised but his breeding background. He was a family pet for 8 years before this incident and had never bitten anyone.

    I vote for a retriever or lab mix. These dogs have a big bark and will scare away the bad guys but will be very docile with children. It is just not worth the risk! Kudos for rescuing strays! lYNN
  16. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    Personally I dont see the point in owning a dog if its going to be left outside. Dogs are very social creatures and love being around people. I always feel sorry for dogs left alone outside .
  17. EgyptStarr

    EgyptStarr New Member

    Thanks again to everyone who responded! All the input really helps! Number one, I had completely forgotten about Great Pyrenees dogs until someone mentioned them; I had one once and also saw a show about them AND had a friend who had one; they are GREAT with kids! Very docile, calm, sweet, and protective! So IF I decide to get another dog, I think that will be the one!

    BUT..... I also agree with the two or three people who posted saying that we shouldn't even have a dog if it can't come inside. I think those people are right about the dog needing companionship and social skills in order to be the kind of dog for Aislyn that I want. So I may not get a dog at all, because my fiance' is a cat lover and we have SEVERAL cats; some inside and some outside...... ALL strays and/or offspring of strays! And he wouldn't want to add a dog to our already full house of kitties! We've discussed it briefly, and the only dog he has even considered for me (and even this idea was very short-lived), was a Pomeranian, because they're very small (like a cat), and I LOVE Poms!

    My landlord is taking Red away tomorrow (my neighbor told me). I had already decided to try to find another home for her, but there's no time for that now. He's taking her away because we don't have a fenced yard to keep her in, and I hate the idea of chaining her. She was going into the neighbors' yards and causing mischief; carrying trash into their yards and getting underfoot. She just wanted to "belong" to everybody! I was planning to fence the yard if I kept her, and will do so before I get another dog.

    As a quick answer to one person's post: I would not have had her put down. I think that animals should only be put down in extreme situations, like incurable, painful health problem in the animal, or an extremely vicious/violent/dangerous dog that had a record of attacking people and was just beyond help. I don't judge anyone who has a dog put down, either, though. People who do that USUALLY (not always) have a good reason for it. If it was a behavior issue only or laziness on the part of the owner, they usually either find another home for the dog or "dump" it somewhere, like I think Red's previous owners did to her. People don't have dogs put down if they don't care about the dog; it costs money. If they don't care about what's best for the dog and everyone involved, they don't want to spend money on it! They'll get rid of it in some way that's "free".

    Anyway, thanks again to everyone and I hope you all have a great week!

  18. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    That's a miniature collie....He used tp let my son ride him when he was 3
  19. kimkane

    kimkane New Member

    I have been an animal handler just about all my life.

    Some posters have really had good ideas, and things you should consider.

    However, may I ask why not an inside dog? I had 128 dogs at one time, ( I had my own rescue), 27 cats, 1 Emu, 1 potbelly pig. Not to mention the racoons etc.

    My dogs per say we---great dane, bouvier, rot, cockapoo's.

    Dogs can and will get along with cats if done the right way. Inside dogs tend to be calmer, because they are not left outside and get lonely.

    I always have my animal be a functioning family member. I was always the alpha and they knew it.

    If you do decide to keep the dog outside, ( i hope you don't) I would suggest not getting one that needs to have their hair cut. These kind of dogs tend to get straw, wood chips etc, inbedded in their hair.

    Also these breeds when they get wet because it is hair not fur, they stay wet longer. Add straw and matting and you have a mess on your hands. It is very unhealthy for the dog.

    Please use frontline or something in that line for fleas and ticks. Also you have to do heart worm test. I had a rescue dog that died in my arms from un-treated severe heart worm. It is horrible.

    To be a responsible owner/parent you must train the child and the dog. The child must know that pulling ears and tails hurt. So many great dogs get a bad rap because parents do not take the time to teach the children.

    Having my own rescue for 12 years I heard some very lame excuses for abuse and improper education. So many people want a push button dog. They do not want to work at having that great once in a life time, unconditional love experience. It would be great to have an indoor dog for so many reasons.

    If you want some great breeds for yoour child there are many. But it depends on the inside / outside.

    Good luck, Kim
  20. EgyptStarr

    EgyptStarr New Member

    Thanks for your post! An inside dog for us is a tough issue for me simply because my fiance' doesn't want a dog at all, let alone an INDOOR dog. He was slightly oppositional about me keeping Red, the outside stray, until he saw that I basically wasn't listening when he tried to suggest that I stop feeding her and "find somebody else to pawn her off on" (practically his exact words, if I remember correctly). I went right on feeding and watering her daily and took a wool blanket out there for her to sleep on! I bought her some neat chew toys and a smoked ham bone today, only to come home and find out that the landlord is taking her away tomorrow.

    Anyway, that's why I can't have an indoor dog. I've discussed it with him before, and it's just not happening. At least, not at this point. We have future plans for some remodeling/renovation/expansion work on the house (someday; when money allows), that MIGHT make it possible for me to talk him into it then, but right now we just don't have room for another "family member".

    So he's the cat lover and I'm a dog lover, but the cats were here first, so my doggie wish will have to wait awhile. It's ok, though. With money as tight as it is right now, one more mouth to feed and a few more vet bills probably aren't something we need anyway.


[ advertisement ]