Children tend to be very polarizing for dogs. Many dogs and puppies love kids, while many others are afraid of them! Why is this?
Human kids are more unpredictable for dogs than human adults. They can be loud, quick, expressive, and make sudden movements. Some dogs are freaked out by this, while others are thrilled by it.
Either way, our dogs often respond to our children in ways we don't like, such as jumping or nipping at them. The typical dog training advice is for kids to "Be A Statue" when the dog is being inappropriate. The idea is for the child to stand very still until the dog leaves them alone.
The problem is, most of the time, it doesn't work.
Dogs and especially puppies have fun jumping and nipping even when they aren't being intentionally rewarded. Those actions are rewarding on their own. This means that even when those behaviors are ignored by us and our kids, our dog will likely continue to perform them.
Here's how we can turn "Be A Statue" into something that works.
Instead of relying on the statuesque stillness of our children as a training tool, we need to think of it as a management tool that our kids can use until we come and help them. Instruct your children that when they stand like a statue, they should also calmly call to you for help.
Standing still like a statue will prevent more intense behavior like chasing, so it's a great tool to implement. But it's not enough to calm the dog on its own, which is why within three seconds of our child standing like a statue, we as the adults should be intervening and getting the dog away from the child so the child can safely exit.
That's all there is to it! In order to be successful with the "Be A Statue" method, we need to remember that the real work is up to the adults.
Be safe out there, and happy training!