Here’s the truth…just because a child wants to pet a dog does NOT mean the dog WANTS to be pet or SHOULD be interacted with at that moment.
If a dog is nipping, your pup is telling you one or more of the following: “I’m too excited and your touch is sending me over the edge” or “I’m tired and stressed out” or ” I don’t want it right now”. or “I think you are my litter mate and that’s how I play with my litter mates”….see what I mean?
So RESPECT of SPACE is essential, both the puppy respecting the kids space (which YOU must enforce) or the kids respecting the puppy’s space (which YOU must enforce.)
Your leash is on so you can absolutely influence those choices and I would have the kids STOP touching immediately. Kids, just by being kids, over-excite pups. And we tend to over-exhaust pups too. So teach the kids one handed touch. YOU be prepared when it’s a good, calm time for the pup to have your thumb under the collar like I showed you at your meet and greet, and have one child at at time quietly and calmly come with ONE HAND and stroke gently under the chin OR along the back.
If the pup looks away, the pup is done.
If the pups squirms and gets mouthy, the pup is done!
Kids, by their very nature bring a ton of energy and excitement and even wariness to the table with pups.
RESPECT of SPACE is a two-way street.
I wrote an article that is timeless and true, DOGS need protection from kids and over-exuberant adults. Keep an eye out for that. Children should NEVER carry pups. Children should NEVER hug or kiss pups. Trust me, it’s not a ‘breed of dog thing’….it’s a KID THING. Children that learn how to be around animals in a respectful way end up becoming better human beings. And touching a dog when it is not what the pup wants OR not in the pups best interest is a violating kind of touch. You’ve got this. Trust me, kids do learn and so do pups.