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I'm not sure what Hubby would say if he came home and found me clicker-training the kidlets, but I can ... are all already convinced that I treat Macula too much like a baby and the boys too much like puppies).

My favorite advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, said once that raising dogs and kids all boils down to essentially the same rule: "be the benevolent alpha."
Catherine
& Zoe the cockerchow
To her the kids are puppies. Older dogs will tolerate a fair amount from pups, as rough play is a part of their socialization.
Tee,
Has it right. My Brandy is the same way with the kids when they come to visit. She'd sit there and let them do anything to her as long as it doesn't involve pain. She's the mommy type and will put up with a ton of stuff. She even tolerates my cats and thinks of the oldest one as her own. When I first brought Squeekers home she would let him nurse on her and she still does it to this day.
Celeste
Macula gets bonus marks for her patience, gentleness and tolerance ... to the conclusion that I have possibly overestimated her intelligence.

Obviously, I am going to have to take her with ... it...if she's being harassed, why doesn't Macula just walk away?

Pretty typical adult indulgence of the youngster's playing. There can be am anamzing level of toleratnce by the adults of ... case - Good for Macula - and good for you for not expecting her to just put up with it.
I would also be concerned about Macula, or any dog, deciding to stop it at some point in the future even if she is putting up with it now. I'm glad she is not being asked to put up with it and the kids are not going to be left alone with her. Another issue this brings up is how Macula will see the boys when it comes to obeying. If she is seeing them as puppies, it might be good for her tolerance of their "puppy antics" but it doesn't bode well for their being able to control her as they get older.

I think it is important to start as soon as possible letting the dogs know that kids are humans and not puppies, and have human status in the hierarchy. I can still remember Mimi telling the dogs to "Gick!" and having them promptly plop their butts down and wag their tails at her. She also knew "be soft" long before she even tried to say it. Kids understand a lot long before they can actually talk, so I'd say to start teaching them by example (holding their hands to make sure they have the right motion and pressure and talking softly and encouragingly about being soft with the doggie) how to interact with dogs even if language delay makes explaining it hard.

If they are rough, no doggie to play with, for their sakes as well as for Macula's sake. They'll get it. Kids are really good at figuring out what they need to know to get what they want!

Paula
"I think I'm having the best childhood I've ever had!" Mimi
... But I still don't get it...if she's being harassed, why doesn't Macula just walk away?

Just a guess, but it could be that, if she moves, she'll be acknowledging that something upleasant is happening. If she acknowledges that, then she has to do something about it. If, OTOH, she makes like an invisible lump, she can "go away" in her head while staying in denial.
How's that for anthropomorphizing?
One time, I was working with Sam on off-leash heeling. We halted, then I said "Heel!" and started forward. Sam didn't move. I couldn't figure out why he was disobeying, until his eyes (just his eyes, his head didn't move) went to a cat wandering under a nearby bush. As clearly as if he'd spoken English, Sam was telling me that if he moved, he'd chase the cat. Sure enough, as soon as I put the leash on him, he lunged for the cat.
Anyway, that's what Macula's behavior reminded me of. "If I move, I'll have to act"

Mary H. and the Ames National Zoo:
Raise A Fund, ANZ Babylon Ranger, ANZ MarmaDUKE, and Rotund Rhia
Anyway, that's what Macula's behavior reminded me of. "If I move, I'll have to act"

Anthropomorphising or not, I think that's a good call. I wonder if a similar situation was part of the etymology of the "Let sleeping dogs lie" adage.
Click, Google, click; yup, at least sort of:
http://www.answerbag.com/q view.php/6294

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.