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When toddler goes to "Crazy Town" with dog

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My DS is 17 months and at least once a day (usually around 4pm) goes to "Crazy Town" with our dog. He beats on her, pulls her tail and generally just annoys the heck out of her. During the rest of the day, he pets her very gently and even gives her kisses on her back. If he is too rough with her, he responds very well to redirection - "pet nicely" and he will go back to gently stroking her back. But in the late afternoon, things are different. Mostly I just have to separate them.

I wondered if anyone has advice - should I continue with redirection, and separation when needed? When are time outs a good idea - is he too young for a timeout? I'm not even sure if he would 'get' it. I have not done a time out for any behavior issue yet. Mostly I just tell him no and redirect.

post #2 of 6

just make sure to stop the behavior imediatly. Dogs are patient but the one ime the dog is not it could be a serious issue.
 

post #3 of 6

Lots of redirection, but one key to think about is WHO gets removed.  You can remove the dog if the dog is happy to do so, but ideally your LO should be the one to step away.  Behaviorally speaking, removing an animal from a situation can be a sign that you don't approve of their behavior, so for some dogs this will send the message that you don't want them to be tolerant.  As a dog trainer, I always tread carefully with dogs and kids.  Things can happen in an instant, and while I always look to see the cause of an incidence, most people jump to punishing the dog, or worse, rehoming them, when really the child was the one in the wrong.  My DD is the same age and when she's mad, if the dogs are in her way she has been known to swat at them.  I immediately remove her - to a toy, to her bed, to her pack n play - somwhere away bc reasoning with her at that point is pointless and if the dog was laying there peacfully when she decided to go nuts on him, it's not fair to get him up and make him move.  Lots of praise when he is gentle though to reinforce that behavior! And prais the dog as well for not reacting during those crazy times.

post #4 of 6
We actually put a gate at the bottom of the stairs. It's an open stairway and the lower floor is pretty open and where we usually are. When this starts to be a problem he gets put on the stairs until he calms down. It was the only thing I could do without punishing the dogs and still be able to get chores done. It took awhile but his behavior on this have finally started to improve.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies! I am doing all of those things - and making sure to praise my dog for being so good and tolerant - and I am seeing a slow improvement, thank goodness. I am super aware of how things can go bad in an instant, this is what scares me the most. My dog is amazing, but it only takes her getting fed up one time. We've all done things that we regret in an instant, dogs and humans.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bocanej View Post

Thank you for your replies! I am doing all of those things - and making sure to praise my dog for being so good and tolerant - and I am seeing a slow improvement, thank goodness. I am super aware of how things can go bad in an instant, this is what scares me the most. My dog is amazing, but it only takes her getting fed up one time. We've all done things that we regret in an instant, dogs and humans.

I have an english mastiff and a boston terrier/pit mix. I totally understand your fear! Good luck mama!
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