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.