My son just turned two. He's normally a sweet gentle soul, even with the dogs. But he gets in moods where he just wants to be mean. I try to encourage him to play with our younger dog, and leave the older one alone as she is arthritic. He will usually play nicely with the younger one, even pet both of them. Sometimes, though, he just gets in a mood... today he took the car keys and hit them on the younger dog... I grabbed him, made him look me in the eye, and said NO! Gentle with the dog. He left her alone for awhile. Then later he rolled my big ball (birth ball) into the older dog, also leaned on her, in general just likes to push her around. I did a time-out (I hold him facing away from me on the ground) and then straight afterwards he pushed her AGAIN.
It just seems like when he feels like being mean, he purposefully goes for the older dog I tell him to leave alone. If held time-outs aren't working, what do I do?
I know people are going to suggest I separate them... FWIW we used to, but our stair gate broke and I really like not having it anymore... he is good on the stairs and I don't feel it's a danger to him. I also just want him to learn not to torture them, but is it expecting too much at this age?
Thx in advance, I'm at my wit's end here.