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<p>18mo DS and our 3 year old Jack Russell Terrier are the very best of friends. They have their own special little games and routines- like they play every morning after DS finishes breakfast and have been doing so since DS could sit up by himself. Seriously, the first word D'S says when he wakes up and the last word he says before bed is 'doggie' </p>
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<p>So, here is the issue- sometimes when they play, things get a little rough. Our dog is an amazing sport and has never, ever tried to retaliate when DS starts to squeeze him (to try and get him to bark) or starts pulling on his legs and tail. In fact, sometimes the dog goes out of his way to initiate this sort of 'rough and tumble'  play.</p>
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<p>We've been trying our hardest to demonstrate how to be 'gentle' with the dog (showing DS how to pet and be gentle with him) and to not pinch/hit him but DS is still at it. Although rough and tumble play doesn't appear to phase my dog, I am terrified that DS is going to someday think it's ok to play rough with the wrong dog. </p>
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<p>So what should I do??? Should I separate them when play starts to get too rough? Should I be more firm and scold DS when he starts to squeeze/pull at the dog? </p>
 

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<p>I think it would be more effective to separate the two when your toddler gets too rough instead of saying something but not separating the two. Pick up your child, tell him, "we need to play gently with the dog." If he insists on playing or get upset, tell him he can play with the dog when is calm and gentle. Another thing you could try is removing the dog, though I imagine it would be easier to scoop up a toddler than to remove the dog with an upset kiddo chasing after him.</p>
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<p>Repeat as necessary. ;-) I think he'll get the picture.</p>
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<p>Sounds like a great dog. Ours is also very good with kids - loves them - but he can still get overwhelmed. I've found it to be in everyone's best interest to remove him or the kids from the situation so the dog doesn't feel like he needs to protect himself.</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>i agree with starflower but also want to add to emphasize that we NEVER play with other people's dogs unless mommy/daddy/whoever...is there. </p>
<p>i personally hated it when people with toddlers would let them toddle right up to my dog who had previously never been around children, is skittish in numerous ways, and i just plain didn't trust him around kids.</p>
<p>also, although your dog seems to be ok with the play you can;t be sure he always will be in every instance. i mean, you always hear stories about these family pets just "snapping" and attacking children. honestly, in those cases, poor dog...because i'm sure it's usually the kid's "fault" even if they didn't know any better.</p>
 

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We have a 10-pound chihuahua and a two-year-old boy. They adore each other but my son, like yours, sometimes gets a little rough. The dog likes it most of the time but he's small and easily injured and I don't want to set a precedent for rough play with pets. So I remind DS to be gentle and that [dog's name] is our friend and we are gentle to our friends or they won't want to play with us anymore. Usually that does it. If he can't control his hands, I separate them--I always remove DS from the scene instead of the dog. This keeps the dog from thinking he's being punished, and shows DS that when he can't behave himself, fun happy playtime ends for HIM.<br><br>
At 18 months, I would remind him to be gentle and then keep an eagle eye on the situation. At the first sign of roughness, I'd separate and distract. Just be consistent and make sure that every time DS abuses him, DS is the one who has to leave the room or area.<br><br>
We haven't had any issues since we started doing this consistently. DS is very good with him now and there've been no recent incidents that I can recall. Above all, I never ever left them together unsupervised until I was confident that DS wouldn't hurt him, and even now I don't leave them unsupervised together for more than a few minutes at a time. It's just not worth the risk.<br><br>
And nthing the suggestion to teach your DCs not to approach strange dogs without explicit permission. Children too young to understand this must be kept under control around other people's animals at all times.
 

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<p>I second the warning to not leave kids and dog alone together.  We recently had to get rid of our dog because she suddenly "snapped" and bit my son on the face.  I'd had her 10 years and she had never bitten or snapped at anyone.  But DS was persistent as kids are - and she was not taking it.</p>
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<p>Luckily I was right there when it happened so the bite was not serious and I was able to separate them immediately.  I found a good home for my dog so there was a somewhat happy ending to the story.</p>
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<p>I had two Boston Terriers that were both about 10 years.  One was the one that bit my son.  The other one I still have, and seems to take abuse from my son pretty well (I try not to let him torment the dog, but he is persistent, and I think the dog seeks it out).  So you can't rely on a breed being kid friendly meaning that you will be OK.</p>
 

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<p>We too have a dog (shepherd/lab that weighs about 70lbs) that is absolutely wonderful around dd who is just turning 18 months this week. This dog will literally sit in front of her food dish and let DD feed her a piece at a time without batting an eye. Or allow DD to snuggle up to her and poke her nose eyes ears etc. </p>
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<p>It sounds like you are doing a good job teaching your LO the gentle thing which is something we have worked on with DD since she started taking an interest in the cats and then we got our dog when DD was over a year so we just carried it on with the dog. Now that DD is getting bigger and stronger we take a much more serious approach to her play with the dog as she is finally getting to a point where she can actually hurt the dog without meaning too. I know your dog is not as large as ours so it would be even more of a concern for me.</p>
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We do not allow DD to play rough with our dog at all. She is allowed to sit next to the dog and stroke and cuddle up to her but never to lay on her anymore as DD is getting big enough where it is uncomfortable for the dog. I think as a dog owner and a parent of a child in general it is extremely important to teach respect for your own pets as well as respect and caution around dogs you do not know. I cannot stand it when a parent allows their child to run up to my dog and touch her without asking permission. I know my dog is great around kids and babies from experience but my dog is also extremely energetic and knocks our DD over all the time (dd takes this all very well). If my dog knocked a stranger's toddler over and that baby bumped their head you can imagine the misery it would cause us if the parent freaked out.</p>
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<p>My point is I would nix the rough play immediately and start to really watch your LO with all dogs in general and teach that you never approach a dog you don't know without permission. I would separate when rough play starts but I guess I would be the rare one here and take a more hardline approach if DD pulled or smacked out dog which she has done once in a while. I absolutely do not tolerate it at all and it is one of the few times where I will raise my voice sharply to get her attention immediately. Then I model the gentle petting to her and if she smacks again I grab her hand fast and very very firmly tell her no and just take her away from the dog...</p>
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<p>Think of your LO as a future pet owner and how you would want him to teach his children to play with animals. I really believe the good habits start young with animal care and responsibility. You are lucky to have a great and tolerant dog it makes it easy to sometimes forget that not all dogs are tolerant like that or even actually like children!</p>
 

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<p>I second what other posters have said.  Phoebe (my almost 17 month old) is just starting to understand that she can play this way with Tyson (our 4 year old pittie) but not with Lulu (my neighbor's 7 year old Dachshund).  Tyson LOVES for Phoebe to climb all over him.  She uses him as a step stool to get on the couch until she could do it on her own.  She uses him as a chair when there are no others available for her.  She entices him to chase her for kisses and leans in and gives them to him all the time (big slobbery ones and gentle ones on the head.).  He sits there patiently while she splashes around in his waterbowl and proceeds to put his breakfast in it without so much as blinking.  Lol, she has even tried to play with his "junk" and he didn't even wake up.  (Needless to say, we put a stop to that pretty quickly!)  You have to pay attention to your dog and your child and no where the line is for both of them.  Then you have to keep either from crossing it.  The other most important thing is it that YOU MUST ALWAYS ASK before approaching a dog.  For instance, Tyson is AMAZING with kids but he's a pittie - he doesn't realize his strength.  When a strange kid wants to pet him I need for him to sit first - otherwise he'll get over enthusiastic with the licking and the tail wagging (for the record, being hit by a happily wagging pittie butt and tail HURTS).  If he's sitting he'll be still as a statue and let the child pet him for a bit until the child is comfortable and then sneak in just a lick or two so they'll giggle.  I hate it when parents just let their children run up to strange dogs - first of all it's just rude and second it isn't safe for anyone.  I had a chihuahua once that didn't like kids.  She was adorable so they'd always run up to her - now who's going to be at fault if she had bit someone.  The one who should be (the parent that didn't teach their child proper manners and wasn't paying attention) or the dog that was scared and trying to protect itself?</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TheSlingMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281783/need-guidance-toddler-dog-relations#post_16098684"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> (for the record, being hit by a happily wagging pittie butt and tail HURTS).  lf?</p>
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<br><br><p>ha ha ha! those things are so sharp!!!!!</p>
<p>dd is completely traumatized by our pittie-mix's tail (and he's mixed with whippet so it doesn't get any worse than that) that she hits the deck every time he walks past as her face is right at tail level. it's actually pretty hilarious. "Incoming!.....plop...."</p>
 

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<p>our 23 month old is obsessed with our dog and has been since day one. she's also been really rough with our dog from the get go. Our dog is chill for the most part but has a history of getting snappy around food and toys. I NEVER leave the two of them alone together. It's what makes me feel comfortable. We went through a phase where our dog spent way more time outside than I would have liked, but dd wasn't getting the whole ,'be gentle' thing. It was easier to separate them and our dog got the short end of the stick on that one. we model being gentle and soft but when dd gets really excited or worked up or frustrated about anything she goes to our dog and gets rough with her. i tell her to be gentle and if she doesn't then our dog goes outside.....I will say this backfired for a little bit. If dd started to get worked up she would go over to our dog and say "bella! outside!" and sometimes if she wanted our dog to go out she would go and be rough with her because she knew that would make her be outside. </p>
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<p>I'm even more cautious around other dogs. I never trust a dog, even my own. Sounds sad, but you just never know. I'm not super annoying and in their face when dd is with dogs, but I'm there on the ground and being active in the interactions she having in case something needs regulating. I've known my fair share of people to be bitten by dogs that 'would never do anything to anyone'. </p>
<p>For me, I'd rather be safe than sorry. </p>
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<p>With all that said, dd still plays well with our dog most of the time and runs to give her hugs and wants to play dress up and whatnot with her, and our dog loves dd. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>tzs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281783/need-guidance-toddler-dog-relations#post_16099016"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TheSlingMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281783/need-guidance-toddler-dog-relations#post_16098684"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> (for the record, being hit by a happily wagging pittie butt and tail HURTS).  lf?</p>
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<br><br><p>ha ha ha! those things are so sharp!!!!!</p>
<p>dd is completely traumatized by our pittie-mix's tail (and he's mixed with whippet so it doesn't get any worse than that) that she hits the deck every time he walks past as her face is right at tail level. it's actually pretty hilarious. "Incoming!.....plop...."</p>
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<p>  ROFL!!  I feel ya!  We had a pittie/greyhound for awhile and OMG it's lucky she was petite.  Phoebe thinks it's hilarious of course but that's just my messed up kid and it scares other parents.  I try to be sensitive so he's a good ambassador but kids are just too delectable for him sometimes!  He loves them so much!<br>
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