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16 mo is really unkind to our dogs - how do I stop him?

(7 Posts)
bluesmile10 Thu 06-Oct-11 20:19:25

my 16 mo ds is really physical and mean to our 2 springer spaniels, he pulls their skin, tails and ears really hard. Fortunately they are really good natured and let him, although they do try to escape from him when they can!! How can I stop him doing it as he tries to do it to other dogs and cats and I worry that he is going to get bitten or scratched!

wellwisher Thu 06-Oct-11 20:31:51

He is very likely to get bitten and you will only have yourself to blame. Would you let an adult abuse your pets in this way?

Suggest you repost this in the Doghouse - you will get flamed a bit, but will get good advice from people who have lots of experience with dogs and children.

Iggly Thu 06-Oct-11 20:35:57

Saying "mean" makes it sounds like he's doing it deliberately. You need to teach him how he can touch the dogs - he's so young to just know what's ok.

bluesmile10 Thu 06-Oct-11 20:41:58

Don't for one minute think I ignore the behaviour - he is constantly moved away from them, told no, encouraged to smooth them gently! But none of this has made a bit of difference. I do actually care that my son may get hurt and that my dogs are being pulled around!!!!

menopausemum Thu 06-Oct-11 20:42:02

Like most other behaviour issues, you need to change your own behaviour in order to affect his.
Firstly, as Iggly says, show him how to 'be kind' . Spend some time showing how to stroke them properly and praise him for the good behaviour - really lay it on thick!
If he mistreats them remove him from the situation with a firm 'No' then distract him with something else. Every time you let him get away with it or say 'no' and don't stop him, you are teaching him that he can do this and its o.k.
You need to be completely consistent with this, as do all the other adults in the family.
Where possible, point out other people being kind to dogs/cats and praise them.
Good Luck

Onlyaphase Thu 06-Oct-11 20:44:49

I came on here to let you know what worked for us in a similar situation, but found Menopausemum had already said it perfectly. Remove and distract. And repeat.

EggyAllenPoe Thu 06-Oct-11 20:48:02

two options
1) playpen
2) dog gate

babies and dogs shouldn't mix

we have an 'exclusion zone' around dogs bed (dog is happy to stay in bed) now the baby is too old to go in the playpen. any time they go in they get told a firm 'no'! 16mo they should learn to respect this kind of barrier with reinforcement.

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