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Teaching 12 month old No before he ends up bitten

(69 Posts)
Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 10:34:41

So I have a 1 year old son and 2 dogs

Now the dogs do have there own room a utility room off kitchen with baby gate , so he can't get in there but they have a bed in living room for during day as like to be in about the family

My son is obsessed with crawling on them, trying to poke there eyes, grabbing there sensitive noses.

A sure way to end up bitten

I tell him no and move him away but the more I try to remove him from them the more he seems to want to get to them

Am I doing this all wrong..?? How do you teach a 12 month old no or is he just too young..??

Is the only way to keep him and them safe to lock them away in their room while he is about..? I feel mean doing it as one just sits with face pressed at gate wanting in to be with us, they sleep in there so mostly likely don't want to be shut in there 24/7

Now before anyone says just watch him I do this already but scared a lack of concentration could result in him touching them and me not noticing on time, these dogs have never ever shown aggressions for seem very tolerant of him but I don't want to test them , push them to there limit

If there were to go for him they would do serious damage as powerful dogs

What's my options here..? Can you teach a 1 year old No..?!

First time mum by the way incase you haven't guessed already

PittacusLore Mon 02-Nov-15 10:36:48

Get rid of the dogs.

Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 10:38:02

Yeah that's not going to happen, they are part of our family.

caravanista13 Mon 02-Nov-15 10:38:05

The only way to keep your son safe is to keep the dogs completely separate.

Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 10:39:46

Should of added son also has his own playroom downstairs which is also gated off , so when I'm busy say cooking etc either dogs are in their room away from him or he is in his room and they are wondering about

Just normally depends on sons mood , sometimes he happy to be in his toy room others not so

Whattheactualeff Mon 02-Nov-15 10:39:51

Omg get rid of the dogs what's wrong with you?!

caker Mon 02-Nov-15 10:41:14

So the dogs are more important than your son?

flanjabelle Mon 02-Nov-15 10:41:33

You need to separate them unless closely supervised. Every single time he does it say no and remove him and distract him. You cannot under any circumstances leave him alone with the dogs. He will not understand 100% for years how to act around the dogs so if you want to keep them either separate or supervise.

You are exactly right that every dog has its limits and You need to prevent them ever getting near those limits. The dogs are most likely already giving off signals that you aren't picking up on to show they are uncomfortable. Please read up on dog body language.

Meanwhile, put the dogs in the kitchen if you haven't got 100% focus on your child. When they are together consistantly correct and distract your child.

longdiling Mon 02-Nov-15 10:44:31

Try posting this in the doggie section of mumsnet - Doghouse I think it's called? I reckon you'd get better advice there. I don't know much about dogs at all but I can't see why you would get rid of them when they haven't actually done anything? You sound like you're very on top of it to me, just continue to only let them near each other under close supervision. Kids don't learn 'no' over night but he will learn it eventually if you keep moving him away. Can you teach him how to interact more positively? Holding his hand and helping him stroke them gently at very specific times of the day when they're likely to enjoy that?

Ridingthegravytrain Mon 02-Nov-15 10:45:27

You keep them separate until your son is old enough to leave them alone. Otherwise he will get bitten and it certainly won't be the dog's fault. Mine are 2 and 4 and are still not allowed in with my dogs. They stress them out with their unpredictability

flanjabelle Mon 02-Nov-15 10:46:23

Just to add, I have a 2 year old and a staffie. She is the calmest, gentlest dog I have met, but I never ever leave dd alone with her. Not for a second. Dd is good with ddog, she is respectful and gentle. however, it only takes dd to get an idea about shoving something in ddogs eye or ear or grabbing her roughly and I wouldn't blame ddog for biting her. dd is barely more than a baby, she won't understand danger she is putting her self in. As the adult it is my job to assess those risks and keep both ddog and dd safe.

PittacusLore Mon 02-Nov-15 10:48:17

If there were to go for him they would do serious damage as powerful dogs

Sorry, but this sentence really worried me. Personally, I couldn't take this risk and I don't think it's fair to keep dogs cooped up either.

Re-homing is a sensible option if you think there is any chance of the worst happening.

Nohopeformethen Mon 02-Nov-15 10:48:35

The only person with control in this situation is you.
I don't like the leaving a one year old in a room out of sight while you cook either - there will be something in there he can use to harm himself!

TheoriginalLEM Mon 02-Nov-15 10:50:37

You are doing those dogs a massive disservice. They are being crawled on, prodded and poked and made to feel uncomfortable. FGS they have a safe space to go, let them use it until your DS is old enough to understand to leave the poor things alone.

What sort of dogs do you have?

The sad thing is, if they bite your DS you'll have them PTS and it wont be their fault, it will be yours.

Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 10:50:39

Oh calm down of course my dogs are not more important than my son, talk about drama

But as someone said why would I get rid of dogs who have done nothing wrong

I assume what we are currently experiencing every dog owner with a toddler goes through so I'm after constructive advice not nonsense .

Looks like I will need to keep doing what I'm doing and splitting time between dogs being out when he happy in his play room and when he roaming about they go in there room

Yeah longL we do try that that say stroke nicely and show him how to touch there backs , I guess it's just something we need to keep working away at, I just wondered if me saying NO was the issue

But I guess he is just curios

He loves the dogs, laughs and gets all excited when he sees them. It a case of teaching him how to Interact with them safely.

flanjabelle Mon 02-Nov-15 10:50:58

I don't like the leaving a one year old in a room out of sight while you cook either - there will be something in there he can use to harm himself!

Unless you are accusing the op of being completely neglectful I think its fair to assume that she has made sure the room is safe for her baby. It's a play room, likelyhood is there are toys in there and I can't see why it would be any more dangerous than a playpen or similar. Plus it's not what the op asked for advice about. I think the safety of the play room is the ops call and not really any of our business.

TheoriginalLEM Mon 02-Nov-15 10:55:36

You have received lots of good advice here - it is that simple, keep the dogs separate, they aren't toys. They will not be used to being pulled around and prodded about and whilst they are probably great dogs and wont bite, it will only take for him to hurt them especially if they are poorly or startle them and their reflex, no matter how good they are, will be to snap at the source of distress.

flanjabelle Mon 02-Nov-15 10:57:11

I assume what we are currently experiencing every dog owner with a toddler goes through so I'm after constructive advice not nonsense .

Yes, we went through this, but were perhaps a tad more vigilant from the start. When dd tried to approach the dogs we distracted straight off so she never got the chance to poke or prod ddog. We purposely brought them together for time to teach dd to touch ddog gently and talked about how soft she is, pointed out that ddog was enjoying it, got dd to listen to the little grunts she makes when she is happy, look at her staffie smile etc. Then we would move onto something else, distracting dd and ending the session before dd got over excited and rough. Each time was a positive experience for dd and ddog and I think it really helped teach dd the respect for ddog that is so important.

Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 10:57:53

Hi my sons playroom is off the kitchen too so I can see him when he is in it

What I meant by that being powerful digs is they are medium sized dogs not say a toy dog

That said any dog that went for a child could do alot of damage so I guess size don't matter really

ok thanks for input it seems the only way is as we have been doing they are kept separate until my son is older

One dog is older and prefers to be in her room most of the time it's just one who like through but as it happens this dog also loves being in garden so most of summer back door open which leads off there room and she sits outside and older dog sat inside looking out into garden .

The way our kitchen / family room is set up is good as means dogs don't feel too isolated .
It just now its getting colder I can't leave back door open .

Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 11:02:36

Thanks FlanJ

I did too wonder about the comment about my sons playroom

We are not idiots unless my son can drown in a pit of balls or be attacked by a giant Tetddy I think he is perfectly safe in it but thanks for your concerns

Madblondedog Mon 02-Nov-15 11:03:02

I've got a wooden, free standing fence from pet planet, I use it for cornering off part of a room when I don't want ddog annoying people like workmen. It doesn't damage anything as it's freestanding. If you got something like that they could still be near you but DS would be kept away?

INeedACheeseSlicer Mon 02-Nov-15 11:06:04

I think you can only teach a 1 year old "no" as in, you say no in a warning tone, they hesitate for a moment, and that gives you time to rush in and scoop them up away from danger. If they know you always say no when they do a specific thing, they might look round at you when they are about to do it, waiting for you to say it. It doesn't mean they won't go ahead and do it though, just that they know that you are likely to intervene when they do.

With my daughter after a while, just saying a warning no was enough to stop her, I didn't usually have to physically remove her. But I still had to watch all the time, in case she tried to do it again - in fact I had to watch her even more closely, so I could predict what she was about to do rather than react to what she had done. I found saying no worked well to warn her off something I could see she had taken a notion to do, before she had actually done it, but not really to make her stop once she had already done it - in those cases I did have to intervene physically.

So even though a child might learn no to a certain extent, and it can sometimes buy you a few extra seconds, which can be a good thing sometimes, it doesn't mean ever you can stop watching them constantly, and it doesn't mean you shouldn't be keeping the dogs completely separate from the baby anyway. You need to protect everyone, and that is either by full, close supervision at all times when they are able to interact, or keeping them separate when you can't supervise fully.

Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 11:07:15


Spoke to my husband and we will what you did, make time for him to interact with dog in a positive way, teaching him how to touch them like you have done

Out with this times dogs and son will be separate in their retrospective rooms.

I am very wary of dogs and kids , never thinking dogs and children should be left alone

I never let me dogs out when other people children visit , I've never left my son alone with dogs even for a second

I do believe dogs and small children are not a good mix but just wondered if when you are present is there away to teach a toddler to stay away from them but it looks like the answer is No which is what I thought it might be

Salene Mon 02-Nov-15 11:12:49

Thanks Ineed

This new phase he is entering is of course all new to me, how to deal with what he does. I guess I will learn as he develops but want to also make sure I'm doing things correctly if that makes sense

The word No does register a bit with him , he tries to take my glasses off my face and now when he reaches if I say no he pauses for a second and it gives me time to move his hand and distract him

ApplesTheHare Mon 02-Nov-15 11:14:02

Hey OP

I'm in just the same position except we only have one dog and DD is a little older. I think you have a very responsible attitude and approach, and I'm surprised by some of the flaming comments on here confused Surely it's only responsible to appreciate the damage a dog could do to a child? Tbh I think dogs are most dangerous when owners insist they're 100% safe but that's a whole different conversation!

Anyway, DD is 14 months and she's starting to get the hang of how to be gentle with DDog. It's just a case of being persistent and consistent in teaching them how to respect the dog's space. When we can't supervise them closely - E.G. when cooking or hanging up washing - I always make sure they're in separate rooms so DDog isn't put in the position of responsibility!

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