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You know that phase were children pretend to be a dog / cat / mermaid...

(32 Posts)
LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 07:29:25

Is there anyway to... you know... chivvy it along a little?

Don't get me wrong, usually I'm all for indulging in imaginative play, and in many ways DS (3) wondering around barking is very sweet. Unfortunately, my two ACTUAL dogs are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

DS barks at the door (even if nobody's there), which makes the dogs bark. DS has been brought up with dogs and can do a fairly authentic sounding "RORORORO" bark. The three of them egg each other on and trying to get myself heard above the din is nigh on impossible. We live in an end terrace - our neighbours are lovely but I can't imagine they enjoy this racket!

DS wants to eat his food out of a bowl on the floor, which would be fine, except have you ever tried explaing to two labradors that the food in the bowl on the floor is NOT FOR THEM? Because I have. And they don't get it.

DS wants me to give him "commands" - like "sit" and "down". Every time he wants me to do that, the dogs dutifully obey, too.

The poor dogs are exhausted. DDog 2 is a rescue and only arrived on Thursday. He's probably thinking what on earth is this mad house he's ended up in?

Any ideas? At least how to stop DS barking (especially when there's nobody at the door!)

FusionChefGeoff Tue 12-Apr-16 07:39:13

Sorry, no advice but that has made me snort - I can only imagine how surreal your house is right now grin

winchester1 Tue 12-Apr-16 07:44:48

Can you get the dogs to stop barking either through command or treats and then use the same for your son?
My ds is just pretending to be a baby so I've just said that's fine but babies don't get [insert thing he wants or wants to do] and then left him to decide which is prefered.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 12-Apr-16 07:49:38

I remember being a dog and barking making my mum hold my collar whilst she answered the door every time the doorbell rang grin.

Sorry op but I remember it was in our new house so I was 5+

gingercat02 Tue 12-Apr-16 07:53:06

Ds is 7 and still likes to talk to our cats in cat language. They, surprisingly to him never talk back. Cats do the best disdainful looks grin
Sorry OP!

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 07:54:33

Fusion so surreal... I had to tell DS not to growl at his uncle at the weekend. hmm

winchester DDog 1 knows and responds to "quiet". Unfortunately she can't hear me over the din! I've managed to get her to stop a few times but with the others still barking she just goes back and joins in again. DDog 2 has only been with us a few days so doesn't know it yet.

Good idea though - I'll have to try and think of stuff he likes to do that the dogs can't do. His favourite thing is digging in the garden. Maybe watching TV?

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 07:55:49

Dammit this is going to last for AGES isn't it!

DiggersRest Tue 12-Apr-16 07:56:36

Dd1 (who is 5) insists we call her kitty or baby kitty and meows to us what she wants. I'd say she's been doing this for 2.5 years. Does by freaking head in!

AvengingGerbil Tue 12-Apr-16 08:25:10

Can you persuade him to be a different animal? Mine was an emu, which was blessedly quiet smile

IrenetheQuaint Tue 12-Apr-16 08:33:37

Why not train him properly, in the way you train your dogs? Give him a small treat for not barking, or pat him on the head/stroke him in a really exaggerated way while murmuring 'Good dog'. In fact you could train him and the second dog together. He may get bored at this point and stop wanting to be a dog anyway.

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 08:34:19

An emu? envy

What did she do to be an emu?

kiki22 Tue 12-Apr-16 08:34:46

I think because its causing a lot of your noise to your neighbours and upsetting the real dogs he needs to be told he is no longer allowed to bark or eat from the floor, tell him the reasons for it.

Ds has been a cat regularly since October I do think its great to use imagination however there is a line and when it causes inconvenience its not on.

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 08:37:09

Hmm. Clicker training for preschoolers...

There's my millionaire making book idea!

putthePuffindown Tue 12-Apr-16 08:38:42

Dogs can't eat chocolate. <--- Just going to leave this here wink

BertieBotts Tue 12-Apr-16 08:38:45

YYY you should definitely clicker train the preschooler! grin

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 08:41:00

Kiki we have had regular chats about not barking, and he always nods seriously and promises not to do it again. So far it hasn't sunk in! Will keep trying though.

I don't put his food on the floor, I'm just putting up with tantrums at the moment!

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 08:42:43

putt I'm not going to give my chocolates to the dogs. I NEED that chocolate.

BertrandRussell Tue 12-Apr-16 08:47:38

My dd once said "Let's be a family of pencils today!^

Irrelevant, but sweet.

Is there any way you could explain to him that it's upsetting the dogs? Particularly the new one- could you sign him up as a human handler to help the new one settle in? Actually- could you get him to pretend to be a human to help with the new dog? That might have worked with flamingolemurbaesketofwashingpencil Dd..........

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 12-Apr-16 08:49:12

I have a 5 yr old dd and she still does this. sorry grin

she gets this hmm face from the neighbours dogs as she drink out of their bowl or follows them.out the dog flap.

she's been known to sleep in a--mass of duvets and blankets-- "dog basket" all night too.

oh yes and she ate her dinner and drank her water on the floor out of bowls.hmm

she cab stop long enough to climb up onto the sides to get the bowls though.

CMOTDibbler Tue 12-Apr-16 08:57:17

My ds is trained to recall to the dog whistle grin since I treat the dogs with chorizo (Lidl) he gets a treat out of the same bag. Its very useful actually - as can 'fetch' (as in fetch your socks' 'sit, stay' and so on

wanderings Tue 12-Apr-16 08:57:24

I too pretended to be a dog when I was little - I was fond of invading someone else's dog cage. They thought they could cure me by locking me in for a while, but it made me like it all the more!

Get someone to take the real dogs out for the day, and then make ds be a dog for the day: no chocolate, walks on reins only (sorry, couldn't resist), no talking either, as we all know dogs don't talk.

He might get bored of it if it's your agenda rather than his, especially if the real dogs aren't there that day.

I don't know if you can still get it, but it reminds me of the story of "The Boy who would not say his Name" - who introduced himself as one storybook character after another. When he was lost in a department store, a pretty lady who came to his rescue said over the loudspeaker: "Mrs Stiltskin, please come to the third floor to pick up your little boy, Rumpel." Later a policeman said to him "the Stiltskin family is not in the telephone book".

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-Apr-16 09:02:18

Ok I have JUST realised why putt mentioned the no chocolate thing. <slow> blush

bert I have to ask - what exactly does being a pencil entail? confused

CMOT I have to agree there are advantages to this - we also use fetch far too often occasionally. And recall to a whistle. I've brought this on myself, haven't I? <sobs>

Right, I think I'm going to embrace the canine in my son and go for the clicker training approach. If I can just teach him not to bark at the door, I get some peace and he can still be a dog. Sorted.

<ponders signing DS up for Agility>

Fooshufflewickbannanapants Tue 12-Apr-16 09:43:16

My eldest (now 16) was a Guinea pig for 7 weeks.... and this post brought it all flooding back...

JustABigBearAlan Tue 12-Apr-16 09:47:36

I have no advice but this is hilarious grin

differentnameforthis Tue 12-Apr-16 11:04:15

My dd likes to be a cat. She did put a bowl of water on the floor & was most annoyed that our dog drank it....

Her meowing drives the dog mental

She even likes to curl on your lap. She's 7.

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