Puppy snapped at toddler...ADVICE PLEASE...(12 Posts)
Putting an arm around a dog is generally a big ask for most dogs.
So first ensure DC only approach the dog in the correct manner.
Stroke gently, approach slowly, no hugging, cuddling, kissing etc.
I would have said nothing but removed the dog and the DC.
You need to very carefully study your dogs body language, see when he is comfortable and when he is becoming under pressure. Look for changes to ears, eyes, panting, lip licking, staying very still etc. at that stage you need to interrupt the situation that the dog is in.
Not sure of the relevance of the sponge
At 9weeks your puppy is still learning boundaries, I'm assuming the puppy is new to the household so your toddler is probably very interested in the newcomer, dogs don't like being hugged or being restrained so pup is only following instinct, you need to teach the toddler how to handle puppy without grabbing etc, IMHO the dog didn't do anything wrong.
Blame yourself (a little) for getting into that situation with a puppy and a very young child, do not blame the puppy or the child.
Child must learn how to approach the dog though and when enough is enough. Did puppy growl first? Our 4 month old puppy gives a good warning growl and the whole household - especially the children - know that means stop whatever it is you are doing with her right now as she is not happy. We are not discouraging the growling as it is an excellent warning signal (dogs who are discouraged to growl sometimes just bite! Not saying that's what has happened to you though as you only have a puppy).
A video here to help your toddler understand how to act around dogs
Another one who says don't tell him off for growling. He wasn't comfortable with the arm around him. The puppy doesn't need teaching about this as he is being a dog, the children need teaching what is acceptable and what isn't.
I have taught my daughter, if she wants to kiss our dog, she is to kiss the palm of her hand and then stroke it down his back in a 'special dog friendly' kiss.
My pup at that age was horrendous with me for around 10 days. He never snapped at ds but he was tiny and we had steps in the garden he couldn't manage but he got so cross when I had to help him. I got into a tizz at first that he was doing this and vet was telling me I had to get a grip of him as he was a dominant dog ( I switched vets )
The behavourist advised the usual bite inhibition tips of stopping intetaction and ignoring. It passed very quickly.
Agree about teaching toddler about what the dog will or won't tolerate.
How old is DC3?
My children are quite coherent in doggy body language, because of reading books like www.amazon.com/Talking-Terms-Dogs-Calming-Signals/dp/1929242360 and geberal tips from me.
They are aware there are dogs they can hug (whippy, the flying whippet, lurcher boy) and dogs that do not like it (Bull lurcher) and dogs that show signs they could bite if the behavior continues (old dog, Devil Dog)
They are clued up on what a happy dog looks like and what a wary dog looks like.
If your child is too young for that, then stick to simple rules e.g never approach the puppy, always call the pup to you, gentle stroking only, no hugs or picking pup up. Always give pup space to move away. Supervised interaction only.
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