Puppies and Toddlers - need advice!(17 Posts)
For various reasons we went down the breed route and now have a 12 week old miniature schnauzer pup. She seems very sweet natured with me, dh and ds (nearly 6), playful, bit nippy but easily corrected. However she goes totally nuts for dd (3), full on puppy play, jumping, play growling, play snapping, (I hope!) etc. Dd, who is a big dog lover, thinks this is all hilarious but dh and I are not keen on this and definitely need it to stop before the adult teeth come in. All the advice I've found online says to keep them apart as much as possible, the pup does have a crate and pen she goes into but equally she needs to feel part of the family and dd needs to learn how to behave with her (dd weirdly really good with adult dogs). Any advice or places to look would be appreciated!
How long have you had pup? I spent Xmas with my pup and DNeices 1 and 3 as you describe pup LOVED the babies but it settled down quite quickly to a quick lick as she passed on her way to actually play with someone else. See none of the babies actually played back where as all the older kids and adults played with the pup.
Join the Facebook group 'Dog Training Advice and Support' and look in their files for 'Dogs and Children' and have a read.
Thanks for replying, we've had four weeks. We thought the novelty would wear off for both of them but it hasn't! Playing in the garden is the best option (lots of racing around plus the pup has invented a bit of a game where she pretends they can catch her before racing off again) but obviously in this weather the garden isn't always an option. We have her down for training but I am concerned I might end up with a dog that is fine with adults and older children but terrorises toddlers. I try and tell the pup off before dd and put myself to indicate dd is my property and dd has consequences for not behaving properly (confiscated her new shoes yesterday!!) but I'm wondering what else to do.
Dpup is quite high energy so the dc are a bit of a godsend but still. One of my reasons for agreeing to a puppy was that I was to have a well trained one!
My pup does the play now then bolt in the other direction thing, drives me nuts if I'm in a hurry and need to get her indoors! I've taken to putting a long line on her before we go out if I'm in a hurry. My DS is 7 and very high energy too so pup and he just wear each other out playing hide and seek and chase, round and round the house .
The Facebook group is very good with some excellent files do have a look.
A puppy is only a well trained one if YOU train it....
For now, sorry, until it responds and your daughter is a bit older, you need to keep them separate. Toddlers are unpredictable and could easily spook a dog ending up with injuries.
Thanks arbrighton we do know that hence the stressing! Any ideas on HOW to keep them separate would be appreciated. We live in a decent sized house but I can't simultaneously be both with the pup and dd. Fwiw we have realised a little late that perhaps it would have been better with dd at nursery (starting after Easter) but we are where we are. Dd is honestly so good with adult dogs as well, respects their space, asks their permission to touch them, strokes gentl etc, so this has all come as a bit of a shock.
It is important that you are firm with your pup and your child. Dont allow running or chasing games at this stage, pup is too little and overexcitable to understand that this is a game. Step in if/when pup gets too boisterous and be VERY firm, teach him that you do not like this behaviour and put him straight in the crate, a dog trainer told me that you need to treat a pup how his mum would, and she would let him know without doubt that she wasn't happy!! x
Another thing we were told, when pup jumps up or runs at you, stand still arms folded and turn away, try if you can yo teach your child to do the same, although this depends on whether you think your child is mature or sensible enough to be able to do this, you must always supervise and step in to separate if necessary x
We have two 9 month old Golden retriever pups and we put a stair gate up so they are confined to the (large) kitchen when the toddler and baby are up and allowed in the rest of the house once they are in bed. They are happy, they have walks and fuss (we are in and out of the kitchen all day) and there is no risk of anyone getting injured accidentally.
Thanks both, we have the pup in a pen in the kitchen (which is stair gated in) but the dc are in and out all the time (need the loo/a drink/just a chat). We've got stricter over the weekend with all of them but that just has me on the verge of tears all the time. DH is the dog person (and the dc love them) and it was fine while he was at home for 3 weeks over the Christmas period but now it's left to me (choice of pet: rescue adult cat!) and the combo of dc and dpup has me at breaking point. Would it help if we had someone come to the house? There will be a behaviourist at the puppy party at the vet's this week, I am happy to be told how badly I am doing it!!!
Don't beat yourself up! You are doing a fab job! It's so hard to begin with but it does get better I promise! It's only recently I have started to enjoy having dogs! The puppy party/vet thing sounds like a good idea. Xxxx
Play pens. Do training with pup while DC napping. You can probably get pup pretty damn tired during that nap time with a bit of play/ intensive training. We had 'the perfect puppy' book by Gwen Bailey, would recommend. We also borrowed a play pen from a friend too as pup arrived at the same time as builders for major renovations (wouldn't recommend that....) Cannot describe my shock the first couple of times I put her in there when she popped up by my side straight away. So tiny, she could squeeze through the bars!
You won't be doing that badly and it's tough. I'm pretty worried about how my dog will be when baby arrives as she's not had great experiences with nephew grabbing her ears etc (his dogs are much bigger), not helped by my mother saying how I must keep them separate etc. But she is now at an age, nearly 3, where after her walk, she takes herself off to nap for the day with an occasional cuddle.
Didn't mean to make you feel attacked btw, and no timing not ideal, but hey it never is! (says the woman who is taking on another dog in 3 months time, when I'll be 6 months gone....)
Be a tree!
Puppies are naturally very playful and if you've ever seen pups play with each other they are actually quite rough! The difference is that a dog will tell another dog when enough is enough. When you throw young children and dogs in the mix an excitable pup who's a bit nippy will find it most exciting when their child toy starts squeaking and running around! Hence be a tree! Pup gets too rough then stand absolutely still until they lose interest (surprisingly quickly) then carry on as normal.
It's a fine line between keeping them separately so nobody gets hurt and keeping them separate to the point you haven't really trained the puppy on how you want him to behave. The real secret is to get him positively trained so that he knows what's expected around the children so he sees being good around them as a great thing.
If it's really stressing you out then perhaps try contacting a qualified behaviourist who can come to your home and give you a hand and tips to get started? A bit more pricey than a general dog training class but if it gives you that peace of mind then it's worth it
My son was almost 2 when we got our pup.
At first the pup was quite rough with him. I did puppy classes and was advised to keep an indoor lead on him indoors to get him used to being around the youngest but in a controlled way.
They still have a very physical relationship but I've been told by a friend who is a behaviourist that our dog looks at my youngest as a pup. He doesn't mouth him anymore and puts up with being sat on etc and they get on very well together - it may just be time.
Dogs definitely grow up very quickly compared to kids!
Thanks so much everyone for your help, the 'be a tree' idea is brilliant! I've also got dd giving the pup her lunch (supervised obviously), and while the pup is a bit bemused she does sit and wait for dd to give the signal before moving to her bowl so hopefully dd will get some respect that way!
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