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To expect my two year old DD not to torture my dog!

7 replies

lucyellensmum · 27/10/2007 08:31

I have a big problem with my DD at the moment, she is 2.3 and is going through a phase of being really spiteful to our dog. I mean REALLY spiteful, hitting, biting, dragging around by the ears, kicking and headbutting!!! HOW on earth do i stop this behaviour, i obviously never leave dog and child together alone, and separate them as soon as she starts tormenting the poor beast. The dog is amazingly tolerant, but for how much longer? Also, whilst i expect him to tolerate a certain amount of excess cuddling and lap sitting - she LOVES her doggy she really does, i do not expect the poor sod to put up with being hurt. I am at a loss as how to stop it, DP thinks i should ignore it as he feels she does it more if i tell her off, she thinks it is amusing. I cant do this as i wont tolerate the dog being hurt and risk DD being bitten. I have tried shouting at her, making her feel guilty for hurting her dog and tell her he wont be her friend(when i do this she gets upset and insists on giving the dog a cuddle) Yesterday i put her out of the room and ignored her for a few minutes, then brought her back in to explain what she had done wrong. Later that day, poor dog being dragged around by the ears!

Part of me wants him to bite her but i obviously don't want him to injure her. He is only 6 months old and i know i have to nip this in the bud soon. Maybe if he were to snap her hand then she might get the message. To be fair, the dog comes back for more every time, i think he sees it as a game, he is a tough little terrier cross and i play rough with him when DD isnt around and he loves it. It is more the ear pulling that upsets me.

Does anyone else have experience of this and how did you tackle it?

OP posts:

BernieBear · 27/10/2007 08:34


Just replied on the other thread. I too am going through something similar with my ds 3.6 and have done the same things as you. Again very tolerant terrier. Will be keeping an eye on both threads for ideas.


stripeymama · 27/10/2007 08:36

You have to be careful because even if your dog tolerates it, others may not!

DD was similar when we still had our dog, and I ended up sending her to the stairs for two minutes every time and making the dog a proper bed, when he was in it she was not allowed to bother him at all even for a cuddle.

The dog needs somewhere to "escape" to where he knows hell be safe, when they feel cornered is when they are most likely to bite IME.


Alliebongo · 27/10/2007 08:38

my dd does this to my poor cat. he only comes in when she is out or in bed. poor little thing. she did this to someone elses cat who scratched her face. it didn't put her off....


lucyellensmum · 27/10/2007 08:41

I agree stripey, about the escape - he does have a bed in the kitchen but to be fair to him (i think hes a bit daft!) he sees it as a game, i do agree about other dogs though, its a worry, DD has no fear of dogs whatsoever, which is a good thing but a healthy respect is more advisable.

The dog is a star - i would have bitten her by now!

OP posts:

stripeymama · 27/10/2007 08:46

Our dog was like that, he'd put up with anything with a sort of resigned look on his face! But healthy respect is the safest thing to encourage.

Lots of our traveller-type friends have dogs, some friendly and others less so, which meant that DD got the message fairly fast.

Good luck!


lucyellensmum · 27/10/2007 09:12

cats are far more dangerous than dogs, i used to work as a vet nurse and have plenty of scars on my hands and arms, some from rabbits, most from cats!!!

OP posts:

glaskham · 27/10/2007 09:18

my two both went through this stage with our 3 cats.....i'll be honest i wanted the cats to swipe at them or bite them, not hard, but enough to scare them off, well my cats are dosey, and as they have been brought up with the kids they weren't bothered at all, occasionally when it got too much they'd let out a yelp, but wait till i couldn't stand their yelp and intervien for the cats sake!! IME i just ended up leaving them to it and they both got over their phases within a couple of weeks, and both cat and child came out the other end unharmed!!

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