Toddler vs Dog — The Bump

Toddler vs Dog

edited August 2017 in Parenting
Help. I don't know what else to do. My son just turned 2 and our dog is 13. My son LOVES animals and dogs but is so rough with the old guy. My son jumps on him and runs full force into him knocking him down. He has bad hips so sometimes he can't get back up easily or unassisted. He stands on his head and pulls on his legs and uses him as a stool to get on the couch. He's a golden retriever so he just takes the beating and doesn't try to bite him. He's such a good dog. He won't go outside or stay in the garage or in any other room. I've tried time out. I've tried removing him from the dog. I've tried yelling. I've tried showing him how to be nice to the dog and correcting him when he's being too rough. Yesterday he walked over to my mom and the dog just happened to slip at the same time. My son said "oh no sorry!" Even though he didn't do it. But when he does it on purpose he just laughs and giggles. I know he thinks he's playing with the dog but he's too rough and I know it won't be long before he really hurts the dog or kills him. I honestly don't know what else to do. Please help!!!

Re: Toddler vs Dog

  • Does the dog have a safe place he can go when your son gets to be too much?  Our situation is a little different in that our son (19 months) is super into the dog, but she has no interest in letting him near her (she's learned that little hands can hurt when they grab).  She has a crate that's set up in our living room that she can go to whenever she wants.  DS knows he's not allowed to ever go in there, even when she's not there.
    We also just keep emphasizing "gentle hands".  We'll hold him while he pets her and he gets lots of praise when he's gentle instead of smacking her.
    It sounds like in the short term you might need to find a way to keep some distance between then until your son grows out of this phase.
  • For my daughter, she was rough too with our smaller dog, I agree with nackie said:
    We also just keep emphasizing "gentle hands". 
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  • I know it’s tough, but any time the baby and dog are together they need close supervision so you can intervene before he hits, sits on or is rough with the dog. If he knows he can hit the dog before you can react and it’s fun, he will. If he can’t make contact before you stop him he might lose interest. I also agree with having a dog only area for when the dog needs a break.
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • Definitely have a safe space for the dog. Whether it's to get away from your son or have a quiet moment when company is over, lots of dogs enjoy safe spaces.

    I second being right there and stopping your son before he hits or climbs on the dog. Especially since it sounds like he knows not to (said sorry for something not good fault, laughs when he does it), you need to try and stop it before it starts. I know that's easier said than done.
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