lisar's picture
lisar

19 month old won't stop hitting our dog

Hi all: Help! I have a very intelligent and physically advanced 19 month old who will go find our family dog and hit him when I or my husband give him a "no" answer to something he wants. We have tried a number of different responses since the time when he first started doing this to our dog (about 2 months ago). We started out telling him "that hurts the doggie, we have to take care of him -- PLEASE be gentle to him!" We can always tell when he is about to go off and hit our dog and so we started prefaced what was about to happen by telling him "I'm sorry that I can't give you the telephone (scissors, etc.) to play with but that is not a toy . . . . I see you are about to hit the doggie and if you do, I will give you a timeout." He would always then hit the dog and we would place him in his playpen for 1-2 minutes as a consequence, while also telling him about how he's hurting the dog, that we have to take care of him and that we have to be gentle to him. That went on for about a month with no change in behavior. Then we decided to try spanking always giving the above warning, saying that if you hit the doggie, I will pull down your pants and spank your fannie. He would always hit our dog (generally about 3 "hard" hits before we could remove him from the dog) and we would then look at him, take him aside and gently tell him that it makes us sad to spank him and then pull down his pants, take him over our knee and give him 3 or 4 quick spanks directly on the fanny. My husband and I are genuinely, thoroughly heartbroken to have gone that route and anytime we've had to do it my husband and I turn to eachother in tears at the end of the day when talking with eachother about it. This approach, after a few weeks, still has not changed anything. Today I did everything above, but stopped the spanking and instead said something like "I see you are thinking of going and hitting our doggie -- instead, you should tickle him and give him hugs and kisses (he loves to hug and kiss the dog under normal circumstances)! This did not seem to deter him from going ahead and hitting our dog! What does everyone suggest?



2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

Use the words of the behavior you want from your son. "We are nice to the dog." When you say ----- hit the dog -----, he is only hearing that.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, STOP HITTING YOUR CHILD!! Hitting your son for hitting the dog is a mixed message and very confusing to your son. You state you say to your child "That hurts the doggie, we must be gentle to him", then you hit the child for doing so? It it good you did not hit him today, tried something new and sought advice.

My suggestion is to remove the dog from the area before you dicipline your son, or remove your son away from the dog. This will protect the dog and prevent your son from hitting the dog. Your son is only 19 months old and at that age it is not unusual for a child to react by hitting when frustrated. You are adults and reacted to your frustration with your son by hitting HIM yourselves. Teach him restraint by your example and physically restrain him from hitting the dog if necessary. He will learn with love, respect and patience.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

We recently adopted a dog, and God bless her soul, she is so gentle considering all she has to put up w/. Our boys are very active, and they try to jump on our dog, ride on her back, wrestle w/ her, dress her up.... It's amazing how tolerant she is. Still, I always remind my kids not to be too rough b/c they cld not only hurt the dog, but you never know if the dog might bite them. Don't take these situations lightly. If you have to, put your dog in another room. When your son and your dog are together make sure you supervise them. Teach your son how to "do nice" to the dog by taking his hand and physically showing him the appropriate way to interact. Don't just tell him no or punish him. Obviously this isn't working for you. If you still see that your son isn't listening, remove the dog or your son from the room. Safety is your #1 priority. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Sister83's picture
Sister83

Who said get rid of the dog?? You obviously have never had one :)

If the dog isn't being aggressive toward the child, I see no reason to get rid of it. You do need to be mindful though, as the above poster mentioned, an animal IS an animal... and there is always a chance that it could snap if pushed too far.

Children should be taught how to interact with and respect animals and other living things. The above suggestions on how to do that are good advice.

Andrew's picture
Andrew

Hi I posted a reply to this post but I seems to be gone. Does anyone know what might of happened.

ljossberr's picture
ljossberr

Oh. my. god.

The fact that this even needs to be EXPLAINED is horrifying.

Kid hits dog.

Parent: "we don't hit!" (RULE)
Parent hits kid.
Kid hits dog.

Parent: "no, we don't hit!"
Parent hits kid.
Kid hits dog.

Parent: "No, damnit, I said, we don't hit! What are you stupid? You can't listen, can you, idiot?"

Parent hits kid.
Kid hits dog.

Parent: "Why do you keep hitting? Where did you learn that from?"

Parent hits kid.
Kid hits dog.

How about a suggestion? Maybe if you stop hitting your child then your child will actually respect your rule about not hitting? I mean, this isn't rocket science here. You're not just abusing your kid, which is bad enough but by proxy you're also the one that's abusing the dog. You are going to make this kid an animal abuser, probably even a human being abuser if you keep this up.

Ridiculous.

hailbink's picture
hailbink
I am a breeder of tiny toy poodles and have several grandchildren. My 19 month grandson now lives with me.I have 5 dogs and over the years I have found out that children do not realize what they are doing until atleast 4 or older. I separate the dogs from the child. My pups are safe in the kitchen and my grandchild has the rest of the home.i use a baby gate. They do interact but briefly under strict supervision. My grandchildren will kick, hit, throw things at the dogs just to see them run and cry or yelp. The child likes the reaction and feels like they are doing someting great...so if possible just keep them apart it does get better and the child will eventually become very loving when they can understand that a dog has feelings.It takes time.. time.. time.. I really don't sell my pups to people with small children since most don't understand the child doesn't know any better.