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I'm a little concerned about how my child is towards our dog

We adopted a sweet dog the beginning of this year. He is a bit on the wild side, but sweet. We have been training him and he's getting better. My son is about 4 and doesnt get along with him. Like if he's eating and the dog comes near, ds will sometimes grab his skin really hard to move him away. The other day he hit the dog on the head with the tv remote. And of course in defense-mode, the dog will nip at him. Sometimes it's a constant nip, and hit, nip and'd think they are two siblings who always physically fight each other. I have done time-outs, simple reasoning, shown how to be sweet to our dog by example, show him how to play (which DS will sometimes. He loves giving the dog treats for tricks)....etc. I'm wondering if after all this time with us, we should re-home him? I've tried everything to fix the issue. DS just...doesnt like the dog being in his space. I rescued him from a bad home so I feel I've "done my good deed" but just feel so bad. So many have judged me saying "then you shouldnt have adopted him" or "would you just give up your child?". Any kind advice please? I have put up an ad on the local humane society website but no foster homes are available and our shelter euthanizes. I dont trust craigslist all that much. :(

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:45 PM on Sep. 21, 2012 in Pets

Answers (10)
  • At 4 he should be well old enough to understand how we treat animals. This is not toddler play or sibling rivalry. This is a child being mean for the sake of being mean and you need to get tot he bottom of it. Talk to him about what it is he doesn't like about the dog. Talk about ways you can change those things or compromise. If all else fails then yes you re-home the dog because the dog doesn't deserve to be treated that way.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:55 PM on Sep. 21, 2012

  • he is speech delayed so he isnt good at explaining his feelings. Any advice on ways to ask him? He usually just says he doesnt like him. I think it might be his size. He's a big dog.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:58 PM on Sep. 21, 2012

  • I was going to agree with anon and then I saw he has speech delays... Is speech his only delay? Before I go tossing out ideas I want to make sure I understand the entire situation.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 11:02 PM on Sep. 21, 2012

  • yes he is a very smart, normal preschooler. He just has some issues sounding out syllables and words and sometimes mumbles sentences/words. He does get speech therapy at school and he has improved immensely. He isnt mean to the dog all the time. Just times when he's in his space or is intimidated by him. We usually put the dog in his kennel or put him in the bedroom and close the door when we eat dinner and we do "time outs" for the dog if he misbehaves (sometimes he helps himself into his kennel for a few minutes if he knows he did something naughty lol). They just....don't "mesh" well. I cant even begin typing on craigslist. The voice inside of me is saying "dont just give up the sweet dog". He cuddles with me all the time and gets excited when I arrive home from work.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:11 PM on Sep. 21, 2012

  • Ok, so you have already established a 'safe place' for the dog. I would try to enforce and encourage a 'safe place' for your son. Like the dog is not allowed in his room ever. Remind DS that his room is his dog free zone. Maybe even get or print him a no dogs allowed sign as a reminder. Encourage him to move his projects tot he table or to his room if the dog is bothering him. Maybe get a large bed for the dog adn encourage him to lay there when he is not with you or wandering around. KWIM? His 'bed' so to speak. Try to compromise space with the two of them. It sounds like the dog is just reacting to your son's physical expression. In a sense the dog is doing nothing wrong... he is being a dog. You do need to be very careful and watchful. Even the sweetest of dogs can and will bite if provoked- just some are easier to rile up than others. Just work on teaching them to have 'assigned space' so to speak.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 11:19 PM on Sep. 21, 2012

  • you can try that for a while and see how it goes and what adjustments you can make. DS may 'grow into' the idea of having a companion dog.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 11:20 PM on Sep. 21, 2012

  • I would not keep the dog. In my opinion not every dog is a good fit in every family. It is not fair to the dog to get hit and pinched etc. If your son hurts the dog and the dog bites him in self defense you will have a bad situation. I would try posting pictures of the dog on FB and Craigslist. We had one dog we adopted and she was not a good fit with us she tore EVERYTHING up including eating and destroying our kids wooden playground. We rehomed her and now have 2 adopted fur babies that our whole family loves!!

    Answer by txnmomof4 at 11:23 PM on Sep. 21, 2012

  • thank you ladies so much for our advice and suggestions!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:51 AM on Sep. 22, 2012

  • I've been in your situation where my oldest did not like our puppy. We ended up getting rid of the puppy. It broke my heart ,but my kids come before a dog. So my opinion would be to get rid of the dog.

    Answer by JennieMarie1103 at 10:33 PM on Sep. 23, 2012

  • awhhh

    Answer by WHITELIGHTJENNY at 9:48 PM on Oct. 1, 2012

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