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My daughter ends up hurting our animals EVERY time we allow her to even pet them.... HELP!!

My daughter is 7 yrs old and has just joined our family in February. We have 2 dogs and 2 cats. At first she talked about how much she "loved" animals. We soon learned that every time we would leave the room for more than a couple minutes at a time, she would end up doing something that would hurt them. I honestly don't think she is trying to hurt the animals, but she would pull on their collar to get them to go over to her (one time it ended up putting the collar in the dogs mouth-still around his neck-causing him to choke, almost to death if I wouldn't have caught it). We try to show her the proper way to pet or even play with dogs. We have taken away the privelege of even petting the dogs but everytime we decide to give her another chance, she always goes to far. What else can I do?? I want her to be able to play with them, but not willing to get rid of the animals or let her hurt them anymore...


Asked by Anonymous at 8:15 PM on Jun. 29, 2010 in Pets

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • It's not uncommon for children with adjustment issues to take out their frustrations on animals, becaues it's "safe"; animals won't tell mom... Sitting with her in your lap, anjd your small dog in her lap, you can lightly grasp her wrist and "help" her pet safely and lovingly. As she adjusts to you and her place in your household, hopefully her agression towards the pets will subside. Good luck to you, and thank you for giving a child a home full of love and care.

    Answer by lawmom623 at 11:03 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • I noticed that you stated that your daughter "just joined your family"; is she adopted or a foster child? If so, there may be some underlying issues, that she may need to speak about with a counselor. It's good that you are trying to guide her by showing her how to be nice to animals. But she may not get the connection, of how treating animals- may relate to how she will treat people - in the future. All living things deserve respect and love. A counselor may be able to help her understand in child's terms. Good luck and keep us posted!

    Answer by Bostonsbest at 9:19 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • do you think that the things she is doing is on purpose? she is far old enough to understand that pulling on a dog the wrong way will hurt it. i honestly would be thinking that she was trying to hurt them on purpose. try talking to her and tell her that she has to learn how to treat the dog.

    Answer by secondtyme520 at 8:18 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • i think she needs to practice. it sounds like she is not used to handeling animals and not letting her be around them is not helping the situation. you need to let her play with the animals closely supervised and also teach her the proper way to do things (like how to make the pet come to her by snapping or whatever you do to call it). just be patient and spend alot of time showing her how to do it and she will catch on (i'm sure of it..... if i can teach a 2yo, she should be a piece of cake lmao)

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:19 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • I'd just constantly watch her. I'd never allow her any alone time with them. For if one was killed how bad could that be for the pet. For her for you. I guess showing her do's & don't may help. But always keeping them supervised for safety. Good luck!!

    Answer by Angellinda at 8:22 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • My daughter does this and she is 6. I know she does it on purpose. She is seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist. I hope it gets better for you.

    Answer by ashisamom at 8:29 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • My 9 yr old step son is mean to my cats, so I've told him to stay away from them. It got to the point where I was so fed up, that I took him down to the police station and had an officer talk to him and explain to him what would happen if he continues to be mean to the cats. I also know that this kid needs therapy, but his dad won't do anything about it and it pisses me off.

    Answer by offrdngal at 8:36 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • She is in counseling now, and yes, she has been through a lot, but I just can't believe she would want to hurt the animals on purpose. She is a very sweet girl and it just seems like she is just playing too rough with them. Right now we are letting her pet them if we are in the room, but she is not allowed to touch any of them if we are not in the room. She does really with our big dog, but the small one is where we have the problems. Thank you everyone for your ideas. Oh, and yes, she will be considered adopted in mid-August. We also know the bio-mother personally, so we semi know the details of her past 7 years.

    Answer by AdoptingMyChild at 10:36 PM on Jun. 29, 2010