Nephew being agressive with my dog

King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
edited August 2017 in Help / Advice Forum
So here's the situation. While my brother is deployed My Parents decided to help out by taking his kids for a few months so his wife could get their affairs in order and go to school. I watch them during the day since I work night shifts. My niece is 7 no problems on that end. Her brother is 2 and he's in the I'll just smack you if I feel like it phase.

My dog is 6 generally very docile with kids but my nephew is literally beating her up. He smacked her in the face with a dog toy, rammed a toy train into her foot and cracked a toenail,he keeps jumping on her when she's below him( like laying on the floor by my bed or a sofa) and tonight he grabbed her tail and tried to blow a raspberry up there.

I noticed she tries to avoid him and she's growled a few times after he's fallen on her ( which is when I take her to my room to get some quiet time )but this time understandably she got really freaked out barked and pushed him away then immediately ran to me. She hasn't bared her teeth or anything I think she just wanted to be clear he needs to back off .

I'm getting baby gates on payday but I wanted to ask for any tips on how to explain to my nephew that he's hurting her. I've tried time outs and not letting him have the snacks he likes but he doesn't seem to take to it

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Kids that young often don't know and probably can't learn to leave animals alone. Even older kids have issues with this. My roommate watches young children and my dog, half husky and half german shep, has had similar problems. I would say to just separate them if possible. It may seem cruel to the dog, but neither the dog nor the kid knows how to act around each other in those situations.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited August 2017
    So here's the situation. While my brother is deployed My Parents decided to help out by taking his kids for a few months so his wife could get their affairs in order and go to school. I watch them during the day since I work night shifts. My niece is 7 no problems on that end. Her brother is 2 and he's in the I'll just smack you if I feel like it phase.

    My dog is 6 generally very docile with kids but my nephew is literally beating her up. He smacked her in the face with a dog toy, rammed a toy train into her foot and cracked a toenail,he keeps jumping on her when she's below him( like laying on the floor by my bed or a sofa) and tonight he grabbed her tail and tried to blow a raspberry up there.

    I noticed she tries to avoid him and she's growled a few times after he's fallen on her ( which is when I take her to my room to get some quiet time )but this time understandably she got really freaked out barked and pushed him away then immediately ran to me. She hasn't bared her teeth or anything I think she just wanted to be clear he needs to back off .

    I'm getting baby gates on payday but I wanted to ask for any tips on how to explain to my nephew that he's hurting her. I've tried time outs and not letting him have the snacks he likes but he doesn't seem to take to it

    Children don't really have empathy or anything at that age, they're sociopaths with no sense of delayed gratification. The best thing you can do is separate them and if he wants to see your dog and play with her, make sure he plays nice or back to no more dog. Even a docile dog will eventually bite if he happens to hit a previous injury or arthritic joint or something. I have no tolerance for violence towards animals and if he is being as aggressive as you say, he doesn't need to be around your dog at all. I only suggest the "supervised visit" thing as an opportunity to learn.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    My son is 20 months. He's a goddamn asshole to everyone and everything except women out in public, who he says hi and waves at, which in turn makes me look like a creep using a kid to pick up women. When he's around the pets or his brother (1 month old), it's absolute zero tolerance. One swing, one hard pet, one hit, one thrown toy and it's time out, ten minutes in his play pen alone with no toys, and a simple explanation going in that you have to be gentle with (dogs/cats/babies/daddy's glasses), and then the same explanation repeated with a hug when he comes out, provided he's calmed down.

    He's generally good for a few hours after one of these, but long term learning is really slow with toddlers.

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  • GrobianGrobian What's on sale? Pliers!Registered User regular
    edited August 2017
    We don't have a dog, but I think a 2 year old can definitely be taught to leave a dog alone. Firm voice, separating them when he gets too close etc. He probably won't really get the explanation, but I would explain nevertheless (that the dog doesn't want to play and should be left alone)

    My son at 2 was aware of things he wasn't allowed to play with/touch. Doesn't work 100% of the time and all kids are different, but that's the route I'd go.


    /edit: I also posted a link to this thread in the SE++ kids thread, there are many people with generally good advice in there.

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Yea. He needs to learn how to deal with animals. It's tough if they are not around animals all the time. We have a 1yr old and he is starting to show some signs of control but he still loves eating the cat.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    The most important thing is consistency. Any other adults in his life need to also be quick to react, preferably exacting the same punishment. Ideally with all animals, not just your dog.

    Toddlers are assholes, but they can learn. It'll be harder if they're allowed to be rough with a younger or more tolerant dog.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Is the boy in some kind of preschool or nursery school? Formal education up til about Kindergarten is more about socialization than anything else. Sure you want to nurse interests, but it's mainly learning how to deal with others, share, conflict avoidance and resolution, not hitting or biting or spitting, because they need those skills to navigate school.


    I got my dog before either of my kids were born and one thing we stressed constantly when they were toddlers is he's also a person, and you treat him as such. With the cat it was easier, one good scratch and they learn the cat is not to be fucked with.

  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    I think the gates and harsher enforcement of time outs is probably the best method. I talked to my parents and they'll start using them as well . He actually responded to a time out today so I'm hoping it'll be a more effective deterrent in the future.

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  • Banzai5150Banzai5150 Registered User regular
    My daughter is about to turn two. With our two cats and now our new 5 month old puppy, it's all about letting her know she's doing something wrong. We have her mimic our behaviour with the animals, petting gently and the like. After a bit of fur pulling and tail yanking she finally has it under control. Occasionally we need to remind her to be nice. Consistency is the key.

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