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Help with puppy and toddler nightmare

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jessica S, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Jessica S

    Jessica S PetForums Newbie

    Aug 21, 2018
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    Hi all, I’ve just joined the site to see if I can get a bit of advice about how to alter my dogs behaviour around my toddler.
    We have a 6 month old boxer bitch and a 16 month old son. Our dog is great with our baby, she is very loving and tolerant with him(I know children also need to be trained with dogs which is going really well and our son is learning to understand he can hurt the dog so must be gentle and our dog has been amazing while we have taught him this) so he never just approaches the dog and squeezes her etc any more which is great but he does hit the dog in a desperate bid to get rid of her sometimes.

    How can I teach my dog to respect my child’s personal space? I feel like I’m getting nowhere as as soon as the dog sees him she just wants to be next to him, right in his face licking him and knocking him over, which is good but then he gets fed up and will whack the dog to get rid of her(which doesn’t actually work) and it’s just unfair on both the dog and my son and I end up having to separate them meaning the dog is watching us play though the fence. She also has a habit of taking everything he picks up, he will go and get it back which she allows happily but then just thinks it’s a game.

    They seem much better out in open spaces when the dog is off lead, but in the garden or house I cannot get her to leave my son alone.

    I just do not want my dog to not be able to be involved in the family and be in the garden with us.

    We did teach our son to say sit, which works for 0.5 seconds before our bitch gets excited again. He also gives her treats when she is displaying calm behaviour but it doesn’t seem to be making a difference.
    Please anyone what can I do?
  2. Northpup

    Northpup PetForums Senior

    Apr 22, 2018
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    You need to just closely supervise them. A 6 month old high energy breed like a boxer is still very young and isn’t going to want to sit in the corner whilst you and your son obviously play and have fun! Especially when your son will be shrieking and laughing etc which probably gets your dog excited.
    It’s good you are teaching them both to respect each other and that that’s going well.
    I think ideally you need to get a crate for your dog, you have time when you play all together and your son and her are supervised then, when you want to play inside you can put her in the crate.
    You could try to teach her to go into her bed when you and your son play but a crate seems a better option.
    The dog at 6 months isn’t going to leave you alone by herself and will want to be in on action! So to avoid her getting in sons space give them each their own!
    This doesn’t mena you 3 can do “training” playing in garden etc fetch but when it’s plahinh with sons toys and stuff dog can’t be involved in its best to put her out of the way, you don’t want your son continue to hit out at her.
    She will probably love a crate! Most dogs do, it’s their own personal space per say and allows you to move her out of the way when you need too.
    She doesn’t have to be shut out but she doesn’t need to be involved ALL the time.
    There’s lots of things you 3 can all do and then you and your son can have time and then you and dog (training/walks) etc
    That’s perfectly ok to do separate things :) hope this helps you out a little
    When she’s older and calmed down and your son is older and can react better you will probably find she will just lay in her bed whilst you play and things won’t be an issue anymore :) try the crate, good luck
    planete, Calvine and Jamesgoeswalkies like this.
  3. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    May 8, 2014
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    Puppies and children don't really mix as neither have the social skills to interpret situations. As has been said above by Northpup you need to separate them when your son wants to play and perhaps do something different with your dog. Expecting a 6 month old puppy to play with a 16 month old child is really not wise. Especially as your son is liable to hit the dog when the dog is annoying him. The potential repercussions here are just not worth the risk.

    At 6 months of age I would look to be doing some regular training with your dog - away from children - I would be taking them out for a walk/play/training session then teaching them to settle on your return. If well supervised the dog can be in the same room as your son but you will begin to teach the dog to leave your son alone (and your son to leave the dog alone). You can use a lead indoors if necessary. If your son wants to play around on the floor or you are not able to closely supervise then they are separated.

    In time as child and dog grow up their relationship can evolve but at the moment both are too young.

    In regard to your pup taking toys from your son - again you are leaving the training of your pup to your 16 month old son when you say 'he will go and get it back which she allows'. You teach your dog not to touch the toys with the word leave and you teach your dog to hand items back with the word drop. This is regular puppy training so maybe go to a class or get a trainer in.

    Northpup, planete and Calvine like this.
  4. Jessica S

    Jessica S PetForums Newbie

    Aug 21, 2018
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    Thank you for you advice.
    In regards to the crate, she has one which she sleep in of a night or is always available to get of a day but she never chooses to go in so I assumed she didn’t like it. But I will start to install more of a routine with it and see if it helps.

    They have both improved massively. My son is a million times more loving towards her now, but their are still some issues of course. And my dog will come away from him when I tell her which I reward bit of course this doesn’t last more than a second.
    Thank you for pointing out I need to be the one teaching her in regard to his toys, I did lot look at it this way.

    I’ve been trying to teach her to calm down a little as she does not stop jumping. I would expect nothing less from a 6 month old boxer but we need to start to learn to calm down and sit with us on the living room ect.
    Jamesgoeswalkies likes this.
  5. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

    Nov 13, 2012
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    When you do put your dog into the crate whilst having a play with your son, give her something to do rather then just shut her away, so that she doesn’t feel too left out. Have you looked at Kongs and the various food recipes that they can be stuffed with in order for the dog to lick out? Freezing the Kong and food makes it last longer. Of course this needs to be part of your dogs ration of daily food. Another idea is to find a long lasting natural chew, have a look on Zooplus for ideas, you will need to keep an eye open to make sure she is dealing with the chew properly and not trying to swallow large pieces.
    Good luck with the training, I’m sure once she is mature and your little boy is older, they are going to be the best of friends.
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