I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!
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Thread: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    DefaultI need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    I am so distraught right now because I don't know what to do about my 10 week old puppy and my 4 year old son! We got Wisher two weeks ago. I have raised and lost three amazing Labradors but they all left me when knox was very young and they, being very old, were protective and loving to him. Fourteen years ago I was in graduate school when they were puppies, I had forgotten how wild they can be when they are pups. He is constantly biting and chasing knox. Now that wisher weighs 22lbs knox is completely terrified of him. That just makes wisher chase, bark, jump, and snap at him even more. Wisher is being crated, but in the evenings my son is on the top and back of the sofa out of fear. Does anyone have any advice about how I can teach Wisher or help my son understand? I am so upset, I can't let my son be traumatized. We want this new family member so badly. Please Help!

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  3. #2
    Kathryn Guest

    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    Please don't take this the wrong way its not ment to be mean in ANY way!

    Its not the DOG who needs the training its ALWAYS the human. So its not the puppy who needs trained its your son. I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old black lab.
    LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of play outside with you the adult is needed. Puppies have LOTS of energy just like little kids who have had WAY to much sugar. (a tired puppy is a happy puppy)
    You need to let the puppy know who's boss! When we had a hard time calming my 2 1/2 y/o lab down we would sit on the floor legs in front of us and lay her between our legs and hold here there and talk CALM to her. After she was clam we would hold her a little more and pet her and let her know what a good girl she was for being calm!
    As for bitting try a spray bottle. I attached one to me for puppy training with both Maggie and Dakota. It shocks them enough you can correct the puppy. Give the puppy something that IS okay to bite/chew.
    The puppy running after your son will be a hard one. Your son has to be the one to let the puppy know NOT to run after him. Give him a spray bottle also and have him do a quick spray and tell the dog NOT to run after him.

    Having younger children and puppies together can be the BEST thing in the world. But it takes a lot of work to get both the children and the puppies to learn how to play nice.

    I would also start looking for a trainer. Most places won't take a puppy till they are 3 months but it took me 4 weeks to find a trainer I trusted! Its WELL worth the money to spend for both your sanity and the puppy's.

    All of us here are MORE than willing to help you. Don't give up just yet. A lot of the members here will tell you this site was a lifesaver for them! So stick around and we will do our best to help you and our family through puppyhood!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    Well, at 10 weeks old the fun is just beginning (hate to tell you..). Maybe putting puppy on a long cord and have it tied around your waist so he is not running around wild without some control. I would tire that puppy out, then work with puppy and your son when puppy is tired...I think the best thing would be to get an obedience instructor to come out to your place and observe the situation and give you advice, it will be well worth the money, otherwise as puppy gets bigger your son is just going to get more scared. I would not even let puppy near your son right now unless he is on a leash, that way if your son knows you have some control over the dog, then maybe he will be less scared. Also as soon as your puppy has all of his shots, get him into an obedience class, the more this dog is socialized the better..You can make this work, but it will take a lot of work on your part...
    Debbie

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    HI Wisher,

    I have been there! we got Taz when my twin boys were 41/2 years old. Taz would jump on thee pull clothes, nip etc.
    They would get really scared and started screaming which got him more excited andway I did a couple of things
    - try to tire him out as much as possible before my boys came home from kindergarten
    - teach my boys to walk around with a toy and when he comes to close stuff it in his mouth
    - and simply putting Taz in his crate if he got to excited
    - letting my boys feed him, he has to wait untill to say "OK"

    I started puppy kindergarten when he was just 10 weeks old and I always took 1 child with me
    so they are more confident around them.

    My boys have now started primairy school and last week I got a drawing from one of them saying
    I love Taz Aaawww
    Taz is now 61/2 months old and things have settled down a lot.

    Good luck!
    Eve




  7. #5
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    Good advice from everyone.

    I'll start by saying that what you are experiencing is totally normal puppy behavior. Here is what I would do in your situation:

    -- Teach 'NO BITE'.
    -- NEVER leave the pup alone with the child, even for a second.
    -- Crate the pup when he can't be supervised.
    -- Provide him with plenty to chew. Re-direct him from chewing you or your son with a toy or bone.
    -- Entertain the pup. Play with him several times a day. Tire him out. A tired dog is a good dog.
    -- Sign the puppy up for obedience classes.
    -- Work on basic obedience BEFORE you start classes. Also, work on getting him used to the leash.
    -- Don't allow the pup up on furniture. He must earn this privilege.

  8. #6
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    My youngest grandkids (then 2,4,6) were scared of Tucker too, when a puppy. They didn't like being around him. The puppy's being a normal puppy.

    Others have given good advice, but keep in mind the nippiness may last 'til the baby teeth are gone...4-6 mos.

    I too would never leave a small child alone with a dog, even a well-tempered lab.

    The grandkids love Tucker now, and he's so good with them.

    Good luck; it does get better.

  9. #7
    einstein's legacy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    People have shared wise words with you, now it's up to you to make this work. The rewards will be worth it.

    We got our Duncan when he was approximately 6 months old, he was a "rescue", but was never socialized and had more issues than you can imagine. My three sons were all raised with labs, they weren't the least bit concerned BUT the dog was frightened of them and actually nipped my oldest (over 6' tall) from behind! That is a BIG no-no. Everyone in this house had to be retrained on dealing with this dog. Today, Duncan is my sons' best friend. It took about 6 months of heavy duty training on all our parts.

    He's the black boy in the photo and we're very proud of how far he's come!!

    Good luck!


  10. #8
    WigWag Guest

    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    You have received very good sound advice. Your son needs to be taught how to handle the pup and I suggest contacting someone who has a lot of experience with puppies and also has small children - try contacting his breeder and asking if she/he has a friend that fits the bill or your local obedience facility.

    A friend was over yesterday with three 11 week old puppies and my 4 1/2 year old daughter was playing with them in the backyard for over an hour. We had one "arm bite incident" but she quickly cried and then bent down and held the puppies mouth and said "NO BITE!" It was quite funny. She knows how to handle puppy and how to play with them and also when to avoid their little teeth!

  11. #9
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    I agree that there's work to do on both sides of this equation. We faced this with Wesley and our youngest dweckette, who is six months younger than he is (so when he was two, she was 1.5 -- made for some interesting times, I assure you).

    The dog needs to learn NO BITE, OFF, SETTLE, and DOWN. And I agree that more exercise is vital.

    Your son needs to learn NOT to scream and run (which only pushes about 295 puppy-buttons for undesirable behavior).

    When things start to click, it's an excellent idea to foster interactions. When the pup is sleeping, it's a good time to have your son just watch and see that dogs DO have downtimes and that they can be quiet and calm. When the pup is in an equable mood, have your son learn to brush, feed. water. Bring him on walks, even in the stroller (dw#3 ADORED this).

    It IS workable, but the key word there is WORK. Good luck.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 4 yr old and my puppy! Please!

    I don't know if I can add any more wisdom, but what I can say is good luck and give you some encouragement. When we brought Lucy home she was 8 wks. and we had a 10, 7 and 1 year old. I started with NO BITE the second we got her home. I kept her tied to me a lot and we used the crate a lot.

    Every once in a while my house just seems to explode, but over all the mix of lab and kids has worked out great for us!


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