question for Moderator Todd

Posted by Annie
Jan 7, 2008
Hi there,
I really love reading you advices....and I´m always willing to learn more... I have a question about kids and dogs. You have written that it is not good 'Alpha' practice to discipline kids in front of the dog as the dog may think it has a higher position than the this right? My problem is that I have a really young child ( one and a half) and I am also in the middle of 'training' him too. I really need him to learn how to treat dogs with respect ( at the moment he is very rough and walks past and hits her) and being such a young child there is no way I can explain this to him later. In this situation, when my dog has done nothing wrong, is it OK to discipline the baby? My dog is so well behaved around the baby, but from your comments I worry that she may start to think she is higher up than the kids. Is this a problem? I feel that in an ideal world I would just be training one dog, but the reality is I have 2 kids and a husband to train as well I need my children to be respectful and behave well around animals and this needs instant consequences. I hope you can make sense of this....could you clarify this situation when the dog is being well behaved?
Thanks a lot for your time,
Posted by Todd
Jan 7, 2008
Hi there Annie
Thank you for your question.
The main problem with diciplining children around dogs is where the dog has started to show any sort of aggression problems especially dominance aggression. In these instances reprimanding your child may cause some problems.
For a child as young as yours they should not reprimand the dog at all, this should be saved until they are 4-6 years of age. This way they can understand better what they are doing and what is needed

As for telling your kid off for hurting or doing something wrong with the child go ahead. Try and do it with the dog a wee way away and never use a loud voice or anything the dog may think as serious. If at any time you start to have aggression issues STOP.

It is very hard to train two things at once and in most circumstances using common sense will prevail. I am sure both child and dog will not have any problems so keep up the good work.
Posted by Annie
Jan 9, 2008
hey there Todd,
thankyou so much for clearing that up. My dog is not showing any aggressive signs, and I am really trying to use a different tone and words for the baby and the dog. The dog seems to get it and seems quite un stressed when I discipline the baby. If anything, she seems quite happy that I´m helping and she doesn´t have to do anything. Thanks for clearing that up. I read another article and it got me confused....