4 year old boy and how to treat the dog?

Ok, my son is 4 years old, the dogs the same age, they grew up together, but i cant seem to get through to him about the proper way to treat the dog. She has always been super tolerant of him, far more tolerant than i am to tell the truth. He is suspected of being ADD, but i am just watching him for now, see what happens when he gets to school. I always try to keep an eye on him with her, but with 2 other kids, it can be hard to watch him all the time. I just caught him, pulling her tail, while she was on tiles, so she couldnt get a grip to get away. She has snapped at him before, once drawing blood, but it wasnt bad, and i dont really blame her, i would have snapped too, and probably done more damage. Anyway, i have tried explaining to him that it hurts her when he does these things to her, tried explaining that if he causes her to bite him again, she will have to go away, tried puninshing him for the behaviour but he keeps doing it. Im at my wits end to try to teach him, help.


The dog is great, she only ever snaps as a last resort, has only broken the skin once, and she loves him to pieces, often instigating the silly behaviour, and my 2 year old is great with her. But i just cant seem to be able to make it sink into my eldests head that he needs to be nice to her, mainly i think because she displays no real outward signs that what he is doing hurts. Im also really worried because she is a doberman, and her teeth are at his face height. Any suggestions on how to teach my son would be appreciated, hes normally very good with her, he just occassionally gets nasty, he does it with my other son too, but he can fight back, so its normally not an issue, well, not of his safety anyway.

Update 2:

I have tried the ear thing before, but he just gets hysterical and forgets why we are physically punishing him. I have been telling him, 'no, if you cant be nice, leave her alone', from the first time he did it, about 2 years ago. And he does know the proper way to treat her, how to be nice, he just seems to have a malicious switch in his brain that switches on every now and then. Most of the time he is nice to her, playing with her and petting her, if hes having a snack, he always saves the last bit for her. Its not an accidental hurt, its a deliberate thing. I mean, right now, they are both on the sofa, snuggled up watching tv, and hes patting her gently, and telling her that he 'loves his big girl'. Thats our nick name for her. He never actually hits her, he just finds inventive ways to torture her, and we try to discourage this, naturally, but he keeps doing it. Its only a once a week thing that he will do something, but i really wish i could get him to stop entirely.

4 Answers

  • Jody
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    When he pulls her tail, you pull his ear until he cries. Tell him that's what she feels when he pulls her tail. I am not advocating child abuse, but even minimal ear pulling will be painful.

  • 1 decade ago

    sounds as if you have a much bigger issue here than just him learning to treat the dog well. sounds like he has problems with relationships with others in general.

    its also at this age that children learn empathy and its very important that they get this. you may need to learn some techniques with him on how to treat other living beings in general and by the little of what you have said about him, I cant really get a clear idea but I am just guessing here.

    in the meantime try to get some ways to separate the dog and him in different rooms if you are not going to be able to be within close range and when you are then sit there with him and show how it should be done and just keep repeating the process. dont let him touch the dog if he cant do it nicely

    and good luck with you

    Source(s): preschool special needs teacher
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    we have a dog too hes older than my niece and when my niece comes over when she was younger shes bout 3 now

    but when she would pull on him or hit him(she never hit him hard) to pet him and we knew it might hurt him though he has sinsitive ears, we would take her hand and say no be nice then show her how to properly pet the dog. If she did it again after that we took her hand and said no be nice and showed her how to properly pet him again, it took her a while to get a hang of how to pet him, but now she pets him good, but maybe you could try the same thing, but if he does alot all the time try taking his hand and tap it dont tap it hard but you know enough to get the point through. and then show him how to properly pet the dog, you dont want to hurt him though. just tap his hand gentely. i hope this helps any...

  • 1 decade ago

    just keep tellin him no .. hell get it soon

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