Son Plays Too Rough With Puppy

Question

We got a puppy in July, and I’m not able to get my kids to stay off of him, mainly my son (6yrs). He seems to think he is a stuffed animal or a toy and plays way too rough. We have tried everything to get him to stop, but nothing is working. Help!

Answer

Bringing a puppy home can be a challenge in itself and when you add excited children you create even more puppy chaos. It sounds like you may be trying to integrate everyone’s behavior at once in order to make it work. I suggest that, for the puppy’s sake, you consider crate training. Most dogs will welcome their own space after they get used to the privacy. At times, it is even helpful to cover the crate to blackout. Assign supervised visitation times with the puppy with behavior expectations that will be strictly enforced. A portable fence can be easily used to limit the space during the visitation times.

I often hear that consequences don’t work and find that the expectation that something will work defeats the purpose and causes frustration. Consequences do work but you have to do the work to hold out with the consequence and not give in. I believe if you can keep the puppy exposure to the children under control everyone will have a more peaceful experience as you integrate this new family member into the routine.

Gretchen Slover
drgretchenslover.com

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