Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

As a cat person, one of the things I've REALLY been looking forward to is getting to have a pet that can go with me so many places. Where I live also has a lot of very dog-friendly spaces that I intend to take full advantage of while raising a puppy here. Anyway, DH's brother came to stay this weekend. He was with us the day we picked up Odin and met the parents too. So that started us out for the weekend with our first houseguest and one of the most beloved figures in his life to boot.

 

Then, we went to a festival in an off-leash park with probably 5,000 people milling there, in the middle of the city. It was absolute craziness, we met 2 friends he knows and met probably 50 random dogs (most friendly except a peke which bit him). I finally decided, after he displayed very stuck-to-me behavior for hours, to let him drag a long line (BTW, I'm getting very irritated at bay area people telling me to "let my dog be FREE, man"). He behaved so well it blew my mind. I'm sure that he will suddenly and without warning short-circuit and all of this will have to be taught again, but he displayed 100% recall and played fetch perfectly, running to return the ball. He naturally stayed within 10-15 ft when we walked. When dogs approached, he would sit between my friend and I until they met him nicely and then would play a bit with them. Even chihuahuas, which are his MOST feared breed. He met many people and was polite and love-y to all.

 

What I was so excited about is that this one friend (one of the closest friends in my life) is scared of dogs and has not been happy I decided to get one. She was attacked as a child, so I can't blame her a bit. :D She had met Odin before and we just kept him away from her. But this night she said several times what a great dog he was (already!) and actually petted him. At the end of the night, she actually gave him a little hug :rolleyes: He licked her face and was very sweet with her.

 

Last night, we had a barbeque and invited over several people (15ish) he had never met. Except my other really good friend from college, her DH, and toddler son. The toddler loves animals, and Odin loves all children, so they are in general a good match. However, J (the toddler, 2.5 yrs) has entered a phase where he really wants to scream at the puppy and gouge out his eyes. Always the thumbs go for the eyes. J does not talk yet, which is pretty weird. Odin's breeder also had several foster children, which participated in the animal care and certain aspects of the breeding program to earn money for college. As a result, the puppies were well socialized with children and Odin will yank me on the leash to get to a child to lick them all over in total ecstasy. I don't want to jeopardize this innate love for children and certainly don't want my godchild to think this is an appropriate way to interact with dogs.

 

It was very tiring trying to hold Odin back from knocking the kid over while he screamed and tried to pull/poke/hit the dog. His parents hovered and said "gentle, gentle," which meant nothing to him. So I suggested that J (who has not started talking yet, which is kind of weird) maybe tell Odin to "sit" and give him a treat. I thought it might relieve some of J's frustration (he seems to attack the dog b/c he needs to experience the dog TOTALLY or something) to control the furry object of his desire, and simultaneously encourage him J to talk. I knew Odin would sit if he even got close to the syllable, and if not, I could always flash the hand signal over his head if I thought J was getting closer to sounding like it. My friend was just like, "no-o, that's probably way too hard for him. We don't like to take ownership of his learning process." WHAT?!? I'm thinking, if you never encourage him to speak, of course he won't do it! The kid is totally bright, BTW, just babbles instead of speaking.

 

They left soon (she is 8 mos pregnant again and was tired) and I was sort of glad as it was hard work keeping him from poking my dog's eyes out without being able to tell the child "NO!" I don't know what to do the next time we are supposed to hang out to let our "two kids" play together. Also, once she has the baby, I'll probably need to babysit for her some while it's all settling down.

 

The other people at the barbeque loved Odin, and he was so much fun. He did tricks for people, some brought him treats, and it was really great. Just that thing with my best friend and godchild, whom I love. Ick.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My friend was just like, "no-o, that's probably way too hard for him. We don't like to take ownership of his learning process."

 

LOL! That phrase just strikes me as funny.

 

Two and a half definitely seems old enough to give treats to a dog. I have little tiny toddlers - as young as 14 months - do it all the time, so they won't pull whiskers or scare the dog in some other way. The "Will you give him a treat?" question seems to delight children and takes their minds right off patting the dog. I think your instincts were very good on that. My dog would really rather not be patted, but he loves to do 'sit' and 'lie down' for treats. It really does make kids feel powerful and proud when they can get a dog to do what they say.

 

I would also be careful when this child was around, if he does seem to want to poke and gouge. You wouldn't want the dog to develop a fear of this child, if it's a close friend. (Also, the mother should be aware that her son shouldn't be around dogs freely, if he's going to poke at them!)

 

I'm wondering if there's not more going on with your friend's son. Maybe he's got some delays that she doesn't care to share with the world yet - or maybe she hasn't chosen to think about them yet herself? I'd keep an eye and be empathetic. I have a friendly dog-walking acquaintance whose toddler was "off." She was very careful about letting the boy near the dog, because I think she knew he had developmental delays and was inappropriately rough. But she didn't choose to talk about her son's problems - he was still so tiny for a label - so I respected it and left it alone.

 

Whatever the situation, I'd make sure all meetings with children were brief and very happy right now, so the dog continues to love them. If things get too much, take the dog out of the situation.

 

Mary

Link to post
Share on other sites
As a cat person, one of the things I've REALLY been looking forward to is getting to have a pet that can go with me so many places. Where I live also has a lot of very dog-friendly spaces that I intend to take full advantage of while raising a puppy here. Anyway, DH's brother came to stay this weekend. He was with us the day we picked up Odin and met the parents too. So that started us out for the weekend with our first houseguest and one of the most beloved figures in his life to boot.

 

Then, we went to a festival in an off-leash park with probably 5,000 people milling there, in the middle of the city. It was absolute craziness, we met 2 friends he knows and met probably 50 random dogs (most friendly except a peke which bit him). I finally decided, after he displayed very stuck-to-me behavior for hours, to let him drag a long line (BTW, I'm getting very irritated at bay area people telling me to "let my dog be FREE, man"). He behaved so well it blew my mind. I'm sure that he will suddenly and without warning short-circuit and all of this will have to be taught again, but he displayed 100% recall and played fetch perfectly, running to return the ball. He naturally stayed within 10-15 ft when we walked. When dogs approached, he would sit between my friend and I until they met him nicely and then would play a bit with them. Even chihuahuas, which are his MOST feared breed. He met many people and was polite and love-y to all.

 

What I was so excited about is that this one friend (one of the closest friends in my life) is scared of dogs and has not been happy I decided to get one. She was attacked as a child, so I can't blame her a bit. :D She had met Odin before and we just kept him away from her. But this night she said several times what a great dog he was (already!) and actually petted him. At the end of the night, she actually gave him a little hug :rolleyes: He licked her face and was very sweet with her.

 

Last night, we had a barbeque and invited over several people (15ish) he had never met. Except my other really good friend from college, her DH, and toddler son. The toddler loves animals, and Odin loves all children, so they are in general a good match. However, J (the toddler, 2.5 yrs) has entered a phase where he really wants to scream at the puppy and gouge out his eyes. Always the thumbs go for the eyes. J does not talk yet, which is pretty weird. Odin's breeder also had several foster children, which participated in the animal care and certain aspects of the breeding program to earn money for college. As a result, the puppies were well socialized with children and Odin will yank me on the leash to get to a child to lick them all over in total ecstasy. I don't want to jeopardize this innate love for children and certainly don't want my godchild to think this is an appropriate way to interact with dogs.

 

It was very tiring trying to hold Odin back from knocking the kid over while he screamed and tried to pull/poke/hit the dog. His parents hovered and said "gentle, gentle," which meant nothing to him. So I suggested that J (who has not started talking yet, which is kind of weird) maybe tell Odin to "sit" and give him a treat. I thought it might relieve some of J's frustration (he seems to attack the dog b/c he needs to experience the dog TOTALLY or something) to control the furry object of his desire, and simultaneously encourage him J to talk. I knew Odin would sit if he even got close to the syllable, and if not, I could always flash the hand signal over his head if I thought J was getting closer to sounding like it. My friend was just like, "no-o, that's probably way too hard for him. We don't like to take ownership of his learning process." WHAT?!? I'm thinking, if you never encourage him to speak, of course he won't do it! The kid is totally bright, BTW, just babbles instead of speaking.

 

They left soon (she is 8 mos pregnant again and was tired) and I was sort of glad as it was hard work keeping him from poking my dog's eyes out without being able to tell the child "NO!" I don't know what to do the next time we are supposed to hang out to let our "two kids" play together. Also, once she has the baby, I'll probably need to babysit for her some while it's all settling down.

 

The other people at the barbeque loved Odin, and he was so much fun. He did tricks for people, some brought him treats, and it was really great. Just that thing with my best friend and godchild, whom I love. Ick.

 

 

OK, I'm a little challenged myself regarding the "quote" button; went to Help and still couldn't figure out how to do it (LOL).

 

Anyways, regarding the child who at 2.5 does not talk and may have developmental delays. My first son was almost 3 and did not talk...just made noises. Everyone told me something was wrong with him, so I took him to two different doctors who said, "When he's ready to talk, he'll talk." Oh, we tried everything to encourage him; and we worried. Well, today he is 23, graduated from college with great grades and is an engineer. He talked when he was a little over 3, and interestingly, he was a very quiet kid all through school....and they used to complain about that at school...that he didn't talk a lot! His response was "I don't talk unless I have something to say." LOL Can't argue with that!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know what to do the next time we are supposed to hang out to let our "two kids" play together. Also, once she has the baby, I'll probably need to babysit for her some while it's all settling down

 

Don't let the toddler "play" with him unless he behaves appropriately. I would have put the dog in another room and not allowed him to be near Odin.

 

If you babysit, it'll probably be easier since the parents will not be around to enable their son in this behavior. Tell him from the get go how he is to act around Odin. If he misbehaves, Odin goes into another room. Period. He'll figure out the cause and effect pretty quick as long as you consistantly enforce it. Toddlers are smart :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think each of you are totally right.

 

I do think I will remove the dog from the next situation, because a love for children like his is too good to mess up. It will be tough, because if it has to be in front of my friend she will take offense even if I only lightly "blame" my godchild for the time out (as in his behavior is what is making this need to happen). I know her, and if I allow any blame to be placed on the dog - by this I mean indicating the dog might get upset and act poorly - she will get scared of him hurting/biting J and might never allow them to hang out again, which would be sad too. I guess I have to really focus on the interaction aspect.

 

The kid can hear fine and does ok with hi, bye, yes, no, dat (as in, "Whatever might that be?"), and oh (as in, "NOW I see what you mean"). It's just that he doesn't progress beyond that even though you can tell by his behavior he is smart (and easily able to manipulate his parents :rolleyes: ). I know the pediatrician tried to refer him to a speech therapist, but for some reason they don't believe this is something that should be pushed and haven't taken him. It's really sad to me b/c as many of you know you CANNOT give advice to a parent, even a friend, on how they parent their child. Especially if you have no children yourself. Whether or not it's justified and reasonable, it never works anyway. I know his inability to speak is affecting him, because he used to be the darling of his playgroup and now the other kids don't like hanging out with him b/c they all talk and he tries to (hmmm) grab their faces and scream. :D

 

Hopefully, I'll get my paws on my godchild alone again pretty soon here and can actually work with him and Odin to have an appropriate relationship. Including giving the dog commands and petting chests, not faces. IF he really can't say a monosyllabic word like sit (or even si!), then he can certainly make a fist, which is our signal.

 

Here is a link to a picture of the two (taken a month ago) on their blog. You can see they must be meant to be together! :D

 

http://jscamp.blogspot.com/2008/06/with-odin.html

 

Thanks for your replies-

 

edited to remove double negative.

Link to post
Share on other sites
if I allow any blame to be placed on the dog - by this I mean indicating the dog might get upset and act poorly - she will get scared of him hurting/biting J and might never allow them to hang out again, which would be sad too. I guess I have to really focus on the interaction aspect.

 

Yes, it's a really touchy situation. Does your friend have dogs? I'm wondering if you can point this out as something that you have to do with dogs in general : keep them away from small toddlers who might grab whiskers. I have a friend with 3-year-old toddlers and a beloved dachshund, and the kids were never allowed to pester the dog freely. The dog was always allowed an "out" and given space when needed. Seems like sensible general advice about toddlers and dogs, rather than specific advice about this toddler and this dog.

 

It is tricky, when parenting comes into friendships. Everything is heightened when kids are in the picture. Decisions about raising kids expose what people believe most deeply, and sometimes expose beliefs that you would not have seen otherwise. Good luck!

 

Mary

Link to post
Share on other sites
if I allow any blame to be placed on the dog - by this I mean indicating the dog might get upset and act poorly - she will get scared of him hurting/biting J and might never allow them to hang out again, which would be sad too. I guess I have to really focus on the interaction aspect.

 

I understand your concerns about her becoming scared to let J interact w/ the dog, but quite frankly wouldn't it be better for her to know up front what fears can develop in your dog if and when he gets enough of J poking, grabbing, and pulling on him? I would hate for the worst to happen, and yes even the "best w/ children" dogs can get frustrated to the point of harming. Not to mention that resentment toward her and her kid will probably come eventually at some point because she will not allow you to teach him to correct way to behave around a dog so that both will be safe.

 

I agree w/ others that trying to step in and give advice to a friend about their kids really is touchy ground, but on the other hand if she is close enough of a friend to you to give you the title "godmother" to her child, then she must trust something about you right? There are ways of suggesting gently w/o putting the "blame" on either the dog or the kid. Maybe ask once a week or so to give her a break and allow you to babysit for a few hours to "give her a break" and take that time to work w/ both of them. If you spend a good amount of time w/ your friend and her child, then doing something like this would be well worth your while in the long run.

 

Good luck on working w/ this situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Does your friend have dogs? I'm wondering if you can point this out as something that you have to do with dogs in general : keep them away from small toddlers who might grab whiskers. I have a friend with 3-year-old toddlers and a beloved dachshund, and the kids were never allowed to pester the dog freely.

 

 

No, they are "cat people" like me (well, now I'm an Odin person.) I think this is where some of this is coming from - with cats you remove the cat from the room in the 0.0001 % of cases where the cat does not itself leave the room or get out of the way, if the cat isn't being treated well. Odin, like many friendly dogs, does not try to take himself away even after a poke and a scream. So to my friend it looks like I am being ridiculous because the dog is still "happy"! They are animal lovers though, and have even said they are having children to practice for a dog later rather than the other way around. :rolleyes:

 

And Nicki, I agree with you as well, she does trust me but being 8 mos. pregnant with complications and an energetic toddler has not left her at her most reasonable or empathetic. I do believe it is important for him to learn early how to treat all dogs with respect for his own safety as well as the welfare of the dogs. They are just inherently more dangerous around kids than cats - ask two of my friends who were attacked as children, one guy requiring over 300 stitches and still has facial scarring. Neither Odin nor J deserves any real "blame" at all, and this may be a great and non-offensive way to make her see that. If not at the moment, then he and I and Odin can work a bit together, by ourselves, while giving her much-needed breaks. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...