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OK - I know this sounds drastic, but my 6 year-old son is driving me nuts!  He LOVES LOVES LOVES and is obsessed with Bexter (which should be a good thing, right?).  However, he drives Bexter to nipping (and me to do something else)!!!  When we first got Bexter, he nipped a lot, which I expected.  However, that has gotten a lot better.  He doesn't ever even nip now UNTIL my 6 year-old gets near.  He nips him & then Noah gets Bexter so riled up that he nips everybody and everything in his path!  I am now doing time-out for Noah when he gets him crazy.  He used to roll around with him on the floor like littermates & now I am doing time-out for that.  Now, though, even when Noah enters the room or pets him, he gets all hyper.  I can't really give Noah a time out for petting the dog gently! 

Has anyone had any problems with this?  What do you do?  Does this mean Bexter will become mean or nip for the rest of his life?  I am VERY concerned.  This is the dog that I waited for for a year.  He is sooo mellow & I was so proud of myself for picking a dog with such a good temperament, but I do not want my child to ruin him!

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In the book Raising Puppies and Kids Together, chapter 9 really covers a lot of this. I have the same problems as you, but with my 8 year old son. I forgot how many weeks Bexter is now. Did he go to a puppy class and were your boys able to go? Ours begins at the end of August and the whole family will be going. But that is a whole month from now. Just mom to mom, I think the best approach is our boy training right now. Remember, we require all kinds of appropriate behaviors in order to have access to certain things or places. They are taught and expected to behave in certain ways at school, at restaurant, on the playground...you know what I mean. Put your boy-mom hat on and put aside the puppy-mom hat for now. What if Bexter was the neighbor's infant or toddler? I think sometimes removing yourself from the situation you have and thinking of it from another perspective can remind you and encourage you to have the mindset to deal with it. Good luck. Let's keep in touch and see how our little men progress with this!

Also, to add... everyone in our house has learned that we need to have a chew toy handy when we are down on the floor playing with Maggie. She is mouthing all over us, but clearly out of excitement. When she starts that a toy goes right in her mouth. She gets the feeling she needs to be mouthing, but we are safe, and then we pet and snuggle away. She now will go get a toy and bring it to us so we will let her sit in our laps. 

 

My older son is doing well with this, but my younger one is two squiggly with what it feels like when the puppy is on him. He giggles, tenses up, squirms around. Play time doesn't last long.

 

Your child is not going to "ruin" your dog, you child, much like you, much like any human being that takes on or lives with another living thing needs to learn how to properly take care of things.

 

Before I was a nurse I was an early childhood educator, and now that I have a dog, I have realized that taking and training a dog is similar not the SAME as teaching a child

 

Instead of giving your child Noah, "time outs"for his bad behavior, why not reinforce the good behavior. Did Noah ever learn about puppies? what is expected? or is he just getting hollered at for not doing the right thing?

 

Noah obviously loves this dog, he wants to play with it and is excited.. much like when a puppy nips at you, it is not usually aggression but excitement and they want to play,

 

How about some books for Noah on how to raise a puppy, the importance of respecting a dog.. Make him part of the training process, teach him to get fresh water anything Noah can do to feel a part of.

 

I would be sad for you to look at it as Noah is ruining your perfect dog.. How about Noah needs to feel included and find ways that he too can be a part of this new addition. He may be feeling a bit jealous of all the attention the dog is getting or, he may find the only way he is getting attention is by being disciplined. I don't know that, I am just throwing it out there

 

I would make it a game.. Tell Noah you are going to see if he can be your assistant dog trainer, tell him puppies can not bite so we need to teach them not to. anytime Noah goes near the puppy, have Noah have a toy in his hand he can put in the puppies mouth so this way the puppy won't have a mouth available to munch on.

 

You don't want resentment to build up between Noah and the dog. I would definetly let Noah know what is expected and depending on his age, give him some jobs to do to help train. maybe a sticker chart for all the chores he does to help with the puppy and give him some creative outlets to love on the puppy that don't cause the puppy to freak..

 

As far as the puppy, how about keeping the puppy corded to you, so when Noah comes into the room, you have him on a leash so he can't go ape on him, you can even use this time to teach Baxter to sit, and when he sits, then Noah can pet him.

 

Try to hang in there..... try to make it fun for everyone and look at it is a great chance to bond with Noah in a positive way and to educate him on puppies.... Give him a job as assistant puppy trainer to the level he is capable.. and with a puppy I would not worry about nipping as aggression. He is just excited much like Noah.. They both need to learn acceptable behaviors...

 

Good Luck

That's really great advice Jennifer. Well put. I'll keep that in mind with my Benjamin too.
It is so important that the whole family be on the same page, and really hard for kids to understand.  My kids were 10 and 12 with our first puppy, and because Sam was small (cavalier/poodle), there was not as much dog to respect.  They were both nipped pretty hard with sharp puppy teeth a few times when they got him riled up.  We had already had multiple chats about the importance of not riling Sam up.  They were both in tears (puppy teeth hurt) and it really reinforced for them the importance of helping mom and dad teach Sam not to be mouthy.  Being kids of course, they forgot, and when they did, they lost "puppy privileges" and they had a time out in their rooms.  Of course, they really wanted to be with Sam, so I found this quite effective. Pippin is 3 times larger than Sam at the same age.  My son is now 15 and loves having a bigger dog.   We've had to have some chats again about wrestling, especially since we have much younger cousins who are dog shy.  Same message, but because the kids are older, easier to teach.  Be persistent with the kids.  Try limiting Bexter and Noah's time together (for now) when Bex is tired and before allowing Noah to be with Bex, have a reminder chat about what you are trying to accomplish.  The second Bex nips, remove Bex (time out).  Bex will catch on again.  Bex has learned that it is OK to play rough with Noah.  Both human and furbaby need to learn new rules.  (for example, Sam learned that it was OK to play rougher with the kids, but never engaged in the same level of roughness with me, cuz I didn't appreciate it).  Oh, just thought of something.  Try finding a dog that you think will match Bexter's full grown size (bigger might be better!! LOL).  Then paint a scenario with Noah and say something like, OK, this will be Bex full grown.  What do you think will happen if he plays rough with you at this size??
Oh yes!  My son comes home next week. He has been with a nice AMISH family for the past 2 1/2 years!  ONLY KIDDING!  But yes.. my boys STILL get Tori going and they are 13 and 18!  Bexter will learn who he can rough house with and who he can't, but until then you do need to keep on top of it.  Chew toys should always be handy and anyone who comes into the house should make him sit before giving him any petting or attention.  I KNOW it's hard, but you do seem like you have got a good handle on it!  Good luck!

Julie - I will try to get that book & read it. Thank you for that suggestion.

Jennifer - I have already done some of what you suggested.  Actually, Noah was the one who came with me to pick Bexter out & he has been quite involved from the beginning.  He even has learned quite a bit about training dogs - for example, the other day when I fed Bexter, Noah reminded me "Mommy, WE have to eat first, remember?"  It was cute.  He also will not let Bexter out the door until he sits.  So...I guess for his age he isn't doing too bad.  I guess I was just soo frustrated this morning when I posted this discussion!  I was worried that Bexter will never grow out of the nippiness & will rough-house everybody.  I see from most people's replies that Bexter will learn to only rough-house those who let him?? I hope...Yeah  I agree with everybody that it is NOT aggression, but just puppy/child playfulness & excitement.  I just started to really get worried about it.  I'll try to relax.

Jennifer, I do like the idea of a chore chart.  Noah has one, but I can include "dog training assistant" on there too.  Good idea.  It probably will make him feel important. 

Traci, Rehome your son before you get too much more attached.....LOL! Just kidding!!
Yes, take Laurie's advice...she rehomed her daughter and for payback she got a bull dog!!!  ha ha
Good one, Nancie. I do miss her, though, even if she now has TWO bulldogs. LOL
it would be cheaper in the long run to rehome the son..:)  have no suggestion except to set out a jar and everytime he (the son) starts in, make him put a quarter in the jar of his own money...or put a jar with 5.00 worth of quarters and tell him that each week he doesn't start with the dog, he can have a quarter.. or dollar or whatever works for hime as an incentive to not bug the dog..is there a trainer in your area that can come to the house and meet with you, your son  and the puppy and give him good ways to play with the dog.. good luck

I have twin boys who are six, so I can relate!  When they get Cocoa worked up, I give them treats and have them get her to sit.  If I can't control the nipping (this was more common when she was a puppy), I have to put the twins in a crate (just kidding!)... I used to keep Cocoa tethered so she couldn't chase them when they ran, because that is what usually initiated the jumping and nipping.  I also always kept her in my sight to make sure that they were respectful with her.  I think the tethering helped teach Cocoa to respect them and my watchful eye helped them learn to respect her.  I also taught them that puppy play involved jumping & nipping and that they shouldn't act like a puppy or they would get nipped.  Lastly, if Cocoa got too worked up (usually if my twins had friends over) I sometimes had to give her a bully stick or bone and put her in her crate.  I never allowed the nipping play and sometimes poor Cocoa paid the price by going into her crate (luckily, she likes her crate so it wasn't a punishment, it was more of a forced separation).  Now at two she is much, much better.

As far as rehoming boys, it isn't easy!  People love my twins, but I haven't had a "taker" yet :)

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