Taking a bit of a break from the housebreaking topic to discuss something else today. I seem to get the same questions in waves, and this one has been at high tide for a while now.
It involves puppies and kids. Two of my favorite things! I always say, though, that the hardest thing is to have a puppy and a two year old because they both jump and squeal and you can’t reason with either one of them!
But!. They should be best friends, right? That’s why you got the puppy, wasn’t it? Well, its not quite working out. Kid runs and screams and waves his arms and that darn puppy tries to jump on him and mouth him! Knocks him over! Makes the kid either cry and be afraid or get more screamy and excited, which in turn gets puppy more excited which…well, its a never ending cycle that drives you insane!
First of all realize that This Too Shall Pass and in a few years, they WILL be best friends, but right now they are just little. That’s right, just little, nothing ‘wrong’ with either one of them.
BUT, it is not up to your toddler child to try and make the puppy behave. That’s why kids come equipped with this handy thing called Parents. Yup, its your job to teach them both. So, the first thing you are going to do, is get the kid away from the puppy and teach him to Be a Tree.
Be a Tree means he will stand still, bend his knees a little, give himself a hug, with fists tight against his body and shut his eyes. And you practice this at random times, “Be a Tree!” until it comes automatically to kid.
THEN when you hear that familiar squeal and scream of ‘Puppy is getting me!’ You know its time to yell, “Be a Tree!”. Now kid is calm, puppy is getting no attention – and attention and the excitment of it all is why he jumps and grabs – and will realize kid is now BORING. As soon as you yell ‘be a tree’ you get up and go tell puppy to do something else. Sit, come, chase your ball.
What this accomplishes is stopping what could be a bad habit of behavior and reaction before it gets ingrained in both of them. It also gives kid a sense of something to do when he’s not yet old enough to be a firm commander of the puppy.
Try it, you’ll like it!
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