Advice for getting my 2.5 year old to stop hitting our dog?

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  1. Shawna Van Trease profile image56
    Shawna Van Treaseposted 6 years ago

    Advice for getting my 2.5 year old to stop hitting our dog?

    She doesn't hit other kids and isn't an aggressive child, and she usually saves hitting for her moms, but recently she's hitting the dog and it makes me so angry and sad! The dog is a boxer, so he's a tough guy, and he is unbelievably loving and tolerant toward her. I'm not too worried that he'll do anything in return. I've used a few timeouts and some serious talks about not hitting, but it hasn't worked so far. Today I took away the lollipop she was eating when she hit him. That seemed to get her attention a bit. What else?

  2. LauraGT profile image90
    LauraGTposted 6 years ago

    It sounds like you're doing all the right things, but i would just make sure you are very consistent.  I would impose a zero tolerance policy.  If she hits the dog, it's an automatic time out (or she loses something special to her).  Or, what about an incentive for good behavior?  If she is nice to the dog (no hitting!) for the whole day, she gets a sticker or other incentive. Lots of reminders that she can get X if she is nice to the dog.  And, redirecting, of course (i.e., "We don't hit the dog. This is how we touch the dog, gently" and show her...)

  3. lovetrees profile image59
    lovetreesposted 6 years ago

    Hi there, i would also try talking to her and about how hitting isn't nice for the dog because the dog loves her very much and is a living thing reiterating the point that its not okay or nice to hurt any living. Rather encourage positive and loving feelings toward the dog. replacing the hitting behaviour with loving gestures like patting and stroking. I hope this helps smile

  4. Ciel Clark profile image78
    Ciel Clarkposted 6 years ago

    I have an almost two year old and when he gets too rough with our dog and two cats, I tell him,  "Be gentle!  Pet the dog like this." 

    (And then praise him when he pets gently). It does work!  I think this works a lot better than when I say,  "Don't hit the dog!  Don't sit on the cats!" 

    Good luck, and good luck to your boxer...

  5. Peter Leeper profile image79
    Peter Leeperposted 6 years ago

    Does your child see other peoples interactions with dogs often?  If so, maybe they treat their dog that way and she is mimicking that behavior.   I have an almost 3 year old boy and he doesn't hit our dog but scolds them like we do when he feels they are misbehaving or getting too close to him.

  6. krillco profile image92
    krillcoposted 6 years ago

    'When you hit, you sit!' Take her by the hand, and sit her in the 'naughty chair' for about 2 minutes. The naughty chair should be a small, lightweight child size chair used just for this purpose. It is portable, and can go everywhere with you. If she refuses to sit (like doing the 'kid-collapse' so she does not sit in the chair), simply stand near her for the two minutes wherever she drops herself, blocking any other activity. Here are two articles that go into greater detail. As a clinician, my 'stacked-relational consequences' are one of the few things I guarantee in my work. … onsequencs


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