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My toddler is scaring my dog

I thought i would turn here to see if anyone had any advice.  My daughter is almost two and has been throwing massive fits lately.  They are mostly when she has to go to bed, but can happen at any time.  My dog freaks out when she has one eventhough he usually isn't even in the same room.  He starts shaking, panting and pacing the room. 

I'm not sure what i can do to make him feel more relaxed.  I dont know if he thinks something is happening to her or what.  I feel bad for him and it is obviously very upsetting to him.  Any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: My toddler is scaring my dog

  • I'm not a parent yet, so I don't have experience with this, but I would think that giving him a "safe space" would help.  Toddlers and small kids can be really scary to dogs because they're noisy and clumsy and tend to invade the dog's personal space.  If your dog is crate trained, you can make sure his crate is in a quiet part of the house and easily accessible.  If not, maybe you can make part of a room his away from the action with a bed, toys etc...  Make sure this space is always open to him so he can escape the chaos when he needs to. 
  • In addition to the safe space the PP has suggested I'd also work on conditioning him to be calm during her tantrums.  If you are dealing with your DD have your DH work on some obedience training with your dog during that time or vice versa.

    I would not pet him or try to soothe him while he is upset. That will just reinforce the behavior. Get him working on something else and praise him heavily for it! 

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  • I don't have kids yet either, but we spend a lot of time in our family cabin w/my niece & nephew for entire weekends.

    I agree w/pp's. A safe space for him w/o soothing sounds like an excellent & smart idea.


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  • Thank you for your suggestions.  I will try working with him next time it happens.
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