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Old 11-09-2012, 01:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help W/Toddler and Anxious Rescue

Hi all!! (sorry for the long read )

Could really use some help! We brought in our newest addition a while back, and the winter is getting closer which means we will ALL be staying in doors for the most part! My biggest concern is with our four year old Sam.

He is adjusting well to our family but not to my not-quite two year old. He LOVES my four year old, will cuddle, sleep with, and play with, but I still have HUGE issues with my youngest. My youngest is not allowed to go near Sam because Sams fear of him has grown so much that he SCREAMS when he gets a foot near him, and RUNS!!!

For instance, if he is laying by my side with the rest of the family in my living room and my youngest comes near to me, Sam gets up yelping/screaming and runs to the next room, then when the coast is clear, he comes back, son gets down, same thing. Over and over again, ALL day long, until bed time. Sam likes to be near me, and so does my youngest, and it's this constant battle.

I have tried to have my youngest give him treats, be gentle, be sweet, pat, but he seems to be getting worse. We brought in a trainer, and it helped MY relationship with him as well as my husbands but...

I'm hoping that through the winter they will just learn to live with each other, but my mind has gone to adopting him out if it doesn't (or god forbid he bite my son), because he is under so much stress with him that I am at a loss as to what to do to help heal him of whatever is going on because when I am alone with this dog, he is INCREDIBLE! Eager to learn, learns quick, has a heart of gold, super protective of my WHOLE family when outside...just not in the house. Any advice? Books to read?
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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OK, I'm confused - I've read your post three times, and I'm still confused ... who is yelping and screaming? The dog or your child? Is Sam the dog? I think that's what I'm reading, but then I get confused about the screaming and running away b/c I am having a hard time picturing a dog doing that ... can you give a bit more clarity?

Thanks,
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The dog is the one screaming and running away.

Sorry, I have no advice, just thought I'd clarify.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sam is the dog, and he does the screaming and yelling...It's the loudest, high pitch, blood curdling yelp that isn't quite a bark or a yelp. It all runs into one, big....cry. I told my husband when he got home I would video tape it for you all, so that you could see the interaction between Sam, and my son.

I have been googling all afternoon on it, I'm finding I think I need to work on my relationship with my son and my dog all at once....I discipline my son since he is young and needs, and Sam follows me everywhere, so I'm wondering if maybe he relates to my son in a negative manner instead of a positive one at most.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you do a two-week shut down with this dog?

http://familypaws.com/

Last edited by msvette2u; 11-09-2012 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, we did two-ish. The first time, we did it a week and a half because we went camping and I felt it was important to bring him along with us than to leave him with a stranger.

Then we got into the summer and he picked up EVERYTHING really fast. Feeding time, manners, we worked with him lots. He lost 30 pounds hiking, swimming, running and running after the ball (always with me AND the boys). At first he was fine with my youngest, but the more he was in the house the more he became stressed, so I had asked about it, and someone had mentioned that a dog being left in it's backyard for four years by himself then coming into our wild, crazy home probably wouldn't adjust as quickly as I would have expected. Which was an ah ha moment!!

So we did it again, only not as stringent, just placed him in his crate in the living room where the boys play so that he could have some quiet processing time, and he was getting better, mainly, he just stayed away from my smallest for the most part, which was easy since it was summer, and we lived in my back yard, so plenty of room away from my toddler, his relationship with my oldest however, blossomed! If Sam isn't with me, he is with my oldest. Playing, eating, or just sitting in the grass while my oldest has his arm about his back or neck.

Now that it is winter, and he is constantly in the house and it seems the two are competing for a place by my side, its just gotten so bad. I'm just sad for him because he seems so scared of my youngest!

I have noticed too, that so far, my youngest is the only child he seems to have an issue with. Our house is the koolaid house and we have kids running around back and fourth all day long, and he plays with the kids that are bigger or as big as my oldest, AND I watch my sisters boy who is not quite a year and he is isn't afraid of him ONE bit! I was worried at first when I started watching him, but Sam sniffs, licks walks slowly, is cautious and gentle around him, so I really am wondering if it is my interaction with disciplining my youngest and Sam being at my feet seeing this all the time? Am I crazy to think so?
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm concerned about the attachment to you, where he won't go settle out of the way of the toddler.
Are you able to settle him somewhere out of the way? If not, put up a gate and keep him on one side and the kids on the other if possible.
This is a tremendous amount of stress, if he's constantly jumping up and leaving the room whining.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mysvette, I called family paws!

They were INCREDIBLY helpful!! We had an amazing conversation with her and am going to look into their webinars and getting a trainer who is specifically geared toward children. She also commented on him being close to me and my son approaching us/him and explained his body language a little further. Very helpful!! Thank you for that!


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Old 11-09-2012, 06:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yay!!
So glad you called. I put that link out there all the time and you're the 1st to say you called them!
Learning body language is crucial to integrating him as part of the family in a safe way
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