Friday, May 8, 2015

Sibling Conflict

So just as I was telling my husband that my son really needs a sibling.  (He gets quite demanding with, "mommy carry" and how he wants things particularly done and I'm sure every toddler mom has had to struggle against being a "short-order" cook).  The dog stepped in.  The toddler was finally eating bread after demanding that he wanted mommy's pancake (which wasn't made with a treenut free mix, but with a healthier, whole-grain mix).  He simply could not have it and I'm not sure how he could tell the difference.  I even resorted to trying to switch plates but he was not easily fooled.  We finally got him to eat some bread.  In a temporary meltdown, his heel of bread (the last of the bread) fell on the floor and the lab/rottie/shepherd mix was ready to accept his "manna from heaven".  Dewey ran off with the bread to the living room (which is where he takes every treat he ever gets, don't ask me why.)  The toddler was a little slow on the uptake and then figured out what happened.  He then ran off to Dewey and it was so precious, he stood in front of him, wagging his finger at him.  He learned this from the MANY times we have read the book "Caps for Sale".  Wagging his finger and saying "bread".  "My bread" or something like that.  It was very cute and made me think, while the dog is not a replacement for a real sibling for our son, he will at least help train him to not take for granted his food, he may teach him how to share and this isn't such a bad thing.  Of course I stood right there and dissuaded the toddler from reaching into the dogs mouth (which I'm pretty sure he would have tried) and tried to keep everyone safe.

 No matter how sweet and wonderful the dog, a toddlers hands, with food and a dogs mouth can be a very bad combination.  I've actually found a great website recently that speaks about this, as well as dog communication and children safety.  Please check it out, for the good of any of the children and canines in your life:

This website is very informative, but be prepared to have some Kleenex.  It's a sad story, but hopefully some good can come from it and further dog bites can be prevented.  I don't know how many times I have heard stories in exam rooms where parents are blaming dogs for their behavior when they are letting their children do risky behavior that could lead to the dog having no other option.  (Examples include children who hit, kick or step on an animal and then the owner disciplines the animal for growling).  Dogs should not be disciplined for growling.  Growling is a better defensive behavior than going to bite without a warning growl.  Checkout the and learn more about canine communication and stress and kid safety.

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