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Discussion Starter #1
Sounds horrible, right? You're expecting to hear about an 80 pound vicious dog, right? It was our 6 pound papillon, Dexter. The way he bit our son forced his top teeth into our son's eye lid. Thankfully I've been working with Dex on his bite, so it didnt even break the skin.

Now, I've read tons of threads on here about children and dogs. This happened right in front of me, in fact, the way that they were playing, they were half on top of me, at the time. It was an accident, my son grabbed Dexter's tail and he pulled, I dont think he meant to, as they were in a pile wrestling, so it was unintentional. Dexter growled and a split second later bit him.

I've worked with Dexter every single day since we got him, on bite inhibition. He bites me 300 times a day, I bet..lol. When he bit my son, his eye and cheek was red, but no broken skin, no swelling and it took all of 2 seconds for my son to resume playing with Dexter.

I KNEW that this day would come. I have known that eventually Dexter would bite my son. They play rough, they roll each other around, and chase each other, Dexter jumps on my son, and the whole time my son's laughing so hard and Dexter is trying as hard as he can to lick my son's face. But there are times during their play when my son will try to pick Dex up and Dex doesnt want to picked up, Dex will growl and that is when I say, NO to my son and I explain that Dexter is talking to us and telling us not to pick him right now, etc, I explain more but I do it in the words that my 3 year old can understand.

I'm actually very proud of Dexter that he didnt hurt my son when he did bite him. I didnt yell or disipline him, in fact I yelled "No" at my son, because I saw that he had Dex's tail in his hand, a split second before Dex bit him.

So, do you all have any advice? Is there anything else that I should be doing with either my son or our puppy to teach one or both more? I would have preferred that my son NOT have gotten bitten because Dexter could have taken out his eye. It had the potential to be bad. He may only be a 6 pound Papillon, but ANY dog can bite at any time, no matter what the breed. I'm just glad that I've been working with Dexter on bite inhibition. I figured at some point, a bite would happen. It's inevitable. Now, I want to know if there anything else I can do to prevent it. Dexter is 5 months old BTW.
 

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Until Dexter can learn to not nip at all do not allow them to wrestle. Any kind of nipping/biting should never be allowed. When Dexter bites you(at 5 months it is a bite not a nip to me) say No bite firmly and then give him a toy to chew on instead of you! What if that was someone else's child instead of your son? Even if he didn't break skin it still could have put you in a lot of trouble!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He has never bitten or nipped anyone else until yesterday when he nipped our son. I am the only one he "bites" and that is at a specific time when we wrestle, only he and I, when my son is not around, and he is allowed to "bite" me. When he bites too hard I say "ouch" and he immeditately sits and waits for me to signal that we can play again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Again, this is the first time he has ever bitten anyone. (I am not counting our play wrestle sessions where we purposely work on biting). He has never bitten me, my hubs, our son, NO ONE, until last night. So, I need to be sure that he doesnt do it again. I realize that the biggest part of that is teaching my son and watching my son and limiting their playing.
 

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I wouldn't even allow him to "bite" you even when you are playing. It confuses him when he can bite someone but not the other person. I wrestle with my grandpas 5lb yorkie and dont allow her to bite me even when playing.
 

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until Dexter can wrestle without nipping or biting I would not allow your son to wrestle with him, even when it is just playing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wouldn't even allow him to "bite" you even when you are playing. It confuses him when he can bite someone but not the other person. I wrestle with my grandpas 5lb yorkie and dont allow her to bite me even when playing.

Well crap, then I've been going about this all wrong. How else do they learn what is too hard of a bite?
 

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While the dogs in our family were allowed to bite us when we were kids (and we'd get yelled at) if we got obnoxious, and I think that it's a good lesson for kids not to harrass the dog, I think letting a puppy and a 3-year-old wrestle is probably a bad idea. Neither of them has sufficient self-control to avoid hurting the other.
 

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Well crap, then I've been going about this all wrong. How else do they learn what is too hard of a bite?
That shouldn't even have their teeth on you. Don't "make" them bite you to teach them.(by that I mean wrestling). Toys are okay to chew on, not humans. So if you are sitting on the couch enjoying TV and he jumps on you to start "wrestling" and nipping you say Ouch or No bite(what ever you use) and put him on the floor. Do not allow him on the furniture till he can sit up there without nipping you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While the dogs in our family were allowed to bite us when we were kids (and we'd get yelled at) if we got obnoxious, and I think that it's a good lesson for kids not to harrass the dog, I think letting a puppy and a 3-year-old wrestle is probably a bad idea. Neither of them has sufficient self-control to avoid hurting the other.
This is it. Really, neither of them have the self control to avoid hurting the other. You are so right.

Now, any advice to keep the two of them from wrestling??
 

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Tell your son to not wrestle with the dog and if he does he will get in trouble. My 3 year old cousin knows to not wrestle with my dogs and knows if he does he sits on the couch for 10 minutes and he has to explain to me what he did wrong. Instead of wrestling, let your son throw a toy around for your dog to fetch. Maybe even let him help with training. Like sit, down ect.. Give him ways to interact with the dog that doesn't evolve wrestling or ruff play.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That shouldn't even have their teeth on you. Don't "make" them bite you to teach them.(by that I mean wrestling). Toys are okay to chew on, not humans. So if you are sitting on the couch enjoying TV and he jumps on you to start "wrestling" and nipping you say Ouch or No bite(what ever you use) and put him on the floor. Do not allow him on the furniture till he can sit up there without nipping you.

I can do this. Instead of our hand on wrestle time I will use his toys and use "ouch" and I will start "no bite". He needs to learn not to bite anyone. I cant have him biting my son. I had a feeling that it was going to happen, though. I feel like I've just been waiting. I know that sounds weird.
 

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I've worked with Dexter every single day since we got him, on bite inhibition. He bites me 300 times a day, I bet..lol.
ACK! My dogs haven't bitten me 300 times in all the time we've had them. Put together. I have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of biting or nipping of people. If one of their teeth touches my skin GAME OVER. Dogs can be incredibly precise with their teeth, so teaching them to be conscious and careful of them is huge in my house.

As a general rule, I don't think you should let your 3-year-old wrestle with your puppy or any dog for that matter. For both your son's safety and that of the dog. I know accidents happen, but your son needs to learn not to be rough with dogs just as much as your dog needs to learn not to bite people. Good luck! Glad your little guy is okay.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Tell your son to not wrestle with the dog and if he does he will get in trouble. My 3 year old cousin knows to not wrestle with my dogs and knows if he does he sits on the couch for 10 minutes and he has to explain to me what he did wrong. Instead of wrestling, let your son throw a toy around for your dog to fetch. Maybe even let him help with training. Like sit, down ect.. Give him ways to interact with the dog that doesn't evolve wrestling or ruff play.
My son does all of this stuff already. Dexter will "sit" for my son. Dexter will "fetch" and "drop it" for my son. My son also knows how to put 5 of his training treats in Dex's Kong for him after they play fetch. My son is very involved with Dexter and has been since the day we got him. My son loves training and teaching Dex new tricks. He loves taking care of him. And he adores playing with him. They really are very close and they spend alot of time together. I will have to come up with something else for them to do besides wrestle and roll around the living room floor. Which is where the bite happened.


Loki Love....they are always supervised. As I said in my first post...they were half on top of me when Dex bit my son. I was right there. If I am unable to watch them, I will put Dex in his crate or I'll let him run around outside for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ACK! My dogs haven't bitten me 300 times in all the time we've had them. Put together. I have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of biting or nipping of people. If one of their teeth touches my skin GAME OVER. Dogs can be incredibly precise with their teeth, so teaching them to be conscious and careful of them is huge in my house.

As a general rule, I don't think you should let your 3-year-old wrestle with your puppy or any dog for that matter. For both your son's safety and that of the dog. I know accidents happen, but your son needs to learn not to be rough with dogs just as much as your dog needs to learn not to bite people. Good luck! Glad your little guy is okay.
Yes, I am learning that I have been doing things completely wrong. I have a new plan. No more play biting for Dexter. I will use his toys for now on.

Keeping them from wrestling may be a little tougher. But I cant have a repeat.
 

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Remember when you see Dexter start to wrestle with your son correct BOTH of them not just your son. Is Dexter always by your son? Something I play with my dogs is hide and seek. I have someone hold there collars then I go hide and the person holding there collar says ,go find her,. And they seek me out. When they find me I say good BOY and throw a tennis ball or give them a treat. to start it out you hold Dexter(letting him see your son) and have your son go behind a shed or something(or even a tree,lol. Tell Dexter Find **** and when dexter finds your son tell your son to give Dexter a treat and say good boy! Then once he gets it down make it harder and harder. It will keep both of them busy :D


ETA: Dont let your son run when he hids because then Dexter may bite his ankles and hurt him. Tell him to calmly walk. I know it will be hard for a 3 year odl but they will have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hide and seek is a wonderful idea!!! We have huge trees in our back yard that are perfect for hiding 3 year olds. lol My son will hide behind them and peek a boo at me. :) We will play hide and seek this evening. My hubs is off work today, so I can use him to help my son hide, I will hopld Dex, then my son can start hiding on his own. What a great idea.

Thank you. Stuff like this is great. When we can go outside they dont do too much wrestling where their on top of each other. Outside, they do alot of ball throwing, running around, they chase each other, my son will play on his swingset and the cats will chase Dexter, then Dexter chases the cats, etc. Then they all, cats, dog and son will catch lightening bugs. This is quite hilarious. Six cats, one puppy and a 3 year old running around jumping in the air after lightening bugs. lol

When we're inside, either due to rain or cold (last evening it was a thunderstorm) that's when they both get bored and then they start wrestling and rolling on the flooring playing.
 

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You can play hide and seek inside too, it just isnt as fun :D Dont get disappointed if Dexter doesnt find him the first few times. It can take a little bit to get them motivated :D Have your son tell Dexter to sit and give him a treat so dexter knows he has treats. If Dexter doesnt find him the first time, have your son call him and then when Dexter goes to him, tell him good boy and give him a treat.
 
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