Why Is He Hitting Them?

Updated on November 08, 2006
J.T. asks from Altoona, PA
4 answers

Foe the most part, my 17month old son loves our two dogs and our cat. He loves to give them hugs and snuggle up with them. And they (except the cat) are just as attached to him but lately I've noticed that he's been hitting them. If they're on one of his blankets or if he just feels like hitting them he does. Why is he doing this? We don't hit them for any reason.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I think that's just what kids that age do. If it were you standing on his blanket, or another child he'd probably hit you/them also. At this age they really test their boundaries, etc and I've found they hit, scratch, pinch in order to test those boundaries. You just have to teach them to be nice to the dogs/cats just like they would anyone else. We don't have any pets, but my 17 month old hits my brothers dog also.


answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter loves to give us a "high five", when she does something good. Well after she gives mommy and/or daddy one, she gives high five to our 6 month old son and then goes directly over to our small poodle and hits her on the back, "high five". It's cute, but she's hitting the dog nonetheless and I always tell her that, Sugar (our dog) doesn't do high five and that it's not nice to hit her and that it hurts her. I don't know that she understands her actions, but I always reinforce to her that it's not nice. Good luck.



answers from Allentown on

my son, also 17 months, went through this too. he occasionally still tries, but what works best for all of us is to redirect the negative into a positive. show him how to pet nicely (which he probably knows how & already does) tell him nice hands for the doggie/ cat. praise the positive!!!
i think it's just a phase and is not doing it to intentionally hurt the animals!
good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

What worked best with my son when he hit our dog or even with other children was to immediatly remove him from the room if he hit or pushed. After he was taught the rule that we don't hit or push he didn't recieve any warnings, he was just removed from the situation. If he hit the dog I took he to his room. Ifwe were out and he hit another child, we went home. I found that as long as I was consistant it didn't take him long to realize that if he hit or pushed he had to leave whatever fun activity he was doing. I hope maybe this helps you too. Good luck.

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