Whew! Deep breath! Kids will be kids, and at age 4 they have a hard time controlling their emotions. Yes, it was shocking your son hurt your pup on purpose but maybe your reaction was a little extreme. Everyone has their bad mommy moments.
I would agree with Karlin, put your pup in a crate while traveling in the car. It will be safer for everyone.
Just FYI, I have small kids too and I have had the same incident happen with my pup and child. You know what, the pup forgot about it quickly and the child moved on. I would never let my child abuse an animal but I would base my punishment on the age of the child. Hug your kid and tell him you were sorry for yelling but remind him in your home people are nice to animals. You also should have an action plan in place if this occurs again.
Thank you all for your input. After I posted this I spent the rest of the evening rereading the kids and dogs links here and googling (is that a word?!?) sibling rivalry.......
Alright, I'm willing to admit I handled this issue wrongly. I knew that! Plus yeah Karlin I did give a second thought into my screaming at my son, scaring Fletcher only more. :sl*p:
The last thing I want is a dog who is afraid of kids or a kid afraid of dogs. I knew when I got Fletcher the fact that I have a young child in my house it would REQUIRE my extra effort. I am 110% sure I can do this, and we can all be well cared for and loved.
Fletcher and my 4 yr old have NO UNSUPERVISED interaction at all now. Yes, its extra work but Fletcher can't have the run of the house yet because of house training and the whole I eat fabric/ will pick up anything behavior Fletcher is going thur (I hope with training and time...this will become more manageable) And I dare you to unsupervised my son, he is a handful sometimes. I will continue including my son in Fletcher things as we go again supervised. I have not had too many problems with them together except it took my 4 yr old a few days to realize I wasn't fooling around with the rule about no little boys in Fletcher space or crate. Handled, we have that down now. And we have also had a time when Fletcher accidentally hurting my son, a scratch from a little paw while we were playing fetch. I was rolling a ball inside the house and Fletcher was chasing it sometimes bring it back, my son was sitting in my lap Fletcher greeted us happily with the ball. No, I did not scream at the dog! I handed Fletcher to my husband and attended to the scratch on my son (washed and loved) These things are to be expected with a child and a dog. Mistakes prevented but nobody has a crystal ball so sometimes you just have to deal with them as we go. I guess this is kinda the same but different.....my son did this on purpose but really he was mad NOT ACCEPTABLE but not the end of the world. If I don't correct it that's a different story, but again I'm 110% committed to making this work.
Honestly, I was shocked by my own reaction!!!!! I think this will go down as one of my least proudest Mommy moments.
First things first Fletcher is going back into the travel crate in the car, Karlin has very good points about that. Fletcher is safer and I need to drive not turn my head 100 times a second.
Then because we are all home now, I'm going to make sure I give him son some just Mommy and him time. Also I will catch my son acting nicely with Fletcher and praise the heck outta him just as I would Fletcher for being a good boy.
I know all this, mistake made.........moving on. However, prevention is the BEST if and when something like this happens again (with either hurting each other) I'm not going to react like a NUT again.
Thanks again all,
Oh I forgot to mention, my son was only able to reach across my SUV because he had wiggled himself part way out of his car seat.....I didn't know he could do that. Or Fletcher would have been farther out of reach from the start. Not that it matters now but.....
I wish we had a like button.... :)