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Old 11-13-2015, 04:04 AM
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Default Dog Snapped at DCG

Dcg is 22 months old and has been really struggling with hitting. She will smile at a kid and then slug them or shove them down without warning. She's started pinching them around the neck and shoving them backward to the ground. She is extremely verbal so I don't think this is a communication issue. She speaks in sentences and expresses herself well. I have been consistently moving her to the playpen each time she hits/shoves and noticed huge improvement. She almost stopped where we were only having one or two incidents a day so I was just watching more closely and talking about "no hit. hitting hurts." etc. As soon as I stopped moving her to the playpen it started up again. Obviously I need to go back to that, but I felt bad b/c there were a few days she spent most of the day in there b/c she would hit, play in playpen a few minutes, say sorry and ask to rejoin group, 2 minutes later hit again...all day long. Anyway, yesterday she ran full speed at my dog and hit him in his head and face with both hands three times all while screaming in his face. I was yelling "No, no, no!" and running to them but he growled and snapped at her before I could stop it. He didn't break the skin, but she had a red mark on her hand where his tooth grazed her as he tried to get away. Mom and dad were very understanding and more embarrassed by her behavior than anything. I know they are truly working on it at home, but what more can I do to keep her, the other kids, and the animals safe? She is a genuine sweet heart most of the time and her parents are wonderful. At this point it is just her and my own children so I have a little more time to focus on them/smaller group size, etc. I just don't know what specifically to do and that was terrifying, both seeing her hurt him and also seeing him growl at her like that. Any advice?
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:23 AM
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We only have cats but I don't let them near the dcks. They are not 'part of my program', so to speak. I shoo them away and do not let the dcks touch them. Not because they are mean or aggressive but b/c some dcks just do not understand how to be gentle around animals.

For this exact reason. They are animals, and while gentle, when provoked by a rough dck can bite, scratch, etc.

Can you separate the dog with a gate?
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:33 AM
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Dcg is 22 months old and has been really struggling with hitting. She will smile at a kid and then slug them or shove them down without warning. She's started pinching them around the neck and shoving them backward to the ground. She is extremely verbal so I don't think this is a communication issue. She speaks in sentences and expresses herself well. I have been consistently moving her to the playpen each time she hits/shoves and noticed huge improvement. She almost stopped where we were only having one or two incidents a day so I was just watching more closely and talking about "no hit. hitting hurts." etc. As soon as I stopped moving her to the playpen it started up again. Obviously I need to go back to that, but I felt bad b/c there were a few days she spent most of the day in there b/c she would hit, play in playpen a few minutes, say sorry and ask to rejoin group, 2 minutes later hit again...all day long. Anyway, yesterday she ran full speed at my dog and hit him in his head and face with both hands three times all while screaming in his face. I was yelling "No, no, no!" and running to them but he growled and snapped at her before I could stop it. He didn't break the skin, but she had a red mark on her hand where his tooth grazed her as he tried to get away. Mom and dad were very understanding and more embarrassed by her behavior than anything. I know they are truly working on it at home, but what more can I do to keep her, the other kids, and the animals safe? She is a genuine sweet heart most of the time and her parents are wonderful. At this point it is just her and my own children so I have a little more time to focus on them/smaller group size, etc. I just don't know what specifically to do and that was terrifying, both seeing her hurt him and also seeing him growl at her like that. Any advice?
Our licensing regulations do not allow pets around the children. They must be kept separate during daycare hours. We also have to give the parents a form that states we have pets for them to sign so they know they are on the property.

For the safety of both the children and the pets and for liability reasons I'd keep them separate.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:47 AM
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I would keep the dog exasperated from here on out. Only because you know he could snap and kids are unpredictable. I would see it as a liability issue now. Not saying your dog is at all mean, but animals will react when hurt.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:55 AM
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I keep my dogs separated from the kids. They're good dogs, they love kids. But, their only defense against kids is their teeth. They'd never hurt a kid unprovoked, but if a kid hurts them, even accidentally, a nip or bite is all they can do to protect themselves. I couldn't live with myself if a child got hurt, or if I had to euthanize one of my dogs because of a bite (and authorities will force that in some cases). It's just much smarter to separate them and make sure that a bite can never happen. A friend's dog mauled her son (who surprised the dog) and put the kid in the hospital for a week...it was a "friendly" dog, too. The kid surprised the dog, and in seconds the dog attacked. The kid said that when the dog realized it was him (the son), the dog stopped the attack, but it was too late-her son was seriously hurt.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:54 AM
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This is exactly why I don't have pets and why I don't believe they should be part of day care.
I don't ever want to be in a position of having to chose between my dog my livelihood.
Even if you were to term this child (whose behavior doesn't seem all that abnormal for the age) you never know how another child would react.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:57 AM
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I would also suggest that you keep your pets completely away from the daycare children and daycare room during your daycare hours.

I used to allow my pets (dog and cats) in the daycare room and allowed the children to pet them at free will. That is until one of the children literally climbed onto my dog's back ( I had a Shetland Sheepdog (mini-collie) at the time.). I reprimanded the child and told his parents at pick up. They chuckled at me as if it was funny and told me that they allow him to ride their dog at home! I promptly informed them of my disapproval of that and gave them a speech about dogs not being horses. Since they allowed it at home, I knew it would be very hard for me to teach him not to ride my dog. I was so afraid that if he continued to try to ride my dog, that he would damage or break my dog's back. That's when I started allowing my pets into the daycare room, but taught the children not to touch my pets and taught the pets to not approach the children, only to co-exist with each other.

That went on for years. Until recently. Now I have a 1 year old girl. I've had plenty of 1 year olds that I could teach to leave my pets alone. But I can't get this child to learn to leave my dog alone. So for my pets' protection, I decided to keep my pets out of the daycare room.

Also, I am used to people coming to an interview and immediately hiring me. But since I've lived in my new area, a much lower class and lower income area, I have had many people not hire me. I've been having a lot of trouble trying to figure out why that is. And many of the people I interview with are literally scared to death of dogs. I always try to tell them that they should get their children used to normal household pets so if their friends have a dog or cat, they won't be afraid to go to their friends' houses to play. But the parents just act ubsurdly paranoid of a dog or cat! I have actually looked at some of them as if they are crazy and said 'It's not a lion, it's a HOUSE CAT!'

My sister, who has been living in an even lower class and lower income area for most of her life finally made me understand why the majority of the people that I interview in this area freak out over a common house cat or non-aggressive dog. She told me that typically lower class and lower income people think of pets as 'dirty' and are afraid of being attacked by them because there are so many people in those areas that fight pit bulls. Since the general population in a lower class area hear so much about pit bull attacks and dog fights, they simply learn to fear all dogs. As far as the 'dirty' concept, since people with lower income really can't afford much, whatever items they can afford, they want the best quality product, best looking product, and they want it to stay looking new because they spent every last penny they had at the time on that product. So they are afraid of a dog getting their dirty paws on their kids' pants, don't want dog hair or cat hair on their kids' clothes, etc. That is also the reason they flip out around here if the child gets one speck of dirt on their clothes.

Since I've moved to this lower income and lower class area about 5 years ago, I have really learned a lot about how 'the other side lives'.

So, to keep my pets safe from the daycare kids harming them, my parents from being nervous that my pets might harm their children or get their children dirty, to get my parents to feel comfortable with hiring me since there are no pets in the daycare area, and simply to keep the chaos down in the daycare room, I now keep my pets completely away from my daycare room during daycare hours.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mamamanda View Post
Dcg is 22 months old and has been really struggling with hitting. She will smile at a kid and then slug them or shove them down without warning. She's started pinching them around the neck and shoving them backward to the ground. She is extremely verbal so I don't think this is a communication issue. She speaks in sentences and expresses herself well. I have been consistently moving her to the playpen each time she hits/shoves and noticed huge improvement. She almost stopped where we were only having one or two incidents a day so I was just watching more closely and talking about "no hit. hitting hurts." etc. As soon as I stopped moving her to the playpen it started up again. Obviously I need to go back to that, but I felt bad b/c there were a few days she spent most of the day in there b/c she would hit, play in playpen a few minutes, say sorry and ask to rejoin group, 2 minutes later hit again...all day long. Anyway, yesterday she ran full speed at my dog and hit him in his head and face with both hands three times all while screaming in his face. I was yelling "No, no, no!" and running to them but he growled and snapped at her before I could stop it. He didn't break the skin, but she had a red mark on her hand where his tooth grazed her as he tried to get away. Mom and dad were very understanding and more embarrassed by her behavior than anything. I know they are truly working on it at home, but what more can I do to keep her, the other kids, and the animals safe? She is a genuine sweet heart most of the time and her parents are wonderful. At this point it is just her and my own children so I have a little more time to focus on them/smaller group size, etc. I just don't know what specifically to do and that was terrifying, both seeing her hurt him and also seeing him growl at her like that. Any advice?
To me; it sounds like she is exhibiting fairly violent behaviors quite frequently. Hitting/pushing/pinching "one or two times a day"...every day, is a serious problem imho. At nearly 2 yrs old, she should be able to comprehend that hitting is a "no no". Especially since you said she communicates in full sentences. The incident with your dog sounds like a full on attack!

Now, since you said it's only her and your own kids, I wouldn't blame you for still wanting to work with her on her behavior... but if there were other people's children involved, this dcg would already be terminated here.
What do her parents think? Why is she acting this way and does she do it at home? I'm asking because, maybe it's as simple as a diet or sleep change. How do they handle discipline or do they discipline at all?

Regarding pets: I agree with others who suggest keeping your dog away from your daycare space. I do with mine. Granted, he is 13 years old and moody. But it's always best to be safe versus sorry!
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:34 AM
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I understand your frustration with the behavior, really, I do.

BUT, your dog snapping at her is not her fault. Animals can be unpredictable, as you have found out. Because your dog has displayed aggressiveness towards this child, regardless of why, you MUST keep it separated from the DCK. It only takes one second to go from growling to a full on attack, and nobody wants to see that happen.

I am surprised that the parents took the incident so lightly, knowing the very real possibility of what COULD have been much worse. Personally, I would be concerned that after having given it more thought after taking her home, that they may report it to licensing/authorities. I also wonder, what are you reporting requirements when an unusual incident such as this occurs?
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:48 AM
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I understand your frustration with the behavior, really, I do.

BUT, your dog snapping at her is not her fault. Animals can be unpredictable, as you have found out. Because your dog has displayed aggressiveness towards this child, regardless of why, you MUST keep it separated from the DCK. It only takes one second to go from growling to a full on attack, and nobody wants to see that happen.

I am surprised that the parents took the incident so lightly, knowing the very real possibility of what COULD have been much worse. Personally, I would be concerned that after having given it more thought after taking her home, that they may report it to licensing/authorities. I also wonder, what are you reporting requirements when an unusual incident such as this occurs?
I second this/ I would not allow your dog near the kids anymore. My sister and I were mauled by the nicest dog in the world when I was 7. Her face has never looked the same.

I would also make certain that your insurance will cover this type of accident/incident just in case your dog did get out and bite someone.

Sorry this happened.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by CoachingForQualityImprovement View Post
I understand your frustration with the behavior, really, I do.

BUT, your dog snapping at her is not her fault. Animals can be unpredictable, as you have found out. Because your dog has displayed aggressiveness towards this child, regardless of why, you MUST keep it separated from the DCK. It only takes one second to go from growling to a full on attack, and nobody wants to see that happen.

I am surprised that the parents took the incident so lightly, knowing the very real possibility of what COULD have been much worse. Personally, I would be concerned that after having given it more thought after taking her home, that they may report it to licensing/authorities. I also wonder, what are you reporting requirements when an unusual incident such as this occurs?
They have several dogs at home and told me they are surprised their own dogs have only snapped at her once b/c she is so rough with them. I think that's why they took it in stride b/c they are seeing this side of her at home as well. I am currently legally unlicensed so I don't have anyone to report it to that I'm aware of. I have taken all of my classes & worked closely with our referral center for the area so maybe I could ask them about it?
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:11 AM
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To me; it sounds like she is exhibiting fairly violent behaviors quite frequently. Hitting/pushing/pinching "one or two times a day"...every day, is a serious problem imho. At nearly 2 yrs old, she should be able to comprehend that hitting is a "no no". Especially since you said she communicates in full sentences. The incident with your dog sounds like a full on attack!

Now, since you said it's only her and your own kids, I wouldn't blame you for still wanting to work with her on her behavior... but if there were other people's children involved, this dcg would already be terminated here.
What do her parents think? Why is she acting this way and does she do it at home? I'm asking because, maybe it's as simple as a diet or sleep change. How do they handle discipline or do they discipline at all?

Regarding pets: I agree with others who suggest keeping your dog away from your daycare space. I do with mine. Granted, he is 13 years old and moody. But it's always best to be safe versus sorry!
Yes, I gated the dog off yesterday as soon as it happened realizing it was no longer a safe environment for either of them. I am so frustrated though b/c she is still behaving this way with my children. I have a 14 mo and she grabbed him around the neck this week and knocked him backward and he hit his head on the floor. Her parents are mortified and are trying everything they know to do to stop the behavior, but nothing seems to be working. They talk to her daily at drop off and pick up, but she is really stuggling. They remove her from the situation when she hits at home which is what I've been tying to do with the playpen. She was hitting mom and dad and that has stopped.
I do believe she is tired. She only gets about 10 hours of sleep at night and takes an hour and a half nap here. I've found when she is hitting back to back in the mornings if I lay her back down she will often fall asleep for a couple hours. She always sleeps better if I put her down in the morning instead of the afternoon.
I am willing to keep working with her b/c I had 2 children in care who were violent/disruptive to the whole group. This dcg was the best behaved little one I'd ever watched until about a month ago. She LOVED the most aggressive of my kiddos and tried to imitate everything he did. I termed and decided to only keep one dcg in an effort to get my home back in order and just rest during this pregnancy. I really feel responsible for her change in behavior b/c she learned it from another child in my care. Now she yells No often, is aggressive, and throws herself in the floor screaming often. I love this little girl and her parents are wonderful. I want it to work. This is our first week without the other dcks. Is it crazy to think we can get this back under control now that its just us?
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:13 AM
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They have several dogs at home and told me they are surprised their own dogs have only snapped at her once b/c she is so rough with them. I think that's why they took it in stride b/c they are seeing this side of her at home as well. I am currently legally unlicensed so I don't have anyone to report it to that I'm aware of. I have taken all of my classes & worked closely with our referral center for the area so maybe I could ask them about it?
I would reach out to them and ask.

I would also talk to the parents and ask them what THEY are doing to teach her appropriate behaviors. She is likely, at 22 months, attempting to play with the dogs, and perhaps the children with you, but hasn't yet learned how to initiate play in an appropriate manner. 22 month olds are still learning ALOT about what is and isn't appropriate in regards to behavior, initiating play and social skills.

Rather than putting her in a play pen when she "misbehaves" (which is really just a time-out), I would be very proactive, remaining within close proximity of her as much as is feasibly possible and gently redirecting her when she behaves in a way that is not acceptable. She is still very young and egocentric. She needs to be shown and told what is and isn't okay.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:25 AM
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They have several dogs at home and told me they are surprised their own dogs have only snapped at her once b/c she is so rough with them. I think that's why they took it in stride b/c they are seeing this side of her at home as well. I am currently legally unlicensed so I don't have anyone to report it to that I'm aware of. I have taken all of my classes & worked closely with our referral center for the area so maybe I could ask them about it?
IF something should ever happen in regards to the dog injuring a daycare child, your home owners would more than likely cancel you.

I've even heard of some cases in which the city/authorities demanded that the animal that bit someone be euthanized since they are a danger to others.

Also, the parents could potentially sue you for damages, including pain and suffering so even if you don't have to answer to licensing, you would still be liable in VERY costly ways.

I'd keep your dog 100% away from any of your daycare clients (parents and kids) just so that you are 100% that nothing could ever happen.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:33 AM
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Yes, I gated the dog off yesterday as soon as it happened realizing it was no longer a safe environment for either of them. I am so frustrated though b/c she is still behaving this way with my children. I have a 14 mo and she grabbed him around the neck this week and knocked him backward and he hit his head on the floor. Her parents are mortified and are trying everything they know to do to stop the behavior, but nothing seems to be working. They talk to her daily at drop off and pick up, but she is really stuggling. They remove her from the situation when she hits at home which is what I've been tying to do with the playpen. She was hitting mom and dad and that has stopped.
I do believe she is tired. She only gets about 10 hours of sleep at night and takes an hour and a half nap here. I've found when she is hitting back to back in the mornings if I lay her back down she will often fall asleep for a couple hours. She always sleeps better if I put her down in the morning instead of the afternoon.
I am willing to keep working with her b/c I had 2 children in care who were violent/disruptive to the whole group. This dcg was the best behaved little one I'd ever watched until about a month ago. She LOVED the most aggressive of my kiddos and tried to imitate everything he did. I termed and decided to only keep one dcg in an effort to get my home back in order and just rest during this pregnancy. I really feel responsible for her change in behavior b/c she learned it from another child in my care. Now she yells No often, is aggressive, and throws herself in the floor screaming often. I love this little girl and her parents are wonderful. I want it to work. This is our first week without the other dcks. Is it crazy to think we can get this back under control now that its just us?
Personally, I would term. I know they are learning at 22 months old, but they should not be showing such aggressive behavior on a daily basis and for no reason (meaning they will sometimes hit or push if another child tries to take their toy or something.) In my experience, if they are showing such bad behavior at almost 2, they will continue that behavior for a lot longer, but just get more sneaky about doing it. Like pushing or hitting when they know you are not looking. It becomes stressful for the other kids because they know the kid will hurt them at some point, so they are always walking on broken glass just trying not to get in their way and be hurt for it. This may not be the case with your dck, but if she is super verbal as you said, she should know better by now. If it happens once in a while, then fine and you deal with it using very swift and strong discipline, but multiple times everyday and grabbing someone by the neck to push them over? No, that is not okay and it is unfair to your children (and your dog) to always have to be on the defensive. I would terminate care.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:09 PM
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I have a different opinion. I've been doing daycare a long time and have learned to do what is best for me and my family ALWAYS. I wouldn't separate my dog from me all day long. I enjoy my dog's companionship and would never lock him away from me. I would pick my family's four-legged-child's happiness over someone else's mile-long-mean-streak-kid's any day!

This is something that will most likely greatly improve in the coming months as the DCG ages and matures. However, we all know that that is a long and bumpy road. I think I would use the dog incident as my out for ending care, and suggest they find a daycare that does not have resident pets. The peace you and the other DCKs get when she's gone will probably surprise you!
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:12 PM
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IF something should ever happen in regards to the dog injuring a daycare child, your home owners would more than likely cancel you.

I've even heard of some cases in which the city/authorities demanded that the animal that bit someone be euthanized since they are a danger to others.

Also, the parents could potentially sue you for damages, including pain and suffering so even if you don't have to answer to licensing, you would still be liable in VERY costly ways.

I'd keep your dog 100% away from any of your daycare clients (parents and kids) just so that you are 100% that nothing could ever happen.
I do understand that I am fully liable. I just meant that I don't know who I would report it to as far as giving licensing a heads up or something like that.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CoachingForQualityImprovement View Post
I would reach out to them and ask.

I would also talk to the parents and ask them what THEY are doing to teach her appropriate behaviors. She is likely, at 22 months, attempting to play with the dogs, and perhaps the children with you, but hasn't yet learned how to initiate play in an appropriate manner. 22 month olds are still learning ALOT about what is and isn't appropriate in regards to behavior, initiating play and social skills.

Rather than putting her in a play pen when she "misbehaves" (which is really just a time-out), I would be very proactive, remaining within close proximity of her as much as is feasibly possible and gently redirecting her when she behaves in a way that is not acceptable. She is still very young and egocentric. She needs to be shown and told what is and isn't okay.
The parents remove her from the situation when she is aggressive which is why I was using the playpen. I can't move her to another area away from me so I use the pack n play. How would you gently redirect? I really am open for suggestions, but I currently try very hard to keep her within arms reach and there is just no warning. Im sitting right there playing with her and she's smiling as she reaches up and shoves someone right beside me. There's just no indication its happening until she's mid slap. I don't know how to redirect that other than moving her away.
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:11 AM
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I have a tiny terror that is 23m. He has been my constant shadow since he was around 16m because he would bite one of the other babies. It has been rough, and honestly if I hadn't fallen in love with him as a newborn, and he didn't have such amazing parents, I would have termed him. He has gotten a lot better since he learned to say "no no no" to anyone trying to take his toys, but I do still have to monitor him VERY closely. He very rarely tries to bite anymore, which is fabulous.

He spent a lot of time in time out, which is just a spot in my living room that he can sit quietly. I felt bad about it and tried to cut back, and it resulted in the same thing you are experiencing. He got more aggressive. I figured out that he NEEDS that time away from the others. When he is ready to come out he will and be a much happier little guy. He learned that he can put himself in time out and I won't let anyone bother him. It works for us. Maybe try that with her?
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