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children that are firghtened of dogs and how i find some parents are encouraging their fear

(1002 Posts)
haychee Wed 11-Jul-07 10:46:16

I have 2 medium to large dogs and i get so cross when i come accross children that just lose the plot if the dogs go near them. I can understand that they are frightened and i call the dogs away from the child instantly. But what makes me cross is the parents responses, "that dog should be on a lead" or i just get looks that could kill you dead. My arguement is, that if the child is that frightened then why would you take him or her to a place where dogs are everywhere in a dog walking area. Why do parents encourage their childrens fear by making these comments? what good does it do for the child? I actually saw one mother once who picked her child up every time the dog was anywhere close (like 4-5meters away). The child got increasingly anxious and the mother ended up having a go at me. I know and fully appreciate that some dogs are dangerous but mine arent and i think that when parents react like this infront of their children the message they are displaying is that its ok to be this frightened of dogs.

My daughter was once frightened of thunder so i purposely sat up with her watching a storm and saying things like "wow, that one was very loud" and " cor, look at that lightening isnt it beautiful". Because of this time i spent with her and the way we watched it together has dulled her fear - infact she gets quite excited if there is a storm brewing now.
Any one else feel the same or can understand where im coming from? or maybe your one of these types of parents that react like this? I would like to discuss the issue if anyone has any comments?

KbearBrockovich Wed 11-Jul-07 10:48:33

Dogs should be on leads in public places - I don't like dogs near me or my kids. They love them but I was bitten as a child and know how a dog can turn. Had a row at the park when a woman let her dog run all over my picnic and sniff in all my food bags. She thought it was an okay thing to do.

harleyd Wed 11-Jul-07 10:49:26

the damn dogs should be on leads

sweetcherrypie Wed 11-Jul-07 10:51:01

My dd is 9mths and she loves my mums dog. She just laughs at it. Dogs only bite in self defence so if you show fear to one they are gonna bite you!

SSSandy2 Wed 11-Jul-07 10:51:14

I hate big dogs not on leads

emkana Wed 11-Jul-07 10:51:15

Well if some dog owners hadn't let their dogs jump up my daughters to the extent that they fell over then maybe they wouldn't be terrified now.

The dogs should be on leads or extremely well behaved.

MadEyeMisdee Wed 11-Jul-07 10:51:19

my dd1 is petrified of dogs. i have to hold her hand and reassure her all the time 'it wont hurt you, just walk past' if that dog make s a move towards her she will have a screaming fit.

i think dogs should be on leads in public areas (dog walking areas, fine off the lead). i also dont think school gates are a place for dogs.

in contrast my dd2 loves dogs. will; go abd ask the owner if she can stroke their dog and asks if they are a boy or girl dog etc.

hoolagirl Wed 11-Jul-07 10:52:06

How do the parent's know your dog isnt dangerous, they are protecting their children.
It should be on a lead.

tortoiseSHELL Wed 11-Jul-07 10:52:22

I do think the dogs should be on leads I'm afraid.

Ds1 was TERRIFIED of dogs. Walks through the woods used to be punctuated by screams as a dog would arrive, ds1 would leap into my arms. Often owners would be nowhere in sight. Bear in mind, the parent doesn't know your dog at all - they don't know whether your dog is dangerous or not, and it's not worth the risk as a dog is a dangerous animal.

The way I tackled it with ds1 was to comfort him, without removing him, so pick him up, but show him the dog.

He loves dogs now, and spent a whole afternoon throwing rings for a friend's big dog. But he has a healthy nervousness of strange dogs. Ideal I think.

saadia Wed 11-Jul-07 10:53:05

I get annoyed when I see dogs not on leads and do worry for my children. I think they should be kept on leads. I never go to "dog walking areas" but I have seen people let their dogs go into the play area of parks. There are a LOT of very irresponsible dog owners around.

Nbg Wed 11-Jul-07 10:53:45

I have 2 dogs. They never come off their leads anyway but if they didn it wouldnt be where there were children about and if there were children, they'd be straight back on their leads.

What if your dog jumped at the child in excitement?
IMO if a child is scared of dogs something like that would just freak them out more.

I do get the impression that some parents who are scared of dogs seem to pass this on to their children but when it comes to public places, common sense needs to be addressed.

Carmione Wed 11-Jul-07 10:54:31

I think the op is right to a certain extent, fears are often learned. I am furious with my dss(18) as he has instilled a fear of spiders into dd(3) she didn't have a problem with them at all until he made a ridiculous fuss one day and, low and behold, she is now terrified of them
However dogs should be on leads.

PrettyCandles Wed 11-Jul-07 10:54:45

I have been very careful not to transmit my personal fears and squeamishnesses to my LOs. But not all parents have that attitude. After all, you have to justify to yourself that your irrational fears are rational, therefore they make sense and you don't have to get rid of them. Therefore, also, they are reasonable to transmit to your LOs. There has been so much bad press about aggressive dogs that people who already have any fears about dogs have instant justification about their fears.

Personally (and as a one-time dog-owner) I think dogs should be on the lead unless you are in open land where they can run and play. You may have a well-trained dog, but you can't predict what a child may do to startle the dog.

I do not let my children stroke unknown dogs. I always tell them we must first ask the owner's permission. Which I do, and then I stroke the dog myuself so that my children can see that it's OK to do so.

MaloryJaneTowers Wed 11-Jul-07 10:54:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MumOfSlytherinsMonsters Wed 11-Jul-07 10:55:01

DS1 is frightened of dogs because when he was just walking a dog jumped on him and he ended up on his back on the flor being licked to death!
From his POV the dog (some sort of wirey haired terrier) would have been huge and at just over 1 YO he didn't know that dogs lick! He is terrified of all dogs now but i don't perpetuate it. If he is uncomfortable i calmly say to him that he can walk on the other side of me and point out that the dog is on a lead/wagging its tail/with its grown up (his words). He is getting better and we quite often chuckle at big dogs pulling their owners over or tiny dogs which does calm him.
I wouldn't hesitate to scoop him up though if he was plainly terrified. He is 4 now and has once wet himself out of fear of a large dog, not on a lead.

Dogs should be on leads in public areas i agree. I am not sure that near me there are designated dog walking areas, there are places that dogs are walked but nothing specifically for dogs.

PinkChick Wed 11-Jul-07 10:55:20

"why would you take him or her to a place where dogs are everywhere in a dog walking area"- what like a park?

im sick of dogs and thier owners running wild around parks near me when i have my dd and mindees with me..dogs run up to these tiny children, jump up at them, lick thier faces and generally terrify the living dayslights out of them..imagine a six foot dog running full steam at you!, im sure you would be a tad concerned!
wont bite/may bite..i dont care, i dont run over to people and lick them, jump at them and paw thier clothes, i certainly wont bite them, but how do you know if i manically run towards you? and i cant stand it when people let their dogs do this..its disrespectful.
only yesterday a woman brought her dog and daugbter into actual play area in park, with those grids to stop dogs coming in..she carried it over, then left dog to run wild terrifying all the children while she sat on her backside watching her daughter play!

OrmIrian Wed 11-Jul-07 10:55:41

Dogs should be on leads in public places - parks, streets etc. It's different in rural areas although any dog with an uncertain temper should be even there.

I do see part of your point though haychee. In some cases parents pass on their fear of dogs to their children which does the child no favours - often citing a nasty incident with a dog as a reason. But both my DH and I were bitten by dogs as children and neither of us are scared.

francagoestohollywood Wed 11-Jul-07 10:55:41

I have there reverse problem. Both my children will happily throw themselves to the first dog they see. I'm trying to get through the message that despite the majority of dogs are good, some might be not.

Nbg Wed 11-Jul-07 10:55:44

Also IMO, you dont know what your dog will do.

You might think that he wouldnt hurt a fly but they are pack animals with animal instincts. They protect their own.

MaloryJaneTowers Wed 11-Jul-07 10:55:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MumOfSlytherinsMonsters Wed 11-Jul-07 10:56:13

it took me so long to write that objectyively that there are hundreds more posts!

OrmIrian Wed 11-Jul-07 10:56:24

Yes franca. I always always tell my kids to speak to the owners first to make sure it's OK. Which is why unleashed dogs are such a problem.

MaloryJaneTowers Wed 11-Jul-07 10:57:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

peanutbear Wed 11-Jul-07 10:57:41

I have a beautiful labrador dog and I understand peop,le fears some fear of dogs is healthy in my opinion

But public parks are for every one and we like doing nothing beter than taking our dog for a run and throwing the ball etc for her my children love it

I wouldnt take her in the middle of the day but come 6 a night she has to have somewhere to run are you suggesting she never gets off her lead because that is cruel too

parents standing there screaming at a labrador isnt going to help much IMHO it just reinforces the childs fear

RubySlippers Wed 11-Jul-07 10:57:50

people always say their dogs aren't dangerous
i think dogs should be on leads in public places
and do you know what - it is ok to be frightened of a dog that has bitten you
if i saw 2 medium - large dogs coming in my direction without leads on i would feel anxious

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