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Almost 4 year old nearly ran into the road today because of her fear of dogs - help!

(4 Posts)
feelinginthedark Mon 02-Jan-17 20:26:00

We are at our wits end with this, she has never liked dogs for some reason, which we think is from her aunt's very cute but yappy bichon jumping up on her when she was tiny. She has never been able to pet dogs etc, but would tolerate them in the park for example.

However, recently it had got to the point where she literally can't be in the same room as a dog (tricky), and really worryingly, today she was on her scooter and DH had to grab her to stop her running into the road in front of a car as a dog was approaching, which is really frightening as she'd often be with a childminder or someone else who might not have been able to stop her. Her fears don't stop at dogs, she's also unable to walk on a path where there are worms after it rains confused etc. Generally she's highly strung but this dog thing is becoming a real worry for us. Any tips on what to do? Our approach so far of minimising her fears and petting the dogs ourselves etc to model for her clearly are not doing the trick.

Logoplanter Tue 10-Jan-17 21:27:02

Can't help but we have a 3.8 year old DD who is very similar. Had a very similar incident with a scooter and two dogs on the other side of the road. She can get almost hysterical and wants me to pick her up and carry her past any dogs.

We try reasoning with her and heap on the praise if she walks past a dog and sometimes it works. I recently took her to a wood for a walk and thought it would be terrible. She really surprised me by being able to walk past the dogs initially holding my hand and towards the end she got braver and did it on her own.

My friend who I was with told her she was also scared of dogs but she'd worked out if you scream and make a fuss the dog will come over to see what was wrong but if you ignore them they go away.

We've not really seen any dogs since so I don't know if she's actually improved or it was a one off miracle!

Wolfiefan Tue 10-Jan-17 21:30:01

Read dog stories.
Dog soft toy?
Meet a PAT dog?
Try a dogs trust session. We attended one at the local library. Learning about what the charity does, how to look after and greet a dog. All with a soft toy or a child volunteer acting the part!
TV. Could she manage paw patrol?

Cupandball Tue 10-Jan-17 21:53:03

Hello feeling, my daughter also suffers with a fear of dogs.
I have had a lot of support on here which led me to contacting the school nursing team, then GP. As your Dd is 4 she should still come under health visitor care until she's 5 so try them first. They should be able to advise with anxiety. Anxiety Uk are good to read up and Young Minds are a charity that have a helpline for parents to seek advice.
It is hard to get any camhs referrals help for my dc as this type of phobia is not considered serous enough and obviously the NHS is struggling so prioritising the most desperate cases.

There is another charity that might offer help, 'Pets as therapy' but again you need to be referred. I am hoping to get dc referred.
There are dog training places that may get help too.
Not sure where you are but there's a great sounding, free cynophobia class in Essex http://www.essexdog.moonfruit.com/cynophobia/4576601584
Not doable for us unfortunately.
It is awful and what you've described is very reminiscent of my own dc at that age. My dc had a dog knock her over and hold her down. The owner kept saying the dog wanted to play even though my dc was crying in fear. I had to bloody ask the owner to get the dog away as a child crying and wailing wasn't enough of an indication apparently. hmmIt was awful.
Being calm and matter of fact around dogs is always more helpful so you're doing that already.
I got my dc a 'dog diary' so any incidents that were really upsetting get logged to sort of get it out IYSWIM. I wonder if you could help your Dd do something similar?
Do seek help and advice it's hard but hopefully we will get there. Good luck. flowers

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