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how can i stop dd being afraid of dogs?

(4 Posts)
olivo Tue 15-Jul-08 19:51:45

my dd is 22 months and seems to be getting more and more frightened of dogs. a few nights ago she must have had a bad dream and woke up screaming and shouting 'no, dogs, go away'. she runs into the house and cries if she hears one bark when we are outside. we have tried to introduce her to our neighbours' dog and she watches us stroke him and him lick our hands etc but she clings on like a limpet!
does anyone know what we could do to help her overcome this fear?

Mummyfor3 Tue 15-Jul-08 20:05:06

Bottom line: give her time and do not force the issue.
DS1, a bit like your DD, was terrified of dog on leash walking past our (fenced in) drive way - this is well behaved dog, minding his own business. DS used to shake, and on one memorable occasion, vomit when he heard a dog bark in the neighbourhood. He is now 5 yrs, still no dog fan, but simply does not seek them out. He does not show any outward signs of fear anymore.

DS2 LURVVVES dogs - I do not know what is worse! I have caught him literally nose to nose with LARGE dogs he did not know in the park, sometimes licking each other, yuch!!

Neither of my boys have grown up with dogs, neither has had a bad/good experience. I have tried to make DS1 less anxious by not being anxious myself and that included just ignoring passing dogs. Equally I have tried to teach DS2 to ask owner's permission before approaching unknown dog. He is now 4 yrs and we are still working on it.

DS3 16 weeks old - I shall have to wait and see....

Good luck: this too shall pass!

noonki Tue 15-Jul-08 20:06:14

Get a soft toy and do lots of doggies are lovely stuff...

try books and then maybe a bit of telly (one hundred and one dalamation)

keep explaining that they won't hurt her and yes they are big but they are lovely,

and when you introduce her to the real thing, pick her up and do it slowly slowly

We call licking kisses (our dog is hugely licky)

When my Ds1 was 21 months, Ds2 was newborn and Ds1 was terrified of his crying! We explained it all to him and it worked, I think at that age they suddenly discover fear, some sort of developmental leap!

Good luck and try and keep at it, our dog is very friendly and inevitably runs after the poor kids that run away screaming ... good luck

olivo Tue 15-Jul-08 20:22:55

thanks for your advice. will try a soft toy, think we have one here. have also got danny dog toy from peppa pig (her favourite), could try explaining with that!
it's really bizarre as until a few weeks ago, she would shout and point out any passing dogs when in her pushchair and we had to stop and wave at them and sat hello! I'm not a big dg fan myself ( dog lick - yuk!!grin) but make the effort when she is there. in the last few days,I've just ignored them but can feel dd tensing if i'm carrying her.

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