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How do we get dd1 (8yrs old) over her fear of dogs

(8 Posts)
misdee Sat 23-Aug-08 17:25:01

she has been sh*t-scared now for over two years since two big dogs knocked her over at the park. she is even scared of them if they are on leads.

she is ok with my mums dog, and BIL dogs (all trained well).

its taking over her life a bit, as she wont go places where dogs might be.

dh and i are toying with the idea of maybe gettign a dog in a year or two. My aprents did the same for SGK and myself, who also had a similar fear after a similar ncident when we were young. and it did help.

dd2+3 are fine with dogs.

dh has checked his transplant handbook and it says its fine in there as well.

dd1 is allergic to cats, but we are unsure on dog allergy. should we get a skin prick test to make sure?

bigdonna Sat 23-Aug-08 18:43:25

sorry cant help,my dd is also petrified of dogs too but she doesnt like any dogs.she wont go to park or friends houses who have dogs.she has the shakes when a dog is near so will watch this thread

bigdonna Sat 23-Aug-08 18:58:46

meant to say shes 9

FattipuffsandThinnifers Sat 23-Aug-08 19:08:06

Do you have any friends/family with very friendly, patient dogs (other than those mentioned)? Try spending as much time with them as you can. Can she join in taking them for walks? Grooming them, feeding them, playing with them. Also if you're somewhere (eg park) and meet someone with a friendly dog perhaps she could stroke him, with the owner's permission.

Teach her respect for dogs - dogs have limited patience with small, noisy people, so it's important to know the warning signs when dogs have had enough (eg barking, backing away, let alone growling!). Most dogs (if properly trained) aren't aggressive, just scared, and small hands and faces in their faces are quite scary to them.

Only get a dog yourselves if you really want one though! Sorry to sound preachy - I used to work for a dog charity so seen how many are abandoned, responsible ownership is so important.

minouminou Sat 23-Aug-08 20:23:22

A good thing to do is to "bypass" (IYSWIM) the fear.
For example, if your DD says "Oh no, there's a dog over there, I'm scared", YOU SAY "OOOh, yes, it's a labrador/alsatian/springer spaniel, those dogs are used for guiding blind people/hunting/etc etc"
Pay no attention to the fear, although obviously don't force her to go up and stroke the dog
try and gather some anecdotes about dogs rescuing people, or winning bravery awards, and trot them out at suitable junctures
i think where a lot of people go wrong, from what i've seen, is saying "It's ok, the dog won't hurt you"....that's why "bypassing" the issue helps
hope this is useful

Thomcat Sat 23-Aug-08 20:27:24

Oh God my DD1 is too. It's so bad. And I adore dogs. never forced them on her, I just do the calm thing, keep her away and let her see me stroking and enjoying the dog and later we'll talk about how kind the dog was and how he gave mummy a kiss etc etc. My DD2's childminder has a dog, she talks about him and it's always in a positive way but is terrified as soon as she actually sees him. She loves looking at pics of dogs, DVDs of dogs, pretending to be a dog etc etc. There was a dog on the farm we stayed on in Cornwall and she freaked. He didn't come anywhere near her, he didn't jump, prance, bark or do anything but she was so worried about him the whole week. It's awful sad

Romy7 Sat 23-Aug-08 20:38:25

we've always had dogs - dd1 had no problem at all until her aunt took her for a walk one weekend, and they met a large lolloping GSD off the lead. aunt freaked and started shouting wildly and grabbing dd1 (who was 6 at the time) to protect her (probably from a lick at 20 paces) and dd1 was terrified from that point on. dh was absolutely livid (we'd had a GSD as well as other dogs, but aunt clearly not a dog person.) she didn't get over it until we got a new puppy about a year later - and was terrified of the puppy (the smallest, cutest, choc lab) for weeks. it took a while, but they are all fine again now. she would bolt or grab our hands and hide behind us if there was a dog on a lead on the other side of the street.

agree with the bypassing though - we used to bring up dogsledding and all sorts grin

misdee Sun 24-Aug-08 08:59:15

wil ltry the bypassing thing.

i am just so worried she is so scared that she will run herself, blindly into a road or soemthing.

we did have a dog, about 4years ago, and she was fine with it. we unfortunatly had to rehome the dog as dh illness got worse and we werent at home, and the poor puppy was being left alone for 6+ hours a day, and we didnt feel it was fair on her. dd1 loved her. but the fear started afterwards thanks to an irresponsible owner not calling his dogs back.

the dogs she are fine with are ones she knew before the park incident.

if we are all out together, dd2+£ will ask owners if they can stroke their dogs, but dd1 will be hiding behind me or will disappear to a safe distance. she did ask to see my neighbours dog the other day, and nervously tried to stroke her, but the dog was a bit bouncey. but thats progress right?

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