scared of dogs(18 Posts)
have you got a family member or friend who has a calm friendly dog that he/she could fuss or maybe could take for a walk with you?
Does s/he like other animals? if so, a puppy may be the introduction (the difficult thing is to find soembody with one) and then move on to bigger breds. Always be sure that your child allow the dog to smell the back of his/her hand first,
Try to get her to always remain calm and quiet when near a dog - no sudden movements or screams, and no direct eye contact. This can scare a dog which might then bark or even try to nip or flatten her to try and defent itself, which would make her worse. Like LilacLotus says, introduce her to some friendly ones.
I have always been scared of dogs (terrified now) and when I was 3 or 4 my parents thought the ideal way to get me over it was to buy a dog. They bought a German Shepherd (seriously!!). I don't remember being scared of him, though I do remember the dog, and we had a couple more while I was growing up, which I loved but could have lived without, but then I got bit by two different dogs in one day when I was 18 and went back to being scared of them. DH once brought a dog home and I stayed in my locked bedroom all weekend until he got rid of it.
Sorry, not much help - try a puppy to stop her being scared, but be prepared for the chance that she still might not like them, though no longer be afraid.
My boys are fine with small dogs but they are frighted of the Rotweiler at the stable yard, which is fair enough as half the adults are also frightened of him and although he is very kind I wouldnt leave him out on the yard with kids about. I have spent a long time introducing them to the smaller kinder dogs but I dont encourage them to stroke strange dogs without the owners say so. If you have a friend with a calm small dog try introducing that, puppys are fun but they do chew, and sometimes chew childrens fingers!
I would find a friendly older dog (if poss) they are less likely to be frantic like a puppy. Give them plenty of time (at least an entire afternoon) and let the children approach in their time.If you are anywhere near Portsmouth my senile Dalmatian and I are more than willing to assist!
At the end of the day, teaching them how to respect dogs is most important, if they like dogs as well, it's a bonus!
agree with others... find someone with a small (older) and freindly dog and use that as a starting point...
may be she could be in the same room while the dog 'stays' in its bed.... a while later the dog could 'stay' sitting on the floor...
after some time (maybe several visits) she may be brave enough to go and touch the dog... or put a treat for the dog near the dog (as long as you know doggy wont bite it out of her hand!)
she will gradually desensitise to THAT dog which will in tern help her desensitise to ALL dogs...
just be careful that no doggies run barking at her etc in between!
33 and so am I!
Got bitten on teh bum by one a about 3 years ago which didn't help. I dont' think there is any harm in her/him being cautious of strange dogs especially if they are not on leads and running around barking, but others advice so she is not scared of ALL dogs sounds good! She/he (and me)needs to learn not to panic when they are running around or run up to her.
DS (4) was scared of dogs for ages after a Jack Russell jumped up at him in the woods one day.
He's mostly over it now because he's had some exposure to really calm placid dogs and he's realised that only some dogs are snappy & scary & some get like that if you behave certain ways. I.e. if he's calm, most dogs will be calm.
MIL has a Shitzu and little by little ds got used to stroking it and being calm around it and playing with it. In his time though - you can't rush it.
Thanks for all the sound advice. Will definiteley try out some of your ideas.
Have read this thread with interest, my dd was fine with dogs until a friend got a labrador, it was supposed to be a pedigree but turned out to be crossed with a german sheppard. It was rather rough and ever since she met it she has been petrified of all dogs. Will try to find someone with a suitable dog and see if we can help her to be happier/more confident instead of trying to climb up me whimpering as soon as a dog gets within 10ft of her.
A neighbour of mine 5yr old son has been petrified of dogs since he was 2. His grandmother has many friendly dogs but he is still wary of them. He stands and shakes uncontrolably when a dog approaches him and has recently statred screaming and now his little sister who is 3 has started doing the same. The sad thing is thier mother does nothing to calm them down!
I have a Scottie, now just under a year old. When walking him, I see lots of children out who are plainly terrified of him. Given his size, I find this a little difficult to understand sometimes. However, quite a number of children run away screaming - which is bound to provoke the dog's interest, if he wasn't before. He's a predator - he can't help chasing things - and if a child runs away, they've indicated they're fair game. I'm not saying that he chases them with evil intent - he really only wants to play - but he wouldn't have been triggered to pay them any attention had they not made a commotion in the first place. (He doesn't chase cats, for instance, because he's never met one that ran away from him.) I know it may be difficult - particularly for a smaller child - but standing still, or retreating slowly, is probably going to cause less of a problem in the long run.
I'd be a bit wary about what puppies you introduce to a frightened child, since those first puppy teeth are like needles - and it takes a while for them to learn bite inhibition (i.e. that they can't close their teeth as hard on human skin as they did on their litter mates). When I first had this dog, he opened quite a deep wound across the palm of my hand whilst I was working on bite inhibition. Now, he likes to nibble fingers, but it's very very gentle. And he does it while he's on his back, with all his sensitive bits exposed, so I like to think of as a mutual trust thing.
I do worry myself, though, when I see people out with dogs that they plainly can't control.
It is funny that thing about size. My 2.5 yr old is scared of dogs, from the tiniest to the largest. She, too, stands and shakes or tries to climb me. I have no idea why she is this as she has never had a bad dog experience and has been regularly exposed to nice dogs since birth. (And by exposed I mean she was with me when a dog happened to be around - not forced exposure. I have always tried to calm her and show her how most dogs are friendly and harmless, to no avail. I also don´t know how to help her with this, as being near dogs occasionally hasn´t helped. Unfortunately we don´t have any close friends or relatives with dogs so she could really get to know one.
Bronte, luckily I've never been scared of dogs, and my 5 month old loves our cross breed (It's reciprocal, which helps!!)but, as a dog walker who comes across loads of children who literally quake in fear and I have two godchildren who are terrified... I get the children to issue easy commands to the dog, like sit, lie and shake hands. Our dog isn't fantastically well trained, but for a treat, she'll do these few things - it's surprising how quickly a child's confidence will grow when they can see that they have some control over the animal - so all you need is a fairly well behaved dog to experiment with... Good Luck!
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