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Helping DD get over her fear of dogs after bite

(15 Posts)
orangecat Thu 30-Aug-07 21:45:15

My dad's dog bit my DD 2.4 at the weekend. Luckily DH was picking her up as he saw dog acting strangely, so she just got a graze and a massive rip in PJ top. Would have been so much worse if he hadn't lifted her...

Came as a real shock as I have been used to growing up with dogs, and never imagined this would happen (the dog isn't used to children). We were all really freaked out, and showed it!

Anyway, DD is, understandably, now petrified of dogs. Do I just accept this and keep her away, or is there anything I can do to help her overcome her fear?

Obviously, the dog in question is being locked away when children are around.

And, actually, I also need help getting over this - keep getting v protective over DD when any dog is near. Realise this isn't help her get over the fear but difficult not to react like this.

Tickle Thu 30-Aug-07 21:48:42

ooh orangecat how scary. Which breed of dog?

CarGirl Thu 30-Aug-07 21:52:57

Work on it by praising for her walking past dogs without panicking etc and build up from there. By dd used to get scared when they were on the opposite side of the street so that was our starting point - probably about a similar age too. I also did the "there's a dog and your worried, it's okay I'm here you can be brave and carry on walking, it's okay, you will be okay" etc etc etc then afterwards lots of over the top praise for her calm behaviour etc.

After several months my friend who has an assistant dog came and stayed with us (brilliant opportunity to have contact with very calm dog), it took about an hour before dd would get close to the dog but they were best of buddies after that and she will now ask to go and stroke huge dogs like red setters!

Desiderata Thu 30-Aug-07 21:55:36

I agree with CarGirl. ds was bitten in the face by a border collie a few months back and became very frightened of dogs after that.

So, I borrowed a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel one weekend, and the little thing was so calm, so placid, that he has now totally conquered his fear, and is right back to normal.

orangecat Thu 30-Aug-07 22:02:15

Dog is a border collie - breed I grew up with, so just didn't enter my mind that there would be a problem. Interesting that yours was bitten by a border collie too, D.

My brothers have 2 x golden retrievers who wouldn't say boo to a goose, which might be a good start. Although they are quite a big breed for DD to get used to!

I guess I also need to conquer my fear too before we can make any progress. But glad there is hope that we/she can get over it.

DD won't talk about it, but we hear her telling her teddies all about it before she goes to sleep sad

Desiderata Thu 30-Aug-07 23:00:45

Border collies are not good with toddlers. I could almost have guessed it was that breed when you posted.

helenelisabeth Fri 31-Aug-07 09:56:20

Orangecat, do you know anyone with a puppy? If so, that could be a good way to get her confidence back up as a small cute dog might not frighten her so much. We have a labrador and my DD is still terrified of dogs when we go out. She is nearly 5 and literally sprints off in another direction if we see one.

orangecat Fri 31-Aug-07 20:52:37

No, don't know anybody with a puppy. A friend has a really child friendly choc lab, but is quite excitable. Think I'll just have to try brother's dogs first. I do trust them - soft as anything.

Had no idea this is common with border collies - shame my dad didn't know before he got her!

hercules1 Fri 31-Aug-07 20:58:10

I would suggest contacting people with dogs from a website like champdog ( I think its that) and asking if you can visit some quiet older dogs with your dd. it worked for dd and we now have 3 dogs and she is fine.

southeastastra Fri 31-Aug-07 21:04:31

i'd let her deal with it in her own time.

orangecat Fri 31-Aug-07 21:06:17

Great suggestion hercules1 - I'll look it up

chloesmumtoo Fri 31-Aug-07 21:07:39

Hope she can get over her fear soon, poor thing. yes definately work hard to overcome it. I was bitten when I was fifteen by a jack russel and had to have plastic surgery to my upper lip. Never felt very good around dogs since and my fear seems worse the more I avoid them! Then I started to feel more nervous again whilst my kids were tiny and vulnerable in push chairs ect. Not nice to have a fear of them. Hope you can sort it out and gradually get her used to them again. x

hercules1 Fri 31-Aug-07 21:08:15

We researched dogs and at the time dd was scared. We found visiting a house with an eldery grandmother irish wolf hound who just laid there and didnt move and allowed dd to stroke her cured her of any fear. We now have 3 big bounding dogs and a 3 year old dd who helps with training!

purpleduck Fri 31-Aug-07 21:54:41

Um,,, my dd got frightened by a dog (not bitten though). Also I was attacked when i was a child, and was always cautious when large dogs were around. I didn't want my kids to be scared, so we got a dog! Then we got another one...She's not scared anymore!! (and neither am I btw)!!
Maybe borrowing a dog is a bit more manageable though!!LOL!!!

orangecat Sat 01-Sep-07 09:54:42

Yes, actually getting a dog not an option (i work part time, and have small garden so not really fair). Will be actively searching out dogs to get her used to them. There's a really old dog 2 doors down, which might be a good dog.

Thanks for all the advice and moral support. Looks like something that can def be overcome

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