Advice from dog owners pls(9 Posts)
Please bear with me, I want to give background before I ask my question rather than dripfeed. If TL, please skip to last 2 paras.
When v.young DD twice had dogs try to bite her (completely unprovoked, we were just walking) - it didn't help we lived on an estate with unattended dogs regularly roaming. A shame as before then she adored dogs.
We then moved to a village when the dog owners were fab. Everyone was so kind and understanding she ended up being much more confident around dogs, and happily asking for pats (if owner & dog happy).
F.fwd to last weekend. She is now awaiting assessments for aspergers and ADHD. Her anxiety is really bad, and I have lots of meltdowns to cope with. On Saturday we were walking back to a car park and had to walk through a narrow hedged section to progress. A couple were walking their little dogs. Given her anxiety DD stopped and hid behind me (she's 11). I've tried to teach her to stand still around dogs if she's uncomfortable, until they pass, and she did just stand still. The couple waited either side of the path. I didn't realise there was a standoff until DH said something like 'sod this' and literally dragged youngest, who then began to cry, past the dogs (she is little, similar size to dogs). Dog owners then walked past, and one of them turned to 11yo DD and was v.rude to her. I get that she felt inconvenienced (but it really wasn't for long), the dogs were beautifully behaved, but DD really didn't feel able to walk past and it would've been very easy for them to just walk past us. Owner then shouted again from other side of the hedge. DD shaking by this point and very tearful.
Thank you so much if you've got this far...
Walking to a class last night, encountered several dogs being walked. Not a problem, just waited or crossed the road. Eldest's anxiety escalating though. On a quiet resi street, a woman opens her front door (I think to get something from her car) and her dog legs it past her. Dog sees us and wants to say 'Hi'. We stay put - or try to - eldest panics, screams, and runs into the road.
Dog owner was fantastic, called her dog back, dog has amazing recall (seriously, I'm impressed), and held him until we were past. No passive aggressive comments or sarcasm, just kind and lovely.
I know we need to give DD more coping mechanisms, but seriously we have tried bloody everything over the years - I don't want advice on that right now, we're seeing the GP soon to see if they can do anything for her anxiety as well as reinforcing coping.
However, I feel bad for this owner and dog because friendly dog & lovely owner saw us at a really bad time for us and reacted in the best way. I feel v.grateful & quite teary. If you were in this situation, would a nice thank you card (explaining DD's behaviour) with maybe a doggy advent calendar be ok? Or is it OTT?
Just a simple thank you for being understanding as we’ve had a couple of incidents with dog owners not as kind as you as it has amplified behaviours recently.
I hope your DD gets support she needs
If I see someone being nervous about my dog (small and always on a lead) I step aside and let them to get past me. I often grab hold of my dog to make sure he doesn't move because I know there are kids like your dd who are scared of dogs. It isn't your responsibility to manage this kind of situation. You don't know their dog! Some people are unkind and think that everyone should be in awe of their dogs. they are wrong!
I don't think it would be OTT to say thank you to the dog owner. More of that kind of behaviour please! :D
Would any of this help? If there's a DT Education Officer near you they may be able to offer advice on helping your daughter overcome her fear, or at least develop less terrifying coping mechanisms. www.learnwithdogstrust.org.uk/building-confidence/
Wow. That dog owner shouting at your child (who I bet it was obvious was terrified.)
TBH if I was the dog owner whose dog dashed out the car I wouldn't be expecting a thank you. I would be mortified that my dog wasn't under control. (By law all dogs should be restrained in a car and under control at all times.)
Dogs Trust are awesome. We did a short course with DD before getting our own dog. Also dog stories and soft toys and meeting a PAT dog. DD is fine with our dog but still wary of strange dogs.
I do hope you get help with the anxiety. Give your DH's head a wobble. She's not being difficult. She's terrified.
BTW if I met you on the path my dog and I would stand in the road to let you past as soon as no cars are coming!
That would be a lovely thing to do, the dog owner will appreciate it.
My dog is aggressive so always under tight control anyway, but if I saw that a passer-by - child or adult - was nervous about my dog getting too close, I would not mind stepping aside and waiting one little bit. A little kindness and consideration doesn't cost anything.
My dd was jumped on by a dog when she was a toddler, she would pull away from me and ended up in the road when we were out, was a nightmare as you know. My dd has no SN so not the same I know. We bought a puppy. Drastic, but as a dog lover and other dc to 'control' out, it as becoming a family issue tbh and a ddog was on the' to do 'list in our lives! Dd is nearly 11 and ddog is 9 and they love each other. Except the time dd ran over ddogs paw in heelies. ....
A simple thank you would be enough for me. My dog adores kids. Would probably do anything to get a kid to like him and more than once I've had to pick the little sod up so he doesn't scare a child when out walking and I've had parents thank me for it.
A thank you is more than enough. Good luck to your DD and you. Please let her know that she is a brave girl
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