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Frightened toddler...any advice would be grest(5 Posts)
A few weeks ago, my 2 year old was was walking past a staffie type of dog tied to a post when out of nowhere the dog lunged at my dd, snapping, snarling and trying to bite her. Luckily we were a good metre away so the dog didn't manage to reach her but nearly strangled itself trying and got pretty close to her face which must have been terrifying for her.
We were both shaken up but since then my daughter has developed an absolute terror of dogs to the point that she'd run into the road to get away from one . We've gone back to using reins to keep her safe and pick her up as soon as she asks (it's like she has a radar and notices dogs miles away). We talk about dogs and how we know if they are happy if they are wagging their tails, but we don't go up to dogs we don't know etc, have bought her a dog from build a bear but don't know what else to try. I don't know anything about dogs and have never had one so was hoping that maybe a mumsnet parent or grandparent might be a dog owner and could advise me.
DD was terrified of dogs and still cautious at 5 years. Cautious is fine in my book though.
If you have friends/relatives with an older calm dog, meeting them can really help. We also talked about “standing still like a tree” if a dog approaches. Seeing you fuss over dogs can help too, but IME don’t ask your DD to come and pet them too, just give it time. It may take several years.
DS was paralytically terrified of dogs as a toddler. Now at 8 he nags me pretty much every day about getting a dog, though remains safely cautious.
It will pass with reassurance, showing a good example and safe exposure.
An older calm dog would be a very good thing for her to meet. Make sure she has plenty of space to be well away from the dog and get the owner to keep it on a lead, calm, and focussed away from your dd, maybe with the provision of treats. Let her just be as close as she feels comfortable, and don't push her into anything.
You could also (assuming a calm dog is readily to hand) do feeding the dog - again, the dog is on a lead and at a distance, she gets to put the food into the bowl and put it down, then you retreat and the dog eats. Look how happy you've made him, etc etc... ds loves feeding our dog, it's his favourite job, and ddog loves it too.
Also, perhaps some dog books? Fleabag is a good one, the little dog is lovely and it has a lovely, gentle story.
I think the main thing though is calm reassurance, and let her work through it. It was obviously a scary experience for her, poor thing.
This and the attached pdf might provide some useful information www.learnwithdogstrust.org.uk/building-confidence/
Thank you all, there's some great ideas to try there, from reading through and looking at the link, I've been doing it all wrong and I've even unconsciously started planning our days differently to avoid dogs such as walking the main road way to the shops rather than going through the park to avoid upsetting her which I don't think will help in the long term.