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Children’s fear of dogs(6 Posts)
I don’t usually post in this section as I don’t have a dog but I need help please.
My children are 5 and 2. 5 year old has never been keen on dogs but more in a disinterested way rather than afraid. 2 year old has always liked dogs and always mentions it if we see one out in the car/ walking in buggy etc.
Yesterday we were at the recreation ground near where we live and out of nowhere a medium ish size dog (sorry im not good with breads) ran up to my children and started jumping up at them and snapping at them. My husband and I grabbed both children as quick as we could but the children were both quite shaken. The owners didn’t care or apologise or call the dog off.
Today both my children have gone hysterical where ever we have encountered a dog whilst out.
What can I do. I don’t want to them to have a fear of dogs, there are no dogs in the family and I don’t have a friend with one I can ask for them to spend time with.
All ideas gratefully rececieved
I teach my Brownies how to react to strange dogs with this STAR drill
Turn your back.
All these things signal to the dog that you are totally uninterested in playing with it and the vast majority of dogs will move away if you do this. I know it won't stop a truly vicious dog, but they are the minority of dogs you will meet when out and about.
Not much help for your 2 year old I know but possibly worth teaching to the older child. It will give them something positive they can do rather than panicking and you can show them how it is done so that it becomes a family exercise.
Hope that is some help
Do you know anyone with a small, placid dog that you could arrange to see first at a distance in a park or similar, and then gradually move your DC closer, over the course of several days if necessary? If and when they become comfortable with that dog, move them on to others.
With children and dogs, it's mostly case of familiarity. I used to walk our dog when dropping my DC at school and one small boy, over the course of about a term (and with no input from me) went from walking a big circle around our dog while clinging to his mother's hand to coming up to her to give her a fuss.
Dogs trust runs fear of dogs courses (link below), I'd try and get them into one of these before it really builds up.
You could try guide dog or hospital visitor dogs near you to see if one of them would meet your child to reassure them?
Thank you everyone for your ideas. I want to sort this before it becomes a huge fear especially in the toddler. The dog even frightened me it was snapping and jumping so much.
Could you contact a local dog training club and see if you can take them along watch?
The dogs will all be under control and it will get them used to be around normal well behaved dogs.
Once they get more confidence, some owners would probably be happy for them to interact and try a few commands with their dogs.
I’m sure the instructors would be able to give helpful advice too.
If they learn that most dogs are friendly and well behaved, they should be better able to cope when confronted with one that’s not.