How to help DC get over fear of dogs?

(10 Posts)
MoominCake Tue 07-Jan-20 22:06:05

Last year dd (4) was knocked flying by neighbour's friendly but enormous dog who was particularly excitable and managed to get out the front door when I popped round with her in tow, to pick up a parcel they'd taken in for me. Dd smashed her face into a brick wall and ended up with a nasty cut and bruise. I felt absolutely awful for forgetting they had this huge excitable dog. No harm intended of course but she is now terrified of all dogs and gets extremely upset if we see any close by when we're out and about. She refuses to listen when I tell her they won't want to hurt her, even if they're on leads. She is such a confident and happy child otherwise but is in floods of tears at the sight of dogs. I don't want her to feel like this, what to do?

OP’s posts: |
Whynosnowyet Tue 07-Jan-20 22:09:25

My dd was jumped on in a park.
In the enclosed supposed ddog free area.
At 2 she was mostly out the buggy and would make a run for it away from any ddogs.Tbh it was getting ridiculous..
Then years ago we bought this...
Obviously a lot smaller!! Within weeks dd was 'cured'!!
Drastic but very effective!! Appreciate it's not the method for all!!

SharkasticBitch Wed 08-Jan-20 10:51:19

Have a look here:

TeacupRex Wed 08-Jan-20 13:31:22

Might be worth seeing if there any cynophobia classes being run nearby. They only bring calm, child-friendly dogs to the classes to desensitise them to the fear. She needs to have lots of experiences with good, docile dogs (under supervision of course!) to show her that the majority of dogs are not going to harm her - easier said than done I know!

MoominCake Wed 08-Jan-20 15:23:37

Thanks all, most helpful! I'd love to have a pup at home, I was brought up in a house with dogs as a child so I hate that dd feels so differently. I think I will look into something sort of class or workshop that might help as getting a doggy is not really a practical option for us right now.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Wed 08-Jan-20 19:23:03

Do you know someone with a small, calm, child-friendly dog? There used to be a little boy at my DCs' school who was terrified of dogs, but every morning I was up there with mine. I never approached him, and his mum let him take it at his own pace, but he gradually got closer and closer to her and in the end really liked her.

Whynosnowyet Wed 08-Jan-20 19:38:06

I have less terrifying looking ddogs op if you are near me ? Met a girl about 7 last summer out on a walk with her dps. She told her dm (although terrified of ddogs) for some reason she wanted to walk beside mine and actually stroked one!! A bit deal apparently - her dm was a bit choked!


MothershipG Wed 08-Jan-20 20:39:14

Start her off with story books like the Hairy McClary series, then films & tv like Bolt and then try and find a friend of hers that has a calm, child friendly dog she can meet on her own terms.

My DC were scared of dogs then we moved and they went to childminder with a sweet Staffy who helped and then we got our own dog.

user1471453601 Wed 08-Jan-20 20:51:15

Perhaps we should arrange some kind of meet, opening poster.
Joke Our rescue dog is petrified of small children. Really, really scared of them. She drops to her tummy and tries to crawl away if one comes near her.

We don't know sweet dogs "back story", but suspect she may have been over boisterous with small children in the past and has been punished for it.

She is very sweet though, and I love her

DogInATent Thu 09-Jan-20 11:54:22

Don't force it. Our staffy is typical of the breed - a big softy with adults and children and we get stopped quite often by people that have had a staffy in the past or grew up with one. There was one mum pretty much pushing her obviously scared child towards the dog, and that's completely the wrong thing to do.

Treat dogs as just a normal part of the world around you, don't point them out, don't either avoid them or deliberately seek them out. Try not to be nervous about how your daughter will react if you spot a dog ahead of you, she may pick up on that anxiety and assume that you're anxious about the dog rather than what her reaction may be.

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