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Can I stop my dog being scared of small children?(3 Posts)
I have had my dog since a pup. We used to live next door to a small girl (4 ish years old)and they adored one another. She also knows my niece and nephew although they weren't so small when Igot her. We use to take her to an offlead secure field for dogs of just her breed, and a little boy there and her once spent ages chasing one another around a bench having a fab time together no worries at all.
What I'm trying to say is it isnt as if she's never seen a child before. But I'm on edge now if she encounters one and I dont know what to do.
Example 1, went for a communal walk with friends one of whom has a 4 year old girl. I struggled all day making sure they didn't encounter one another and didnt let my dog off the leash because she was so scared whenever girl came toward her, running away, ears down, terrified.
Example 2 went to dog friendly pub for dinner. A child walked toward us holding its mum's hand and my dog let out a loud bark as soon as saw them. She's a large dog and although she's never been aggressive she is so scared and I'm not naive enough to think that a terrified dog won't lash out. But even the bark scares people.
The scared is a bit of excitement at times too I think. If she sees children she will sometimes try to get them to play with her (play bowing, soft bark, running as if wanting to be chased). Of course I'm careful as anyone with a dog should be, about her encountering children but realistically she is going to be in places where kids are around and I'd just like her to not be so reactive. It's about the only thing wrong with her. She's well behaved, good recall, lovely temperament with everyone , good with other dogs, its just this and it is worrying me.
realistically she is going to be in places where kids are around
She doesn't have to be. Avoidance is always a real (and sometimes the best) option. However, if you want to work on this then it is best done with the support of a behaviourist. Find a good one that is qualified and a member of an appropriate organisation, such as APBC.
Thanks for your reply madame . I hear you but, let's he real I cant guarantee there wont be children about where I walk her no matter what. Unless I only walk her in the middle of the night I suppose or very early but although avoidance is an option it doesn't feel like a good one, and it wouldn't be very easy.
Thank you, I'm going to have a look into that.