4 yr old terrified of dogs

(5 Posts)
yellowgecko Sun 16-Aug-20 14:27:31

Hi, hoping for some advice...
Son just turned 4 and is terrified of dogs. If they are on a lead, he gets really agitated, if they are off a lead he cries, yells, gets really upset, it's like the world has ended.

Last week we were walking in the local park and a Scottie dog (off a lead) bounded right up to him, he was petrified, and that's made it all worse. We've just abandoned a walk because I couldn't get him down the road after we saw 2 dogs in quick succession. I just can't reason with him. He's a very young 4!

I'm really despairing. We don't live near family, and only a couple of extended family members have dogs. None of our friends have dogs, so I can't expose him that way. It's not feasible for us to have one (I'm pregnant and both me and DH work, it's not fair to shut a dog up all day on it's own)

How can I help him to be more accepting of dogs??

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Sun 16-Aug-20 15:01:39

Getting a dog yourself when you have a child who is terrified of them would be a dreadful idea, apart from all the other reasons for not getting one.

Dogs Trust do classes for children who are frighten of dogs, don't know if they're running at the moment but even if they're not it might be worthwhile having a word with them for some advice about what you can do to help your little boy.

Dogs Trust would be my first place to go to in your shoes.

OneKeyAtATime Sun 16-Aug-20 15:08:16

Mine is scared of dogs too but I see that as natural. I mean some are as big as her so I think it is normal to be scared of them.
Also some dogs can be aggressive so I d rather she didn't just go and play with any dogs she sees.

yellowgecko Sun 16-Aug-20 15:23:22

@pigsDOfly I am really reassured by that, I thought I might get some people telling us to get a dog! Hadn't considered Dogs Trust, I will look into it, thank you

@OneKeyAtATime yes to some extent I agree maybe it is just part of him, but it is starting to be a real issue. I think it's healthy to be a little wary but he's literally terrified. I do t want him to go through life being that scared

OP’s posts: |
vanillandhoney Sun 16-Aug-20 16:08:08

I second Dogs Trust for exposure to dogs, or ask at your local shelter to see if there's anything they can recommend.

I also think it's normal for young children with no experience of dogs to be afraid of them. Lots of dogs are bigger than them, for starters! It must be quite scary to be walking along and seeing an animal that's your height or bigger ambling along the road towards you - add in the fact that some breeds are even bigger (Great Danes, Rotties) and some look like wolves (huskies, malamutes) - I think it's perfectly normal for kids to be scared.

I'm sure if he gets some exposure, he will be okay eventually!

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