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Helping Your Child Overcome Their Fear Of Dogs

Kids like to look at dogs from a distance. Dont get me wrong some kids actually do not mind coming up to a dog and petting them, but only if they are laying down or sitting. It is when the stand up and start jumping on the or licking at them is when

This is an image of a happy dog
Kids like to look at dogs from a distance. Dont get me wrong some kids actually do not mind coming up to a dog and petting them, but only if they are laying down or sitting. It is when the stand up and start jumping on the or licking at them is when they start to freak out and run away. Other children may just go running up to any dog and try to ride them like a horse, yikes that is a real scary thing though, you never know how friendly they are or not. But what do we do with children that will not even so much as look at a pooch without screaming for their life.

Why Are Some Children Afraid Of Dogs?

Some children are just more sensitive then others may be. This does not mean your child has problems or will be afraid of everything as they get older, they just have to be taught and shown different ways to over come this. You should never force or pressure a child in to going up to a dog to pet it, for this may just frighten them even more and make them never want to touch a dog ever.

this is an image of a dog in a pumpkin suitIt is possible that the child was never introduced to a dog before and are sketchy about what it is and how they will act, seeing them running around and jumpy may make them fearful. Another reason maybe that the parents teach the child not to approach a dog. Telling them that if they do the dog may harm them and that is what they associate with all dogs, even small house dogs.

Maybe even the child has watched television programs where they have seen dogs or wolves(associating them with a dog) attacking someone or something and that has put a big scare in to their minds. There are so many reasons why a child may be frightened of a dog. But the big question is how can we nip this issue in the bud?

Helping A Child Over A Fear Of Dogs

  1. Try Understanding their fear. If they are able to speak ask them why they are afraid of dogs. Know and understand that the fear is there and do not blow it off to be nothing.
  2. Watch the wording you are using. Do not say things like ask that person if the dog bites. Instead say is it ok if I pet your dog. Also never tell them do not stare at that dog in the face or he will bite you. Try saying don't stare in to that dogs face because you may scare him.
  3. Do not rush your child in to liking dogs, this may force them backwards instead of forwards. Try getting them books, movies, toys games, show them things online that all have to do with dogs and puppies. You may even want to try and buy a stuffed dog for them to sleep with or an electronic dog that they can walk, feed and play with. Then try and take them to a pet sop and stand outside, see if they are ready to see a dog. Do not push them to go in , again this may make them back track. If they are not ready stay with teaching them about dogs.
  4. Okay now that you have done all the teaching. You can see if they are ready to meet a dog, do not go with a puppy, seeming as though puppies are for the most part wild and not very predictable. The puppy will want to play and nip and run around and this may frighten your child. Find a dog that is older and very mellow, you and the child go up to it together and you pet it first, showing the child that it is safe and you are not hurt by them. See if they will do it next
  5. You can look for dogs that are wearing clothing. This is funny to see a dog dressed up, but for some reason when a child sees a dog dressed in bright clothing they are much less fearful of them.
  6. Now that your child has done the above steps they may be ready to approach a dog. Make sure the dog is relaxed and pre occupied so it does not jump and lick all over. If they are looking the other way this is even better, put the child's hand on the pooches back and rub down, they may pull away but tell them it is ok and try it again. They are more likely to do it and be ok.
  7. Well now that they have touched the doggy they are ready for the sniffing and licking. You must warn the child that this is how the dog gets to know you by sniffing you and making sure that you are ok. Then tell them that they may lick you as well this is them giving you a kiss because they like you. Start by placing the child's hand in front of the dogs nose so all they are sniffing and kissing at first is their hand and fingers.
  8. Now that they are use to the dog you must teach them respect. Tell them as they have to do with other kids as well the same goes for a dog you can not hit, kick, push, bite, pull their fur,ears or tail because this will hurt them and make the doggy cry. you do not want to make this pooch cry do you?
  9. They are finally ok to pet and play with dogs, but you still want to enforce the rule to always ask before they go near some one else s dog, even if they are behind a fence, being walked on a leash, at a store or other places. This is very important.
  10. This is an image of a dog smilingLet the child work at their own pace as I have said, pushing them will only make them not want to do it that much more and then they may never want to even look at a dog again. If they do over come thir fear and it is possible you can then introduce them to puppy's and even buy them one if they want one. You can help them teach their new baby all their is to know and the joys of knowing that you have gotten them out of their fear will be a priceless thing.


    Helping Your Child Overcome Their Fear Of Dogs Resources


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