My son is afraid of dogs? How can I help him?

Gunilla - posted on 02/25/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )




He will not live the house because our neighbour have a dog that attakt him! What shall I do!


Julie - posted on 04/28/2011




most peof they have a fear of dogs then you need to be exposed to them and that a small dog would be best to start off. i find this to be wrong because smaller dogs and puppies can be more giddy and playful than the bigger ones and so you may be fearful thinking it will attack when it just wants to play. a bigger older dog that is well balanced would be better to interact with. alternatively take him to your local dog pound and explain to them and they will find a lovely dog for him to interact with for a little while.


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Brandy - posted on 04/28/2011




First I would teach them the basics of how to act around dogs and about obvious dog behavior (IE low wagging tail= happy dog). I do rescue so a part of what we do is educate people on the different aspects of dogs in general, but behavior is by far the largest portion of our education efforts.

First, go to our behavior page and check out the section on "kids and dogs" Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and download the attachment "pet safety tips for kids" these are handy short rhymes that kids remember that teach safety rules. Example: Under the chin is where we begin, If Rover has a bone, leave him alone etc.
The more the kids know about how to act the better off they are... plus they get some confidence from "knowing" about dogs.

Next contact the Delta Society and see what therapy dogs are in your area and what events they attend. Certified Therapy dogs are temperament tested twice- Once for the Canine Good Citizen, and again for therapy certification.. so you know that professionals have evaluated those dogs and deemed them the dogs know how to react to fearful/anxious/crying strangers- it is their job.

You would be amazed at the number of people who think their dogs are perfect when in fact they are showing signs of major temperament problems. I know my suggestions are not as easy as going over to grandmas house.. but they will be worth it!

Katherine - posted on 02/25/2009




A year ago last october, I noticed that my ( then 4 year old, and almost 2 year old) were terrified of dogs.  We would go to friends' houses and if they had a dog ( regardless of size) they wouldnt enter the house.  I grew up with dogs and love them, and it saddened me that my kids were so fearful.  So, I found a dog rescue organization in my area and we began "fostering".  My kids were more comfortable in their own home with a dog and after about a week began to actually interact more with it.  After a few "fosters" we ended up adopting one, and my now 5 year old cant imagine life without a dog.  I think more exposure is a place the child is most comfortable.

Linda - posted on 02/25/2009




 mainly due to news reports of people attacked by dogs,my son aged eight was also afraid of dogs, he would cross over the road if he saw one approaching and would scream when one came near him. He was ok with his grandparents dog, but a nightmare if we went out to parks, his attitude towards dogs started to rub off on his younger sister. in the end we got a dog which he loves he is a changed boy. he was fearful at first  if another dog approached when we took our dog for a walk but after a few times out he was fine.  

Cathi - posted on 02/25/2009




You need to take him to a family members house and/or a friends house that has a dog and slow reintroduce him to dogs. You need to let him know that not all dogs will attack you and show himas well. He will slowly regainthe trust in the animal but maybe not the breed.

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