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Dog Phobic Children

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Bex190, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. Bex190

    Bex190 PetForums VIP

    Jun 30, 2009
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    Is it just me or are there a lot more dog phobic children around now?

    I just got back from taking Otto for a walk around the reservoir. There were loads of families there with kids of all ages and I was quite surprised by a lot of their reactions to Otto.

    About 50% of children ignored him/smiled at him, one girl (about 4yrs) asked if she could stroke him at her mother's urging but the rest seemed terrified of him.

    Admittedly Otts is very waggy and interested in everything around him but he is a small pup on a short lead and I don't let him near enough to touch other people unless they want to meet him at which point he is made to sit and the worst he does is go wriggly and a bit licky.

    I was particularly worried by the parents who grabbed their children as soon as they saw Otto and hid them away from him as if he has a rabid werewolf. It's no wonder these kids are growing up to be afraid!

    I'm all for kids asking permission before approaching strange dogs but isn't this going a bit far?
  2. Nicky09

    Nicky09 PetForums VIP

    Feb 26, 2009
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    I find its more the parents when you have 2 big dogs they tend to grab the kids and look at you like the dogs are going to turn at any second. Then that of course goes to the kids and they then become dog-phobic. A lot of the kids here ask can they pet them first which is good. Funnily enough Sophie never seems to incite fear must be the teddy bear impression.
  3. icanneverthinkofagoodname

    icanneverthinkofagoodname PetForums Junior

    Aug 16, 2009
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    There are a lot of Dog Phobic children around.

    My dogs are kid savvy and one of them especially loves them.

    I can't say that i blame kids for being scared of dogs because of all the bad press of dog attacks that go on. My Dog As A Weapon (on UK BBC3 a little while back) didnt do a lot for dog publicity.

    I quite like to be asked if a child can stroke my dog as my other dog likes kids but he can also be a grumpy old man, whereas the one who loves kids is ALWAYS happy and waggy.

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2009
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    I have a cocker spaniel, and I see tons of these kids when I'm walking him around the park and the lake. Most seem terrified and scream and run away to their parents, and the parents comfort them :eek:. What sort of message does that send to the child? "I know it's a big scary dog, it's ok to be scared"

    I did see one little boy today, 18 months old, who was in awe of Ollie in Pets At Home store. He loved him, and he put his hands right in Ollie's mouth, and Ollie didn't do anything, just licked him. Ollie was fab with him, as was the little boy. In the 1 year I've owned Ollie, this is the first child who has actually wanted to be near him. :D

    I think the parents are to blame (although I do understand that some children have bad experiences with dogs at a young age), but the looks I get off parents when I'm walking my dog and I'm on the other side of the road sometimes, just for walking my dog. :eek:ut: Most parents are scared themselves, so they pass it onto the child. Also, if they just ignored Ollie, it'll be fine, but they draw so much attention to themselves by screaming, running away etc, it attracts Ollie to them, so they are doing themselves no favours at all.

    Will get off my soap box now. :001_tt2:
  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Feb 18, 2009
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    I think kids live such protected and cossetted lives these days, there probably are more that are afraid of dogs (not dog phobic though, a phobia is a much stronger fear). Parents are guilty of instilling fears in their kids by their own reactions to harmless pets, and those who don't know how to read the body language of dogs can panic as though any friendly dog was a starving slavering baby-eater.
    I was afraid of dogs as a kid; the only one I ever had anything to do with was my grandmother's Dusty (wire-haired fox terrier) who growled and snarled if me or my sister went in the same room as him. My parents' reactions were different to modern ones though, we were told not to be so silly and made to go past the dog to fetch things. My sister never got over her fear, though the dog (or any other) actually bit either of us.
  6. kaz_f

    kaz_f PetForums VIP

    Mar 8, 2009
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    I have the same breed as you and I have the same sorts of reactions. People have crossed the road with their kids to avoid walking them past Alfie. I haven't got any kids so I guess I don't know how I'd feel in the same circumstances but although he's fairly large he doesn't look anything but friendly (waggy tail gives it away). Also, in these scenario's I am wondering if they are thinking that I am a complete idiot that would let my dog savage their child and I suppose I find the notion that I wouldn't be able to control my dog quite insulting really.

    I think I would like my children (if I had any) to not be fearful of animals but to learn to have a healthy respect for them however they will never learn that if they are cosseted and not allowed to come into contact with them in everyday situations IMO. I guess parents may have a very different take on it though as they just wouldn't want to take any risks with their most precious thing in the world.
  7. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    It's a shame,we have seen parents grab their children and pull them across the road when we are out with ours or we get coments like,are they friendly,we say yes then they say oh it's just other dogs they want to rip to pieces then :incazzato:

    Our ex friend was scared of dogs, and wouldn't let her daughter anywhere near mine.We tried to explain that it was totally wrong to instill fear of dogs to a child. :(
    They have come here on various occasions and her daughter had a major panic screaming,shouting,waving her arms around which of course made our dogs quite excited,which made the child even worse.We did eventually get her to act apropriatly around our dogs,however her mother is of the opinion that "ALL" dogs will turn and bite their owner at least once during their life times. :crazy:
  8. Freyja

    Freyja PetForums VIP

    Jun 28, 2008
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    We've just met a dog phobic child when I was out walking 6 of my whippets. He saw me walking along and ran into his garden. His mum was there and told me he was scared of dogs but he stood inside his garden and talked to them over the wall. I then got Owen to put his front feet on the wall and he was happy to stoke his head. I hope he has done something towards helping the child to get over his fear. I would have spent more time with him if I hadn't got the youngsters with me but they are a bit rowdy so not the best for a scared child to fuss. It would have been better if I had the greyhounds with me as they are docile and adore kids.
  9. Bex190

    Bex190 PetForums VIP

    Jun 30, 2009
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    I guess I always assumed children people avoided us when I had my old dog because she screamed when near roads (she was thrown from a moving car before she was rescued) but maybe things have been getting worse for a while.

    I'm always happy to introduce Otto to anyone who asks but am aware he can be a bit OTT at the moment as he's only on his third day of going out.

    I understand that some adults have fears because of past experiences but I hate to see them making such a fuss and making their children even more afraid than them.
  10. CheekoAndCo

    CheekoAndCo PetForums VIP

    Jun 17, 2009
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    I have the opposite problem with Cheeko. Kids love him and they just run up and talk to him :mad: I would trust him around a baby but with his cysts he doesn't like people just running up and 'attacking' him so if he snapped it would be our fault no doubt.. It doesn't take much to ask to pet someones dog. I was brought up to do that and always put my hand out first to let the dog sniff it.
  11. rona

    rona Guest

    Most kids that see Alfie come over to see him, though we have had one or two that were really nervous. I use him as I do with nervous dogs and try and get them to stroke him if the parents seem ok. He's had a few successes :)
    He had 4 children come running through the woods at him the other day screaming, a two year old with no parental control flung himself at him, lucky child that it was my Alfs :D
  12. Sitmus

    Sitmus PetForums Member

    May 11, 2008
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    When I was younger, I was scared of dogs a lot.

    An Auntie and Uncle had a big GSD, that they had to have a muzzle on. When we went round there he went crazy barking his head off. I remember one time I stayed round there, and their dog was sleeping at the bottom of the stares, and I was too scared to go down and waited for my Dad to wake up.

    But another Auntie had a GSD that was lovely and gentle.

    I think what it might be is nervs. When you go to stroke a new dog, they often have their nose in the air following your hand when you go to stroke them, as they want to sniff you. To a young child this could seem like it might bite them - it did for me.

    I think for other people, the problem can be seen in the media. In the news, dog attacks, dog fights, child killed by a dog, child maimed by a dog, baby killed by a dog. And this gives a bad influence on all dogs, unless you yourself own one. It could also be protective parents.

    But all that changed when we got Sunny.
  13. dobermummy

    dobermummy Banned

    Apr 4, 2009
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    When walking mine I get people crossing over, running away and screaming, I even had a woman tell me I am an unfit mother to have vicious dogs round my children :eek:ut:

    I did put fairy wings on Max once and the number of children who suddenly wanted to stroke and play with him was amazing. :D
  14. Colsy

    Colsy Banned

    Oct 3, 2008
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    I get stopped all the time by children wanting to make a fuss of Elmo.
    He does look cuddly and looks like a huge teddy bear.
    So when i tell them his name that goes down even better Elmo Da bear.
    I think all children should be educated from a young age all about animals and how to love and respect them.
    I used to have a fear of dogs as child,now look at me 7 dogs.
  15. This is exactly the same reaction i get with Holly. People shout what you dong with a vicious dog like that around children. To which i reply What gives you the impression shes vicious then? The way she wags her tail wildly and happily walks along with us to heel? I usually then dont get no response back :D
  16. bichonsrus

    bichonsrus PetForums Senior

    May 16, 2009
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    I was not that good around dogs as a child as i was bitten by my nans gsd, more of a nip really. I was aware it could put my children off dogs too so as soon as they wanted to go pet a dog they saw id just tell them how to approach a dog and offer your hand for them to sniff before you stroke them, oh and always ask the owner if you can stroke them first too. I know little children can be afraid by the most silliest things too, it can be hard to see it from a childs point of view. When i got my first dog as an adult, i was still a little nervous for a few days in case it went mad on us lol but both i and my children have gained lots of confidence on owning dogs and i always encourage other kids to stroke the dogs, its good for both kids and dogs alike.

    I must say i find it almost unbelievable that people have been shouted at that they own dangerous dogs, i would be shocked to hear something like that round my way!
  17. hobo99

    hobo99 PetForums VIP

    Aug 18, 2008
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    Most of the time we walk where there are no other dogs or people so i didnt think about how other people or children reacted,:rolleyes: but as hobo grew up some people in the village side stepped him and looked worried,:confused: then i went with my daughter and her dog for a walk where a lot a people and children (dogs being a border terrier , and my staffy x) and i was quite upset at the amount of children and some adults that moved as far away as they could.
    Some children even screamed and ran to parents.:(
    What an awful shame these children are not having the joy of interacting with a dog as they grow up ,they are missing so much :(
  18. TabbyRoad

    TabbyRoad Banned

    Aug 9, 2009
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    We live in a primarily Hassidic Jewish community and they do not keep pets. Mabel has a fear of small chidren which we think was brought about by being pulled out of the car by her ear and thrown on the ground by a small child who had no idea how to handle her. He did not want to hurt her but wanted a closer look. She was also kicked by a woman who thought Mabel was attacking her children when she was just going over for a sniff. Poor Mabes now likes to keep a wide bearth from kids. We're starting training on Tuesday and hopefully in a controlled onvironment she can see not all kids are out to hurt her.

    It doesn't help that she look like a teddy bear.

    Some of her best friends are a rottweiler, several staffies and 2 GSD's. We have actually had people ask us how we can let her play with "dogs like that". As much as I adore Mabel I'm very quick to tell them it's my teddy bear dog that would more than likely be the only one who would not lick your child until it was more slobber than kid.
  19. charlie9009

    charlie9009 PetForums Senior

    Nov 24, 2008
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    We have a few children who are scared of dogs round here too. I do think that it is alot to do with the parents.

    I normally take LuLu (6 month old chinese crested) on the field for a walk with my little boy too. She loves kids, being brought up with Reece (2 1/2), they are always playing together. She saw a little boy come on the field the other day and run off to see him before I could get her back on the lead. The little boy's mum run up to him and picked him up off the floor and held him out the way untill LuLu came back to me (she came back before she'd even got all the way to them) then she gave me the dirtiest look in the world. LuLu is smaller than a westie, and she was playing with my little boy, who was younger than hers! Her boy didn't seem bothered, but he will be soon if she carries on doing that, and these are the people that will probably ban dogs from the parks and things round here (which they are trying to do at the moment) :mad:

    Round here most of the dog owners are responsible enough to only let their dogs off lead if they are friendly (most of them don't have any recall at all, and have no consideration for other dog owners, but they're dogs are friendly :rolleyes: ) and people who are anti dog are bringing up their children to be the same, and trying to ban them from most of the public places round here.
  20. LostGirl

    LostGirl PetForums VIP

    Jan 16, 2009
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    ive only met a few people scared of my two they look like dopey dogs and nearly always have thier tails wagging and tounges hanging out lol

    I do tend to hold my childrens hands when we see another dog as neither are afraid but they do sometimes forget to ask to stroke (my daughter more then my son) so i do it for the dogs sake and i make them ask first before they touch. Ive never crossed the road from a dog with my kids.

    I always careful that they ask to touch the dog before they do as my daughter was very lucky once and stroked a dog that ju7mped up and went to bite her in her face, thankfully she jumped back! this hasnt made her fearful tho you wouldve thought it would
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