Flag

Q: Will my baby always be afraid of dogs now?

December 22, 2008 | By Lindsay S. | 7 answers | Expired: 2064 days ago

Lindsay S.

During Thanksgiving, my then 6 month old baby grabbed my aunt's dog and tried to put him in her mouth! Well, the dog nipped at her and I kind of pushed her over to get her out of the way. The dog was not mean, just old and she had good reason. Anyway, two nights ago we were at a friends house and they have a dog. It is similar in size but looks completely different from the dog that nipped at her. Every time she saw him she started shrieking like she was afraid. I don't want her to be afraid of dogs! Will this pass? Is there anything I can do to help it pass? I can't very well bring dogs around her when she is shrieking because it freaks the dog out. So what should I do?

Readers' Answers (7)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
nanette C.
Flag

Jan 05, 2009

My daughter was petrified of dogs as a little girl. Even when she was 3yrs old and when we got a puppy - every time our puppy would move or make a squeaky bark - our daughter would scream bloody murder! Today, at age 30, she has 2 dogs and a cat and works with her pets to help other children to overcome their fear. She shows them that they were (the kids) are in control - they are often bigger then the pet - and, if they show no fear and are relaxed around the animals the animals will be comfortable around them. Additionally, she illustrates that pets are a form of unconditional love. She says the reason she got over her fears of pets was because I didn't make a big deal over her reactions and eventually, she got over them. Hope this helps -

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Kelly
Flag

Jan 05, 2009

At 6mo old, she's probably too young to hold this memory forever - I don't remember a traumatic event that happened before I was a year old - but, as others have said, it will also depend on you. If you're anxious about how she's going to react or what may happen every time she encounters a dog, she will pick up on that anxiety. She may begin to connect the anxiety to the dog which could set up a fear response. Don't force it & just let her observe dogs from a distance for a while & then slowly proceed to letting her interact with very calm dogs. As someone else said, as she gets older, supervise her interactions & teach her to never approach a strange dog. I'm sure she will be just fine.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Cindy
Flag

Dec 24, 2008

I doubt this experience will have a lasting impact, but that all depends primarily on you. Be careful not to show any tension when she is around another dog, and do not talk nervously to reassure her in the presence of another dog. Don't force her, either to interact or even touch another dog. I agree, look for an older, calm cog that is known to be good with children. Supervise any and all interactions very closely. Maybe your vet knows of a dog. Another idea might be to find another child a bit older who knows how to behave around a dog and she may learn from seeing this other child interact with the dog. Children are really amazing in that they reflect so much off of their parents -- so I would monitor your own reactions and feelings very carefully and just be patient. I think she'll come around. But, I disagree in setting her up with a small dog - they tend to be more nervous and more reactve. Even another animal might help -- such as a really tame bunny. Good luck!

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Marla G.
Flag

Dec 22, 2008

I'd find a friend with an older laid back dog to take her around. She is too little to remember what happened but being at ease with a dog might make her calmer when she does see an animal.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Blosser
Flag

Dec 22, 2008

Speak to your doctor or vet. Maybe introduce her to a dog that will totally not do anything if she pulls his tail or anything like that. I'm sure one of your friends has an old dog that doesn't mind. My dog is almost 15 years old and little kids pull on her tail and pet her all the time and she doesn't care.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Meredith M.
Flag

Dec 22, 2008

You may want to bring her around small dogs or dogs you know are good with kids. Try to create some positive experiences with her and dogs. You can also buy books with dogs as the characters or show her movies like Lady and the Tramp. Then maybe she will associate the good things with the dogs and not be afraid any more.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Brandi O.
Flag

Dec 22, 2008

she is too small to remember it she will get over the dog biting at her but if i was you i would not take her around that dog ever again a dog like that should never be around kids i feel sorry for your baby but i think she will be okay maybe take her around dogs that are nice and she will see that all dogs are not mean and when she gets older teach her not to go up to a dog with out her mommy good luck

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement