The reasons for this behavior
Before implementing methods aimed at solving the problem, the owner must understand why an adult or a puppy is afraid to walk on the street. The most common factors that can provoke such a phobia, zoopsychologists include:
- Traumatic experience associated with strong experiences in the past. It can relate to both physiological and psychological aspects. The pet could be hit by a car, hit by a passer-by, or frightened by a scene of violence. As a result, the sound of a passing car or the figure of a stranger can evoke painful experiences in the dog’s memory, due to which he may not like to walk in the yard.
- Bad weather conditions. Most dog breeders believe that the only thing the dog wants is to jump out the door of the apartment and run around to his heart’s content. And it doesn’t matter what the weather is outside the window. rain, snow, strong wind or hellish heat. But in fact, barking friends are selective in this regard, especially this applies to those breeds that are distinguished by short hair. Severe cold or excessive humidity give them a lot of inconvenience, so if the dog does not want to walk, and clouds are gathering outside, then it is better to put aside the leash and take him out for a walk a little later.
- It is important to understand that if a dog is afraid of people, then it is not surprising that it wants to avoid places that are full of them. This behavior is caused by the fact that in the past the animal has suffered abuse from its previous owners. Attentive owners may notice that their shaggy friend willingly goes for a walk at an early time, when the streets are still empty and there are few passers-by, and in the evening, on the contrary, he becomes stubborn and hides under the bed.
- Low level of socialization. Zoopsychologists are convinced that if a puppy does not want to leave the house once again, then the reason often lies in the fact that he has practically no developed socialization skill. This is often the sin of careless breeders, who early separated a puppy from his brothers and sisters. Also, the problem manifests itself in pets taken from shelters for stray dogs, where the baby was kept in isolation. As a result, he considers strangers and his fellow tribesmen to be menacing figures capable of harming him.
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system cause unbearable suffering to the pet. He can hardly move around the house, let alone the street. Each movement causes severe pain in the dog’s body, therefore, over time, he has a fear of walking, as in front of something painful and fraught with difficulties.
- Older age is another factor why a dog is not keen on walking. During the aging process, visual acuity and hearing become dull, which makes the dog helpless. Dogs are afraid of fast moving objects that they can’t hear, so they panic and get off the leash.
- Zoological psychologists have found that in some cases the puppy does not want to walk because it has an innate weak nervous system that reacts too sharply to stimuli such as light, sound, strong odors.
The owner must clearly understand that if his animal does not differ in mental stability, is able to break off the leash or rush at passers-by, then you should not try to correct his behavior on his own. Be sure to seek help from an experienced dog handler or a qualified animal psychologist. Elimination of fears “at home” is possible only in the case of puppies, an adult cannot be relieved of a persistent phobia without special knowledge and skills.
Why is a dog afraid to walk on the street and what to do
Walking a pet is a mandatory procedure, during which he learns the world around him, gets to know his fellow tribesmen, fulfills natural needs and develops physically. But what should the owner do if the dog is afraid to walk on the street and every exit from the house turns into a tragedy? The dog huddles into the far corner, the owner gets nervous, begins to drag him out of the door by force, as a result, a bad mood is provided for both the furry friend and his “leader”. The article will analyze in detail the fear of a four-footed fidget associated with going out for a walk, and also offer effective options for getting rid of such a phobia.
Methods of exposure
So what if your dog is afraid to go outside? The first step is to establish a strong and trusting relationship with your dog. Until she sees him as her protector and “leader”, there is nothing to hope for any serious shifts in correcting her behavior. The next step will be the systematic application of the recommendations of zoopsychologists, which include:
- If the puppy is afraid to go for a walk, then be sure to purchase a tray for him, where he can relieve his natural needs at home. Over time, with its help, you can successfully train the puppy to leave the apartment. This procedure is extremely simple. the owner just needs to move the tray to the front door every day until he is outside it. The animal, accordingly, will follow him, which will facilitate the process of overcoming the phobia.
- If your dog is afraid of walking because of uncomfortable accessories, buy him a long leash and a comfortable leather collar. Make sure that it fits snugly around the pet’s neck and does not choke it. Discomfort can also occur due to a leash that is too short, which prevents the dog from calmly exploring the space.
- Cynologists are convinced that with the help of games and affectionate treatment it is extremely easy to force the animal to go out into the yard. Address your dog with a cheerful and joyful voice: “Let’s go for a walk” or “Do you want to play?”. While doing this, pet your pet or give him some of your favorite treats. Motivate a furry friend to walk and his fears will quickly disappear.
- An excellent option for a shy pet is hunger. Do not feed the animal before walking and then lure it out with goodies. The instinct to satisfy hunger is inherent in the dog by nature itself, and it is stronger than any phobia. The only disadvantage of the method is that it is customary to walk with a four-legged friend after lunch, and not in front of him.
- Dogs that are afraid of loud noises need to be walked away from intense stimuli for the first time. Choose a quiet park or wasteland where your pet will gradually learn to tolerate the squeals and horns of passing cars. If a young individual is afraid of noise, then more often take it to the balcony, let it get used to the “soundtrack” of the big city.
- Experts advise owners to take a closer look at the personal preferences of their animals. It so happens that the dog walks calmly in the dark, and arranges a “concert”, as soon as the owner grabs the leash during the day. Consider this aspect in ridding your pet of the fear of walking.
- Another good method is to wait until the moment when the dog itself would want to go out into the yard. The owner can ask a friend who has a dog to come with him to his house, and then go outside together. The pet needs to be left at home, but give him the opportunity to see that his owner will have fun and play with someone else’s animal. Zoopsychologists are sure that the feeling of jealousy is inherent in dogs no less than in humans, and if you skillfully play it, then the fear of a walk will disappear forever.
Finally, I would like to say that a dog who is afraid of walking loses a lot in life. Such animals are not physically developed, are deprived of the joy of playing with the “leader”, shun their fellow tribesmen and have an unbalanced disposition. It is necessary to teach a pet to walk from an early age, when its psyche has the necessary degree of flexibility to assimilate everything that the owner is trying to instill in him. If you miss this favorable time, then retraining the dog will be much more difficult.
What To Do When Kids Are Afraid Of Dogs | Lucky Dog
The child is afraid of animals and fictional characters. what to do?
Have you ever noticed on the street that some children look apprehensively at pets? Some babies are afraid of even harmless little dogs, clinging tighter to their mother’s hand. Today we will talk about what to do if a child is afraid of animals and even fictional characters.
Why is a child afraid of animals or fictional characters??
Unfortunately, the most common fear among children is the fear of dogs, and the child is terrified of not only large, but also small dogs. But among the most difficult situations, one can single out such cases when it comes to the fear of parrots, hamsters and mice. Parents are just racking their brains over how to get rid of such phobias.
Children can throw tantrums up to 2 years old, which is associated with the psycho-emotional state of the body. We are in a hurry to please parents who have given up. fears of animals and fictional characters are only among preschoolers, because after the start of communication with their peers, the child becomes more independent and begins to be really aware of all the events that are taking place.
Much also depends on how well-developed the logic and imagination of children is. they can come up with a variety of images of animals from the real world, realizing that meeting with them can lead to very unpredictable consequences. That is why they get the impression that a meeting with such inhabitants of the natural world can hardly bode well.
What to do for parents?
Experts assure that parents should not worry about a child’s fear of animals. this is a completely natural process that should simply be experienced. Of course, there are also more serious cases when, due to various facts, the child cannot overcome his own fears on his own, therefore, it is simply impossible to do without the help of specialists and psychologists.
Make sure your child is in close contact with pets that may be in your apartment. This allows you to quickly get to know the animal world and perceive it as an integral part of our life. Modern television has a negative impact on the formation of the psyche of babies, since many cartoons do not have a clear plot, and incomprehensible images and subjects play the main roles in them, which often cause undisguised fear.
Thus, if you notice that the child is afraid of various animals, then it is worth taking appropriate measures.
Associated with personal traumatic experiences.
It must be understood that the thinking of a child is different from that of an adult. In children under 7–8 years old, the irrational predominates: this means that they do not really distinguish reality from fiction. And so it really may seem to them that someone lives under the bed, and so on. It is difficult to answer unequivocally whether or not this irrational fear will pass over time. It depends on many factors. Including whether significant adults will “feed”, develop, or support and cope with these fears in their actions and reactions.
Play fear through figures or theatrical action: with designer figures, finger puppets, soft toys.
When you act out a story that someone was afraid and then coped, you show the child how it can be.
A child is afraid of animals: what to do?
Is the child afraid of dogs, goes around a raven a mile away or runs away screaming at the sight of spiders? The fear of animals can have many reasons, from traumatic experiences to “inheritance” from parents. Together with the psychologist Maria Krivoschapova-Demina, we figure out where this fear comes from and how to help the child overcome it.
Maria Krivoshchapova-Demina. psychophysiologist, Ph.D., systemic family therapist, head of the Gottman.ru project. Blogs on Instagram.
Helping A Scared Child | Not To Fear Dogs
General guidelines for dealing with fear
It is important to live through the anxiety and support the child along the way: to give him the feeling that you are always there, there, that he always has support and that together you can cope.
Passed “by inheritance” from mom, grandmother, dad, other significant relatives.
This fear is transmitted both verbally and through unconscious bodily reactions. Let’s say mom says: “Don’t touch the dog, it’s dangerous,” and her body tenses, “shrinks.” She abruptly moves away from the animal. Or tells a very scary story from childhood, how she was bitten by a wasp and she could not eat for 3 days. And the child feels mom’s fear. Or grandmother says that spiders and cockroaches are disgusting and screams loudly, calls grandfather, runs away, waving a sneaker. The child does not know what exactly happened and why this spider is so scary, but he believes his grandmother’s reaction, understanding and remembering that “this is dangerous, alarming, it is impossible”.
There are certain typical fears that a child experiences at every age. They are due to the age-related characteristics of the brain and psyche. In preschool and primary school age, the so-called “emotional brain” is more active. And only after 7-9 years does the prefrontal cortex begin its intensive development, which helps to integrate thoughts and feelings, learn to think logically, separating emotions from each other and better managing reality. This is a complex process that occurs throughout a person’s growing up.
Typical fears that are perfectly normal to live with:
- The fears of children from 1 to 3 years old relate to loneliness, the absence of loved ones around. A child in this period of his life desperately needs them. In addition, all unexpected changes are unpleasant to him.
- 2 to 4 or 3 to 5 years old. fear of the dark, loneliness, confined spaces, and pain.
- A little later, from 5 to 7 years, the fear of death appears. From here comes the fear of insects, beetles, spiders, blood, scratches. everything that can potentially threaten the integrity of the child. At this age, he already understands something about death, but does not know what is there and how.
- At the age of 6-8, a social fear appears. to be bad, not like everyone else, not good enough. Hence. the fear of being late, bad answers at the blackboard, etc.
- Adolescent normative fear. being rejected, fear for your individuality, losing yourself.
The child is afraid of animals. What to do, basic tips, reasons?
Fear is a natural human feeling, which most likely arose from the instinct of self-preservation. If it were not for him. humanity could not survive, the last man would have been trampled by a mammoth long ago, or he would have fallen into the abyss. So we should be grateful to fear. after all, we are still alive. It’s another matter when fear develops into a phobia, i.e. uncontrollable fear. But, having noticed the manifestation of this at the very beginning of the onset, the phobia can be defeated (especially in children).
Causes of animal fear
Why does a child feel fear of animals, for example? Of course, first of all, on the conditions and circumstances in which the child is brought up. If a large dog lives in a family where a baby is brought up, it is unlikely that he will be afraid of other dogs. Sometimes, on the contrary, you have to pull these children away from other people’s dogs, because these kids consider all dogs as their own.
Often parents, especially mothers and grandmothers, scare children with animals or deliberately demonstrate their fear of them. Thus, they want to discourage the baby from communicating with the neighbor’s Sharik, fearing that the child will pick up fleas, germs, etc., etc. (there are a lot of arguments). To limit communication with animals or not is, of course, the parents’ business, but you need to think about HOW to make sure that the child is not afraid of all animals later. I have a friend who was so afraid of animals (even a lazy neighbor’s cat) that it was out of the question that she would approach the dog, let alone touch it, and all because in childhood she was frightened by animals But she managed to cope with her fear at a fairly mature age, when, having moved to her own house, she met neighbors who had a huge dog. This dog was very friendly and stayed at home alone for a long time. Willy-nilly, the acquaintance had to either feed him (from afar), then pour water into a bowl (with a stream from a hose), and sometimes face his “smiling” face, just opening the front door. So gradually, in forced communication, she developed a friendly relationship with the dog. And, getting used to communicating with her, she already began to calmly walk past a stray dog, not rushing in panic to look for a bench standing nearby or hiding with shouts behind a random passer-by. Agree that not all people will think of you as a normal person after seeing such a reaction to animals.
Fear of animals in children, most often dogs, but also cats, can arise if animals either bit or scratch the child. In most cases, the child himself provokes the animal to such behavior by pulling a neighbor’s dog by the tail or poking a stick in the cat’s eye. And this is the task of the parents to explain to the baby how a live dog, hamster or cat differs from their plush prototypes, then the baby will be less likely to be scratched or bitten.
Fear of animals in a child usually manifests itself already at a more or less conscious age of three to six years. Of course, fear can also be caused by logically explained reasons, for example, a baby, seeing a huge shepherd dog running at him, will be very frightened. And parents on a walk should carefully protect the child from such incidents.
What to do if a child is afraid of animals?
This problem undoubtedly needs to be addressed. Here’s what you can do:
- First of all, you need to establish the cause of the fear of animals. An animal bite, children’s grievances, fear of the death of a pet and other reasons have a bad effect on the psyche and health of the child. You need to try to show your baby that animals are not so bad and many of them are great friends.
- Visit zoos, aquariums and terrariums. Ask the child what he liked and would like to visit this place again.
- Do not show your child your fear of animals, otherwise you can only increase his fear.
- Protect, comfort and support him. You need to preserve the nervous system of your son or daughter. It also minimizes the effects of fear over time.
If you do not know why your baby began to be afraid of animals, then you still need to gradually accustom him to peaceful communication with them. In no case do not force a child to come up against his will to a cat or a dog, and even more so, to tease an older child, calling him a boyaguz. It will give nothing, fear is stronger than a child. Better go with the child to the zoo, circus, show films about animals or, best of all, let a fluffy creature settle in your house. It does not have to be a cat or a dog right away, you can take a hamster or a dwarf rabbit. Let the child observe them in the cage; at first, do not seek their close companionship. Gradually, the baby will get used to the animal, and when he sees how you boldly stroke the rabbit, he will want to stroke it himself. Children always try to imitate adults.
What actions are unacceptable for a parent in such a situation
First of all, parents should highlight for themselves those moments that are unacceptable if their children have kinophobia:
- You can’t make fun of a child, tell him that his fear is stupid or ridiculous. This also applies to ignoring the problem. Ignoring the fear of the baby, the adult only exacerbates his emotional state.
- You can’t appeal with words like “don’t be afraid”, “be brave.” Firstly, such expressions will not give any result. Secondly, they will negatively affect the child’s psychological perception of himself and become the cause of insecurity and complexes.
- Negative statements about dogs and their owners are unacceptable, since the child will repeat such a behavioral model, continuing to feel fear of animals.
- You cannot react negatively to the child’s fear. Irritation or aggression against your baby will only increase the fear. It would be more correct to calmly switch the child’s attention to something else.
There are not many prohibitive rules, but they must be strictly observed. In addition, a parent should remember one more point. one should not try to shape the process of dealing with a phobia. That is, attempts to quickly acquaint a child with a dog, a violent collision of a baby with an animal are strictly prohibited. This should not be forgotten not only because such actions will interfere with the fight against kinophobia, but also because, due to the child’s inadequate reaction, the animal may become nervous and the situation will become dangerous.
How to prepare your child to meet the dog
Before the baby personally meets the dog, it is necessary to tell the general rules of behavior with these animals:
- Under no circumstances should you start to run away from the dog. this is a signal for it to catch up and catch. All movements should be calm, smooth.
- Dogs sense the emotional state of a person. If there is a large dog nearby, which causes fear in the baby, he can stop and think that “the dog is busy with his own business”, this will help to calm down.
- It is unacceptable to keep eye contact with the animal for a long time. Such behavior for an animal is tantamount to a challenge to a battle for the title of the strongest.
- Avoid approaching the dog when it is present or when there are puppies nearby. She will protect her from someone else’s interference.
- The child should learn to say “Fu” or a similar command loudly and confidently.
It is important to conduct a conversation in a calm manner, not a single word should indicate possible aggression from the animal. And after the conversation, you can arrange a game like a quiz, in which the child himself will answer questions about how to behave with a dog in a given situation.
But in the process of talking or playing, you cannot inspire the kid that any dog will be benevolent. Always be careful.
How to deal with kinophobia
When the cause of the phobia is identified, you can start working on it. To achieve the desired outcome, namely, a calm or even positive reaction of the child to dogs, it is necessary:
- Read and tell various stories or fairy tales in which there are dogs in the role of helpers or some kind of positive characters.
- Include cartoons and films with dogs, and after watching, discuss the characters and emphasize that these animals are very good.
- It is a good idea for children who love to paint to try to portray kind dogs in different situations.
- Give your child a dog-like toy that is soft and cute, but similar to a real one, to form an association between an artificial and a living pet.
- Arrange games in which you need to portray animals. In the first games, the parent must portray the dog, showing the character and behavior of the animal. And then you can invite the kid to try to pretend to be a dog himself.
- Observe animals from the side. You should start by watching programs and videos about dogs, which will be shown in funny situations or during training. Later, you can invite the child to look at the animals in the park, but do not come close so that the baby does not get scared.
- Communicate with the animal in a safe environment. It is worth asking a friend with the dog to come to visit so that the child can personally communicate with the animal and make sure that it does not pose a threat to him. It will be best if the owner of a small or medium dog comes for the first time, as it will be easier to adapt to them. Then you can already invite someone with a large pet.
These points should be performed gradually, moving from the first to the second with constant monitoring of children’s reactions to four-legged animals. And we must not constantly forget to praise the baby and support him. Changes in the way they look at dogs will directly depend on how well parents can provide him with psychological comfort while dealing with a phobia.
The last step in the process of ridding a child of fear of dogs can be the acquisition of a pet in the house. If the baby can already communicate with other people’s dogs and reacts to them calmly, you can offer him to take a puppy home. This will help solidify the result and be a good experience for the child.
Do not forget that there are situations when the work with the phobia stops at some stage and the parents cannot help the child overcome the fear. In this case, it is better not to pressure him and visit a child psychologist so that he takes a professional look at the problem and gives his recommendations.
The reasons for the development of phobia
Before thinking about how to get rid of the problem, you need to find its cause. There are four common factors that trigger fear of a dog:
- Negative experience. This is possible if the child was once frightened, bitten or scratched by a dog.
- Misunderstanding. If fear arose from the very first acquaintance of a baby with an animal, most likely he simply does not understand how to react to a creature that is new to him.
- Seen conflict. A child could see a fight between two dogs on the street or even an animal’s aggression towards another person. As a result, the first negative impression is firmly fixed in the memory.
- Impact from the outside. The child is very sensitive to what information he receives from his parents and the adults around him. If someone tells him that dogs are “evil” and “dangerous”, or will react to the appearance of a dog with fear and an attempt to protect the baby from the animal, then he will begin to duplicate the emotions and opinions of the elders.
It should be noted that children under 3 years old are often frightened not by animals, but by the loud sounds they make. Usually, this fear goes away gradually as the child adapts to loud sounds in the rest of the world around him. Children from 3 to 6 years old are mostly frightened by the dogs themselves, experiencing real or perceived danger from animals.
A child is afraid of dogs: what should parents do? Psychologist’s advice
While children are growing and developing, something new about the world around them is constantly being discovered for them, and the reaction to discoveries is not always positive. Often, a collision with a new one can cause the appearance of childhood fear and one of the most common forms of phobias in babies is kinophobia, that is, fear of dogs. Therefore, many parents are interested in the question of what to do if their child is afraid of these pets and how to behave correctly in such a situation.
What child psychology experts advise
Psychologists give a number of recommendations for those parents who are trying to solve the problem of kinophobia in their children:
What DON’T do if your child is afraid of dogs
There are things you should never do if your child is afraid of dogs.
- You cannot ridicule or ignore the child’s fear. Your baby needs help to cope with a phobia.
- You cannot urge a child to “not be afraid” and persuade him to “be brave”. This is not only useless, but also harmful, as it finally undermines your child’s self-confidence and makes him feel completely worthless.
- Calling dogs and their owners, saying that they are “evil, nasty, stupid”, etc. It only adds to the fear of your heir.
- To react nervously to crying or tantrums of children, to make them relive fear again and again, talking about the meeting with “scary dogs”. Better to just silently hug the heir and then distract him.
- Forcing events in an attempt to overcome fear. for example, forcibly dragging a child screaming out of fear to a dog so that he gets to know the frightening object better and understands that there is nothing to be afraid of. As a rule, boys’ dads like to do this, convinced that “a real man is not afraid of anything.” Firstly, it is simply dangerous. the dog can get nervous and frighten the child even more. Secondly, the baby will not get a positive experience, but, in addition to increasing the fear of dogs, you will undermine the child’s confidence in yourself.
Why are children afraid of dogs?
Most often, children are afraid of dogs because they were taught this by their parents or other family members whose opinion the kids trust. If an adult strains at the sight of a dog, starts to get nervous, or even yell at the owner of this dog, the child will copy his actions. and then begin to feel intense fear.
Sometimes adults intimidate children by telling them that the dog “will bite now!” or even “eat” at all. Children take everything literally and, naturally, are very afraid. And you would not be scared if a man-eating tiger appeared in front of you?
Of course, you need to teach children to be careful about other people’s dogs and with understanding. to their own, but the methods for this should be chosen the right ones. There are rules, following which, you will protect the child, but at the same time you will not form a phobia in him.
But what to do if the phobia has already formed, and the child is terrified of dogs?
Ekaterina Kastritskaya, psychologist, animal therapy specialist, animal behavior and welfare consultant
Some children are afraid of dogs. some are just wary, and some go into a real tantrum at the sight of man’s best friend. Why does this happen and what to do if a child is afraid of dogs?
What can you do if your child is afraid of dogs
First, it is worthwhile to figure out what the fear is connected with: whether any events caused it or whether the parents formed it on their own (and then the parents need to change, first of all).
And sometimes fear is an expression of the child’s “bad” feelings, mostly anger. If it is forbidden to correctly express anger and other “bad” feelings in the family, the child may well unconsciously attribute them, for example, to dogs (“they are angry and want to harm me”), and then be afraid of them.
Mostly preschool children are afraid of dogs. Often by the age of 8. 9, the fear of panic about dogs disappears, but you can help your child cope with it faster and more painlessly.
The saying “They knock out the wedge with a wedge” is also true for the fear of dogs. But in this case, you need to act very carefully, consistently and slowly. You can create a program of steps to help children get rid of their fear of dogs.
- Read and tell your child fairy tales and stories about dogs and how they help people.
- Watch dog cartoons together and then discuss them. Emphasize how good the dogs are and how good they come to help people.
- Draw dogs with your child and then arrange exhibitions of drawings.
- Create stories and tales of kind and loyal dogs together.
- Buy soft toys for your child that depict dogs. but they should look like real dogs, not people. Toys can be trained to interact with dogs correctly.
- Watch and discuss movies with dogs.
- Play Beast Transformation. It is better if you first act as a dog, and then the child will try on the role of a dog and speak on her behalf.
- Observe the dogs from a safe, child-friendly distance and discuss their behavior and body language. It is very important to reduce the distance to the dogs gradually, so as not to scare the child.
- Communicate with friendly yet reserved dogs in a safe environment. The restraint of the dog in this case is no less important than friendliness. After all, if an enthusiastic puppy with the best intentions, for example, jumps to lick an unprepared child in the face, all previous efforts to overcome fear can fail.
- If both you and the child are ready for this, you can have a puppy. But be sure to teach your child how to interact with the dog and treat it kindly.
Track the child’s reaction and move on to the next item only when the previous one does not cause anything in the baby except positive emotions.
Children and dogs not only can exist on the same planet. they can become best friends! And much (if not all) here depends on you.
If you are not confident in your abilities, you can seek advice from a competent psychologist who will help you and your child overcome fear.
The child is afraid of dogs
Preschoolers are often afraid of dogs. Some try to bypass the animals, others fall into hysterics, hiding behind their parents. When a four-legged friend tries to sniff the baby, he jerks his arm or leg in panic. How to wean your child from fear of dogs?
At the closest hour, a specialist call center will contact you and clarify all meals.
Why is a child afraid of dogs?
It is very important to understand the reason for the appearance of fear. It does not appear from scratch. Most likely in the life of the baby there was an unpleasant event associated with a four-legged friend: the baby was barked by a mongrel that jumped out from around the corner, or he became an eyewitness to a fight between two dogs. Having found out the reason, you will solve the problem.
If a phobia has formed, do not persuade the child to get rid of fear. Panic usually goes away on its own by age 9. Calmly react to baby crying, tantrum. Do not ask, do not go into details: the memory of an unpleasant event will bring negative feelings to the little one. Hug the baby, try to calm down, switch attention with the help of other affairs and extraneous questions.
If a child is afraid of cats and dogs, it is forbidden to call pets angry, aggressive, stupid, or threaten to kill them. the baby will not calm down, and his dislike for four-legged creatures will only increase. Do you want to rid your beloved child of fear? Follow the recommendations of the experts!
A child is afraid of dogs: advice from a psychologist
Here are some tips on how to teach your child not to be afraid of dogs:
- Explain any situation with logical arguments that the baby can understand.
- Learn to behave correctly in different situations: to throw the ball if the dog wants to grab it; bypass mom-dog with puppies, as she protects them; ask permission to enter the house where barking is heard; do not shout at the beast, do not wave your hands in front of him; do not provoke a pet, behave calmly.
- Give positive examples of friendship between a person and a dog. Tell us about unusual four-legged creatures: doctor dogs, rescuers, bloodhounds, guide dogs.
- Watch together films with dogs and cats starring: smart, kind, loyal.
- Older children can be taken to the training area. see how pets are trained. A fun interesting event will save your baby from unpleasant thoughts.
If you see that the child is already less afraid of dogs, invite the baby to stroke the four-legged friend. Choose a small dog or kitty. balanced and gentle. Be the first to talk to the pet, touch it, gently tell the baby to do the same. Watch the reaction of the beast: when he gets tired of standing or doesn’t like something, he can growl, grin, leave. Do not allow a similar situation! End the conversation with a moment of common affection.
All of the above actions must be repeated, attracting new dogs and cats of different ages and constitutions for communication. Have patience, take your time, make an effort. and you will no longer need to enter the query “a child is afraid of dogs and cats: what to do” on the Internet.
If the dog is afraid of children
Some dogs, especially medium to large breeds, begin to show signs of anxiety when the child is active. This often occurs during the first months of their living together in an apartment and it is necessary to solve this problem as soon as possible, since at a later date it will become more difficult to correct the situation, and the child can cause an aggressive reaction of the animal.
As we have already noted in previous materials, the dog accepts the world around him with the help of his sense of smell. This is the path that should be used to solve these kinds of problems. To enable the dog to quickly understand the safety of the child, the following manipulations should be done:
- Make yourself comfortable with the baby, his mood should be calm and cheerful.
- Call the dog in a gentle voice, pet it and give it a treat.
- Turn your palm towards the animal and let him sniff it. The palm should be close to any part of the child’s body with the exception of the head, preferably an arm or leg.
- When the dog sniffs the palm, slowly bring it to the child. In this case, you need to tenderly talk to the dog and pet him.
- If the dog was not frightened and sniffed the child’s leg, it is imperative to reward it with a treat.
In one session, at the first stages, you should not repeat this algorithm more than three times, otherwise the animal will think that it was just decided to feed it. Upon completion, you should give the command “Place!”. On the day of such sessions, there can be 2-3, repeat them within a couple of weeks. After this period, you can complicate the task a little. beckoning her, but without holding out your palm. The animal must touch the child’s leg on its own, for which it must also receive a treat.
If at first the child becomes interested in the dog and reaches out to it, there is no need to counteract this, but more attention should be paid to the dog, filling it with a flurry of kind words, often calling it by its nickname.
Children are very curious, so they can accidentally hurt the dog by grabbing its mustache or cheek. It is necessary to exclude such a moment, otherwise training will have to start from the beginning.
Another effective way to make friends between a dog and children in the same apartment will appear a little later, when the child can sit and eat on his own with a spoon. Timid dogs start to have difficult times when children become more active, loud and mobile. Fortunately, this period coincides with the time when a child, studying the world around him, pays attention to the force of gravity, scattering his food on the floor. Allowing your dog to eat after the toddler can convince her that babies are not only safe, but also provide some benefit. All attempts of the animal to eat from the dishes of the child must be strictly suppressed from the first attempts by the commands “Fu!” and “Place!”.
How to wean a dog from reacting aggressively during feeding
At the unconditioned reflex level, dogs always protect their bowl while eating. When there are small children in the apartment, this can end badly, so you should train the animal properly. Here is one of the techniques that professional trainers use. Each training step is performed for two weeks or more, until at the end of each stage the dog stops reacting aggressively.
- When the dog is eating, you should go up to him and throw something much tastier into the bowl, for example, a small piece of chicken, cheese or the product that the animal likes the most.
- The same thing, but they no longer throw the treat, but put it, letting the dog sniff its hand.
- The next step is to approach the dog, pat it on the back and try to feed the treat from your hand.
- When giving a treat, you need to try to move the bowl away from the dog or pick it up altogether.
- The most difficult stage. you should try to pick up the bowl without giving a treat, but only stroking the dog and talking to him affectionately.
All manipulations should be repeated, having treated the hands with children’s hygiene products so that the dog initially gets used to the smell.
This exercise can be repeated while the dog is playing with his favorite toys. The more experience the dog gets, the better.
Showing children’s interest in the dog
Children acquire skills as they grow up, this is a good tendency for the gradual training of the dog, especially if the apartment cannot boast of a large number of square meters. The child sooner or later begins to independently show interest in the animal, trying to get in direct contact with him. Of course, he is not aware of many things and can unintentionally harm the dog, which can result in a dog’s defensive reaction. To avoid harmful consequences, the dog must be prepared for this kind of execution.
Preparing the animal for independent contacts from the baby
As the kids explore the world around them, they touch, grab, poke and pull more and more, so a dog for children in an apartment should be especially resistant to all adversity. During this period, the parents are faced with the difficult task of restraining the child to excessive manifestations of emotions, and the dog to meekness and condescension. Therefore, before your baby starts to crawl, it is very important to help your dog get used to rough and even painful sensations.
Here, as with other training methods, it is necessary to reward the dog for the correct behavior and punish for the wrong one by driving the dog into place. While waiting for treats, the animal will eagerly follow any commands, even if such a strategy has not been used at all before.
It is necessary to start this kind of training not with the participation of the child, but the adults themselves. Having processed your hands with hygiene products that are used in caring for a child, you need to tenderly call the dog to you, pet it, and then pinch it slightly, at the moment of the dog’s subsequent bewilderment, you need to thank him for his patience with a delicacy. If the dog tries to leave, you need to bring it back. At the initial stage, such procedures should be repeated 2-3 times a day, each time increasing the pain load for the animal. You should start with less painful areas of the body. the withers, the outer surface of the limbs, and then move on to more sensitive ones. the tail, nose, mustache, ears, eyes.
During the first 2-3 weeks, you should thank the dog with a treat, in subsequent periods, the number of treats should be reduced, and after a month it should be abandoned altogether, rewarding the dog only verbally.
At the moment of pinching, twitching and tugging on parts of the dog’s body, you should decide on the so-called control phrase, which must be repeated every time immediately after causing inconvenience to the dog. For example, “Oh, what was that ?!” or “Oh, how good!” and the like. Soon, the dog will react to these sayings no worse than to his nickname, if everything is done correctly.
Allowing children to the dog for independent study, and even more so leaving them for a couple temporarily unattended in the apartment, should only be if the dog:
- Is not afraid of the child and does not try to leave, only when he sees him.
- Shows no signs of aggression when he hears sounds made by a child.
- Tries to independently make contact with the baby, only when he sees him, while showing signs of good relations.
- Confidently obeys the commands “Fu!” and “Place!”, as well as others designed to contain her.
- Calmly reacts to painful sensations that adults give her.
In the early stages of interaction between a child and a dog, the presence of parents is mandatory. As the baby touches the dog, repeating the control phrase, gently address the animal and treat him abundantly with treats. The period of such adaptation, as a rule, takes about a month. Do not forget to hygienically treat areas of the child’s body that have come into contact with the dog. Also, the dog should not be allowed to lick the child’s face.
Some animals have never seen a person crawling, so for them such a picture can become incomprehensible and frightening, especially for the reason that such a posture of a child puts him right at the level of a dog’s eyes. But it is known that you cannot look a dog in the eyes from a close distance, this can be regarded by an animal as a manifestation of aggression.
To help your dog get used to a crawling baby, you should also start with yourself. Adults crawling around the apartment, playing with the dog and children, are a very funny picture, but this will allow you to get new pleasant sensations for the animal. Of course, at first, you can’t skimp on treats.
Dog and child: how to train and educate
The direction of this article is a dog for children in an apartment: basic training methods. Earlier we looked at why a dog is aggressive towards a child. Today we’ll talk about how to continue to train the animal in the process of daily life with the baby.
How to train your dog to retreat
There are too many requirements for a dog for children in an apartment. Many animals do not realize that they can move away from the baby when they feel tired or nervous. Without realizing the possibility of retreat, the animal may display aggressive behavior. This is natural for dogs when communicating with each other, but clearly undesirable if such behavior is aimed at children, especially in a cramped apartment.
When a dog growls or snaps at a child, parents wisely rush to save their child. Despite the fact that this is a necessity, as a rule, it reinforces the aggressive behavior of the dog. To prevent this unfortunate cycle of events, you need to teach the dog that he should not defend himself, but simply leave the annoying situation.
If the animal already understands the commands “Fu!” and “Location!”, you can drive it away using these commands. If the child continues to attack the animal, you need to pick it up. In any case, you should avoid probing with evil, the dog has not done anything wrong and the disapproval of the owners will only increase its anxiety by not understanding. After giving the command, you need to indicate in which direction the dog should leave, and as soon as it starts moving away from the child, you need to give it a treat, and then completely accompany the treats all the way of the animal to a safe place.
It is worth noting that such a place should be open space, since a dog cornered can become source of strong aggression in an attempt to protect itself. In order not to provoke such a phenomenon, the following conditions should be adhered to:
It is necessary to minimize the amount of furniture in the rooms that has high legs. It is impossible for the dog to find a secluded place for itself under the couch and look out from there in fear.
All bulky furniture should be moved away from the walls of the apartments to create convenient evacuation routes for the dog from the children.
The dog should be prohibited from retreating to tables, chairs, cabinets and other furniture, this type of animal cannot stand heights and there it will feel in danger.
In conclusion, I would like to note that you need to educate not only a dog, but also a child.
Dogs that show aggression towards children within an apartment often do so because they have not been well trained, so children’s behavior is often found strange and intimidating. Some dogs are not afraid of children, but they become aggressive when they have to guard their bowl, toys, or bedding. Small children still do not understand, and in what cases it is necessary to leave the animal alone. In addition, they may have difficulty recognizing the warning signs that the animal shows them, finding growling and barking amusing. A child’s failure to heed such warnings can be disastrous. Only a small percentage of dogs react to children, treating them as harmless toys, but in the majority of cases, the reaction of the animal can be extremely dangerous. All these situations can lead to a serious risk of being bitten, so you need to educate not only the dog, but the child should also be polite towards pets from infancy.
What to do if your child is afraid of dogs
Most children love dogs, but there are some who are simply afraid of them. If your child is afraid of dogs, here are some helpful tips and information to help him overcome fear and improve his relationship with his four-legged friend
What makes kids afraid of dogs??
While it is hard to believe, children’s fear of dogs can arise from what we say. Just as you develop a fear of monsters from phrases such as “If you don’t behave well, the ghost man will catch you,” you may have said something similar about your dog
For example, “do as you are told, or the dog will eat you” or “do not touch it, or it will bite you.” All of these expressions could create certain prejudices towards dogs in your child’s mind.
All of these will make your child the perfect candidate. develop a fear of dogs as you get older. However, psychologist Begonia Gallego explains that if you want to change your kids’ minds about dogs, you must change the way you talk about them.
For example, saying “if you don’t eat lunch, the dog will come to eat it” is not the same as “if you don’t eat lunch, the dog will bite you”.
Dogs often sense when a child is afraid of them. Their incredible sense of smell allows them to detect pheromones from great distances. So if your child is afraid, your dog can feel it and may also be scared. You will start to think of your child as a threat and you may start acting aggressively towards him. It will only make things worse.
Fear and phobia: what’s the difference?
Fear and phobia are two different things. Fears have a logical reason. For example, if your child has had a bad experience with dogs, it is logical that he is afraid of them and does not want to approach them. This problem can be easily solved by buying a small puppy and involving him in the care as he grows.
Phobias are something completely different. They can appear for no apparent reason, and these irrational fears can appear even when viewing a photograph of an animal or object.
The psychologist must treat extreme phobias. However, you can also try to cure your dog phobia by purchasing a puppy. Puppies should evoke a protective instinct, not fear.
How to avoid fear of dogs in children
To prevent your children from being afraid of dogs, you must teach them from an early age. In this section, we’ll give you some tips on how to do this. If they are still very young and already starting to feel fear of dogs, this advice can help too. Basically, this includes teaching your kids how to get close to an animal.
- Don’t run and scream. Children are spontaneous and enthusiastic. When they see a dog, it is okay for them to run towards it, especially if they have never seen it close before. However, depending on the dog, you can react negatively to this approach and even become aggressive and scare your child.
- Request permission from the owner. If your child wants to pet a dog, the first thing to do is teach him to ask the owner for permission. They will know better if your dog is nice to strangers or not.
- Teach them to approach animals. Dogs act on instinct and smell. Once the owner has given permission, you should walk slowly with your hand outstretched so they can smell.
- Tell them what they can and cannot touch. If they don’t know the dog, explain that they should not touch the ears, neck, nose, or tail. Dogs often dislike being touched and may react poorly if you are unfamiliar.
What to do if a child is afraid of animators and dogs?
Kinophobia and coulrophobia (yes, that’s what the fear of clowns is called) are some of the most popular among children. What to do if your child gets hysterical at the sight of dogs or animators, says psychologist Ilya Vorobyov.
Question. My child is 8 years old and can’t stand animators. Ready to run, hide, whatever. Another fear is dogs. No dog attacks were noticed. We ourselves do not keep dogs at home. He is indifferent to cats, like to other animals. What to do?
Answer. The right decision in such a situation would be to seek help from a psychologist. It is advisable that the session be face-to-face, if it concerns the child, since this way it will be much more effective and easier to establish contact.
Everything related to phobias is purely individual. To take a responsible approach to this issue, you need to talk with the child and family, sort it out in order to understand and change the situation for the better. But there are still a few guidelines to help you deal with this problem.
The reasons for fears can be different. Most often, children are afraid of dogs, because they were taught this by adults whom the child trusts. And the most correct solution to the problem will be for an adult to remain an adult. Since it is most likely his own fear.
It may seem that the parent is protecting the child, but more often than not, the adult simply shifts his emotions to him. A child may be scared, but in most cases initially he has no fear: he is interested in everything. Do not intimidate children in advance. It is better to introduce them to the animals gradually, while maintaining a distance if required.
But no one will just be afraid of animators. Every fear has its own reason. Such a phobia is quite rare and can be an indicator of tension in the family, some kind of conflict, misunderstanding.
Monsters under the bed, clowns and spiders: how not to turn childhood fears into phobias
Maybe the child was simply frightened, because the first time when meeting the animators, there was no close person next to him who could serve as protection or support. Or maybe the first experience of communicating with them was very unsuccessful and now he thinks that all the animators will only bring him discomfort. To solve the situation, you need to talk with the child in a confidential atmosphere, to sort out the situation.
There is not and cannot be any statistics, since the sources and causes of fear are completely individual and unclear before communicating with a specialist. The main thing is to suppress fears in no case, just like emotions. It is necessary to deal with them, and preferably with a psychologist.
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What to do if your child is afraid of dogs?
If a child is afraid of dogs, it can be temporary or it can develop into a real phobia, so you need to figure out how to help your child overcome the fear.
Usually, children start to be afraid of animals between the ages of 3 and 6. Even if the animal did not attack, bite or scratch the child, persistent fear can arise due to a sharp loud sound emitted by the animal, due to its sudden appearance and rapid movement towards, even due to the appearance of the animal.
Then, this fear manifests itself in hysterics at the sight of an animal on the street or in a zoo, at the sight of images of an animal in pictures or on TV, as well as in refusal to play with toys that resemble this animal. Subsequently, fear threatens to develop into a phobia and significantly ruin life if the animal that frightened your baby is not exotic at all, but, for example, a cat or a dog. In this case, it will be better if this fear is dispelled in time.
Where does the fear come from??
What if your child is afraid of dogs? American psychologists believe that children are not afraid of anything from birth and learn to be afraid by imitating the behavior of adults. According to statistics, only 2% of children really have reason to be afraid of dogs, because they were attacked. So analyze yourself. Perhaps you yourself flinch at the sight of the dog. Perhaps you screamed very loudly when your child approached the dog on the street, or you, as a joke, promised to give the child over to that big stray dog for disobedience and immediately forgot, but the child did not forget. Your child may have seen a movie with dogs that was not suitable for their age on TV.
How to dispel fear?
Nevertheless, if you already have fear, you can not try to explain in words to your child that you should not be afraid of dogs. You need to react calmly to tantrums about this fear, in no case shout at the child that he is a stupid coward. You need to hug the child, make it clear that everything is in order, try to distract from what happened. You should not shake your fist in the direction of a peacefully passing dog, throw sticks at it or shout at it. Your child will see that you are able to protect him, but this does not relieve him of fear.
How can you help your child overcome fear? Usually, if the child has not been attacked by animals, the fear will go away by itself by the age of 9. If you do not want or do not consider it necessary to wait that long, you can take the following measures:
How to Help a Child That is Afraid of Dogs
Go to the big bird market. Walk with the child along all the rows, look at the birds, at the fish, at the rabbits and, as it were, by the way, at the puppies. Little animals are very cute and will surely evoke positive emotions in your child and help overcome unfounded fears.
Watch a good cartoon about a dog with your child. Better is the one that you have already seen yourself, for example, the Soviet one. Good cartoons in this regard: “Kitten named Woof”, “Prostokvashino”, and so on. Discuss cartoons with your child, ask in detail about the characters of the cartoon, both about dogs and about the rest.
Try not to focus on your child’s fear yourself. Do not force him to forcibly stroke even the kindest, cutest and fluffiest puppies if the child is categorically against it. Remember that a mentally healthy person should be afraid in some situations. Do not go too far in overcoming fears, and then your child will never run to pet an aggressive fighting dog without a muzzle.
What to do if your child is afraid of dogs
Questions related to fear of dogs, darkness and loneliness are often asked by parents. In order to understand how to cope with a problem, you first need to understand its essence. Any person at least once in their life experienced a feeling of fear. Worry, anxiety, fear are the same normal and inalienable emotional manifestations of our life, as are joy, admiration, surprise and sadness.
The overwhelming majority of fears to one degree or another are due to age characteristics and are temporary in nature. Children’s fears, if you treat them correctly and understand the reasons for their occurrence, most often disappear without a trace. However, if fears persist for a long time, this may serve as a sign of the child’s mental ill-being, which indicates the wrong behavior of the parents or the presence of hidden internal conflicts.
At the age of 1 to 3 years, children are often afraid of unexpected harsh sounds, this is a typical, so-called normative fear, characteristic of this period of development of any child. Most likely, the primary is not the fear of the dog, but its barking. Unexpected harsh sound, i.e. barking, becoming the starting point for the mechanism of the formation of fear, which is characteristic of a later age.
Usually, the fear of animals manifests itself in the period from 3 to 6 years. The puppy bought by your neighbors is precisely “sonorous”: the child is afraid when he barks, meeting his masters; your friend “barked”, pretending to be a dog, and this is exactly what the baby was afraid of. The fear of dogs in this case is just a secondary fear, but with age it can get worse. Observe your child in different situations. You may notice that car alarms, loud voices, pops of car exhaust pipes, beeps and other unexpected and harsh sounds also scare your baby, you just pay less attention to it.
You also need to work out these fears separately and in stages.
Step one. To help your child stop being afraid of loud sounds, try teaching him to make these sounds on his own. It is important that the volume of the sound increases gradually and at the request of the baby. This is possible in a competitive game. Drive to the forest and have a screamer party. Give your child the opportunity to win the Loudest Rooster competition. You can play ECHO by repeating everything the baby says, gradually increasing the sound. Arrange a noise storm: banging drums, blowing pipes, etc. Play kitchen “musical” instruments at home: knock on pots, pans and plates. Sing loud march songs, read poetry aloud, and much, much more. At the same time, avoid swearing and yelling at the child. Loud sounds should be associated with fun and entertainment.
Step two. Gradually accustom your baby to loud sounds in everyday situations. Give your child the opportunity to independently adjust the volume of a tape recorder, TV, radio, etc. Little by little, the kid’s interest in these activities will wane, but at first you will have to endure his “experiments”, pretending not to notice them. When appropriate, pay attention of the child to the messages that sound over the loudspeaker, at the train station, in the subway, in transport. Explain why this is necessary.
Step three. Simulation of sounds. At this stage, try to give your child the opportunity to feel what is “quiet” and “loud”. Teach your kid to control the sound: “How does the mouse squeak? Quiet, quiet. Pee-pee-pee. How does a cow bellow? Mu Mu. And how does the rooster wake everyone in the morning? Loudly, loudly. For everyone to wake up. Ku-ka-re-ku “. How does the plane fly? How does the herd of elephants run? How does a tiger sneak? How does a kitten meow? “And so on. Carefully observe the child’s reaction: if you feel that the baby is no longer afraid of sounds, invite him to depict a dog barking among other animals.
Step four. To make the child stop being afraid of the dog barking, watch together the cartoons from the “Kitten named Woof” series. Then give your toddler the opportunity to play several versions of the “doggy” conversation: “What does a puppy say when he wants to befriend? (Tyaf-tyaf) How does a dog that begs for a bone bark? (Woof-woof) How does a guard dog ward off a thief? (R-r-ryaf) “, etc.
While working to remove the primary fear. the fear of loud and unexpected sounds, you can gradually switch to working out the secondary fear. the fear of dogs.
“Don’t go near the dog, it will bite,” parents often say, who are themselves afraid of dogs. If you have noticed such phrases with yourself, perhaps the cause of childhood fear lies in your fearfulness. In this case, you will have to pluck up the courage and demonstrate affection (or at least indifference) for the dogs. Children are very sensitive to the condition of their parents. The more anxious, nervous and panicky you are, the more difficult it will be to deal with the problem.
If, as a result of all your efforts, the situation does not normalize, then you will need to personally contact a specialist: a neuropathologist, child psychologist or psychotherapist.