Advice if your children are afraid of dogs

If the child has fear of the dog , here are some simple tips to apply to change your phobia in acceptance of the animal:

- Do not force the child to approach a dog, but only to give the example, stroking the dog and playing with him, without forcing the child to do the same.

- Show movies, wildlife documentaries and video tapes to the child, where the dog is presented as a positive character

- Explain to the child that you should never run away from a dog. If the child is very small and is guided by instinct rather than by reason, it will be necessary to condition ... exactly as one does with puppies, by making him rub very soft dogs and absolutely harmless (small at first, then bigger and bigger)

In this way, what is called ethology " learning by deterrence " will be established: the child ceases to fear a stimulus X (in this case, a dog) as experience teaches him that stimulus X is harmless.

For this "training of the puppy with two legs" it is necessary to always use adult dogs or even older (provided they are very peaceful): never young subjects, because they could frighten the child by wanting to play with him. The chosen dog must be quiet, indifferent, practically apathetic. In particularly serious cases, and with very young children, you can start with soft toys.