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I need ideas... dd1 (3yo) has always been wary of dogs. She likes them in theory (books, pictures, from a distance) but not in practice (real dog, close by). She has never had a "bad" dog experience, but even my MILs arthritic geriatric beagle provokes clinging, hiding, jumpy behavior from dd1. And bigger and/or more active dogs often provoke tears.<br><br>
Our friends with dogs have been great, but we moved to a rural area recently and despite a leash law most of the local dogs roam free. And they're not small dogs... a lot of german shepards, dobes, pit bull blends, and boxers. A few are friendly, a few are all "talk", and one is seriously mean (but thankfully he is fenced and chained). Our new home is very small... we bought for the land mostly and being outside is important. However dd1 is starting to refuse to go out because of the dogs. We went on a walk today and one of the friendly dogs came over to play and dd1 lost it, she tried to run (dog thought she was playing and started to chase her), then grabbed me and screamed till I picked her up (I had dd2 in the ergo front carry, 33lb dd1 balanced on my hip), and then I had to carry everyone almost a half mile (both dd crying) since the dog followed us (he was obviously confused and trying to figure out where his playmate had gone, and clearly hoping that I would play fetch with him since he kept circling and dropping sticks).<br><br>
What can I do? Dd1 has to be able to go outside and around here that means learning how to deal with wandering dogs. We've tried demonstrating how to behave around dogs, introduced her to dogs in situations where she felt secure, etc. But it's getting out of hand. Help!
 

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Get a dog? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Okay, kidding aside... just wanted to send you hugs. We've always had a dog in our lives, ever since as long as I can remember, and my DH too... my kids climb over our dog constantly (she's a rottweiler mix)... I guess the "bad" thing about this is that thye have the "reverse" problem that you have... they think every dog is a nice dog.<br><br>
Could this just be a passing phase? Just honor her through it, and hopefully she'll come around? I think 3 is a typical time for fears to manifest. It sounds like you're doing everything right as far as that goes.<br><br>
Can you talk to your neighbors about their loose dogs? We used to live in rural maine & it was the same situation - with us too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Everyone just lived so far from each other, that it was typically okay for everyone's dogs to just be outside.<br><br>
The only other thing I could think of is building a fenced in area for your kiddos to play in the yard?
 

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Thanks KS <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
DD1 has been like this more or less since birth... she'd cry if a dog entered the room even as an itty bitty babe. But until we moved she'd never been around many "free range" dogs. Most of the local dogs seem nice, and only one has gone on our property (very loud, very macho, but essentially a marshmallow of a boxer). He lives next door and since our house was empty for almost a year he kind of added it to his territory. We're working on that, and now although he pees on the mailbox he doesn't come right up and poop on the doorstep! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
We've thought about getting a dog... in fact, dd1 keeps asking for one. But when we go to look at/meet a dog or puppy she gets upset again. She gets along with all sorts of other animals... even an insane agressive peck your eye out rooster... so I don't know why a puppy snuffling her hand sends her over the edge where a goat butting her in the back doesn't.<br><br>
I'm ok if she never warms to dogs, but she needs to learn better canine-kiddo interaction skills or she could end up hurt. Even a friendly dog can bite if the signals get mixed...
 

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It sounds like this could be a genuine phobia, in which case some professional help might be the most helpful route.
 
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