advertisement
Question
Posted by: Concerned Mother | 2010/12/06

5 yr old afraid of dogs.

Dear Doc,
I have a 5 yr old who is petrified of dog, so much so that she has cause my son (who is smaller than her) to also be afraid. Initially he was not afraid of the dog, but is now. We have a dog (a boerbull) and they do not go near him. When he is around will not play outside. And then they sit and watch TV the whole day. AS parents we get really frustrated at both of them, but especially my daughter, as she is the oldest and she had never had anything bad happen to her. They make things really hard for me (as the mothr- I sent the most time with them)- Getting into and out off the car are a nightmare. Even if I hold the dog she will not pass it, untill it has moved away completl from where she wants to pass. Please help?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

OK, most inconvenient. We need to distinguish between two types of issue. It is natural, normal, and probably safest, for us to feel rather scared of and at least cautious about, large animals which bite, snakes, spiders, scorpions, and so on. Yes, some people are not scared of them, but usually have the sense to still interact with them sensibly and cautiously.
The second problem is one's fear is beyond the rational and reasonable, and excessive, ( like someone so scared 0of spiders that even knowing there's a tiny one in the next room makes them feel awful ) so that it in itself causes problems, and where it is inappropriate ( being scared of fluffy rabbits or chicken chicks, perhaps ). In these cases, we are likely to be dealing with a phobia.
Fortunately, phobias respond really well to treatment. The best treatment is some sessions of CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) which needn't take long. This i usually more effective than treatment by medication alone, though some meds carefully used may give some additional benefits.
Its a pity your kids first dog experiences weren't with small cuddly puppies rather than large and intimidating species, but discuss this with the child psychiatrist while the kids are being treated, and make a wise decision.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2010/12/07

I''m sure they have things to play with inside and don''t need to just watch TV.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Mel | 2010/12/06

I am 37 years old, just as scared of dogs.We had 2 rottweilers and i had to run when they spotted me, when they see me or anyone else for that matter they jump and what not. My daughter of 4 could even climb on their backs and play with them and for her, that was like nothing and i was like your child.......I would NOT get out of the car when they are around......... According to me, nothing wrong with being scared of such BIG dogs........ Oh and by the way, i was ALSO never bitten or anything by dogs.......

Reply to Mel
Posted by: Liza | 2010/12/06

I would be afraid of a dog that outweighs me too! This breed tend to play rough and can easily bump over a five year old - even if the dog won''t bite, it''s still big and intimidating!

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Ph | 2010/12/06

Madam, I am 27 yrs old but i am afraid of rats/mouses, dogs and snakes. Would love to know whta the Dr says about this, but for me i cannot help it, even if the dog is tight or being held i will never pass next to it

Reply to Ph
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/12/06

OK, most inconvenient. We need to distinguish between two types of issue. It is natural, normal, and probably safest, for us to feel rather scared of and at least cautious about, large animals which bite, snakes, spiders, scorpions, and so on. Yes, some people are not scared of them, but usually have the sense to still interact with them sensibly and cautiously.
The second problem is one's fear is beyond the rational and reasonable, and excessive, ( like someone so scared 0of spiders that even knowing there's a tiny one in the next room makes them feel awful ) so that it in itself causes problems, and where it is inappropriate ( being scared of fluffy rabbits or chicken chicks, perhaps ). In these cases, we are likely to be dealing with a phobia.
Fortunately, phobias respond really well to treatment. The best treatment is some sessions of CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) which needn't take long. This i usually more effective than treatment by medication alone, though some meds carefully used may give some additional benefits.
Its a pity your kids first dog experiences weren't with small cuddly puppies rather than large and intimidating species, but discuss this with the child psychiatrist while the kids are being treated, and make a wise decision.

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement