Daisy, came to meet children at a ‘Keeping Safe around Dogs’ workshop that I ran today.
Amongst the children who came were one who’d been chased and bitten by a large dog and another who was just very anxious around all dogs. We spent some time with model dogs whilst I explained how dogs see the world and how best to approach them.
The children were brilliant, asked loads of great questions and in one case, even made their parents feel bad for forcing them into situations with dogs! After talking through scenarios with the model dogs we then brought the very real live Daisy into the room. My 11-year-old daughter handled her and showed how gentle she was. The children when then allowed to come over to her and feed her treats. I stressed that it was completely the children’s choice and without any pressure from anyone, every child came and sat with Daisy while we chatted.
Children who get bitten by dogs are often the ones who are nervous around them but who have been shoved towards them by parents…hopefully we showed today that knowledge and choice are very important in overcoming phobias…I would never force a dog towards something it was fearful of and neither should parents push anxious children towards dogs.