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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our dog has always been pretty fearful of children (he is a rescue so we don't know too much of his history before we adopted him). Whenever children are around him, we just let them know that our dog is a "scaredy dog" so to be extra gentle. Today, however, I was out walking him in our neighborhood, and there was a girl sitting on the sidewalk drawing with chalk. When we approached her, he got very anxious and started growling, and all the hair along his spine stood straight up. He has NEVER had this reaction around children before, at least in the time we have had him. We definitely don't want to encourage him reacting this way, but want to be very cautious of his fear and not make it worse. Any advice?!?!?!?!
 

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Make a point to stay at a distance and don't allow any children to come near - be assertive if needed. Don't force him into any situation that he's not comfortable with. You can CC from a distance until he's more comfortable, that's what I did with my pup. He is still afraid but has actually approached children on occasion to sniff them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's called insecurity - and you are nourishing it.
I would love any advice you may have to help his fear of children! Just telling me he is insecure unfortunately isn't really helpful, and not entirely needed. But any advice or recommendations you have are most welcome. :)
 

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I would love any advice you may have to help his fear of children! Just telling me he is insecure unfortunately isn't really helpful, and not entirely needed. But any advice or recommendations you have are most welcome. :)
It's called research... And before any of the other members decide to jump on me - Victoria Stilwell nails it.

https://positively.com/contributors/insecurity/

Think about it this way - when a dog gets it's way - it's a reward but in your dogs case - a negative reward. If the dog reacts to someone or something it's insecure about - what do you generally do? Remove the dog from the situation - or have the thing or person removed. That is still reward - the dog is getting what it expects.

I love meeting women with "male aggressive" dogs. Oh my dog is afraid of you, you have to stay away - BS, gimme 10 minutes and I'll prove you wrong. The dog is expecting the negative reward of distance - but I'm not giving it. The owner is told not to give the negative reward of removing the dog, and generally within 10 minutes, the dog is getting a positive reward of affection from me. The owner is generally saying what the heck just happened here. The owner is insecure, the dog is insecure - I'm not.
 
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