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Hi all! My puppy is about to turn 6 months old. I've done extensive socialization, as he comes to work with me at a book store where he has come in contact with all sorts of people and children alike. While I work in an office in the back, we often emerge to say hi. He has been pet by children and seen them in the past, not regularly, but he has had only good experiences. A few weeks ago, a child asked to pet him and when they approached, he tucked his tail and curved his body, and made other appeasing gestures. He allowed the kid to give him a treat, but didn't seem comfortable with petting, so I didn't push it. I didn't think much of it, I thought it was a weird instance where the individual made him uncomfortable. But the same thing happened in a parking lot a week later. And recently, we were on a walk (I live next to an elementary school) and kids were being picked up by parents. A small group saw him and asked to pet him. Again, I still hadn't thought kids were a problem, yet. This time, he not only did appeasing gestures, but when we neared, he jumped clear out of the way of the children and acted truly frightened. I apologised and walked away.

I asked my trainer, and she said it's possible he's going through a fearful stage and the source of his fear happens to be children. She said I should not greet children and to continue on as if they're not there.

Has anyone experienced this and if so, could you share with me how you helped your dog overcome his fear?

Thanks!
 

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Puppies undergo a second fear period between 6 and 14 months. During fear periods, puppies becomes fearful of things for no apparent reason. It's best just to ride it out and try to avoid anything that could make the fear stick, in his case, a child accidentally hurting him.
 
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What @amaryllis said. If he's continually exposed to children and expected to 'cope' with it, his fear could become permanent and he may start acting aggressively, out of that fear. Just avoid kids as much as possible for a few weeks, and if you do run into any, give him lots of treats and praise, so he realizes that kids are good things.
 
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