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Quelling Children's Fear of Dogs: A dog owner's not-random act of kindness

As I walk my sweet doggie Einstein, I’ve observed that young children who seem scared of him are often reflecting their parents’ fear—The parent may squeeze the child’s hand as we pass or even pull the child slightly away. I’m guessing the parent’s fear thus gets transmitted to the child and so spawns what could be a lifetime fear of or at least dislike of dogs.
That’s unfortunate if only because any unnecessary fear unduly stresses a person, and in our ever more stressful times, owning a dog can be one of life’s most soothing experiences.

So, as I’m walking Einstein, when I approach a parent with a young child, I look for cues that the parent and child might be open to my desensitization routine. I describe that in my PsychologyToday.com article today.

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