Dallas has a fear of kids, usually those under the age of 8. And I totally know why. It's justified. When he was just a few months old, a few kids (even after telling them to walk up slowly and not squeal), ran up to him and were squealing, doing the usual kid thing. Unfortunately, now he's really not happy when kids come near him. He does a lot of barking and growling and doesn't want to be anywhere near them.
I never force him to go near the kids and always take him out of that situation when we come across kids on walks or if they pass by our house while he's in the front garden, but I am still concerned that one day somehow he'll get into a situation where he'll bite a child. Do you guys have any advice for what I can do to help him not be scared? He's 7 months old now.
We have a neighbor whose granddaughter LOVES dogs. The granddaughter is about 6 or 7 and met Dallas when we brought him home but we haven't seen her in a few months until yesterday. Understandably, Dallas is scared of her, too, even though he met her when he was about 10 weeks old. I was wondering if maybe having her walk by without looking at him (at a distance and while Dallas is on the leash) and having her simultaneously throw bits of chicken towards Dallas might help? We'd do it a few times a day every day and it is with the permission of her parents. As Dallas gets more comfortable, we'll shorten the distance between the two of them and eventually work up to her possibly being able to pet him, all dependent on Dallas and how he acts. I just don't want to put her in harm's way or put Dallas under distress. I was thinking if Dallas is on his leash and she is walking by with enough distance between them it would keep both of them safe and also not push Dallas into being uncomfortable.
Is this a good idea or a bad idea? Would this actually help Dallas overcome his fear of children? I'm happy to do whatever we need to help not be scared. Again, any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!