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Building Confidence Around Dogs

Millions of families in the UK have dogs. With so many pooches around, the chances are you will come into contact with them at the park, along the street or even at a friend's or family member's house.

At Dogs Trust, we understand that not everyone is comfortable being around dogs and we know some people may also be scared of them. This can impact a child's life, from not wanting to play in the park or visit friends, to being worried about walking down the street in case they see a dog. 

Therefore, we have developed a workshop for children and their families on how to understand dogs better and build their confidence. The workshop has been developed for Key Stage 2 children and their parents/carers and is delivered as an after school session. No dog will be present. For more information on what we can offer please contact your local Education and Community Officer directly via their email or phone number listed. 

We also have our Building Confidence Around Dogs leaflet full of helpful tips and advice on how to help manage your child's anxieties around dogs. Available to download to the right on this page or in hard copy via our online order form

Top tips whilst out and about:

  • If you see a dog and are frightened, walk past calmly.
  • Never run away as this may encourage the dog to chase after you.
  • Try not to scream as this may alarm or excite the dogs.
  • Try to avoid areas where dogs are off lead.
  • Many children's play areas have railings around them to keep dogs out.

*Dogs Trust worked alongside psychologist Dr Olivia Kenneally to develop this guide to support building confidence of dogs in children. If the fear is at a high level, or to overcome a fear altogether, further professional advice should be sought.