I'm hoping you can help me with this, I'm working really hard every single day with my pup, but I have a couple of things I'm having trouble with, and this is probably the biggest/most frightening problem I've had.
I am trying really hard to expose my pup to everything I can. I take her all over the place with me. She has met kids before and was ok with them, but I had a bit of a bad experience this past weekend.
This past Monday, I took her to a park where there was a splash pad and lots of kids. We stayed back from it a bit and did some things like sits, and downs etc., then let her watch again and then did a bit more of that type of thing.
she handled all that really well and was relaxed about being near the kids. When the one end cleared out a bit I let her go over and check out the water for a minute, but then more kids came over so we moved back a bit and let her watch them again, everything was fine.
All of a sudden a toddler ran straight for us which REALLY upset my pup. I know it's not uncommon for them to be a bit weirded out by toddlers as they are a bit erratic in their movements. She was ok with them being nearby, and I think if she can come up to them in her own time she'll be fine, but those little ones don't understand that you can't run up to strange dogs and stopping and waiting quietly seems to not be a concept they can't grasp.
When one decided to make a bee-line for her, it frightened her. She was a fair ways off from the child and the dad scooped the kid up, but I'm now worried about how to get her used to kids when I can't control the kids.
Toddlers obviously don't understand how to properly approach a dog and I can grab my dog, but I can't grab another persons child who's running toward us. Apparently toddlers don't know the meaning of 'stop!'.
My question is - I don't have kids and neither do my close friends.
How can I socialize my pup with kids safely? Two times that I was there kids tried to run up to her quickly and frightened her.
She was pet by a little bit older child and had no problems, was licking her etc. but again while that girl was petting her, another toddler tried to run over and my pup shied back.
How can I work on this with her when the kids are running amok? I certainly don't want her to nip one out of fear, so I really want to try and help her be more comfortable with being around all those crazy kids.