I am going to vent here a little and ask for some advise.

I own a 20 pound Jack Russell. He visit's the vet regularly, is licsenced and is very sweet. Last August I took him for a walk in a park. At the other end of the park I saw a pit-bull. He was croutched and began to run towards us. I grabbed my Jack Russell and leaned against a dumpest that had a slanted door on it. I held him as high up as I could. The pit-bull jumped, scratched and tried his hardest to get my little dog. You have no idea the fear I felt at that moment. I was screaming for help when, it seemed like forever, his owner appeared and grabbed his dog and ran away with him. I was never so traumatised as that moment.
people who lived around the park did call the police. they were to scared to come out and help. (Lord knows I would have been scared if I was in their shoes also). I am unable to walk my dog outside my yard. I have a total fear of large dogs at this point.
Probley a month after this the dog warden called and told me I had nothing to fear. The pit bull was put down. He told me that the pit bull attacked a child. The owner was training this dog 2 fight. To my horror someone else was hurt because this man was allowed to keep this dog. (Actually, I believe the dog is a helpless pawn in this demented mans life. I truely feel sorry for the pit-bull. He was only doing what this loser has trained him 2 do.)
Since then he now has another pit bull and a german shepard. Today I was confronted with the shepard. Luckily I did not get out of the house with my dog before spotting the dog in my front yard. The dog warden was called and again he was ticketed.
My question 2 all of you is.....HOW do I get over this fear of large dogs? As much as I love dogs it hurts my heart to have this major fear. I know in my heart that these dogs were doing what they were trained to do. I really want to move on and be able to walk my dog. I want to not be scared when I see a big dog. Any help here would be appreciated.
Kathie

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Thank God you spotted that dog before he had a chance to get at yours. I don`t blame you for being afraid, there are quite a few nuts out there but I would make a suggestion that maybe you could take you`r baby with you to a pet smart when they are in training class. There are all size dogs there and it might help you to feel better when you are around big well behaved dogs with good families that love animals. I hope I could help you in some way. GOD Bless
Thank you...maybe I will do that. I think I might go alone at first. I am afraid Flash will sense my fear and I really dont want him to see that. He loves all animals and people. I would hate for him to be deteried by my fear.
Wow--what a sad story. I am no therapist, but I can sincerely recommend that meditation may be really helpful for you. It is a great way to deal with stress and there is some research that shows that a regular meditation practice helps one overcome trauma.

Of course, if you want to get started, I would recommend my meditation book.
Oh my. I agree with you about the dog being trained to do what it did. Dogs just want to please us and be rewarded. If you know of anyone that you trust with a large dog that is well behaved being around that dog may help you overcome some of the fear. I agree with James on meditating. Meditate with your dog too to assist you with communing with a safe dog.
I don't agree with this : "Dogs just want to please us and be rewarded. "
It's not true and all professional trainers know it. Dogs want treats and toys and play time, etc, it's true.

But to jump to the conclusion that a dog 'wants to please us' is not true and it is not rational. Dogs learn by conditioning, not cognition. A dog is a dog and cannot reason like a person.

Dogs are pack animals domesticated from wolves starting 35,000 years ago. Dogs we know are breeds shaped by people mostly over the past few hundred years. Don't ascribe to a dog our human motivations and thinking style. Respect the dog for what it is: an intelligent animal, useful, attractive to us, and well suited to living with people.
52 years ago I had a large dog greet me on my way to school by putting his front paws on my shoulders. He was probably just being friendly but I was so scared I took a different route to school after that. I will be interested to read how to get over being scared of big dogs!
Thank you all for you wonderful ideas. I am going to try several of them.
I myself have had dogs all my life . large and small . some, people blame the dog for there behaver but it is really the owner . I have even had a pit bull and she was a sweetheart but to answer your question I would suggest that you find a friend that has a large big dog and you bond with that dog . meditation is good but you need to do it with a gentle giant of a dog. a good breed for that is a lab. they never get enough love from humans Like my chocolate lab Zowie she is always under my feet . And they are In my books the gentlest large size dog in the world . its is so sad that there are owners out there that teach there dogs to be so cruel. I hope you find a solution. to your dilemma . But remember this there are good and bad people out there as well as any other kind of pet . so become one with the universe . And live in the present love not fear. love is so much better .
You're right that your dog will draw on your fears and that can only cause problems. A dog lives so much in the "now" that he has probably forgot all about it so It's you that needs the work, not him. Are there any off leash parks you can go to? Finding some big friendly dogs like golden retrievers or labs would probably do you a world of good. The dogs sense amongst themselves right away about the temperament or intent of another dog. 99.9% of the dogs never consider fighting. It's that other 1/10th of a percent that are scary. When my goldens were pups I used to walk them in my neighborhood and their happened to be an unneutered male pit bull. Once he acted threatening and started to come after my pups. The next day I went to a pawn shop and bought some bear pepper spray. Better safe than sorry and good luck.
Dear Kathie,
the only way to get rid of this fear......go visit the dogwhisperer in LA I am sure he will help you and your dog and let you see that big dogs are sweet too! spend the money to go see him it's worth it what do you think?

Remember that episode with lady who had so much anxiety about everything also pitbulls?
If anybody can help you it's him. As you see I am a great fan, and that's because he is helping so many people see that it is not their dog who has the problem!!! finally somebody who is speaking out and helping

Hope this helps?
warmest regards
antoinette
Hi Kathy this is antoinette again!
Maybe if you email the dogwhisperer he will do an episode with you? And that way it wouldn't be that expensive? Or try to call the lady who had the aniety, try to get her address or phone number?
As you say I'll do anything but I can understand it's a lot of money to fly out from NY
As soon as you get rid of your fear ...... your dog is going to be happy too remember?
love
antoinette
Kathie:
I'm on the other end of the spectrum, my "puppy" is a 13 month old 95 lb shepherd, and we run into people at the park with small dogs and they always pick up there dogs and run. You helped me to understand there fear, but Gibson is such a sweet heart and only wants to play with the other dogs so he really looks sad when the dogs leave. Socialization is so important and I did this from the minute I got him, Petco is great for this.
Do you have any friends with large dogs that you could meet with at a quiet place?
I can only imagine your fear after the episode with the Pit Bull dog.
Big dogs arent always bad, good luck!

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