I don't know where this came from
Logan has a full blown phobia that has come out of nowhere. He is really afraid of dogs. Like, panics & freaks out kind of afraid & I have no idea why.
Over the last few months I've noticed his fear of dogs increasing. He's certainly not afraid of Buddha (I often have to yell at him to leave the poor dog alone), but other people's dogs? That's a totally different story. Even dogs he knows & sees often at friend's houses. As we walk up the driveway to knock on their door, he'll talk about how he's scared of the dog & doesn't want to go in. I have to reassure him that it's alright & that the dogs are nice & he'll be fine. He's never been bit, but has been jumped on by a small dog (smaller than Buddha). This is the only reason I can pin point.
Last week we were at a babysitting co-op meeting at a members house. The kids were out in the back yard playing while all of the moms hung out in the kitchen & chatted while snacking (the usual things we do). The next thing I know, someone tells me that Logan is freaking out on the deck. I turn around & look out of the sliding glass door to see him in a full panic, running, screaming, frantically trying to get away from a very mellow black Lab. The boy was climbing on top of the picnic table & if he were strong enough, I have no doubt that he would have scaled a wall to get away. He was that afraid.
I ran out & scooped him up, telling him that it was alright, the dog was nice & he's safe. Everything was OK & he could calm down. I carried him inside & he sat on my lap to relax for a while. He did, but did not want to go outside until the dog was gone. The mom brought the dog inside & put them in the kennel & even then, Logan was getting upset that the dog was in the next room. I had never seen him this scared in his life!
This afternoon we went out for ice cream with some friends downtown right where Bill works. After everyone left, Logan & I hung out waiting for Bill to get off. While we played on the kids play structure, another mom with an older kid & a small Jack Russel Terrier on a leash came over to play. Immediately, Logan ran away. I told him that it was OK, the dog was on a leash & wasn't going to get anywhere near him. I also told him that the dog was nice & he didn't have to worry. He still kept his distance. The other mom & I chatted a bit while the kids played & while she gave Logan permission to pet her dog, he refused. Thirty minutes later, he inched closer, smiled at the dog & looked from afar, but didn't want to pet him at all.
I've never told him that dogs are scary. I've taught him long ago that he can't just walk up to strange dogs, he has to have permission & when he does, he's to hold out his hand so the dog can sniff him first. I don't think I've ever told him that dogs bite (except for Buddha & Kitty when they are mad at him for teasing them - even then, this doesn't phase him & he thinks it's funny). So, it's not like I've instilled fear in him. I just don't know why he is so afraid of them. Maybe this is just a normal phase that he'll grow out of. I really hope so because I hate to see him so terrified. It's completely traumatizing to him.