Is your child afraid of dogs?
Would you like to help them overcome that fear?
There are some children who find it difficult go to the park, the beach, or even walk to school comfortably because they have a real fear of meeting a dog. This is not just a problem for the child, but can put restrictions on the whole family with things like picnics, holidays and often normal, everyday activities becoming stressful and even impossible.
If your child is anxious around dogs then ‘From Fear to Friend’ is here to help. They are a local voluntary group that runs regular free classes in the Horley/Reigate area teaching children aged 5 to 11 how to relax and behave in the company of dogs without worrying.
Sessions are carefully structured with the children always supervised and participating within their own comfort zone, only coming into contact with the dogs when they are ready to do so.
Safe and fun
Long established local dog trainer, Ann Cook, founded the group early last year and it has since gone from strength to strength.
“We create a very safe environment for the children”, says Ann. “The emphasis is for them to have fun and enjoy the progress they are making. Our classes include the Kennel Club Safe & Sound scheme and also the KC Bark and Read project. We encourage the children to interact with the dogs a little more each session, so they gradually build up their confidence.”
From Fear to Friend currently has ten delightful, specially trained assistance dogs of all shapes and sizes who have all been assessed for temperament, control, behaviour and obedience.
The response from the children and their parents who have benefitted so far has been excellent. One of the girls recently wrote about her experience of attending From Fear to Friend; “This course has not only helped me with my reading and confidence, but has also helped me get over my fear of dogs as we gradually get used to being near them.”
These free classes take place from 5pm to 6pm on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Children from all local areas are welcome.
For more information and to book a place please call Ann Cook on 01737 246902. You can also visit them on Facebook