How to overcome fear of dogs

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How to overcome fear of dogs

If your toddler is afraid of dogs, it may be because they are overwhelmed by the energy of a large dog or its size. So what you need to do is to allow your child to have experiences with dogs that are small and calm. Overtime as they grow and they gain confidence in knowing how dogs respond and react and play, they will be able to tolerate larger and larger sizes. In addition, you should always teach your child the proper etiquette for how to approach a dog. If you meet an owner and a dog on the street and your child is excited and wants to pet it, he or she needs to learn to ask the owner first if it is okay. Then, to only offer a hand to introduce themselves to the dog and wait until the owner says it is okay to pet.

See Nicole Hill, MA's video on How to overcome fear of dogs...


Expert Bio

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Nicole Hill, MA

Behaviorist & Swim Instructor

Nicole Hill, Director of Autism Services and CEO of Brightwork ABA Therapy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).  Nicole has been working in the field of ABA since 2005.  She has a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis, a BA in Speech Communication, and a minor in Spanish.

Nicole has a broad range of experience stemming from working with children from birth through high school in a variety of capacities for over 15 years.  Nicole specializes in working with young children on the autism spectrum and their families, with particular focus on  early intervention including FBA’s, BIP’s, verbal behavior, DTT, natural environment teaching, play skills, social skills, and parent training. 

Nicole originally began her work with special needs children in 1998 as a swim instructor for children who found learning to swim especially challenging.  With this experience, Nicole founded SwimFit Babies & Kids (, a program that uses techniques founded in ABA to teach swim techniques. 

She is an active member of Applied Behavior Analysis, International (ABAI) as well as California Association for Applied Behavior Analysis (CalABA).

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