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Everyone in my family love dogs. But when we go over to my brothers house, my four year old little girl gets scared out of her mind. My brother has a 260 pound English mastiff, the dog is really sweet. But for some reason my little girl doesn’t want to be anywhere near the dog. From day one, she has just been terrified of the dog, she was really hesitant to meet the dog the first time, she did it. But then I noticed that she was afraid.

why is this? We have a border collie at home and they get along and play together just fine. When my brothers dog starts barking or stands up, or just walks near her, my daughter will run to me wanting to be picked up. She doesn’t even want to be in the same room as the dog, even when I’m holding her In my arms, she doesn’t want me to go anywhere near him.

of course I respect my daughter and I make sure she feels safe. But why is she like this?

My brothers dog has done nothing wrong. Why is she acting so scared of him? Like I said we have a border collie at home and they play together. Is she just pretending to be scared for attention 😀 ? What’s up?
 

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A border collie (that's what, 60 lbs?) vs a Mastiff that's probably over 100 lbs and looks completely different? She's not seeing a dog, she's seeing a beast. Mastiffs are the sweetest dogs but they do look scary, especially if you're a very small person. She is not pretending to be scared for attention, she is scared because that is a HUGE dog. She may warm up over time, but we have family friends that have labs whose kids are afraid of my dog and the size difference is about 60 lbs.
 

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It's normal for children (and even adults) to be afraid of dogs that they don't know, especially huge dogs. Don't try to force her to interact with the dog. Reassure her that the dog won't hurt her and comfort her when she's afraid, but I wouldn't ask to have the dog put outside or away from her.
Dogs that big have a tendency to knock kids over without noticing. Mastiffs also tend to lean and stand on people's feet. Could this have happened to her?
 

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I manage a claim department for a major US carrier. I have seen tragic dog mauling cases you wouldn’t believe. Horrific scaring to the face, the body, you name it. One case involved a dog literally biting the nose off of a 3 year old blonde haired blue eyed girl after hopping the fence from the neighbors yard. Dogs are animals and thus, extremely unpredictable. I would never have my little girl or boy around a 260 pound animal.
 

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I don't know if you're fir real, but as an adult you should realize (at least instinctively, if not taught) that we humans just as any other species in this planet have as part of our survival mechanism build in (genetics) fears. It comes instinctively for anything that nature has taught us through hundred of thousands years of evolution.

We all have fears. Fear is a good thing. It helps you to stay alive. If the gazelle wouldn't fear the lions, she would be dead.

We all as part of our genetic makeup have fears in degrees. Some humans have more fear to certain things than to others. You might have fears of heights, while not having any fear to bees, for example. Fears can also be pathological as in phobias.

Your child is just expressing her natural tendency towards an unfamiliar predator (dogs are predators). She's not used to such big animal. She will have to learn to accept the dog at her own pace, or not at all. Don't push her, you would only accentuate her fear.

Be smart about it.
 

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A border collie (that's what, 60 lbs?) vs a Mastiff that's probably over 100 lbs and looks completely different? She's not seeing a dog, she's seeing a beast. Mastiffs are the sweetest dogs but they do look scary, especially if you're a very small person. She is not pretending to be scared for attention, she is scared because that is a HUGE dog. She may warm up over time, but we have family friends that have labs whose kids are afraid of my dog and the size difference is about 60 lbs.
It's more than that... the OP says the dog is 260 pound English mastiff

That's bigger than most people, and it has big teeth, and very strong jaw.

I've had large dogs that were big babies.... Newfoundlander, and a Mongolian Mastiff / German Shepard mix.

But I can see why a small child would be afraid of the 260lb very powerful dog.
 

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I have been thinking about my post and would like to amend my comment above. The dog can hurt her. I'm not sure if you meant 160 lbs. or 260 lbs., but either way, these dogs can easily knock down a small adult, even more so a small child. That could cause a child to get hurt. Also, depending upon how well trained the dog is, they can run someone over quite easily, so you have to watch out for them. I have seen children unintentionally hurt by these dogs. It's never been serious, but it could be, if a he were to knock her down the stairs or against something.

Therefore, I wouldn't tell her that the dog won't hurt her. I would tell her that the dog is friendly, but he's a dog, and dogs don't really understand like people do. It's important to be aware of him, so she doesn't get knocked over. It's probably still going to happen though, because dogs and kids.
 

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It's more than that... the OP says the dog is 260 pound English mastiff

That's bigger than most people, and it has big teeth, and very strong jaw.

I've had large dogs that were big babies.... Newfoundlander, and a Mongolian Mastiff / German Shepard mix.

But I can see why a small child would be afraid of the 260lb very powerful dog.
This sounds more like a bear than a dog, according to OP.
 

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Why do you care if your kid is afraid of a huge dog? Do you expect her to like all dogs? They're not for everyone. I personally don't care for most dogs, especially bad ones and their indifferent/apologist owners.

My daughter likes dogs too much, and it has gotten her hurt a couple times. Caution with animals is warranted. Take notes.
 

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I do think it's a little weird. But I would be more interested in finding out if she's afraid of all big animals like ponies.

Kids are just different but usually it seems like something would have gotten that started. But it could be something you're not even aware of.

My next door neighbors had four children and chickens. Three of their children would mingle with the chickens and even pick them up and pet them and help them take care of them. But their next to the youngest was terrified of them from the time she could shriek. I would hear her sleeping and I go outside and she would be hiding under a little bush and there would be a chicken nearby.
 

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That dog weighs as much as an adult man - and a big man at that, holy heck, it's not surprising that she's nervous. That'd be like introducing us to an elephant, lol.
Still there's a lot of kids who aren't afraid of big animals. So it's kind of curious why and I wonder if they could just ask her why she thinks she should be afraid of it. Maybe it's the drool.
 

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Still there's a lot of kids who aren't afraid of big animals. So it's kind of curious why and I wonder if they could just ask her why she thinks she should be afraid of it. Maybe it's the drool.
My son has no fear of any dog, ever. He goes to the dog shows and cuddles with the mastiffs and Dobermans and Rotties. But butterflies, when he was little there was no nightmare like a winged nightmare.
 

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My son has no fear of any dog, ever. He goes to the dog shows and cuddles with the mastiffs and Dobermans and Rotties. But butterflies, when he was little there was no nightmare like a winged nightmare.
That's how I always was. I would go hop on the back of random horses in someone else's pasture without anything around their neck. Maybe she thinks it looks like the Tasmanian devil.
 

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I also have an English Mastiff and while big, they're generally very lazy, friendly, and gentle dogs. I can see why the sheer size would scare her though, since a lot of people I run into are afraid of mine for the same reason.
 
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