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Hello Can Someone Help Me Please

October 25th, 2006, 02:46 PM
I am 16 and never had a fear of any animal until i started my work experience ive started get get this fear of large dogs, On the 1st day there one of the dogs growled then charged at me just nipping me on the back of my leg.

From then of i have refused to enter any cage with any of teh large dogs.

I do respect them and that yes that there house and there safe place but when i walk past some of them growl and some of them charge at the cage trying to get me. I know it sounds a little silly but they are starting to scare me a little but i really need to finish this work experince (im there for a year) and i want to get rid of my fear

What can i do?

October 25th, 2006, 02:49 PM
Where do you work? Do you work alone or are there other people with you?

October 25th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Theres another person that i work with on the stay dog section (and all the dogs are large)

I told them im starting to fear the dogs and they do try to see it from my point of view but sometimes i think they just dont.

October 25th, 2006, 04:09 PM
Well, honestly, you should find another job or stage or whatever it is... you are going to end up getting seriously injured. Dogs sense fear and some do not react well to it. You can't just get over it. Whomever hired, enlisted or whatever they did, did not do much of a screening job. BTW, this is not meant as a criticism of you but rather of what fool would put someone afraid of dogs into that situation to begin with.

October 25th, 2006, 04:25 PM
Well i want to get id of this fear so what i fort is what if i give the dogs treats and talk to them outside of the cage?

I really enjoy doing my work experience there maybe i should start with the medium dogs and work my way up so i get more confidence ?

October 25th, 2006, 04:54 PM
The dogs you say you are afraid of are in the stray dog section. You cannot be giving dogs treats at a shelter. You do not know the dogs, therefore you have no idea if the dog has food aggression or not. You could very well lose a finger offering a treat. What exactly are you there for? Meaning.. what is this work experience for? About 90% of Shelter staff from my experience, particuliarly here in Quebec, know squat about the animals they care for or about training or evaluation. So what is the end result of this year long project? Do you have someone you work with beside you or did they just throw you in?

October 25th, 2006, 05:24 PM
About 90% of Shelter staff from my experience, particuliarly here in Quebec, know squat about the animals they care for or about training or evaluation.

How true ! :shrug:

October 25th, 2006, 07:17 PM
At our local humane society 16 to 18 year olds are only allowed to volunteer in the administration offices, and they don't let people who are not experienced with dogs to walk them or force them to work with them.

I really think there are other very helpful things that they could be asking you to do. If they aren't listening to you, speak louder, write a letter to someone within the organization that can help you. Tell them that you are interested in staying along, but that you are becoming fearful of the dogs, tell them you believe that you would be happy to help out in some other way, but that the dogs are frightening you and that you want to work up to working with the big dogs slowly.

It's hard when you are young, because some people don't listen, so you just have to make sure that you have it in writing, (keep a copy, and make sure you sign the letter you write to your superiors), this way you can prove that you made yourself clear. If you decide to go this route, you would be gaining experience using your communication skills, which are also a very important part of work experience.

Good luck:thumbs up

October 25th, 2006, 08:24 PM
A few ideas:

1) Make sure that you do talk to the people that you are working for and with. Do not do things that make you scared, that is dangerous for you and the animals. Your co-workers/superiors should know and respect that, and you for admitting it.

2) I think that you have a good idea, to work with the small/medium dogs or cats or do the paperwork for now.

3) Try to spend some time watching the large dogs from a distance, and moving closer as you feel comfortable. As you are ready, move to cleaning the empty cage next to a large dog. If you get uncomfortable, back up a step, until you are ready, then try again.

4) If you have friends with big, friendly, well trained dogs that you could hang out with to get used to the size, how they normally move, etc, it would be good. If you don't have friends with large dogs, ask the people that you work/for someone will know of a gentle giant to help you out.

5) Go to the parks, or pet stores that allow people to bring there pets, observe the large dogs, walk by them, ask the owners if you can pet them when you are ready.

6) Ask and watch the people who have or are used to handling big dogs for tips in how to act around them, and how to handle them.

Some times it can be scary and seem aggressive to us, when a large dog is actually moving normally and barking for attention, just because of it's size and sound, the only way to know is with experience though. You don't seem to have that experience yet. But you are trying to get it :thumbs up. I am guessing that you love animals, and want a career with them. I think that you are smart to recognize you fear and want to face it. Just be patient with yourself, take it slowly, and above all, be careful! And keep us posted on your progress.

October 25th, 2006, 09:50 PM
Honestly, I don't think a shelter is a good place to get over your fear. All these dogs are in an incredibly high stress situation. You need to get over it with friends' dogs and dogs who you can trust first.:shrug:

October 26th, 2006, 05:36 AM
Oki the reason why im at a dog kennels because on my college course (1st Diploma in animal care) we have to do 200 hours of work experience over a year.

My auntie has two big rottwiliers and im oki with them,I take them for walks and such but i dont see her or them that often as i used to.

when i mean giving them treats i didnt mean by hand . I could stand there talkin to the dog then place the treat under the cage door for them to reach without been able to grab my fingers or hand.

October 26th, 2006, 07:39 AM
While I think it's admirable of you to work in a kennel and are trying to get over your fear, I also think you are putting yourself, the kennel dogs, and the kennel itself at risk. you could get injured, the dogs are just reinforcing bad behavior, and the kennel could be liable, should something happen.

October 26th, 2006, 10:37 AM
Please study up on the body language of dogs as well. I would do a lot of observing of dogs after having studied their language, before coming into contact. If your shelter doesn't provide you with much help, ask advice from your college profs, and explain how you feel. They may have more time to help you out.
Your fear is healthy, and in you for a reason. It tells you to stay away from situations you don't know how to deal with yet. Don't try to ignore it.

October 26th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Thanks guys im really impressed by how long it took to get help and feedback.

Im at the kennels agian tomorrow i will most likey been cleaning agen but i dont mind.

Last week we did this little exercise thing where i would stand there and the woman who i was workin with would get one of the boarding dogs to walk past me while on the lead and i would just let them and that went oki so maybe i should do that agian while still keep my distance away from the dogs or maybe just helping the other people in the stray dogs section by handing them food ect staying out of the cage just walking up and down ignoring the dogs all together?

October 26th, 2006, 11:39 AM
I have to admit that my first experience in a shelter was terrifying! I went to the local shelter in search of my neighbours lost dog - I was only 14 and it still haunts me!. All the staff did was point me toward the stray dog room, the aisle was so narrow that 2 people could not walk down it at the same time, there were no tops to the cages and the dogs went into a frenzy at the sight of a person. They could have easily jumped out of their cage (which was no higher than my chin) so I can understand you being intimidated.

I also agree that this is not the best place for you to work through your fear. It is also not good for the dogs.
Is it possible for you to work in a groomer or vet office? Or perhaps clean the cat cages at the shelter instead of the dogs?

November 6th, 2006, 04:10 PM
Okay guys and gals i fort id give you a little update

I have done 7 dogs inculing a couple of mongrels, 2 greyhounds, Whipit and a cockerspaniel.

I feel so proud of my selve lol

Thank You for your help and im slowly getting over my fear

Thank You All ! :highfive:

November 6th, 2006, 09:54 PM
What do you mean by "done"?

November 8th, 2006, 11:27 AM
i have been in with them.

I have changed food and water bowls, Cleaned the kennel, Replaced there bedding. Al this with the dog in the kennel with me.

I can feel my fear slowly (very slowly) slipping away. So Thank You for helping me

hopfuly it will be gone for good :fingerscr ( one day :shrug: )