My son used to be around our dog until she died, almost a year ago, when he was 11 months old.
Since then, and up until last December, he'd gladly pet a dog whenever he had the occasion to, that is, whenever we'd met a calm dog with comprehensive owners.
But in the last six months or so, my son, now 22 months old, seems to have developed a fear of dogs, to the point that he won't get anywhere within ten meters from a dog, and will start screaming and asking to be picked up if a dog comes near us.
The death of our dog left a painful wound, and his mother and I haven't felt ready to take another dog yet, and I'm afraid that our child's fear may make it even harder for us to decide to ever have another dog. Besides, I love dogs very much, and I think that my son's (like everyone's) life would be richer around dogs, whether they are ours or not.
I have been trying to let my son see dogs from safe distance, getting slowly closer, but he just freaks out as we get too close, and it simply isn't working.
What is the best way to help our son overcome his fear of dogs?