A new survey by the Dogs Trust reveals that more than a third of parents in the East Midlands believe their children to be scared of dogs.
In the West Midlands it is two in five parents.
The charity says the most common reaction when a child sees a dog is to avoid a public area, run away, hide or scream. But they add that this can confuse dogs - with many assuming this behaviour actually means it's play time.
In response to the figures, the Dogs Trust is launching its 'Managing Fear of Dogs' project, running workshops to manage children's fear and teach them how to stay calm.