Fear of dogs: how to overcome cynophobia?

Justified by an unfortunate or unreasonable experience because without a precise origin, cynophobia can create uncontrollable behavior and disproportionate. Unless you stay cloistered in your home, the opportunity to cross a dog will always present itself in your daily outings. Our tips for overcoming fear pathologicale dogs.

What is cynophobia?

Phobia is fear irrational and disproportionate of an object, a situation, an animal. Cynophobia (from the Greek cyno = dog) is the uncontrolled fear of dogs regardless of their size or breed. Cynophobia can originate from a trauma occurred in the past (you have been bitten, you have seen a person being bitten, you have witnessed a fight between dogs…). Your entourage taught you to you beware dogs, thus conveying his fears. The fact of having grown up without a dog and the ignorance of its universe can also cause cynophobia.

Cynophobia: the behavioral consequences

Excessive fear of dogs becomes crippling in everyday life as soon as it generates behavior ofavoidance : for example, you no longer take a street where there is a dog even if it is behind a fence, your neighbor has a dog and you no longer dare to use your own garden, you refuse to hang out people with a dog or no longer go to friends who have one. At the same time, cynophobia often causes bothersome symptoms such as a feeling of aggression imminent, the irrepressible urge to run away, an acceleration of the pace cardiac, excessive sweating, tremors, shortness of breath, dizziness or chills.

Cynophobia: actions to be taken and reactions to be avoided

Know that cynophobia is surmountable using exercises to implement and behaviors to avoid.

  • Avoid staring the dog in the eye. Keep in mind that the dog is a pack animal, staring at it can be interpreted as a confrontation. hierarchical and cause a reaction on his part;
  • Do not back up in the presence of a dog. If the first attitude of a cynophobic person is to back away, this hesitant behavior may cause the dog to follow them and possibly seek to get in touch with them, for example. Game often or by threat, thus increasing the feeling of fear;
  • Don’t scream, don’t run. A spontaneous reaction of the cynophobic person is to gesticulate, shout or run for to run away the animal. However, this behavior has great risks of attracting the dog’s attention and encouraging him to run after it. Here again, the disordered gestures and movements send the animal a message of play or domination which will go against the desired effect.
  • Ignore the dog. Ideally, and despite your fear, when you come across a dog, be completely indifferent: stay calm and continue walking as if nothing had happened. It is not always easy to overcome emotions but be aware that most of the time if you ignore it, it will ignore you too. In the worst case, it will come to you sniff and will leave as dry.

How to get acquainted with dogs?

One way to stop fearing dogs is to get to know them and then end up with them. approach. This process is carried out in several stages:

  • Are you interested inuniverse canine through books or documentaries;
  • Watch them live and to play through an acquaintance who owns a dog. Explain the process to your friend so that he can support you in your business;
  • When you feel ready to approach a dog, prefer a adult calm, always through a loved one. Puppies are cute but they lack education and are likely to be unpredictable din their reaction;
  • Train regularly with a reliable owner and an animal soft. Persevere your approach sessions until you feel able to come into contact with a more dog restless that you will inevitably come across one day or another.

Are there any treatments for cynophobia?

With a regular schedule, you will eventually overcome your fear. Know that if your phobia is deeply rooted in you, the help of a professional could prevail.

  • A behaviorist educator will offer you exercises in the company of an educated and calm dog who will know how to remain calm in all circumstances;
  • A therapist will practice with you a CBT (Cognito-Behavioral Therapy) by gradually exposing yourself to the presence of a dog;
  • Relaxation sessions, sophrology, hypnosis or Virtual Reality Therapy aim to reduce stress and to live better everyday canine proximity;
  • Of internships individuals or groups are also dedicated to desensitizing the pathological fear of dogs.

Whether alone or accompanied by a professional, solutions exist to treat cynophobia. The exercises usually involve improving knowledge of the canine world and the communication with dogs in order to better understand fearful situations and to finally be reconciled with man’s best friend!