What Is Fear Of Dogs Called And How To Get Over It

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What Is Fear Of Dogs Called And How To Get Over It

Are you afraid of dogs? Or maybe it’s your child who has an irrational fear of dogs? If it’s you, then you probably already know logically that in many situations when you are in the presence of a dog, there’s no actual threat. Yet, you still get that feeling of excessive fear, the heart palpitations, the tight or nauseous feelings in your chest or stomach and they just don’t seem to make sense. You know you should calm down but you just don’t seem to have any control over your level of fear. 

The irrational fear of dogs is called cynophobia and generally stems from negative experiences you had in the past with dogs. You mightn’t necessarily have been bitten. Maybe you just became afraid of the sound of a dog bark. Some people never actually had a bad experience with a dog but instead witnessed someone else (like a parent, for instance) having an extreme fear of dogs and then they kind of absorbed that.

What Causes The Fear Of Dogs?

There are several possible causes:

  • Anxiety Disorders: If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you are much more likely to develop a fear of phobia of dogs.
  • Traumatic Experiences: When you’re a kid and a dog suddenly and without warning snaps at you or growls at you, this can be rather shocking to your system and cause you to develop a persistent fear of dogs. Of course, if that same dog actually bites you and it really hurts, it’s quite understandable that you would develop an overwhelming fear of dogs. This is true, particularly of small children who find it hard to realize that it was only one dog that was scary and that most are friendly dogs.
  • Family Attitudes: Do you have a family member who shows the symptoms of cynophobia? Have they told you time and time again that they are terrified of dogs? Hearing something over and over again about their fear can give us a fear of animals.

Did You Have A Traumatic Experience With A Dog?

I remember as I was growing up, we always had dogs. We definitely would have been described as dog lovers. One day, when I was about seven years old, I was cycling my bicycle through a local estate when two cream-colored labradors came running at me. They looked angry. Their teeth were showing and I was terrified. I lifted my bum off the saddle to pedal faster and as I did, one of the labradors sank his teeth into my saddle. I got away but I’ve always been a bit wary of large dogs ever since.

Over the years, I have had my own dogs but that taught me not to assume that all dogs are friendly all of the time. Dogs are like humans in that they get a bit pissed off too! On a hot day, if I am sitting outside on a sun lounger and it gets a bit too hot, I can get a bit annoyed. If someone annoys me at that time, I’ll be less likely to be 100% calm. Dogs are no different. I always teach my clients to respect the dog’s space.

Now if you’ve had a traumatic experience with a dog and let’s say you were the victim of a dog bite years ago, your unconscious mind hangs onto that memory to protect you in the future. So, for instance, when you catch sight of a dog, your mind produces anxiety symptoms because it’s essentially saying that this dog today is exactly the same as an actual dog attack from your past. In severe cases, this can cause avoidance behaviors like refusing to leave the house if you spot a dog outside.

7 Steps To Reducing Your Fear Of Dogs Free PDF

7 Steps To Reducing Your Fear Of Dogs

Download this A4 pdf right now and practice each of the steps to start thinking and behaving the correct way around dogs so that you can reduce your fear immediately and feel more comfortable around dogs.


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Dog Phobia Symptoms

Symptoms of cynophobia are similar to all fear and phobia symptoms and quite resemble panic attacks. They include:

  • Your heart beating faster
  • More laboured breathing
  • Feeling of impending danger
  • You might even be afraid of dying
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Wanting to avoid the dog at all costs
overcome fear of dogs self hypnosis audio cover image

Self-Hypnosis Audio For Fear Of Dogs

Self-hypnosis can be a great tool to help you visualize your new, friendly relationship with dogs where you always feel confident and capable.

Are Fears And Phobias The Same?

There is a subtle difference between the two.

If you have an irrational fear, you will probably just feel the feelings of fear but still be able to carry on with whatever is causing the fear. Phobia on the other hand involves trying to avoid the source of your fear at all costs.

To quote from an excellent WebMD article on the topic of phobias

” to be defined as a phobia, the fear must cause some level of impairment”.

Source: WebMD website

So which are you? Do you just feel feelings of fear while you are around dogs but just carry on anyway? Or would you avoid going to certain places because you know there might be dogs there?

Can Dogs Smell Fear?

Studies have shown that dogs can detect fear. Dogs have a very keenly developed sense of smell. This is why the DEA in the United States uses sniffer dogs to detect drugs at airports and other points of entry. Human beings emit slightly different odors depending on what emotion they are feeling. So when you feel fear, a dog can sense that and respond by also having a faster heart rate and feeling more stressed. 

When we see a dog barking at us, we misinterpret that as evidence that the dog is angry at us. If the dog has smelled fear from us, it’s probably also doing fear. 

overcome fear of dogs self hypnosis audio cover image

Self-Hypnosis Audio For Fear Of Dogs

Self-hypnosis can be a great tool to help you visualize your new, friendly relationship with dogs where you always feel confident and capable.

How Common Is Cynophobia?

Specific phobias as they are called (in other words, fear of a specific thing like fear of spiders, fear of snakes, fear of water, etc.) affect approximately about 9% of the population.

Now, of course, that figure represents all specific phobias. Because dogs are so common in our environment, it’s no surprise that about one-third of that figure has a fear of dogs.

So essentially – about 3% of the entire population suffers from cynophobia. That’s a lot of people! It is a very common animal phobia.

How Do I Get Rid Of My Fear Of Dogs?

There are numerous different ways to overcome cynophobia. I’ve listed some of them below

  1. Progressive Desensitization – this is where you keep introducing dogs into your environment but in a slow and graduated way into your daily life
  2. CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – this involves challenging some of the core beliefs that underpin the fear (eg. the dog is going to bite me.)
  3. Hypnotherapy – widely regarded as one of the quickest and best ways to overcome a fear
  4. EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) – otherwise known as tapping. A good EFT therapist will help you to tap away your fear.
  5. Self Hypnosis – the cheapest and easiest way to overcome your cynophobia is by just listening for 30 days to a self-hypnosis recording such as my “Overcome Fear Of Dogs” hypnosis download.
overcome fear of dogs self hypnosis audio cover image

Self-Hypnosis Audio For Fear Of Dogs

Self-hypnosis can be a great tool to help you visualize your new, friendly relationship with dogs where you always feel confident and capable.

Hypnosis For Fear Of Dogs

In my opinion, having been a therapist for over fifteen years, the most effective treatment for fear of dogs is definitely hypnotherapy. if you’ve ever asked yourself “How do I overcome my fear of dogs?”, then you might be surprised to know that you may not even have to go to see a hypnotherapist face-to-face. Self-hypnosis can be a great way to get rid of your fear of dogs.

Instead of doing progressive desensitization in real life, you can achieve the same result by listening to hypnosis for fear of dogs recording. Every time you listen you’ll be imagining being in the vicinity of dogs and becoming progressively more relaxed.

I have recorded a very powerful hypnosis audio called “Overcome Fear Of Dogs” which you can download right now. Listen for at least thirty days and notice how your attitude to dogs changes.

Over fifteen years of experience have gone into this powerful hypnosis audio and will help

  • Believe that most dogs are very friendly
  • Stop imagining the worst-case scenario
  • Learn to enjoy being around dogs
Picture of Author: Paul Hunter

Author: Paul Hunter

Although thousands of people read his blog every month, Paul's path to success was not an easy one. Click here to read his amazing story "From Unwanted Baby And Adopted To A Respected Self Help Blogger". If you want to send Paul a quick message, then visit his contact page here

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Picture of Paul Hunter

Paul Hunter

Although thousands of people read his blog every month, Paul's path to success was not an easy one. Click here to read his amazing story "From Unwanted Baby And Adopted To A Respected Self Help Blogger". If you want to send Paul a quick message, then visit his contact page here

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