Fear of dogs is a real thing
Dogs are beautiful and intelligent creatures. They are the man’s best friend. For dog lovers, it is unimaginable that some people won’t melt away for adorable puppies left in a box in front of the shelter, who will not let their furry friend lie down beside a newborn baby, or will not dare to pet a little dog on the street. Some people are just not dog-persons. However, there are those with a somewhat more significant problem than the usual attachment and love issue – people with a dog aversion or Cynophobia.
Cynophobia is a kind of fear that can exclude people from the social and normal everyday life. Many therapists around the planet successfully work on suppressing or sporadically destroying this phobia, using various methods. However, in order to get rid of cynophobia, it is necessary to know the causes of someone’s fears and make them face the problem. On this path, it is essential not to make a mistake in the steps, because, forcing yourself can only create a side effect. And our furry friends will feel it, equally.
What are the Cynophobia triggers?
People have rational and irrational fears. The phobias arise as a result of cultural heritage, geographical position, character attributes, but they only have a lot of connection with life events. Cynophobia is often associated with some unpleasant situation which involves a dog, most likely from childhood. Whether a person really found himself in danger, or in a game of misunderstandings, he or she felt threatened. That fear has been accumulated over time and transferred to other life situations. In the end, people with accumulated fear, or cynophobia, can experience a panic attack at the moment when they hear dogs barking when even from the safe distance or behind a fence. Their cynophobia becomes irrational anxiety. Even if they are aware that little chihuahua is not able to hurt them, it creates a creepy feeling of insecurity and discomfort. Even dogs who are trained for assistance and support to people will be perceived as a threat.
Unfortunately, cynophobia is often not related to either of these factors nor to personal experiences from the past. Simply, anxiety and panic attacks near the dogs occur due to chemical reactions in humans.
Cynophobia will develop less common in people who have had a pet in their home since early childhood. Familiarity and trust are important factors for living with dogs like with our best friends.
Fortunately, phobias can be treated. Experts on cynophobia have different approaches for different degrees of problems. The first step is to rationalize your fear. Rate it on a scale, from 1 to 10. When you find your intensity in numbers, slowly but surely, you will work to lower that number for a level or two.
Successful therapy to defeat cynophobia
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a method that can successfully cure cynophobia. The thing is in a gradual and balanced exposure and in time, facing the problem. For example, you were frightened of a big dog when you were 5. Your fear has remained great as a mountain, while you can hardly remember the event itself.
First, something triggered fears. Scale the triggers. Therapy always starts with an attempt to remove the ones closest, the easiest to settle. The treatment will begin with small steps, from talking, watching movies with dogs, and by taking in your arms 3-weeks-old puppy. The permanent presence of dogs, from a safe distance, for example, going to the shelter center. Even the voluntary work on rescuing jeopardized stray dogs. At the end of this process, it’s time to deal with your giant problem. With a lot of hope, it will not look so scary, but playful, adorable ready to be your best friend.
The goal is to get rid of phobia and take control of your fear, not the oppositely. This should work slowly, without any hurry. Perhaps recovery sometimes happens so slowly that it seems to you that there is no progress. However, take as much time as needed.