Why Are Some People Afraid Of Dogs? Some Causes And Possible Cures.
Although fear of dogs is less common than fear of snakes or spiders, it is still quite a common phobia. In extreme cases an anxiety attack can be provoked by even the anticipation of meeting a dog.
Fear of dogs is known as cynophobia and most commonly develops between the ages of ten and thirteen. It can be a learned behavior where the sufferer has been taught to be afraid of dogs, often by another person with the same condition. In some cases a sufferer may have had a bad experience with a dog or even witnessed an event where another person has been attacked by a dog.
The person has probably not spent a lot of time around dogs when growing up. People who do grow up with dogs rarely develop an irrational fear of them.
There is a point of view that humans have evolved to have a fear of dogs dating from a time when dogs were seen as a predator and something to be avoided.
People can be cured of their fear of dogs. Part of the cure often involves learning that dogs often bark but rarely bite.
The "Dogster' blog has published an article about the causes and possible cures for a fear of dogs.
Here is an extract:
Cynophobia is referred to as a “specific phobia,” meaning it’s oriented toward a particular object, concept, or scenario that provokes nervous or anxious feelings. As opposed to fear of animals or pets in general, cynophobia manifests as a regular and persistent anxiety when dogs are present, viewed, or even simply invoked. Some specific animal phobias may “make more sense” to us; such as those involving rodents, insects, or reptiles. Their alien appearances, strange patterns of movement, their reputations as bearers of poison or carriers of disease makes these fears seem more “natural.”
You can read the complete article here.