Why Are People Afraid Of Dogs?
Many people have a fear of dogs. Fear of dogs, which is known as cynophobia, is a fairly common phobia. People who suffer from cynophobia experience one or more of the following symptoms: a persistent fear of dogs, an immediate anxiety response when they see or hear a dog or a total avoidance of being near dogs. The fear can interfere with daily activities. Adult sufferers will often recognize their fear is irrational
The fear can manifest itself by: increased heart rate, nausea, sweating or shortness of breath. Children will often cry or scream.
Fear of dogs is more common in females than males.
What causes fear of Dogs?
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this fear. Cynophobia may be caused by a combination of circumstances. Most often it begins in childhood, but it can also take hold in adulthood.
Usually, it is triggered by a specific event. This could be an event that the sufferer experienced directly. The event need not be a dog bite or attack. It could just be that a large boisterous dog knocks you over. If you witness this happen to someone else, it could have the same effect as if it happened to you personally. Even if you just hear about an event it can be enough to initiate the phobia. Just reading about an event or seeing an event in a movie is enough.
Overcoming and Preventing Fear Of Dogs.
The earlier a child starts to interact with dogs the better. Having a pet dog in the home at an early age is ideal. This early interaction should be closely supervised. Toddlers can unintentionally inflict quite a bit of pain on dogs and sometimes the dog will react.
If you are affected by an event involving a dog, the earlier you can interact with a dog in a normal unstressed environment the better.
Having a supportive group of family and friends can also help.
For mild sufferers, slowly desensitizing will help. Gradually become used to the idea that dogs are not as harmful as you may believe. The desensitization process could include watching videos of people enjoying themselves with dogs or petting the dog of a friend. Regular exposure in these controlled situations enables sufferers to have continued positive experience with dogs.
Severe case of cynophobia may needed to be treated by a counsellor.