Cynophobia: The Irrational Phobia Of Dogs

Do you have a phobia of dogs? The fear of dogs or cynophobia is little known but it is a more common phobia than we think. Discover what it is, how it manifests and how to treat it.

Cynophobia or fear of dogs

The dog is defined as “man’s best friend”, and this is because it is one of the animals that became a companion animal the longest ago. There are many families that have dogs in their homes and although they are almost always adored by people, there are those who simply ignore them. However, it seems a bit strange to be afraid of an animal that would give its life for you, that as soon as it sees any person it becomes happy and wags its tail wishing for a few caresses, etc., but it is a reality. The phobia of dogs exists and is called Cynophobia

What is cynophobia?

The cynophobia It responds in the same way as any specific phobia, with irrational fear or disgust. In the same way that it is illogical to fear cockroaches, harmless beings that all they do is flee from the light, it is just as illogical as fearing birds or dogs. This is a specific phobia. The person who suffers from this dog phobia rationally knows that dogs are not dangerous, that cases in which a dog attacks a person are rare and therefore, they have nothing to fear. However, this is an instinctive response that cannot be controlled.

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On many occasions this fear of dogs It can interfere with the life of the person who has it since when encountering one of these animals they suffer a series of symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or dizziness. This type of phobia that causes a fear of dogs is called specific and usually affects between 7 to 9 percent of the population.

Symptoms of cynophobia

Symptoms of dog phobia

The symptoms suffered are the same as with anxiety, since in fact, a sudden and high peak of anxiety occurs, which cannot be controlled and which generates great discomfort, and may even lead to a panic attack. Thus, the symptoms most frequent are:

  • Tachycardia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Accelerated pulse
  • Chest tightness
  • Sweating
  • Tingling in hands and feet

Why does an irrational fear of dogs appear?

Cynophobia is more common than we think, what happens is that you can live with a certain shame and not express it openly. The symptoms of this animal phobia can appear for various reasons. Causes:

  • Personal experience: A possible cause is a bad experience with a dog in childhood (for example, a dog lunging at you when you were little to lick you and knocking you to the ground or an unexpected bite). But not necessarily the cynophobia It may appear due to a past experience that has remained in the memory as traumatic.
  • Phobia of scary dogs: It can also arise from fear of the possibility (although the probability is small, it exists) that a dog could suddenly become aggressive or simply because you are a very scrupulous person and feel disgusted by drool or the smell of sweat. animal. It can also appear due to the fear of infecting you with a disease or simply not being able to control how unpredictable they are.
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Causes of fear of dogs

How to overcome fear of dogs?

There are a series of tips that you can follow to try to overcome cynophobia or dog phobia. According to phobia experts, the best thing you can apply in these cases is the following:

  1. Understand where it comes from: In the event of any difficulty, the first thing is to detect the origin of the phobia and its meaning What exactly scares you and why? Go to the past, find out when it appeared and if you can relate it to something. Understanding the cause will allow you to work on fears better.
  2. Know how anxiety works: Any phobia works with anxiety and many times what you are afraid of is simply the appearance of the symptoms, which you once associated with a scene where there was a dog. Knowing how an anxiety crisis works will help you control and reduce its symptoms. fear of animals every time you see a dog.
  3. Question your fears: Sometimes fears are resounding statements that we make to ourselves. For example, if you see a dog you may think “he’s going to bite me.” Question that statement and that dog phobia It can make you control fear and reduce it.
  4. Expose yourself to dogs little by little: If every time you see a dog you change the sidewalk or avoid going to places where you can find these animals, the cynophobia it will go more and more. Expose yourself little by little, progressively, to the dogs to get used to them and their reactions.
  5. Ask for professional help: As I always say, if you see that you cannot control that fear on your own, the help of a psychologist can be good for you to be at peace with these animals and go out safely. fear of dogs
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Dogs are very loyal animals that will rarely attack or harm you. Therefore live with a fear of dogs constant will not only be harmful to you but will also interfere with your daily routine. Ending cynophobia requires a lot of inner work, but it will be worth it.