Suffering from cynophobia, a fear of dogs? If so, you are not alone. Statistics show that 1 out of 23 Americans suffer from some type of specific phobia, one that they struggle to get over throughout life. Fortunately, you can learn how to manage your feelings toward canines. Below are six steps that can help you through the process. Just:
Step 1: Pinpoint your fear.
Why are you afraid of dogs? Did you suffer an early, childhood trauma or just grow up in a home devoid of animals? Pinpoint the source of your fear. By figuring out the origins of your emotions, you increase your chances to rationalize them away or get treatment.
Step 2: Study canine behavior.
Ignorance often plays a key part of any phobia. Overcome a fear of dogs by studying them. Read books. Talk to experts. Understand how to approach a stray, handle the average dog and spot different breeds. With this knowledge, you will feel more comfortable around canines.
Step 3: Walk by a dog park.
After you finish step 2, test your wings. Walk by a dog park. Watch man’s best friend play and interact with other humans. You don’t have to pet any of the dogs you see; just familiarize yourself with their behavior. Do this for a few weeks until you get more comfortable in a new, dog-friendly environment.
Step 4: Be around a dog lover.
Do you have a friend or family member who loves dogs? Hang out with him. Explain how you are trying to overcome a fear of dogs and ask for assistance. Your dog-loving companion can slowly introduce you to one of his pets and help reinforce what you know about canines. You will get a chance to see that you too can socialize with dogs without getting hurt in some way.
Step 5: Visit an animal shelter.
Overcome a fear of dogs by visiting a local animal shelter. At this facility, you can see a more vulnerable side of dogs. Shelter workers can give the history of some of their four-legged residences. Surprisingly, many of their tales will have the same highs and lows as a human. You will see up close how love and neglect adversely affect a canine.
Step 6: Seek professional help.
If your fear of dogs is severe, you may need to seek the expertise of a licensed psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can employ useful techniques that help most people get over a phobia and also prescribe medication. Your sessions with him can propel you forward in your quest to be less afraid of dogs.
Use these six steps to overcome a fear of dogs. Since they are a fixed part of society, being able to socialize with them is an obvious benefit. It’s a benefit you want in your life.
Specific Phobia Statistics
Fear of Dogs, Cynophobia