Causes of Fear of Dogs
The dog is perceived by most people as a friend, but some consider it a real enemy. At the mere sight of a quadruped, they panic. As a rule, cynophobia does not arise spontaneously, its formation is preceded by various events, mainly related to dog bites and attacks.
Sometimes this fear occurs in children due to the negative attitudes of their parents, who interpret the appearance of any dog as a danger to the child. For example, quite often on the playground you can hear: “Do not approach the dog, otherwise it will bite”, “Do not touch it, it is contagious”, “Step away from the dog, otherwise it will suddenly be rabid”. After that, the child’s brain begins to automatically perceive a person’s friend as a danger, an enemy. Then the child will try to avoid contact with any dogs, thereby reinforcing his fear.
How do you know if you or your child has kinophobia?
People who are afraid of dogs may feel panic when they meet an animal. There is sweating, trembling, tension, palpitations, a reaction of numbness is possible.
For the sake of justice, I would like to note that there is no such person who is not at all afraid of dogs, but this fear is absolutely healthy. For example, if you are walking down the street and a huge dog rushes at you from around the corner, it is unlikely that you will be able to remain calm. The reaction of the body will be unequivocal – the release of the hormone of fear, that is, adrenaline, in order to save life. As you know, the release of adrenaline can give a person inexplicable abilities, for example, the ability to run away from a dog, bull or other animal.
Also, natural fear appears in a situation when a pack of stray dogs runs towards you. Perhaps they are just running about their dog business, but, nevertheless, the emergence of fear in this case is understandable and rational.
Healthy fear differs from cynophobia in that a person who has experienced any dangerous situation associated with dogs will get scared and forget about it, and the next time they meet any dog in their path, they will simply pass by. The cynophobe, on the other hand, will bypass all the dogs in the area, experience a strong and inexplicable fear of them, up to panic and physical ailments.
In the case of cynophobia, a person is afraid of all dogs, and not a single individual taken, which, for example, once bit him. He may be afraid of absolutely all stray dogs, or only large ones, or be afraid of a particular breed. In other words, such a person generalizes all dogs into the word “danger”.
If your child, when he sees a dog, says that he is afraid of her, be sure to ask: “Why?” A logical answer, for example, that it was this dog or a similar one that rushed, bit, speaks of normal natural fear. If the child answers: “What if she bites me”, “What if I get rabies from her and die”, and other fantasy options, then in this case it is recommended to contact a child psychologist.
How to get rid of cinemaphobia?
First you need to learn to control your thoughts. Let’s say you were bitten by a dog, and now you are terribly afraid of everyone. Try to find a picture of a dog that is as close as possible to the offender, and looking at the picture, explain to yourself that this dog may be dangerous, but this does not mean that others are also dangerous. Befriend the source of your fear. Remember the moment of the bite, close your eyes and replay this episode several times. It is important to maintain even breathing. After that, add positive moments to the negative episode. For example, imagine how a dog that has bitten you also runs in your direction, but as a result does not bite, but, on the contrary, joyfully jumps and licks.
After you learn how to “work” with pictures and stop being afraid of the image of dogs, you need to start communicating with puppies. It is worth noting that at the time of such contact there should not be any aggression on your part. Exceptionally positive emotions! If fear appears at the time of communication with puppies, then do not leave the animals, continue to stroke them, play with them.
When the puppies are no longer a source of danger to you, go to the dog service or guide training centers. There you will be able to observe how big and scary – in your opinion – dogs, turn out to be real helpers for employees, the military, and people with disabilities. Ask instructors for direct contact with one of the dogs. And again, if at this moment you feel fear, it is important to stay in place and not stop contact.
And of course, one of the best and most radical ways to strengthen the skills of getting rid of kinophobia is to get a dog. Thus, you will be in contact with your fear, and after a while the enemy dog will turn into a real friend and family member!