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Understanding Dog Phobia

Dog Phobia – Understanding and overcoming your fear of dogs

She was not afraid of the dog; she thought he was beautiful, with his gray coat and long tail. She didn’t notice that the fur was raised or that the tail was not wagging in welcome. She didn’t notice the small teeth or the defensive stance. She didn’t notice anything but the dog itself. But, when she reached out with her small hand to pet it, she did notice the pain. She felt the bite.

Dog phobia is, typically, caused by a bad experience in childhood–this experience creates an irrational, though understandable, fear of dogs that can last a person’s entire life. If left untreated, dog phobia can have a paralyzing effect on those involved; that is why it is imperative for a person to overcome it. To do that, one must be willing to face their fear and, ultimately, understand it.

There are techniques you can adopt to help you integrate dogs into your life. Before approaching a dog, keep these tips in mind:

One: Never Show Your Teeth
When walking toward a dog, do not show your teeth. This is considered an aggressive behavior to dogs and they will take offense. Teeth represent dominance, or the desire for dominance. Keep you smiles tight.

Two: Offer The Hand To Offer The Choice
When you are near a new dog, do not assume that you are allowed to pat his head or stroke his fur. Instead, offer your the back of your hand to him; the dog will sniff it. This creates a familiarity between the two of you. Also, when you are allowed to stroke the dog, it is best to avoid the head. Chose the neck or backside.

Three: Do Not Run
If you are in a situation where a dog is off his chain or leash and is coming toward you, do not run. The dog’s natural instinct would be to give chase. Instead, stand still with your arms at your sides. When the dog approaches you, he will not see you as a threat. For many dog-phobics, the desire to run is almost overwhelming–do not give in, however. This will only worsen your fear as the dog is more than likely going to chase you. Just stand still.

Four: Never Go Alone
Do not approach a dog without the presence of its owner; a dog will be more responsive to you with its owner nearby.

Five: Contact
If a dog ever knocks you over or jumps on you, do not give in to initial temptation and try to run. Again, this will only reinforce your fear. This direct contact with a dog can help you overcome your phobia. But, remember: if you are knocked over by a dog, cover your face to prevent any potential harms.

Six: Fear Is Not Acceptable
Never show a dog that you are afraid; despite the fact that you are terrified, you must not show this to the dog. Be confident. Remember the previous tips to help you stay calm.

Dog phobia can be overcome; by following these techniques, you should be able to approach a dog and make contact with it. While it will take more than one time to be freed of your fear, you still must take that first step to begin the journey. The more contact you have with dogs, the less afraid of them you will be. Once you begin to feel comfortable around these animals, your fear will disappear. Take your time implementing these ideas but do implement them–you deserve a life free of fear. These techniques will help you obtain that life.

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