Cynophobia

no-dogs-allowed-signCynophobia is a disproportionate and consuming fear of dogs.

What Is Cynophobia?

Many people have experienced feeling uneasy around a poorly behaved or growling dog. But cynophobia is a generalized fear of all dogs, regardless of behavior or circumstances. Some people exhibit more fear around certain types of dogs—such as large dogs or certain breeds that seem particularly scary—but will still be uneasy around all dogs. Next to fear of snakes and spiders, cynophobia is the most common animal phobia. Symptoms include irrational fear around dogs, refusing to go to places where dogs might be, or taking excessive precautions around dogs.

What Causes Cynophobia?

Most people with cynophobia have had an early, traumatic experience with a dog, such as being bitten or witnessing a family member being attacked. The phobia usually begins in early childhood and can be shaped by parents’ fears. A parent who is afraid of dogs or who regularly warns children about dogs might activate a child’s imagination, inadvertently creating a phobia. In some cases, the cause of the phobia is unclear.

How Is Cynophobia Treated?

Like other phobias, cynophobia can be effectively treated through a combination of therapy and relaxation techniques. Some people also find that hypnotherapy is helpful. It is particularly important for people with this phobia to have positive experiences with well behaved, friendly dogs. In the early stages of treatment, general exposure to dogs can backfire if the person with the phobia has a frightening experience.

References:

Fries, W. C. (n.d.). Helping a child overcome a fear of dogs. WebMD. Retrieved from http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/helping-your-child-overcome-a-fear-of-dogs

Last Updated: 08-4-2015

  • 18 comments
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  • aidanjoyal

    aidanjoyal

    September 29th, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    try your best to stay away from them.

  • aidanjoyal

    aidanjoyal

    September 29th, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    if you see one walk or run away.

  • anonymous

    anonymous

    November 15th, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    what a great tip

  • Richad

    Richad

    July 19th, 2018 at 10:26 AM

    As part of the Kent Cynophobia Assistance team i find this comment to show how little you understand . We teach kids and adults not to run away as the dog sees it as a game and will chase. We use positive rather than negative comments and have a very high success rate all your comment does is teaches people that dogs are to be scared of and avoided when in fact it is the opposite they are very loving creatures and deserve to be treated as such

  • Elizabeth

    Elizabeth

    October 24th, 2018 at 8:52 AM

    Thomas, get yourself a fog horn (they are very loud and used on boats if outside) and inside there are small 2in C 2in alarms. If your in a store and the dog is unleashed use it. also have animals control on your cell phone and call them. I am certain if enough of us do this MAYBE STORES will be fined as well as the people that own the dog and does not leash it. I really wish that these people’s worse fear confronts them as much as non dog or cat people have to tolerate the terror and fear the unleashed dog brings to cynophobics. As for confronting your fears this is total BS. Why don’t you jump off the Empire state building or sky dive to cure your fear of heights. GET A BRAIN. People are who they are and we all have fears. Why not respect the fact that some just do not want any part of your dog.

  • Kate

    Kate

    March 5th, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    that first comment wild af. being a cynophobic since childhood, i learned it the hard way that those stuff ain’t helping at all :D guess it started from my mom’s story of being bitten by a bulldog to the point she had to be taken to a damn hospital… those poorly trained dogs are scary

  • Token M

    Token M

    September 22nd, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Go to Exposure Therapy!!

  • Ms.Carvberd

    Ms.Carvberd

    December 11th, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    I’m doing a project with my students and this really help! 5 thumbs up!

  • Elizabeth B

    Elizabeth B

    January 17th, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    I FIND IT A DISGRACE THAT ANIMALS ARE NOW GIVEN MORE RIGHTS THAN PEOPLE. The liars of pets being service dogs is out of control. The fact is that people who do have a fear of dogs have rights also. Many Pet people are nuts. I can not tell you how many times I am in Supermarkets where my groceries are in the same cart that some pet owner had their dog with dog doo ass on the area I place my food and take home to eat. The worse part is that many pet owners feel they are above it all and that lying about their dogs is fine screw people that fear them or are just not into dog doo and flees and ticks and who knows what viruses they are carrying. PETS ARE YOUR PETS NOT MINE. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO GO TO THE STORE AND NOT HAVE A COLD NOSE SNIFFING AT MY LEG OR STICKING HIS SNOUT UP MY BUTT AND THIS IS NOT EVEN GOING INTO THE MANY MAULING OR CLAW MARKS GOING DOWN YOUR LEG OR HAVING ONE COME FROM NO WHERE WHILE YOU ARE IN A SUPERMARKET CHECK LINE AND SCARE THE **** OUT OF YOU. BOTH THE OWNERS AND THE STORES NEED TO GET TICKETS OR FINE AND BOTH NOT JUST THE OWNER. MANY WEALTHY PEOPLE CAN AFFORD THE FINES, YOU NEED TO GET THE STORES TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND TAKE ACTION IN NOT ALLOWING THEM IN. ATTORNEYS NEED TO BE TO SUE THE **** OUT OF THE STORES AS WELL AS THE OWNERS THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THIS IS GOING TO STOP. YOU ARE ENCOURAGING MAULING BY ALLOWING THIS. I HAVE ACTUALLY HAD A DOG OWNER WHO WAS PEEING ON MY PLANT ON A LEASE ALLOWING IT TO DO SO AND WHEN I SAY “HEY, CUT THAT OUT”. I ALSO STATED I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF THE DOGS WERE IN HIS YARD AND NOT TAKING A DUMP IN MINE. NO APOLOGIES, HE TOLD THE TOD SIC, THAT REALLY FREAKED ME OUT. HE DID HAVE THE ANIMAL AND IT WAS LEASHED THANK GOD BUT I WAS NOT SURE THAT HE WOULD NOT LET GO OF THE LEASH TO ATTACK. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    May 24th, 2018 at 4:54 PM

    You shouldn’t be afraid of dogs even the ones that are visious that makes them want to be more visious

  • Elizabeth

    Elizabeth

    July 19th, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    I would never heat an animals unless it was attaking me and then I would kill in self defense. IF YOU CAN DO THIS WITH A HUMAN ATTACKING YOU why in the He** should a dog’s owner not only get away with it also the dog not put down. I have no use for people that think dogs walk on water. I understand that pets are pets but keep your pets out of public places. Especially supermarkets and the idiots that have a dog unleashed with a leash in their hand of the leash on the dog and not holding on to it I can only hope the dog gets either run over by a truck or chokes itself on something. People that irresponsible need to have their heads examined and not saying or doing anything about it only brings more $$$$ for the coffers of Pet***** and other filthy rich industries more paid commercial time to brainwash.

  • ELIZABETH

    ELIZABETH

    July 19th, 2018 at 5:56 PM

    HOW ABOUT AN EDIT. I DON’T USUALLY PROOF MY SPELLING AND SENTENCE FORM UNTIL I REREAD WITH A RESPONSE. By that time it seems there is no edit once the comment hits the site. Any reason for this. I did enjoy most of the “What Is Cynophobia? article. Most of it I can relate to however I find it very presumptuous on anyone’s part to imply that I should have to be treated. How Is Cynophobia Treated? In my perseption my fears are justified and I have no intention of trying to do the recommended to cure the phobia. I have rights as a human. So please take not it is your pet and not mine and I find it annoying that any dog person think I should have to take any lessons or therapy perhaps dog people should take therapy and be made to understand I am not to be subjected to you vicious mutts (fleas, ticks, God only knows what other diseases) and do not even get me started on cleaning you dog’ doo in my yard. QUOTE: Like other phobias, cynophobia can be effectively treated through a combination of therapy and relaxation techniques. Some people also find that hypnotherapy is helpful. It is particularly important for people with this phobia to have positive experiences with well behaved, friendly dogs. In the early stages of treatment, general exposure to dogs can backfire if the person with the phobia has a frightening experience”. END QUOTE.

  • anon

    anon

    July 21st, 2018 at 5:47 PM

    Elizabeth, please do consider seeking help for cynophobia. You do not mention having been attacked by any of the dogs in your posts, yet you seem very traumatized by your experiences of things like having seen a dog urinate on a plant in front of your home? If you experience this sort of thing as an attack, maybe it would help you to give therapy a chance so that you wouldn’t be so stressed out by dogs out in the world. There are 65 million of them in the USA alone and those numbers increase every year, so they can’t be avoided. You can get help and you *can* feel better about them, though.

  • Elizabeth

    Elizabeth

    July 23rd, 2018 at 7:05 PM

    I mentioned the dog peeing on my plant while the owner stood there with her dog on a leash watching. I have been attacked by several barking dogs for no reason. I DO NOT WANT ANY PART OF THEM at all. As for seeing a shrink, I would see one if I felt it was warranted however me subjecting myself to dogs to overcome my fear of them makes about as much sense to me as my telling you to go play Russian Roulette. I WILL REPEAT I WANT NO PART OF THE OR THE ANNOYING PEOPLE THAT OWN THEM THAT DO NOT CONTROL THEM OR LEASH THEM AND LIE AND SAY THEY ARE SERVICE DOGS. DO US BOTH A FAVOR AND KEEP YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR SELF AS WILL I.

  • Thomas

    Thomas

    October 23rd, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Can someone tell me ways to relax myself and treat me of my Cynophobia?
    Please reply to me because it is very traumatizing whenever i see a dog.

  • Elizabeth

    Elizabeth

    October 24th, 2018 at 8:44 AM

    Dear Thomas,
    I SPEAK for myself and I think in my opinion you should hear me. I for one had a puppy when I was a kid. We as a family had a dog as my children grew up. That was prior to getting bitten and having witnessed a friend being severly bitten not to mention I have very PTSD. Unexpected sounds expecially dogs that are unleashed barking and snarling at me terrorize me. I feel as a human being I should have as much rights as a dog or cat for that matter does. I pay taxes they don’t. I do respect responsible pet owners as a matter of fact find them a blessing considering the MANY idiots that own pets and lie and say they are therapy dogs for what ever. I do not own a pet and want no part of an animal as of the horror experiences I have endured at the cost of other people’s pets. If you were afraid of tranchlers, or snakes why would you want to over come the fear of them and subject yourself to them. Do not even get me started on the flees, ticks, Lyme disease and other nasty things I want know part of including pet people that think the poop doesn’t stick and that it is OK for them to wait till nightfall and allow the dog unleashed to poop in my or their neighbors yard. We have rights too. I think the Ptzmart’s who brain wash pet people and back all the mega $ should be disavowed TV commercial time or at least to one a day. Just because you are either afraid of them or just don’t happen to be into dog poop, barking, getting mauled does not mean you should conform to the idiots (NOT all) that own dogs and think they are above it all. Stick to your guns and be what you are. I sincerely advise to be you and if your not into them speak up and try to aquaint yourself with other like minded people. I think the biggest problem here is that MANY seriel killers are associated with not being pet people and killing them. Well, anytime some smart alex tells me this my immediate response is Oh, I see. And just what would you call HITLER as he was an avid dog love just ask Blonde. I personally feel that if people are allowed to freely IMPOSE on my RIGHTS of not wanting there animal in public restaurants, shopping marts, grocery stores, perhaps we should also allow bow constrictors as pets and maybe if enough dog owners that have leashes on their dogs and just let the animal drag the leash and when asked if they ever heard of leash laws and they point to the leash on the animal without it being held have enough of their pets become bow-burgers they will pick up on the pain and fear we experience. My advice Be you.

  • HFcht

    HFcht

    December 6th, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    I got my leg bit by a German shepherd
    Lol,idk why I’m laughing,i wats the one bothering it

  • athea m. a.

    athea m. a.

    March 3rd, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    I know I’ll get a barrage of emails excoriating me for this, but I don’t believe fear and disgust toward dogs is abnormal. What’s abnormal is the desire to be with them, touch them, sleep with them, kiss them….and god-only-knows what some people do with them besides all that. It’s a sickness of people who have problems relating to their own species as best as I can tell.

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