Cynophobia: Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of Dogs

by Pets

Cynophobia is defined as a persistent and irrational fear of dogs, which can affect daily life. It is a combination of the Greek words “cyno” meaning dog and “phobia” meaning fear. The phobia can cause many physical and emotional symptoms that can vary from person to person.

Symptoms of Dog Phobia

Dog phobia can be complicated to live with as they are common in daily life. The physical symptoms include difficulty breathing, accelerated heartbeat, chest pain or tightness, shaking, headache or dizziness, stomach aches, sweating, hot flashes, or chills. Emotional symptoms include panic or anxiety, the desire to escape fear-provoking situations, feeling like you’re going to faint or die, and feeling powerless over the fear.

Children may also exhibit symptoms such as tantrums, crying, clinging to their parents, or staying close to them.


If you suspect that you or a loved one is fearful of dogs and it affects daily life, try to identify when the fear started. Symptoms must be present for at least six months for a fear to be diagnosed as a phobia. It would help to observe yourself and answer questions like whether you’ve had a bad experience with dogs in the past, if someone close to you has dog phobia or if you’ve heard negative things. It will help both you and the specialist you will meet.


If the fear of dogs is causing you to avoid going to parks or places where dogs are present, it may be time to seek professional help. However, there are ways to overcome your fear by yourself, which include:

1. Overcome Bad Experiences with Dogs

If you’ve had a bad experience with dogs, try to communicate with them instead of running away from them. You may seek the help of close friends who have docile dogs.

2. Educate Yourself

If you have cynophobia, educate yourself, and read everything you can about dogs. Try to know them better as getting to know how rare it is to be bitten by them can help you overcome your fear.

3. Seek Professional Help

If you cannot cope, seeking professional help is the best option. Behavioral cognitive therapies or meeting psychotherapists can yield positive results in treating phobias.

You may be interested in: Are you a cat person or a dog: Which animal you like more may have clues about your personality

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