Cynophobia is the excessive fear of dogs. It is a fairly common phobia, along with snake and spider phobias. Cynophobia can interfere with your daily life, as it is fairly common to encounter a dog than most other animals. Those who have this phobia will often barricade themselves to their homes and will often avoid the outdoors as much as possible to avoid an encounter with a dog.
Symptoms of Cynophobia
There are many signs when cynophobia arises. Symptoms include:
- - Dizziness
- - Excessive sweating
- - Breathlessness
- - Nausea
- - Heart palpitations
- - Dry mouth
- - Inability to think or speak clearly
- - Fear of dying
- - Anxiety
- - Shakiness
Causes of Cynophobia
This phobia is most commonly caused by a negative experience with a dog, usually during childhood. The experience can range from being bombarded by an overactive puppy, getting growled at by a large dog or being attacked by a dog. Large dogs commonly make more of an impact on a child’s life due to their size, even if there isn’t an attack. In addition, the negative experience may not have affected you directly. For example, many parents will warn their children about approaching strange dogs, and the child may become fearful of dogs over time. If a parent or someone close to you is attacked by a dog, this could contribute to cynophobia as well.
Treatment of Cynophobia
Treatment is usually necessary for those who suffer from cynophobia due to the fact that dogs are a common household pet to have. There are many treatment options available to break free from the fear, and all treatments for cynophobia are focused on redirecting your unconscious mind in order to let go of the fear. The goal of treatment is to use steps and procedures that force your mind into thinking negatively about dogs. For those who would prefer to treat themselves, there are in-home treatment programs and packages available. This allows you to work at your own pace in the privacy of your own home. Other treatments, such as private sessions, group sessions and one-on-one sessions are available as well. Behavioral treatments such as systematic desensitization have also been found to be successful. This treatment option is most commonly used to treat phobias or extreme fear. It will induce relaxation and allow the patient to cope with cynophobia.
Cynophobia is a real but treatable condition and you shouldn’t have to suffer from it any longer. Seeking help is a step in the right direction if you want to break free from your phobia.
- Cynophobia Release – Gives information on cynophobia treatments
- About Cynophobia – Gives information on cynophobia
- Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders – Provides information on systematic desensitization