Best and Easy Ways to Overcome Dog Phobia 2018
You probably know someone who lives in constant fear of dogs (Dog Phobia)or says cats or any other animal, or you’ve probably heard of someone who possesses an uncharacteristic fear of the dark or any other phenomenon for that matter. Phobias are a common occurrence and every day we meet people who have phobias.
Global statistics available suggest that an estimated 20% of people around the world have or would in the course of their lives experience specific phobias, even if it happens as a one-time occurrence, in the United States, for example, about 8.7% of people who are eighteen years and older experience extreme specific fear with about twenty-five million Americans report the phobia for flying alone. Surprisingly, the occurrence of phobias is more prevalent in teenagers with females reporting more cases of a phobia than males across all age grades.
Phobias, including dog phobia are unlike the normal fear that we experience in the course of our day-to-day living, phobias come with extreme symptoms such as an intense preoccupation with the object that causes the fear, increased heart rates, dizziness, nausea, and trembling. Quite often phobia symptoms can degenerate so bad that they progress into anxiety attacks. While the specific causes of phobias are still very much unknown, researchers suggest that genetics, specific life events, and culture play contributory roles in the development of phobias, the great part about research into phobias is the development of treatments procedures. All kinds of phobias respond favorably to treatment plans such as the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Cynophobia is a specific phobia better known as dog phobia, while a healthy dose of dog fear is beneficial and helps to protect us, Cynophobia is in no way healthy, it is made distinctive by an irrational, extreme and intense fear of dogs than creates a terrible experience of such lovely animals for the sufferer as it affects and interferes with work, school, and very often, social relationships. The best place to begin overcoming the fear of dogs is in the mind, as this fear is essentially psychological, it is best to help yourself understand that dogs are generally friendly animals and predictable. Other easy ways to overcome dog phobia include:
Stop Avoiding Your Fears
Very much like every other kind of fear, avoiding the object of your fear doesn’t make the fear go away, it simply helps it to grow without your permission or knowledge. The human mind is powerful enough to deal with the fear mentally, imagine the worst possible scenarios of being with a dog and rather than let the negatives overwhelm you, infuse some positive thoughts, so rather than imagine the dog eating you alive, imagine yourself playing catch with a dog. Get familiar with dogs in your mind by gradually changing your beliefs about dogs. Watchdog owners play with their dogs, visit a dog park, watch a movie about dogs, do things that help you vicariously experience dogs in a welcoming way. Once you have successfully mastered the art in your mind, then venture into having physical contact with dogs.
Learn About Dogs and How They Behave
One thing that is common with people with dog phobia is the fact that they claim to never know what to expect from dogs and as such live in constant fear of the unknown, this fear they wear so evidently and in the process send-off alarming and confusing signals. Here are some common body language and reactions you should know about dogs when trying to overcome cynophobia and some you should avoid giving off-
o A dog waggle isn’t always a friendly gesture (dog typically give off friendly signals with low tail wags, often soft, fairly slow, or fast, you would also notice the dog’s butt wiggle when the tails waggles, on the other hand, a stiff, slow and high ended waggle is the dog trying to tell you to back off).
o Take note when a dog freezes up, typically a dog would do a full-body freeze when it is on the defensive and immediately before it barks, lunges at you or attacks. In the same fashion when you freeze up on a dog out of fear, the dog assumes you’re on the defensive and about to attack. It would be helpful to loosen up around dogs, it always helps to give a reasonable distance between you and the dog so that you don’t feel crowded or out of control.
o You know how we are told that staring can be rude and offensive? Dogs believe it too, staring at a dog (which most people do when they are scared) sends off strong and hostile messages to dogs. A typical reaction of fear involves staring intently at the dog, this puts a dog on the defensive and aggressive dogs respond by attacking you, less aggressive dogs would stare back or come closer to investigate. Simply put, your fear and anxious response to being around a dog could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
o Dogs are startled by sudden movements such as withdrawing your hand sharply out of fear when a dog comes close, instinctively a dog would be motivated to follow your hand. You could overcome your fear by dropping treats close to the dog instead of trying to touch one the first time; this helps you build confidence.
Anchoring involves a simple and fast technique; it requires you to tap into your neurology’s automatic system (the system responsible for linking feelings and emotions to experiences that we have). It operates on the principle that for every time a unique experience occurs that initiates an intense emotional state (good or bad), the nervous system creates a link between the exposure and your emotional response. That link is the anchor, in overcoming dog phobia, you would need deliberately create an anchor that you can initiate and control, so you would need to link your interaction with dogs with a potent mixture of calm, pleasant and confident emotions as opposed to the fear.
Applying the anchor stimulus while you think about dogs allows your mind build a new map of emotions and associate them with dogs, your mind can successfully create new neural pathways by attaching new positive emotions in place of the old.
Summarily, a good amount of people with dog phobia react poorly in front of dogs, making them more susceptible, vulnerable or victims unknowingly, it is important to be prepared for dog encounters by taking active steps towards overcoming your fears, this helps to diminish fear and boost confidence levels..