So many of us regard dogs as one of our best friends. More often than not, they’re loveable and incredibly affectionate. Sadly for some, however, they have an extreme fear of dogs. The fear of dogs, otherwise known as Cynophobia is very common amongst children. So, how can we overcome the fear of dogs?
Slowly Introduce your Child
Pet brand Raised by Humans has recommended that children are slowly introduced to dogs. If you have a friend who you know has a particularly friendly dog, you could introduce your child to that dog so they understand that they’re nothing to be scared of! It’s best to do it in a not so intimate environment. So, maybe a walk in the park, where, if your child does become too scared, you can take them away. Keeping the dog on a lead ensures they can’t get too excited. Just having your child walking alongside them, helping them to realise they’re nothing to be scared of! The ideal dog would be a small puppy, so your child doesn’t feel intimidated by their size. This is the first step in your child overcoming their Cynophobia!
Expose them to other Dogs
Once they’ve been exposed to one dog, you can slowly start introducing other dogs into their lives. If you start with a puppy, then a less excitable adult dog could be your next step. By this point, hopefully your child will start to feel more confident around our furry friends. Over time, further exposure to other breeds of dogs will help your child’s confident massively.
Allow Them to Walk a Dog
This is another step which should help them to overcome their fear. Actually letting them walk a dog will show them that there’s nothing to be scared of! Naturally, other dogs will wander over and be intuitive so they’ll get used to other dogs at the same time. If it becomes too much you can take the lead off them. This is a big step but once they’ve been exposed to other dogs, they should be able to start feeling confident enough to take the lead, even if it’s only for a brief period of time. You could even take them to a pet parade or dog competition, where they can walk around and see all the dogs on show and get used to them being around.
How do you know your child has Cynophobia?
According to Psycom, there are a number of symptoms of Cynophobia. They are as follows:
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Crying or screaming
If your child displays any of the above symptoms when around dogs, then it’s highly likely they have Cynophobia. The above suggestions should help them to slowly overcome their phobia. Like any phobia, it’s a slow process to overcome it but it will come in time. With our suggestions, your child should be phobia free! If you have any ideas then feel free to comment below, I’m always open to hearing your suggestions.
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post.