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To ask how I can overcome my fear of dogs

(17 Posts)
SilkObsidian Mon 07-Mar-16 19:48:52

Nearly had a panic attack in park today.

There were dogs off the lead everywhere. Running, chasing, bounding along the paths. My walk took 2hours instead of 30mins because every time I saw a loose dog ahead I had to switch to a different path. I ended up trundling over the muddy grass with pram blush

At one point a Labrador came to sniff my ankles (no owner in sight) and I nearly had a panic attack sad

How do I get over this?

hiddenhome2 Mon 07-Mar-16 20:28:05

I think most people would feel unhappy about that scenario tbh. I don't mind dogs, but I'm wary of them and wouldn't be happy if lots were running around in a random and uncontrolled way.

If it's really affecting you then you would need therapy for your phobia.

Have you ever been bitten or attacked by one?

greypinkandpurple Mon 07-Mar-16 20:30:05

Try to stay calm keep safe distance especially from those who you wouldn't
Try to get close to the ones you know or friendly ones
Try to talk to as many dogs owners as you can just to get used to them (dogs not owners obviously grin)
Fear of dogs can be quite difficult
It should get better with time just try not to put yourself in situations where you will be terrified of them because one accident like that will take you mile back
You can beat it , good luck

ShamefulPlaceMarker Mon 07-Mar-16 20:59:35

Why do you have a fear?

The only bad experience I have had with a dog is walking through a darm on a public footpath, there is a farm collie which just runs and barks at you. This is the only time I'm afraid of dogs.m, and I own one myself!

ShamefulPlaceMarker Mon 07-Mar-16 21:00:24

Darm = farm

Owllady Mon 07-Mar-16 21:02:34

I have a dog and have always had them actually and I would never let my dog either
A) go out of sight
B) run up and pester a woman with a baby in a pram!
I know you are saying you have a phobia, but this doesn't sound like a very nice environment to be in anyway.

CerseiHeartsJaime4ever Mon 07-Mar-16 21:15:10

why do you have a fear?

Why does anyone fear anything? Some dogs can be dangerous, mostly not but who can tell. I have a fear of dogs too - never been hurt or attacked, I just don't like their unpredictability!

OP, do you have a friend with a known to be nice dog, who might be small, who you can spend some time with? My mums dog has helped my fear as he is very gentle.

ouryve Mon 07-Mar-16 21:20:17

I quite like dogs, but hate them running around, out of control, where there's lots of people and especially hate them running at me.

Do you have a friend with a gentle dog? If willing, it might be helpful to spend some time with that dog and just get used to being in its company, just have it sitting in the same room as you, and so on.

YesILikeItToo Mon 07-Mar-16 21:23:27

Get your face tapped. Someone on here know the name of this therapy, it might be called emotional release, I'm not sure. I had my face tapped for a fear of dogs and it changed my life. Don't it up with it - sort it!

ShamefulPlaceMarker Mon 07-Mar-16 21:25:22

cerseil I just wondered whether op had had a bad experience with a dog in the past, which has triggered a fear. I'm not afraid of dogs generally, just ones that bark aggressively at me due to having that bad experience with a farm dog. I've had many dogs run up off the lead when out in the mountains and never thought anything of it.
I'm scared of cows as had one charge at me. That triggered my fear. I had no fear of them before that.
I just think that something usually triggers the fear.

YesILikeItToo Mon 07-Mar-16 21:25:24

Sorry, that's meant to say Don't put up with it!

MeadowHay Mon 07-Mar-16 21:26:26

As other posters have said, this scenario you describe would make people without a fear of dogs at least a little wary and uncomfortable. I love dogs, and very rarely feel uncomfortable with an interaction with a strange one, but at the end of the day dogs CAN be dangerous and risks are increased when it's a dog you don't know at all, who is far away from an owner, not on a lead, if there are multiple dogs off lead nearby etc. So firstly, cut yourself some slack that you struggled with that situation; you got home in the end. You didn't have a panic attack. You were not hurt, neither was your child. You did it. brew

To get over the fear I would reccomend spending time around dogs of friends or family members, with their owner. Start off with whatever it is that makes you least fearful; are small dogs less 'scary'? Calm dogs? Any particular breeds?

You can also get counselling/CBT for phobias. You could visit your GP and ask them about something on the NHS but I'm not sure about availability for that kind of things, alternatively there will be private practitioners but get references if you want to do that to.

mycatsloveeachother Mon 07-Mar-16 21:26:30

Well, I'm not sure about running around out of control - parks are for everybody, dog owners/walkers as well!

RudeElf Mon 07-Mar-16 21:28:32

I would contact local dog trainers and ask if they would provide sessions with you and their (they usually all have their own dogs) or clients trusted dogs.

Readysteadyknit Mon 07-Mar-16 21:33:50

Can you find somewhere that does treatment for cynophobia? Similar to this but for adults

Paintedhandprints Mon 07-Mar-16 22:02:26

I found watching ceasar milan? dog whisperer (i know his techniques are controversial) gave me some clues as to what to expect from dog behavior and how to react to one jumping at you. Eg turn body slightly and lean forward to put them off balance. I also spent some time qith frirnds who had puppies so got used to those dogs.
Could you perhaps attend some dog training sessions?
I was scared of dogs due to a few trying to bite me as a kid (they were just being friendly apparently hmm). I'm better now, but prefer not to enter their territory (eg homes with strange dogs). I like to get a feel for a dogs temperance first. Also prefer larger dogs to small dogs because small dogs, in my experience, tend to be more bitey.
However, I can now spend time in a park and don't mind loose dogs.

ShamefulPlaceMarker Mon 07-Mar-16 22:15:53

Yes painted I have a large dog and he is much more chilled than any small dog I have ever ever come across.

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