According to the dictionary, “Cynophobia” is the irrational fear of dogs. It is my hope that those who fear dogs will read this article.
The dog is barking “Yippeee! The mailman is coming!” Every day at this time, the mail arrives and the dog announces how bad he wants to chase the poor mailman. Are all mailmen the targets of dogs? No, but there are a few that probably get grief from the neighbor’s dog.
Let’s look at it through the eyes of someone who is afraid. Walking along the sidewalk by a fence, suddenly this dog appears out of nowhere barking and startles this person. They immediately fall off the sidewalk and “BAM!”, they are hit by a car. No one saw that coming, huh? This would most likely be written off as an accident, then again maybe not.
So, why be scared? Where does this inner fear reside? Is it a traumatic experience that was endured? While we consider those questions, let us look at what the dog is thinking. Using the same scenario from above, the dog runs at the person through the fence and just like that, they jump off the sidewalk. What does the dog do? Looks at the scene, sniffs and walks away. He was doing what was natural.
Alright, now someone sees a dog running their way. It is barking with eyes locked on that person. They tense up, wanting to run but they know the dog will catch them. So, what do they do? They don’t run! Standing their ground, they make their body appear as large as possible. Pointing a finger, they boom the word “GET!” Now watch the body language of the dog. The dog falters and slows, becoming uncertain. This is where they reinforce their command with determination saying “GET!” again. This time the dog stops. Stomping their foot, by stepping toward the dog, they repeat the word “GET!” with all their being. The dog turns away with its tail tucked. Whew! That was a teaching moment.
Another example has occurred when Zues and I have been in Walmart or other stores, and there were people who were afraid of Zues. Some screamed and ran away, and Zues paid them no mind. It is sad they allow that fear to rule them.
Dogs sense when there is fear. If someone is scared, then a dog will sense there is something wrong, and in turn can become fearful of the one who is scared. Dogs are not mind readers, but they will protect themselves or their family from a threat. This is how some dog bites happen. When someone is bitten, find out what happened, and don’t assume it’s the dog’s fault.
Lastly, allow me to extend a helping hand to you who are afraid. Call and meet with me or come up to Zues and me wherever you see us. I will be glad to help you get past your fear. The only promise I want from you is for you not to “stroke out” on me!
“Remember to love your dogs because they love you. Maybe not the way you want them to, like chewing up your favorite shoes or what not, but that is just love chewing. Be thankful for the time you have with them always.”