For someone with a fear of dogs, the idea that, no matter how calmly you behave, a dog can detect your emotions, and will act aggressively towards you if you feel afraid, is a truly terrifying thought.
So, can dogs smell fear, and is there any truth to the notion that dogs will be aggressive towards a person who is feeling afraid?
The ‘gold standard’ psychological treatment for animal phobias, like cynophobia, is a type of behaviour therapy known as exposure therapy.
In exposure therapy, the individual is assisted by an experienced clinician to approach the object or situation that they fear while being coached on how to deal with their anxiety.
Most parents understand that, in order to help their child overcome their fear of dogs, they need to help their child face their fear.
We’ve made a list of 10 things you can do to make this process easier, gentler and more effective, to help your child overcome their fear of dogs.
Rebecca contacted us in mid-2017 to enquire about getting treatment for her severe phobia of dogs, which was causing her a lot of distress and seriously impacting on her quality of life.
After completing the cynophobia treatment program, she was able to walk comfortably in an off-leash dog-park and interact confidently with dogs for the first time in her life.