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How to Get Over Your Fear of Dogs

written by: Nicky LaMarco • edited by: jen2008 • updated: 10/26/2010

No matter what the phobia it is inconvenient, unfortunate, and disturbing to the sufferer. A fear of dogs, or cynophobia, is especially troublesome because dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world. It is important to learn how to get over your fear of dogs. There are many options.

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    Hypnotherapy

    how to get over fear of dogs Under this method a trained hypnotherapist puts you under and eases your fear by replacing it with a calm idea of dogs so that when you see one the typical reactions (sweating, breathlessness, etc.) is alleviated. Hypnotherapy can also unlock how the phobia originated in the first place which can help you work through the initial incident that caused the fear. Hypnotherapy can take place in person and sometimes even over the phone. Downloads of Mp3s leading you through hypnotherapy can also be purchased in stores and online, to be played as you sleep or during your day.

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    Exposure therapy

    To learn how to get over your fear of dogs exposure therapy, a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, can be very useful. It’s based on the theory that our thoughts cause our behaviors and feelings. A therapist takes you step-by-step through your thought process and healing each one, helping to working through the genesis and subsequent actions based on a phobia. In this therapy patients are also asked to be around dogs and confront their fears.

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    Systematic Desensitization Therapy

    In this form of therapy a patient is asked to visualize a phobic situation and as they exhibit the signs of suffering from phobia the therapist coaches them through. Patients learn techniques on how to deal with their fear of dogs and hopefully learn to cope. Different techniques include rhythmic breathing, therapy continues until the patient no longer has an anxious response. This type of therapy is also called virtual reality therapy, theory being that merely imaging being around a fear and conquering it can lead to the patient to learn how to get over their fear of dogs.

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    Self Help

    There are many books, e-books, audio books, and references online to help individuals get over their fear of dogs. Some people even force themselves to be around dogs in order to desensitize themselves. Usually this type of therapy starts with the phobic person looking at pictures of dogs, from small dogs graduating to larger dogs or the ones the patient finds most menacing. Next step is being in the same vicinity as a dog. Slowly the patient works toward being able to pet a dog and spend time with one without the normal phobic responses.

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    Research Treatments

    It is very important to research the different therapies to learn how to get over your fear of dogs. It should be a treatment you feel comfortable with because it is important to be as relaxed as possible treating a phobia. There are many dogs in the world and holding on to phobic actions can be very difficult. Cynophobia can be debilitating. Find the best Cynophobia treatment for you.

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    Resources

    "Facing a Fear of Dogs", published by Xomba

    "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy", published by the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (NACBT) Online Headquarters