Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fear of Dogs

Have you ever had a house guest or visitor that was afraid of your dog?

Fear of dogs is very common regardless of whether the dog is big or small.

Big dogs can be scary for obvious reasons - they're strong, they have big teeth, and they may even jump on your guests. Despite their diminutive size, small dogs can be scary too. They can pack an awful lot of noise and energy in such a little package! They move quickly and their bark can be just as loud as a big dog's bark!

Fear of dogs is very common and it can occur on various levels. A mild fear may simply cause someone to avoid walking close to dogs, or perhaps they will freeze up a bit when they see a dog. In more extreme cases, a fearful person may feel panic, terror or anxiety. This type of person may tremble and experience rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath. These people go to great lengths to avoid any type of contact with dogs. This exaggerated fear of dogs is called Cynophobia.

Luckily, most people experience a milder fear of dogs rather than Cynophobia itself. So for these people, there's an easier solution to help alleviate their fears when they enter your home.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Tell your guests that you have a dog before they come over - just in case they're fearful or even if they have allergies. This way, their expectations can be set up front.

2. Walk the dog before your guests arrive or let him run around in the backyard so he can exert some energy.

3. When your guests arrive, put your dog in a confined area and give him some good toys to keep him occupied. That way, he will focus his attention on the toys, not on your guests. This should help your company feel more relaxed as well.

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