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Featured How to overcome dog phobia

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Ephraim Becker, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    How do I overcome dog phobia? I have a friend in my criteria that just called me that he wants me to come to his house someday and he has other friends that’s also in my criteria but they have huge dogs.
     
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  2. HeroOfHyrule

    HeroOfHyrule Chicken Chaser

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    Why are you scared of dogs? Is it just overall inexperience, or did you have a bad experience with a dog before?
     
  3. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm just scared that a dog would bite me
     
  4. Penumbra

    Penumbra New Member

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    I'm curious about how you'd handle this too. I have a dog and I have no idea how I'd introduce her to someone with a fear of dogs. I've never had a reason to, but I can try to think of possibilities.

    If your fear is biting, maybe ask a lot of questions about specific dogs. Some dogs, like some people, can be untrustworthy. But others are harmless. If you don't know how to recognize the difference in behavior, maybe ask someone more familiar with that dog. Observing dogs from a distance might also be a safer way to approach the idea before you commit further. They talk more through body language, which isn't always easy to pick up. They will pick up on your body language, though.

    Good luck. I hope it's not too stressful for you in the end. If it becomes too much to deal with, it's no fault of yours.
     
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  5. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    It's possible. The opposite is also true. The 'huge' dogs wont bite you.

    If you're comfortable, explain your fear to your friend. Not in explicit detail. Just the script "I have a phobia about dogs"

    If you (and your dog owning friend) are willing to work through your fear,
    you'll do it slowly and in stages.

    - A dog can pick up when something isn't right.
    If you're terrified,
    your heart rate increases, breathing faster and shallower and your pupils may dilate and you'll be approaching it's owner in that state.
    what's a dog supposed to do with that?

    A well socialised, subservient dog wont do anything at all. May even try to calm you down.

    A slightly nervous dog will be wary.
    It's neither the dogs fault or your own.
    It just is.

    If the dog owning friend doesn't accept your phobia and offer to work with you,
    maybe arrange another meet up when the dogs wont be there?
     
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  6. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My new friend has several friends in his neighborhood that have pets (dogs and cats)
     
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  7. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    I have been bit by dogs twice. Both were small. Not afaird of them. More worried I will mistreat them somehow.
     
  8. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    @Ephriam Becker

    Do you know the difference in body language of a happy, relaxed dog compared with a fear-aggressive or dog in a state of high arousal?
     
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  9. Ephraim Becker

    Ephraim Becker Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not really
     
  10. Wolfgangus Faldestolius

    Wolfgangus Faldestolius Little notes from an armchair

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    I long had this "sort of" problem. It's just their sudden intrusion into my space. (And if they bark I just have to grin & bear it.) At long last I've figured out that because they like me, it's all right. Anyway, the ones I know like what / who their owners like them to like. I've always admired dogs without wanting to have one or look after one.

    If it wants to go for your face ask its owner to keep it away. I'm sure he'll understand. Just say their suddenly coming right near alarms you. People could always see if their dogs were alarming me (from my reflexes) and often call them off more than there is need.
     
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  11. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    The aggression ladder shows 10 stages before the dog will bite. Plenty of warnings given.

    C47E5C8F-5ABC-4B76-BAED-E04FA814419F.jpeg F6B776D2-316B-4727-A5EB-37AFFEFE1295.jpeg CE403BA7-2162-44CB-A8CD-4F53BF4F48F4.jpeg
     
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  12. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Happy, relaxed dogs
    DAF1F48B-3743-4D76-BF1A-C2C56CAB8707.jpeg 19BBE10D-6200-4570-AA34-0A440215315B.jpeg C1C9EBD5-A673-4E68-8B2A-437008B2FD46.jpeg
     
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  13. Wolfgangus Faldestolius

    Wolfgangus Faldestolius Little notes from an armchair

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    ears and tail are a guide when they are jumping up. The ones I know are all like the ones Gracey posted. Tail wagging from side to side ALWAYS means relaxed and happy. ears floppy, facing forward, sideways or pointing straight up is always good.

    Their instinct is to welcome us as if we are overgrown puppies or sheep. The majority of dog owners own them for their looking-after-people qualities.
     
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  14. Wolfgangus Faldestolius

    Wolfgangus Faldestolius Little notes from an armchair

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    Also: most dog owners thought their dog licking my face "bad manners" by the dog and it would get a telling off!
     
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  15. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Find a nice calm and gentle dog and get acquainted with that dog first. Also, as others have said get to know a dogs body language. Another thing is that all animals can sense fear (even squirrels). If you show fear to them, or turn your back, and especially run away you have a much higher risk of being attacked by any animal.
     
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  16. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I used to be scared of dogs.
    I will share with you how I got over the fear of them.
    A girl I went to school with had to Jack Russell‘s
    They used to bark at me when I came to the door of the girl I went to school with.
    Once I sat in the lounge and settle down the dogs were okay.
    I think the dogs sense my nerves and didn’t want me to be scared of them.
    I slept over at this girl‘s house and one of the dogs slept in the bed with us that’s helped tremendously.
    Are used to drink a lot of alcohol and was always more confident around dogs when drunk.
    I do not advise drinking alcohol I’ll take on any other drug.
    I now realise the dogs love everyone I’m just want to be friends. Jumping up at you means hello.
    They don’t like to be stared at. Other than the back of your hand to sniff rather than the front of your hands in case they think you will hit them. Just let them sniff you. This sounds mad but talk to them even if only in your head using only positive words such as “Am I safe”
    You might be surprised how the dog responds, never say are you scary? Will you bite?
    Dogs I want the aggressive if they are badly trained.
    One dog ran up to me and bit my hand but I am sure as I was anxious that day about issues the dog picked up on this negative vibration. I said “cheers dog“ and the dog ran away I was not hurt. On the other hand dogs have come and sat by me.
    I would never be within metres of a dog previous because I was so scared now is the dog will let me I am happy to hug them no matter how big they are lovely they love us They love humans.
     
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  17. N2k12

    N2k12 Active Member

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    Be friendly. Introduce yourself to the doggy, let the doggy smell you. Pat the dog. Cuddle it. It helps
     
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  18. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The message to my dog to a scared human is please come down please relax I am safe and I want to be your friend. If I jump off at you this does not mean I will hurt you, if I lick you it means I like you
    Aggressive dogs have aggressive owners.
    Growling dogs have growling owners
    Most dogs are loving because their owners love them.
     
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  19. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I used to be really afraid of spiders. I can actually track that to a specific TV show where a kid got bit by a black widow and almost died. There was no other arthropod I was afraid of, so I was pretty sure this one TV show when I was really young that did it. Just seeing a spider web would cause a fear reaction.

    Survival fears are hard to unlearn. I unlearned spiders by using my rational side to literally beat the fear down. There are only a couple species to worry about in the US. So I focused on being able to identify widows and recluses and acclimated myself to other spiders literally by hanging out with them. Now I love spiders in general and don't mind getting really close to get a photo. Even recluses and widows and tarantulas don't scare me anymore because I understand them. (Glad I'm not in Australia. They have really serious spiders.)

    I think the fear of dogs may have roots dating back long before homo sapiens even existed. Dire wolves and other predatory canines looked on humans as competitors and potential meals. But some wolves weren't as afraid of us and some people weren't as afraid of wolves. Our social structures allowed us to form interspecies packs. These managed to set up a mutually beneficial relationship that altered the course of behavioral evolution.

    But the roots of that fear are probably still there, just as every dog still has a bit of timber wolf within.

    It never occurred to me to be afraid of a dog. Or much of any other domesticated animal. I grew up with dogs and cats and horses and there were a few chickens and cows along the way. If I could read people like I can read a dog, I wouldn't need a forum like this. They are my truest friends.

    I recommend gradual acclimatization. Find someone who trains dogs for a living. Someone who does relationship-based training and ask if they can help you overcome your fears. Avoid people who do dominance-based or negative reinforcement training like the plague. Therapy dogs and service dogs are probably safer than most people, so that is another route. As soon as you start having positive experiences with dogs the new memories will start to overwrite the negative fears you've fostered.
     
  20. Bibliophile715

    Bibliophile715 Host - first system member - any pronouns

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    When I was younger I was afraid of german shepherds for a bit because I saw them guarding prisons and such on tv. I got over this somehow but I think it took me multiple years to I think. Anyway I'm not afraid of dogs in general but I don't like it if one jumps up on me because I have really sensitive arms. Never been bit though but I really don't like it if they lick my face as one did because I look similar to a cousin of mine and it was the cousin's dog.

    Anyway dogs can be really scary sometimes, like I still may jump if one barks outside really loudly because I am easily startled by loud noises. But most of the times I have interacted with dogs, they haven't harmed me. I know they won't seek to harm me unless they are provoked as the majority of the ones I have encountered are either occupied doing something such as walking or sitting in a home if they are at someone else's home. Excited dogs may jump up on someone, bark, or run around feet a lot and that's how I can tell that they are excited.

    As someone who has suffered a lot of anxiety in the past (as well as anxiety/panic attacks), what sometimes helps is to think of something else I extremely like (could be anything) so I won't get as anxious or afraid of something. This doesn't always work, but most times it helps me a little.