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How to Handle Your Dog Around People With Dog Phobias

How to Handle Your Dog Around People With Dog Phobias

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It doesn't matter how loving and nice your dog is; there will always be those who are terrified of it. Cynophobia (the fear of dogs) affects one in three persons with an animal-related phobia1.

. What should you do if you and your dog come across someone like this while out and about with your pet? The presence of your dog may be a source of anxiety for this individual.

In the presence of people who are afraid of dogs, what should you do with your pet?

When it comes to dealing with individuals who are terrified of your dog, normal public manners is a good place to start. When walking their dog in public, dog owners should observe a few basic etiquette rules.

Maintain Control of Your Dog at All Times. It is courteous to have your dog on a leash and under control in public places, even if they have a perfect recall (they come to you when called). Leashes that are not retractable are preferable. Having a retractable leash does not mean a dog has good self-control if it is permitted to run freely toward an unfamiliar person. Using a retractable leash to manage a dog is really fairly tough. Retractable leashes, contrary to their name, cannot be easily retracted until the dog is approaching the person holding the leash. That's why it's stressful for the dog, the handler, and anybody else who the dog could be racing toward if the handler has to tug on the leash to get him back. Using a long lead might provide your dog some freedom if they have a good recall and are accustomed to a large yard.


Make sure you don't assume everyone wants to meet your pet. People and dogs alike may not want to meet your dog, even though your dog is friendly and enjoys meeting new people. As a general rule, it's better to be safe than sorry. Allow others and their dogs to be themselves and avoid making an effort to meet strangers. Allow your dog to meet visitors if someone asks if they can say hello to them or if their pet can say hello to you.


Use Specific Indicators and/or Redirection to Help You. Using obedience instructions or signals that your dog should be familiar with will help you deal with people who are afraid of dogs when out walking. During the person's stroll by, instruct your dog to sit and observe you. You may re-direct your dog to walk in the other direction if there is an alternate route or if your dog is reactive or exuberant and does not yet have a dependable "sit and watch."


Bring some tasty rewards for your dog's training. In the minds of many dog trainers, it is possible to teach your dog at any time of day or in any location, private or public. Training your dog in public places is a terrific idea. A "sit and watch" or "leave it" cue is most useful in noisy, busy public areas. If your dog is clicker-trained, bring along training goodies and even your clicker to praise your dog when they perform well in public.


What's the reason someone wouldn't want to meet you and your pet?

Keeping in mind that everyone has a unique narrative is essential. People may be afraid of dogs for a variety of reasons. There may be a post-traumatic response2 in someone who was previously bitten by a dog1. They may be scared of the breed of dog that attacked them, or they may have extended their dread to all dogs. Dogs may frighten autistic persons, as well as those with sensory problems. People with sensory sensitivities may find it difficult to interact with certain dogs, particularly those who are eager to meet new people.


They don't intend any harm to you or your dog if they are afraid or uncomfortable with pets. They may not be allowed to go past your dog or be in the same area as your dog, but they may feel more comfortable if you keep your dog calm and in control in front of them. Don't forget to take care of the dog's demeanour when it comes to those who have a dog fear.