How to Not be Scared of Dogs [12 tips to Reduce the Stigma]

So I was walking in the street when I saw stray dogs on the corner. As a cynophobe, I remembered how scared I was to pass through them (glad I’m not in that part of my life anymore). So I wondered how many cynophobes had the same problem as me? I guess I need to share how I did it and share some helpful information and tips I’ve gathered to not be scared of dogs.

Here is a list of tips you could do to lessen your fear of dogs.

  1. Believe that you can improve
  2. Have the Desire to Improve
  3. Know the Cause of your Fear
  4. Expect the Fear to Come before it Happens
  5. Learn to calm yourself
  6. Be rational
  7. Know that Dogs Sniff to know who you are
  8. Do not Show Fear
  9. Do not Freak Out
  10. Do not look at their eyes directly
  11. Do it gradually
  12. Learn that they are man’s best friend 🙂

To bring to short answer, the key to remove the fear from dogs is to know the main source of your fear of dogs. The anticipation and the practice of calmness will do its job.

While I’m not 100% cured of this phobia (which is why I still tell people that I’m scared), I’m not the same as I am before. I used to be so scared that I will walk the other street even if I have to walk a kilometer (about 0.6miles) farther.

So with my concern that a lot of people like me who is scared of dogs are having the same trouble, I thought that I should share with people the things I learned and thoughts as I went through the journey to finally almost free myself from the great fear of dogs. Which I hope will help the others in their journey as well.

To be honest with you, we do not like it. We do not like being scared of dogs. However, it is a trauma that can we can not do anything about.

But good news! I am going to share with you guys what I did to break this weights that prevent me from having a life feeling free.

Did you know that I started this blog because of my desire for self improvement? I started a 90 day quit gaming challenge, which gave me a lot of time to start earning money online.

Know This First

Know this first before starting the journey of removing your fear of dogs

Before starting this journey, you should know this one thing.

Most of the time, dogs are also scared of you. It is natural for dogs to be scared of humans.

This is not always the case, but for most of the time, it is true.

The reason for dogs to cause harm is usually to protect themselves. Which means that aggressive behavior such as looking directly at their eyes will cause them to be cautious.

Also, they do smell fear. They don’t like it because they will be cautious of you just because you are not acting normal.

Moral of the story, act normal. Learn to calm yourself down. If you have to mediate just to calm yourself down, do it.

If you are really nervous and really in need of meditation, I myself used this program. Great for beginners and the best part is it did its best to incorporate meditation into my daily habit. Master Your Mind by Giovanni Dienstmann

How do you start the journey to remove the fear of dogs?

Now that you understand that dogs actually fear us humans, you now need to know the first thing you have to do to be able to remove this fear.

What it is? It is actually simple.

Know that you can improve. 

There is no reason to cure if you do not have the will and the desire to remove this fear. Know that you can improve.

I gradually reduced my phobia. If I can, so can you.

Do not be discouraged at first. We need to increase your motivation to be successful in this journey.

Now, have you accepted that you can improve? Do you have the desire to improve? If the answer is yes, let’s go with the next important one.


How I found my root cause of Fear on Dogs?

I remember clearly those times where I am extremely scared of dogs. Since I do not know what causes this, I do not know why I am scared of dogs.

To be honest, that time, I just accepted that I’m scared of dogs. Period. (Do not do this)

Thus, since I just accepted the fact that maybe it is innate to me that I’m scared of dogs, and there is nothing I can do about it. I just avoided them all throughout.

One day, well it is normal for the people in school to bully you since you’re scared of dogs. You friends will make fun of you with their dog, heck even your girlfriend or boyfriend will force you to take care of their dog.

I realized that I can’t stay away from dogs forever.

Gladly, one day, my mother was telling stories on how I started to get scared of dogs.

It turns out that my fear of dogs started when I was a baby.

I was petting a dog when suddenly, it barked at me  so strong that it caused me to fear dogs for a long time.

I analyzed the situation and kept imagining how it might have happened to my head. I do not have memories when I’m a baby. You can’t blame me for that.

Then I suddenly realized: “If the dog barked at me which caused me to develop a fear of dogs, then isn’t my fear of dogs came from their bark?”

I tested it, I played dogs barking on my computer. Oh yes that is the case. I felt fear the moment I heard a bark.

That moment, I found out which specific thing I’m scared of. It is not the dog. It is their bark.

Now, you’ve heard my story on how I found out my cause of fear. It is time for me to share with you how to find the cause of your fear. So here are some of the usual cause of fear that I can think of so you can check with yourself what it really is that you are scared of.

What are the usual causes of Fear of Dogs?

It is because of

1. Trauma

Yes, trauma. It could be like how I got this fear. It doesn’t matter to what degree or how extreme the trauma is. A trauma is a trauma. It could be from a simple bark to a dog bite. Here are the two possible types of trauma you might be having.

  • You yourself – It might be a trauma that happened to you. Like me, the dog barked at me directly. I got scared that I grew up scared of dogs.
  • Other People – For some other people, the fear came from seeing a scenario where other people got bitten by a dog, or whatever the dog did that placed an emotional fear to their heads. It happens to people, it might have been the cause for you.

2. Lessons from Family

Family is a big part of our life. Their influence in our life is always so big that sometimes, the fear comes from them.

For example, by simply hearing your parents asking a friend: “Does your dog bite?” or telling their child “Do not come near that dog! They’re scary.” or you have a cynophobe parent. These strong emotions of fear could come.

It happens, this might be the case for you. Find the specifics.

Have a self assessment to find the root cause of your fear

It is not because

Now, these could not be the cause. A phobia came from something. Some people making fun of cynophobes or maybe themselves think of these are their problem.

Newsflash: They’re NOT

1. We just want to

No we do not want to be scared of dogs. We want to be free from this phobia. Life is much more fun without the fear.

2. We are born with it

No, we are not born with it. There has to be a real cause. You need to find it our yourself.

Ask yourself why you became scared of dogs, this is very important. Find the root cause.

What to do to remove this fear?

Dogs waiting for me

Now that we’ve discussed the causes of fear in dogs, how do we remove them?

By now, you might already have an idea of where I am going with this. So here are my tips to use it to your advantage.

Remember to take them all down and remember to apply them every time.

Believe that you can improve

Knowing the root cause of your fear or whatever remedy you do will not work, if you do not believe you can improve.

As a quote by one of my favorite book author Napoleon Hill: “Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.”

This is very powerful and sometimes the start of your journey to remove your fear of dogs. Believe you can live a life without that fear.

As I told my story above, the reason why it took me almost 20+ years to figure out I can remove my fear of dogs is the moment I believed I can do it.

The moment you know you can remove that fear means that you have taken one of the most important step in removing this fear.

Have the Desire to Improve

Now that you have believed in your abilities to improve, the next big thing is to have an INTENSE DESIRE to remove this fear.

Desire can trample fear. In fact, desire can be the opposite of fear.

For me, my desire to get out of this rot and to get along with people triggered me to do whatever it takes to improve.

By looking at this blog, I think you already have the desire to remove the fear. Amplify it. Believe you can and you will attract it.

That’s how the law of attraction works.

I know it sounds dumb but without the desire, you will not have the COURAGE to face your fear as I was before. Go get it! You can surely win over your fear.

Know the Cause of your Fear

As I said, now that you believe the cause of your fear, and you have the desire and courage to face it.

The next big thing that I focused on even before writing these tips is to know the root cause of your fear.

When you play darts to aim to hit the target. When you play basketball, you aim to shoot the rim.

In curing your phobia in dogs, you need to know the target on the root cause of your fear.

Without it, there is no way you could cure it. It is like shooting a basketball without the ring.

There should always be a target and knowing your fear is the goal.

Now, to the next step.

Expect the Fear to Come before it Happens

I really like the basketball metaphor. Let me continue.

Now that you have the target, anticipate when you hit the target.

Expectation is one of the most powerful thing you have at your disposal.

Just when the three is going to land, you know that your fear will strike. You know because you know the trigger.

Once you’ve expected it, prepare to fight.

“Proper preparation leads to great performance.”

For me, If I expect the dog to bark, It would not be a problem anymore. Why? Because I know it is coming and I’ve prepared myself to handle it.

Same goes for you.

Find the root cause, use your desire to change and prepare when it comes and you will be armed with protection on fear.

Learn to calm yourself

This is the same with expecting the fear will come.

You are expecting it right? Here is the thing. I don’t know but I think dogs can smell fear.

That’s why you need to learn to calm yourself down.

The reason you are expecting and preparing for the trigger is to calm yourself down.

I know that this is really hard to do especially if your fear is big but if you practice this every time, it will go better along the way.

Just remember that showing fear will usually make things harder. So prepare yourself, always remember to calm down and do not amplify the situation.

Be rational

I’m a very big victim of this. I know since you also have the same fear as I am, you do too.

Whenever a dog looks at me and starts barking, there are times that my rational thought will flat-line.

What I mean by this is that I will start to overthink that the dog will bite me and I will be taken to the hospital taking some shots.

In short, my brain goes to an overdrive because of fear.

Let me simplify it for you guys,

It just makes thing worst. Remember that it does nothing good. Over thinking like that brings no good to anyone especially to yourself.

Fear will just increase if you overthink. Just don’t.

Additional Tips

Those are the important steps. However, I can’t seem to let these tips go too since these tips are also very important. Keep them in mind if you want to succeed in this.

Know that Dogs Sniff to know who you are

Yikes! Definitely one of the things that I was 100 scared of.

However, I noticed that they smell you if they meet you the first time.

Remember this. Do not show any fear. Do your best to do it casually. As with people, your first impression on dogs also lasts.

just let them smell you, do not move if you can and it will be over. Alright? 🙂

Do not Show Fear

I told you they smell fear right?

Letting them know you fear them makes a snowball well… a bigger snowball.

There is nothing worse than amplifying the cause of your fear. If you do not want that, then do not show fear.

That is the reason I told you to learn the root cause and anticipate the fear. Be prepared before it strikes.

Do not Freak Out

Same with the last one but worse.

Meditate and control. Do not overthink.

Do not look at their eyes directly

Looking at their eyes is usually a trigger.

Stay away from looking at their eyes. i also notice that they can see fear in your eyes. SO DO NOT LOOK AT THEM DIRECTLY.

Alright? 🙂

Do it gradually

Now that you know how to gradually remove your fear of dogs, remember to do it gradually. You do not need to rush things out.

For example, if you are really scared of dogs (Maybe a lot greater than mine). You might want to start looking at dog videos or movies online.

After that, you might opt to go to a puppy store.

Do it gradually, going for the big and scary ones might even add gas to a flame. Get the hang of it.

Slowly increase the rate of your interaction with dogs. Maybe 30 minutes everyday, then 1 hour until you feel comfortable with them.

Same as practicing the anticipation of your fear, calming yourself and being rational all the time. It won’t be perfect but hang on to those principles every time you can. It will get better I promise.

It is not a race so take your own pace. The most important thing is you are always trying. Remember how I said desire is important? Use that to continue on your journey.

Learn that they are the Man’s best friend

There is a reason why most people love them.

They are lovable beings. As a cynophobe, I am not joking.

You’ll soon notice that they aren’t that bad and that is when your fear level will drop to a level you can casually interact with them.

But don’t go overboard and pet every dog on earth.

Well at least not for me.

Final Verdict

These are the things I’ve done and the experiences I’ve got on my journey to remove my fear of dogs.

I promise you that it would be worth it once you’ve reached the level where you are not overthinking when dogs go near.

I hope that I helped someone with these tips.

As always, this is just from my experience and knowledge only. If you have more tips, feel free to share them down below. Who knows? If I like the tip, i might add it on the list above. 🙂

And if you have questions and want to contact me? Just comment down below. I will do my best to answer your questions.


Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned with people and makes videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on

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