How to tame your friend’s dog when you are a Scared

As someone who is also scared of dogs, there are times that I am forced to stay at a friend’s house and tame their pet. Sometimes, it is a paint to experience these things especially if they think that your phobia is a joke. However, I have overcame this and so could you.

To summarize, the things that can help you tame a dog are the following.

  1. Be open to your friend and ask for help
  2. Let the dog check you out
  3. Slowly and gently touch the dog
  4. Check for signs
  5. Treats

These tips are what I also used to tame other dogs. They are effective and also great for beginners.

I had a lot of experience in these things especially if you are filled with friends who are fond of dogs. Luckily, I have friends who are supportive in me solving my phobia. With their support and tips, I can not tame dogs the same way as people who are not scared of them will. I’m not a dog trainer but at least I have faced my fears with my friends.

Sadly, I know not everyone has that support. So here I am. If you are someone who is scared of dogs and looking for a way to solve these problems, I will be your guy. Furthermore, let me help you more if you are interested in reading my other article on me giving my experience, tips and how to on how to remove the fear of dogs. This will give you a guide on how I, a cynophobe, overcame my fear. These will have a lasting benefit for you if you are interested.

It would also help if you check my other article on what to do if a dog stares at you. It’s a big help to know more about dogs as what we need knowledge in order to conquer our fear.

A beginner s guide on taming a dog
How to tame a Dog

How to tame a Dog

While most how to tame tutorials are focused on the dog itself, this article will focus on you as a cynophobe. I know as a cynophobe how hard it is to tame a dog especially with our condition. But fear not. Here are my tips on how to tame a dog as a cynophobe.

1. Be open to your friend and ask for help

The easy way to get to this is to be open to your friend. This means being open that you are scared of dogs.

Telling them your condition will open a way for them to help you out.

Helping you out gives a lot of benefits. First, they know their dog a lot well than you. Knowing their dog gives a lot of advantage on what to do, what not to do, their likes, dislikes and many more. Second, their dogs respects and trusts them. This means that if the dog sees that their owner trusts you to touch and pet them, they will be more likely to follow your command. This is a very big tip as this alone will solve your problems quickly.

2. Let the dog check you out

This comes as one of the hardest thing for a cynophobe but for a dog, this is actually very big.

Most cynophobes and me particularly am scared when the dog sniffs and smells you. They might even lick your hand. It is normal.

The dog is familiarizing itself to you. Your scent. Just take it as a wave or a shake hands with the dog.

This will also reduce their fear in you. Remember that when taming a dog. Fear is the enemy. When the dog feels fear or threatened, it will cause some aggressive actions which you don’t want.

Remember the secret sauce: DO NOT INSTILL FEAR IN THEM

3. Slowly and gently touch the dog

Now, the dog will start to get familiar with you after sniffing your hand.

Make sure to slowly touch the dog on its shoulders.

DO NOT TOUCH THE HEAD as it sometimes lead them to fear. Do not immediately pat them, just slowly touch them in their shoulders gently.

Remember not to instill fear and do it slowly.

Touching will also give you a sign if the dog is okay with you.

4. Check for signs

This is very important. You must check the dog for signs. Is what you are doing instilling fear? Are they starting to wag its tail? If it starting to like or hate you?

Also remember that you need to show that you are not a threat to them. Remember that dogs are really good in checking out body language as with the research conducted in PLOS ONE, where researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico had a bunch of dogs sit in an MRI machine to know what happens to their brain when looking at the people and the answer might surprise you.

50 pictures of different humans and 50 more inanimate objects where shown to these dogs and their brains are scanned. It is shown in the study that dogs tend to understand what people are thinking. They are really good in  reading facial cues which is surprising.

Surprising right? These creatures can read our facial expression. It might also be the reason why they sometimes tend to understand what we are saying.  The research says they can sense our emotion and facial cues which is one of the biggest reason why you should be aware on how you project yourself to them.

If you see them feel scared, stop what you are doing right away. Simple as that.

5. Treats

This is a good technique to tame them faster.

Giving them food or some treats will make them instantly like you. Especially if you are giving them something they like.

Giving them treats makes them feel safer with you simply because you are giving them something they are fond about. It might also be good to pet them while doing so.

As a cynophobe, you might be scared to feed them on your hands. I suggest that you don’t you could just drop and give it to them. It also works. You do not need to force yourself too much. After all, you did a great job reaching this far.

Being a cynophobe should not be a reason for you to avoid them altogether. With proper help, you can also reduce or even remove the phobia like what I did.  Great job by the way.

Now, I need to continue with another section especially if a dog is aggressive. It happens and no, it is not entirely your fault. Not all dogs are the same.

How to tame an aggressive dog

This needs a special section because there might have cases like this where the dog is so aggressive that it triggers your phobia.

Do not try it if not necessary

I know you want to face your fears where you might try this to test your might and courage. But don’t. If you are already scared as it is aggressive, try not to add gas to the flame.

You might trust yourself so much that you can do it but it is aggressive for a reason. Even people who are not generally scared of dogs get scared when they are aggressive. You do not need to cross that much.

There might be instances where you think that the dog needs help even if it is aggressive. I honestly suggest you to also ask for help from others you are a lot experienced than you in handling these kind of situations. This is out of my concern for you.

However, there might be instances where you need to face your fear and just do it. So if you do, here are some tips.

It might be not it seems to be

To be honest, aggressive dogs have a deeper reason why they are aggressive. It might be a trauma they had before, territorial, defensive or just right scared.

In likelihood, it might be just scared.

This will be great since finding the reason for its aggressiveness will give you a reason to help it or not.

Find the real reason then start from there.

Do not force it

Some people are even forcing to tame a dog which is scared. If they see you forcing them, guess what happens. They will be more scared of you which will have as snowball effect on them being aggressive. Be careful since it would be a big problem.

Helping or taming dogs that are scared is done by a very slow an gentle process of letting them know that they can trust people and it does not happen in one sitting.

That’s why it would be a lot better to let a professional do it instead of you.

Slow, gentle and effective

So here a quick trick if you really want to tame an aggressive dog.

Since the dog is aggressive, try to back down.

This means that slowly not looking it in the eyes and going away from them slowly.

There will come a point where you are in a distance that they are not showing any signs of aggression anymore. That’s where you use the tips given above. Slowly but surely if done correctly, the dog will be more and more comfortable with you.

Do not expect a perfect results every time

As we not get along with all the people, so are dogs. Even if you master these tips, not all dogs will be the same. So better check it out first. Slowly and gently checking if it is alright for the dog.

If it is really not. Do not force it as it makes them more and more scared of you. It would just be ineffective to continue. We are not perfect.


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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