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Dealing with Dog Phobia

Updated on September 12, 2010

At the age of 7, I went on my first visit to Africa with my parents. Dad had been on a Scholarship to study Law at Cambridge Uni and had finished. It was time to return.

We stayed in a big beautiful place. Lots of space for running round for kids – big gardens. Anyway, one late evening, I remember running from our flat to my uncle’s residence (the other side of the compound) and as I did “Lucky” the dog ran after me and bit me on the back of my leg. It was horrible. I had to be taken to hospital. My Dad was mad at the dog. It turned out I had to have 21 injections, one every day on my bum. Oh men! Everyday was a nightmare. Mum took me to hospital every morning and I cried and cried before they even called me in because I knew what was coming. No amount of sweets could pacify me.

Since then, I’ve never liked dogs. Anytime, I see one, I hold my breath and walk in another direction if possible. If there is a shop nearby, I just walk in. There are some in London that really scare me, they look so small and muscly – Terriers. Some of them don’t have their mouths covered and are not on leads either. (Thought we had a law against that!)

Dog Attacks

Also, in the last year, dogs have attacked quite a few kids.

  • July 2010 UK - Telford Mother Bitten in Dog Attack. She was trying to protect her kids from being attacked. Full Story

  • August 2010 UK – Child mauled by dog on lead. Attacked by Bull Terrier. Full Story

Lots of similar incidents have happened in just this first week of September already in UK/Scotland, but I don’t want to post too many stories or upsetting photos.

I am sure there must be lots of people out there like me, who are scared of dogs. I see pets around me everyday and what if when I eventually settle in life with a family, my child looks at me so sweetly and says “Mum, can I have a puppy?” I might have to say “honey, how about a cat?”

I would be delighted to read your thoughts on this. Thanks for reading.


"Breakfast please, before you leave for work”


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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks so much Vampire stories for sharing your experience. I agree with you, some dogs are so lovely and become part of the family. I like Guide dogs. lol

      Best Wishes and Thanks again, :)

    • profile image

      vampires stories online 6 years ago

      when i was nine, i walked with my mother and my four year old sister down a narrow path and a german shepherd came at us without provocation, teeth baring... he wasn't playing. my mother threw rocks at him and he ran. it wan't even his territory.

      am i scared of dogs? i don't know. what do you think? if i see a large dog, i let someone else walk by him first. if he doesn't attack him, i shrug and walk by myself. i don't bother if it's a golden retriever or one of those other gentle breeds. i just walk by. or if he has a gentle look in his eyes, or if he walks by a cat without attacking, then i don't have a problem.

      i'm not scared when big and even huge dogs put their paws on my shoulders and bit playfully. i think it's cute.

      i love dogs so much and think they're wonderful. i love feeling their silky fur under my hand and see that heart melting look in their eyes when i pet them.

      i'm not scared of a rottweiler if i know he's friendly, either. but if i see a rottwieler and i don't know i'll cross the road.

      where i live people are very irresponsible and let their dogs roam wild, even the violent ones and there have been quiet a few incidents where people got hurt and one jogger was crippled by a bunch of dogs.

      but i know most dogs are not like that and they're your best friends, they're unselfish and loyal and they have morals. i've heard a woman saying her large dog refuses to fight smaller dogs.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Support Med

      Great point raised about some not being allowed to be house pets because they actually attack the babies/kids living in the home.

      Take Care. xx

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      When it comes to certain breeds, I am fearful as well. I seem to have no problem with the 'smaller breeds.' You are not alone in the fear department and I'm sorry you had to go through that awful experience. We hear the stories a lot about dog attacks on the news. I think some breeds should not be allowed to be house pets no matter what, even when they are not trained to 'fight.' Voted/rated.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks Kaite - glad you stopped by. :)

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      What great tips for dealing with dog phobia. Many kids learn this from fearful parents. Great advice to deal with fear of dogs. Thanks :)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Aaaawh Anamika, thanks for sharing that. I hope you have lots of photos of you and Tiger though. Thanks for your advice on dealing with the Phobia. Regard, E.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I use to love dogs in my childhood and had a pet dog whom i named Tiger. I was so attached to Tiger who used to be like my shadow and I remember crying buckets on the day he died and refusing to eat anything for days together. After that I decided that I would never get attached to a Dog again.

      Talking of Phobias, all Phobias are curable. All you need to do is use the power of the subconscious mind.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks Stars439. Nice to see you. Best Wishes.

      ** Thanks Andromida for your comment. I hope you get to be confident around them. Actually, when I have kids, we might have to start with a harmless Goldfish. lol Thanks for stopping.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      I am a little afraid of dog, but I heard they are very loyal, though I never had the opportunity to test their loyalty to the limits :). Taking injection is really painful.I think there should be injection for every dog, so that if they even bite anyone, nothing happens to the victim.So,you're planning to give your kids a cat instead of puppy-that's cool.Thank you so much:)

      Best Wishes


    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub. Very informative in regard to dogs. God Bless You.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks a lot for the link Singh. I appreciate you stopping by and will check it out.

      Best Wishes.

    • Yadvinder Singh profile image

      Yadvinder Singh 7 years ago from chandigarh

      Hi lady_E it is sad to hear about the phobia. Try the NLP fast phobia techinique to cure your phobia in minutes. That would help

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi Lorlie, wow, 4 is such a tender age. Aawwh, it's only natural at that age that kids pull at anything, even an animal's tail and I'm glad the experience didn't put you off pets. I've read your Hubs and know you really like Dogs. Thanks so much for stopping and sharing your story.

      ** Thanks MPG Narratives - for the advice. I like the name of your Dog. I appreciate the advice. Thanks.

      ** Hi TattoGuy - Show them one of your tattoo's that will scare them off. :) No seriously, I hope you can conquer this fear too. Good Luck and thanks for stopping.


    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks K9 - Your dog seems very nice. Before we visited Africa I was ok with Dogs, cos my Nanny had one. He was part of her family and I spent quite some time with them. I hope as you noted above, that I get to click with one again. If I can, it will help me deal with any others. I appreciate you stopping by.

      ** Hello Always exploring - Some are indeed very cute. I actually watched one copying her owners dance on Britain's got Talent TV Show. How cute is that... Hope you conquer your fear too. Best Wishes.

      ** Cheers Wendy - it's good that you like pets. Nice to read from you.

      ** Thanks so much DeBorrah - I like the idea of visiting a Pet Shop. Never thought of that before. Another excellent suggestion. I haven't heard of a dog repellant either but I could always ask when I go to a pet shop. A pleasure to hear from you. Have a Blessed week.

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Like you I have a fear of dogs relating back to being bit by one. If I am walking home and I see a dog say 100 yards ahead I would actually turn round and take a longer route home, great idea for a hub and great title !

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I love dogs and have a lovely one as a pet but I am still wary of dogs when I'm out walking Sassie, especially bigger dogs. No matter how much they are loved and looked after they are still an animal with an attacking instinct, so care should be taken whenever you are around them. LadyE, most dogs are fine but just be careful anyway.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Elena, I think I totally understand! I was bitten by a Great Dane when I was 4, and I still bear that scar on my forehead. I never developed a fear of dogs, though-perhaps I understood that I'd provoked the poor thing by pulling his tail? But it sounds like your fear has much to do with the resulting pain of the bite in the hospital-what an ordeal for you!

      Oddly enough, my time in the ER was due to my attempt to rescue a kitten off the side of a highway years later. The poor little thing was terrified, and scratched me all over my chest and face, then escaped me. I was taken to the hospital and had to have rabies injections since the cat could no longer be located.

      Somehow, I still love both species!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

      Lady E, Your fear is quite understandable. You have a valid traumatic incident that has shown you that dogs will bite! 21 shots each day is no joke that it not something one should or wants to forget! It is the fear associated to it that you want to conquer…

      However I think it may be a bit of a challenge but continue to seek to find ways to move past the fear… Perception might help knowing every time you pass a dog they push your fear button by remote… I think carrying a dog repellent or silent dog whistle that you of course would not use unless absolutely necessary would serve to relieve some of your immediate anxieties giving you a sense of control…

      A start would be finding a friend who has a small gentle dog and or visiting a pet store where there are new puppies that would be willing to work along with you…

      Thank you for sharing this In His Love, Peace & Blessings!

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

      I'm more of a cat lover. I don't mind dogs, I just don't go out of my way for them.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I,m with you Lady-E,

      I,m scared of dogs. I think some of them are cute,but i,m even afraid to pat them. Great info. Well done.


    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      I can understand your fear as a child being bitten. As a huge K9 activist I hope that at some point you can meet a dog that "clicks" with you. They can be such a warm and nurturing addition to a person's life. Your fear is very real and I can understand your reasoning for caution. I wish you could meet my dog, he would melt your heart. Thank you for sharing your childhood trauma, this is nothing easily forgotten.

      ~Always Choose Love~


    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks again ahorseback - Mmmmh o.k. I'll see if I can borrow one. :)

      ** Thanks Mentalist Acer - so you're all the way in America. :)

      ** Cheers Hello Hello - Thanks. Glad you see where I am coming from. Regards. :)

      ** Lol Jai - I don't even think I could give it a fake smile. Once I can start looking into their eyes as adviced above, then I will definitely start smiling. Ps. I could smile at a Guide dog (those that lead the blind). They seem so gentle. :)

      ** Hello Fgual - thanks for stopping. Wow, you were very brave to still get on your bike and ride off. Its nice to know you have laws that regulate it in US. Best Wishes. :)

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 7 years ago from USA

      Hello LadyE That was a traumatic experience for a child, glad you got medical attention and it turned out allright. I have been chased by dogs while riding a bicycle, one time a dog kept leaping at my leg as I pedaled furiously trying to get away. I blame the owners for not caring, and letting their dogs loose. Here in the US an owner can be sued and arrested for their dog harming a child, or anyone, and the dog will be destroyed.

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 7 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      Lady E, there are certain breeds that I just can't trust...Pit Bulls, Dobermans etc. Dogs do sense your emotions... try smiling. It will not only ease the tension the animal feels, but yours also. Very interesting topic, as usual! Thanks Elena, Ciao.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I never was a friend of dogs and especially these days where don't have pets but most vicious dogs. I know how you feel and I am the same.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      I live in the deep south of the United States, area I mean my county ie.Parish;)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 7 years ago

      Lady E, they can also be the best friend you will ever have. Their devotion is immeasureable. Borrow one sometime and see that you can love them . Good luck .

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      @ Mentalist Acer - I have to check your profile to see where you live. That's not nice at all. (breeding pit bulls to fight). Well, I hope they are not next door to you. Thanks for stopping.

      @ Hi HP Roy, I'm not quite feeling your comments but as usual, I appreciate you stopping by. Regards.

      @ Hello Mike - sadly some even attack their owners or owners kids, but some do make nice pets. Reading your comments makes me wonder what makes them agressive to not just kids but little babies. Thanks for sharing your story. Best wishes.

      @ Robwrite - Thanks for being understanding. I do hope I get over it as I see pets everyday. (Lunch time, train station, friends houses) I know they can be wonderful and feel like part of the family. This tickled me: "The owners were much harder to get along with than the dogs were." lol. Thanks for sharing your story. (yeah cats do have a habit of scratching).

      @ ahorseback - thanks for that practical tip. I will work on it. A friend once told me that dogs can sense my feelings. I'll try that direct gaze, I might squint abit but hopefully, I'll get more confident. Thanks again.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 7 years ago

      Lady E , Most times showing a self confidence and giving a direct gaze at the dog shows them you are not afraid , even if you are a bit timid , they only understand the dominance of the animal world , and as humans we have to show our domination of them , as a dog owner this is impORANT. GOOD LUCK.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 7 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      I'm sorry to hear about your fear of dogs. I know childhood events can traumatize us, but I really hope you can get over it someday. They are actually wonderful, affectionate creatures. I've had endless fun with dogs.

      I used to be a groomer and spent all day with dogs. The owners were much harder to get along with than the dogs were. I groomed cats, too, and found the cats to be more aggressive than the dogs were. I came home with a lot of cat scratches and bites. I still love cats, though. But Dogs are more fun and more affectionate.

      I truly hope you can get passed your fear of dogs. When you get to know them, they're worth it.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I am not fond of dogs and have always been afraid of them. Too many dogs are aggressive. As Mentalist acer mentioned above, sometimes dogs are bred to fight. I have nothing against people who love dogs and keep them for pets, but when a dog attacks someone and the owner denies it with absurd comments like, "oh, those are my babies! They would never hurt anything!" it makes my blood boil.

      I will confess to feeling a little fear around dogs, and I dislike loud, noisy animals. It is truly aggravating to ring a door bell and be greeted with loud barking, followed by dogs that want to jump on you when you enter a house.

      I will take a cat any day.

      Interesting article that struck a chord with me.


    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It great to hear an early dog biting incident that had given a new direction to your life. But many are again very fond of dog.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      There are people around where I live that breed pit-bulls to dog fight....bad news,and if you were to look at a dog fight on video you'd see the reason people are put in jail for it,Lady_E;)


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