If you know my dog Kobe and interact with him before, You know that he is a sweet boy that loves human and other dogs! Even thou he is missing a leg, always have a smile on his face, I still have many people thats afraid of him.
Have you ever just walking your dog and minding your own business, and from afar, you see X stops abruptly and find another alternative path; or X starts walk diagonally as they stare down your dog to avoid it.
Have you ever just exiting the lift with your dog, and you release some sort of invisible force repealing X thats about to enter the lift?
Have you ever just minding your business while walking your dog, and suddenly you hear someone screaming, you thought someone was in trouble, but oh, your dog is cause of it.
Have you ever just resting in public places, and your dog starts wagging its tail and smiling to X, and X deems your dog to be aggressive and scary?
Have you ever goes to a dog park where there’s couple of small doggos, the moment you off leash your dog, X picked up their dogs and leave the place soon after.
Have you ever just walking and keeping left side on the lane, and someone incoming using their phone without paying attention, and suddenly you release some sort of invisible force again, repealing X immediately, and X got angry and “TSK” at you, or worst, confront you and ask you to walk your dog properly.
Thats a sign of people suffering from Cynophobia develop the condition as a result of negative experience with a dog in the youth. Eg: Been chased or bitten by a dog, witness someone get terrified by a dog, or have grown up with someone who’s aversion to dogs become their own fear.
Cynophobia, pronounced (sy-no-phoia), is a phobia or a fear of dogs.
Oh, let’s not forget there a small fraction that just outright dislikes dogs.
Base on my own experiences above; and speaking as a dog owner, and an animal lover;
I think that depends on the situation:
A) the owner, and B) how the dog is behaving.
Certain dog owners will get mad at everything, but also there are dogs that behave badly or are new to the owner and haven’t been trained yet, so their owners will probably understand if you get upset.
For me, I will try my best to be respectful if I’m out with my dog and notice someone eyeing him with uncertainty. I will shorten the leash and have him close and give the person room to pass. I always keep my very socialized / trained dog on my side and sit as they passes with fear. By doing that; I let the person know ahead of time that my dog is a friendly one.
While I respect their fear and I won’t try to force them to like dogs or be offended by it, in some cases I don’t understand. I often wonder if the person had a traumatic experience, or if they didn’t grow up with dogs and don’t know anything about them, or a certain breed thats stereotyped as aggressive.
My small little advise to you if you’re suffering from Cynophobia:
If you’re really afraid of my dog, I totally understand! I’ll make sure he doesn’t come up to you. But please, do not start screaming. There is no reason to scream. Although he is very friendly, I have train him to not having to greet everyone he meets while walking, so he’s not even going to come up to you. People do get scared sometimes and keep their distance. BUT if you start screaming when he is literally just standing there, chances are you will scare him just as much as you are scared, which is bad enough, and try to bolt, which is worse.
And if someone made my dog that uncomfortable I’ll be pissed off as all hell. He might not mind it, but I’m only human.
So if you’re scared of my dog, please politely say, “I am afraid of dogs” and back away a little bit. I will get the message and will move him away from you. If I notice you look scared, we will move away. I believe all dog owners are responsible for that, but of course, we also have a small fraction that feels that they are above all, and doesn’t give a damn about your fear, then I am sorry about your negative experience of dog owners like that.
Fear is something that alerts us to possible danger and helps keep us safe. It’s good to be aware of what scares us, and then choose to either be afraid of that thing forever, or learn about it and determine when you need to be afraid and when it’s really okay. Both options are valid.
On the flip side, we also have people that over enthusiastic animal lover. Well, thank you for getting so excited seeing my dog in public, I’m fluttered. But your excitement might spook my dog too.
If we are resting and your kid decided to approach us and wants to pat my dog while making a lot of loud noises, please respect us that we might have to politely decline your kid’s enthusiasm and walk away, and often is because we know our dogs better than you, and we do not want to be accused that our dog is creating a problem.