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Dog phobia arises when one has had a bad experience with a dog during childhood. The fear remained because it was left untreated and thus the person grew up with an illogical or terrible phobia. The key to coping with dog phobia lies in understanding dogs. Dogs have their own language and instinctive behavior.

Your friendly pat on the head and smile is not taken as a friendly greeting to the dog. To the animal, it is sign of dominance when you bare your teeth at him. Patting is better received when it is done on the neck or chest. If it is your first encounter with the dog, offer the back of your hand for a sniff. Approach a new dog only with the presence of its owner.

As a dog's natural instinct is to give chase and bite, it is wrong to run away from strange dogs. When you encounter a strange dog, you should stand still with your hands close to your sides. Do not keep eye contact with the dog as this is threatening to it. With your still and non-threatening posture, the dog will probably just sniff and move away.

Dogs that are trained to be unfriendly are guard dogs around houses or chained within the compounds. These dogs have territorial instincts and view anyone entering their vicinity as invaders of their territory. You shouldn't go near such a dog and always ensure that the owner is with you when you want to approach the dog.

Dogs usually want to befriend strangers by running to greet them with wagging tails and loud barks. If you are knocked down by an aggressive dog, you should immediately assume a position like a log. Lie face down curled into a ball with your hands and arms covering your neck and ears. This helps to protect your vulnerable areas and prevents the dog from biting them.

Never show a dog that you're afraid. These animals are able to discern your fear through your body language. Your fear may induce unfavorable reactions from the dog. Act confidently, keep in mind these tips about dogs and you won't go wrong. To overcome your dog phobia, start making friends with a dog with its owner around you. You can allow it to sniff your hand. If the dog licks it, don't withdraw your hand. Stroke the dog's chin or neck and start talking to it. Once you've touched the dog and feel comfortable with it, you've overcome your fear of dogs and you can say good-bye to your phobia.

These techniques will not work for everyone, certain deep-seated phobias can only be dealt with proper professional care.