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How do I get over my severe phobia of dogs?



New member
Aug 10, 2018
I am a dog owner myself and I love dogs, but I am scared of dogs I don't know, especially large dogs. This all stems from being bitten by another dog in our family several times. (to the point where I needed stitches.) Because of this I ended up moving out of their home.

Even though I am in a safe place now, I have developed a severe phobia of dogs. For awhile I was afraid to leave my house because we live in an apartment building where many people have dogs and I don't want to walk by one. Now I can leave the house but I take the stairs so I won't have to encounter dogs and I only go out during the day when people are at work. I avoid places where people let their dogs loose like walking around neighborhoods or parks and only go where it is busy or there are children presents, because people usually don't let their dogs loose in this situations and are more watchful of their dogs.

It really affects my life a lot, I am afraid of going to people's houses who have dogs. My best friend has dogs and she has a large dog, while he is a sweet dog towards me, he has been aggressive towards other dogs and badly injured a dog on the street once. Because of this she has to keep him inside. How do I know he won't turn on me suddenly? I don't see my friend often because we live far away, I am afraid if I go visit her he won't recognize me. I am really dreading this visit. Our family dog who bit me, he used to be on good terms with me when he suddenly started being aggressive towards me. Because of this I don't trust most dogs. How can I get over this fear?


Well-known member
Forum Safety Team
Oct 11, 2014
I think most people would be nervous about going near a known aggressive dog like your friends even if it has never attacked a human.
Could you visit your friend at a coffee shop without the dogs or something like that?

Maybe EMDR or hypnotherapy would work if graded exposure therapy doesn't?