LPT Request: How to get over a fear of dogs after being attacked by one

I'll also very strongly urge you to get counselling, as it sounds a traumatic event you'd want help putting behind you. If you can't afford it, then maybe ring a vet's office, explain your problem, and ask if they could recommend a trainer or other layman who'd be willing to try to help you specifically with dogs. If you're in Connemara, MADRA office might be worth a try--they're good people. (And even if you get counselling, a trainer, or someone who works with dogs, would be ideal for teaching you a bit about dog behaviour and that in turn could be quite helpful to know.)The self-defense classes another poster suggested might increase your confidence around perceived threats though I don't know are they much less dear than counselling.

Undisciplined dogs are a plague here. I do a lot of walking in the country & no longer see each dog I meet up with as a potential buddy, though to be honest virtually all of them are. Don't believe any owner who says 'my dog would never hurt anyone' because s/he's an eejit, and besides too many owners leave their dogs unsupervised for hours & haven't a notion of how their darlings really do behave. Dogs who suddenly jump on you aren't the ones I'd worry about; in fact many of them will respond to a loud, firm 'Down!' Unless they're growling or barking angrily, dogs who rush toward you aren't the ones I'd worry about; a sweet soothing 'calm down now' often works with them. The couple of dogs who've gone for me/my dog gave plenty of warning--standing/crouching stock still, staring intently and/or growling--before getting aggressive. I carry dog treats in my pockets when I'm out walking & the only dog who didn't respond to a friendly voice and a treat tossed down was a real danger.

Probably none of that will help, though, as phobias aren't things you can reason yourself out of--& you're one of those unlucky people whose phobia has a real-life basis. I'm sorry that happened to you; I hope you find a way to sort this. Good luck.

/r/LifeProTips Thread