OVERCOMING CYNOPHOBIA (THE FEAR OF DOGS) - “We even had a small girl whose fear of dogs was so great that it manifested itself in anything furry including touching cuddly toys or hair from a hair brush.”
The Essex Dog Training Centre in Brentwood (U.K.) runs the only program in Europe designed to help kids overcome their cynophobia, or the fear of dogs. The program has been evaluated by psychiatrists and has been gaining popularity. Eventually, the kids are introduced to live “Cynophobia Assistance Dogs” to help them confront their fears. Read more from thisistotalessex.co.uk:
Welcome to the terrifying and unimaginable world of cynophobia – the morbid fear of dogs – which can leave children physically shaken by even the distant sight of man’s best friend.
In total there have been around 200 children who have conquered their persistent and often irrational fear at Brentwood-based Essex Dogs Training Centre, which is the only venue in Europe to offer a child’s cynophobia course and has developed a growing reputation.
What is perhaps most surprising then is that the children do not pay a penny for the cynophobia course, with the emphasis instead on curing the children of their fear with the help of a dedicated team of volunteer handlers and specially trained cynophobia pooches, who have to pass strict criteria to qualify for the job.
I’ve seen cases of cynophobia in person and it can be very devastating for some people. Thankfully, these kids seem to greatly benefiting from this program. Click here for the full story and here for to see more pictures of the Cynophobia Assistance Dogs in action.