How do I overcome the fear of dogs?


Some months ago, I was invited to a birthday party with my girls. Their friend, who always comes over to our home to play was celebrating her 5th birthday. So off we went, to the birthday venue which was a walking distance from my home. Minutes after I entered the building, I lost my peace. Because there was a dog at the party. Bummer!

I became grossly uneasy. I could no longer engage in free-flowing conversations with other parents at the party. My heart was beating and I was so uncomfortable. It didn’t help too that the dog kept walking around and each time he/she did, I would skip, climb on the chairs and do all sorts of crazy things in the name of fear.

Fear is a prison. Fear embarrasses you and steals your peace. Fear is evil.

The owner noticed how fearful I was and decided to put her dog in a fixed spot so I could be free. The dog no wan gree. (The dog was unyielding). He/she kept pulling away from the place of grounding. So the the owner kept taking back her dog and telling he/she not to move all because of me. Finally, the dog was tied to a chair for the rest of the party.

But that’s not all that happened. When I decided it was time for the girls and I to go, the owner set her dog free almost immediately. We went outside – the dog went outside too. We started walking. The dog started walking too – in our direction. My older daughter, became so afraid and despite my numerous pleas to her : “Do not run! Do not run! Do not run!”, she started to run. Guess what? The dog started to run too. And I started to run and both of my girls were running. We were running while the dog was running at (or with) us. And we were screaming and crying too.

This created a scene, meaning the people in the surrounding houses came out of their homes to address the situation. One nice lady was comforting my second daughter while I stood somewhere in the in-between, looking like a mad woman wondering where her big sister had run too.

The owner of the dog surfaced, shouting at her pet and asking he/she to follow her back. Once the dog left, my peace returned.

In my lifetime, I have acted too many dramas because of the presence of dogs.

I once entered the house of people I didn’t know because of a dog. I was knocking and waiting for an answer so I could distribute my questionnaire, as part of my research as a university student at the time. Instead of humans to answer from inside, a dog approached me from outside. I shoved my way into the already open door to find solace. The ladies who lived in the house showed up moments later to a find a complete stranger in their living room. Thank God they didn’t call the police.

I once ran until my shoe came off my feet because of a dog. And this happened only a few months ago right infront of my house.

Some of the worse days of my life were some years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and walk through the street in my neighbourhood to the main road where I would board a taxi so I could attend antenatal classes. On these days, back in Cameroon I would be intercepted by many angry dogs who were customarily left to roam around at night, before being returned to their chains/cages in the morning. Those walks to the main road consisted of me constantly stopping so a dog could pass. And sometimes trying to run away from a seemingly angry dog.

I am that girl who moves to the other side of the road once I see a dog approaching from one side.

The cynophobia is so real.

Everyday I live this fear. Because a lot of my neighbours have dogs with whom they spend a lot of outdoor time with. To them, they are pets but to me, they are terrors.

Before going out of my door, I peep through the window to see if there are any dogs around. If there are none, I go out and go about my business. But if there’s a dog outside… well. I stay inside until there is no dog in view.

It is embarrassing, to say the least. And I feel so ashamed that I am not able to demonstrate to my daughters how to be brave in the face of anything. They are aware of my fear and they and Mr N make fun of me about it all the time.

I always have a feeling that the dogs would run to me and bite. And when they bark… oh! My fear doubles. That sound of a dog barking – I dread it.

It’s not like I was one bitten by a dog which made me to live by the cliché saying, “once bitten, twice shy”. I have never been bitten by a dog but I fear them with my whole being.

My parents even kept a dog we named, Clash but I never went near him. Thankfully, he was always chained outside the house and only unchained at night. I will make food for him and push it to him, keeping my distance. And on days when my brothers forgot to chain him, I would be so mad at them. I am not not proud of this.

I have reprimanded myself several times for this. I even quote scriptures to myself and rebuke me for being scared of creatures that God made. I tell myself that as a child of God, I have dominion over everything and it is spiritually unethical to be trapped in an unfounded fear of dogs.

But brethren, after saying all these things to myself once I see a dog, I forget all the scriptures. I forget all the motivational quotes on fear. The terror that takes over me at the sight of the four-legged animal cannot be fully explained in words.

So I need deliverance from the fear of dogs. Seriously. I want to be able to touch and play with dogs as I see others do. Or at the very least, I want to be able to act normal at the sight of dogs. I can’t continue to live like this.

I once did a Google search to help me overcome this trepidation. My search terms were something like, “how to overcome the fear of dogs”. The only thing I took away from that search was the part when the article I read said something like, “to prevent the dog from biting you…” I was like, so it could bite me??? Really?

I have also tried to get acquainted with my neighbour’s dog. He let the dog sniff me and that was it. I have planned more getting-acquainted-with-dogs sessions but never got around to doing those.

What is wrong with me? Why do I fear dogs so much? I really want to be able to not fear dogs. Do you have any tips for me? How do I stay safe in the presence of dogs? Do you fear dogs too? What’s your approach when there’s a dog in your presence? I’ll love to hear from you!

Meanwhile, I am so looking forward to when Jesus comes and raptures me. Then we shall live in a world where dogs do not bite.

Overcoming fear



  1. Never own a dog. Even though I like them from distance. I only form brave in their presence when I am sure there is an escape route in view. Though I touch when I see that the signs are friendly. i also avoid when I’m not sure of the mood

  2. If your fear is limited to dogs then u are better off than me. I don’t like cats too. I don’t understand why people will have them as pets. I try to act normal around too to avoid being laughed at. But if it looks at me for a minute I will run. The struggle is real and I don’t know how I can explain so people understand me

    • Hahaha Awa! I can ‘tolerate’ cats – I fear them too but not as much as I fear dogs. I once visited a friend who has cats and it was a pain staying there. Ashia. ?

  3. I like the little ones or the cute big ones from a distance but I just don’t want them around me. That fear is not out of place. Asides fear, I can’t stand the smell. I dont know what they put in their food or what they give them at the vet clinic, but every regular-visiting vet dog has a particular strong smell which I just can’t stand.

    • I like the small furry ones from a distance too. And the toy ones ???
      That smell is something! At least I can manage the smell but don’t come near me!

  4. Aww, I wish I could help or give a solution. I actually love dogs so much and I’m working towards owning one sometime soon. When I was much younger we owned dogs. I love dogs so much and I can’t even explain the love lol.

    When it’s barking at you, it could be that it’s greeting you, Precious. Look out for whether it’s wagging it’s tail, that’s a friendly sign.

  5. I used to think I fear dogs, until I read this post. I don’t fear them to a point where seeing them makes me panic, but they actually make me cringe. I hate them like I hate cockroach. Sometimes I even think they know I hate them. Lol. I’ve had a terrible experience with dogs too.

    Well, I think the first way out of this fear is to what you’ve done already: writing about your fear in a diary. It helps you relish that experience.

    Try reading about dogs. I hear they are friendly. (I have personally chosen not to be friends with dogs)

  6. Precious, I have met someone with my exact story with dogs. Every thing you have written here, is my story. Thank You for sharing. better you sef di even find deliverance but me? I don’t even want to have anything to do with dogs. cant even begin telling you the embarrassing moments I ve had because of my fear of dogs. Thank you for sharing my story. LOL

    • ??? Akere, it feels good to know that I’m not alone. Why are you not looking for deliverance na? I want to save myself from future dog-related embarrassments.

  7. Lol @ your experience Precious.
    I hate dogs and anything pets, I can’t stand them!
    Once I know you keep pets, I won’t visit you for any reason.
    I’m not looking for deliverance though, it’s not by force to like everything!
    Hope you are good Precious, I need to do a lot of catching up here.

    • I’ve missed you hun! Hope you are good?
      I feel bad about not visiting my friends who have pets. Wish I could at least act normal around them.

  8. lol!!I’m sorry but the part of you all running,I was playing out the scene in my head.hehe!
    Wish I could help.I grew up with dogs plus my dad is a veterinarian.My husband likes dogs too.As at last year we had 3 but we lost 2.I just hate taking care of them.I’m not done with children to now add dogs to my list.Apart from that we get along well.My next door neighbors however are exactly like!They are so scared it irritates me and we’ve lived in the same compound for about 3 years.Same ol’ reaction.

    It may never go away but there’s no harm in constantly trying to face it.

    • Waoh! You had 3 dogs?! Yes caring for them is not easy as I hear people say. I’m sure I irritate my neighbours too. This fear just has to go away ooo. I can’t continue like this.

  9. I hate ugly dogs (lol). I don’t get scared when I see a dog expect it’s coming very close to me.

  10. i am also soo scared of dogs and even cats i cant stand them at all …anytime they are around me there is always drama .
    pls check my blog


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