Fear of dogs

Anyone who is not used to dogs often experiences some tension in the presence of a dog. But is the fear of dogs excessive, we call it one dog phobia, also called cynophobia.

The phobia for dogs is one of the most treated fears at Kindt Clinics. The success rate is 83%.

On this page you can read more about the symptoms of the fear of dogs and their treatment. Also, people who have been treated for their dog phobia share them experience.

Symptoms of dog phobia

People who are afraid of dogs experience a huge threat when they see a dog. The heart starts to beat faster, they breathe faster, get warm and sweat. They get the tendency to flee.

Rationally, people with dog phobia know that the chance that a dog is actually life-threatening is small, but the body reacts as if there was serious danger.

A phobia of dogs often leads to it avoid from places where dogs often come, such as forests, parks and beaches. People with this fear often prefer the bicycle or car to walking and know exactly which neighbors have a dog.

Because 1,5 million dogs are kept as pets in the Netherlands, almost all of which are taken out several times a day, there is a fear of dogs is often very debilitating.

Would you like to know more or a non-binding intake?

If you have a fear of dogs, plan one intake interview without obligation to learn more about the treatment.

Do dogs smell fear?

"Do not show that you are afraid, because dogs smell that and then they come towards you". You may have heard a comment like this before. And it sounds plausible. Even humans can (thanks to pheromones) distinguish cold sweat from sports sweat, for example, and dogs have even better noses than humans.

Still, it is unlikely that dogs really fear to smell. In principle, they only react to pheromones from other dogs.

Still, dogs seem to recognize fear. This is probably mainly due to the behavior of anxious people. Anxious people often keep a close eye on a dog, and often even look it in the eye continuously. They do this out of a need for control, they want to know what the dog is going to do. But for dogs, looking at this is actually a sign of aggression or an invitation to play. In response, the dog may bark, growl, or come towards you.

That is caused by your fear, but the dog is not aware of any harm.

Why does cold sweat smell different from regular sweat?

Humans have two types of sweat glands: exocrine and apocrine. Exocrine sweat glands are important for dissipating excess heat, and apocrine sweat glands become active when you experience emotions.

When you are anxious, the sweat mixes with other substances released by that fear, such as adrenaline. And that combination causes the unique scent. People cannot consciously perceive this smell. Unconscious turns out sweat of fear evoke feelings of pity in others.

It is not always clear how you get a fear of dogs, but more importantly: how do you get rid of it?

80% of the treatments are successful in one go, and another 3% the second time.

Treatment of dog phobia

At Kindt Clinics we treat the fear of dogs with the help of the Memrec method. The discovery of the method generated a lot of attention in the scientific world at the time, and fortunately we have been achieving the same results in practice for years. About 80% of the treatments are successful in one go, and another 3% the second time. And also important: the effect is lasting.

Although the treatment is short (you see a dog once), it is not an easy one. The most important success factors are: we must be able to generate the fear properly, and then we must succeed in dealing with that fear, and therefore for once resisting the tendency to flee. Of course we help with that.

Because the motivation to overcome the fear is important for treatment to be successful, the intake interview at Kindt Clinics is without obligation. This way, a conscious choice can be made for the treatment.

Does the fear of dogs hinder you in your daily life? Then sign up for a no-obligation intake interview.


The intake interview follows after registration. We do this via Skype or similar software, or at our clinic. The intake is without obligation, and intended to determine whether the Memrec method is suitable, and whether or not you want the treatment.


Treatment usually consists of one treatment session. In this we confront you with a dog. Exactly what that confrontation looks like differs per treatment and per person. After the confrontation, you take the pill (a beta blocker) and stay with us for another 2 hours.


You will return for the test one or a few days later. We start the confrontation again, and you immediately notice whether the treatment has had an effect. We take all the time to practice so that you can trust the fear will not come back.

Watch the treatment of another phobia

If you suffer from spider phobia, you may prefer not to view images of spiders. That is why this page contains an excerpt from Canadian documentary program The Nature of Things. Last year they were at Kindt Clinics to interview Merel Kindt and to film a number of treatments.

In this episode you see fragments of the vertigo treatment from Eva and the chicken phobia treatment from Mirjam.

Experiences of others

Dinah - Fear of dogs

Of course I did not like the “exposure part” with the dog, but the treatment around it was made as comfortable as possible; The room was very relaxing, they told exactly what was going to happen and how it works and I enjoyed talking to Maartje and Merel, which was distracting. Thank you so much!! What could be better? I would not change anything in the treatment process. Perhaps an idea to put the videos that are on youtube (more prominent) on the website. They were the deciding factor for me to do this treatment and were also valuable to remember during the treatment. ”

Roos - Fear of dogs

“Special. on the day of the treatment I really plunged into my fear. My heartbeat was really in my throat, and I felt tension everywhere. Then the pill, and I adhered to the guidelines. I really didn't know what to expect from the test, but when I came in and was confronted again with the dog it was so different. I felt the tension that I felt during the treatment and actually all my life was completely gone. As if nothing had ever happened ...

And during confrontations with other dogs it also went very well. I dare to pet them, let them lick my hand, let them run around me. Only barking scares me a bit, but not so much that I want to run away. ”

Chihuahua's or bulldogs

Every dog ​​phobia is different. For one it is mainly about the barking, and for another it is about the unexpected movements. Some people only fear specific breeds, and for another all dogs are one pot wet. Some find puppies cute, others fear their playfulness. In short: cynophobia comes in all kinds of forms.

With the Memrec treatment, we ask many questions about the fear during the intake interview, to ensure that we include all aspects of it during the treatment.

Do we use a large dog during the treatment, but are you also afraid of small dogs? If it is good the effect of the treatment extends to all types of dogs. We will of course test this with you.

Are you considering a Memrec treatment now or in the future? Contact us or plan an intake interview without obligation

Is Memrec Right For My Fear Of Dogs?

You may have doubts whether the Memrec method is suitable for your fear. Please feel free to contact us to share your situation. All our employees are psychologists, so you will be immediately contacted by someone who can answer your questions.

Or register immediately for an intake interview without obligation. Based on this interview, we know whether Memrec is suitable for you, and you can decide whether or not to opt for the treatment.