How to Handle Your Dog Around People With Dog Phobias

If you’re a dog owner, you know how important it is to be a responsible pet parent. You want to make sure your dog is well-behaved in public, always under control and never imposing on others. The way I see it, owning a dog isn’t just about giving myself an excuse to get outside and buy cute accessories—it’s also about being part of a community of pet parents. That’s why it’s so important that we do our best not to disrupt the lives of others when taking our furry friends out in public.

There’s no need to be embarrassed about your dog’s behavior.

It can be embarrassing to have your dog behave in a way that makes other people feel uncomfortable or afraid. But don’t let the embarrassment get you down! There is no reason to apologize, defend yourself or explain yourself to anyone. If someone has a problem with how your dog behaves, they are the ones with the issue – not you! You love your dog and want him/her to be happy and healthy, so don’t let other people make you feel bad about it.

Take a polite approach when asking a dog-phobic person whether your dog can say hello.

There’s no need to make a joke about your friend’s fear of dogs, and you shouldn’t act as though the person is being unreasonable. Instead, be polite and respectful. It’s also helpful to follow this approach if you have any doubts about the dog’s behavior around other people:

  • Don’t insist that your dog is friendly.
  • Don’t make a big deal out of it.
  • If they say “no,” don’t ask them why or try to persuade them otherwise; just say “okay” or “thank you,” and let it go at that.

Don’t surprise someone with a dog jump or nuzzle.

  • Don’t surprise someone with a dog jump or nuzzle.
  • Don’t let your dog jump up on someone who is scared of dogs.
  • Don’t let your dog nuzzle a person who is scared of dogs.
  • Don’t let your dog jump up on someone who is afraid of dogs

Be ready to stop your dog from jumping up on someone with a phobia about dogs.

If a person is uncomfortable around dogs, whether they have a phobia or are just generally wary of them, it’s important to keep your dog away from them. This can be hard because some people have a “doggiest” personality and want their pets to be as close to them as possible. But if you really love this person and want to show them how great having a pet can be, then you should do everything in your power not to let your dog jump on them.

Here’s how:

  • Stay calm if your dog does something bad (jumps on someone who doesn’t want him there). Your reaction will dictate how things go from here! If you freak out, then so will your friend—and chances are good that the situation will get worse. But if you stay calm and take care of the situation calmly, everyone will feel more comfortable around each other and the tension will diminish over time.
  • Once everyone calms down again after an incident like this happens once or twice (or thrice), then hopefully there won’t be any more issues with jumping into people’s faces uninvitedly when they’re not ready for it!

Keep in mind that some people may not be able to see you or your dog approaching.

It’s important to remember that some people may not be able to see you or your dog approaching. In such cases, it’s a good idea to:

  • Speak loudly when you are getting close to someone who you think may have difficulty hearing.
  • Make sure they know you are speaking to them by moving closer and looking directly at them while talking.
  • Ask if they need any help with anything before entering into their personal space (if this is appropriate).

Always ask first before allowing your dog to mingle with other people, kids and pets.

  • Always ask first before allowing your dog to mingle with other people, kids and pets.
  • If they say no, respect their wishes and don’t push the issue. Dogs are social animals and love to interact with others of their kind as well as humans and other animals. However, some people may have had bad experiences with dogs so it’s best not to assume anything about how the person feels about having a canine companion in the vicinity.
  • If you do find yourself in an awkward situation where someone says no but you want to introduce yourself anyway, try asking something like “Would it be alright if I let my dog sniff yours?”

Don’t make someone touch your dog just because they’re hugging you.

You might be thinking, “But my dog is so great with people!” And that’s wonderful. But if someone is afraid of dogs, they probably aren’t going to want to get in the middle of your lovable canine and their sensitive feelings. It’s not as if you’re forcing them to hug your dog — or are you? What would happen if a stranger who wasn’t familiar with your dog saw this interaction unfold?

Don’t allow anyone to hug or grab the face of your pet while the two are meeting for the first time.

You may feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of someone hugging or grabbing your dog’s face, but keep in mind that this is a person who has never met your pet before. You don’t want them to be scared by an over-friendly stranger who is trying to get close. It’s not fair for you to expect the person to know what they’re doing if they’ve never had any experience handling dogs before.

In addition, if someone is afraid of dogs and attempts to touch one that isn’t familiar with them, it could make matters worse for both parties involved. Be courteous and make sure that everyone feels safe around each other so no one gets hurt!


Dog phobias are hard for everyone involved. But if you’re aware of the problem and respect the person experiencing it, you can make a difference in their world and improve your own dog’s behavior as a result.