Cynobia simply refers to the fear of dogs. It is a special kind of phobia under the subtype of Animal Phobia. It is the most debilitating compared to the other phobias because of the high prevalence of dogs. Just like some other medical conditions it can be diagnosed using some criteria. These criteria are; Persistent fear of an object or situation; the fear provokes anxiety response; the fear interferes with daily activities and can sometimes lead to panic attacks.
Patients suffering from cynophobia may display symptoms like palpitations, sweating, trembling, the urge to escape and even faintness when faced with a live dog or when thinking about the image of a dog. Classic avoidance behavior is also common and patient stays away from areas where there might be dogs or avoid visiting friends that have dogs in their homes. An animal phobia is believed to possibly start during early childhood, although cynophobia can start as late as age 20. Cynophobia is more common in females than males and can be developed in three major ways; direct personal experience, observational experience, and instructional experience. Cynophobia can be treated just like most other conditions. The most common treatments are systematic desensitization and exposure therapy.