New Boyfriend Afraid of Dogs.....What to do?

First, he doesn't "hate" dogs, he's just scared of them.  He's never lived in a home with a dog.

He hasn't been to my house yet - obviously.  

Even when I tell him stories of how Bear lies nose to nose with me in the morning when I'm waking up, to speed up the process so he can get food of course - he tells me that I need to not let my dogs near my face.  And how it's dangerous and that they could really bite me and do some damage.

I have never known anyone that's afraid of dogs - and I have NO idea how to make this happen.  I really like the guy - so....I'm going to have to make the move at some point and invite him over, but my dogs LOVE to jump and bark when someone comes in.  I've never trained them out of it because I'm a single woman living alone and I like that they react to people coming in my house.

I am VERY open to advice.

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Comment by David on May 12, 2012 at 11:12pm

Is he willing to change?  I think that is fundamental question.  Is he ready to admit his fear of dogs are irrational and needs to do something about it?  There is nothing you can do...

Comment by Ellen Andersen on May 12, 2012 at 10:23pm

Everyone's given great advice.  My mom was afraid of dogs before she moved in with me and my three cardis.  She loves them now, pets them, hugs them, feeds them, gives them treats.  Just took a little time.

And remember, too, boyfriends are a dime a dozen but a good dog is one in a million...well, two in your case!  Just kidding...sorta.  He will have to understand YOUR relationship with your dogs.  It's not up to him to say what you should or shouldn't do with your dogs.

Comment by Gromit, Sparkle, and Doug on May 12, 2012 at 3:19pm

It's reasonable to be cautious around strange dogs but fear of dogs isn't the norm.  Besides trying to help your beau overcome his fear of your two pals you might nudge him towards seeing a professional who deals in helpomh people with phobias.   There are lots of dogs in the world and getting past his fears will make his life a little less stressful.

Comment by Stephanie on May 12, 2012 at 9:56am

Thank you all sooo much!  LOL Beth, yes Bear is the more obedient one!  I think we'll do one at a time - they feed off of each other's craziness when they're together.  I'm so glad I asked you all - I was thinking of locking them outside then bringing them in - blah, blah - your ideas are much better!

Comment by Bev Levy on May 12, 2012 at 9:37am

I agree a walk is the best way to introduce them. I have had to deal with this some because we added our son's doberman to our house a few years ago. A lot of people are afraid of dobes so we have found that if I leash her when they first come in the house and wait until the person has relaxed a little before releasing her it works pretty well. So maybe start with him going on a walk with all of you without greetings at first and keep the dogs leashed in the house for awhile, he may be able to handle it. Actual fear of dogs is hard to get over and should be done in baby steps. The dogs will be fine if they have to be leashed at first.

Comment by Kaitlyn & Chase on May 12, 2012 at 9:15am

Well others have beat me to it! They gave you really good advice. I Fourth their ideas! lol
All I would say is if it doesn't work out with him and the dogs, I would keep the dogs for sure :)
Also if it does work out but he tells you things like "don't let the dogs get in your face" that would probably get on your nerves down the road. Especially since you seem to have such a close relationship with your little ones.
I hope you don't take that the wrong way, it's just my opinion.

Comment by Chris, Kadi & Brodie on May 12, 2012 at 9:09am

Very good advice so far. And remember that dogs, especially corgis, are very intuitive and can read people well. So if someone fearful of them comes into your home, which is their territory, it gives them the 'power' and can create a worse situation. That's why meeting on neutral ground is so important. I've also learned over the years that dogs (and cats) seem to always know which people don't like animals and they will zero in on them every time! Sometimes this can be good and win the person over if they have even half of an open mind.

Comment by Beth on May 12, 2012 at 8:45am

I would add this to Rachael's advice: teach your boyfriend a few basic commands so he has a sense of control over the dogs. Take the most obedient one (I'm assuming that's Bear) to a neutral location and walk together; don't expect your boyfriend to interact and tell him that up front (and follow through by not pushing him). After a couple times of that, have your boyfriend ask Bear to sit, or do a trick. He'll see he has control of the situation. 

Comment by Rachael & Waffle on May 12, 2012 at 8:16am

You have two, right?  Pick the one which is most obedient and calm outside, and go for a walk together with your new boyfriend.  I would do this 1-2 times for each dog before inviting him over.  He should get to know them outside of your home, where they're supposedly less prone to barking at strangers.  

My mom and sister are afraid of dogs, and I was afraid of dogs for a long time (I was bitten by a golden as a kid--I probably deserved it) before I got Waffle.  It took interacting regularly with a very calm, doofy Golden before I became comfortable with them.  My friend's golden/collie helped too--he was not mean at all. Like a giant lap cat.  I brought Waffle into our home and they were afraid at first.  Once he started settling in and doing silly dog things and showed both mom and my sister that he is essentially the most harmless thing on the planet, they adored him.  

Basically, pretend your boyfriend is a dog that needs socialization to people.  Take it slow, try to make it so only good things happen to him when your Corgis are around.  Hopefully he is open to changing his mind! 

Comment by Cindi & Twinkie on May 12, 2012 at 6:38am

Has he had a chance to meet Bear on neutral territory?  That would be my first step.  I think your boyfriend would be more relaxed and then Bear would be too.  Good luck!

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