Individuals experiencing Fear of Dogs

Healing Paws works in private practice with individuals who have developed cynophobia (fear of dogs). We work with all ages, children to adults, to assist in overcoming their dog fear.

The goal is to increase the individual's feeling of safety and comfort when in the presence of dogs. We employ a systematic approach, customized to the needs of the individual.

Please contact Christi at cwdudzik@healingpaws.com  for more information.


Dog Phobia Testimonials

An adult's Healing Journey, from Phobia to Friend

“My healing journey started when I encountered Christi and her amazing dog partners.  Until then I had lived most of my life with this biggest fear of dogs, although part of me secretly was longing for being a dog owner one day.  Sounds crazy?  I agree. 

 I’ve always wondered what’s wrong with me and often felt sad about having such an uncontrollable fear toward even toy dogs.  The terror of getting bitten or even injured severely by dogs impacted my lifestyle in many ways and resulted in my defensive behaviors in dealing with dogs no matter where I went. 

My father’s passing in 2010 re-affirmed me that I should do what I really want to do and live fully at this present moment.  I still feel it almost a miracle that her friend, who I ran into at a beauty salon, introduced me to Christi at that time. 

From the beginning all the way through, Christi and her dogs totally understood my needs/wants and have worked with me in a very professional manner, step-by-step, with so much empathy, kindness, and patience.   I am now confident of and comfortable with meeting and greeting with dogs.  I am eternally grateful to Christi and all of her dog partners (Ruby, Paddy, Cozy, Shug, and Teddy) or having helped me conquer my biggest fear of life and finally enjoy life with my own dog!!!”   


CHANGING THE LIFE OF A LITTLE GIRL

Christi Dudzik, Healing Paws CEO, helping a child with dog phobia

"Christi Dudzik has significantly changed our lives this year by helping our daughter overcome her fear of dogs. Our daughter was traumatized by a dog when she was three. Subsequently, she had nightmares and was extremely fearful of any dog. An opportunity arose for our daughter, now age nine, to attend a week-long camp with a resident dog this past summer. This prompted us to contact Christi to see if she could help us work through our daughter's fear.

Christi willingly and patiently took on the challenge of working with our very reluctant daughter weekly over a two-to-three month period. Her nurturing and kind approach allowed our daughter to make choices about next steps, but also led her mentally and emotionally through some tough sessions.

The first steps of learning dog safety through videos, books and working with stuffed animals provided a gentle introduction. Christi then brought her well-trained dogs into the sessions. Through tears and anger, our daughter was gently encouraged to meet the dogs using safe techniques. Our daughter's self-esteem was maintained through each session and each step was rewarded with lots of positive reinforcement.

The final few sessions were amazing to watch. Our daughter was actually calling Christi's dog, Sugar, to run towards her as part of a training routine! The final graduation session was also a huge step in that our daughter had the opportunity to meet several dogs at once in a dog training class. She demonstrated that she could confidently enjoy being around dogs and had lost the fear and apprehension. She now wonders what took her so long to get over the fear. My daughter enjoyed her week at camp this year and also played outside with girl friends this summer. She has even made friends with and plays with the golden retriever next door!

Christi's counseling skills and experience in working with therapy dogs made all the difference in helping my daughter through this major life hurdle. We sincerely thank her for all the time and effort she expended to make this happen!"


A YOUNG MAN REALIZES HE CAN ENJOY
THE COMPANY OF DOGS

Christi Dudzik, Healing Paws CEO, helping a child with dog phobia

Christi Dudzik is magical. She was able to take my 10-year-old son (whose dog phobia was so severe that he would run screaming when he saw one in the elevator, and forgo trick-or-treating on Halloween because he might encounter a canine) and with a few weekly visits, transform him little by little into someone who was happily walking with, petting, and giving treats to her dogs. He can now blithely share the elevator with a dog, and even be willing to "meet" new dogs as long as they're gentle.

Christi Dudzik, Healing Paws CEO, helping a child with dog phobia

Christi never condescends or belittles someone's fear - instead, she is deeply understanding of why a person would be scared, and takes their feelings completely seriously. Her tactics of protecting one's personal safety, respecting boundaries and being a "tree trunk" or a "rock" if an unknown dog approaches - these all contributed to making my son feel safe, and understood, and well-equipped to handle random dog encounters in the future. Her mellow, plainspoken, kind and easygoing demeanor is immediately appealing...and her genuine passion for what she does, as well as her curiosity about what makes her clients tick, makes her truly beloved as a therapist. Christi was able to make my son feel empowered, never "pushed" into anything - and her use of costumes and silly fun made the sessions enjoyable as well as therapeutic. I can't recommend her highly enough.