Horror Studies

Fear to the Bone: Scary Dogs And The Fear Of Dogs

Have you seen a horror movie about a family that moves to an old mansion near a forest, or about a haunted house? There is a high probability that a dog will be involved in the plot. A dog in a horror movie is often more than a man’s best friend. Dogs in horror movies often notice the danger among the first – so much so that the belief that dogs see ghosts is quite common today – and, unfortunately, the belief that dogs see ghosts is quite common today – and, unfortunately, also the ones who might be one of the first victims. As a dog lover who also raises two adults, it’s hard for me to remain indifferent to a scene where pets are hurt. Hell, slaughter a whole group of hormone-charged youngsters, and don’t hurt a dog!

If you thought dogs had to be cute, think again. The source of the horror, in the movies or in life itself, can be the dogs themselves: Scary dogs that find their place in horror movies and our lives. So what exactly makes a dog “scary,” how dangerous are the most scary dogs, and why do we still love them?

A Scary Dog? Depends On Who You Ask

Before discussing the fear of dogs, also known as “Cynophobia,” it is essential to mention one thing: “Fear” is an extensive and subjective term. We can see that in the case of scary dogs or even in the broader aspect of fear of dogs. Some people, adults and children alike, will stay away from any dog. There are cases of fear of dogs in children where they will shy away from the bigger ones, for obvious reasons, and others in which small dogs scare the children. In other words: the personal experiences of the person, as well as the characteristics of the specific dog, may affect.

If you get to the bone of it, you can point out some characteristics that define the chance someone would describe a particular dog as “scary.”:

Scary Dog Breeds

Scary dog breeds include American Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, and Cane Corso. In some cases, these types of scary dogs are the ones that coincide as dangerous, but only sometimes. Of course, in many countries, one must follow a few rules regarding such dogs.

Sometimes, the description of the dog is a source of terror. Each month, some people ask which are “Scary dogs that sound as they’re laughing when they bark or something similar. The simple answer, thanks to Youtube, is a breed called ‘Hyenas”.

Every Dog Has a Personality

We must mention the behavior. The more aggressive the dog’s behavior – barking, growling, jumping, and so on – the greater the chances we will think of the dog as frightening, whether it is aggression towards humans or aggression directed at other dogs. Tamed or trained dogs may appear less scary, which is another reason to think about dog training. There are quite a few trainers that you can use easily, along with digital training programs (like Brain Training For Dogs or Sirius Dog Training), which look pretty cool in this case,

Attack Of The Scary Dogs

Of course, this does not say anything about the danger itself. The dogs that seem calmer are the ones that may attack in one second (yes, I mean my dog), for example, when a small child tries to pet them too hard or pick them up. On the same principle, aggression may be a positive trait indicating the dog’s “healthy” instincts or loyalty towards its owner. If the dog is not tamed or “civilized,” it may look scary and dangerous. We must remember that a dog communicates mainly physically, as long as you don’t try to understand the meaning of his barking. The dog’s natural behaviors, such as a long stare, a stiff body position, or bared teeth, may frighten.

Size Does Matter: The Case Of Big Scary Dogs

In many cases, the bigger dogs are the ones that will raise the level of terror, even if, in practice, they may be the nicest, kindest, and most loyal you will find (and in many breeds, this is precisely the case). People may think about the danger of the big dogs, apparently or not, which will make them afraid. Unfortunately, people today also judge dogs by their appearance, so a dog that won’t go to beauty contests – if we put it that way – may be perceived as threatening even if it is the friendliest and calmest dog you will find.

Beauty Does Matter

The dog’s appearance certainly has an effect, even though you can’t find an absolute beauty model for dogs. It’s enough to do a quick Google search for terms like “scary dog pictures” to understand that a large part of the pictures you’ll see there do not, let’s put it this way, meet today’s ideal of beauty (if there is such an ideal at all among dogs).

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Why Do We Love Scary Dogs Anyway?

Not only is fear a subjective emotion, but also love. Some people make the most frightening and dangerous dogs their best friends; in contrast, some are afraid of dogs of any kind. If we still try to understand why dogs considered “scary” are loved by many people, we will point to a few main reasons.

Following on from the above description of physical traits that may characterize as scary dogs, some people are attracted to precisely those traits. For them, the bigger, stronger, and more threatening the dog is, the better. The fact that these dogs, in most cases, show behavior that is considered positive, such as love for humans, self-confidence, or presence, may explain their love for them. Moreover, traits such as loyalty, intelligence, or a willingness to train are present in many of the most giant or “scary” breeds, so it is perhaps correct to emphasize that you do not judge a dog by its fur.

Although we see dogs mainly as pets today, we must remember the historical role of many breeds still present in many homes: providing protection. Some people rely on the fact that a sign posted at the entrance to their home will do the job (“Caution, dog bites!”), even if a minor, non-threatening dog is hiding behind the gate. In other cases, the pre-choice is a dog with a “scary” appearance for protection from potential threats such as burglars. A dog is not the ultimate wall of security; you can sometimes trick it (we all know the meat drill from horror movies). Still, it may contribute to deterrence and, just as significantly: to the sense of security of its owner.

Scary Dogs In Horror Movies

Horror movies certainly contributed to the development of some of our fears, including fear of animals: for example, the legend says that quite a few people were afraid to enter the water after “Jaws” came out, somewhere in the 70s of the last century, or about those who imagine spiders in their bed right after they finished See Spielberg’s “Arachnophobia” or similar films. We’ve seen almost every type of animal turn murderous in horror movies, whether it’s snakes, cats, fish, tigers, lions, sheep, and even beavers.

In many cases, these are survival films of man against nature and, in this case, against the animals in it. These animals may be threatened by their very nature. Still, they also become threatening following a particular matter described in the film, such as an experiment that goes wrong, exposure to prohibited substances, a global epidemic, etc. Heck, we recently saw a movie about a bear that smacks people after accidentally taking cocaine (“Cocaine Bear”), followed by some rather amateurish-looking upcoming mockbusters about a shark that takes cocaine (“Cocaine Shark”), a raccoon exposed to crack (“Crack Coon”). ) and even alligators exposed to meth (“Attach of the Meth Gator”).

In the case of scary dogs, the picture is a little different. As mentioned earlier, in many movies, a dog is a source of sympathy or identification and is part of the “good” characters we want to stay alive.

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Cujo (1983)

There have, of course, been horror films in which the dog is the main villain, although their number is quite limited. Think, for example, of Stephen King’s Cujo from 1981, adapted into a film of the same name in 1983. The plot here concerns a large but very friendly Saint Bernard named Cujo, not the most scary dog you can imagine. However, when Cujo is chasing a rabbit, he got into a cave with bats, which are infested with rabies. He is bitten, becomes sick, and a murderer who threatens a mother and her son who are trapped in a car.

The Breed (2006)

Another successful example is “The Breed” from 2006, produced by the horror artist Wes Craven and starring Michelle Rodriguez. In the film, a group of people arrives on an exotic island, which turns out to be the opposite of pastoral, following a large pack of murderous dogs. When the friends get stuck on the lonely island – never in a horror movie has there been an island they also bring back from quickly – they are forced to fight for their lives. There are other examples of horror films where the main threat is dogs, although we have yet to find too many successful films from recent years that put this threat at the center.

Other Scary Dogs In Horror Movies

Of course, an entire movie doesn’t need to be about walking on all fours to have a scary dog character, nor does it need to be a horror movie. Let’s go through lists of the most horrifying dogs in cinema. You will find, for example, representations of the dog that turns into Sirius Black in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” the deformed dog with a human face from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” that infected dog from “The Thing,” zombie dogs ( As there is, for example, in the films “Resident Evil”) and even the dog with the haunted yellow eyes from the opening titles of the “Goosebumps” series.

Despite this, and unlike other fears that horror films may contribute to, such as the fear of clowns – in this case, it is difficult to blame horror films for creating a fear of dogs. Until that happens, we will continue to see random scary dogs in horror movies or hope that the “good” dogs are not the first victims.


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