How can I help my boyfriend feel better when he's scared?

Me and my boyfriend were at his aunts house yesterday for dinner me and him and his aunt and his cousin were outside we were playing with the dog when he heard his cousin saying that the day before that her dog killed her sons favorite cat. She said he picked it up in his mouth and shook it to death. She said her son saw it he was sitting right in front of it on the couch. He tried to stop it but he couldn't. My boyfriend has been wanting a dog for a long time his dad won't let him have one I don't know why. But after hearing that he decided he doesn't want one because he's already got a cat. He didn't know dogs could do such things. He knew dogs could attack and he's also knew dogs hated cats but he thought that was just made up. He's never heard of that before. Now he's scared of dogs. He even got scared of the dog we were playing with but it was a tiny little weenie dog. It wouldn't hurt anyone. Me and him and his mom go to the dog shelter once in a while to help walk and play with the dogs now he's afraid to go back. He's worried a dog would attack him. All the dogs there are really nice we never had problems with them. Not even big ones. He's always been terrified of pit bulls and boxers and other mean and vicious dogs but the ones there are really sweet. He's still scared of them now after hearing about that. He's even more scared. How can I help him feel better?


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  • Dogs are still animals so they will follow their instincts and do things like kill smaller animals, I don't think that's a reason to be afraid of them and it still seems a bit extreme for the dog to do. I wonder was this dog like a farm dog? They can be much more wild at times.

    I don't know if you can make someone stop being afraid, he's obviously afraid since before he did not believe that dogs where capable of that, now he knows they are, but a dogs not going to attack someone they perceive as friends, but that's why you should always be careful around a dog that's not yours, it is still an animal.

    He needs to understand it's not so black and white, that dog was just following it's instincts, it's also instinctive to protect it's owner and to bark at strangers, it's just how dogs are, nothings changed. But if he has it set in his head that dogs are dangerous, and he's not completely wrong, you will be pressed to convince him otherwise, especially when he has a cat... Best to get a cat and dog when they are both young so that they will be used to each other, not a good idea to introduce the dog afterwards, the cat will feel it's space being invaded and you don't know how the dog will react. You can show him the dogs not dangerous when you handle the dog, but I doubt he will still want to get one, though he might get over being afraid when that cat story's not so fresh in his mind.

  • Dogs are better than cats anyway, out with the old and in with the better.