Angela Merkel
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Angela Merkel has been battling with severe cynophobia for some time

By Emilie Heyl Content Writer

Published on the

The former German Chancellor has taken on bad guys like Putin, Trump and Erdogan during her tenure in office. But even Angela Merkel is not free from fears.

Cynophobia is a fear of dogs. This word comes from the Greek which means “cyno” (dog) and “phobia” (fear). If a person is cynophobic, she feels uncomfortable being around dogs and will have symptoms like trouble breathing or dizziness.

Why is Angela Merkel afraid of dogs?

The fact that there is also a person with fears behind a tough chancellor is not always apparent to the population. However, this becomes clear in those moments when private weaknesses are shared with the public. For Angela Merkel, for example, one of them is her fear of dogs. Although she prefers to call it a “certain worry” about dogs. This is due to her past: As a child, the German Chancellor was attacked by the neighbour’s dog, which had a lasting impact on her. It happened on a bike tour in the Uckermark when her knee got acquainted with the jaw of a hunting dog. 

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The situation with President Putin: power games with dogs

No wonder that a “certain concern” remains in the back of people’s minds and is called up when Angela Merkel encounters a four-legged friend. As a rule, fellow human beings show consideration when fears and weaknesses are known. Exceptions, however, confirm this rule, as Vladimir Putin demonstrated at almost every meeting with Merkel. Wherever Putin showed up with his dogs, he always brought a fur nose with him to political appointments. In 2007, in Sochi, the former Russian President ensured his black Labrador sniffed the German Chancellor. Video recordings show how much she had to concentrate and look away. Vladimir Putin was well aware of the effect his dog had on the Chancellor. This unpleasant surprise was meant to create confusion and demonstrate power. 

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