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My research covered fear of dogs and how it's represented in film. What I found was that hostile, cinematic depictions of human-dog interactions were oftentimes a result of the dog's status as a carrier of disease (rabies), something that lead to cultural stigmas against dogs as well as symbolization of the spread of other diseases like AIDS and the flu. Films simply used this as a way to pander to the hysteria of a certain country or time period plagued by a disease outbreak.
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Smith, Taylor, "Cynophobia in Film" (2020). Fall Student Research Symposium 2020. 83.