Similar to humans, dogs may also feel anxious around strangers. However, every dog may respond differently to new people around them. But one thing’s for sure; their response shouldn’t be unsettling but friendliness. If your dogs fear strangers, there are many things you can do as their owner, and here are some of them.
1. Ease Their Fear
Since most dogs would get scared of strangers, you can’t avoid that strangers are hard to predict. But you can always start socializing your dogs by getting them familiarized with strangers.
As soon as you feel it’s time to introduce them to strangers, you can do it in a controlled way. Once you’re teaching them to strangers, try to reassure your dogs by holding and petting them. Of course, you have to be careful not to scare them.
2. Calmly Introduce Dogs to New People
When introducing dogs to new people, don’t simply place them near each other. You can do it in a controlled way. Before you do this, you have to make sure that you’re there as well.
Hold on to your dog tightly so that you can prevent them from moving away from you. If you’re in a public area, you can also try to reach out to a friendly stranger to hold your dog’s leash instead. As your dog starts getting accustomed to strangers, you can slowly step away.
3. Coordinate with the Strangers
Once you’re introducing your dog to a stranger, be sure to coordinate with the person. Make sure that your dog is on a loose leash. You also have to make sure that you’re giving your dog some commands.
If you’re at a park or in an area where you can freely move, you can ask your dog to sit and stay, then ask the stranger to hold its leash. You can also encourage the dog to sit by giving a treat or a toy as you’re doing this. The moment your dog follows your command and sits, immediately ask the stranger to let go of the leash and try to have the dog follow you.
4. Try to Make Introductions Stress-Free
If your dog fears strangers, socializing with them can be a bit challenging for you. You have to be persistent and consistent with this. The only way you can do this is by introducing them to other people over and over again for a week.
Don’t be surprised if your dog doesn’t want to be near a stranger the very first time you introduce them. It doesn’t mean that your dog is afraid of strangers. It just means that it’s a normal response when you’re trying to socialize them.
5. Pursue Dog Obedience Training
If you can’t be with your dog 24/7, you can always consider dog obedience training. The obedience training will help you get your dog used to other people. In addition, it serves as one of the best ways to get your dog to be friendly to new people.
You can teach your dog some basic commands such as sit, stay, down, and coming. You can instruct your dog on these commands by using a treat or a toy. In addition to that, you can use goodies to have your dog follow you and have them perform the commands.
If you’re concerned about your dogs’ fear of strangers, don’t consider it to be a severe problem. Try to learn and understand your dog, and you’ll surely notice that they become friendly to new people. If you’re unsure how to approach this issue, talk to a professional to help you.
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