Dog Training 

What to do if your dog is afraid to meet new people

Some dogs have a strong fear of strangers. Dogs often show fear around strangers. When they see someone new, they tremble, shrink and try to hide.

Some people immediately suspect that these dogs have suffered abuse in the past. This is usually not the case. Most often, a dog’s fear of strangers is caused by poor socialization. It’s important to expose young puppies to as many strangers and environments as possible during the crucial socialization period between 3 and 16 weeks of age and to ensure that each new experience is a positive one. When a dog reaches 16 weeks of age and hasn’t been exposed to many people, they may show signs of fear of strangers as they mature.

While it’s fairly uncommon for dogs to be suspicious of strangers, the best response is open friendliness rather than hiding or running away. Knowing why your dog is so afraid of strangers is a good idea if you want to help him overcome his fear.

Many people assume that all dogs interact naturally with humans. However, this is not always the case. Even dogs that genuinely enjoy interacting with people occasionally experience tension, fear, or discomfort when meeting new people. Your dog should practice socializing with different people and being petted calmly by them to learn how to deal positively and appropriately with a stranger. But for dogs that are suspicious of new people, it can be a little more difficult.

Make every new guest absolutely ignore the dog upon arrival. The dog should not be approached by a pet or make eye contact with the guest. When a visitor walks by, have some treats ready for them to gently toss on the floor next to your dog. Your anxious dog, with consistent training, might begin to associate rewards with strangers.

Another tip is to give your dog space. It helps if the dog has a place where he knows he’ll be left alone, such as a bed. B. a quiet room. Your dog could easily retreat into a crate if he becomes very anxious. Spraying calming dog pheromones or putting on a thunder shirt where it feels comfortable can also be beneficial. The dog must have a place where it can be left alone and undisturbed. So if your pet is in a safe place, don’t let anyone go in there and pull them out or don’t even try to pet them.

It’s important to talk to your vet about your pet’s anxiety as they can advise on at-home strategies and whether medication may be needed. Consultation with a board-certified behavioral vet, who focuses on dogs with behavioral issues like anxiety, may even be recommended by veterinarians. Or they suggest hiring a professional dog trainer for home training.

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