Most dogs develop a severe mistrust of strangers, that is, those who are not part of what is found in their daily routine, since they are usually loyal and protective animals only towards their owners. Because of this, before unknown humans, they often feel fear and extreme nervousness that makes them immediately look for a place to hide. If in your case your pet is like this and you want to reassure him, here we give you 5 tips to help him.
According to the American Kennel Club or AKC organization, which registers dog breeds, it is likely that your dog will not feel love towards all the people he meets, but helping him to lose inhibitions is recommended to better cope with his visits to the veterinarian, for example. Also, some may have defiant responses in an attempt to protect themselves, being a behavioral problem that can be improved.
1. Don’t force introductions
Although many dog owners want their dogs to be sociable and friendly by nature, the truth is that fear of strangers can develop for many reasons, including a traumatic experience in the past. This is why it is recommended to be patient and not push your pet into a situation that generates more discomfort than security, since if they feel pressured they may have a response contrary to what you expect.
At this point, specialists comment that it is time to reevaluate the expectations you have towards your dog because if he feels uncomfortable in front of strangers, the best thing is not to force him to be different but to reach a point where he can be present and calm with other people. without the need to interact with them.
2. Train them when people are around
Ideally, start a training session with your puppy when people are close enough for them to get used to it, but also while they are at a distance where your pet doesn’t feel threatened. Specialists say that you can start by showing your dog images or sounds of strangers. Also, when someone approaches, you can ask them to ignore your puppy.
3. Offer him rewards while he’s with strangers
After you’ve shown him the sights and sounds of other people, and started his training with strangers nearby, it’s time to offer praise and his favorite treats. This is always a feasible method, as it is a technique that helps her begin to transform those uncomfortable moments into something positive, changing her emotional perspective.
4. Do not punish him
If training your dog to interact better with strangers is already a very overwhelming situation for him, the last thing he needs is to be scolded or punished for not being as you want. It’s normal for a puppy that feels threatened to start barking or growling, so suppressing it won’t change how you feel about him, it will double his nervousness and lead to worse behavior, such as a bite.
5. Do not hesitate to leave it in the hands of experts
If you’re having a lot of trouble helping your shy and anxious pet, it’s always a good idea to leave it in the hands of a canine behavior specialist, that is, a qualified trainer who has the necessary experience to evaluate their attitudes and improve them. Many times it is a task that can overwhelm the owners, but you must remember that you are not alone.