One of the most pervasive myths about dog behavior is that dogs should be friendly with everyone -- humans and canines alike -- nearly all of the time. While it's true that dogs are an incredibly social species, putting such pressure on them is unfair.
Think about another very social species: humans. Imagine if we were expected to be friends with all other people, in all situations. Yes, including that coworker who drives you crazy. And uh-huh, even that stranger on the bus who looks at you just a little too long and gives you the creeps. Thanks, but most of us would pass.
Click Read More if you don't see the text below.
Similarly, for many dogs, being confronted by individuals outside their inner circle presents a significant level of stress. This is very common, and in some breeds, it is part of their genetic makeup. Every ringing doorbell signals that danger may be on your doorstep, and every stranger that passes by the window needs to be reminded to keep a distance.
While some dogs exhibit stranger danger -- hiding, growling, barking, even biting unfamiliar people -- in the home, it can happen outside as well. Leashed walks may force your dog to get closer and closer to an approaching stranger, without the ability to escape. Should that stranger reach out to pet your frazzled, trapped pup, he could bite.
With the help of a qualified behavior consultant, you can teach your dog strategies to feel more comfortable in the presence of a stranger. The particular strategy will depend on several factors: the intensity of your dog's reaction, your environment, the underlying emotions (e.g., fear versus protective instinct), and your commitment to the training process in both the short- and long-term.
Watch the video above for some tips to reduce stranger-danger when on a walk.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Kate is a certified dog behavior consultant, certified dog trainer, certified Fear Free professional, certified dog parkour instructor, and award-winning author.
The views expressed on this website belong to Kate Naito and may not reflect the views of the agencies with which she trains.