Help Your Dog Get Over Its Fearing Strangers
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How do I help my dog who is scared of people?
Some dogs suffer from an extreme fear of strangers. They snuggle, shake, and try to hide from new people they meet. While it is not uncommon for dogs to be afraid of strangers, the ideal reaction is open kindness, not hiding or running away.
If your dog is overly afraid of strangers, it is a good idea to understand the reasons for this so that you can help him overcome his fear.
Reasons for fear
There are many reasons why your dog may be afraid of people he does not know.
- One possibility is his genetics. A shy or timid dog is more likely to produce nervous offspring. A dog that has a general fear of all strangers, rather than a specific fear of men or boys, for example, may be genetically predisposed to fear.
- Another reason some dogs fear strangers is a lack of proper socialization as puppies. Puppies who are not lucky enough to meet a wide variety of people are more likely to develop a fear of people they do not know.
- Dogs with a history of abuse can also be afraid of strangers. If you have a history of abuse, you can better understand why your dog is afraid of strangers.
Calm the fear
A dog's fear of strangers must be handled very carefully. All dogs react differently when they are afraid. A dog can simply curl up in a corner in the presence of a stranger. Another dog may respond by growling or snapping. Teaching a dog not to be afraid usually takes a lot of time and constant training.
You can expect your dog to react fearfully towards strangers. This can cause her grip to tighten or tighten on your leash. Try to stay friendly, relaxed, and upbeat when you and your dog meet new people.
Some dogs never learn to fully accept strangers, but you may be able to alleviate your dog's fear to some degree. Don't force your fearful dog to meet people or accept animals if he doesn't want them, as this can sometimes lead to a fear of biting.
Based on your dog's reaction, it is very helpful to work with a certified behaviorist to help identify cues and management strategies to practice. Each dog learns and adapts at its own pace. This process can take weeks, months, or even longer.
Prepare new visitors
Whenever someone new comes to visit, ask them to ignore the dog completely. The visitor should not attempt to pet or make eye contact with the dog.
Have on hand some treats that your visitor will gently deliver to the ground near your dog during the visit. With consistent application, your fearful dog may slowly begin to associate strangers with rewards.
Some dogs fear males more than females. If you notice your dog straining, whining, or growling with strangers of a particular gender, you can groom your guests accordingly.
Allow your dog to approach a stranger on his terms. Depending on the severity of your dog's fear, he may quickly approach a stranger and allow himself to be petted and handled, or he may need several visits to warm up with a new person.
Some dogs with very severe behavior may need to move to a comfortable place in the house, away from visitors, where they can rest and not be anxious when visitors arrive.
If you have noticed growling or any form of aggression from your dog, it is very important to work with a certified canine behavior specialist to help you determine the triggers and if your pet can safely act on them. visitors. You never want to put visitors or your dog in a situation where someone could get bitten.
Once your dog approaches, the person should continue to avoid eye contact and make slow, non-threatening movements. Never force your dog to accept manipulation from a stranger, especially a child.
If a dog is pushed too far out of its comfort zone and is not allowed to escape, it may resort to biting. Because dogs that fear strangers can bite out of fear, it's your job to make sure everyone is safe around your dog. It can mean putting your dog in a different room when certain people visit.
Keep things stress free
Give your dog a space of its own. It helps to have a place, such as a quiet room, for the dog where he knows he will be left alone. A crate is a great place for your dog to escape when he gets too anxious.
Applying a thunder t-shirt or spraying soothing dog pheromones to your safe area can also help. If your pet is in a safe place, do not allow people to come in and remove it or even try to pet it, since the dog should have an area where it can be left alone and without problems.
Getting your dog out of potentially scary situations is perfectly fine, especially if it helps keep visitors and your dog safe. Safe places for dogs don't have to be one big space; A comfortable and quiet corner of a room where your dog can snuggle up with his favorite toy or blanket will serve him well. Make sure no one enters this area without checking first; the dog should feel that he is not interrupted or surprised that he feels safe.
Veterinary and pharmaceutical care
It is important to discuss your pet's fear with your veterinarian, as he or she can guide you on the tactics he can use at home and discuss whether medication is warranted. Veterinarians may even recommend consultation with a boarding veterinary behavioral specialist who specializes in dogs with behavioral problems such as fear. Or you can recommend home training with a certified dog trainer (CDPDT).
Obedience training can be very helpful in controlling fearful behaviors and alleviating some of your dog's stress. Because a severe fear of strangers can result in aggressive behavior, including grunting, snapping, and biting, it may be helpful to work with a dog trainer or behaviorist to develop a plan for dealing with the fear of strangers.
Finding a certified dog trainer to work with you and your fearful pet is helpful at all times. As a general rule of thumb, the sooner a trainer gets involved with a fearful animal, the better.
CDPDT trainers can approach situations objectively and teach you how to help your fearful pet interact safely in the environment.
Some animals can establish a specific training and desensitization plan. For others, they may determine that the best way to keep a pet and others safe is to keep them out of potentially frightening situations.
And yet, for other situations, a trainer may recommend a modality like a wire basket muzzle that can help limit biting while allowing an animal to pant and drink water.
Basket muzzles (or any muzzles) are best used under the supervision of a certified trainer or veterinarian who can ensure that they are only worn for limited periods of time, inappropriate situations, and with the proper fit.
Muzzles should never be used for punishment and nylon or cloth muzzles are not recommended outside of a veterinary practice, as dogs cannot pant through them well, which can lead to emergent situations.
Fearful pets can present challenges for owners, but practicing patience, managing your pet wisely, and enlisting the help of trainers and veterinarians can help fearful pets deal with their fears.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about How to Help Your Dog Get Over its Fear of Strangers?
Source: Little Paws Training
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