Dogs who are scared of strangers tend to lash out and become aggressive. Some get too uncomfortable and whimper away in a corner. This behaviour is especially common adopted dogs. To help your furry friend build confidence and trust toward new people, it is most important to make him feel that you are there for him and that he can trust you.
Here are a few tips you can try to make your dog more at ease around new people:
Don’t force it
Forcing a shy, scared dog to interact with people he doesn’t know will not help you reach your goal. Canines who are fearful of strangers usually experienced abuse in the past which explains the behaviour. Being around people they don’t trust can be very hard on them. If you think they aren’t ready to go out and interact, let it be. Make your pet feel encouraged, not forced.
Introduce one person at a time
One thing you shouldn’t do is bring your furry friend in a crowded place which may overwhelm him easily. A big party at your home isn’t ideal, either. If you want him to start being comfortable around new people, take things slow and introduce one person at a time – preferably a member of the family or a close friend. If a few people are coming to visit, allow your pet to take his time to sniff and get to know each person in his own way. Whenever you have visitors, be sure to create a non-threatening environment so that your pet will feel comfortable right away.
Allow them to create their own boundaries
It is important to respect your dog’s boundaries when it comes to interacting with strangers. Observe what is acceptable to him and what is not. If he’s fine with sitting in a room with strangers but not with strangers touching or petting him then let it be. Forcing him out of his comfort zone will not be helpful. Let him deal with his fear on his own terms.
Help them build their confidence
Once he starts associating or interacting with new people, let him know that its good behaviour and reward him with treats. Show him that you’re proud through affection and words. This will help build up his confidence and eventually overcome his fear of new people.
The key is to take things slow and observe when your pet is ready to let his guard down. Don’t rush or force it. Before you know it, he’ll be wagging his tail with all your visitors!
Source by Mary L. James