I don't know how many people tell me they have a fearful
dog at home, I have one myself. They have consulted trainers about how
to deal with this problem and they are told to throw a choke collar on
the dog and just make them do it. This is the last and most cruel thing
that you could do to your dog. When a dog has a fear of new places or
new people, they have to be introduced to it or them in the best way
possible, and at their own speed. If you force the introduction you will
freak out your dog. The best way to introduce your dog to fearful things
is with food, really yummy treats.
The next thing you need to do is train, give that dog an
education. In the safety of your home you need to teach sit, down, and
stay for this particular problem. If your dog is fearful of strangers,
which is the most common fear, then you need to keep treats with you all
the time. When a friend comes to your house, have your dog sit stay at
the door when they come in. If they are very fearful, have your friend
just walk by the dog and sit on the couch. Release your dog, give treat
and tons of praise. Allow the dog to come and meet the person at their
own pace. Give your friend some treats and they can throw them to your
dog, making a path leading to them. Friends or strangers should never
look the dog in the eye or try to approach the dog.
You need to be inviting a lot of people over so you can
practice. As soon as a new person comes in the house, give them some
treats to give your dog when he is ready. By doing this you are teaching
the dog that strangers mean treats, a good association.
Tips to remember:
Strangers are all people, except you, which the dog is
Strangers should not pet the dog on head, always on
Strangers hold food in open hand extended to dog.
Strangers should talk in high pitch voice.
Strangers should use dogs name and praise.
Changing posture from sitting to standing is very
threatening to the dog, move slowly.
By having your dog do obedience in fearful situations,
they are doing something familiar and keeping their mind off the fearful
Take your time, this can take a long time.
Above all else be patient and kind, this is a real fear.
Trainer and behaviorist
Educating your canine with positive reinforcement training.
Go on to Rules For
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