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How to introduce my dog to strangers

When you are out on a walk it’s very likely that your dog will come across different  strangers   and people being animal lovers would likely touch them or try to give them a hug or pat them. Since every dog has different personalities they would behave according to their nature If untrained. While some dogs enjoy the company of a stranger  and greet them with excitement while jumping or licking them, others are naturally unresponsive or defensive towards  them. they often bark or growl towards them seeing them as a potential threat for themselves or their owners. This kind of behavior is common  in dogs, especially the one who are newly adopted or the older dogs .

It’s common for your dog to come across different people in their live so try to introduce your dogs to strangers and observe how they react towards strangers .training your dog to be nice to strangers can be difficult task but with consistency it can be easy for future to be out with your dog in the world and meeting new people. 

Training a puppy:

Teaching your puppy is just like teaching your newborn baby about the world and to adjust him towards the coming stages of his life. Developing a Social skill for a puppy is very easy and it should be done within  their first  three  months of their being born but be careful of their immune system being developed  so you  should wait until their first vaccination.  Their training should start from home. Second, select the breed of the dog according to your environment and circumstances  that fits with your family.

Training a dog:

There are important factors to consider while trying to train a mature dog which are as follows 

Age 

Size 

Temperament 

As dogs mature  their behavior might change as they may be suffering from a disease  and are in pain, as friendly they might have been in the past they will not greet strangers pleasantly .

Second, as they send time with your family for a longer time they become a part of your pack and they can act two ways meeting new people:

Friendly dogs will meet them as they are just like extension of your family in a friendly way 

While the guards dogs are difficult to handle because they will see new people as threats and try to save you and themselves 

Lastly, how you feel about your guest will impact their judgment too. If you are feeling uncomfortable they can easily sense that and take the cue from you and will not behave friendly. As your house is your dog’s territory  so making them meet strangers at home  should be handled carefully.  

Things you can do:

Notice People they dislike:

Your dog may act differently or negatively towards certain people of age, color , male or female . try to notice how they are  acting for that particular person and the first thing you are doing is to try to eliminate that negative approach of your dog . Try to understand your dog’s behavior first. They may be acting that way because of a past trauma or negative association with a specific type of person  while being a puppy or may be before he was adopted . Secondly your dog may not be exposed to a wide variety of people which makes them fearful for certain people . so try to give them exposure to meeting new people. Lastly , you can invite people over that your dog dislikes and if they are behaving well try to give them a treat by yourself or your friend they dislike. It will help them overcome their fear and dislikes. For aggressive kinds of dogs try to keep leash on for the first time and keep the meetings short .

Associate yourself with strangers:

Your dog trusts you the most so if you are acting friendly and comfortable towards a stranger your dog can sense that too as simply as it gets how you are talking or sitting with a stranger and also help them calm down. They may bark or growl at first but seeing you sitting down calmly will make them understand that a specific person is not a threat .

Treats for meeting new people:

When you introduce them to new people and they do not bark or stay calm even if they are not that friendly, give them a treat and appreciate them by saying ‘god boy or good girl’. Try if your dog can get a treat from a stranger  it will see them as a friendly person but be careful of aggressive dogs they might bite or scratch them .

Try talking to your dog before introducing strangers:

Before socializing them to strangers, try to calm them down while talking in a pleasant tone or excitedly so they meet a new person as a friend while being associated with your happiness. 

Fearful of certain features:

Some dogs may seem doubtful of certain features and may become defensive towards them like 

Beard 

Dark sunglasses 

Floppy hats 

Uniforms( police officers , mail carriers )

So to avoid this situation try to introduce them to all kinds of people .

Dog parties:

They can be a good start for your dog to socialize .This can be a weekly or monthly opportunity for them to be comfortable around new people and if your pet is still a puppy it can be a successful start for them to socialize with meeting new people later in their lives .

A word of caution:

Forcing your dog to approach someone they are uncomfortable with teaches your dog that you don’t recognize or respect his fears. In turn, the dog will learn that you don’t have his best interests at heart, and your bond will be damaged. If your dog is not interested in meeting a stranger, respect his boundaries. In time and with training, you can help your dog to overcome this fear. But progress is never made through force.  In some instances, a dog will never be comfortable meeting new people, and this too must be respected. Can your dog learn to meet strangers politely if previously he has not been a big fan? Absolutely! With a little patience, a firm commitment, and lots of yummy treats, your  little furry friend can soon learn that new people can be a lot of fun. 

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