Help for pups to over­come a fear of strangers

Al­low dogs to take in in­for­ma­tion from afar where they con­tinue to feel safe

StarMetro Toronto - - DAILY LIFE - Yvette Van Veen

We adopted a fear­ful dog from a shel­ter. He is sweet and gen­tle, how­ever, strangers cause him fear. To ad­dress this, we have been in­tro­duc­ing him to as many strangers as pos­si­ble. Those peo­ple of­fer him treats, af­fec­tion and so­cial con­tact. Un­for­tu­nately, he is not re­spond­ing to this strat­egy. How can we teach our dog that strangers are noth­ing to fear?

Pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes, treats and a gen­tle ap­proach are ab- so­lutely the way to go with scared dogs. The goal is, af­ter all, to con­vince an an­i­mal that peo­ple are safe and pleas­ant. But the dif­fer­ence be­tween suc­cess and fail­ure lies in the de­tails.

Dis­tance is the scared dog’s best friend. Al­low dogs to take in new in­for­ma­tion about strangers from afar. What­ever dis­tance trig­gers fear, dou­ble it. Should strangers move un­ex­pect­edly, the dog is at a dis­tance where they can con­tinue to feel safe. Do use food, but not as a lure. Lures that draw the dog in are the wrong ap­proach be­cause they draw the dog in too close, too fast.

DREAMSTIME

Us­ing food to lure dogs in closer con­tact with strangers is the wrong ap­proach. It is too much, too fast for them.

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