Most dogs usually love meeting and greeting new people. However, some may not and will hide or run away or become defensive when meeting someone new. There are many reasons why your dog is fearful and it is important to understand what they’re trying to communicate to us.
When meeting strangers, they may display fearful behaviours, such as increasing the distance with the person, trying to flee or hide, shutting down, or lowering their head to stare at the stranger. They may also bark, snap or bite. This is because they are uncomfortable with the situation and need help with handling the situation.
NOTE: There could be other underlying behaviours that can be indicative of other issues, so it is important to check in with your vet to rule out any health issues first, then review your dog’s history with a vet or behaviourist before attributing the fear of strangers as the primary or sole cause of the behaviour.
The fear of strangers can be prevented through proper socialisation during the dog’s sensitive period (which falls between 8-16 weeks of age), where they get to meet strangers in varied situations and learn how to interact, form memories and associations with what they experience. However, there are other environmental factors that can still trigger this fear, such as negative past experiences or genetics.
Since the triggers and fears differ for each dog, our lead trainer will work closely together with you to understand the issue before designing an appropriate treatment plan for your dog. Although some dogs may never learn to fully accept strangers, you can still work towards alleviating their fear to some extent.
Having completed Michael Shikashio’s master course in dog aggression, Kristina is able to interpret a wider array of specific dog body language in a variety of cases. She also employs the use of science-backed methods and research in the field of canine behaviour and learning to identify the cause of your dog’s problem behaviour. After ruling out any possible medical conditions, a suitable treatment plan will be developed for your dog.
Read more about Kristina and her training methods by clicking the button below!
We are only taking behaviour modification cases from referrals by veterinary professionals at the moment.
If you have a referral from a vet, please reach out to us through our Contact Us page!