Helping an Anxious Dundee Dog Stop Fearing Strangers

By: David Codr

Published Date: August 19, 2020

For this Omaha dog training session we were called in to help an anxious King Charles mix named named Blitzen who isnt a fan of meeting new people.

I used some dog behaviorist tricks to help Blitzen feel slightly more confident with our Booking Coordinator Addy and my presence, but there was still a lot of room for improvement. He stayed away and took treats very inconsistnetly and hesitently. When you are dealing with a feaful dog, its important you give it space and avoid rushing or forcing the dog. These can cause stress and result in a dog feeling more anxious.

One of the issues we were called in to help with was Blitzen’s growling at the kids when they wake him up when sleeping or try to pet him when he’s sleeping. These are times a dog should be left alone (unless you condition the dog to be ok with you or your kids presence when eating).

I suggested the guardians make the dog bed off limits, give the dog a break in the middle of each day, and ensure the kids are not in the area unsupervised during the dog’s meal times. I also made sure to explain that growling isnt aggressive, its a dog’s way of saying it disagrees. If you punsh a dog for growling or dont listen to its warning, a nip is often the next step.

I suggested the faily adopt my merit system that rewards kids for posite encounters with their dog. I think this stratgy will help the dog feel more confident by motivating the kids to interact with the dog in ways that can boost its confidence. It will also give the parents the structure to empahsize good interactions and a consequence (loosing some candy) for interacting with the dog inappropriatet or at the wrong times.

But Blitzen’s anxiety extended to new people too. He often barked at or ran from guests who visit. This behavior is normal with dogs who are under socialized or had a nagative experience in a fear period.

To help with the dog’s anxiety around new people, I went over an exercise to help Blitzen feel more relaxed and comfortable when meeting new people. These are wonderful examples of force free, positive reinforcement methods to help a dog stop barking at new people who visit. You can learn about these free tips to help a scared dog get over a fear of strangers.

It will be important the guardians practice these techniques to help fearful dogs a few times a week for a month, possibly more. Its crucial the family set up scenarios where the dog has positive meetings with new people to boost its confidence and stop the fearful behavior around guests and strangers.

Id like the family to have a month or so to practice the things we covered in this in home Omaha dog training session. If he is still running from or keeping distance from strangers, a follow up session will be in order.

To help the fam remember all the tips we covered, I recorded a roadmap to success video summarizing things below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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