Tips to help a Dog Learn to Like New People Instead of Barking at Them

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 1, 2021

Segar scaled - Tips to help a Dog Learn to Like New People Instead of Barking at Them

For this Omaha dog behavior training session we worked with 8 year-old Bichon / Shih Tzu mix Seger who doesn’t always like new people he meets; sharing tips on how to introduce him to new people

Segar was a little bit uncertain about me when I first arrived for the session, but after using some soft body language, giving him space and using some very tasty treats, he quickly warmed up to me.

It is not at all uncommon for many dogs to feel uncomfortable when people visit their home. Some dogs bark at guests or bark at people they don’t know as a way of trying to get them to move away. Other dogs bark at strangers because they’re excited to meet them. In Seger’s case, I think he was trying to get the stranger to move away.

Tips to Help a Dog Calm Down Instead of Barking at Strangers

As a Dog Dehaviorist I have learned that one of the best ways to stop a dog from barking at strangers is to eliminate any fears while creating positive associations with them. I have developed two meeting protocols to help dogs who are anxious around new people so that the initial meeting is a positive experience for everyone.

If you have a dog that doesn’t like strangers or your dog likes to bark at people who visit your home, one of the two tips included in the free positive dog training video below can help.

By helping the dog calm down before the person enters the home, the guardians can set their dog up for success. This technique is greatly augmented by getting the dog a proper amount of physical exercise or mental stimulation before the guest arrives.

The other greeting protocol included in the video is something that the guardian should practice both with the guests and without. The idea is to have the dog think, “oh this is that game where I find a whole bunch of treats on the ground;” putting them into a very good mood.

The best way to stop a dog from barking at guests is to create a number of positive interactions in a row. The ideal situation is to do this every day for a couple of weeks so that you’re stacking one positive interaction on top of another.

There were a number of other things that the humans were doing that were likely confusing the dog or contributing to his anxiety and barking problem. To help the guardians remember all of the tips that we covered in this in-home Omaha dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can watch below.

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This post was written by: David Codr