Tips to Help a Fearful Puppy Stop Barking and Lunging at New People

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 26, 2018

Boba and Tofu - Tips to Help a Fearful Puppy Stop Barking and Lunging at New People

For this Marina Del Rey puppy training session, we helped 4 month-old Boba (Pictured here on the left with his mother Tofu) stop being fearful around people or dogs he doesn’t know.

Boba was upset the moment I came into the home; barking at me in protest. I ignored his barking as any reaction from me would ultimately be validating. Instead I gave him space and basically ignored him. Within a few minutes he calmed down enough for me to start building some trust with him.

Stopping a puppy from being fearful around new people is all about helping it build up positive association. Many people think petting is the best way to help a fearful puppy, but as I explain in the free puppy training video below, that will actually backfire. I started offering high value treats to help the dog get over his fear of meeting new people You can watch me use some patience and Dog Psychology to help this dog learn that approaching me wasn’t something it needed to fear.

When you have a puppy who is scared to meet new people, you need to act as soon as you can. Puppies practice any behavior they repeat. The more it barks in protest at new people. the more likely it is that behavior is repeated.

Enrolling Boba in a puppy socialization class ASAP is one of the most important things the guardians can do following this in-home dog training session. Puppies learn more in an hour of socialization with puppies of a similar age, than in a week of instruction from a human.

These classes will help by teaching some basic skills and commands, but most importantly for Boba, practice being around other dogs who are similar in maturity to him. If the guardian can find a positive reinforcement based class that includes supervised socialization / playtime, Boba will be able to observe and learn social graces and behaviors. These are crucial lessons a puppy needs to learn when they are small as they can start doing real damage when they grow in size and adult teeth.

Both dogs see the humans as having less authority than they do due to several small things that are easy to fix. The guardians need to start enforcing new rules consistently, adding structure through petting with a purpose and passive training.

There are many small changes to repeated actions the guardians can to redefine the leader follower dynamic while also building up Boba’s confidence.

I promised to share links on how the guardians can use escalating consequences to enforce invisible boundaries. This will help both dogs develop and practice self control while simultaneously reinforcing their respect for the humans. Starting to add structure to mealtime and increasing the dog’s exercise in creative ways will all have positive impact on both dog’s behavior.

To help the guardian remember all the dog behavior suggestions I made in this in home puppy training session, we shot a roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr