Some Free Tips to Help a Dog Feel Better Around Kids or New People

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 26, 2020

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with Zuri, a 3 year-old Aussie mix who is anxious around new people and children.

We set Zuri up for success by meeting outside, leaving a treat trail for Zuri to find that led her to us. After a slow moving greeting and more treats, we took a short walk before heading inside. This is a great way to introduce a anxious dog to new people.

Once we got inside, Laura and I moved slowly, didnt give Zuri any direct eye contact, avoided trying to pet her and moved slowly. These are all good things to do around dogs who are fearful of strangers. Many people think petting a fearful dog is a good idea, but its not, unless the dog shows you its interested in your interaction.

We suggested that if the family hosts any guests that they keep the visits short. Many dogs who are scared around new people can hang in there for a while, but if it goes too long they can start getting cranky. When rehabiliting a dog who is anxious around strangers, you want to create a series of completely positive experiences. Shorter visits are best for this.

But sometimes people may need to stay longer than the dog can handle, when this is the case, putting the dog in a different room can help. But only if the dog is comfortable alone. Since Zuri isnt a fan of being left alone, I walked the guardians through an exercise to help her practice being calm and alone.

It will be important for the guardians to practice this to success alone before trying it when visitors are present is super important. This, plus some exercise in advance will set the dog up for success.

Another issue the guardians wanted to address is Zuri showing signs of fear and stress around a relative’s baby. Many dogs are fearful around children unless they are socialzied around them as a puppy. Without early socialziation like puppy classes, its not unusual for dogs to feel anxious around children.

I pulled out my camera so we could make a video of tips to use to help a dog feel good around children. I call this click for looks and its a great way to help a scared dog feel comfortable nstead of anxious or fearful. You can learn how to help a dog develop a positive association around children by watching the free positive dog training video below.

This in an easy way to help a dog who doesnt like children, skateboards, people in uniforms and just about anything else. Its a great way for the dog to start building up a positive association with people, places or things that it isnt a fan of. After enough practice, dogs will often start showing curiousity of the thing they used to fear or be uncomfotable around. When this happens, continuing the slow and steady progress is the way to continue.

Just like anything else, helping the dog get over its fear of new people and kids will take time and practice. The guardians will need to continue to set Zuri up for success by exercising before hand and keep encounters short. The idea is to build one success on top of another.

Since Zuri was showing more fear and anxiety than we’d like, its possible she may need a follow up session later. But id like the guardians to spend a good month working on all the things we covered in this in home Omaha dog training session first. To help the guardians remember everything, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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