Fearfulness towards strangers is not an uncommon behavior in dogs. There are several factors that cause this behavior including specific breed tendencies, lack of socialization, possible mistreatment, and individual tendencies. Dogs that are afraid of people tend to drive off all strangers with aggressive displays. This video discusses how to desensitize a dog to strangers.
This video offers information on how to address this behavior. In the video, a ten-month-old dog named Zach is becoming more and more nervous around visitors. Zach becomes more fearful as more people try to become his friends.
When the dog trainer calls the attention of Zach, the canine just ignores him. So the trainer decides to totally ignore Zach for a while the dog is wandering around at a distance. This strategy works with Zach walking over on his own accord to get near the trainer and lays down at his feet. Zach’s move shows that he is feeling relaxed with the trainer and that he is starting to mellow down.
When Zach collapses down near the trainer and turns his back on him, it signals that the dog does not see the trainer as a threat. That is one technique that you can use later on.
The trainer offers tips that dog owners can use to help their visitors catch the attention of their dogs. He advises owners to give visitors some tasty treats which the latter will hold tight in their hands. The visitors need to wait for the dogs to approach them after the animals pick up the scent of the treats. According to the video, the dogs should not be pressured to come over to the visitors and to let their curiosity get the better of them.
The secret to gaining the trust of dogs and to present yourself as not a threat is to turn your back on them. When your visitors do exactly that, your dog will attempt to catch their attention and that’s where the trust building starts.
Your visitors can use body language to show your dog that there is nothing to worry about. They can either avoid eye contact with your dog or turn away from your pet.
In the wild when dogs meet, they threaten one another by staring directly at them. If the dogs feel no aggression, they just turn sideways. This is something that humans can replicate when faced with dogs afraid of people. When your dog starts to lick the hand of your visitors, that signals a new friendship formed between them.