Not all dogs are very friendly, some can be a little tense around people. There are also instances that a dog loses all control whenever they see a stranger, in a violent and not friendly way.
The first thing that every dog trainer should accept is that this behavior is normal. New events and instances can sometimes scare these canine companions very easily.
It is just a survival instinct when encountering something or someone that is new to them. This is nothing to worry about, as long as the dog has not hurt anybody or anyone.
Corrective behavior can somewhat change the instinctual reaction of dogs from fear. Normally, one or two barks to warn someone when a stranger is approaching is pretty normal. However, continuous barking and jumping is something that should be corrected.
A lot of people probably passes by in a single house, and every single one can be a chance where the dog becomes aggressive when it comes to strangers. If left unchecked, it might become a nuisance for anyone in the future.
Thus, it is recommended for a dog’s behavior to stay calm around strangers. This will not only reduce the stress in staying afraid to new things but can also help in the social well-being of the dog.
Things To Keep In Mind To Help With Dog Training
There are certain things that have to be noted and followed as a rule. Dog trainers should keep this in mind to ensure that the training would proceed without any problems. Consider this as a preparation prior to the training proper.
1. There has to be a strictly defined routine schedule for dog training.
2. The training regimen has to be strictly followed each day. Sometimes there has to be limited view or exposure to strangers.
3. It is recommended to keep the dog away from crowded places during the entire duration of the training. Dogs might have to stay in a separate room just in case visitors are coming over in the house.
4. Ask for fellow family members and friends who are willing to volunteer to help with training the dog. The volunteer should be someone that the dog doesn’t know or rarely see, so that the violent reaction from seeing strangers will be obvious.
5. Do not ever punish or scold the dog if the dog does something that is not accepted as good behavior. Punishing the dog during the course of training will break the regimen and ruin what the dog has learned so far. Stay in the line of positive reinforcement, to ensure a longer lasting training lesson.
6. Make the dog stay calm every time he feels threatened or anxious with his environment.
7. Unruly dogs should be kept calm and confined in an area where he feels the safest. This is to ensure that nobody will hurt, and the unruly behavior will subside.
8. Try to take note and keep the objects that the dog enjoys the most. This can help in keeping the dog motivated during the training. This list can contain anything, including treats, favorite food, favorite toys, and many more.
9. As much as possible, do not use a muzzle. But prepare one which you can use when necessary.
Step By Step Training Procedure
Once the list has been noted of, proceed with the step by step training procedures below.
1. Look For An Assistant
Although this was noted previously, it is still an important aspect to the routine. It is fairly important that the volunteer should be someone that is unknown to the dog. This will ensure that the reaction of the dog will be violently against this particular “stranger”.
2. Invite The Assistant
Invite the assistant to the house where the dog resides. Better yet, meet up with the assistant in a secure area outside with no other strangers around. Be sure that the assistant knows the plan so that he can act accordingly.
3. Observe The Dog’s Behavior
Observe the dog as the assistant arrives. Be sure to look for signs of aggression around the guy. If possible, keep the dog secure so as not to cause a bite to the assistant.
Make sure that the dog is focused on the stranger friend, and keep in mind that the reaction is because of the fear of the stranger. What the trainer and assistant should do is to completely ignore this aggression, so that the dog would not feel validated of his aggression.
4. Wait To Calm Down And Offer A Treat
Wait for the dog to calm down. This will be evident if the aggression signs have subsided and he is obviously quiet. This is the perfect timing for the trainer to offer a treat. This is because the calm demeanor of the dog will be positively reinforced, especially towards the stranger assistant.
5. Refrain Otherwise
After observing the dog, if it seems that he won’t stop barking or he doesn’t want to stay calm, never give any treats and stop giving him attention. If he is tied on a post, leave him tied, and observe him from a safe distance.
This will make him think twice about barking on your assistant that posed as a stranger. Just make sure that no attention of any kind will be directed to him during the step.
6. Repeat The Routine
Continue doing this until the dog is completely calm when around the stranger. The ideal situation is when the stranger is able to go near the dog and might even pet him.
However, keep it in mind that this might be only at first. Sometimes, repeating the routine in another day can confirm the change and positive development in the behavior of the dog when among strangers.
7. Observe Again
Once the behavior is confirmed, the routine is to be repeated among different friends until the dog is completely behaved even around complete strangers. This might take a while, but it will be very rewarding.
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