How To Help Your Dog’s Fear Of New People?
Having visitors, family and friends over to your house is an expected part of life. While some dogs are happy to welcome a new and exciting person, other pooches may not like the sound of the doorbell and some may be nervous about meeting new people. There are lots of ways to calm your pet, and help them learn that the door, doorbell and guests are nothing to worry about – and not something to feel defensive, scared or angry about.
Top 5 Expert Tips:
1. Gradually socialise your dog
- Gradually socialising your dog on walks, classes, and in everyday situations can help them learn to stay calm around new and unfamiliar people
- Familiarising your pet with the sound of the doorbell – rewarding calm behaviour, and ignoring aggression or barking, may help if the sound of the doorbell is a trigger
2. Introduce guests to your dog
- Keep guest numbers low at first
- Allow your dog to approach guests in their own time, sniff and familiarise themselves. This can help your dog to feel reassured and accepting of guests
- If you have shaken hands or hugged your guests on arrival, the mix of your familiar scent with the visitor’s unfamiliar one can also help your dog feel reassured that they are safe
3. Reward positive behaviour
- Make sure visitors have a treat ready to give the dog – but only when they are calm – to build a positive association
- Let your visitors know that they should ignore aggressive or agitated behaviour
4. Use a lead if your dog jumps or lunges:
- If you struggle to stop your dog from jumping or lunging keep them on a short lead when guests arrive
5. Try a ThunderShirt
- Like a comforting hug, a ThunderShirt provides gentle, calming pressure around your dog’s torso, helping to soothe their anxiety, and help them to feel safe
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