This is one of the most frustrating types of dog behavior problems. Your dog may not hate all strangers; just certain ones.He may hate every man he comes in contact with, or he may tolerate men unless they wear hats. He may absolutely detest kids under five, but older children are fine. He may be fine with strangers outside the home, or he may bark at anyone who walks by the house.
You can use dog behavior modification techniques to desensitize your dog to strangers. But in order to do so, you need to identify exactly what it is about a stranger that&amp;amp;amp;#8217;s scaring him.
Common Triggers For Canine Aggression In Fearful Dogs
Men often seem more threatening to a nervous dog than women do. They&amp;amp;amp;#8217;re bigger, their voices are deeper and louder, they may have beards or moustaches, they may wear hats. Men have a more direct way about them.Another reason is that they make eye contact more directly, also. Sometimes a man may remind your dog of someone who scared him or abused him in the past.
A group of children may be enough to scare a nervous dog into a show of aggression.Their movements are quick and unpredictable, and their voices are high-pitched. They&amp;amp;amp;#8217;re sometimes attached to scary things like skateboards and roller blades.If your dog already has fear issues, small children with noisy toys can be terrifying to him.
Kids also have a tendency to grab dogs with no warning and hug them.This behavior can be dangerous with an unfamiliar dog. Most dogs don&amp;amp;amp;#8217;t like to be hugged anyway. Teach your children never to hug a dog, especially one they don&amp;amp;amp;#8217;t know.
Any dog finds it threatening if someone makes prolonged eye contact with him. This is especially true with a nervous, fearful dog. Avoid looking a strange dog directly in the eye. Look down or to the side instead.
Someone who&amp;amp;amp;#8217;s just walking down the street fast or very slowly can be scary, too, especially if they appear to be coming right at your dog. Anything out of the ordinary can be unsettling for him.
Out of the ordinary movements, like somebody waving their arms around, or jumping up and down will also catch a nervous dog&amp;amp;amp;#8217;s eye.If your dog catches a whiff of an unfamiliar smell on a stranger, like beer or cigars, it can scare him, too.
Sometimes it&amp;amp;amp;#8217;s not something as obvious as any of these things. You&amp;amp;amp;#8217;ll need to spend some time watching your dog and making notes of which trigger, or combination of triggers cause him to display fear-based aggression towards strangers.
Dog Behavior Modification Can Help
Punishing a dog who displays canine aggression towards strangers doesn&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;t work. Dogs learn by associating things. So punishing a dog who&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;s already aggressive towards strangers only serves to teach the dog that strangers really are bad.He thinks that he gets punished whenever a stranger shows up, so he becomes even more aggressive with strangers.
What you need to do is to desensitize your dog to strangers. You do this by associating strangers with good things, like tasty treats. Dog behavior modification is a long, slow training process that can&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;t be rushed.
A good dog training course can be worth its weight in gold when working with a fearful dog. When looking at courses, you&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;ll want to choose one that has lots of good testimonials from dog owners who have used the course material. It&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;s also important to find a course that includes a free consultation with an experienced dog trainer. Another essential feature you&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;ll appreciate is a dog owner forum where you can ask questions, and talk to other dog owners who have solved the same problem with their dogs.
This is the easiest way you&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;ll find to to deal with fear aggression in dogs.
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