Our canine friends are generally much more perceptive of their surroundings than we can ever be, and this is probably due to their ultra-sharp senses. This is further backed with their acute sense of self-awareness that is boosted by their instincts.
They can instantly recognize anything strange happening near their vicinity, which is why we never know when or how they would react. However, one thing is for sure, dogs are extremely faithful and loyal, and they can instantly detect any threatening element within their surroundings.
According to a study published by the American Kennel Club, 45% of pet dogs in the US sleep in their owner’s bed. Plus a dog’s nose-print is unique, much like our fingerprints. Dogs are also known to show voluntary, unselfish kindness towards others without any intention of being rewarded, however, dogs can show shyness against strangers, and they might even perceive them as a threat.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the ways to make your dog calm around strangers.
Calm Both of Yourselves Down
As the owner of your pooch or mutt, it is important that you stay calm yourself. Consider yourself the alpha of the pack, and if your dog follows you well, then there is a chance that your hurriedness will make your dog feel edgy as well. How does a good leader act, one that you would respect, follow and trust. That person demonstrates clear communication- verbal and non-verbal, makes sure you are both on the same page and does not proceed ahead until consensus is gathered AND you are centered and rooted in your body aka present! What are some quick ways to exemplify this calm- shoulders back, take a few deep inhales and exhales, do a quick meditation / body scan with your 100% observation on each part of your body from toes to head. Yes, in that order.
This is why it is important that you calm yourself first and then take the situation in your hand to manage your hound. Your dog can sense your feelings better than you do, so if you are excited, acting a little tipsy, or fear something to go wrong, then your doggy is sure to imitate your response.
During the 1920s, the saying ‘monkey see, monkey do’ was quite commonly used, and this saying couldn’t make any more sense than exactly as it does here, in this situation. They love you, and they learn to behave as you do, your pet is more than animal, they are like children. What you do they try to follow, hence it is better that you don’t alarm them by giving off the wrong signals.
Dogs are genuinely very trusting, and they can follow your lead. This also makes them prime suspects to be tricked by their owners. I know this is certainly not what any dog lover would do, but sometimes you need to outsmart them. This is where you can use their nature to follow you to distract them.
Some dogs might become too excited and would like to jump on your guest, and this is understandable as a lot of them would like to play as they can be very friendly. But you have to calm them down and avoid risking your friends or guests from being annoyed. Visit observer to know more about dogs and their fears.
There are a lot of ways that you can make them busy, toys are best, or playing a game they know can also serve as a distraction. These days there are a lot of stuffed kongs available in the market, and there is hardly any dog out there who simply wouldn’t love to have a treat.
This is probably not the ideal solution that you would like to follow through with. However, it can certainly get you the outcomes that you seek. Isolating your dog is a good choice in an emergency, but at the same time, you are robbing your mutt and yourself with the learning of a lifetime. Isolation is not always the answer in many situations, especially if you consider an outdoor setting.
Surely you can have tons of options indoors, but a good dog owner would instead teach their dogs to behave in front of people rather than lock them away in some room or compartment. It is a quick fix but then again not something that anyone should be proud of in the long run.
Leash as the Last Option
What?! Yes many of us might consider leash as the first and only option but hear me out first. Dogs are generally very confident, they like to explore their surroundings, and their natural playful instinct can get the best of them at times. However, at the same time, you as an owner can make sure that their surroundings are safe for them to interact freely.
A leashed dog in a public place is great, but on a beach, farm, or open environment that is begging them to run freely, you would hardly wish to leash your dog. It is just plain hurtful to watch a dog on a leash when they are simply praying for you to let go. True, dogs can act strangely in front of strangers and putting them on a leash outdoors is perhaps the safest and the best option for every single one of us.
However I would just like to point out that if you understand the stakes completely and know for sure that your dog wouldn’t run into any sort of unpleasant encounters then please avoid the leash as much as you can, let them run.
Keeping Control of Things (Not Your Dog)
Many a number of times there are triggers in the environment or elicit prompts about a stranger that can alarm your dogs. Hence it would be best if you were perceptive about what might cause your dog to react in a weird manner. Therefore you must find these triggers and help your pet navigate through them.
Some dogs who have a history of being abused or mistreatment are genuinely afraid of strangers; that is why they must be socialized in a caring and loving manner to build their trust factor and make them more confident. Other times there can be an odd odor which their noses can instantly pick up and make them act in a bizarre manner.
Illness in your dogs can also make them aggressive, and in some situations, it is also their protective trait that can kick-in at times. If your pup perceives anyone’s conduct as an act of invasion of territory, then they might respond to the threat. Plus they can be extremely protective about you as well so any abrupt action or advances a stranger makes on you, they can jump in to protect you.
You need to understand all of these things and much more in order to realize that it is not always your dog who is acting in an absurd manner and that they are probably other things in the surrounding that is bothering them.
Work on Their Greetings
Greetings can be worked out, and you can teach your dog how to meet new people. This can further be strengthened through positive reinforcement techniques that are mentioned above.
Dogs are excellent readers of emotions, and even though they do not speak our language, there are certain words they can associate with certain actions over time. They can build listening vocabulary and understand your commands when they hear them.
Reinforce Good Behavior
I know some of you may consider the theory by Ivan Pavlov as redundant but Classical Conditioning does hold a lot of value, especially when it is applied for certain social phenomena. You can teach your dogs to act properly through the reinforcement of good behavior. Many professional dog trainers have used this method to make dogs perform extraordinary feats and win international competitions of the highest order.
So why not give this one a try yourself. Positive reinforcement works on the method where you reward your dog with the behaviors you like and ignore what you don’t like. Rewards can range from car rides, games, outdoor fun, and treats. To train your dogs through positive reinforcement, here are some quick tips:
- Establish a proper channel of communication, make sure that your dogs are attentive to understand your reactions and see what you are doing.
- In positive reinforcement, there is simply no room for punishment. You need your dog to crave for rewards in order to get them to do what you want from them.
- Exercise and training routines that are specially built for them will help you establish a strong mental connection with your dog. They will learn to respond better with more practice.
- Patience and consistency is the key so even when your dog fails or disobeys, remember not to show anger, instead deprive them of a positive reaction or reinforcement.
- Delectable and irresistible treats should be reserved only for training purposes. This will make them start to yearn for them, and that is how you would get to control their behavior.
Showoff Only When it’s Safe for Everyone
At times some owners are too eager to show off just how amazing their puppy is, and that is probably not a good idea when there is a chance that a mishap could happen. As the owner, it is your prime responsibility to make sure that when you do show off your dog tricks, everything is under control, and there are zero chances for anyone getting hurt. Many students nowadays are also showing off how personal statement help UK can buy them the time to play with their pets and manage other chores throughout the day.
There is much more to our pet canines that we can imagine. This is why to conclude this post; I would like to mention a quote from a famous American journalist, Mr Jon Katz, who once stated:
“Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.”
Amanda Jerelyn currently works as a Blogger at Dissertation Assistance. This is where higher education students can acquire professional thesis writing service UK from experts specializing in their field of study. During her free time, she likes to go list to pop music and stream popular TV series online.