Stranger issues – transcript

Hi, my name is Ali I'm a Canine Behaviourist and Training Advisor here at Battersea 

Today I'm going to show you some ways to help your dog deal with stranger issues 

If your dog is wary of strangers it is often because of a certain amount of fear 

It is important that training is done gradually at their own pace and without any pressure being put on them 

The best approach for your dog will depend on why your dog is fearful of strangers and where they tend to react to them 

If your dog shows severe reactions around strangers or you feel as though they need to be muzzled around new people, you should contact a qualified behaviourist 

They can offer one-to-one specialist training to you and your dog 

Let's take a look at some steps that can help your dog build positive associations to strangers at home 

Step one 

The first thing you can do to help your dog at home is to make sure they don't have immediate access to the front door 

This will enable you to manage the situation when a potential stranger arrives 

Where possible, use a baby gate to section off a safety room where your dog feels comfortable that a visitor will not need to enter 

Place your dog in this room before a visitor arrives or is allowed in 

Step two 

With this training, it's a good idea to ask a friend or family member your dog's not familiar with to help 

Arrange a time where they have a spare hour or so and invite them over 

In preparation for when they arrive place your dog in their safety room and show them their reward 

This can be a toy or a treat depending on what they enjoy the most 

When you answer the door, do not look at or talk to your dog and ask your visitor to do the same 

Then lead your guest into a separate room where you can both sit down 

Step three 

Once your guest is settled and your dog is calm you can open the baby gate and let them into the room 

If your dog chooses to stay where they are even with the baby gate open, that's fine as we do not want to force an interaction 

Ask your visitor to remain relaxed and completely ignore your dog, this includes no looking touching, or talking to them 

Step four 

The key now is to reward your dog for any calm and quiet behaviour 

For example, if they look at your guest without reacting or they settle down somewhere 

If your dog is continuously barking tense or seem overwhelmed by your visitor just encourage them back to their safety room with food or toys until they are calm again 

It is important that you are the one rewarding your dog and not your visitor 

They may feel conflicted about taking a tasty treat from a stranger, and we don't want to force the interaction 

Even if your dog is settling well and showing calm behaviours, do not ask your visitor to approach them 

This may be overwhelming and could undo all the great work that you've done in helping them to relax  

When your visitor is ready to leave encourage your dog back into their safety room with food and toys 

Have your visitor calmly leave while continuing to ignore your dog 

In time, these steps can help your dog learn that having visitors can be very rewarding 

Those are our tips on how to help your dog deal with stranger issues at home 

If you'd like to learn more about how to teach your dog the Battersea Way visit our website, follow our channels and make sure you hit the subscribe button on our YouTube channel.