My dog doesn't like other people. How can I help this behaviour?

My dog puts his tail between his legs and runs anytime anyone outside the house hold tries to pet him. I tried to hold him still so my mom could pet him but he was acting like he would bite her so I didn't push the issue and the other day a teenager reached down to pet him and Kairo snapped at him. But my two friends came over, which they rarely do, and even though Kairo displayed his usual behavior they just went right up and grabbed him and pet him and he didn't have a negative reaction, he just let them touch and pet him. Why is this and how can I help him be less anxious w/ strangers? Even @ the pet store when he's on a leash with me he won't let anyone touch him or take treats from anyone.

Asked by Kairo on Jan 31st 2009 Tagged negativereaction, anxious, strangers, kairo in Behavior & Training
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Best Answer

♥ Luke ♥

Your first poster gives some very good advice and I tried Lola's advice a few min. after reading it. Luke, my pup is very shy around strangers & even people he has met a few times. I don't push him, I give instructions to who ever comes over not pet or approach him, let him come to them & I never leave him unsupervised, he's just not secure enough yet. But totally ignoring him for a bit actually worked great. He had time to relax & observe & when I called him to meet the man he came over & even though I could feel him leaning into me he actually seemed to enjoy the chance to see what all the excitement was about (the other dogs get a bit excited when we have company :). Take it slow & steady & don't push him. He needs to learn to trust & feel secure. Too often a fearful dog becomes an aggressive dog. Also it's been my experience that wolfdogs are just naturally more aloof around people outside their immediate circle. You might find more info here ...

♥ Luke ♥ answered on Feb 1st.

Other Answers



I would immediately stop taking him to public places where people would want to pet him because he will bite someone eventually. He is a very scared pup and scared dogs bite. He is giving every signal that he is uncomfortable and scared and he would rather go w/o a pat on the head. You can help him build his confidence by working with him. Have someone come over and have them put a yummy treat in their hand or toy. When they step in and your dog shows signs of being uncomfortable, have your friend toss the treat in the direction of the dog. Then repeat this process again and again. Next day, have someone different do the same thing. Eventually you may be able to build up to having your friend hold the treat in their hand and have your dog gently take it from them. When he does, give lots and lots of praise. You need to reassure your dog that he's safe. Take a class at your local SPCA or hire a good trainer and get going on his confidence building.

Member 768404 answered on 1/31/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Lola Penelope

Totally agree with the poster above. Also when a guest first comes in, don't have them pay him any attention at first so he doesn't feel threatened. Once they are in and he seems less scared have the guest do what was suggested above. Again, try to do this with as many people you can... but not all at once. Make sure it is just one or two people at a time. As for your mom, try to get her to do it often... then eventually, hopefully, he will see her as a great friend and be happy to see her. I would not take him to any public places. Just to reenter ate... scared dogs eventually bite!

Lola Penelope answered on 1/31/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Maybe he is afraid because of his life in the past? Where did you get him?

I suggest asking people who visit your house to give him treats so he understands that they are okay.

Goof luck

Member 665220 answered on 2/1/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer