For some dogs, meeting new people can be scary. We don't always know what has happened in a dog's life that could lead them to be wary of new people, but one things for sure ... we need to be the ones to check out a stranger first and let our dog know that they are ok.
Even if it's a friend or relative, any new person that your dog is meeting, you need to let them know that that person is ok by you.
Here are some protocols to make sure any interaction with a new person goes well:
➡️ Don't force your dog to meet or greet anyone
➡️ Let your dog meet someone on their own terms
➡️ Make sure that when guests arrive at your home, keep your dog at a safe distance (even in another room) until the excitement calms down.
➡️ Tell all of your guests not to approach your dog
➡️ It is a common misconception that a stranger should give treats to your dog to ingratiate themselves. On the contrary, give your guests treats to toss over to your dog. Never approach a fearful dog as they may bite.
➡️ If your dog approaches someone on their own, that person should let the dog smell them without making notice of the dog at first, let the dog become comfortable in the situation. Then drop a treat and slowly get to the point where the dog is taking a treat from their hand. Then you can ask the dog if they can be petted by offering the back of the hand to smell first.
For some dogs, these steps will go fast. For some dogs these steps will go slow.
It is important not to push a scared or fearful dog too fast as they can and will bite. Let your dog set the pace and follow it exactly.