HOW TO TEACH YOUR DOG TO ALLOW BEING PETTED BY STRANGERS
Taylor’s main assignment from last time was to work on being less fearful of strangers and more happy and friendly. He was much happier, calmer and friendlier this visit, so it’s been working!
The assignment was to have him take high value treats from people after sitting for them. This teaches him what he’s supposed to do with new people as well as pairs seeing new people with the probability of getting a highly desired treat.
This exercise is Pavlovian in nature. If enough strangers give your dog a cookie, he will learn to anticipate the oncoming happy occasion of getting a wonderful cookie, rather than fear or dread of the experience of meeting new people.
You have to be careful do this correctly (it’s best under the supervision of a behaviorist) because you have to make sure you never reward the fearful (or aggressive) behavior by accident and you have to make sure that both the dog and the person (stranger) feels and is safe during this exercise.
So, please do not try this is your dog is severely fearful or aggressive. Seek professional help. The Pooch Coach is just a phone call away!
Here is a video to further demonstrates the technique described above.