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Beginner Behavior Series Pt. 2: Public Behavior

How to Act Around Other People and Dogs

A big concern for a new dog owner is how their pet will act around other children and dogs. For example, if you are adding an addition to the family, I.e. a new baby, there might be concern to how the dog will act when the baby arrives. Dogs can sense change, so some families may let the dog sniff the new baby or one of the babies toys. It’s essential to communicate with the pet and let them they are still an important member of the family to avoid confusion.

Walk In the Opposite Direction

If your dog sees another dog and begins to bark, simply turn and walk in the other direction. Your dog should immediately follow after you. Again, avoid pulling on the collar. Remain calm in this situation. Once the dog begins to walk the other way give him or her a treat as a reward and also give encouraging words. Dogs respond well to positive tones and reinforcement.

Walk at an Angle

If you don’t want to completely turn around, you may also walk at an angle to avoid the interaction with the dog. Don’t walk head on, but at an angle to avoid both dogs getting excited. Make sure the leash isn’t too tight, if you pull you may cause your dog to react. Have the leash be loose so you and the dog are both comfortable. You may also choose to walk the dog at a place where you know there may not be other individuals so you can have a peaceful walk.

Stranger Danger

Dogs are like people in the sense that they may not be too keen on strangers, or you may have a dog who loves to be around people and gets excited at the mere thought of extra belly rubs. In the case you walking and your dog is the not the type to be too friend there are a few key things you can implement. Ignore your dog's behavior.

If/when your dog begins to bark at a stranger simply ignore his behavior until the stranger passes and his mood returns to normal. You may also offer kind words of reassurance and let know that it’s okay, and you are okay and that you both are not in any danger. You may also use the sit/stay command. When your dog gets in the presence of a stranger or a dog that they do not know and they begin to bark, simply use your sit/stay command. If the dog obeys, reward with kindness and a treat. As with anything, repetitiveness is the best way to achieve positive results.

Training your dog takes time and patience. Most importantly remember to praise the dog for positive behavior with positive reinforcements. Over time he will get used to seeing strangers and other dogs while out for a walk and the experience will pleasant for you both. Staying calm is the key piece of advice for you and your friend. For more tips or information check the links below and please reach out to us at


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