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How can I train my dog to be friendly and polite to strangers?

My boyfriend and I are adopting a dog who is nervous around strangers and territorial of his current home. From what we’ve seen, this mostly manifests itself as either hiding and running away or excessive barking.

As he is coming to a new home and new owners (us) we feel this would be the best time to train him to be quiet and polite to strangers and not to bark at visitors in our home.

We plan to use positive reinforcement/clicker training, as I do not like the idea of negative training and punishments.

Does anyone have any ideas for positive ways to reduce the dog’s anxiety towards strangers and his territorial behavior?

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12 Responses to “How can I train my dog to be friendly and polite to strangers?”

  1. Callybabe said :

    Just enroll at some free classes offered by your local Petsmart or Petco store.

  2. sarahmusichomicide said :

    i really don’t know what kind of things you can do to train him but i do know that if he is hiding and acting nervous your not suppose to try and calm and comfort him in the dogs mind he is being rewarded for this behavior

  3. hi said :

    look my dad has had many dogs and in many dog classes they will teach u to good with him but firm at the same time. your dog will never listin if your not firm but u dont have to be mean itts very easy

  4. Lindsey h said :

    We tried Petsmart with our Airedale and the instructor didnt know much about Airedales, but one thing that has really helped our Maddie with other people is being around people more often. What we did when we first got her was slowly introduce her to people and other dogs….We are still working on the cats..But that may take awhile since the cats are older and she is a bit younger. Good luck.

  5. purrpletoad said :

    Sounds like your buddy needs to be socialized. This should have taken place when he was a puppy and at his most receptive, but it’s great you are willing to work with him now. We socialized our Gordon Setter by taking her to the park and as many other public places as often as we could. Introduce him to all sorts of people (only if he is not aggressive, you don’t want a lawsuit) and praise him for positive behavior. You may want to muzzle him the first couple times you take him out, at least until you know how he reacts to people up close. My sister’s Rottie was severely traumatized and her socialization is an ongoing process. Check out any of these site for more info

  6. Amanda N said :

    You need to give him sometime time to adjust to his new surroundings before you do anything. Once he trusts you two alot, try and take him out in public more, just get him around people like close friends or relatives, but don’t rush it let him come to you.

  7. LuvnLife said :

    (If it were me, this is what I would do- My dog was the same way when we adopted him) At first I would just concentrate on playing with him and giving him lots of love until he is comfortable with you. In the meantime ignore negative actions. Then start giving him little doggie treats whenever he does something you like. The smaller they are the more you can give him! Most dogs bark for attention so I would just ignore it or tell him/her “no.” Take him for lots of walks so he can get used to meeting different people and animals. If you have any other pets I noticed it really helps stop territorial behavior to make them share some toys. Or practice giving them a toy and then making sure you can take it away without agressive responces. (Make sure you give it back at the end though =)
    Good luck!!

  8. Bubba G said :

    I have recently adopted a dog with a similar problem. First you need to be patent, and loving towards the animal. Once the dog is comfortable with you, you can introduce it to other people. The dog will still bark, run around a lot and act nervous but it will take time and lots of love. Remember, the animal must have gotten this way for a reason, you need to calm their fears.

  9. said :

    let people give him a treat

  10. kruda8 said :

    Let one of your friends come over and if u’re dog is being not polite say no to any person and if u’re dog does good give you’re dog a treat or say good dog and also u could give it both.

  11. kerow109 said :

    take a short leash, and when you take him for a walk, make him walk beside you not! infront of you, if the dog walks infront of you that means he is more dominant then you, which is not a good thing, do this for a good while and you will see changes in the dogs behavior, it will mind you better and he will stay calm if you are calm, if he ever barks all you have to do is snap your fingers get his attention and tell him no, if he dose not listen to you use the clicker when he is quit egive him a treat.

  12. Julia P said :

    It is hard to significantly change a dog who is stressed out, or nervous. Some of the behaviors are breeding…it is part of the dogs nature (like barking and territorial behavior). Positive reinforcement is the way to go. Have your friends spend time at home with you. . . and make and effort to be especially kind and encouraging to the dog. Spend alot of time with the dog, love her/him. I got my dog a kitten and they are great friends. A kitten (after a few days) sees the dog as a friend and can help bring the dog out of his/her shell.


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