Dog Scared Of Strangers – What Does It Mean And How To Fix It?

Dog scared of strangers

Most dogs are fearful around people that they may not know well. While people automatically assume that such dogs have been abused in the past, this might not be the case.


One reason behind your dog fearing strangers is because they are under-socialized. When your dog is a puppy of 3- 16 weeks, this is the critical socialization stage.


If you do not introduce your puppies to numerous unfamiliar faces, they will very likely grow up as dogs scared of strangers. Keep reading for other reasons.


Most people find the fearfulness of their dogs towards strangers hard to handle. However, keep reading to learn why else dogs are scared of strangers.


How to Tell When Your Dog Is Afraid?

You can tell if your dog is afraid of strangers if they are:

  • Increase the distance between themselves and people or things. 
  • Trying to flee when they encounter strangers.
  • Hiding under people they know or even objects 
  • Shaking roll over or even become still and shut down. 
  • Staring at the stranger and lower their heads.
  • Barking, snapping, or biting. 


These are signs that show that the dog is under extreme stress. If you notice these signs around strangers, calmly remove the dog from the situation.


Why Are Dogs Scared of Strangers?

stressed dog


1. It Was Not Socialized at The Right Time

During the period of 3-16 weeks, a puppy should be socialized with people by letting it meet strangers. This can be at the park, taking walks, and entertaining guests at home.


Without this experience, many dogs view strangers as people who might harm them and get scared.


A solution to this is to socialize it as early as possible with many people until it’s a normal thing for it.


2. It May Be Genetically Be Predisposed To Having Fear.

In this case, the offspring of a scared dog is likely to also be dogs scared of strangers.
The best you can do here is to give it attention and love.


Also, consider introducing it to one stranger at a time in your presence until it is comfortable around them.



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3. It May Have a History of Abuse

This is the most common reason why dogs are scared of strangers. If they were physically beaten or yelled at, they develop the fear that strangers may also harm them.

This generally requires a lot of gentleness, patience, and diligence on your end.


With time, it should be able to relax with more familiar faces of strangers. Also, do not let strangers approach your dog if they exhibit nervousness.


Final Take Away

Living with dogs scared of strangers is not easy and requires a lot of love and patience.


If your dog fears strangers, you will need to be very understanding and keep speaking calmly to the dog. Most of all, love it unconditionally and slowly introduce strangers.


With research, you can find more ways to have a more relaxed dog in the company of strangers. Good luck!


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.