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How to Train My Dog to Ignore Strangers: 6 Easy Steps

If you ever have a dog that greets everyone, it seems like they’re best friends. The furry little adventurer is adorable. But it can become a nuisance if it jumps on every person that approaches. 

Sometimes, these strangers can be even more dangerous and unpredictable than usual; they might be bigger, stronger, or even carrying a bag of toxic waste!  You can find out more about a dog’s behavior in How to train my dog to ignore strangers.

If you teach your dog that certain people are more dangerous than others, he’ll learn to look at strangers in a different way. It will help him interpret body language correctly and recognize once threatening gestures, and it will also keep him safe. 

How To Train My Dog To Ignore Strangers?

Training is the key to this issue as knowing which commands to use. Here are some of the methods, that your dog should know:

  • How to Approach

If a stranger suddenly lunges for your dog’s throat or knocks you over in an attempt to reach him, your pet will know how to react. But luckily for you and your canine companion, there’s an easy way to teach him. 

The difference between strangers he should approach and those he should avoid. He will eventually turn his gaze away from the first dog and begin to focus on you. 

  • If Happens Distraction

When your dog looks at you in confusion, keep walking toward the other dog as if nothing happened. Only stop once he’s completely forgotten about the other canine and is looking at you again. Then turn around and continue on your way.

If it takes five or fifty times for him to look at you instead of the other dog, don’t give up! It may take some time, but with enough practice, he’ll learn that strangers are harmless. 

He won’t have to jump all over them or bark continuously. If your pooch happens to see another dog while you’re on a walk, keep moving forward so long as your furry companion is unbothered about not greeting it.

  • When Get Attention

When your dog starts ignoring other dogs, take advantage of this opportunity to teach him a critical skill. Tell the other dog to “Stay!” in a friendly manner rather than approaching it. This will get his attention and cause him to freeze while still keeping you both facing forward. 

This technique works well on hot days when the temperature’s too high for your dog to play with toys. Just tell your pet to stay, and he’ll ignore everything around him while playing with his favorite toy.

  • The Rewarding Method

Not everyone is comfortable touching their dog or having a stranger’s hands near them. You can teach your dog to ignore strangers in a very simple and non-invasive way. 

The person should try to remain as still as possible, perfectly still, even if the dog is doing something annoying to them. This teaches the dog that it’s safe to ignore people no matter what kind of behavior they exhibit.

When your dog ignores someone it is important you praise him so he learns that ignoring people means a reward. If your dog fails at ignoring someone, just try again later on in the day or when you have time on another day.

  • Desensitize System

As training progresses, your dog will start to see strangers as just part of the environment. This step is all about exposing your dog to new people, places, and situations. 

So, things seem as normal and unthreatening as possible. It will help prevent him from freezing and cowering when a stranger approaches in the future.

  • When To Down And Stay 

Ask your dog to perform a sit and stay, just like you would for any other training command. After some time, invite a person into the room. 

Your dog will be confused at first but will soon get used to the idea of new people coming in and out of the house. If all goes well, he won’t jump on them or be too excited. 

You may read also: Why Does My Dog Sit Behind Me

  • How To Get Prevention

Many people get anxious when they see a dog and react to it, but this actually can worsen the problem. Because strangers are now triggering fear, your dog may not be able to do what you’re asking him to do. 

So, the way I teach my dogs not to be afraid is by adding training steps in between when they see a stranger and when they meet someone they don’t know. This will prevent the dog from associating strangers with fear.

Tips On How To Train My Dog To Ignore Strangers

Tips On How To Train My Dog To Ignore Strangers

Training should start as early as possible. Dogs benefit from positive reinforcement as early as 6 months of age. 

  • If you wait until your dog is old enough to do something that you want it to do then you’re out of luck.
  • You must reward the desired behavior instead of punishing the unwanted behavior because of fear or anxiety. This ensures that the dog does not associate discipline with punishment and does not fear it. 
  • Use a leash. While many people think this will make the dog afraid, it does just the opposite. It allows you to direct the dog away from unwanted behavior like looking people in the eye or licking their faces.
  • Do not rely on verbal commands. Although dogs can learn to differentiate between certain words and phrases, they have trouble differentiating between tones of voice. 
  • Be consistent with commands and keep a positive attitude when training your dog to ignore strangers.

You may also read: Why do dogs lick your face when you cry?


I hope you found your answers after reading this article about How to Train My Dog to Ignore Strangers. During your next walk, try these methods out for yourself. If your dog is distracted by another dog and ignores you, tell him “Stay!” in a pleasant tone to grab his attention. Then, raise your voice and say “Sorry!” or something along those lines. If this doesn’t work, try one of the other distracting techniques listed above, but don’t be surprised if your pet starts barking in excitement. If this happens, say “Sorry” and try again.

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