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In this episode of Pandemic Puppy, Kayla discusses stranger danger in puppies. She covers what it is, why it happens, and what to do about it. Her puppy Niffler has been barking and even growling at strangers lately, so this is high priority for Kayla!
- Fearful behavior and a fear period are not the same.
- Fear Period: abrupt and transient fear of something your puppy has already been exposed to. These periods can be ignored for the most part. You can comfort your puppy, then move on, and don’t make a big deal about it.
- Continuous fearful behavior, such as stranger danger, needs to be addressed right away.
- Stranger danger is a natural behavior for dogs, especially for certain breeds. It is normal, but it needs to be addressed.
- Don’t correct the puppy or apply any negative reinforcement. It can make the stranger danger worse.
Don’t flood your puppy
- Let the strangers know what’s going on, in a happy friendly voice
Don’t make a big deal out of people
Advocate for your puppy, be a safe place/person for them
- Look at That/Engage Disengage Game
- If your puppy is too far past their threshold, go back a few steps
Links Mentioned in the Episode
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Kayla grew up in northern Wisconsin and studied ecology and animal behavior at Colorado College. She founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She’s an avid adventurer and has driven much of the Pan-American Highway with her border collie Barley. She now travels the US in a 2006 Sprinter with her two border collies, Barley and Niffler. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams.