Veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin is author of the book Low Stress Handling and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats, newly released as an e-book. In the book, Dr. Yin teaches dog (and cat) owners how to help reduce their pets’ anxiety around day-to-day activities. Whether the animal is petrified at the vet, skittish around visitors at home, or just dislikes simple care like grooming, Dr. Yin shares secrets of behavior modification used by professionals.
In this special guest article for Dogster, Dr. Yin writes about a problem she frequently encounters: Dogs who are very apprehensive around strangers. Here’s a typical comment from someone seeking her help for this situation:
“My dog seems fine with people. He can walk in crowds and often just ignores guests, but if a stranger tries to reach for and pet him he often backs away and growls. Or at least that’s what he used to do. Now he sometimes barks and occasionally snaps or bites. Why can’t he tell that people are just trying to be friendly?”