How is your dog with strangers?

Slick

Kristina
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#1
What the title says.

I am realizing that Leo is almost too friendly with strangers, and it gets him into trouble sometimes because it leads some humans do to stupid things that one should NOT do with a strange dog.

When Leo is on leash, he is very friendly and will happily let anyone pet him.

When Leo is off leash, he is a whole body shaking friendly angel that people just oooh and ahhh over. If the people he is meeting are sitting or kneeling down to him, he will immediately squirm his way into their lap for pets, and most people just melt.

Unfortunately for him, this sometimes leads to fully grown functioning smart adults to do really stupid things. I have to keep an eye out for him in order to protect him, because people will hug him tightly, pick him up, and just do things that even they wouldn't usually attempt with other dogs. Luckily for them, Leo is very tolerant, so usually I am just rescuing a whale eyed lip licking dog who hasn't even offered the smallest snark to the fact that a full grown adult has picked him up by wrapping their arms around his chest and lifting with his lower body dangling.

Yesterday, I was sitting in a group of people (all strangers to Leo) on the beach and we were just talking. I kept checking on Leo but he was perfectly thrilled sitting on one guys lap in a loose embrace and getting scratches. I look away for literally a few seconds and suddenly Leo offers a sharp bark correction and squirms his way out of the lap and runs to me.

Says the guy: "Oh. I guess he doesn't like to be headbutted."

:confused: :confused: :confused:
Wow! A dog that doesn't like to be headbutted by a complete stranger. Imagine that!

So yeah, my dog is too friendly for his own good.

How does your dog act when meeting strangers?
 

AmandaNola

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#2
Nola - The very definition of aloof. She's not at all shy, just very much a one person dog. She doesn't seek out people. She'll tolerate petting and being fussed over, but it's just that: tolerating. She's fine with men, women, and kids. She's the dog that goes with me everywhere because she won't go soliciting attention.

Pike - He's weird. Sometimes he'll want to visit and get attention, and other times he's quite shy. There's no rhyme or reason to it. He always loves kids though.

Olivia - Friendly and sweet, shy with men. She wouldn't even go near men when she came to me at 5mo, but she's made huge progress. Loves kids, though, especially toddlers.


Siren - Still learning her personality, but so far she's been great with everyone.
 

milos_mommy

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#3
Milo acts like he likes strangers at least in the house, he'll put his paws up on them and act all excited to get pets, but mostly I advise anyone not to pet him or to just scratch his chest. He'd basically be cool until the person moved too suddenly or raised their voice or someone else rings the doorbell, and then he might lay into them, although he's much better now.

Benji...usually hides, but half the time that's what he does when family comes in. He doesn't seem too nervous around people when he actually stays around and will ask for pets or sometimes jump.
 

Maxy24

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#4
He's terrible and tries to bite people who come into the house. Some people he can warm up to fairly quickly (an hour or two) with a careful introduction and others it can take a few visits before I allow him to interact without a muzzle. He has a "type", he warms up to young females fastest. Luckily he's pretty predictable so we can tell when he's safe. Once he seeks attention from someone (puts his front feet up on them and stretches or paws at them) we know he's no longer uncomfortable and no longer a bite risk. I will usually still leash him initially the next one or two times they come over just in case he doesn't remember them or recognize them right away.
 

Torch

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#5
Both Henry and Rhys loves people in and out of the house. Henry is very appropriate with everyone and sets gentle limits. He loves pets and gentle cuddles, but if a stranger wants to rough house with him or hold him, he politely declines. Kids he is great with, but he will ignore rude children.

Rhys loses his mind around people most of the time. He's always had a very confident and outgoing personality, even as a tiny puppy, and I socialized the heck out of him. So it's partially my fault that he thinks everyone should love him lol.

We do have some friends who are fantastic with Rhys and can handle his excitement. They ignore or pet gently and he will calm right down. We have other friends who love him to bits and do lots of heavy petting and hugging-which just amps Rhys WAY up. So we're working on that. Rhys also loves children and is surprisingly appropriate with them despite his natural high energy love.
 

*blackrose

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#6
It all depends, really.

People at the house:
A.) Frequent visitors he knows well he'll bark at when they come to the door, but they are happy barks and they can walk in the door without any fuss from him even if we're not there to greet at the door. He'll bounce and do some zoomies and be, in general, a happy pain in the ass.
B.) Strangers that come to the house and ring the doorbell/knock, he will roar at them through the door or window. If we invite them in, he tends to do a very thorough job of sniffing them over and awkardly invades their personal space if they sit on the sofa. If they leave a room and come back in without us present, or act oddly, he will alert bark at them (not guard bark, but a tattle tale bark; his version of going "Moooooom, they're *doing something*!")

In public:
A.) He tends to be politely disinterested. He doesn't turn into a wagging ball of mush when he sees people, but if they want to interact with him he'll gladly accept some pats. Mostly, though, he ignores people.
B.) If he is in a car, all people must be roared at. We're better about staying quiet when we're at the beach now, but any "transient" type areas (parking lot, gas station, rest stop) he becomes an asshat.

Cynder will approach anyone with a sad face and bemoan that she is a poor abused dog who never gets any love so they should scratch her butt and rub her ears to save her from her misery. Lol
 
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#7
Chloe is mostly disinterested in other people.

Louis, the Bouv, welcomes anyone in to the house that I welcome in. Goes up for some admiration, then comes back to me.

In public is mostly ignores everyone, unless I'm standing and talking to someone and they make goo goo eyes at him. They he steps forward to bask in attention.

This weekend at Barn Hunt, he looooved the gate steward. And she wanted to take him home. I was a little afraid he'd be distracted by his love for her while working, but he wasn't.
 

Southpaw

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#8
Juno loves people. She takes a bit to warm up to men, but if they give her a little space and offer treats or throw a toy for her, that's usually all it takes to get on her good side. She's not over exuberant and is not the type of dog that like, loses her mind because she wants to say hi to people... but she likes the attention and, as an example, at the Halloween party at the dog park yesterday she was in the center of all the people mingling and just wiggled her way over to everyone to say hi.

Sawyer is a ridiculous social butterfly. Anytime a stranger looks at him he goes into full body wiggles. HE is the over exuberant, loses his mind type of dog lol. He just wants to be best friends with everyone. That's our biggest struggle with training, getting him to keep it together :)
 
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#9
Venice doesn't care for strangers on any day(and is even choosy about some of the people she knows well) but context is key. Out and about, on-leash or off, she ranges from aloof/disinterested to having a mild, passing interest/tolerance. May sniff them and let people pet her a couple times and then moves away. She's like this with some of my family members that she just doesn't care for.

Inside a home she will full on alarm bark (that hoarse sort of 'woo woo woo' howl/bark that comes from a truly panicked dog), hackle, and find somewhere to hide and scream from.

Inside somewhere like a petstore or bank she will just plaster her tail between her legs, slink on her belly, and scramble away from anyone who looks at her.

That stranger-danger side of her epitomizes what I did not want in a dog. :p She was much more friendly and outgoing when I adopted her, but one incident changed everything. She's gotten better over the last 2 years but I still want to medicate her once I get a steady living situation figured out.
 

lancerandrara

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#10
Lancer is iffy about everybody in public, especially if we're sitting in one spot- so we just keep walking and keep him moving and tell children to stay away from his glorious fluffy presence (sometimes failing, in which case I have to tell the parents, "He bites." o___o And then some parents will then look at me smiling, confused and happy. No jokes.)

Oddly though, when we entered the nose work classroom for the first time, and he was off-leash and the three other handlers were sitting down, he gladly went over to greet each of them LOL. The quiet, low-stress environment + the fact that he's not on a leash + the people are sitting down all contribute.

Rara is chill with most adults... she can be very racist though, not having been socialized much around anyone who isn't asian or white.

Rara hates children with a true passion.

Yesterday, I was sitting in a group of people (all strangers to Leo) on the beach and we were just talking. I kept checking on Leo but he was perfectly thrilled sitting on one guys lap in a loose embrace and getting scratches. I look away for literally a few seconds and suddenly Leo offers a sharp bark correction and squirms his way out of the lap and runs to me.

Says the guy: "Oh. I guess he doesn't like to be headbutted."

:confused: :confused: :confused:
Wow! A dog that doesn't like to be headbutted by a complete stranger. Imagine that!
I almost read that wrong the first time and thought, "Why would Leo headbutt someone and then bark about it?" Never seen a human headbutting a random dog LOL
 
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#11
Pip is shy and generally wary of and avoids strangers but responds well to people with good manners. Occasionally he randomly (to my eye) falls in love at first sight with someone.

Maisy doesn't know the word "stranger." She loves all the people of the world.

Squash generally is friendly towards strangers but can get weirded out by pushy or odd behavior from people. And because he is so big, sometimes people are a little nervous around him, which makes him nervous and causes a weird feedback loop.

Toast is a bit complicated. He can be friendly, neutral, or very, very angry depending on the context, my reaction, and the person's manners.
 

Paviche

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#12
Rowan loves strangers. He's very much a "strangers are just friends that haven't been made" kind of dog. Strangers that give him attention? He's in heaven. He loves all people, especially small children.

Stitch's reaction depends on the situation. If we're out and about walking outside/in a store/etc, he's not particularly interested and can appear a little shy, which I think is just his age. Mostly it's indifference but sometimes he gets a little worried if people approach him head on too quickly. If he's somewhere he's comfortable, though, like at home or at work with me, he loves people and wants to say hi to everyone, although he's pretty polite and a little less in-your-face than Rowan, except on the rare occasion he tries to greet someone with a full body slam :p

Riff has a heightened sense of stranger danger. He's wary and nervous around people he doesn't know, especially men. He's gotten significantly better since I got him, though. When he first came home with me, if he saw someone across the room, he'd bark and freak out. Now we can go out in public and he won't react to anyone around us who is ignoring him, which is amazing. He will even, on occasion, try and walk up and greet someone, although it's always a very slow and tentative thing. He actually greeted his new vet (a male vet at the clinic I work at) pretty joyfully and without any sort of anxiety the first time he met him, which was more exciting than I can possibly put into words. It can be hit or miss with him; on good days, he's more willing to go up to people he doesn't know, and on bad days he'll be fearful and barky if they get too close.
 

pinkspore

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#13
Brisbane loves most people, especially if they are kneeling or sitting. He is extremely leery of old people and very tall men that lean way over to pet his lower back. He loves kids.

Ru will sit on any available lap if I am standing up and refuse to carry him, otherwise he is politely indifferent. When he was a baby I would have people give him treats, so he learned to confidently approach strangers, check their hands for food, and then blow them off. As an adult he simply gives no ****s. Strangers can pet him, pick him up, small children can grab his face and kiss him on the lips (wtf?), I can hand him to people, he continues to be politely indifferent.

Sisci is going through a fear period and is currently convinced that all strangers eat puppies (also the blue seahorse at the playground that she sat on every week for 3 months suddenly eats puppies). We've had some very good encounters with very savvy strangers that sat on the ground and tossed treats her way, but we haven't worked our way up to actually having strangers touch her. She's usually fine if they ignore her, she's just not cool with them reaching toward her or making eye contact. Also she feels compelled to bite anything moving away from her. At least she's predictable. We haven't encountered any kids yet.
 

Slick

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#14
I almost read that wrong the first time and thought, "Why would Leo headbutt someone and then bark about it?" Never seen a human headbutting a random dog LOL
I think he was doing it playfully? Probably softly, but still, use some common sense! Yes, you've been hanging out for half an hour. Yes, he likes to let you cuddle him. No, you shouldn't act weird with a strange dog!

Brisbane loves most people, especially if they are kneeling or sitting. He is extremely leery of old people and very tall men that lean way over to pet his lower back. He loves kids.
Actually, now that you mention it, Leo is a bit leery of old men too and definitely avoids them. He tolerates them petting him, but its definitely just tolerating, and he will side step out of the way if he can.

I just forget because I just don't spend a lot of time around old men :rofl1:
 

Toller_08

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Dance: Not a fan. She'll ignore strangers in public as that is what I expect of her, and she's had many years of practicing how to ignore strangers. But make any sudden movements toward or or stare too long, she'll stiffen and bark and become so insecure that she can't think about what else to do and is hard to redirect. In my house, I crate her or put her in a different room and then let her out when the other dogs have calmed down and the person has had a briefing on how to deal with Dance. As long as someone completely ignores her for a good long while, she'll probably view you as her new best friend in about a half hour. But she'll need to go through this process at least twice, if not three or four times before you can just come in the house as a friend that she already knows. She's also kind of weird in that on occasion she'll pretend to love somebody and then start barking at them once the person thinks she's friends with them. She's an odd dog. But she's 100 times better now than she used to be. And in dog sport situations like Flyball or Agility, she views nobody as a stranger and either totally ignores everyone or wants to say hi.

Ripley: Very aloof. If he doesn't know you, he'll probably completely ignore you or watch you closely if you're coming toward his person. If you act weird around him because he's big and scary looking, he'll also act weird and suspicious because obviously there is something wrong with you (in his mind) and you can no longer be trusted. If you're a nice, normal person who wants to pet him, he'll politely oblige you if he's on a leash and can't explore elsewhere. In the house, if his people have let you in, you must be ok and you must pet him the entire time you're visiting. But don't hug him or otherwise invade his space or lean over him. This makes him incredibly uncomfortable and he will remain suspicious the remainder of your visit.

Everest: She loves everyone at this moment in time. After having shy dogs, I'd take this over shy any day. I love that everyone is her new best friend and hope she remains like this. She especially adores kids after being raised with a toddler at her breeder's house.

Journey: Reserved. She used to love everyone and everything, but nowadays she doesn't care very much about strangers and tries to avoid people a lot of the time who reach down to touch her. She'd rather a few minutes to get to know you first. If you're sitting, however, she'll come right over and lean against you wanting belly rubs and snuggles. In the house, she's a little weird when people initially come over thanks to Dance's barking fits, but once you're in and she realizes everything is ok then she wants all attention to be on her. Oh, and at dog sports you're fair game to be leaped all over thanks to my dog sport friends haha. I've come to the conclusion that trying to teach your dog good manners when you hang out with dog sport people is a lost cause.
 

Sit Stay

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#16
Ned loves everyone. He is happy to meet everyone and thinks everyone would like to meet him.

Quinn isn't as enthusiastic as Ned but still likes most people - just in a quieter more subdued way. She does have a protective side to her if people approach the car and she is set off by guys in hats and/or sunglasses, but as long as she's properly introduced she's happy to meet everyone (her reactions range from a quick hi and no further interest, to really likely someone and repeatedly soliciting attention). Absolutely adores kids especially.
 

Samsonyte!

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Sam generally loves everyone, especially kids. If someone is crouched low to the ground he has no hesitation about getting into their laps. We were swimming at the river one day and he was hanging out on the shore off-leash since there wasn't anyone there, when a lady showed up and within five minutes he was sitting in her lap getting loved on and cuddled by her. He's also the most tolerant dog ever. I had him at work with me and my boss' toddler daughter was there and they were gated behind the office desk together while I made up the dogs food, when I looked over she had him lifted half off the ground and was playing with his feet. He seemed thrilled about it but I did tell her not to do that with dogs she just met.

Wilson is kinda weird and it varies from situation to situation. He's between aloof and shy with 95% of people he meets. He will usually tolerate touching but I definitely don't encourage people to pet him because I know he doesn't enjoy it. Sometimes he will actually go behind me if he really doesn't want to be touched. He seems to have figured out that pet stores seem to be where people pet him the most, normal dog-friendly stores not so much so he tends to be more accepting of people kind of petting him there. He actually loves everyone at our agility place because he seems to know they're dog savvy and will respect his body language and calming signals and not force themselves on him. He definitely likes women more than men. Hates kids. I do not trust him around kids and I will pick him up if a child is coming towards him because I do not want to risk that situation. Most people he takes between 30 minutes to a few hours to warm up to.
 
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#18
Fable is very quiet and gentle in the way she solicits attention from strangers. If they're sitting or kneeling, she'll come right up and put her head in their lap, or she'll just stand at their feet to be pet if they're standing. But she'll shy away from someone that makes too much eye contact or moves too quickly towards her, especially if it's a man. She especially likes little kids and will always seek attention from them.

She's generally pretty great with strangers.
 

Elrohwen

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Watson is friendly but a bit aloof. He will completely ignore strangers unless they are making hard eye contact, cooing, etc or obviously approaching him. Once he realizes they are focused on him he'll get wiggly, and usually solicit pets and rub against their legs a bit. But after a couple seconds of that he is usually done and wanders off to sniff or something. So polite and friendly but a bit aloof. With kids he's weird - always very interested to approach them, but then usually wants nothing to do with them once he's checked them out.

Hazel is a puppy, and she flips out about meeting new people. She is learning to ignore them if they ignore her, but she wants nothing more than to jump on them, wiggling her whole body as fast as possible. Watson was the same at that age, so I think she'll grow out of it a bit. She's pretty good with kids. She can be too jumpy at first, but once she calms down she's very gentle with them and really enjoys them.
 

Julee

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#20
Shadow prefers not to be petted but is safe.

Em likes most strangers and will tolerate those she doesn't.

Copper is indifferent.

Bloo spooks very easily and would bite in the wrong situation.
 

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