Canaan dog distrust of strangers: What to expect and how to deal with it?

Owner’s question

“Hi! My dog Canaan (Canaan) is extremely distrustful of strangers. I would really like to improve this. Is there any way I can teach him not to be afraid of people he doesn’t know?”

Vet’s detailed answer

“Hi! You asked a great question. Canines are indeed known for being wary and reticent of strangers.

This behavior is part of their genetic heritage, as this breed has lived in the wild in Israel for thousands of years, avoiding humans in order to survive.

The first step is to understand that your Canaan Dog is not intentionally “mischievous” or “stubborn” when it is wary of strangers.

He is just following his natural instincts. However, even with this, you can teach him that interacting with people can be positive.

One of the best ways to do this is through positive reinforcement.

When he meets strangers, reward him with treats, praise or play. Try to keep encounters positive and calm so that your dog doesn’t feel stressed or anxious.

Another important factor is socialisation.

The more people and situations your Canine encounters, the more he will get used to them. However, it’s important not to force the encounters on him! If he is visibly fearful or stressed, slow down and try to make his environment more relaxed and comfortable.

Your Canine Canaan may never be the centre of social life, but that’s perfectly fine.

Be sure to respect his natural instincts and individuality. The most important thing is that your dog feels safe and comfortable.

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I hope these tips help, and I wish you all the best with your Canine Canaan!”