If you’ve ever been stuck in the middle of a crowd, you’ve probably felt anxious about dealing with them at some point and you’re not alone! Many dogs also tend to feel anxious in crowds and struggle to deal with a large amount of unfamiliar people. Their natural instinct is that this number of strangers signals trouble.
We have some tips on how to help your dog cope with large crowds in order to remain calm and collected.
First, remember that choosing the right dog will go a long way in preventing problems. Nervous, timid, and anxious dogs will be more prone to stress in large crowds. Whether you have an anxious dog or a confident one, here are some tips to help the situation.
Expose Them at a Young Age
The easiest way to make sure your dog won’t panic out in a crowd is to introduce them to crowds when they are still young. Exposing them to crowds when they are young, on occasion, can help to desensitize your dog. They will learn to get comfortable with crowds, lessening the chances of them acting out in crowds as they age.
If your dog is nervous in a crowd, it is important that you project confidence and ease to them with your personal actions, which will help prevent them from feeling scared or uncomfortable. The dog can feel your tension through the leash, your voice, and awkward movements. Make sure you pay attention to your dog and give them cues as needed. The way that you are personally handling the crowd will impact how your dog does as well.
Keep Your Dog Close
When you’re navigating the crowd, keep your dog close to you. Avoid letting them adventuring out on extendable leashes and make sure they know you are holding onto the leash. Doing so will also keep you and the people around you safe, too. It will eliminate surprising people who are scared of dogs, especially big dogs, and prevent an unintended scream from them – which adds to the tension. Loose leashes in crowded situations are certainly a tripping hazard which could result in injuries.
If your dog is still training to learn commands, start out walking in familiar places, such as your neighborhood. Once they start responding to commands, you can start exposing them to crowds.
Conifer Canine is your source for professional dog training! We employ certified trainers who have proven their skills in training a variety of dogs. We welcome all dogs: large or small, mixed or purebreds, problem dogs or those who just need some tuning up.