There’s a really well-written article on Dogster this month about how dogs perceive strangers and react to them. Particularly, the article is geared toward dogs with a fear of strangers (as well as aggression toward them) and how we as humans can help to shape and modify that fear response. Dr. Sophia Yin is the guest blogger, and even if your pup isn’t fearful or aggressive toward strangers, it’s really a great piece on stimulus and perception in dogs.
Here’s an excerpt and link:
Many humans can’t understand why their dogs would be afraid of them when they’re obviously making friendly human gestures. Turn the tables around and the picture becomes clear. Say you’re afraid of spiders and your friend shoves her pet tarantula in your face. If she simultaneously reassures you, “She’s a friendly tarantula. See her amicable expression?” or “She can’t cause harm, she’s just an innocent baby,” would you suddenly feel safe?