12 Steps To Befriend An Unfriendly Dog


There are a number of reasons why a dog might be unfriendly, but most dogs that are unfriendly have become wary of human beings due to poor treatment or a lack of interaction.

While some dogs will have behavioral or physiological problems that render them dangerous for anyone to approach, it is possible to befriend most dogs if you invest a little time and effort.

1. Learn about the dog’s background

There are a couple of different reasons why it makes sense to learn anything that you can about an unfriendly dog’s background.

The first is that you might discover that there are reasons why you should avoid the dog; for example, it is one thing for a canine behaviorist to approach a dog with a history of attacking humans, but it is quite another for a layperson to do so.

It could be the dog has suffered abuse at the hands of humans and has developed an innate mistrust of people. Learning this can help you amend behaviors. For instance, you shouldn’t look the dog in the eye or act in any manner the dog might construe as aggressive.

Some dogs may have simply been neglected and not have much experience with human care. For this reason, it’s important to proceed slowly in order to make the dog feel reassured by you presence.

Another reason why learning about the dog’s background can be an asset is that you can tailor your approach to the dog’s personality. For example, if unfriendliness manifests in running away from people, you can focus on stillness when trying to make friends. It takes careful consideration, but learning as much as you can allows you to fine-tune your approach with the dog.

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3 Comments on "12 Steps To Befriend An Unfriendly Dog"

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Laura ZZ

I did this almost ignoring thing with an Akita at the dog park, and he eventually came close to me and finally licked my hand. I had a feeling this dog never did anything like this, so I told the owner. He told me there was no way his dog licked my hand. Ha! Yeah he did.


I fed my neighbor’s vicious dog some sweet green anti-freeze in a bowl. He quieted right down…

I have lived with at at least one dog in my home since 1973. We have had five German Shepherds since 1988. One was from a breeder, one from a family who put the dog up for adoption, one from the Humane society, two from rescue groups, and one was a street stray. I can say this was the best article I have ever read that deals with how to act around strange or aggressive dogs. If you are near enough for a dog to get to you, and it really wants to bite you, you are going to get… Read more »