Listen to Your Dog's Behaviour
Dogs are actually quite good at telling us what they're comfortable with and what they're not, Nichols explains. For example, with a dog who's anxious around new people: "Let the dog's behaviour tell us when they're ready to interact with people," Nichols says. "Our job is not to hassle them until they come up to us and ask us to interact with them." By leaving a dog who is anxious about touch alone, it allows them to approach when and if they're ready, on their own terms. "And don't use food to get a dog to like you," he adds. Having guests or strangers offer treats to your anxious dog is not a safe approach for anyone, dogs or people.