Does your dog get overexcited by strangers? You need to try this trainer’s game-changing tip

Dog jumping up on woman on the beach
(Image credit: Getty Images/Marcus Lund)

For most dogs, walk time is the highlight of their day. Exploring new scents, meeting new people, and spending quality time with their pet parent is quite literally a dream come true. 

We don't blame our pups for getting excited, but sometimes it can trigger unwanted behavior like pulling, barking or jumping.

If your dog gets overexcited when passing or meeting strangers, it can be very challenging to deal with, and you might try and avoid people all together. However, this isn't always possible if you live in a busy town or a city, so you might be looking for some training tips to help resolve this. 

If you can relate, then you're in luck, because we've found some brilliant advice that's about to change everything. The best part? It's only two steps and all you need is a leash and the best dog treats to get started. This means it's super simple and easy to try on your next walk.

The experts at Happy Dogs Training LLC shared this solution in their latest Instagram post - and we think it's a game-changer. Make sure you save these top tips for later: 

1. Restrict access to the person

It might seem a little obvious but it's still an important first step. When you see a stranger is about to pass by, clip your pooch on one of the best dog leashes to restrict access to that person. In some areas, you might need to have them on a leash at all times anyway.

Not only will it help you to control the situation from escalating, but it will also reassure the stranger if they feel a little intimidated (especially if your dog won't stop barking at them).

White dog on leash in a field

(Image credit: Getty Images/Oscar Wong)

2. Reward your dog for their attention

When your dog gives you their attention, make sure you reward them immediately. You can do this by marking "yes" and giving them a tasty treat. Don't worry if they're not giving you their full attention - you can do this even if it's just a quick glance. This is a great example of positive reinforcement for dogs (where you praise your dog for correct behavior).

If you notice your dog is still observing strangers in between treats, this is totally normal and doesn't mean the training isn't working.

Happy Dogs Training LLC reassures: "In between each repetition, your dog will continue observing. That's okay, let them! We prevent the undesirable behavior, reward offered attention, and allow the dog to simply exist and observe in between."

Repeat these steps and overtime, your dog will learn to simply just observe strangers.

Want more training tips like this? Check out these features: How to calm a reactive dog and Owning a reactive dog is hard. Here's how I navigated the social challenges with my pooch.

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Megan Milstead
Staff Writer

Megan is a Staff Writer on PetsRader, covering news, features and buying guides. She has a wealth of experience looking after animals, having grown up with dogs, cats and horses all of her life. She’s particularly interested in pet happiness and behavior, which she loves to research in her spare time. You’ll often find her watching webinars on reactivity in dogs or researching cat body language. She loves going the extra mile for her cats Chilli and Nala (who also help out with testing the best products for our buying guides). 

Megan studied BA Journalism at the University of Westminster, where she specialized in lifestyle journalism and was editor of Smoke Radio’s online magazine. She also graduated from West Herts College with a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Journalism. Before joining the PetsRadar family last year, she worked on the editorial team at Harrods and has spent most of her career writing for specialized titles, like RunningShoesGuru, Licklist and Mr. After Party. 

Megan works alongside qualified vets and accredited trainers to ensure you get the best advice possible. She is passionate about finding accurate and helpful answers to your pet-related questions.