5 Tips for Overly Friendly Dogs That Will Wander Off With Anyone

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Is your dog too friendly and trusting, and will go off with a stranger? To avoid dangerous situations, learn how to handle your overly friendly dog.

A friendly dog is a sign of even temperament and proper socialization – it is something that every dog owner strives for. But dogs can sometimes reach a point of being too friendly, or at least too trusting. If you have a dog that has a tendency to go off with anyone they meet it could put him in a potentially dangerous situation. Keep reading to learn more about how to handle an overly friendly dog.

Why is it Dangerous for Your Dog to be Too Trusting?

When you invite friends over to the house or you pay a visit to the dark park, you want to know that your dog is going to handle the situation well – you want him to be friendly and outgoing. But there is a fine line between being friendly and being too trusting and, unfortunately, dogs do not see that line.

Related: 4 Top Tether Training Tips for Dogs

There are people out there who would take advantage of your dog’s trusting nature if given the chance and that could be bad for your dog. For example, there are people out there who steal dogs and sell them to laboratory research facilities or use them as bait for dog fighting. But your dog doesn’t know that this person’s intentions are bad, so he cannot help himself from running right up to him, wanting to make friends.

Training Your Dog to Only Listen to You

There is nothing wrong with letting your dog make new friends, but you have to remember that some dog breeds are inherently friendly and trusting to the point that they could unknowingly put themselves in a dangerous situation.

Related: How You Can Prevent Dog Theft

Dog theft is becoming increasingly more common and, once a dog is gone, the chances of it being returned are slim. You don’t want to teach your dog to be frightened of other people but you don’t want him listening to just anyone’s commands either – the best way to protect your dog is to teach him to only follow your commands. Here are some tips to help you deal with your overly friendly dog:

  • Train your dog to respond to basic obedience commands like Sit, Stay, and Come.
  • Reinforce your dog’s mastery of these basic commands outdoors and in distracting environments.
  • Teach your dog a release command – use the Stay command to have him hold a position until you release him.
  • Practice you release command with other people around – have your dog hold a sit and stay for several seconds when approached by another person before releasing him to greet them.
  • Teach your dog to look at you when you say his name – drill this one home with plenty of repetition.

You can’t and shouldn’t expect to change your dog’s friendly nature or his temperament, but a little bit of extra training can go a long way in protecting your dog from potentially dangerous situations. You’ll also find that teaching your dog to hold a command until you release him has a number of other useful purposes as well!

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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