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Why Does My Dog Hate Strangers

Pick Apart Pups' Play Partner Pickiness

While some dogs greet every human as a new best friend, others are more particular. Several factors go into a pup's choosing process so if you see a dog hesitating to play with any new two-legged pals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has he met this person before? A brand-new face can require some adjustment — see if the dog shows any interest in the human before playing begins to gauge how easily the action will start.
  • Does he like this game? If someone is holding out a pet's favorite toy, or if your canine can't get enough of catch, chances are he'll be down to play equally with anyone in sight!

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  • What's his normal activity level?: Traditionally puppies (and certain breeds) are more excitable to begin with. If your pup's reticent or rowdy when you're 1:1, he'll likely exhibit similar behaviors with newcomers.
  • How often is he engaged?: Since dogs read our nonverbal communication, there's a chance that a dog is not able to read the new friend's playful gesture if he rarely gets playtime with you. However, if the dog and owner have a solid routine of fun, it's easier for the pooch to catch on when someone else wants to play, too!
  • Source: Thinkstock
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