Located in Rudy, Arkansas
Serving Fort Smith, Van Buren, and surrounding areas

Greeting a Friendly Stranger

Help your dog learn to remain calm when you greet someone.

Greeting a Friendly Stranger


  • Your dog should be comfortable walking next to you on a leash.
  • Your dog should be able to sit on cue.


  • Clicker
  • Treats
  • Treat pouch
  • A friendly stranger who has received instructions in advance.

Training Environment

A low distraction environment with plenty of room.

Recommended Treat Position

Put the treat in your dog’s mouth at eye level right next to your leg.


Part 1:

  • Place your dog in a sit.
  • Have your stranger walk slowly toward you.
  • Click and treat if your dog remains in a sit.  Rapid clicking and treating needs to happen during this entire exercise!
  • If your dog gets up, have the stranger move away and try again with them moving more slowly.
  • Work until the stranger is able to walk all the way up to you and stay for three seconds before walking away.

Part 2:

  • Place your dog in a sit.
  • Repeat the first exercise but have the stranger walk a little bit faster.
  • If your dog gets up have the stranger move away and begin again moving more slowly.
  • Repeat this until the stranger gets all the way up to you and can have a short conversation before walking away.

Part 3:

  • Continue to work until the stranger is walking at a normal pace up to you and your dog can remain in a sit.
  • Once your dog is successful with a regular pace and the stranger can come all the way up, allow the stranger to greet your dog for three seconds.
  • The stranger should walk away.
  • Practice this a few times.

Part 4:

  • This time have your dog walk in heel position. Click and treat as you go.
  • You and the stranger approach each other.
  • If your dog starts to pull or vocalize, both parties should turn around and separate.
  • If your dog remains focused on you, continue until you are able to greet the friendly stranger for three to five seconds.
  • Practice again and allow the stranger to greet your dog


You’ll be provided with a clicker at your first class.  You may need to put it in your pocket if your dog is sensitive to the noise.  If you have trouble with the box clicker there are other varieties that have buttons that are sometimes easier to use for people with arthritis and other conditions.  Ask your trainer to show you hers.

Your trainer recommends you use a lanyard to hang the clicker around your wrist or neck.

On rare occasions dogs do not like the sound of the clicker.  If your dog shows signs that he/she doesn’t like the clicker, we will find an alternative.

Work around 10 minutes at a time.  Try to do this at least three times a week.

At the End of This Step

Your dog should be able to walk up to a stranger who is also approaching and sit nicely while you have short 3-5 second conversation. Your dog should then allow the stranger to pet him/her.


My dog keeps getting up.

  • You may not be reinforcing quickly enough. The rapid fire click and treat will hold your dog’s attention while the exercise is happening and allow him/her to grow accustomed to the exercise.
  • Your stranger may need to move more slowly or not get so close right away.