Stranger Danger

Canine Coach Mike provides easy-to-learn training methods that will boost both you and your dog’s confidence!

I don’t mean for this to sound rude but please don’t touch my dog. Well unless I have given you the all clear, THEN it will be safe to put your hands directly in front of my dogs mouth! What could possibly go wrong? Interestingly enough I have more children approach and reach out for my furry golden dogs. Children that may want to pet or give a harmless hug might actually seem scary to your dog. Unfortunately an innocent nip to the skin will leave both parties in a bad situation.

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and notice that they are too close to your personal space than is comfortable? Im only talking a foot or so, but you instantly lose track of what they are saying while trying to avoid feeling their breath on you. Imagine what your dog is thinking when someone walks over and a shoves a pair of hands in their face! Some people believe that all dogs love and will tolerate their pushy ways. If you listen closely you can almost hear your dog whispering please get me out of here!

I love talking dogs with just about everyone and if they are a little happier after meeting my guys, that is a bonus. Politely saying NO is difficult for many people, so come up with your own plan prior to going on your walk.

A simple plan that I use requires that my dog stays seated while having a stranger pet them. This way I can monitor how my dog is handling someone in their personal space. If it’s a child, the plan is to keep them away from the my dogs teeth at all times! If my dog stands up then that is my cue to say thank you for petting and bring them back to my side. Its a simple enough rule and your dog will have to sit while being excited, so consider it extra training!

Of course you can always come up with an alternative plan. Try coming with a creative excuse that will keep potential face grabbers away. Here are two easy ideas that can be used when you dont feel like coming out and saying NO! Keep moving past a group and add a simple “sorry we are late” if you do not think the situation is best for your dog. Telling someone that your dog may jump or drool or is nervous with strangers usually gets your message across to them as well. 

With some planning before leaving on a walk, you will be able to handle most situations when meeting one of those face huggers. Remember our dogs are counting on us to keep them safe and stress free.


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“Dogs really love to please their humans, and using positive training methods is the fastest way to get results!”

- Canine Coach Mike

Connect With Mike


    Michael Muscato, CPDT-KA​

    The Canine Coach

    With a love for dogs and a passion for coaching, Mike is dedicated to educating people about their dogs behavior.

    Mike was introduced to horses and dogs at a young age and soon knew these animals would become a rewarding part of his life. He was inspired to train dogs by Sherwood, his first Golden Retriever in 1990. Mike is determined to make a lasting impact with every dog and their owner, using positive training methods.

    For over 20 years Mike has been a player development director for athletes, and feels right at home sharing his knowledge to help dog owners become a better coach to their dog!