Do your dogs respond to cues from strangers? Mine don't, and there's great variation among the shelter dogs. After I've taught them basics, some respond to the walkers, and some don't. Some respond to some walkers and not others. There doesn't seem to be a quality that let's you predict this.
Unless they're PBs. They try to please everybody. Harriet, a pudgy newcomer, manages to decipher the most scrambled cue.

"Harriet is such a ***," someone said.
Harriet's a beauty!!!
Hubby and I have found that our dog will listen to some adults, but not kids at all (something we try to fix whenever around kids - not a bad habit we want him to learn for when we have kids). My hubby's family has never had a dog that knew any commands and when we go to visit them, his two younger brothers (10 and 12) love telling runing Rusty through all of the commands. "Rusty sit... sit... sit... sit... sit... sit..." We'll walk into the room and Rusty will be standing there with the typical dachshund worried look on his face, but won't sit for him.

Shelley & Rusty
http://www.bump.us/rusty
Do your dogs respond to cues from strangers? Mine don't, and there's great variation among the shelter dogs. After I've ... a pudgy newcomer, manages to decipher the most scrambled cue. "Harriet is such a ***," someone said.[/nq]With my dogs it seems to depend on how the strangers act. Dog people usually get them to do what is asked. People that are not used to dogs but give them commands in a "hard" voice usually get a surprised look from the dogs - but they often do what is asked. If people sound more insecure, then the dogs usually ignore them. They might sit after then tenth time it's said, but continue to look at something/someone more interesting than that person.

With kids I always try to enforce their commands. For example if the kid says "shake hands" I repeat it, so the dog will give the kid his/her paw. I have noticed that the best way to get the dogs to listen to a kid is to give the kid a stick or a ball, and teach the kid how to play and what commands to use =).
When we are someplace where there is a lot of people, my older dog tends to ignore most strangers. After her treating some nice older people like air, I felt so embarassed I taught her to say "hello" on cue.

Rosa
Ordinarily, Guinness won't, but if they have a treat he's all ears. Although he seems to make exceptions for small children - he seems to like doing tricks for them.
-Shannon
Do your dogs respond to cues from strangers? Mine don't, and there's great variation among the shelter dogs. After I've ... this. Unless they're PBs. They try to please everybody. Harriet, a pudgy newcomer, manages to decipher the most scrambled cue.

mine respond to everyone. :-) partly because i take them everywhere and ask people to tell them to sit before petting them. partly because i give them commands in all sorts of silly voices. and partly because they seem to think making people happy is some sort of reward in itself. oh, and i think teaching them "sit" as a default behavior whenever they want something helps too.
my SO used to chide me for using silly voices to give commands, but once he saw that they would sit for a toddler, i think he got the picture.

-kelly
Do your dogs respond to cues from strangers? Mine don't, and there's great variation among the shelter dogs. After I've ... a pudgy newcomer, manages to decipher the most scrambled cue. "Harriet is such a ***," someone said.[/nq]
heh
It's a well known phenomenon in agility that you can pretty much count on any dog in your general vicinity to come over and do a brilliant precise sit in front of you if you put your hand in your pocket or anywhere near your treat pouch.
My new boy Ozzy (who doesn't do agility, but comes along to absorb the atmosphere) demonstrated that he do has learned the principle of this last night in our first obedience class. The instructor came over to talk about our progress. He had been lounging in front of me but immediately turned and walked towards her, did a perfect front/finish sit and looked expectantly up at her.
Yeah, she rewarded him, too.
EmilyS
my SO used to chide me for using silly voices to give commands, but once he saw that they would ... training, while most of the walkers are female. Perhaps, once they've learned their cues, we should start using different voices.

Stanislavsky, anyone?
That is MOST interesting, Kelly. Wonder if it's a solution to another question I posted == our shelter dogs not ... training, while most of the walkers are female. Perhaps, once they've learned their cues, we should start using different voices.

it works for us. i also vary the way i ask for an action. instead of "sit", i'll say, "will you please sit down?" using the sit cue. they don't seem particularly confused by it, and now i have dogs i can be polite to. -)
-kelly
Do your dogs respond to cues from strangers? Mine don't, and there's great variation among the shelter dogs. After I've ... Some respond to some walkers and not others. There doesn't seem to be a quality that let's you predict this.

My dogs will sit for anyone. I've trained them to do so. I like that any of my kids' friends can communicate with my dogs and especially that I can tell the ones that are leery of big dogs (wonder where they would get the idea a big dog might knock them over or something...) that they can make the dog sit or get back and the dog will listen to them. It works wonders for the kids' attitudes and for the safety of dogs and kids as they hang out in the same space. It is also good for the dogs, since they like to think that everybody loves them and thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread. Also, lots of petting and treat-giving!

Paula
"Paula talks tough, and she wears vicious lipstick, but she lacks the depth of hate that I have spent many years cultivating. But I'm not the source of all hate. Just the outlet mall of hate." The Avocado Avenger