Socializing Your Timid Dog

A few simple day-to-day actions can help your timid dog feel more comfortable being social.

If you have a shy or timid dog, it can be stressful, both for you and your dog. Further, some of the ways we respond may actually reinforce the problem of timidity in your dog. Put our dog in as many social situations as possible until they get comfortable, and act in a way that helps them desensitize to the fears they have.

We want our pets to be happy, and we want to enjoy our pets to the full, so we don’ t want them to be shy and fearful.  Thus, we want to pay attention to the small things that can yield big results in getting our dogs adjusted to other dogs and people.

3 Steps to Help the Shy Dog

  1. Take your dog with you anywhere that you can introduce new signs and smells. Coffee shops, walks, chores, etc.
  2. Start young, but make sure to not put your dog in highly stressful situations to start, but gradually introduce so that social desensitization occurs.
  3. Praise your dog when it is calm. This may be counter-intuitive in that we usually want to reassure the dog when it is acting fearful—We should not do that. The dog correlates their response to our action. By praising the fearful state, we reinforce the fear.

Doing the above will help your dog to gain confidence, and will make for pleasant social interactions for you and your dog.

anxiety mood shy dog stress timid dog

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