Shy Dog Training

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Shy Dog Training Tips

  • Have high value treats ready.
  • It is very important that you move slowly and observe the dog's behavior and body language. Watch for signs of fear such as whale eyes (big eyes with whites showing), tail down, stiff or frozen behavior, ears back, low body posture, cowering etc. Also, lip licking and yawning are signs of stress.
  • Always interact with him with your body turned sideways and without making eye contact. Approaching from the front or looking directly at the dog will increase his fearful behavior.
  • Have treats around the house and reward him as he comes up to you or explores new areas or items. At first just coming up to quickly sniff should get a reward, do not move too fast and push to pet him at this stage.
  • Be sure visitors know the dog is fearful and not to approach him. Let him come to you/visitors! If he comes over have the visitor give a treat. If he does not approach ignore him.
  • Ignore any fearful behavior. Petting or "comforting" the dog when he is acting fearful is actually rewarding the fearful behavior!
  • Use a well-fitting harness for walks so he does not slip out of his collar.
  • If the dog is extremely fearful even at home allow him to drag his leash for the first few days when you are home so you can use the leash when needed to move him.
  • Never pick him up or grab him by the collar to move him. Do not corner him or reach overhead. If you need to move him get the leash, leash him up and move him that way.
  • Hand feed parts of his meal.
  • Take on walks with or have a confident dog in the home if he is dog friendly. This will help many dogs build confidence.
  • As he begins to settle in and relax some working on basic training items using positive reinforcement will help build confidence.