Dogs have all kinds of personalities just as people do. Dogs that are shy may not have been socialized enough when they were young. Shyness can be a real problem for dogs and make them fearful of other dogs, people, and things. Shyness in dogs may cause them to feel threatened, which could cause them to bite out of fear. As owners, we must try and help our dogs overcome their shyness. There are a few things you can do in helping your shy dog overcome shyness.
Helping Your Shy Dog Overcome Shyness
Take Them Places
One of the best things you can do with your shy dog is to take them places with you, especially places where she won’t feel threatened. If you have a park nearby that allows dogs (not a dog park), take them along for a relaxing walk. She can enjoy seeing birds, trees, and other objects at a distance. Let them get use to being out of the house with you and having a good time. Don’t push them and don’t try to introduce strange things or anything that will alarm her. Keep it slow, steady, and relaxing. All you want to do is show her that she can have a good, safe time away from home.
Pet stores are a good place to socialize your dog. She can examine new sights and sounds, cautiously meet other friendly dogs, and, if she is agreeable, let people pet her. Make sure that you have treats with you so you can give them to anyone who offers to pet her. She may be more inclined to let them pet her if they have a treat to give her. If your dog seems overwhelmed you should not make her stay but if she seems to be curious about the place and the other dogs and people, praise her and give lots of rewards.
Build Their Confidence
You can also help your shy dog by building her confidence. Training builds confidence. Work with her at home to learn basic commands. The more she focuses on training and paying attention to you, the less she will worry about feeling shy.
If your dog is feeling confident enough around other dogs you should consider signing up for a training class. An obedience or agility class can be fun for your dog and will help her overcome her shyness. Being in a class with other dogs and people may make her feel nervous at first but she should soon forget about her shyness and focus on having fun with the training.
Are You Encouraging Shyness?
Finally, be sure that you aren’t accidentally encouraging your dog to be shy and fearful. If you are soothing and comforting your dog when she’s scared you may be sending her the signal that there is really something to be afraid of when she sees another dog or a person. It’s better for your dog for you to stay calm and cheerful and let her know that there’s nothing to be afraid of. If there’s another dog, show her that he’s a good dog. If she’s fearful of a person, interact with the person with conversation and maybe a hug. Teach your dog that it’s not such a bad, scary world after all.