Tips For A shy Or Timid Puppy
12 June, 2012

While most puppies are social, some (especially from a shelter or adoption agency) can be shy.  Some puppies are inherently timid, while others are timid due to a lack of socialization at a young age.  Whatever the reason, shy or timid puppies need even more socialization than the average puppy.  However, with a little work and patience, you can help your puppy overcome his or her fears.

Below are some tips to help you socialize your timid little puppy!

Start socializing your puppy slowly

Try to socialize your puppy slowly and in a controlled environment.  You should try to learn to read your puppy’s reactions and behaviors before he becomes socially overwhelmed.  And you should try, at the beginning, to really control the people and things that come into his or her environment to the best of your ability.

If your puppy is surrounded by too many people at once (even if they are well meaning people), he or she will become nervous.  It is important to get to know your puppy and learn to read his body language and signals and take him places where you can control the people.

Introduce your puppy first to people that you know

Start introducing your puppy to people that you know.  Take your puppy to your friend’s homes or invite your friends over to meet your new puppy.  Make dinner dates and let your puppy see nice people coming and going from his own environment from an early age.

Have your friends give your puppy a treat and he or she will learn that people are good and associate them with treats.  Let your puppy go to them and you should try not to pick him up.  Your puppy should learn to be social on his own and deal with people on his own four feet and when he is ready.

Introduce your dog to the outside world slowly

You can and should walk your dog and introduce him to people along the way.   Or go to your local coffee shop and hang out with your dog.  But, don’t go to places that you know will be packed if your puppy is likely to be nervous.  Find places that are not busy, like a coffee shop in the mid afternoon.  People will approach and then you and your dog can better control the interaction.

Be patient and you and your puppy will reap the rewards

Work on your own dog’s schedule; don’t push your puppy if he or she is not ready!  If your puppy is becoming more and more social, you can begin teaching him to sit and wait patiently for petting.

Work slowly and try to be patient.  Your puppy might regress from time to time and that is OK.  It is worth the time and effort because socialization is imperative for the lifetime and of your dog!  Be persistent and consistent and you should end up with a happy, well-socialized puppy!


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