A lot of dogs are friendly, and they love to be close to people. Some dogs just aren’t as open to meeting new people. Every dog is different. Some dogs are full of excitement and always want to cuddle up. Others tend to be more on the introverted and shy side.
A reason for a dog’s shyness can be due to a number of factors but, no matter what the case might be, dealing with a shy dog can be a challenging task. You’ll have to put in a bit of extra effort for them to be 100% comfortable with you and your friends. Luckily, Cruisin’ Canines has a few tips on how you can make a shy dog comfortable with whatever is thrown their way.
Here is how you can do this:
Don’t force contact
It can take a lot of time to earn the trust of a shy dog. Unlike with extroverted dogs, you need to ease into interactions with shy dogs. Rather than focusing on what you want, focus on what the dog wants. And, in this case, they may just want a bit of space.
Give the dog space to make important decisions and let he or she approach you when it wants to rather than the other way around. When the dog feels comfortable enough, it will approach you on his or her own. You just need to be patient and give them time.
Some of the clearest signs that you should give dog space are lip licking, panting, stiffness, growling, tucked tail, and gaze averting. If you notice any of these signals or a combination, make sure to give your pet a little room.
Help the dog feel safe
All dogs, when they are adopted, may feel a bit scared and out of place. New owners need to try to show them that they are home and safe. Only then will the dog start to feel more comfortable, relaxed, and start breaking out of their shell.
Show the dog that you’re their friend. A good place to start is to keep your voice low and speak calmly. Don’t make any big gestures or sudden moves. In case you are a lot taller than your dog, it might feel intimidating. Try to crouch down or and sit on the floor so you’re on their level and then interact with your dog.
Approach the dog as gently as possible without any sudden movements or loud noises. During this period, it’s essential to avoid any negative actions that might scare your dog. They’re sensitive, and you don’t want to frighten them.
Go out for a walk
When your new pooch has finally started to warm up to you, try to take them out for a walk. One of the best ways to make your dog relaxed and to build trust with them is to make them associate you with what they love. Well, we all know that dogs simply love walks and this is a great opportunity to create a bond.
At the same time, if your dog is still not doing well with space, a walk is a good way to get them up and moving while still being close to your furry friend at all times, showing them that being near you is no reason to be scared whatsoever.
Train & reward
No matter what kind of behavior you’re trying to change, try to do it in a subtle way, without startling your dog. Do this by calmly verbalizing everything that you want your dog to do (or not to do). Demonstrate what you want from them. At the same time, it is crucial to reward your dog every time they show good behavior.
Whenever you feel like they did something good, be it obeying a command or being relaxed around other people, make sure to reward them. This will not only have a practical benefit, but it will also get your shy dog to stop worrying. He or she will gain confidence and start to act freely.
In the end, remember to stay patient. Dealing with a shy dog can be frustrating but you shouldn’t give up on your new friend. After a couple of months of actively working, you will be able to see great results.
For a few other tips or if you’re in need of a dog walker or boarding, contact Cruisin’ Canines. We’re experts in making your dog as happy as can be.