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  • Timid puppy

    Our 11 week old Atlas has always been very timid with new people. Even when we first got him at 7 weeks he was uninterested in us. Now, he loves us, but when we have people come over, Atlas is super timid. Not even shy, just timid. He barks at them and refuses to go near them. We've tried having people give him treats when they come in so he associates new people with good, yummy things, but he refuses to go near them to take the treats.

    We are enrolling him in a puppy class, but does anyone have any recommendations for what we can do in the meantime? I don't mind a shy puppy, but I'm worried his timid behavior will turn to fear biting in the future.
    Atlas
    sigpic

  • #2
    You need to get him out now as much as possible. Expose him to people, dogs and sounds in different places.

    Try to only allow dog savy, patient people to approach him on his level. Many children do not know how to approach a puppy. Try to build his confidence in as many situations as possible. Try to go out every day.
    It might be better to go out early during the week days and then build up
    to the noiser weekends.

    I like visiting places like Petsmart. I have even walked around outside of stores just to acclimate a pup to sounds and people walking around. Don't push your pup, but don't baby him either.

    Your pup does not need to play with strange dogs. He just needs to be able to walk around in the same area without being scared or aggressive.

    I assume at this point your boy has had a least one shot. Unfortuanetly we usually can't wait until the complete series has been completed. The window for socialization is closing on you.

    It is possible to make your pup more tolerant of people and situations.

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    • #3
      That's what really confuses me! Our vet said that we should not take him anywhere where other dogs are, such as a dog park or PetsMart until he's had his final round of vaccinations, which is scheduled for FOUR weeks from now. Should we be ok if we take him somewhere? I know the socialization period is incredibly important, but I don't want to put him in danger of parvo or another illness by taking him where other dogs are too soon.

      Also, any tips on how I can get him more people friendly? We have a large group of friends and people are constantly coming and going at our house. I feel bad when they try to pet Atlas and he wants nothing to do with them!
      Atlas
      sigpic

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      • #4
        I have a 10 week old and she is still doing vaccinations as well. However, I found a puppy preschool that I take her to so she can socialize with other pups, which she does not do yet but we are getting better every week, and other people. The trainer suggests not taking them to places like petsmart or the dog park but instead, take them to other dog friendly places such as Lowes, Home Depot, Gander Mountain, Academy, and Hobby Lobby. Less exposure to other dogs and possible illnesses I guess. Dane-T does great with other people and older dogs, she just doesnt want to play with pups her own age

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        • #5
          I agree about the socialization. Yes, your pup is not completely vaccinated, but if you take him to places that aren't frequented by a ton of dogs, the risk of him catching something is probably less than the risk of him being a timid, scared adult (and possibly a fear biter) when he is older if you do not socialize him immediately.

          JMO
          sigpic
          Debbie & Murphy

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          • #6
            You can take him all sorts of store just keep him in cart, petsmart is fine just bring blanket and put him in cart, do the same with lowes, you can take him to public places sit on bench for 30 minutes with him on a towel. The more he sees the less stuff will worry him.
            If he is timid he'll need a kind approach from people ask them
            Not to Hoover over him ask them to get low and go slow.

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            • #7
              You might try to go once a week at least - to places where dogs are allowed but not doggie hotspots. Around where I live that includes TSC (Tractor Supply Store), the local ice cream parlor, local small town Main Streets for window shopping, friends homes. And with a fearful puppy I would choose quiet times and places where you can easily run interference and be sure he has lots of interesting smells an sights without the pressure of being stared at or having people reach for him, and gradually increase the interactions...I find that people will respect your wishes and not approach if you ask - or if you just talk to your puppy - the "what a smart puppy - OK we gotta head home now!"

              So far as the barking & fearful behavior - there are lots of threads here & lots of resources (online & book) for that.
              I do think you are going to have some work ahead of you & you are smart to work on it. A lot of this will be problem-solving & trial & error to see what works for him.

              If it were me - I think I would take a mulit-faceted approach because I would think that IN GENERAL he is timid, insecure, lacking in confidence (even if he has made strides with the immediate family.)

              It might help if - for now - people paid him NO attention & you have him on lead and just require that he be nearby & ignore him. Possibly start with asking a very dog-smart but quiet person visiting. (I have a dog-smart friend who is very upbeat & friendly - but has too much energy & and fearful dogs react badly to her).

              Obedience training / teaching the basics/ tricks at home will help build confidence and trust in your rlationship.

              Look ahead to puppy class once vaccinations are complete & get signes up - so you don't miss out on that.

              Good luck -
              sigpicNikol Marsh & Glory, Emma, Tycho & Bronte
              Dantrydane's GloryB Gallantree
              Am/Int CH Perlwin's MBN Original Emma V EIO, RN, TT, CGC, TDI
              Int CH Blue Moon's For Game and Glory, CGC, TDI
              Sasdania's Poetry In Motion, RN, CGC

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              • #8
                How about working your way toward a "puppy party"?

                Invite one person over, then the next day invite two, then the next day three, etc, until you've worked up to maybe 8 at once.

                Get a routine going for when people come over: when the doorbell rings tell her "place" and put her in the same spot each time (a routine will give her confidence cuz she'll know what to expect next). Then have guests come in and ignore her initially and just sit down on the couch and visit. Give guests some treats to give her if she comes over for a sniff.

                Then wait for her to come over. If she's not even interested, lay down on the floor and that could help lure her over. Or make a trail of treats from her to the guest - with high value treats really close to the guest.

                I would make sure she always has an escape - guests are not allowed to pick her up or "trap her" in order to pet her. But in my opinion, YOU can pick her up and briefly bring her to a guest for petting, as long as they give her a delicious treat.

                Just keep people over for a short time at first (30 min?) and then work your way to a longer visit as she starts getting braver. Good luck, she will come around!! Try not to worry too much make the visits fun
                sigpicTexas... my first dane!

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