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Who’s Going To Let The Dog Out? When Emboldened Behavior Should Be Fostered – AMG

Is your puppy extremely shy? Does it jump under the couch when you whisper or when a fly lands nearby? This fear-based behavioral characteristic is very common in toy dog breeds, so these puppies need to be treated a little differently than other dogs. In other words, you need to use “kid gloves” – or rather “pup gloves.”

Shy puppies often grow up to become extremely needy dogs that look to their owners for reinforcement in almost every situation. In humans we call this “seeking validation,” “feeling insecure,” or specifically in the case of men, “being married.” Unfortunately, while these dogs “run to mommy or daddy” every time they get scared, these dog may also initiate aggression if not getting the soothing attention they need. This can be called “fear aggression.”

Ironically, if you caress and soothe your puppy every time she demonstrates frightened behavior and extreme shyness, you are only reinforcing these tendencies. It sounds hard to do, but you must ignore your shy, scared puppy every time she needs you in order to change her behavior and help her become a bold, social animal. Your dog needs to develop a “stiff upper lip,” and a sturdy snout!

Changing Your Shy Puppy

You will have to be patient when helping to adjust your timid, fearful dog. You must coax the dog along in this process. You will need to stop certain of your dog’s behaviors, such as barking while hiding behind your legs or darting away whenever seeing normal things, like a person walking or a bush swaying by the wind.

Here are some tips:

Make a list of the persons who are a constant presence to your puppy. If you neglect their ‘fear-based’ behavior, they will tend to seek attention from somebody else. Make sure these persons will not succumb to your puppy’s “have mercy on me” tactics. They will just learn to rely on themselves slowly but surely.

When you have some guests whom your puppy isn’t accustomed to, buy a leash to make sure that your puppy will be socializing with you too. When you greet your guests, include him in doing the greeting too. Then he will sense that the guests aren’t dangerous. The old behavior of ‘fear’ will vanish.

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