Behavior Training – How To Stop Your Puppy’s from being so Shy and Timid

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Behavior Training – How To Change Your Puppy’s Shy, Timid Behavior

Are you the proud owner of an extremely shy puppy? Don’t worry, this fear-based behavioral characteristic is actually very common if you have a toy dog breed.  It’s a known fact that every litter will have a least one shy puppy that will need to be treated a little differently than the rest of the pups.

When these shy puppies grow up they can become extremely needy. They look towards their owners for reinforcement in almost every situation they come across.  Unfortunately, with this need to “run to mommy and daddy” every time she gets scared, your dog may start being aggressive if she does not get the soothing attention she needs. This could be labeled as aggression induced by fear.

Ironically enough, if you constantly caress and soothe your puppy when she demonstrates extreme shyness and becomes frightened, you are only reinforcing the behavior. I realize that it’s hard to imagine ignoring your shy and scared puppy when she needs you. But if you would like to change her behavior and help her become the bold and social animal she has to be, you are going to have to quit letting her know that it is “okay” to be afraid.

Helping Your Shy Puppy Change

If your dog is showing signs of fear and shyness early on, then you will have to be patient if you want to help her adjust. You must coax her along to realize that you will not be her protector anymore. Behaviors that she is used to doing when getting scared will need to be stopped, such as barking while hiding behind your legs when startled, darting away whenever seeing a normal part of the outside, like a person walking or a bush swaying by the wind, etc.

Here are some tips that you can use to help your puppy become less shy:

1. Explain to your family and friends to ignore your puppy’s fear-induced barking or crying whenever they approach.  Up to this point your dog has acted out of fear whenever someone approaches her. When people naturally stop approaching, your dog has learned that this behavior works in her favor. However, from now on your dog will start to understand that fear-induced barking will not work anymore so long as your friends and family respect your training wishes.

2. Whenever you are expecting guests to arrive at the house, be sure to keep your puppy secured by a lead. Take her with you as you approach the guests if you can allow her to be with you all times. The difference from then on is that when she starts crying, barking, or hiding behind your legs, you will be acting in a confident manner and without petting or soothing her. This will help your dog become braver while teaching her that her old behavior will no longer work.

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