When you have a shy dog, one of the biggest aspects of pet care is to be sensitive to their feelings. That will include both being considerate of their shyness as well as helping them emerge from their bubble. Here’s a guide to how you can support a dog that’s timid.
3 Best Practices for Helping Shy Dogs
1. Avoid Crowds
While you’re still trying to understand and assess your dog’s shy behavior, take pains to avoid bringing them into crowded areas. The presence of people will likely make them even more nervous than usual. Even when strangers come over to say hello and pet your dog, for the time being, politely ask them to hold back for now. With some training, you can relax these standards.
2. Monitor Behavior
The next step is to more closely investigate the source of what is making your dog anxious or shy. The best way to do that is to pay attention to how your dog reacts to different stimuli. Is it the presence of people that bothers your pet? The presence of other dogs? Being out in the street versus being at home? Keeping a journal for a week can help clarify the situation and give you the information necessary for training.
3. Build Confidence Gradually
Once you’ve identified the source of your dog’s shyness, the next step in terms of pet care is to help train them to be more comfortable. So, if your dog is nervous around other dogs, start by bringing a friend’s dog into the home at the same time and reward your pet with treats. Little by little, create closer contact and build up the connection until your dog becomes more at ease, offering periodic treats. This type of slow-build exposure therapy should help calm them.
The next time you’re going away and need pet care, consider a compassionate dog hotel like Bark!... "the boutique hotel for dogs" in McKinney, TX. Family-owned and -operated, these dog sitters have a wealth of experience with shy dogs and will go the extra mile to make sure they feel comfortable and safe. To set up a residency, just dial (972) 542-8377. Learn more about the dog boarding service by visiting their website.