Timid wee dog

Posted by Ruby-Tuesday
Apr 21, 2012
We are looking for some help with our new red toy poode who is 16 weeks old. It was evident from the onset that she is quite timid ( until she gets to know you!)The first 24 hours she was with myself and my husband and after the intial shyness was happy to see us both and wanted affection from both of us and would follow us both around equally. 48 hrs after getting her I took her to be vet checked and vaccanated - it was a male vet, all went well apart from her being quietly scared.
Since then she will not really go to my husband, when she sees me and my 2 daughters she gets so excited, when she sees my husband she doesn't take much notice and when he calls her she acts scared with her tail down and totally tries to avoid him. If I lift her and set her down beside him she is happy to go to sleep beside him with him stroking her. She met my stepson for the first time last night and was scared of him. This morming her fearful behaviour is even worse around my husband and she barked and growled at my stepson. We will be grateful for any suggestions that may help we really want a dog who is confident around all the family and happy to say hello to anyone who comes to visit. We have now had her for 7 days. Thanks
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Apr 24, 2012
Hi Ruby Tuesday,

It takes time for fearful dogs to become friendly to people so this won't happen overnight. You just need to be patient and she needs to take baby steps until she has a breakthrough one day

She is saying "Don't come close to me" by barking and growling. When she acts like that don't comfort her saying "That's OK, don't be afraid" and don't pet her. You need to act confident. Instead, give your step son a chance to coax her by offering a treat. Don't let him approach her but make him wait for her to come closer to him. He can even throw a treat 2 feet away. If she can come and get the treat, have him throw a little closer. Let her decide how close she can make it. Everytime your step son comes to your house, have him do this excercise.

As for your husband, I don't know if he is a tall person or has a beard or glasses, etc. Or, he might just remind your puppy of the vet?

In any case, have your husband feed the puppy every meal. Dogs like routines and they are good associating good things or bad things with certain people. Try to make her learn "he is a good guy" by associating him with all kinds of good things happening to her.

She is still plenty young so I am sure she will learn to be more confident dog. The key is to expose her to as many people (not all at one time, but one at a time). It is like a saving pennies in a piggy bank Right now is a very critical window for her as far as the socialization is concerned. Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
May 1, 2012
Hey there,

This minor set back in your pups behaviour might stem from just the vet visit, but may also have come from another experience when you didn't own her - it may just be surfacing now.

Either way - having your husband feed her everyday, and play with her everyday will help, as MHN said. He should get the "trusting" jobs for now, so she builds confidence with him.

Again, have your step son interact with her like MHN said we visits as well. And never babytalk or coddle her if she acts aggressively - just ignore this sort of reaction.

If your dogs in a room, try shutting the doors and having your husband/step son just sit in the centre of the room, not focusing on your dog. Let her approach, and even when she does, they should continue ignoring her. After a while, they can start verbally praising her, softly saying "good girl" as she gets closer to investigate. Start holding a hand out for her to sniff, etc. The key is to move slowly so that she doesnt get startled, and to never force attention on her - let her be the one to approach.

I hope this makes sense - please let us know how things are going!