submissive female puppy

Posted by arader
Jul 17, 2009
We have recently added a female golden puppy to our family. We have had a male golden who is now 2. Our male is wonderfully social and became a certified therapy dog at 15 months. when choosing our new puppy, we looked for one that showed confidence and energy. however, since having her about 3 months now, we often wonder if she is the puppy we originally picked out. :confused: She is very shy and has her tail tucked whenever in a new situation with people. She greets other dogs shyly but not nearly like she does with people. When we "make" her put up with people, she often finds the closest bush to hide under. She keeps her tail tucked when being greeted-and we encourage everyone to pet her. She often rolls over or she runs away the second she gets a chance.

The breeder said she was the "most" alpha dog of the females. She is great with the family. She plays, cuddles and acts fairly interested. I am not sure how to get her to be the confident and curious puppy we chose! we try very hard to put her in situations without our other dog as i think she depends on him a lot. I am hoping her true personality comes out and she is not always this "scared."

any thoughts would be appreciated!
Posted by KOPsarah
Jul 18, 2009
Hi arader,
I understand the situation must be quite confusing given how confident your puppy was within her own litter when she was young. I think we may be able to use your other dog however to help her socialize. Try having guests around that your puppy usually is nervous with. Have your older dog and your puppy in the room too. Let your puppy sit wherever she feels safest and just ignore her while she hides. Have your guests pat and treat your older dog and talk to him calmly but pleasantly and even play with some toys etc. Keep ignoring your puppy until she shows some braveness and attempts to join in or even just moves a little closer then quickly offer her a treat and some play. At all times try and ignore her shy behavior (and get others too as well) so she knows it is not appropriate. Comforting her will only enforce in her mind that the situation is scary and her hiding behavior is appropriate. Equally as importantly, warmly and calmly reward all good brave/calm behavior immediately.

It is probably best not to make her interact with strangers but rather to make it her best option by arming your visitors with food, treats and fun as above, and ignoring her when she's shy.

I hope this helps you start to build her confidence, please keep us posted on her progress and don't hesitate to ask any other questions you may have about your puppy.