5 Ways to Get Your Dog Less Shy around Other Dogs
Does your dog growl, hide behind you, or display other nervous reactions when other dogs approach? Does he whine or refuse to leave when you try to drop him off at day care? With most dogs, this is caused by a lack of socialization with other dogs. Luckily, it’s often possible for your dog to get over his fears with a little help from you. Here are 5 things you can try.
Build Confidence through Training
Dogs that are shy around other dogs often lack confidence in general. And one of the best ways to build that confidence is through reward-based training. For very shy dogs, you may have to start training in your home, and then gradually work up to a group class or local park where other dogs are present. Performing familiar activities will help your dog feel more relaxed, and it will also make him pay more attention to you than the other dogs.
Work on Socialization
Another way to build your dog’s confidence is by gradually exposing him to new environments. Taking your dog for walks in new areas will help him gain confidence in himself as well as in your ability to keep dangerous things from coming after him. If he sees other dogs walking in the distance, even better! Once he realizes that they’re not going to bother him, he’ll start to understand that they’re not a threat. This should be done slowly so as not to overwhelm your dog, and you may need the help of an experienced trainer to get started.
Find a Dog Friend
A good way to help your dog feel more comfortable around dogs is to find him a canine friend. If you have a friend with a dog, start going for walks together on a regular basis. Your dogs don’t even have to interact at first if it’s too stressful for your dog. Gradually, he’ll start to associate the pleasant experience of walking with the presence of another dog and will feel less stressed.
Manage His Environment
If your dog is already nervous, it’s important that you keep all interactions with other dogs as positive as possible. Avoid situations where you might walk by an aggressive dog or run into off-leash dogs. Stay away from dog parks, since you never know what kind of dogs will be there. Make sure any dogs who meet your dog are friendly, and keep play sessions short at first, ending on a good note. Once your dog can play with other dogs, he should start to feel much more relaxed around them.
Visit Dog Day Care
Shy dogs can benefit greatly from doggie day care in Seattle. Although they may be nervous at first, most dogs adapt within their first few visits. In fact, most dogs will copy the other dogs in day care and learn to be more outgoing and confident with each visit. The good thing about day care is that unlike a dog park, dogs have to be screened before entering, so there shouldn’t be any bullies who might intimidate your shy dog. And there’s always a staff member on hand to make sure everyone is getting along.