Why Is My Dog So Shy?

Many pet owners are used to having cheerful and energetic dogs. The cheerful ones usually approach others with curiosity and cheerfulness. But it can be quite difficult for the shy ones.

Whys Some Dogs Are Shy

The reason for shyness in dogs can either be in their nature, or it can be affected by how they were nurturing. While some dogs can generally be born to be shy, most of the shy ones develop this trait because of their past experiences. One of the most influential reasons why your dog may be shy lies within how it socialized early on. Your dog may have also had a shy mother as well.

Signs Your Dog Is Shy

Different from dogs who wag their tail happily and feeling relaxed, a shy dog may have its ears back. It may also have its pupils dilated. It may be anxious and you may encounter your dog about to urinate, howling, or whining. It may also not be happy to engage, and may stay in a corner. Why is this? Your pup may not know how to socialize, because you may have never exposed them to others or unfamiliar places.

The Socialization Process

Socialization is the time when your young pet dog will be experiencing and interacting with various people, situations, places, and many other factors while it is still young. During the first eight weeks of your puppy, they will start to develop and become shy and wary of people that are unfamiliar. When your dog reaches about five months, it will them become fearful of strangers, which can turn into aggression. Dogs that don’t know how to socialize may be agitated or weakened when they are faced with unfamiliar stimuli. This is because they don’t know how to interact.

What You Can Do

The good thing is that teaching your dog how to socialize is doable, and it can also be quite enjoyable as well. What you have to do is to expose them to various types of situations, people, and experiences in a pleasant way that won’t end up scaring or traumatizing them. Below are some methods that you can do to ease their shyness:

  • Be gentle, especially with what words you use and what actions you show your pet.
  • Create a place where your shy dog can relax and be away from stimuli that may end up overwhelming it.
  • Don’t push your dog to become confident and overcome its shyness. As you expose it to various experiences and people, do it gradually, and give your dog time to adjust.
  • What you can do is to mix in what scares your pet with something that it enjoys. For example, if your dog is afraid of other dogs, you can start at a farther distance first before gradually coming near them. This will help your pet adjust and become much more comfortable.
  • Don’t force your pet, and reward them if they show confidence. You can reward it with treats, pet your dog, talk to them and praise them. This will encourage them to continue with these kinds of interactions with other friendly people.